Tuesday, July 11, 2017

When silence is deadly

Or. why sometimes it's just as futile to call yourself a conservative as it is a Republican.

I've long thought of myself that way - as a conservative, rather than belonging to the GOP - but, as many people have pointed out over the years, the political etymology of "conservative" has become as difficult to follow as listening to a GPS in a foreign language. And at the Wall Street Journal last week, David Gelertner points out why it's as futile to put your trust in conservatives as it is Republicans. He does this by pouring cold water on the so-called conservative "resistance" to President Trump:

Many intellectuals think Mr. Trump is vulgar. That includes conservatives. They think he’s a peasant and talks like one. Every time he opens his mouth, all they hear is a small-time Queens operator who struck it big but has never had a proper education, and embarrasses the country wherever he goes, whatever he says. It never dawns on them that the president can’t stand them any more than they can stand him. Yet they expect him to treat them with respectful courtesy if he ever runs into them—as he should, and on the whole does. Conceivably they should treat him the same way.

The entire article is behind a paywall, unfortunately (although you can read it here), but I'll close with the money quote.

Conservative thinkers should recall that they helped create President Trump. They never blasted President Obama as he deserved. Mr. Obama’s policies punished the economy and made the country and its international standing worse year by year; his patronizing arrogance drove people crazy. He was the perfect embodiment of a one-term president. The tea-party outbreak of 2009-10 made it clear where he was headed. History will record that the press saved him. Naturally the mainstream press loved him, but too many conservative commentators never felt equal to taking him on. They had every reason to point out repeatedly that Mr. Obama was the worst president since Jimmy Carter, surrounded by a left-wing cabinet and advisers, hostile to Israel, crazed regarding Iran, and even less competent to deal with the issues than Mr. Carter was—which is saying plenty.

But they didn’t say plenty. They didn’t say much at all. The rank and file noticed and got mad. Even their supposed champions didn’t grasp what life under Mr. Obama was like—a man who was wrecking the economy while preaching little sermons, whose subtext was always how smart he was, how dumb they were, and how America was full of racist clods, dangerous cops and infantile nuts who would go crazy if they even heard the words “Islamic terrorism.” So the rank and file was deeply angry and elected Mr. Trump.

Of course, as the Bible reminds us, one shouldn't put their trust in princes either, no matter which political party or group they belong to. Politics ain't gonna buy you salvation, my friend.

There is a role for it in the world, however, and that role can be an important one. Which is why it's all the more important for you to make your choices wisely, and with integrity.

And stick to them. Come to think of that, churches could take that advice as well.

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