So Trump Won… and the Condescension Still Drips

It happened. The Donald is now President-elect Trump. I didn’t vote for him, but I was pretty sure about what would happen and I’m pleased with the outcome. And now are we being subjected to the pontifications of people who are confident about what’s going to happen next, the same people who had no idea what was going to happen next. So it looks like they haven’t learned their lesson. The smugness of the media continues.

Echo chambers around the country cracked open, and amongst the hissing caused by the release of stale air, comes crying and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Instead of getting some much needed sunlight, however, they will soon retreat back into those same chambers, covering the cracks with duct tape.

Even now, the condescension drips. It is not urban elites that live in a bubble, but rural America. Blue collar whites need to stop minding their own business, ignore the mouths they have to feed with a decreasing paycheck, and go hopping across the country with money they don’t have. Something is wrong with them, and they need to fix it. They need to go to the big city to be cured of their disease. Also, they’re racist.

But middle America has almost always been content to mind their own business. What happened with Trump is mostly a reaction. Cultural carpet-baggers come pounding down their door, telling them that men can now marry men, and that, oh yeah, there shouldn’t really be such a thing as a women’s restroom anymore. Also, if you use the pronouns “he” and “she” uncritically you are bigoted monster. And by the way, if you don’t celebrate this new reality by baking a wedding cake, you deserve to live in poverty. And on and on.

And then the immigration issue. Chris Matthews actually takes home the right lesson. Michael Moore saw the writing on the wall. The problems are real, but any criticism brings…more cries of racism.

The Tea Party was the polite attempt at a pushback. People who had never really participated in politics before got involved, mainly touting the virtues of basic math. For this, the GOP co-opted and betrayed them, and the Left ridiculed and insulted them. Again, calling them racist.

Politeness didn’t work. A wrecking ball would have to do. Enter Trump. After Romney lost, the GOP thought they had to pander to Hispanics. Turns out, they just had to at least pretend to represent the interests of a forgotten majority.

The GOP deserved to die, to be gutted. The conservative party couldn’t even conserve women’s restrooms. The Democratic party as we know it is also dead, but we won’t see the repercussions for while, since the zombie still has momentum. The DNC’s propping up and going all-in on a corrupt candidate, that candidate’s subsequent loss, and the ongoing Wikileaks releases have formed stress fractures that will grow and fester.

And oh boy, did Obamacare turn out to be a cancer eating away at Obama’s legacy rather than the foundation of it. It turns out it was all sophistry.

Some predictions for the future:

  • Trump will continue to surprise people. He will not stop being off-the-cuff and unpredictable. His businesses have taken a hit, but that did not stop him from staying on his message, so it seems he is more worried about a legacy beyond his commercial empire. He has real skin in the game. He will do some good things and some bad things. However, it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if, at the end of 4 years, he has higher approval ratings than Obama ever did. Think I’m crazy? Well, you probably thought I was crazy when I said he would be our next President.
  • Trump will not be another Hitler. I know a lot of people have been deluded into thinking that, but every Republican candidate has been labeled Hitler. If you are actually scared, take a deep breath, and read this piece from Scott Adams.
  • Lofty talk about separation of powers will now be in vogue again. Obstruction of Presidential initiatives will be seen as necessary and brave once more. Investigative journalism will suddenly come forth from the grave. As soon as Wikileaks releases some dirt on Trump in about 3 years, Assange will suddenly no longer be part of a vast Russian conspiracy.
  • Republicans who hated Trump will now want to bask in his radiant, victorious glow.
  • More and more cognitive dissonance on the Left, as their hallucination of Trump continually clashes with the reality of Trump. But this isn’t really bold, as it happens with every Republican president. It might be more pronounced this time, though.
  • The Left will not learn their lesson, and will continue to belittle, shame, and insult those who disagree with them. And try to get them fired or ruin their livelihoods.
  • Talking heads and media pundits will still not get out and talk to a truck driver or a displaced factory worker. Opinions they report will still be weighted toward those who can afford $25 Martinis in New York city.
  • Rumblings of states rights and secession will no longer be called racist. Already happening.
  • The electoral map showed deep divisions between the cities and rural areas, and a deep divide in demographics. We are not really a united nation. We are a multi-ethnic empire. And those don’t last forever. Trump was a sign of further tensions to come, but I pray he is a safe release valve on this pressure cooker. A split will come. I don’t know how or where…but it will come. How do you think all of these homogenous nations came to exist in the first place? But I pray, whatever happens, it will be as peaceful a transition as possible. Identity politics is probably here to stay.

Throughout all of this, I have only been able to treat politics as a spectator sport because I know God is in control. This is His story. And wow, this has a been a fun chapter to watch unfold.

