Sunday, January 10, 2021

Symbols / Substance

I was reflecting today about what a stupid jackass I was to trust Trump. Which led me to think about how agonizing it was to first think about the possibility that I might even have to for him. I came to a point at which I it seemed to me that the reasons for doing so were too strong to dismiss...but actually voting for him seemed unthinkable. Of course I was thinking I'd have done better to have kept that in the unthinkable category--and voted for nobody.
   Then I reflected on the reasons that seemed compelling to me...and reflected on the fact that the vast majority of the reasons were anti-Democrat reasons. I still think progressivism is the most dangerous major political faction in America in my lifetime. And it's obvious that progressives now control the party.  And so really, even knowing what I know now, the choice would come down to defending the substance of the republic: the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Sixth opposed to its symbols. Desecration and disrespect of the symbols are serious matters. But it can't compare to the destruction of the substance. As repulsive as Trump and (a tiny minority of) his supporters have acted, I have no doubt about which of the two--Biden or Trump--would do the most to protect the Constitution. The progressive assault on the First, Second, and Sixth Amendments has been underway for quite some time now, and there is no doubt, in general, what progressivism has in mind for them. And that's not to mention the importance of appointing (roughly) textualist judges. Nor to mention how crucial it is to have viable borders and immigration controls. 
  I've said that I feared Trump because I didn't know what he'd do. But I feared the Democrats because I do know what they'll do. 
   But I have to say that it's actually more complicated because what I saw coming out in Trump since the election--but never so clear as on Wednesday--is generally the same kind of crazy that makes progressivism so dangerous--the acceptance of patent falsehood as truth. Once you cross that line, everything is permitted. Freedom is the freedom to say that two and two make four. Contra Orwell, it isn't true that if that is granted, all else follows. But if that isn't granted, there is no freedom and no reason.
   Trump hasn't accepted any outright contradictions like some women are male. But he's accepted the myth of the stolen landslide with the same kind of dogmatic, evidence-free fervor that progressives have accepted some women are male. And both of those beliefs require the believer to give free reign to his doxastic preferences. There's just no evidence for the myth of the stolen landslide. And I want an investigation of the election! It's a sign of Trump's unhingement that he couldn't even be content with saying that he won by a little bit. Only a landslide'll do for The Donald.
   As it always has, our options came down to (a) a nut and (b) the doddering front-man for a political faction that has basically lost its collective mind--or that is helmed by people who have. We can also say that the choice was between a conservative liberal and a former liberal now in the thrall of illiberal leftism. I've thought for about two years now that Trump's bafflingly good policies and appointments more than made up for his marginal stability, and he still came out far preferable to what we can expect from the blues. But seeing him assert the myth of stolen landslide with the same degree of certainty I might have in saying The sky is blue... That was creepy as hell. Some people don't even seem to blink at such a thing...but you've gotta draw the line somewhere, and if you don't draw it there, there's really nowhere to draw it at all.
   That's all I got.


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