A Reality Check


By Charlie Johnston

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”- John Adams


Election Day was a good day for America, but it was not a Rescue – more like the evacuation of Dunkirk. It was a defensive success, fending off an authoritarian siege against ordinary Americans. Its primary virtue was in showing that there is fight in the old girl, yet; that we are not going to quietly sit down and submit to a radical elite insisting we are all rubes who must be stripped of our rights of religion, free speech, assembly and self-defense. What it did not do is suddenly remake us into a religious and moral people. That is how we got to this state in the first place – and it is the only way we are going to get back a genuinely prosperous and tolerant country that is a light to the world.

Mark Mallett wrote a marvelously insightful article shortly after the election that largely captures what we are called to.

I know the rioting and shrieking by those who foolishly think themselves enlightened and


The committee who hosted my talk in Wadena, Iowa – in their squirrel shirts.

tolerant have caused a defensiveness in some of us that can present itself as a sort of triumphalism.


The day after the election, I got a note from a woman that said, “Charlie, you and your followers are full of religious claptrap. So very sorry for you. I hope you find your heaven because you and people like you have doomed a large number of American citizens to a living hell.”

She is a decent enough woman, though not nearly as bright as she thinks she is, so I figured I would let it stand and not respond – give her her primal scream. But I had to wonder, what living hell did she think was going to be imposed? Does she think we are going to sic the IRS and other federal alphabet agencies to persecute her for her beliefs? Does she think we are going to start fining, firing, bankrupting and even jailing homosexuals? Does she think we are going to force homosexuals to tithe to churches of our choice, as her side tried to force nuns to pay for abortion and contraceptives? Does she think we are going to exempt conservatives and Christians from ordinary laws? That is what the left routinely does to the right, not what the right does to the left. Now if she just thinks it is a living hell not to be able to persecute and punish Christians and conservatives with impunity, that is a living hell she deserves – but we are not going to treat her with the callous disregard and contempt with which her side has treated us. I keep waiting for a self-aware progressive to have his Pogo moment and say, “We have met the bigots – and they are us.” Sadly, self-aware progressives are scarcer than Elvis sightings these days.

My friend’s sentiments illustrate a growing degeneration in the very understanding of the


From the top of Mt. Tamalpais looking out over the San Francisco Bay towards Oakland and Berkeley. From left are Robert Johnson, Carmen Maguire, me, and Jim Koszarek.

purpose of civil government. The left believes the purpose of government is to choose winners and losers – and then to enforce, by bullying brute force, its will on the losers in every aspect of their lives. It is the animating governmental philosophy of the old Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Communist China, Fascist Italy and all the tyrannical regimes in history. The right thinks government should be an administrative agent of the people taking care of a few necessary things: diplomacy, real interstate commerce, national infrastructure and such. Its first duty is to mind its own business and leave us alone. It is not the job of the government to tell us what to think, take care of our every need, or prevent us from talking crudely. We are a free people, not a herd of cattle to be nurtured, penned or slaughtered at our government’s whim.


I was a little shaken at how many people were so upset at my reiteration that I would leave the scene if a normal transfer of power took place on Jan. 20th. That is simply an uncontroversial matter of honor and accountability in my mind. I would, of course, stay alert until July 5, 2018, as that is what I regard as my term of service. It doesn’t mean anything except that I would hold myself accountable for my definitive statements. What I have been trying to convey here since I started this a few years back is that God is good in all ages past and is always close at hand for those who call on him sincerely and humbly. He is not good because I say so, but because He is. When I get it right, God is good. Should I get it wrong, God is good. I am frail and fallible; He is strong and faithful.

My angel rarely congratulates me for being right. Rather, if I am in serious error, he rebukes and corrects me. Many of the greatest saints have been deceived by the devil for a time. I have no illusion that I am exempt from that. So what if I was deceived for a time and my angel, for whatever reason, did not correct me? Do you think that would be so God could abandon or destroy you? Of course not! Everything that God allows is for our good and our reclamation. I know that, I have no doubt at all of it.

I am thankful that most people accepted or understood my statement for what it is. But I worry that some who were shaken put their faith in God because of their confidence in me, rather than recognizing me for what I am – a cheerleader for the mighty God. Jesus’ followers thought He was going to re-establish a temporal kingdom through military might and political skill. Imagine how despondent they must have been when He was executed. Many thought all was lost. They found, as we always do, that God’s plan is both far different and far greater than any of us can imagine. Imagine then, their joy at the Ascension, when they had to have contemplated that what they had thought was the end was actually the beginning. We must ever wait, watch and trust, even as we humbly do the


The Jackson, Michigan team, giving me my Cubs-colored Rosary. That is our commenter and team member, Mick, to my right.

very little right in front of us that we can with absolute fidelity.


