Western civilization is not prepared to face the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But it is the nature of the most important tests that they do not come at the time of our choosing, but in their own time. Ready or not, willing or not, able or not, the test has begun. The West must not fail. Hillary Clinton must not take office as president.
The stakes are these: if Donald Trump wins, the West earns what looks likely to be its last reprieve. If Hillary Clinton wins, the West will return to business-as-usual. At present,Â business-as-usual means: suicide. If Hillary Clinton takes office, she will bring the West its draftÂ of hemlock, and, like Socrates, even though itÂ could easily refuse, it will drink. Socrates drank because he thought (or said) that life was a disease, and that service to the state was the most noble end. But life is not a disease. And there are better ends than service to a mob.
It has been wisely said that, “[t]he weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.” The long-range consequences of human action (unless, say, they involve climate change) are, as a rule, not considered in contemporary politics. In fact, such considerations are implicitly forbidden. (Forbidden how, and by whom? — you should ask.) To even suggest that there could be a connection between something as mundane as a presidential election and something as grand as the fate of a civilization is considered bizarre, outrÃ©, even gauche. Since there is no way for me to escape these prejudices born of ignorance, I shall seek, in what follows, to overwhelm them with a mass of evidence.
As the evidence mounts, I will pursueÂ two aims. First, to convince you to see Hillary as I do: as a Trojan horse stuffed, not with Greeks, but with Unitarians; a rough beast slouching toward Washington, a Fabian chimera of nurse Ratched and Lisa Simpson, an apocalypse in a pantsuit. Second, to convince you that the evaluative tools that mass education and mass media have provided are no tools at all, that it is impossible to make a responsible and informed decision about Hillary’s candidacy if one is armed merely with (synecdochically)Â a college degree and a copy of TheÂ New York Times.
As we proceed, please keep the following in mind:
- That Hillary is apocalyptically bad does not mean that Trump is good.
- Nothing I write here is to be taken as an endorsement of ordinary participation in the political process. I hold voting in contempt, because ballots are, ordinarily now, assault weapons wielded in gang savagery.Â But I do not hold self-defense in contempt, and voting against Hillary can beÂ just that.