Discerning the Times: Impending Totalitarianism?
If we hope to glean any fresh revelation in praying strategically for our nation, we’ll first have to ask a series of unsettling questions. I pray that these questions do not breed fear, confusion, or anxiety. We know God is perfect love, and He casts out fear, He does not incite it. We know that God is not the author of confusion — and we also know who is. We must keep our hearts and minds in the peace that surpasses all understanding through Christ Jesus. So, take a moment and settle your spirit in the unshakable presence of God before proceeding. For proceed we must.
Many of us have unanswered questions that traditional news channels probably do not address, or, if they do, will provide generally dishonest, biased responses. That is probably why you, like me, prefer to get your news from Intercessors for America. It is the one place we can go where the perspective involves prayerful consideration, rather than propaganda and a rehearsed narrative of groupthink.
So, back to those unsettling questions I admittedly have a tinge of anxiety even reducing to writing: We have reached a point in our nation’s history when the free exchange of opinions and ideas is evidently not embraced. That’s why many are opting to keep silent, for fear of reprisal in some form or fashion. I promise to address these difficult questions, but first, let’s have a tame academic review.
A Republic, Not a Democracy
This month on Constitutional Corner, IFA President and CEO Dave Kubal and I unpacked the crucial distinction between a republic and a democracy. It is vital that we understand this distinction.
To put it plainly: A republic is an empire of laws; a democracy is an empire of men. Another way to describe the latter: mob rule. Democracy, as a governmental structure, therefore, can be unstable and potentially dictatorial. A republic is to be governed by the rule of law, and not by the whim and caprice of human opinion — not even majority opinion.
History teaches us all too well the dangers that result from the subjectivity of majority opinion. We’ve seen this in what has been referred to as “democratic dictatorships,” where decentralized or popular opinion is ultimately used to create dictatorial control. Two prime examples of this type of government are Germany from 1933–1945, and the Soviet Union from 1924–1953. Such governments seek to gain control through coercion and suppression and are fueled by the alleged “support” of the populace. Unfortunately, this sounds all too familiar.
The Superiority of a Republic
In jurisprudential language, the rule of law that underlies a republic anticipates the acceptance of preexisting law. A republic presupposes that certain laws and principles preexist civil society, such as unalienable rights. On the other hand, the laws underlying a democracy are what is referred to as positive law, which is just a fancy name for man-made laws. Preexisting law is objective, while positive law is subjective and continually altered by the shifting mores of society.
A republic is deﬁned by the supreme law of the land. That is why it is more accurate to refer to the United States as a constitutional republic rather than a democratic republic. We undeniably do operate with certain democratic principles; for example, it was We the People who ratified the Constitution as our supreme law of the land. However, as we did in fact ratify the Constitution, the rule of law would dictate that we must uphold and follow its directives, unless and until the general populace chooses to do away with the Constitution. I used to see this as an impossible myth, but now, it’s a foreseeable reality.
Not only is our federal government a republic, but the Constitution guarantees this same type of republican government to every state as well. This is known as the guarantee clause, and it is found in Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution. So, before moving on to the litany of unsettling questions, let’s settle one thing: We are a constitutional republic founded upon preexisting laws known as the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, as referenced in the Declaration of Independence. If you find this a confusing mouthful, you may want to refer to this IFA article or these video vignettes.
Asking the Hard Questions
So, now, a deep breath — and let’s go ahead and address the elephant in the room (and no, I do not mean the Republican Party). I’m referencing these unanswered, nagging questions:
- Why does simply asking questions about election integrity subject one to being labeled a “far-right fringe insurrectionist?”
- Why, despite the chaos of Jan. 6, was the rule of law requiring that the procedures of the Electoral Count Act be followed summarily ignored, and then dispensed with entirely on Jan. 7? (Read more about that here.)
- Why did Nancy Pelosi deny requests for 10,000 National Guard troops?
- Why did Attorney General Garland, when given opportunity to dispel any concerns of the American people, refuse to answer Tom Massie’s questions about any investigation into the possibility of agitation toward insurrection on the part of federal agents?
- Why are Tucker Carlson’s efforts for transparency consistently and universally condemned by all liberal media outlets as “conspiracy”?
- Why are attempts being made to declare Donald Trump ineligible to run for president, using the disqualiﬁcation clause of the 14th Amendment regarding insurrection or rebellion?
- Who was the greatest benefactor of the chaos created on Jan. 6? (A hint: It was neither Trump nor the American people.)
- And last, but certainly not least, why are conscientiously law-abiding citizens who have never advocated for or even condoned any force or violence, and never would, still uneasy about openly asking the above questions?