And so some advice, that I also give to myself as I write this.

  • Stop listening to the mainstream media. They either don’t know what they are talking about, or they generate false news cycles to sway opinion. They report an event a certain way, and then report people’s reactions to their reporting of the event. Cut them out of your life. It will be better for it. I hope Trump gets rid of the White House Press Corp. and makes them all no better than a blog. We don’t need gatekeepers in this age of social media and direct access. Investigative journalism can and will be funded in other ways.
  • Replace your daily news habit with the reading of old books (over 200 years old) and poetry. Get some ancient wisdom. And yes, this includes the Bible, even if you are an atheist.
  • If you were wrong about Trump’s victory, maybe sit on the bench for a little while. Maybe you don’t really understand the world as well you thought.
  • Have lots of children, raise them well, and give them an education. “Schooling” is not the same thing as education, and oftentimes the exact opposite. Get some actual skin in the game for the future. Sow in hope. Teach the boys to be men and the girls to be women.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Like, your literal neighbors. Next door. Have them over for dinner. Invest in relationships.
  • Have sympathy for those who are scared in the aftermath of Trump’s election. They have just had their god fail them in spectacular fashion, and that is a scary place to be. Offer them something better. Don’t be a push-over, but don’t kick anyone when they’re down either. They are creations and victims of the media’s ceaseless pandering, and of the Clinton campaign’s successful negative framing. Just be aware you can’t reason with them. You can’t reason with someone having an irrational over-reaction. Don’t gloat, wait for the tantrum to end, then be honest.
  • Don’t put your hope in Trump. Unless your hope is that he will bring some unpredictable entertainment, because you can totally take that to the bank. Clinton would have been a terrible judgement, and one we deserved. Trump…who knows? He might be a different form of judgement. Or he might be a Cyrus. Either way, he is nothing but a tool in the hands of God, and Jesus is still Lord.
  • Don’t talk about politics for a while. Just walk away. We were never meant to be involved in political duels 24/7 365 days of the year. I’m not going to write about anything political until after Trump’s first 100 days. Not here, and not on social media.
  • Pray.

Donald Trump, Father Hunger, and the Sleeping Giant of Masculinity

First, go read this open letter to Donald Trump. I’ll wait.

The predominant narrative about the popularity of Donald Trump (colored by a desperation to stop him), explains it away as appealing to our baser instincts, such as racism, resentment toward our ruling class, and loyalty to the tribe. Nationalism, in particular.

Every Republican nominee for the past 30 years has been accused of hyperbolic nonsense, such as virulent racism. Remember Romney’s “war on women?” This makes the hysteria almost meaningless and rhetorically inert. It’s also not true. Trump is poised to gather more minority votes than any other Republican nominee in decades.

There certainly is truth in the ruling-class resentment, which I can sympathize with. The nationalism charge also rings true. This is part of the power and appeal of his immigration stance. But it begs a few questions. Why now? And why Trump, of all people? Why is he resonating so strongly?

Trump is actually tapping into something much deeper than any type of nationalism, any type of racial animosity. It’s much more instinctual. Visceral. The scary thing is (at least for those who are genuinely afraid of him), Trump has only just gotten started. This is still just the primary. He has come nowhere close to waking the sleeping giant.

People have no idea what’s about to burst from the seams of our culture, and it’s going to be shocking for those who don’t see it coming.

Did you read the open letter I linked to above? Good.

The key thing to note: Troy grew up without a father in the home. He sees in Trump a leader, a role model, something to aspire to. Someone who wins. Someone who leads. Someone who ruthlessly finishes a fight, but then is gracious to the vanquished. For lack of a better term…someone who acts like a man.

He sees in Trump a father figure.

It doesn’t matter if any of those things are true or not, just that they are perceived to be true. And he is not the only man to think that way. Not even close.

We live in a culture with a deep, gnawing father hunger. Two to three generations without any male role models, no examples of true, masculine strength. Even many that had a dad in the home still grew up functionally “fatherless.” There is something about Trump that resonates on a level that many can’t explain.

He is certainly a master of persuasion. Trump knows what he’s doing. But why is it working so well?

Fatherless men see a public figure oozing masculine energy in a way they have never really witnessed before. He is perceived as an alpha male, a leader who other men want to follow.

They see someone who, when hit, fights back. He doesn’t back down. And he wins. They wish they had the courage and conviction to fight like that. They grew up in a school system and culture that demonized masculine energy and strength, so seeing someone flaunt it openly is cathartic.

They see someone who doesn’t lurk off in shame when accused of something. He is not crippled by insecurity. They wish they could be like that. They are used to being nagged to death.

They see someone who shrugs off insults and laughs at stern finger-wagging. They wish they had that confidence. They are used to being nagged and hen-pecked to death, used to groveling for approval.