Sometime in the next year, I will be significantly wrong about something. It won’t be the Rescue, but it will be something. When it comes, it will not be a test of me, for I already know that God is good and seeks our reclamation. It will be a test for some of you, to see whether you have put your faith in me or your faith in God. If it is in me, your faith was always ill-placed. God is good, all the time, whatever the circumstances – and works to call us all back to Him. When I am wrong, I will accept the correction with gratitude and more wisdom. I will not leave the scene unless it is one of the fundamentals, and then, in full obedience to Holy Church, I will wait on the Lord, knowing that He will strengthen my heart and that it serves His purpose to call all His children back to Him.

All my life, people have been drawn to tell me their story. When I was a young man, a middle-aged woman who worked for me told me her story one day over coffee. She was an ever-cheerful woman with a foreign accent, always glad to help her fellow workers and always with an encouraging word. As it turned out, she was Hungarian. She teared up as she told me the hair-raising tale of watching her husband and two sons murdered in the Communist invasion which she managed to escape and be smuggled out of the country – and her gratitude to live in this country where she was free. While on my pilgrimage, I met a young couple with a year-and-a-half old daughter. They had been high school sweethearts when she got pregnant. They decided to get married so the child would have an intact family – and because they kind of loved each other. The young man was working 70 hours a week so they could get a trailer and begin a real life together. They exuded joy. While doing a remote broadcast at a festival for senior citizens about 25 years ago, I stumbled upon four couples who had lived next to each other since World War II. Turns out they had all been part of the D-Day invasion. As they watched friends falling around them from the rain of bullets, they resolved that whoever survived would spend the rest of their lives living as neighbors and brothers. These four were those who survived D-Day out of the original 12 that made that pact.

The thing that most angers me about the cult of migro-aggressions and trigger alerts are what a mockery they make of people who have truly suffered, who have truly sacrificed on behalf of those they love, even sacrificed for strangers. When college kids, the very definition of pampered elites, and millionaire athletes tell people such as these to “check their privilege,” it makes me want to retch – and fills me with contempt for the offenders. I have to remind myself that God calls for their reclamation, too, not their destruction. But oh, they will have much to repent of and to account for because of their ignorant, malicious parody of suffering. Some of those who have genuinely suffered are left broken. Most often, though, those who have genuinely suffered are notably large-spirited and generous – never petulant and whiny.

I have only heard two truly magnificent performances of Tchaikovsky’s masterful “1812 Overture.” Performed properly, it is a hauntingly lyrical recounting of Russia’s suffering under Napoleon’s onslaught. The misery in the pathos of the early strings is heart-rending. At one point, a muffled French Horn sounds the distant cry of triumph that will ultimately be the defining crescendo of the piece. But it interrupts the misery like a distant call of hope – and there is a lot of strife and turmoil before that cry reigns triumphant and Russia is renewed.

The task before us is still the call to renewal, to become the people – the Family – of God once again. There will be no Rescue until we have lived that fully. We live it by acknowledging God, taking the next right step, and being a sign of hope to those around us. Half this country still believes that liberty is racist and that tolerance is bullying and punishing people who disagree with you. Last week’s election was that forlorn French Horn, sounding the call of what might be, but not yet is. It was a hopeful sound, but it is not the end of the work before us, only the beginning. It is up to all of us to see “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” That we may once again become a light to the world and the hope of all who yearn to breathe free.

(In my meatier pieces, I am going to start putting up some random pictures from my visits to the faithful around the country. I can’t write about each of these visits, but it is good for you to see that there are many throughout the land looking to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope.-CJ)


About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
This entry was posted in Christian Persecution, Conversion, Culture, Family of God, The Rescue, The Storm and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

413 Responses to A Reality Check

  1. bookmike says:

    By the way, technically speaking, the actual election of the President does not take place until the state electors meet on December 19th in their respective state capitals to vote and forward the results to Congress who is required to count the votes. So the “election process” is not fully completed until January when Congress convenes to count the votes. The term “President-Elect” is not used officially until the electoral college has met; the term used in the federal register is still of “Presidential candidates” until after 12/19/16. The process is fully described at https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html. In the FAQ at this website, it states that if a candidate dies or becomes incapacitated prior to the electoral college meeting, “the electors pledged to the deceased candidate may vote for the candidate of their choice”. So there could be a President-Elect that was not “decided” by the political process but that would be Constitutionally sanctioned.

