The Long Game

People keep talking about ‘playing the long game,’ as if that is some magic phrase. China is ‘playing the long game.’ Against Covid-19, we need to ‘play the long game.’

What is the ‘long game’?

If you ask China, they can answer that. The ‘long game’ has a plan, and a desired outcome. It is one where China is the most powerful nation on Earth, and is able to project power wherever it wants to. China wants much of the Far East to operate as vassal states, and wants to be recognized as the greatest nation on Earth. Everything China does is geared toward that singular vision.

That’s a true ‘long game.’

We used to have a long game. It was called ‘liberty.’ Our long game was to build a nation where all people are viewed as equal, with unalienable rights that the government serves to protect rather than to deny. We were not able to fully realize that goal upon the founding of our nation, and in fact we never fully realized it.

I think perhaps the best chance to win our ‘long game’ passed when activist Supreme Court justices ‘interpreted’ the 14th Amendment in a way that allowed Jim Crow.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment reads:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

No state may deny any individual born or naturalized as a citizen of the United States, equal protection under the law.

That’s a pretty clear statement, and Jim Crow laws CLEARLY violated it. But – thanks fo activist Supreme Court justices, we had Jim Crow anyway, for over 100 years, in direct contrast with the 14th Amendment.

And thirty years before we righted THAT wrong with the Civil Rights Act, other forces began to rise that stood in stark contrast to our ‘long game’ of liberty. Those forces said that security trumps prosperity, and that inequality in outcome proves inequality in opportunity.

Suddenly, we began to move from treating everyone equally under the law, such that each person could be as prosperous as they can – with no artificial barriers to their advancement put in place by government, to one where government treated everyone differently, creating both artificial paths to advancement as well as artificial barriers, to try to create equal outcomes for all.

Never mind that the search for equal outcomes violates the 14th Amendment just as much as Jim Crow did. Activist judges still ignore the Constitution, just as they did after the Civil War, when they declared Jim Crow legal.

Half our country wants to restore equality under the law, and Constitutional governance, within which the purpose of government is to protect our individual, unalienable rights, and the other half wants to deny any vestige of individual rights in the quest for equal outcomes.

If we have a ‘long game’ today, it is actually a pair of ‘long games’ that stand in direct conflict with one another. If we have a ‘long game,’ it leads to civil war.

That is why we have a Second Amendment, and that is why protestors carry guns in Lansing.

Governor Whitmer, and several other governors, have abdicated their roles as protectors of individual rights, and have taken on a new role as protectors of the lives and livelihoods of the people. In the case of Governor Whitmer, she had the power to do that, at her own discretion, for 28 days in response to Covid-19. Our legislature extended that power until May 1. The state legislature was happy to negotiate another extension, but they wanted to have a rational, facts based discussion about what the provisions of a longer shutdown might look like.

Rather than hold discussions with the state legislature to extend the shutdown, as Governor Whitmer was legally compelled to do, she extended it without legislative approval, and when people protested her illegal actions, she threatened to restrict our freedoms even more, as a form of punishment.

It is as if Whitmer sees us as the Ancient Israelites, and herself as God. When we, at the foot of Mount Michigan, ignore the ten laws set into tablets by God Whitmer, she says, “Well if you cannot follow the easy laws, here are are a bunch of hard ones!”

Half the public is sympathetic with the protestors, on the grounds that Governor Whitmer has no legal authority to extend the shutdown without legislative approval. The other half of the public wants a Lord Protector to keep the state safe, and is happy to jettison all liberty for a loaf of bread.

And the sad thing is that, by extending the shutdown illegally, Whitmer has made it likely that the Michigan Supreme Court will end the shutdown entirely, all in one fell swoop, as happened in Wisconsin.

Whitmer should have negotiated with the legislature, and put in place a longer, legal shutdown, that the legislature would sign off on. Interestingly, half the state is more than happy to see Whitmer take totalitarian control of Michigan, in violation of Michigan law, and half of those who do not want Herr Whitmer to act as a dictator do not believe there should be any lockdown at all.

We should all agree that whatever is done, it should be through legal processes, but sadly, we cannot even agree on that.

At the end of the day, America has no ‘long game.’ As a people, we are lost.

And as a result, if you are young, I suggest you study Mandarin.