Progressive bacha bazi and MAGA valorization of 1/6: Mirror images of decline
"I am actually far more worried about this kind of thing than the January 6 attack because there was zero chance that the yobs on the Capitol lawn that day were going to overthrow the government."
I used to be more blase about Jan 6 for the above reason (and from weariness/cynicism about the how Democrats have been using it to their advantage - felt more like performative outrage than anything). But recently I was talking to my oldest dd about basic democratic principles, and peaceful transfer of power came up. And I realized that the very act of trying to use force to overturn election results, even if it was doomed to fail, really *is* a major, big deal - democracies can't and don't survive when its people are willing to use violence to overturn election results. It's a major, major deal - I feel the symbolic impact much more now than I previously did.
A very minor point, but what does "There are now fat women in underwear ads" have to do with culture wars? How does this offend conservatives or anyone else? Take a look around America - there are a lot of overweight people, and clothing them is big business. Or is it that fat women aren't sexy enough for Hanania? Missing the Bali bra ads? I mean seriously?
I quit identifying as a Republican last fall, when there was the run up to the mid-term elections and how it felt more and more like two sports teams competing for some sort of trophy. There was so little talk of what direction the country would be going on, planning for fifty or a hundred years down the road, creating truly humanist solutions to things like crime, poverty, war, etc. It has always been "vote for us and things'll be great." Except, nothing gets fixed...just more promises. I'm not a Democrat, either. All they care about is Jan 6th, when it is like the smallest thing compared to everything else. We create millions of tons a waste a year, give lip service to the environment, can't balance a budget, don't respect real human rights, and so on. I guess call me a real progressive, not a rainbow flag waver who just kisses corporate butt behind the scenes. There may not be much hope of things changing, but at least I don't feel anxiety about elections, as it is clear how totally meaningless they are. Social issue wins are like arguing over who has what seat as the rowboat heads to the waterfall. If we cannot course correct as a civilization and species, no one is going to care at all about trans rights and what is being taught in school.
Rod, I agree with and greatly appreciate 95% of what you write. Heck, after Easter I will be leading a discussion of Live Not By Lies. (Those near Corpus Christi, feel free to message me.)
But the vast majority of those protesting on January 6th did so peacefully, and they were right in insisting that the rigged election not be certified, at least not before it was fully investigated. The harm that has resulted because Congress rubber-stamped it is immeasurable.
<i>the unwillingness of the Right to defend our own beliefs is why we keep losing.</i>
This is because Republicans - whatever they say about cultural issues - are still ultimately motivated by special interests/big money. And big money utilizes cultural issues as a smokescreen.
A word about investing too much faith in DeSantis. I'm in Florida, and the state Legislature - where the GOP has a supermajority in both houses - talks a good culture war game, but it's all a smokescreen; they exist to do the bidding of the special interests like Big Sugar, big utilities, Disney, etc. My question about DeSantis always has been whether he's playing the same game, whether his culture war "focus" merely masks the REAL focus, putting more money into the deepest pockets.
Until and unless we have conservative legislators who care about cultural issues more than what the moneyed special interests want for themselves - we're spinning our wheels.
Thank you for citing Hanania. He holds certain views (abortion, euthanasia) that Christians correctly find horrifying. But he is also intelligent and insightful on many topics.
The United States, in its political and cultural divisions, reminds me a good deal of interwar France of the Third Republic. See in particular Robert O. Paxton's "Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order" and his discussion of the social and political background leading to what became Vichy France.
The valorization of January 6 reminds me somewhat of "February 6," a much more serious event in Paris on that date in 1934 where far-Right mobs rioted against the left-wing government of the Third Republic. It is still argued as to whether this event amounted to an effort to overturn the state -- William Shirer among others considered the event to be quite serious. The event was widely condemned at the time, and was briefly a rallying point for the Left, but the rebels were lionized on the French Right. Being a "good 6 February man" (meaning part of what was arguably a real insurrection) became a job recommendation when Vichy France rolled around.