    There is also a movement by progressives to have electors change their vote (see petition signed by 5 million people on http://www.change.org). Also electoral votes can be contested when Congress counts the votes in January.

    So a number of possibilities could occur in which there is no traditional election and neither candidate becomes President.

    No worries though as long as we acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around us! I’m ALL IN, Charlie!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Matthew says:

      Nothing personal bookmike but I continue to find it amusing when people on various threads try to propose some obscure CONSTITUTIONAL process whereby we will have our next national leader, as if the obscurity of the political process meets Charlie’s criteria for being outside the political process. In my view ANYTHING that is approved by the Constitution IS the political process and is thus disqualified as fulfilling the criteria. Charlie has repeatedly referred to St. Joan of Arc as a model – no one expected Joan. Joan was not of royal blood. She was not some long lost illegitimate child of the king. She was not a minor military leader who moved into ascendancy. She was not out of left field – she was from outside the ballpark. I, too, like to play the game of trying to figure out how God might work this all out. But I recognize it as a game. I look forward to being surprised.

      Liked by 13 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Nicely stated, Matthew!

        Liked by 5 people

        • Victor says:

          “May you live in interesting times” (Chinese curse). I have and still do, but I value having met you Charlie and very much enjoy reading what you write. Please don’t go dark no matter what – you are a sign of hope to me. By the way, together with my mentor and spiritual guide, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, I’m a pessimist – we tend to be pleasantly surprised when things turn out better than we thought. I was very pessimistic about this country’s future before I read anything of your stuff and see little to say that we truly have grasped what the problem is – but I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the election. It makes me believe that there are many who will do what it takes as turmoil increases to protect life and nurture God’s people. I know God loves all of us – and that He will multiply the least work we do on His behalf. Happy Thanksgiving!

          Liked by 7 people

      • CHADPRO123 says:

        Yes Matthew but WHICH ballpark are you talking about?!?!?!

        Just kidding.

        Straining the bean to discern the mind of the King is an exercise in self-flagellating futility.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bookmike says:

        Agreed. It is a game and nothing to hang your hat on, but interesting to put out possibilities that may not involve a violent takeover which I hope will not occur.
        God Bless,

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Crawley says:

    Immediately after the election I was watching a financial podcast put up by a guy named Greg Hunter. He’s a Christian, though I don’t believe a Catholic, and the first words out of his mouth were, ‘Trump will save us.’ He then added that there are still problems within the financial markets (there are no longer free markets) and I would add in that we have twenty trillion in debt on the books and over a hundred trillion in unfunded mandates. I think this is exactly how half the U.S. looks at the election and possible solution–at least for many of those who voted for Trump. Mr. Hunter is a good man but misguided. It is truly and only Our Lord and His Mother who can save us. You have done a great service for many of us.

    On a different note (pun intended), being a musician myself, I have been looking for years for a part in the ‘Overture’ for me and my bagpipes? Any ideas, Charlie? Replacement of timpani drums? Cannon?

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Bonnie C says:

    Charlie, When I read this, there were a few things that came to mind that I would hope you could be wrong about! God’s Will be done! Ironic that the PP donations in Mike Pence’s name should come up… That happened to me by a cousin who LOVES and defends PP. I, apparently, struck a nerve in my pro-life stance. Her response was “burnt earth” by making a donation to PP in my name. Yes, I was deeply offended. Now Charlie says to “reconcile” – or at least reach out. Guess who came to mind when I read that? Ugh!

    Liked by 7 people

  4. caelids says:

    Over on Mark Mallett’s site, Mark has posted that he and Lea are in need of donations.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. jane manarik says:

    Love the French horn analogy and that overture. Am going to try to make it to Racine on Sunday.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. CrewDog says:

    I don’t see much to argue with Voris’ post below. Oh! …. We can point to a very small number of Stalwart Bishops-n-Priests but ….. ;-( … THE STORM will come ’cause Trump and a valiant few ain’t gonna stop it ……. satan and his useful idiots inside and out of The Church have seen to that!!……. Plus!! Anti-Trump Left/Fringe Anarchist Rent-a-Mobs were just practising last week for the “Main Event” come January …….. and distracted cops, shoppers, Holiday Parades, Islamic Terrorists, Malls, Bowl Games, depleted-n-worn military facing threats from ….??????…. who are wondering if the next 90 days might be “The Time”!!??
    Yeah! I know!! I’m the Curmudgeon Wet Blanket/Cigar at the Party …….. but ………….??????? I’d suggest you keep your eyes/ears open and your powder dry …. good advice even in, Gone with the Wind, Normal Times!

