Originally appeared on Normal American. -NCS

The institutions of our republic are faltering. They seem to be impotent, ill-equipped, or unwilling to address increasingly compelling reports of election fraud.

On Monday a federal judge in Michigan appointed by Barack Obama ruled against Sidney Powell’s “kraken” lawsuit, decreeing that “the People have spoken.” In Arizona, the nominally Republican speaker shut things down instead of investigating irregularities. Republicans in Michigan and Pennsylvania say they won’t appoint electors.

Also on Monday, judges in Georgia threw out a Trump lawsuit and a Sidney Powell lawsuit. Georgia’s nominally Republican secretary of state certified as accurate the output of electronic voting machines, despite election officials reporting to a nominally Republican governor refusing to allow examinations of them.

The good guys are forced to argue that courts may ignore deadlines in federal law. Meanwhile, Rasmussen reports that the nation is evenly divided between Americans who believe Democrats cheated and those who don’t.

We are in a legitimacy crisis. What happens next is likely to be unpleasant and unpredictable.

Our self-appointed ruling elites do not realize this. They are focused on seizing power. They expect things will continue as-is, only with childless middle-aged harpies running the show and the more noisome deplorables sentenced to the Solitary Confinement Cells of the Administration of the North-East Corrective-Labor Camps.

Despite years of taking sledgehammers to the foundations of “racist” or “sexist” or “heteronormative” institutions, our elites will be surprised by the collapse. Aesop quips: “They’re going to be stunned, gobsmacked, shocked, their flabber will be well and truly gasted, and they will have the unmistakable imprint of a cod on their faces when the get codwalloped.”

To understand what’s going on, read William S. Lind. He’s a former U.S. Senate staffer who worked with Paul Weyrich at the Free Congress Foundation and wrote a prescient 1989 article in the Marine Corps Gazette describing fourth-generation warfare.

Lind writes at TraditionalRight.com:

The Democrats think, well, if we win politically we will just use the normal instruments of state coercion, the police and the military, to force what we decide on the rest of the nation. They cannot imagine that the police and the military, most of whose personnel voted for President Trump, might refuse to obey their orders. Yet history is full of cases where it happened.

If we can fault Lind for anything, it’s for having too much faith in police. We learned in 2020 that cops are willing to arrest peaceable churchgoers and stage undercover stings of small businesses that resist mask mandates of dubious legality. Meanwhile we see headlines like “100+ Antifa Rioters Vandalized Portland Buildings — No Arrests.” Police are less interested in protecting the public than their pensions.

On the other hand, constitutional sheriffs are remembering their oaths. The Riverside, Calif. sheriff calls the coronamergency orders “flat out ridiculous.” Dozens of sheriffs in Texas, Virginia, and Kentucky refuse to enforce anti-constitutional gun laws. As Matt Bracken reminds us every weekend, it’s better to live in an area not plagued by anti-constitutional law enforcement. Idaho has been a Second Amendment sanctuary since 2014.

What Lind calls fourth-generation warfare involves non-government combatants and public relations as much as boots on the ground. A nation like the U.S. can bring overwhelming firepower against insurgents, and win all of its tactical engagements, yet lose a war through causing excessive casualties. In 4GW conflicts, the moral level of war is superior to the physical level.

Lind and a co-author wrote in the 2016 4th Generation Warfare Handbook that 4GW includes political causes. National loyalties are replaced by religious sects or ideologies.

That includes the blue-haired commies of Antifa. Activists and paramilitaries “battle not only the state but each other, creating disorder that further undermines the legitimacy of the state,” the Handbook says. This was last weekend’s hand-to-flag combat and reported bombing. Plus the deranged woman screeching from her car.

Attempts by street commies and their “anti-racist” allies from all-white suburbs to burn down federal buildings, or prevent immigration laws from being enforced, are attacks on the legitimacy of the state. From a 2015 New York Times article: “Faith in the system is the bedrock of the system. Without it, the system is drained of its inviolable authority. This is the danger America now faces.” Even activists posing as journalists occasionally get it right.

If our institutions are seen as unable to address serious allegations of fraud made by serious people, millions of Americans will realize that the fix is in. As John Wilder writes in the latest Civil War 2.0 Weather Report, this situation “is inherently destabilizing–and if not corrected, will certainly be more destabilizing than Trump’s term in office.”

4GW works in both directions. Normal Americans who believe in the Constitution and constitutional norms are figuring this out. The moral level is decisive. The bad guys can win at the tactical and physical levels, but lose at the operational, strategic, mental and moral levels where 4GW is decided. At the moral level, demanding free and fair elections is a pretty good place for the good guys to start.

Many normal Americans already have lost faith in our system. The question is how the country will respond if Joe Biden takes the oath of office on January 20 while ducking reasonable questions. Today’s temporary loss of faith may become terminal.