Archive for November, 2016

At the time…

November 22, 2016

At the time that David French wrote this article for the National Review, it was painful to read. My first reaction to reading it was, “Ouch.”

Although this was published on September 24th, some of the things French says here  have been weighing on my mind.

Like most who thought that the liberal progressive donor didn’t have a chance, but who actually pulled out a win (which some say  wasn’t so much about him winning, but her losing–the Obama coalition didn’t “show up”), we thought that had Cruz not endorsed, he would have come out smelling like a rose.

Now with the liberal progressive donor’s win, it looks like Cruz, whether or not he had endorsed, may end up being the most visible casualty of this horrible cycle. I still will oppose the winner with everything I have. He is still the unfit, unprincipled, liberal progressive donor that he was before. There is nothing to suggest that he is, or ever was  conservative or would know a conservative principle if it came up and slapped him in his face. He has reversed every stance through which he lured  voters into supporting him, and shows every indication of governing as as a leftist. Buoyed by left-leaning “moderate” republicans who have openly indicated they want to “crush conservatives”, he is an anathema to conservatism as much as Hillary Clinton is. Aside from reports of him refusing to study for debates or simply to be informed on the issues, he sidestepped this most basic of work by deflecting in the debates and interviews and going off on tangents wholly unrelated to the question at hand. Moreover, recent reports also discuss his lack of impulse control. So basically, we have someone with the emotional maturity of an 8th-grader handed the most powerful job in the world who is rudderless, resistant to putting in the work necessary for a demanding job, thin-skinned who lashes out at slights with 3 a.m. tweets, brags about the size of his genitals on national tv, demeans and degrades women and minorities and takes advantage of same as a matter of course, and lacks the ability to comport himself. How do you spell spoiled rich kid? With the millions of free media and publicity this guy received, it’s not like these things were not made obvious. America, you’re fired.

Perhaps saddest of all is the hit that the church took regarding its witness to the unsaved. Not only did well-known and respected evangelicals leaders excuse the winner’s rhetoric and behavior, but so did scores of believers, including some in my own family. So when an unsaved person says Christians are hypocrites, what will the believer say then? The news that “evangelicals” in large numbers apparently helped this moral reprobate limp over the finish line, says more about the moral void in this country and what’s being taught, or rather, not taught, from the pulpit than almost anything.

This could mean that Cruz will never be president. What hurts the most are the lies and accusations that the winner made against Cruz and were repeated ad infinitum by vile, cult-like supporters of the winner. Yes, I hope these despicable things perpetrated by the winner on Cruz are revealed and laid bare. Yes, I’m disappointed by Cruz’s endorsement of the winner, but I’m even more disappointed that the country could elect such a terrible person to the presidency. Yes, we knew that Clinton had her flaws, but we knew what she would do and we could oppose her forthrightly. I fear for this country and for our liberties under a man who never spoke of the concept of liberty while campaigning and would simply say things that he knew people wanted to hear without having any moral or ideological compass to guide him except his own self-aggrandizement. And the fact that the winner continues to tacitly give legitimacy to the alt-right racists, by not only not denouncing them, but appointing one of their standard-bearers to a high position in his administration is disturbing.

No doubt there was pressure to endorse. A fan of the show House of Cards suspected it was an endorse-or-we’ll-destroy-you type of ultimatum. Perhaps. But French suggests that’s not enough to acquiesce to the pressure. There are more important things.

What pressure? You might get primaried? You might – gasp – lose your Senate seat? Good heavens – the nation just can’t survive without Cruz in the Senate!

We’re all replaceable. All of us. I’m reading Nathanial Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition, and I’m struck by the extent that perhaps the closest thing to an irreplaceable person in all of American history – George Washington – intentionally exposed himself to Brish volleys. Why? Because he knew what great commanders have known for millennia — while there are substitutes for even the best generals, there is no substitute for valor. That’s no argument for mindless recklessness (Washington hardly led every charge), it does reflect the reality that there are times when you pledge your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor for the cause you hold dear

Similarly, while there are substitutes for any senator, there is no substitute for respect for the values and constitutional principles that made this nation great. And if a politician has to expose himself to Reince’s public relations peashooter to — quoting Cruz himself at the convention – “defend our freedom” and be “faithful to the Constitution,” then by God you do it. Too bad Ted couldn’t. Perhaps someone else will.

By the way, I didn’t vote for either the winner or the loser, but voted third party.

The Lesson Ted Cruz Taught Us

By David French

September 24, 2016 2:26 PM

The dominoes are falling – as we knew they would. On Friday Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump, just weeks after a mic-dropping moment at the Republican National Convention, where he pointedly refused to endorse the man who insulted his wife and accused his father of conspiring to kill JFK. Instead, in the face of a chorus of boos, he urged delegates to vote their conscience. The implication was clear – a conservative of conscience should not support Trump.

Whatever. Now he’s on the Trump Train, and in heeding the GOP conductor’s call of “all aboard” he’s teaching us once again an important lesson about the contemporary American political elite. They’ll take risks to achieve upward mobility, but the prospect of truly diminished influence is apparently too terrifying to contemplate. To quote the Hamilton musical, once they get in the “room where it happens,” they just don’t want to leave.

That’s why you saw fading Republican stars jump on the Trump Train early – he was their hope for continued relevance. That’s why you see establishment Republicans falling all over themselves to endorse Trump despite his manifest ignorance, mendacity, and unfitness. They want to remain in the establishment. That’s why religious right leaders keep endorsing one of the sexual revolution’s most ardent practitioners. They can’t abide the thought of political irrelevance. They all do it by convincing themselves – down to the very core of their beings – that the nation would be worse off without their unique talents, wisdom, and judgment.

Let’s be clear, between the Republican convention and this weekend, absolutely nothing changed about either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Trump and Clinton are the same politicians with the same towering self-regard and same unfitness for the presidency. Trump is the exact same person who Cruz once said could “plunge” this nation “into the abyss.” Clinton is the exact same person we’ve seen throughout a quarter-century of dreary, corrupt years in national public life. What changed is all this “pressure” I keep hearing about. “The pressure is building,” people say. It’s time to get in line behind Trump.

What pressure? You might get primaried? The terrifying Reince Priebus might get angry? You might – gasp – lose your Senate seat? Good heavens – the nation just can’t survive without Cruz in the Senate!

We’re all replaceable. All of us. I’m reading Nathanial Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition, and I’m struck by the extent that perhaps the closest thing to an irreplaceable person in all of American history – George Washington – intentionally exposed himself to British volleys. Why? Because he knew what great commanders have known for millennia — while there are substitutes for even the best generals, there is no substitute for valor. That’s no argument for mindless recklessness (Washington hardly led every charge), it does reflect the reality that there are times when you pledge your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor for the cause you hold dear.

Similarly, while there are substitutes for any senator, there is no substitute for respect for the values and constitutional principles that made this nation great. And if a politician has to expose himself to Reince’s public relations peashooter to — quoting Cruz himself at the convention – “defend our freedom” and be “faithful to the Constitution,” then by God you do it. Too bad Ted couldn’t. Perhaps someone else will.