The 2016 election was supposed to show the resurgence of conservatism that has been happening within the country in the last seven years. However, it has turned into exactly the opposite. It has turned into an election in which plenty of Republican voters have entirely abandoned their principles in favor of Donald Trump.
The Trump phenomenon is not a healthy one. It is not a movement rooted in healthy nationalism and love for the United States. It has two causes (which happen to represent a good chunk of what’s wrong with America).
1. The Trump phenomenon has been caused by a failure of parents to teach their children the principles that made America great in the first place.
We have seen a systematic deterioration of the prioritization of home education in American life. Whereas “family time” used to consist of menial chores, family dinners, and other events that encouraged conversation among participants, now “family time” consists of turning on the television and remaining silent.
To be sure, there are many exceptions where parents do an excellent job instilling correct values and principles in their children. But these exceptions are just that: exceptions. And they are becoming increasingly rare.
Thus, it is not surprising when people who have been trained to care more about the Kardashians and Modern Family than about objective morality and the Constitution support a candidate whose only guiding principle is what makes the most of himself. How can millennials be expected to support a candidate who actually cares about the First and Second Amendments if they don’t know what the First and Second Amendments are?
2. The Trump phenomenon has been caused by a failure of schools to educate American children about what originally made us great.
Trump frequently says that he will “make America great again”, but he never offers any justification or reasoning as to exactly how he will accomplish that lofty goal. This is because he doesn’t need to. Most Americans don’t know what made America great in the first place.
Were we made great by a certain great leader? Did Washington or Lincoln make us great? They certainly helped, but they were not the cause of American greatness.
There were two real causes of American greatness: personal liberty and the character of the people.
It is not incorrect to say that America’s founding principles of personal liberty and freedom are better than the founding principles of any other nation. Limited government and checks and balances were created to ensure that each individual would retain his freedom. And the three leading candidates for President – Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders – have shown contempt for this personal liberty time and time again.
In addition to personal liberty, the moral character of the people played a great role in leading to American greatness. Yet this fact is consistently ignored in public schools as well, due to the common view that America is inherently a bad, evil, racist country. On the contrary, our commitment to morality and basic human rights is what made this country great. Never has there been a perfectly moral society; however, what sets our country apart is that human rights violations here violate the founding principles of the United States. Historically – although not so much today – America’s morality saved the country from a great many ills.
And this is why it is so completely horrifying that so many Americans are supporting a man (or a woman, in the case of Clinton) who lacks basic morality and dignity.
The truly sad part? Until home education is emphasized more and public schools stop teaching propaganda to children, we will keep heading down the same path – away from our founding values and toward big government.