There is little likelihood that anyone will have heard the recent news, given the usual media blackout, but we had an active shooter the other day on the campus where I teach. Police moved in quickly, of course, making an arrest within minutes. Some old white guy, it seems, wearing a dark hoodie and a MAGA hat, started shooting up the place. No motive is known thus far, but officers on the scene say several lives were lost in the ensuing exchange of gunfire.
All of the victims were equally old and white, which doubtless explains the absence of media coverage. Why should a few dead white guys draw camera crews when people of color are being gunned down by white supremacists every day? That at least was the common sentiment among observers in the crowd, many of them professing renewed impatience in the face of widespread violence resulting from unregulated assault weapons. Are we ever going to get serious about banning them? And, while we’re at it, criminalizing the NRA?
Oh, did I forget to mention that everything I’ve just said was made up? There was no active shooter incident, only a mock drill to keep us on our toes in the event some lunatic with a gun actually shows up and starts shooting people.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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But I really had you going, didn’t I? And why is that?
Because the lunatics are everywhere. The whole country seems to have gone off its rocker, so any scenario, however preposterous, sounds perfectly plausible. It’s the new normal.
So, how did we get this way? Are there any theories out there about why we’ve suddenly lost our minds and we’re now living in an asylum run by dangerous lunatics? When did the madness begin? And, more to the point, what do we need to do to end it?
As regards the first question, I really haven’t a clue. Only that the unraveling seems to have begun around the time we stopped thinking about God and the restraints He put in place to keep us from killing one another. That would be about five centuries ago, I’d say, around the time of the so-called Renaissance, which so reoriented things that God became a fifth wheel, no longer necessary either to explain the world or to make a living in it.
He no longer occupies the center, we do. An irritating irrelevance, in other words, who, having left the theater, the play can now go on without. Here marked the birth of modernity, which more and more required the death of God in order to succeed on its own. Which it has done in triumphant fashion, ushering in a period so bloody destructive that no amount of savagery from our pre-modern past can match the horrors of the last hundred or so years.
“Something,” as Nietzsche prophetically put it, “came along with a sponge and wiped away the horizon.” Having had a hand in producing that sponge, I expect he’s right. But I’m not interested in doing a causal analysis of how we got here, not today anyway. The question I want to ask is the more immediate and practical one: namely, how do we get out of this mess?
How, precisely, do we get out from under the growing tyranny that threatens both our freedoms and our faith? And if the answer to that is the ballot box, which is to say, the defeat of Joe Biden and every woke Democrat in sight, then, of course, we must do all we can to sweep them all out of office, beginning with the White House.
So, let’s assume electoral politics is the necessary vehicle for getting the job done. Who, then, do we have in mind for the job? Donald Trump? Is he the one to lead the charge that will bring down the Democrats? Is he the one to lay siege to the Deep State, only this time without all the distractions from the woke Left?
I don’t think so. And not because I’m opposed to the scale of the wreckage he would surely bring to a second term. Why should I be? After all, I voted for the guy twice already; and were he to run again, he’d get my vote a third time. Only a death wish would move me to vote for a party that is already on the side of death. Besides, I welcome the wreckage, knowing that, as Lenin once said, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. There are heaps of eggs to be broken. Who better than Trump to break them?
But Trump is not our guy. Not anymore. Not since he went over to the dark side and pledged his support to transgenderism. That was a bridge too far. Especially now when nature and the family need shoring up as never before; when every politician needs to know that life is the defining issue, concerning the defense of which there can be no compromise.
Such a sadness there is in saying so, too, when so much good was done on behalf of life last time around.
But leaving aside that particular disqualifying fact, the man can’t run because he can’t win. He’s too divisive; in a word, too radioactive—especially to so-called independent voters, of whom Trump would need a great many in order to win. But the numbers are just not there; and because he remains too polarizing a presence, they will never be there.
Which leaves us with what? A bruising and protracted primary fight among a field of Republican hopefuls? Not if Trump were to withdraw from the race and, rising to a level of statesmanship wholly uncharacteristic of his style, throw his support to another, thus ensuring at least the real prospect of victory in 2024.
Will he do it? Not likely. But, in the meantime, I’m going with the guy from Florida, the other guy, that is.