discredited in domestic politics—socialism is a dead ideologyrn—but it survives in the current attempt to build a “NewrnWorld Order” through international conferences, treaties,rnpaper currencies, trade agreements, and the like, along withrnsporadic military intervention of the kind the United States hasrnengaged in from Haiti to Somalia to Bosnia to Iraq.rnAt home and abroad, thisrngovernment has wildly outrunrnany possible rationale for its power.rnIt is something every American shouldrnbe both afraid of and ashamed of.rnI yield to nobody in my contempt for our news media, whichrndo their best to support the ruling elite. Far from a critical “adversaryrnpress,” we rely for information on a courtier press thatrnwants to be part of the action and shape public policy—an ambitionrnthat corrupts the avowed purpose of keeping us informed.rnAnd yet, for all its faults, the press, including television,rntells us more than it intends to. Anyone who watchesrncarefully will lose any awe, or even trust, he once felt for ourrnrulers. They relentlessly expose themselves as venal, smallmindedrnpower-seekers to whom it is sheer madness to entrustrnour fate. No amount of favorable press coverage can concealrnthat. Our Presidents, our justices, our congressmen are made ofrnthe same stuff: Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Newt Gingrich—I’mrnstarting at the top of the line of succession—^Ted Kennedy, AlrnD’Amato, Pat Schroeder, Barney Frank . . . but why go on?rnThese may be among the worst; but who are the best? Is therernanyone in public life today you really admire? More to thernpoint, do you trust the aggregate of these people to send ourrnsons abroad to fight in worthy causes? We cannot even trustrnthem to keep their hands out of the till. As for acting on anyrnnoble or honorable public philosophy, the idea is ludicrous.rnThere is no point in debating principles with such people, anyrnmore than with a Mafia don.rnBut our current rulers are the natural residue of a long history.rnA country that has chosen such “great” leaders as Lincoln,rnWilson, and Franklin Roosevelt has pretty well decided that itsrnfuture Jeffersons will have to find occupations outside politics:rna centralized welfare state operating a global empire has closedrnoff Jeffersonian options. How many Johnsons, Nixons, andrnClintons do we have to endure before we realize that they arernnot anomalies? Who is fitter than Bill Clinton to lead this kindrnof country at the pinnacle of “world leadership”?rnSuch is the “leader of the free wodd.” We have produced arnsystem that guarantees that men like him will rise to the top. Itrnis bad enough that they exercise enormous leverage over a quarterrnof a billion people within our borders; it is horrifying thatrnthey should exert similar impact on the rest of mankind. Wernshould feel disgust for our rulers, but they are by no means thernworst feature of American society today. American culture itselfrnis now so completely degraded—so self-evidently foul—rnthat we can only be embarrassed and shamed by its global influence.rnOne feels that it should be placed under some sort ofrninternational quarantine.rnOur rulers and cultural leaders share one remarkable trait:rnthey are seriously alienated from Christian culture. Theyrnconsider it a positive virtue and duty to uproot popular Christianrntraditions. The new movie The People vs. Larry Flynt celebratesrna pornographer and the Supreme Court decision thatrn”expanded our First Amendment freedoms.” The partnershiprnof a pornographer (who himself is oddly like our President) andrnthe judiciary aptly symbolizes our decline.rnConservatives rail against the courts for their support of suchrnevils as pornography and abortion, but it is not just the contentrnof recent jurispmdence that matters. It is that the federal judiciaryrnhas been part of the broader assault on federalism. We arerntaught that the Supreme Court furnishes a check on the otherrntwo branches of the federal government. But nearly all of itsrnimportant decisions over the past half-century have overturnedrnstate, not federal laws. Far from checking federal usurpations ofrnpower, the Supreme Court has played a vital role in the wholerncampaign of usurpation. In the name of separating church andrnstate (according to a fraudulent interpretation of the FirstrnAmendment), it has de-Christianized America at the state andrnlocal levels. Its message to every town in the country is that itrnmay not rule itself according to its most sacred traditions. Inrnacting thus, the Court is not merely “legislating,” as its accusersrnsay; even more important, it is centralizing power in the namernof the Constitution that was supposed to protect us againstrn”consolidated” government.rnThe Court’s critics are closer to the mark when they speak ofrnthe “imperial” judiciary—^but the judiciary does not aspire tornindependent power; it supports the Washington-based empirernby weakening all the rival centers of power that once constitutedrnthe federal system. The federal judiciary is actually anti-iederal.rnBecause traditional popular culture is, or was, deeplyrnChristian, the country could only be de-Christianized by edictrnfrom a single center of power, preferably by unelected officials.rnThis role was quietly assigned to the judicial branch, which hasrnnothing to fear from the voters.rnMeanwhile, American influence abroad has also made warrnon local cultures and traditions. Commercial movies and musicrnhave insulted sexual morality, and foreign “aid,” includingrnsubsidies to population-control groups like Planned Parenthood,rnhave promoted contraception and abortion in defiancernof local religious codes and deep-rooted mores. It is by nornmeans only America’s support for Israel that causes Muslims tornfeel that this country is making war on Islam. (Only in Bosniarnhas the United States taken the side of Muslims—perhaps becauserntheir enemy, this time, is Christian.)rnWhen local populations fight back with the only weaponsrnavailable to poor people who lack advanced weaponry, ourrnrulers and their courtier journalists damn and dismiss this reactionrnas “terrorism” and “anti-Americanism”—the counterpartrnof the “extremism” of those Americans who also see the Americanrngovernment as their deadly enemy.rnUnfortunately, our government specializes in making enemies,rnat home and abroad. As George Washington said, governmentrnis not reason or persuasion, it is force. The bigger itrngrows, the more it is forcing or forbidding people to do thingsrnagainst their will—whether they are taxpayers, worshipers, busi-rn20/CHRONICLESrnrnrn