Clinton, Trump and the Battle of Malplaquet

“If it please God to give your enemies another such victory, they are ruined.”

~ French commander Claude de Villars to King Louis XIV after the Battle of Malplaquet in 1709

2016 is likely to go down in history as the year two corrupt despots fought over control of the remnants of a once great civilization.

Woke up this morning with a bout of melancholia. We aren’t at the end of the line, but you can see it from here and like a speeding Hoboken train headed for the station, the crash seems inevitable.

Hillary Clinton accuses Trump of misogyny for “fat shaming” a woman in the 1990’s yet claims her treatment of Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky is off the table. She accuses him of breaking the law in an illicit $68,000 1998 deal in Cuba when the State Department had $6 billion go missing during her “stewardship” and she was running an illegal private email server.

Last night I watched a few minutes of the congressional roasting of the Wells Fargo CEO and put myself in his place – what he allowed to happen was a mistake – but I could not escape the irony of a private sector business leader being lectured about responsibility and accountability by one of the most irresponsible and unaccountable entities around.

It is a sad time. As the election begins to look like a trip through a supermarket checkout line – with competing covers of the National Enquirer and the Star salaciously screaming at each other from the tabloid racks, I am reminded of a Victor Davis Hanson column from 2011 titled “America in Decline?

“It remains an interesting question. Are we? If we are, can we change the direction of the country and start to recover? We can. It comes down to choice. Victor Davis Hanson states the same. We are in decline because we choose to be in decline. “We may well decline, and pass on a weaker, more divided, more insolvent and at-risk America to our children. But that is entirely our volition, not our destiny. It is a decision that many prosperous, but tired and squabbling societies—4th-century BC Athens, 5th-century AD Rome, 1950s Britain, 1970s America—chose willingly when they redistributed rather than created wealth, embraced envy rather than emulation of success as their collective creed, and whined about not being liked rather than unapologetically assuming leadership in the world. Unpopularity is always the price of leadership and jealousy its constant twin. Decline is the choice that once successful societies made when they talked of rationing, lectured on what they could not—rather than could—do, and made bickering between the generations, the sexes, the races, the classes, and the tribes a national sport, rather than collectively and confidently looking forward to creating new sources of wealth.

Our current mood of despair could be reversed almost instantaneously—if it is recognized as a pathology, a sort of degeneration of the spirit.”

As the article states, decline is a choice, not a destiny.



One thought on “Clinton, Trump and the Battle of Malplaquet

  1. And yet, I watched a Documentary on the Assassination of President Garfield in 1881 and all the back round politics including the GOP convention.

    In a way it was comforting to see because I was reminded how much things HAVEN’T changed. We have a tendency to think that this is all unique. Unfortunately it isn’t. The Corruption was rampant and the back room deals and incompetency in government rivals our own in some ways.

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