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.

Only the God of Shakespeare

The story of Congressman Weiner should remind us that there is a just God.  Only the one who created the mind of Shakespeare could script a story as ridiculous, sharp, funny, and deadly serious at the same time. I mean, this story was filled dialogue like “I can’t say with any certitude that the picture isn’t of me.”

What will He come up with next?

And Douglas Wilson highlights one of the fundamental lies of our current political climate, the separation of public/private.

He wants the voters to know that when it comes to this public sphere over here, he is a man of integrity, who would never knowingly violate a House rule, or an oath of office, whatever, but who, when it comes to the private sphere over there, and the private parts contained therein, he is a liar, skunk, and inept Twitterer.

Politics stinks.  Mainly because its full of skunks.