I have watched the presidential primaries unfold with a mounting feeling of dread and nausea. Last night’s insanity in Chicago was just one more sickening display.

It was not a popular uprising against another illiberal strongman. I could take heart from that. I yearn for a rejection of the illegitimate path cut by our current chief executive with his abuses of power and his deeply felt resentments against constitutional checks and balances. They were put in place by circumspect men with philosophical appreciation for liberty and, not to be overlooked, a well-earned fear of giving any one person too much power over others. I have long worried what the next chief executive, regardless of party, would do with this expanse of illegitimately seized power, even as his rabble gleefully thumped their chests over their leader’s gains.

No, if anything, it was worse. It was one anti-freedom candidate’s mob trumping another anti-freedom candidate’s mob. Nothing good can come out of this, as each candidate mounts his or her own awful charge to snuff out the light from our shining city on the hill.

A few weeks ago I was asked on social media about my opinion on how this election was going, and I said this:


Horribly, the analogy is too apt; the helplessness too vivid. Jonah Goldberg feels it to, as one can see in his piece yesterday in National Review:

I feel a bit like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. No one has strapped me to a chair or attached those metal scaffolds to my eyes to keep them open as I watch that oleaginous clump of non sequiturs sweat his insecurities on national television. But I still feel drained as I try to resist what feels like a kind of crowd-sourced brainwashing spread across the land like a wet rolling fog.

As the Israelites in Kibroth Hattaavah, we are having our selfish demand for a tribal strongman shoved down our throats until it comes out of our nostrils and we loathe it.

We who love freedom, meanwhile, are strapped to the Ludovico chair of history. May this American experiment in tribalism, incivility, and the rule of the chieftain over the rule of law be short.