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  • B. Thomas Marking

Coming to Power

"Coming to power" is a phrase that doesn't belong in America.


19 January 2021


Toward the end of my college years, I spent some time studying Russian language and culture. I didn’t know it then, but I have distant ancestors who farmed north of Odessa. I’d always felt an attraction to Russia, but I assumed it was related to me growing up on the steppes of North Dakota.



When my college roommate, then stationed in Europe, invited me to visit in 1972, I decided to make a side trip to Moscow enroute. I spent the first day just wandering Red Square, taking it all in. But the second day, I arranged for a guided tour by car. At some point in our travels, the guide asked me what changes might be expected if Nixon comes to power again. I recall smirking at the phrase, “comes to power” and then lamely trying to explain that in America the concept is not applicable, because the people hold the ultimate power. I expect her KGB debriefers were also amused.


Fast forward about twenty-six years. I’m listening to the news one night and a commentator is speculating on what might happen if the Democrats come to power. I did a mental double take. I’d never before heard the phrase applied to the U. S. This seemed like a watershed moment for my country. Today, media pundits use the phrase like it’s a natural part of the American vernacular. It isn’t – or sure as hell, ought not to be.


In essence, use of this phrase confirms that our governance is in the hands of elites whose sole purpose is to gain the power necessary to mold public policy. Actually, we suffer from two elitist oligarchies who feud perpetually in their lust for dominance. It also confirms that “We the People” are mere pawns in their game of thrones. Other pieces on the board include the media outlets, educational institutions, and corporations that are gradually being drawn into their decaying orbits.


At some point, caring Americans will rebel at the way their institutions abuse the power we delegate to them, and demand that our rightful sovereignty be restored. I believe that the best tactic to achieve that goal will be to peacefully insist on passage of the Twenty-ninth Amendment. That proposal will be the subject of my next missive.

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