Not sure how much more clear he can get. What’s more, the president knows his followers want, no, need a strong dictator, to balance a fundamental moral weakness within themselves. These are not Americans who can fight and die for the Constitution and rule of law. These are “Americans” who must grovel before a King and rejoice when his enemies are caged, banished, or worse.
But forget Trump for the moment. He didn’t elect himself. His voters didn’t suddenly rise up out of the swamps in 2016. They were here all along. Who are these people? A representative sample of their thought leaders:
By comparison, here is a representative sample of Americans who would rather live, and die, free:
Not all of the latter people are exactly moral paragons. That’s not the point. The only thing they have in common is a shared disgust with autocracy and those who promote it. A strong instinct that they refused to suppress, that this is not right. They often suffered personally for it, too. Erick Erickson, despite being a perfect right-wing nutjob in every other way, was fired from FoxNews for refusing to kneel before Zod and now struggles to make ends meet. Amanda Carpenter, despite being a photogenic conservative bombshell perfect for Murdoch’s network, must make do with being Meghan McCain’s second fiddle on The View. Bill Kristol must someday answer to a higher authority for his zealous promotion of the Iraq war; yet in this world, he is ostracized only over Trump; a former partisan neither at home on the Right nor the Left. Joe Walsh there, despite being squarely in the target demo for #MAGA and who in fact was once on the Trump Train, refused to surrender to Trump’s assault on law and order (hard to believe the GOP used to be for that), and says he sleeps with his shotgun over death threats triggered by his heresies. Anthony Bourdain was neither liberal nor conservative, but hated bullshit and evil wherever he saw it… one may only theorize if this had something to do with his eventual passing.
And as far as Jessica and Nicki go, well, they are simply beautiful souls. Hell, Bourdain too. That’s the difference. The people in the last collage are sometimes beautiful, often damaged, often tainted yet never fully surrendered to the darkness of our worst instincts. And the people on top are some of the ugliest Americans to have ever disgraced our soil. Forget Trump. Forget the idiotic culture wars over something as spurious as the NFL. Take away the political zeitgeist, remove them from our time, pretend it’s 1860 or 1938 or 2101. Whatever the specific issues of the day, would you want to be included in that number?
Again, forget for a moment your own politics. Pretend they’re all Socialists or Whigs. Pretend this is all a feud among an association of furries in Utica, NY. Doesn’t matter. Would you like to be part of any movement that hails a misshapen Gollum like Dinesh as a hero? That mistakes a pathetic weakling like Charlie Kirk as a leader of men? That has as its electoral base, twisted older men like Schilling and Nolte who are comprised of nothing but seething, roiling, irrational hate? That thinks a cynical manipulator and political chameleon like Candace Owens is a woman of principles? That views circus acts like Alex Jones and Laura Loomer as prophets of our time?
This is not liberal vs. conservative. Ben Shapiro, for instance, does not belong in the rogues gallery of these people. This is something else.
I’ve long mourned how the concepts of “good” and “evil” are considered too trite, too comic-book simplistic for our urbane, morally relativistic times. Using such terms is considered more damning to one’s arguments than even Godwinning. Yet these concepts are not only valid, they are the most fundamental descriptors of a person’s soul. Good and evil render such descriptors as liberal, conservative, populist, globalist, promiscuous, prudish, young, old, white, black almost as irrelevant of a descriptor as whether one prefers Five Guys or In-and-Out. Yet those who wish to discuss moral character are dismissed as a sad parody of a father figure from a 1950s sitcom.
Moral character means doing what’s right even when it costs you personally, as it has conservatives who still oppose Trump. Now it’s easy for a liberal to oppose Trump; but would they oppose a liberal equivalent? Some anti-democratic, Communist tyrant who openly fantasizes about throwing capitalists into gulags? I have no science to back this up but I really believe Chastain, Minaj, and some other lefty figures would fiercely oppose such a bastard — at the cost of being blacklisted out of their entertainment careers. Rachel Maddow would oppose such a figure and probably lose her job; Joy Reid, on the other hand, would be such a figure’s own Sean Hannity. Piers Morgan would enjoy the distinction of being on the wrong side of history in both scenarios.
Good and evil are far too ancient and unchanging for the petty red-vs-blue politics of this time and date. It’s not about liberalism or conservatism. It’s about freedom vs. the yoke of tyranny, law and order vs. the law of man, tried-and-true principles vs. momentary pleasures and fears. And it’s not even about being pure good, as none of us are capable of coming even near that. When the stakes suddenly get high, and history turns in a matter of days or weeks instead of decades, does one overcome their baser nature, or surrender to it? Transport the above cast of characters to any critical moment in history, and they’d still shake down into the same two sides.
Which side would you be on?