Sorry – long post but hopefully readable.
Andrew Breitbart always said that politics are downstream from culture.
If we accept that as being true, and I believe it is, then what do our current class of elected officials say about our culture. In the Clinton years, Democrats defended reprehensible behaviors in office because they supported that agenda. George W. Bush was generally a decent guy and while the neocon agenda wasn’t too terribly different from Clintonian politics, people really wanted a focus after 9/11 (even though the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were horribly mismanaged in Bush’s later years).
Institutionalized white guilt idol worship was weaponized during the Obama years to the point that his supporters became cultish. To the delight of the left leaning media, Obama had a compelling backstory that evolved into a cult following based on white guilt, a cult following that produced messianic imagery from its members. A candidate, that no matter what he did, had the advantage of playing race as a trump card as many times as he needed to avoid criticism…
I vehemently opposed Trump in the primaries and the seemingly Obamalike mindless support of his followers, so much so, on July 21, 2016, I wrote this:
“This is the Trump GOP. You broke it, you bought it. In your zeal to defeat “the establishment” and to create a “big tent”, you opened the gates to the barbarians. Congratulations. You Trump supporters are so drunk with your little cult of personality, you won’t see it even though it is being shoved right in your face – on national television. You will excuse it because, well…Trump.”
So, what happened? Why am I now defending someone I opposed this strongly?
Well, two things – Hillary happened, and Trump was nominated. Hillary was a terrible option who would have been worse than even Obama was. Based on what we know today, what an unimaginable basket of horribles we would have faced given Hillary’s corruption and the momentum from the two Obama terms.
But it does put me in the awkward position of defending a guy who, from all accounts, paid off strippers and Playboy models to keep certain trysts out of the papers – even though it is highly likely had he not been nominated, these shakedowns would not have happened – but they did and there was money exchanged. Now I am forced to make a distinction between what is legal and what is ethical after arguing for years that they should be one and the same.
Am I comfortable with that?
No. I am not, but as is often the case in life, you can go right, or you can go left and neither one is the right answer. Everything in life is time limited. The only assurance is that the world isn’t going to stop for you to decide. My own actions were not enough to trap me here. It took the combined actions of millions of us to create a cultural trap.
If the current of culture, like that of a river, flows in a direction opposite to you desired destination, it will be difficult to get there – and if it is strong enough, it can overwhelm you and then your main objective shifts from a destination to simple survival until you can get to any exit point – no matter where that point is. In self-defense (or defense of our agenda), we adopt whatever swimming stroke gets us to the riverbank.
So many people have asked, “What can we do?”
There is no single answer – but there are answers. Thomas Jefferson’s 1816 letter to Samuel Kercheval reveals at least part of the answer. Jefferson wrote, “A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, and to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering.”
Departing from principle begins the cascade of error.
Add to that this 1798 notion of John Adams that should the people of America assume “the Language of Justice and moderation while it is practicing Iniquity and Extravagance; and displays in the most captivating manner the charming Pictures of Candour frankness & sincerity while it is rioting in rapine and Insolence: this Country will be the most miserable Habitation in the World.”
So, what the hell, right? Where do we draw the line?
Unfortunately, we are condemned to live with the current culture and even so, must hold the line by any means necessary – and that means supporting a president with whom many have a personal issue. If you believe Andrew Breitbart, we must change the culture to change the politics – and that’s going to take a movement to accomplish in a time where every single institution has been co-opted by a progressive ideology preferring rioting in rapine and insolence over justice, moderation, candor, frankness and sincerity.
We have had many better people as president over my lifetime, but the culture was much different…ad those good people have often produced less than optimal (or sometimes disastrous) results. This last election was about which of two tragically flawed people would likely yield the best results. I believe President Trump was elected because people’s desire for results overcame their reservations over his personal flaws (and some saw those very flaws as evidence he knew how to get the ball across the line). I was one of them – I’ve reconciled myself to supporting more Trump until such time we can change the culture and do better.
To the surprise of many, myself included, President Trump has proven he is fully capable of holding the line – and even pushing back. Our focus should not be on Trump today but what comes after Trump. It’s the long game that matters most.