They see someone who doesn’t stumble over himself to apologize when someone, somewhere, claims to be offended. They wish they weren’t afraid. They hate themselves for tiptoeing around what they feel is the truth, silently afraid of being called a sexist pig for accidentally wearing the wrong shirt.

They see someone who has attracted and married three beautiful women. It feels like it shouldn’t matter, but it does. They have been told lies their whole life. “Just be a nice guy, and be yourself.” It never worked. They never married or their wives left them and took their children (studies show almost 70% of divorces are initiated by women). Trump must know something that they don’t.

They see someone with five children. The three oldest are all successful, and they all love, respect, and look up to their father. This is something almost every man yearns for. Listen to this Iowa radio ad with Ivanka Trump, his eldest daughter. After I listened to that, I knew Trump would win both the nomination and the presidency.

Many men in America today wish they had a father, and now they are all wishing that that father was Donald Trump. And if that’s not possible, then having him as President of the United States is the next best thing.

And they will make it happen.

Trump’s candidacy is already bringing out record numbers of voters, but this is just the beginning. More and more people (men especially, but also women) are going to find themselves wanting to be led by Donald Trump. Its a response to an instinct that has been suppressed and wound up like a spring. The spring is about to pop. The preference cascade has already started to roll.

Fatherless men, across every racial and economic spectrum, are going to rise up and vote in such large numbers that our political system will tremble at the sudden shock.

Even if Trump is just a parody of true masculinity, of true fatherhood, it doesn’t really matter. Our culture is so starved for the real thing that it will happily chase after the mirage.

Scott Adams has predicted that it will be be largest landslide in history (he predicted Trump’s rise way back in August), and I tend to agree. Our culture of fatherlessness and male feminization has made someone like Trump attractive and inevitable.

We only have ourselves to blame.

The truly bad news for those who fear Trump: if, somehow, Trump is not elected, it only opens the door for someone worse in the future. Someone who makes Trump look like a moderate statesman. The pressure valve will be released now or it will be released later.

Christmas and Infanticide

Christmas and infanticide are forever related and linked.

That may sound strange. Christmas is supposed to be a happy occasion. Food, family, and presents are the order of the day. And thoughts about baby Jesus, of course.

The tame, mild baby Jesus who was born in a manger, surrounded by cute, cuddly animals (all who could be at a modern day petting zoo, of course), doted on by his parents, and visited by some dumbfounded shepherds.

This view helps us maintain the sentimentality of the season. Fuzzy feelings and sugar plum thoughts.

But let’s not forget the rest of the story.

The wise men came bearing gifts for a king, intending to give homage. But the ruler of the land, Herod, a bloodthirsty tyrant, became jealous for his own power. He was troubled. And he was right to be troubled.

For make no mistake, the story of Christmas is the story of the first gambit in the last battle of a long war. It is the rightful king coming to take up his throne. The prince who would raise up the lowly, and throw down the prideful. Prideful people just like Herod.

And so Herod had every child under the age of two years old slaughtered. Mass murder. Infanticide. Mothers weeping as their children were stolen from their arms.This is as much a part of the Christmas story as the angels singing “Peace on earth,” but we don’t sing many carols about Rachel weeping for her children.

In a nation like ours that routinely murders its own children as a matter of convenience, it is a part of the story that we can never forget. Bundled up in the Christmas story is a clear picture of why Christmas had to happen in the first place. The world is dark. The world is sinful. The world is begging for light.

When the Bible says Herod was troubled, it also says that all of Jerusalem was troubled with him (Matthew 2:3). Their salvation from tyrants, like Herod, had been born, and yet they sided with the tyrant. They empathized with the man who would kill their children not long after.

It is no different today. Our own Herods nod approvingly as they allow the slaughter of millions of innocents, in numbers that might have made the original Herod blush. And we nod right along with them. We have our excuses. Some of them even sound reasonable, on the surface. But that is par for the course with sin. It always sounds reasonable, right up to the point where it demands your very life, or the life of someone you love.

We think we are an enlightened people. Because science…or something. But we are no better than Herod and his ilk. Perhaps, we are even worse.

Christmas is a time for celebration. So celebrate. But know what you are celebrating: the hope of a final victory of over darkness. A darkness that casually calls for the slaughter of children on a whim. A darkness that still calls for the slaughter of children.

This is the very darkness that Christ stepped down into, so that it would flee like a swarm of cockroaches.

Merry Christmas. And may the light continue to scatter the darkness.

