The War for America’s Soul by Sebastian Gorka
(Regnery Publishing, Washington, D.C.: 2019)
What a difference a year makes.
In 2019, when Sebastian Gorka’s book came out, there was no COVID-19 pandemic, no mail-in ballots and last-minute monkeying with swing states’ election laws, no wave of censorship against conservatives in the social media.
Because he was unable to foresee these things—and certainly no one else did, either—his whole argument collapses.
The War for America’s Soul looks forward to the 2020 presidential election as a critical juncture in American history—“a war we must win,” if our country is to survive as a constitutional, self-governing republic. In 2019 Gorka was confident, but not overconfident, of victory in 2020. Donald Trump would be re-elected, “the Swamp” would lose big, and the Democrat Party’s “fundamental transformation of America” into a socialist country would be put on hold for four more years.
But the president was not re-elected, despite getting close to 75 million votes. In an election that will be under a cloud for many years to come, unless the Left finds a way to erase our memories, Democrats captured the White House and both houses of Congress. One is reminded of Louis XV saying “After me, the deluge.”
Gorka devotes an entire appendix just to listing the positive accomplishments of Trump’s presidency.
How many of them have already been dismantled and undone? By a deluge of radicalism.
Although Gorka, throughout his book, warned his readers that the Left would stop at nothing to get back into power, he still could not foresee just what they would do. Nor did he foresee that new, supposedly Constitution-minded justices on the Supreme Court (to name just one of many courts involved) would refuse to hear any cases alleging any kind of voter fraud.
The widespread panic over COVID, which would have been impossible to anticipate in 2019, gave the Left its opportunity to turn the national election into something very close to chaos. That the courts had a duty to examine at least some of the allegations of election fraud, and chose not to do so, is another obstacle that never occurred to Sebastian Gorka—or to many others. We are left with a thousand unanswered questions, and our trust in subsequent elections will suffer for it.
What He Expected … and What Was
Gorka strongly urged his readers to get involved in the social media. When he wrote that, Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives, although it did concern him, was only sporadic. He did not foresee anything like how strenuous it would become in 2020.
Gorka knew our system was corrupt, but he never understood just how corrupt it is.
He thought Attorney General William Barr would expose, indict, and punish “deep state” officials who crafted an unlawful coup to oust the president. But Barr indicted no one.
He thought officials whose misdeeds had been publicly exposed—like, for instance, Hillary Clinton, who destroyed thousands of her Secretary of State emails after they’d been subpoenaed by the Justice Dept. (p. 148)—would be tried and convicted for criminal acts. But no one was.
He thought grassroots conservatives would mount a powerful campaign in the social media to get their message out. But Big Tech shut them down.
How could so much have gone so wrong?
“Except the LORD Build the House …”
Born in Hungary while it was still under communism—the secret police tortured his father, and the family only escaped thanks to the short-lived Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (pp. 111-112)—and raised in Europe, Gorka became a naturalized American citizen, “an American by choice.” Persons who have escaped from communist countries tend to appreciate, deeply, the freedom they enjoy as Americans. Gorka’s passion for America animates his book.
But although he is aware that America came into existence as a Christian country—uniquely, where all religions were treated equally—he does not discuss Christianity as a spiritual reality intimately joined to America’s history, culture, and future. Then again, how many Americans ever think along those lines?
We turn to one of the wisest verses in the Bible, Psalm 127:1.
Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
This is how things go wrong—when we try to build the house ourselves, without the Lord.
From time to time—especially when we’re in trouble—we consult the Lord, usually to ask for His help. But for most of our time we blunder on, doing whatever seems easiest, most profitable, or most expedient at the moment. And if God’s laws, God’s ways, are trampled on, we shrug it off.
Our indifference—our sin of sloth, if you will—has led us into all our present trouble. Would socialism make any headway at all in American, had we not permitted:
The travesty that is “public education”;
The wholesale takeover of our colleges and universities by Far Left zealots;
An ongoing “sexual revolution” that has all but buried our heritage of Biblical morality, and ravaged the family as a societal institution;
Our tax dollars doled out to the likes of Planned Parenthood, creating an abortion industry?
Creeping corruption in so many of our institutions—news media, “entertainment,” our courts, even our professional sports leagues: all of them preaching, nonstop, “new” morals, new “life choices,” and so on—has corrupted the whole.
Gorka does realize the overriding importance of culture, and how it shapes our politics and public policies. He quotes Andrew Breitbart: “Politics is downstream from culture” (p. 110). But realizing it and doing it are two different things.
The message of the Chalcedon Foundation has always been “Christian Reconstruction.” Our founder, R.J. Rushdoony, knew that all the electoral victories in the world wouldn’t help us—not if our culture was taken over by the ungodly, debauched and cut loose from God’s Word. He devoted his long career to issuing that warning. If the house is not built with the Lord, it will not stand.
And now we see how right he was. First the Left took over our culture; and now, Donald Trump’s exertions and achievements notwithstanding, they have imposed their government—theirs, not ours—on us.
We will not be able to get out from under this burden without hard work, hard prayer, and hard choices.
Reconstruct the culture as a Christian culture, or it will reconstruct our country.