Perhaps our concerns over asking these and a myriad of other disturbing questions are proof of the very real and tangible threat of tyranny and, therefore, proof also of the very reason we must keep asking such questions. The same fear that can cause us to shrink back should, instead, set oﬀ sirens of alarm to action. Reminded of the warning given by Solzhenitsyn to those threatened with the oppression of communism, I make a similar challenge to Christians in America today as we face the potential threat of totalitarianism: Let us choose to “live not by lies,” but by the Person of TRUTH!
That such questions linger and are fraught with uneasiness is sad proof of our current state. Yes, we were given a republic, but it now appears that Benjamin Franklin’s concerns over our ability to keep it were not unfounded. Our republic, which was to be based upon the rule of law in the Constitution — which incorporated by reference the Declaration of Independence, which incorporated by reference the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God — guaranteed to us the protection of certain unalienable rights. Such a government promised the unconditional protection of the rights enshrined within the First Amendment: the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of our conscience; the freedom to openly express those beliefs, both in what we speak (free speech) and in what we write (freedom of the press); and the freedom to do all of that without fear of criminal prosecution for either seditious slander or libel.
It appears we have indeed failed to “keep” such a republic.
Admittedly, part of the issue is that it’s difficult to keep something that many don’t understand. But perhaps the bigger issue is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep anyway when the American people are trying to keep it through their votes at the ballot box and yet those wishes may not be reflected in our leadership. Concern about voter fraud is not something new that has just popped up. Voter fraud is a problem of epidemic proportions, and it was arguably the real “epidemic threat” to the health of our nation in 2020.
The History of Institutionalized Voter Fraud
Let’s expose just how long this plot to utilize voter fraud has been in the works. In 1982, the entire Republican National Committee was enjoined from engaging in ballot security activities. This injunction was repeatedly extended by a liberal federal judge until Dec. 1, 2017. This order was unilateral, meaning that while the RNC had to report all its activities annually to the DNC to document that it was not taking any actions toward ballot security, the DNC was burdened by no such requirement. This injunction prevented the RNC from ferreting out ballot security issues for over 35 years. I repeat: 35 years! Can you even imagine what sort of groundwork can be laid over the course of 35 years?
This moratorium against engaging in ballot security issues went so far as to discourage individual members of the RNC from working as poll watchers, and you can forget about the allocation of any RNC dollars toward exposing voter fraud.
What is even more chilling is the string of overt attempts at voter fraud coming from within the Democratic Party — such as the president of the James Madison University chapter of the College Democrats being criminally charged for registering dead people to vote, and the almost simultaneous and surreptitious attempts of Gov. Terry McAuliffe to unconstitutionally register 5,000 convicted felons to vote (the intent was to register over 200,000, but that was prevented by a court stay). Those are examples from only one of the 50 states. Imagine what a national review would reveal. The concerns of election integrity are legitimate, no matter what others may say, and we shouldn’t be deterred from demanding legal reassurances.
But lest we despair, let us remember instead why we consistently get our news from IFA: We believe in the good news of the gospel; we believe that nothing is too difficult for God; and we believe that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much. In revisiting the historical horrors of the rise of democratic dictatorships, one key component is typically evident: the presence of a charismatic and persuasive (albeit diabolical and evil) leader. Fortunately, the progressive faction of this nation, though successful in spinning its narrative of cancel culture, appears to be abysmally devoid of such a figure.
How We Can Face Down Threats of Totalitarianism
- First, we must clothe ourselves in spiritual armor — which is supplied for us in Christ.
- Second, we must not grow weary in well-doing, but rather take comfort in the knowledge that there will be a due season.
- Third, we must pray without ceasing:
- that those things being done in the darkness will be brought into the light;
- that Americans will value this republic and not attempt to debase it to the mob rule of democracy;
- that there would be no election fraud in 2024;
- that our First Amendment rights of free speech and free press will once again be protected;
- that our republic might rise like a phoenix from the ashes (and that can happen — after all, we do believe in resurrection!).
Oh, and while you’re at it, maybe say a prayer for me — that I might not be maligned, falsely accused, and discredited as some fringe, right-wing terrorist and extremist for having written this article.
Share below your prayer for freedom and against dictatorship, and encourage others.
Cynthia Dunbar is an attorney, an author, a constitutional scholar, a professor of government, a former law professor, and an IFA board member. She is co-host with Dave Kubal of IFA’s Constitutional Corner. Visit Freedom Focus to view Cynthia’s video shorts, or click here to arrange a speaking engagement for your next event. Photo Credit: Sawyer Sutton/Pexels.
Partner with Us
Intercessors for America is the trusted resource for millions of people across the United States committed to praying for our nation. If you have benefited from IFA's resources and community, please consider joining us as a monthly support partner. As a 501(c)3 organization, it's through your support that all this possible.
Thanks for Praying!