During the sixth century C.E., the Byzantine Empire was ruled by the Emperor Justinian I and the Empress Theodora. The Empress was insatiably ambitious, described by a contemporary historian as shrewish, calculating and mean-spirited. Her ascent to supreme power was facilitated as a result of a breakdown of the civic glue that is necessary to all decent societies and cultures. The Byzantine Empire was rotted. Theodora treated her people like servants. They were forced to lay face down in her presence and touch the instep of each of her feet with their lips. The people were her slaves and she was their mistress. To my mind, this is the figure in history whom Hillary Clinton most resembles. Theodora set the cultural climate of Byzantium. Her reign marked the high point of the Byzantine Empire and escalated the cultural corruption that inevitably led to the empire’s demise.
The United States is at just such a cusp. The ultimate question is whether the citizens of this country have become inured to the corruption that is being spread by certain cultural and political leaders, or will they rise up, mindful of the decency for which the U.S. ostensibly stands and reverse the current situation that I believe will destroy us.
This cultural rot takes many forms. The seditious “Black Lives Matter” organization uses a few instances of alleged police brutality to undermine our very system of governance through riots and mob rule. This is but one indicator of our blindness to decency. There are hundreds of small indicators that underscore the underlying malaise. Colleges and universities all over the country are establishing “safe spaces” and “counseling centers” to aid the poor snowflakes who will have been traumatized as a result of seeing “offensive” Halloween costumes.
CoverGirl has just featured its first “coverboy” — a 17 year-old “makeup artist” who is the face of a campaign to market cosmetics to “transgendered young people.” A reporter for the Washington Post complains vociferously about the fact that Donald Trump is sexist because he refers to Hillary Clinton by using feminine pronouns like “she” and “her.” Ironically, in the same article, he repeatedly refers to Trump as “he” and “him.” First Lady Michelle Obama gets the vapors about some tasteless remarks uttered by Trump 11 years ago, while at the same time citing Beyoncé as a great role model for young girls and inviting “rappers” to the White House who routinely spout filth, misogynistic and racist lyrics that would have been banned in Boston a few years ago. The same week the first lady threw her fit, a group of women that calls itself “C***s Not Glocks” was invited to pose proudly in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
We are being strangled with political correctness that is slowly dissipating the decency out of us. A current television series entitled “Transparent,” is described as follows: “The story revolves around a Los Angeles family and their lives following the discovery that the person they knew as their father … is transgender.” Its creator, a woman named Jill Soloway, equates Donald Trump with Adolf Hitler.
I have some news for the “eminent” Miss Soloway: To compare the incomparably evil Hitler to Donald Trump minimizes Hitler’s evil and the suffering of those he murdered — and is itself evil. But why is the opinion of this woman who produces salacious garbage for a mindless audience (in its third season, by the way) worthy of anyone’s notice? The fact that this woman is free to spew garbage doesn’t make it anything other than garbage. But because she created a garbage television series, her opinion is somehow worthy of notice.
Political correctness and its accompanying corruptive effect are now endangering our very civilization. Women are being put on the front lines of the military, as firefighters and the police. Because most are probably physically incapable of performing optimally under previous criteria, the standards for entry into these services have been lowered and diluted. This probably played a major factor in a recent police shooting in Tulsa for which a policewoman is being prosecuted for killing a black man. The victim was physically huge and the policewoman is physically small. It is almost certain that she was in fear because of the victim’s size. The primary factor was her state of mind. A larger person (i.e. a policeman) might not have felt the need to use a gun as an equalizer. Political correctness has given us these eased physical requirements for police, firefighters, soldiers, etc. Does this put not only them in danger, but the public and alleged perpetrators, as well?
It is political correctness that compels us to accept uncorroborated allegations against Donald Trump while giving a pass to the behavior of Hillary Clinton in attempting to destroy the lives of those whom her husband actually attacked (charges that have been corroborated).
It is political correctness that permits Hillary Clinton to survive her proven and repeated acts of corruption. She is a woman and that gives her a certain amount of immunity — even while her supporters proclaim that gender should be irrelevant. She should be prosecuted, not rewarded. Yet Empress Theodora Rodham Clinton expects us to prostrate ourselves in her presence and kiss her feet.
This election is wrapped up in the issue of whether or not our society is so sapped of strength that it will collapse. Clinton is corrupt and crooked. Trump is coarse and boorish. It is as if we are trapped in the web of two competing spiders that will consume each other before the victor turns to the task of consuming us.
As in few other times in history, we are faced with the choice of whether or not we, the People, have the capacity and the will to eliminate the corrupt spider and bring the coarse spider to heel. If we are to deserve to survive, we need to get rid of Hillary Clinton and stand up to the new President Trump. We have had enough and we won’t take it anymore.
I am acquainted with a great many people who are in an actual state of despair. The operative question for them is how, with a bench of 300,000,000 citizens, we have ended up with these two unpalatable individuals from whom to choose? Despair is the most tragic of all emotions because it denotes a complete absence of hope. It is simply to give up — to surrender.
But I have a word of hope for all of you. Elie Wiesel tells the story of a particular day in the Buchenwald concentration camp where he was a prisoner. He recalls a Russian inmate who had obtained a quantity of rat poison and Wiesel, along with a group of his fellow prisoners, had actually gotten into a line to receive some of the poison to commit suicide. Let that sink in; they had formed a line to obtain rat poison to kill themselves! As they stood in that line in the middle of Hell, a Chassidic rabbi approached them and began to chant the prayer “Ani Maamin” (“I Believe”) written by the great sage Maimonides, which is the recitation of the 13 principles that constitute the absolute essence of the Jewish faith. Slowly, the hope that had almost vanished was restored and the inmates began peeling off that line of despair. No one committed suicide on that day.
Why do I recall that story here? Because if anyone had cause for despair, it was those inmates in the inferno that was Buchenwald. We need to keep things in perspective. We have no right to despair for the future of the U.S. Unlike the prisoners in Buchenwald who had no control over their fate, we have the ability to stop the rot of this civilization by reminding ourselves that we believe in the essential decency of this country. It is our responsibility to speak up when we are confronted with language that has no place in civilized society. It is our responsibility to speak up when entertainment organs serve up fare that presents “transgenderism” as an “acceptable alternative lifestyle.” It is our responsibility to speak up when corrupt leaders present violations of law involving confidential governmental information as “no big deal.”
If it were up to me, I would not be forced into voting for Donald Trump. But I am. We are forced to set our priorities in our fight to return to decency as a society. We must concentrate on stopping the rot caused by the culture of corruption that Hillary Clinton represents. After we have succeeded in doing that, we can concentrate on curing the politics that have become so rotten that we are forced to vote for a Donald Trump. Let us first eliminate the concept of being ruled by a new Empress of Byzantium. Then, we can move to the next step — returning the U.S. to a nation with values that are actually worth perpetuating.
Stuart Kaufman is a retired lawyer, investment banker and businessman. He relocated from New York to Mount Pleasant in 2012. A friend recently told him that he has been a South Carolinian all of his life ... but he just didn’t know it.