    “PC CRAZY” –
    Too many of the U.S. bishops have drunk the PC poison.



    Liked by 7 people

  7. CrewDog says:

    Well! Ain’t this nice!! A cabal of ChiTown LeftWing Pols-n-Supporters of Unlimited Abortion/Sexual Perversion are going to Rome to celebrate “Their?” new Cardinal. The Who’s -Who Back Slapping Photo-Op pics will be very interesting!

    “Secretive Organization Paying Tab For Emanuel’s Trip To Rome”


    Liked by 3 people

  8. goldensun says:

    I recall in one of the videos from last summer, Charlie predicted that the progressives would be dealt a blow within a year or so and that their power/influence was much more tenuous than they realized. It seems to me that prediction came true on election night.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. CrewDog says:

    Just been reading the MILINET Blog with it’s usual articles on worldwide events-n-affairs with some dealing with threats at home and abroad …… and my old, twisted mind started churning ………
    Now! I must admit that every Christmas/Easter Season since 9/11, I figured that Islamic Terrorists would be looking for Targets of Opportunity in our USA. So far that, Praise The Lord, has not happened in any large mass/widespread manner.
    Who wants to think about unpleasantness with Christma coming and for most here still feeling that Warm-Fuzzy of Election 2016? However! What if this is the year we have had nightmares about!? Who will get the blame?? Obama-n-Friends for their Open Borders-n-Islam Coddling Policies, Disastrous Arab Spring or their USA Dividing Witch Hunts looking for those elusive RedNeck Tea Party Islam/Gay/Women Haters?!!? Of Course NOT!! The ScapeGoat will be Donald Trump and his Deplorables.
    This is not the time for US here to let our guards down!! The Real Haters in the US …The American Left …. are in a frenzy and will do anything to destroy Trump and his movement ….. if that can be done before the Inauguration all the better! Does anyone here doubt that The Left, now, would align with anyone to take-out Trump!? We now have Radical-n-Violent La Raza, BlackLivesMatter and Occupy Anarchists in the streets all singin’ off the same sheet of music….. and all being overtly/covertly encouraged by the Democrats, LeftStream Media and Big $$$ from the likes of Soros-n-Ilk. Is it a “Bridge Too Far” to imagine the above plotting/operating with Islamic Terrorists? …….. Eh!!?? The CrewDog Broken Record speaks again: “Prayer, Preparation and Situational Awareness”!!

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Tim Crawley says:

    I can’t recommend any CD. The only one I have is a CD of bagpipes doing jazz. Terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. CrewDog says:

    Yes Gang! It’s the Old’ Curmudgeon CrewDog again!!
    Believe me!, I’d like to spend the next couple of months thinking about Squirrels, FiddleFest, Grandma’s Christmas Recipes and Sugar Plum Fairies … but …. below are some of the articles I received in the AM Dump there will be a PM Dump too …. filled with more … couple that with the Catholic Hierarchy Rift that seems to be escalating …… ;-(
    I think that many here are still believing that Trump will move US forward into broad, sunlit uplands that Churchill spoke of in one of his notable speeches. Sadly, the below articles tell me that Charlie and others unpleasant scenarios for 2017 are more likely than ever! By all means make the Christmas Season a pleasant and memorable one for yourself/Family but like the Minutemen of 1775 … Be Ready …. I’m afraid we are approaching a period of .. “He who hesitates is lost”!

    MILINET: Articles Bundle (41)

