At last Aragorn stood above the great gates, heedless of the darts of the enemy. ... Then he raised his empty hand, palm outward in token of parley.People in this country are in a foul mood. Polls have reliably reported that most people think that the country is on the wrong track, and this has been increasing for years. It's not just that the economy is so terrible; the feeling of being on the wrong track has been with us for years - you have to go back to early 2004 to find a majority thinking the country is on the right track. Something is in the wind, something dark.
The Orcs yelled and jeered. 'Come down!' ... they cried. ... 'Bring out your king! ... We will fetch him from his hole, if he does not come.' ...
'The king stays or comes at his own will,' said Aragorn.
'Then what are you doing here?' they answered. ...
'I looked out to see the dawn,' said Aragorn.
'What of the dawn?' they jeered. 'We are the Uruk-hai ... We come to kill, by sun or moon.' ...
'No enemy has yet taken the Hornburg. Depart, or not one of you ... will be left alive to take back tidings to the North.'
The institutions that were supposed to hold the Republic to a course, wise and true - those have been shown to be empty and venal. The Press has squandered a vast store of trust and good will, and now polls as less trustworthy than used car dealers. The schools don't teach, and a University education which was supposed to be the gateway to your children's future has seemingly devoured that future, with runaway costs and loans that cannot be discharged even in bankruptcy. The Environmental movement is no longer seen as ensuring clean air and water, but instead determined to destroy industrial prosperity with ruinous carbon dioxide regulation. A women's movement that began arguing for simple fairness is now seen as militantly anti-male, and a civil rights movement - perhaps the United State's greatest post war achievement - has become its own doppelganger. It's taken but a single generation to go from the content of their character to a racial spoils system of I want yours'.
Normal citizens are surrounded, besieged. Any resistance is met with brutal shout downs: Racist! War on Women! Those who in the past were seen as the guardians of society are now seen as its pillagers.
We are the Uruk-hai ... We come to kill, by sun or moon.
And yet, I look out, and see the first gloaming of the coming sunrise. Consider:
A trumped up power play against a fast food chain turned into a massive, spontaneous demonstration in support of free speech, and against the coercive Big Government instincts of the Political Class. A reliable conservative Republican was crushed in the Texas senate primary, because he was seen as a member of the Political Class and therefore tainted. A referendum to address Atlanta's terrible traffic problems was overwhelmingly defeated - by a two to one margin - despite polls showing that large majorities think that the traffic is horrible and that it hurts the area's economy.
There are common threads here. These are mostly spontaneous outpourings of common sense, bottom-up movements that have found alternative communication channels via the Internet that bypass the old media gatekeepers. These all reflect a profound distrust in an establishment that is seen as corrupt and venal. These are all examples of where people find - in their millions - that they are not alone, that they are not weird, that they are not the outlier. On the contrary, they find that they stand with the majority of their fellow citizens.
This year continues what we have seen for the last decade or more. With two exceptions - a brief few months of unity after 9/11 and a country that crossed its fingers and took a chance on a junior Senator from Chicago who promised to change the way politics was done - this is the maturing of a two decade movement. This last week spoke with a clear voice:
No enemy has yet taken the Hornburg. Depart, or not one of you ... will be left alive to take back tidings to the North.This November will see the crushing of what seemed an invincible army of community organizers, ward bosses, and a corrupt media that does not realize that nobody believes them anymore. It will be a landslide election, the biggest since 1984. It will be the first part of the People throwing off the chains that generations of the Elite have wrapped upon them.
The hosts of Isengard roared, swaying this way and that, turning from fear to fear. Again the horn sounded from the tower. Down through the breach of the Dike charged the king's company. Down from the hills leaped Erkenbrand, lord of Westfold. Down leaped Shadowfax.... The White Rider was upon them, and the terror of his coming filled the enemy with madness. The wild men fell on their faces before him. The Orcs reeled and screamed and cast aside both sword and spear. Like a black smoke driven by a mounting wind they fled. Wailing they passed under the waiting shadow of the trees; and from that shadow none ever came again.
But it will be only the first part. The election will be described as a great Republican victory. That will be mistaken: it will be a Democratic loss. The day after the election, the Republicans should think on Dave Dewhurst, and Bob Bennett, and Richard Lugar. They should think on Orin Hatch and John McCain - who while they won had the political fight of their lives.
This election is about trust, and the results will be brutal. But the next election will be the same, and the one after. The People have been told that it is dark, and that they are alone and isolated. That now is coming to an end, and while there remain many long, weary battles yet to fight, the dawn is breaking.