Tucker Carlson aired the footage from January 6 that shows the supposed "QAnon Shaman" being escorted peacefully throughout the Capitol building, where the police open doors for him, and once in the chamber leads a prayer for the Capitol police. This footage was withheld from the public, from the court, the judge and the defense. There are also unarrested and uncharged individuals clear identifiable, who are urging the crowd to become violent. Under oath, FBI officials refused to answer whether or not these were FBI agents provocateurs, avoiding perjury by making false denials. People who were not even inside and nonviolent are still being arrested, and people are held in poor conditions for a years in solitary confinement. The intent is to hold them forever until they make a guilty plea and move to sentencing. This is wrong on so many levels, that if one thinks it is OK then there is an emotional component distorting judgement, nudging the narrative from objectivity. The completely false claim continues to be made that 5 police officers were killed that day by the demonstrators. Not one. There were no fires, no guns. Evidence is that "deep state" players wanted to escalate and radicalize - there is no investigation of who was planting pipe bombs as caught by several surveillance cameras at political party headquarters - in order to make their own analogy to the Reichstag fire, to strengthen their own political position and destroy legitimate opposition, just as occurred other times in history. You think it can't happen here? If you are correct about all the other things you report - and you are - then of course it is as well. This is what living under lies looks like.
In fairness, it ought to be noted that the Washington Post editorialized very well over the weekend on the Stamford mess:
With, erm, one cavil. Judge Duncan! Profanity! It recalls "HMS Pinafore".
Did you hear him – did you hear him?
Oh, the monster overbearing!
(He said "Damme"! He said Damme")
Don’t go near him – don’t go near him –
He is swearing – he is swearing!
I will hear of no defence,
Attempt none if you’re sensible.
That word of evil sense
Is wholly indefensible.
Go, ribald, get you hence
To your cabin with celerity.
This is the consequence
Of ill-advised asperity!
Rod said once that this country is trying to fit a politics-sized peg into a God-sized hole. And it's not nearly enough. Something from Orban neatly sums this up: politics can give us stuff, but it can't give us meaning.
I tell people I'm not political anymore, and my main effort goes into being a good husband and father. This jives with Mother Theresa's saying about how if you want to change the world, go home and love your family.
I notice that you handwave away Beshear’s criticisms. Conservatives cry parental rights all the time, right up to the point where parents do something they disagree with. Then the state must intervene! It’s just like the self-serving arguments about states’ rights and subsidiarity which fly right out the window as soon as a city institutes something so trivial as a plastic bag ban.
Conservatives mysteriously always seem to forget to actually define their bogeymen, probably because then they’d actually have to argue rather than scare.
Mr Dreher does something similar by raging against gay porn in schools. Yet we see the books that Desantis wants to ban: basically anything that acknowledges that some people aren’t straight. You’ll forgive me if I find the definition of “porn” as slightly more elastic than an elephant’s garter belt.
The same goes for “woke.” What a meaningless term! And yet how useful as a certain kind of dishonest argument! What does it mean? Who can say? But whatever it is, it’s cataclysmic! End of civilization stuff—you read it here! The lack of definition is the point. It’s meant to communicate one thing and one thing only: they’re coming to get you!
Never mind that there may, in fact, be quantifiable instances of how institutions have been designed from the ground up to steer resources towards some people and away from others. Never mind that there might actually be cogent arguments against things like the incredibly corrupt private prison industrial complex. It’s woke! They’re coming to get you!
And that’s how you are frightened into perpetuating massive money grabs for the few on the basis of mass immiseration of the many.
Notice how the clerical sex abuse scandals have disappeared from the headlines? Ever looked at just who is actually perpetrating child rape? Mighty useful things, drag queens, if you want to direct attention away from such things. Just like the Satanic panic of yesteryear. But there are high horses to mount.
I suggest something of a longitudinal study. Let’s keep an eye on this kid that’s been marked out as a symbol of decadence here for five or ten years. I’m not a betting man ordinarily, but I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is: ten or fifteen years from now, that kid will be leading a supremely boring and unremarkable life, with nothing but the usual ups and downs we all face.
Anyone want to bet against me?
"These radicals have no respect for any forms, any hierarchies, any rules or customs that they dislike."
Liberalism = liberation from constraints and hierarchies. Why would we expect liberals to respect the very things they permanently seek to eliminate?