 

Like a Choir of Parrots

Politicians from the President all the way down to lowly state representatives, along with their mouthpieces in the media, keep repeating the same refrain like a choir of parrots drunk from whiskey and buzzing from caffeine at the same time. Jobs, jobs, jobs.  The economy needs to improve, and the way to do that is to create jobs. Every politician who wants to get elected and keep sucking dry the marrow of civilization promises to personally “create jobs.”

But this is a horrible metric. As with most things the government does or believes, it trips over the roots of the first tree it comes across and then can’t see the forest because officials are blinded by their own tears and deaf from the sound of their own whining. The health of the economy is not dependent on the number of “new” jobs, whatever that means.

Let’s take a hypothetical two income household. Each parent brings in $30,000. Their total income is $60,000.

Let’s say the husband gets a big break and more than doubles his income. He is now bringing home $65,000.  His wife decides to quit her job and stay home, because they can now afford the situation.

Gasp! But this family only one has one job now! Certainly they must be worse off than before.  Right?

On the other side of things, we have the idea of productivity.  The reason a job exists is because the value the person creates can eventually be traded for more than that person is being paid. They produce something of worth. that might be part of a product, or it might be ideas or information. Worth is generally subjective.

But according to the jobs, jobs, jobs logic, the job itself is an end, instead of a means to an end.  If this was true, then we could round up a bunch of hobos from the street and give them jobs digging holes in the field and then filling them right back up again. The job itself is the goal, and so we just created a bunch jobs. But no one in their right mind would actually pay for people to just dig holes and fill them back up for no apparent reason. There is no value.

So what does the government do when no reasonable person would do this on their own. They institutionalize it. A group of people can be wiser than their individual parts, but a group of bureaucrats will almost always be unreasonable. And so being the unreasonable entity required to hire hole diggers who add no value, they then need the money for this.  So they tax, taking money out of the economy, skimming a little off the top, and then putting it back in the economy toward something unproductive.

And magically, the economy is improving because they just created new jobs!

As someone once said, the government trying to stimulate the economy is like a man trying to fill up the shallow end of the pool by taking water from the deep end of the same pool.  Except the man uses a colander to carry the water.

Don’t get caught up in the religious mantra of jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s an idol that leads to nothing but…nothing.

Meaningless Fireworks of the 4th

Fireworks are funny.  I remember them being awesome when I was a boy, watching the sky light up from my seat in a packed football stadium. Now, they are still probably awesome, but I don’t care for them much.  At this point in life, they accomplish two things: cause our dogs to act like skittish mice.  Loud, barking mice.

And then there’s the risk of them waking up my baby daughter. I’m sure that my interest and appreciation for fireworks will rise in parallel to her own interest and wonder.

But to me, they will always be just pretty lights in the sky, no matter how they draw my attention.

The official date given for the colonies’ secession from the House of Hanover is July 4th, 1776.  They reacted to a form of tyranny. The independent colonists were sensitive to that sort of thing. Nowadays, we are kept on a steady injection of Novocain.  Sometimes we even push in the plunger of the syringe ourselves, and don’t squirm when our “benefactors” try to find the best place to stick us.

For comparison, compare the list of offenses given against King George III in the Declaration of Independence. If you’re not familiar, you can brush up on them here. Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Just 85 years after the signing of this document, President Lincoln committed every single one of those offenses, in some form or another.  Against the North.  That doesn’t even take into account the kind of devastation wrought on the South. Just 85 years.

The Founders knew that no man, not even Americans, could be trusted with power. And they sought to contain it.  God must have a sense of humor, because the so-called checks and balances devised by some of the wisest of men only lasted 85 years.

And yet, the offenses listed in the Declaration, the ones that caused men to fight and die, are tepid compared to the furnace we undergo now. King George III, in his wildest imagination, could not have dreamed of the power the Federal government wields today. Our benevolent overlords impact virtually every area of our personal lives, from housing to light bulbs to food to the raising of our children, and oversee a hegemony of foreign influence far greater than the British empire of old. Compared to today, George was a very soft tyrant.

So think about that while you are celebrating this 4th. What are we really celebrating? Jumping out of the frying pan and into a deep pit of vipers? The lowering of our collective standards?

Appreciate the fireworks for what they are: pretty, loud, and sometimes impressive displays of light and creativity.  But know that beyond this, they are meaningless. Or, if anything, they represent the raising of our tolerance for evil.

Thank God for what you have, and for the vestiges left over from the American experiment. Thank Him for the prosperity he still allows us to have, even though we spit at the heavens. Thank Him for the wide eyes your child will get the first time they really notice fireworks. Thank Him that you are an American, rather than anything else, because he has certainly blessed this country.

And perhaps thank Him for the original spirit of freedom held by the signers of the Declaration, and then ask to at least be infused with the dregs for the fights in our modern era.

So happy 4th of July.  Happy Secession Day.