Jobs, national security, immigration and trade have been dominant themes this election cycle, and Donald Trump seized the opportunity by listening to and firing up everyday Americans who are fed up with Washington.

Few in establishment politics took him seriously, an indication of the hubris and insularity of the GOP elite that threatens the very existence of the party as we know it.  

A significant portion of Americans are not participating in the promises of the global economic redistribution President Obama pledged eight years ago.  

Millions of Americans remain unemployed, underemployed or have dropped out of the workforce, just as the country is being asked to take in huge numbers of immigrants, many of whom share very little culturally with the West and, in many ways, unchecked could pose terrorist threats. 

Mr. Trump’s disposition to speak for those at the bottom economically, for the increasingly destroyed middle class, for the non-college educated, hardworking blue collar Americans who have been left out of globalism’s promises, has resonated across America.

 It is clear that on trade, immigration, jobs and national security, the American people want something far different than what has been served up to them over the past eight years — perhaps even over the past 25.

Our Founding Fathers spoke of “republican virtues,” meaning moral, decent people play a significant role in a republic like ours. 

Today, we talk about interest groups and identity politics. We’d like to think that our presidential contest reflects the very best of who we are as Americans, but it does not.

Unfortunately, this noble idea has degenerated badly over the last 30 years. In this political season, the choice of party candidates, the policy proposals put forth — as such as they are —  is a reflection of the distorted, crude and debased society we have become. One nominee is a liar and the other can act like a nut sometimes.

Almost half of Americans are not happy – they are angry, fed up with the status quo.  Government institutions have failed them, as the Founders predicted they would.

In assessing this election cycle, these words from Hosea are poignant: “The hearts of the people are fickle; they are guilty and must be punished. The LORD will break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars. Then they will say, ‘We have no king because we didn’t fear the LORD. But even if we had a king, what could he do for us anyway?’ They spout empty words and make covenants they don’t intend to keep. So injustice springs up among them like poisonous weeds in a farmer’s field.” 

Opinion on where the country is headed has been negative for some time.  We are no happier today about the state of the union than when President Obama took office. 

Many Americans are worn out and the world seems upside down, as fundamental values are attacked.

Abraham Lincoln, as a candidate for U.S. Senate, warned famously, as Jesus did, that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”  His friends, indeed many newspapers of the day, regarded the statement as politically incorrect, even insensitive, but he was later proven right.  

How different is America today? The Republican Party needs a Lincoln — or a Reagan — to emerge, yet we don’t put our faith in men. In God we trust.

“Every nation gets the government it deserves,” said French philosopher Joseph de Maistre, as he stood observing the social destruction, disorder and bloodshed that sprang from the French Revolution of 1789. 

All of France, indeed Europe itself, would be unalterably changed by events that many scholars marked as the starting point for what we’ve come to know as the political “Left.”

Karl Marx himself believed that what the French people did was but the “first stage in an eventual worldwide revolution.”

 Instead of a new birth of freedom, France and the whole of Europe would get a decade of bloody, devastating war under the direction of an elected dictator, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

Around the same time, but on the other side of the pond, its conservative counterpart, the American Revolution, brought into being a country that acted upon the idea that man could not only be self-governing but create for himself and his posterity an ever-expanding, free, just and prosperous society. 

The genius lay in its founding documents — the Constitution and Declaration of Independence — which acknowledged and combined traditional Judeo-Christian values with a written guarantee of protection from government intrusion or interference with our God-given or inalienable rights. 

America was the world’s first experiment in ordered liberty.  And while America has since prospered, France began a long cycle of falling in and out of degeneracy – at times embracing atheistic doctrines, displacing God at the center of civilization and instead promoting the self. 

Why does America face the choice between an utterly corrupt, lying woman of the Democrat establishment and an outlandish, thoughtless reality show TV star representing the GOP?  

Most elections for a new President signal the beginning of something, but this November may signal the end. 

The choice the country faces between two incredibly flawed candidates tells us more — much more — about what has been lost than what will be gained this cycle, about what has been ignored than what has been addressed and, sadly, perhaps what is coming for a deeply divided America. 

Like him or not, Trump is the byproduct of the failures of the GOP establishment, including its arrogance believing they were in touch with the growing anger and resentment bubbling in the party base. 

Despite returning them to power in 2010 and 2012, many rank and file Republicans saw their leaders as incompetent, ineffectual and unwilling to fight. So, here we are.

The great legacy of President Reagan was his consolidation of various elements of conservative thought into the Republican Party.

 In the 1980s, the grand coalescing of libertarians, paleoconservatives (a philosophy stressing tradition, limited government and civil society, along with religious, regional, national and Western identity) and neoconservatives (a philosophy advocating the active use of government power in pursuit of conservative domestic and foreign policies)?was given the name “fusionism.” 

What conservatives are witnessing is the undoing of these alliances. In their place, populism, nationalism and tribalism are ascending forces, affecting not just the politics of the GOP, but of the nation. 

The FBI last week re-opened the Clinton e-mail probe implicating Mrs. Clinton and her closest aid, Huma Abedin.

What’s going to drop next??

No matter who is elected president — Trump may actually have a chance as the Democrats unravel — reasonable people are going to have to pick up the pieces amid the shouts of a “rigged” election or “the Russians hacked me.”

Given her liberal ideology, flawed policies and heavy political baggage, — think 30K bleached emails — we could never endorse Clinton, not even for dog catcher.

 A third party vote is a waste, except on the very slim chance it throws the election to the House of Representatives.

So, we recommend a vote for Donald Trump on Nov. 8, the sane Donald, the leader who’d focus on the big issues of the day, not the narcissistic candidate responding at every turn with Twitter rants. America needs a firm, stable, moral and honest leader to offer hope, realizing that our real hope is in the Lord. 

So Lord, help us.

Our recommendations from last week:

Jack Wilson for Court of Appeals

Kenny Griffis for Supreme Court