Strange, how the difference between a virus and a vaccine is mere quantity, and the savior is a weaker version of the destroyer. I'm not sure if the analogy is perfect, but it does seem like people have trouble defining "wokism" because it is not a fundamental evil but an extreme position of righteousness. It is the natural outgrowth of a successful liberalism established and now going soft, forgetting itself, getting overconfident in victory. This liberalism itself stands on Christianity and the radical equality of the human soul. Hence, you could even say that wokism is to liberalism what liberalism is to Christianity, that classical liberalism itself is already a distortion, a corruption of something original, and wokism merely completes the process.
So, the real question: is there something tragic specifically about the Christian idea, does it contain the seeds of its demise, does it automatically create the preconditions for liberalism and democratization and does it inevitably follow the steps? After all, the equality of humans is an unreal idea, fully demonstrable as false on cold realist terms. But it is more attractive than reality.
How much of a logical leap is it from the absurd notion of equality to the slightly more absurd notion of equity? Furthermore, if someone is already emotionally committed to delivering equal justice for the correction of injustice obtained by violence, and also simultaneously stands for perfect freedom, then why not attain justice by violence? After all, if we are equals, and you dominate and dispossess me by violence, I have the ability to rectify the injustice on equal terms, and will logically take an eye for an eye.
The lesson: when Christianity is in any way transformed and "advanced" beyond its core teaching, it will turn into classical liberalism, then eventually wokism, then it will revert to pre-Christianity.
I realize you are of the intellectual class, a peer of media elites, if out of favor with them. As well, your writing is super-spiritual, with its expressions somewhat beyond experience and comprehension of most, and not even accessible to them. There's no sin in that, quite the opposit
RE: Donald F**k and the Joseph Goebbles Play Book:
Whenever sane people despair over the wasteful, self-serving and masturbatory imbecility of the Donald, I always have the same response: the diabolical power that he wields is in the form of the mob numbers raised on tv shows. He slip-streams right into the miasmic fog off-gassing above the effluvial bog of rotting America. He is a diabolical genius. He holds his converts in contempt. They are dirty ignoramuses to him and he laughs at what suckers they are to believe the naked lies that he dresses up as truth. Donald F**k doesn’t give a damn about them and he doesn’t give a damn about America. It’s all about him.
I will never understand how the same people screwed by the housing collapse in 2008 at the hands of the filthy rich, the same people who were saddled with the economic fallout, became enamored with a wealthy bullshit artist. Stunning.
This got me to thinking about a breakfast table conversation at the Disney household that I once read about. Walt and the kids were eating breakfast and his daughter asked him something along the lines of, “Daddy, I really like your movies but why do they have to be so corny?” His response was,”well, sweetie. You see, all across America millions of people are waking to a new day today. And do you know what? They all just LOVE corn.”
The Stanford abomination was the other side of the satanic pentagram. They are the people who look forward to branding all of conservative America as Trump “Deplorables”. They are licking their chops to clearing the deck so that society can be ruled by elites and their pacified little pets who do their bidding.
To call this all decadence is not sufficient. Both parties are meat puppets controlled by the satanic spirits which own them. For you cannot serve two masters. You serve the one or you serve the other. And we know the satanic qualities: lies, bickering, greed, callousness, stiff-necked, self righteous, rebellious, godless, back-stabbing, envy, strife, lust, murder, hate...”
Politics are needed to function in a free society. But I feel like what is going on has exposed politics as spent and hollowed out. It is a mere shadow game for what is revealing itself to be spiritual warfare. We need to continue to oppose the Woke for what it is: the rising tide of puritanical humanism as a mask on the face of satan himself and the spirit of anti-christ rising up.
Our job is to fight it, but scripture makes it perfectly clear: the anti christs will prevail and run the show just before the wrath of God finally blows. We are at that door now. So fight, but only Christ will stand victorious after the blood is up to the bridle of the horse. Not my words and not my personal interpretation.
I will continue to call Woke and Illiberalism what it is: the spirit of anti christ. I will oppose the rise of anti christ, but I would be lying if I said that I cannot wait for God to blow His lid and watch the shit will finally hit the fan.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”