- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

After an excruciatingly long, exhausting and often painful campaign, here we are. Days away from Election Day. D-Day for freedom.

The choice we make next week will be perhaps the most profound public choice of our lifetimes. It will demonstrate what kind of country we are — and what kind of country we will be. There is nothing more sacred in this American life than your vote. Will we choose to continue down the path of a grotesquely destructive leftism led by a professional grifter under investigation by the FBI? Or will we choose a rebirth, led by an imperfect but courageous leader of forces much bigger and stronger than he?

As Gen. George Washington’s men were freezing in the snow at Valley Forge, Thomas Paine told his fellow Americans: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

And so it is with us today.

The Founding Fathers anticipated a time when our governing institutions might be corrupted by dark and malign forces. Knowing human nature, evil ideologies and how they can destroy even the most well-designed systems of government, they gave us an insurance policy.

The conventional wisdom is that the Founders gave us three branches of government. That is technically true. But they actually gave us four: the executive, legislative, judicial and a stealth fourth branch: the American people.

They vested the ultimate power with us, because they hoped that when America teetered on the brink, we — American patriots generations down the road — would ride to the rescue. They hoped that we would fight for the Constitution, to break free from the bondage of statism, for American exceptionalism, for this great and grand experiment in human liberty.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.”

The Founders vested the people with the power to change our government and the direction of the nation because they feared that one day, the system would be corrupted.

That day has arrived: The presidency is held by a radical redistributionist and is sought by another statist even more crooked, an independent, impartial and fair Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation and press no longer exist, Congress cannot stop itself from spending us into oblivion, and the courts are legislating when they are prohibited from doing so.

All of the fundamental institutions of our system have been warped beyond all recognition. And all are engaged in social engineering in every part of American life, in violation of the essential freedoms the Founders risked everything to give to us.

It is now up to the Founders’ quiet fourth branch to stop it.

The American people know it, too. This is why this is a change election. Polls continually show that 70 percent of the American people believe the country is on the wrong track. That deep and widespread sentiment advantages the change candidate, Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton is running as a status quo elite globalist (perhaps the only thing authentic about her candidacy) — at a time when those things are being roundly rejected by voters across the Western world. She is also a walking example of the kind of elemental corruption the Founders hoped we would purge from government.

Mr. Trump has something else going for him, an intangible but incredibly powerful weapon: his supporters have an abiding emotional investment in him. The tough guy is also understood to be something of a political Bambi. This has inspired his supporters to form a sort of protective shield to defend their fearless underdog from countless incoming attacks.

Through his “Make America great again” and “America first” messages, blue-collar sensibility, raw authenticity and ceaseless willingness to counterattack and tell the truth about his opponents, he has not only pulled on the minds of voters but on their hearts as well.

They believe him, and they believe in him.

That’s something that money cannot buy. Just ask Mrs. Clinton.

Will it be enough?

In 1780, Samuel Adams spoke directly to us when he said:

“If ever the Time should come, when vain and aspiring

Men shall possess the highest Seats in Government,

our Country will stand in Need of its experienced

Patriots to prevent its Ruin.”

That time is now.

We are the “experienced Patriots.”

And next week, we must take the first step toward preventing America’s ruin and restoring her intrinsic exceptionalism which has been squandering by leftist pathologies, leadership failures and systemic corruption.

It’s time to spit-shine America.

We are the cavalry.

Let’s roll.

Monica Crowley is editor of online opinion at The Washington Times.

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