I believe this is the first time I have added an addendum to an already-published article. But the National Review’s decision to devote an entire issue to attacking Mr. Trump underscores the point I was striving to make in my original article. That point was that the Republican establishment has nothing whatsoever to do with conservatism and is fully owned and operated by three groups of people: Interventionists, Neoconservatives, and Israel-Firsters. (NB: These three terms may well be synonyms.)
“All this seems to show that change of ministers amounts to nothing. One goes out, another comes in, and still the same measures, vices, and extravagance are pursued. It signifies not who is minister. The defect lies in the system. The foundation and the superstructure of the government is bad. Prop it as you please, it continually sinks into court [authoritarian] government, and ever will.” — Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791-92
In almost all cases, those who oppose the national government’s universal surveillance of U.S. citizens are correct. It is unconstitutional because it violates the 4th Amendment, undermines the 1st Amendment, and is only necessary because the national government has put the United States in a lose/lose situation. It will not stop the U.S.-led overseas military, political, and cultural interventions that motivate the Islamists to attack Americans, but it will not use the U.S. military to its fullest potential to destroy the enemy it has motivated to kill Americans. So long as this status quo continues, the civil liberties of Americans will be incrementally abridged and perhaps ultimately eliminated. That is simply the unavoidable result of prolonged and unnecessary wars, and the executive branch’s aggrandizement of power that inevitably accompanies such wars.