    3) San Antonio police officer fatally shot while writing ticket
    4) Florida police officer wounded in shooting during traffic stop; suspect arrested
    5) St. Louis police officer shot in ‘ambush’ attack, chief says
    6) Deputy US marshal killed in Georgia; suspect dead
    8) Will the Left Actually Incite a Civil War?–Robert Array
    10) Obama reserves right to nag Trump from sidelines
    13) Confrontation between protesters and police escalates near site of pipeline
    15) Erdogan ‘disillusioned’ with Turkey’s relationship with U.S.
    16) Turkey advances on Islamic State capital of Raqqa as U.S.-backed coalition crumbles
    21) SAUDI ARABIA: Expel Iran from OIC, Arab states urged
    26) China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ Is a Big Deal. So What Is the Role for Beijing’s Military?
    27) The greatest challenge to Trump: It isn’t ISIS. It isn’t Russia. The greatest challenge is China—Harry J Kazianis
    28) China and Russia: Happenstance and enemy action—The Economist
    29) Espionage: Shaken and stirred—The Economist
    30) A WESTPAC Missile Gap?–CDRSalamander https://blog.usni.org/2016/11/16/a-westpac-missile-gap)
    31) Securing the Navy: The focus must be on people, not politics—Robert Charles
    32) “Heritage Foundation Report: US Military Power “Marginal” and Trending Toward “Weak”


    Liked by 6 people

    • Oh, no need to apologize for manning your post, CD. Each of us has to discern and be true to our calling, wherever we’re at, whatever it consists of.

      You might appreciate this (yeah, I feel a story coming on… just can’t help myself). Way back when, on little island in the middle of the Aleutian chain, there was a fella trekking in the mountains because he couldn’t help himself. OK, there was a particular area of the island that was beckoning and curiosity got the better of me, so I crept in there as stealthy as a cat. (Side note: You might be relieved to know that there wasn’t a single squirrel on the island, probably because there were no trees. Just frosty tundra.) On that particular day, the tundra was blanketed in snow.

      I didn’t get very far into that area, but far enough to discover a massive listening dish nestled in a dormant volcanic crater. The reason that I didn’t get far was a couple of marines clad in camouflaged winter gear who suddenly materialized out of nowhere, weapons pointed at me.

      Well, I had to play stupid, do a little fast talking, grin, etc., then turn tail for home.

      There were about 3000 folks stationed there in all sorts of capacities. The primary mission was anti-submarine warfare, and I would say that together we were very good at it. This was Reagan’s military after all.

      To this day I still can’t imagine how tough it was for those marines to be holed up in snow, but I also had a deep appreciation for all the other folks dutifully trying to perform their little slice of the mission. Seems the medical folks were probably the sort more inclined to mix in talk of music, grandma’s recipes, and such, the kind of soothing stuff that helped take your mind off of something like getting hit with buckshot on a hunting trip, or that fish hook that got deeply embedded in your flesh on a fishing expedition.

      My main duty was to man the aircraft maintenance hangar alone on the mid-shift through the wee hours of the morning. Yeah, it was sometimes lonely, but a few birds got in the hangar and they would keep me company through the cold months (which was most of the year). Also, the squadrons kept me on my toes (because they broke stuff that needed fixing), but how I marveled at the pilots and flight crews who flew 365/24/7 in the kind of treacherous conditions that I can’t even begin to describe. The rest of the time I suppose I was learning how to spend time quietly and make it count for something.

      When you share something, it’s rare that I’m not reminded of those marines. More often than not, I think of the squadrons though. Those folks flew all over the Pacific Rim finding Russian subs, tracking them, and keeping our military at a state of readiness that seems like a distant memory compared to today.

      When I think about it, few things get me more riled than what’s been done to our military. And don’t even get me started on our foreign policy. To combat that, I simply apply even more vigor to my particular calling.

      Of course it’s obvious what I’m saying (and not always saying well), and I’m sure you get it… but, hey, I thought you might enjoy a story anyway.

      God Bless and Save All Here,


      Liked by 4 people

      • Doug says:

        MP, I got a good take away from this. Doing the right in front of me = My slice of the mission. We all have a purpose and a job to do. Thanks to both you and CD!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Simone says:

      Thank you for keeping us squirrels focused, CrewDog. We can get a little distracted. Some of these articles I am almost afraid to read.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Tim Crawley says:

    Highland Cathedral on YouTube, 2012 Edinburgh Tatoo. Maybe a hundred plus pipers with drums. The piece is written by a German and along with a
    pipe played Amazing Grace is incredible. I used to play with a highland band but kids, coaching, and mama needed time. I switched to playing singly on our five and a half acre parcel overlooking a lake in central Oregon. Great meditating music. Also, alliteration.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Audrey S. says:

    Saw this nice little reality check today, too… reminds me of you snapping on that person here in Racine, Charlie! Perhaps this will be a teeny little wake-up call for the person that asked the question :-/ (will post the video this weekend)

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Audrey S. says:

    (and by “snapped on” I mean sternly corrected, of course..hehe)

    Liked by 2 people

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