When the movie, “Jaws,” first came out in 1975 I was still a teenager. I saw it in the theatre three times, both because I loved the movie and because of an astonishing phenomena I had never seen before and have not seen since. At the end of the movie, when Chief Brody fires a rifle at the oncoming shark and finally hits the scuba tank in its maw, blowing it to smithereens, the audience in the theatre spontaneously broke into loud applause and jumped to a sustained standing ovation. It was as if their own community had been delivered from the terror of the rampaging shark. It happened all three times – and at different theatres.
A shark is a remarkably simple, but efficient, killing machine. Unlike most fish, it cannot move its gills independently, so it has to swim constantly to force water through its gills. If it stops swimming for any length of time, it dies. It has a multitude of teeth, layered in rows behind the line that shows. If a tooth is broken out, another pops up to take its place. Sharks mainly participate in two types of activity, breeding occasionally and eating constantly – maintaining dominance over the denizens of the sea.
Leftist Democrats are more sophisticated than sharks. They know how to pretend to care about others as they set about feeding on them. Last week’s absurd political theatre featured sustained serial lies from leftist officials and media about what happened on the day of the Jan. 6 kerfuffle where the only people killed were Trump supporters by Capitol Police. Last Friday, as Justices of the Supreme Court heard initial arguments about Joe Biden’s Covid shot mandates, three justices demonstrated they have no clue about what they were talking about, even from contrived CDC standards – and also have no clue what their Constitutional role is. Though the upshot was that the Jan. 6 theatrics were met with a yawn by the few people who watched in the first place and that even some in the leftist media were shocked at how colossally dumb Justice Sonia Sotomayor truly is, there was a far more ominous takeaway: Democrat officials and media now tell easily demonstrable lies and are neither embarrassed nor willing to retract them after they are shown to be obviously false.
Leftist Democrats and media know they cannot win the day with facts, evidence and logic. They no longer care about anything but amassing and holding power. Because they have completely abandoned any form of faith in God, power is the only thing that gives their lives some semblance of meaning. So they are on a suicide run. If they can’t prevail with facts and evidence, they hope to gaslight enough people with their brazen, unashamed lies to prevail. And they have a chance – because of Republican officials.
It is not that many Republicans will actively start parroting leftist provocations to liberty but that they do not understand this is an existential fight. Most will make great speeches in committee, but if the immediate assault is turned back, will celebrate their “victory” and rest, tacitly conceding all the ground that has been lost. After the Battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln anxiously awaited word that Union General Meade had entirely smashed Confederate General Lee’s army, thus effectively ending the Civil War. Instead, Mead cautiously followed Lee until the latter had safely crossed the Potomac River to safety in Virginia. After this, Meade sent a telegram boasting that they had driven “the invader from our soil.” Lincoln was despondent, angrily demanding, “Will our generals never get that idea out of their heads? The whole country is our soil.” And so the war continued for two unnecessary years because Meade was too cautious to end it when he could have. I guess this is a common Republican trait; focus on the ancillary so obsessively that you lose the main point. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is a brilliant tactician who has moments of strategic competence. He understood the strategic importance of getting judges appointed, so adopted the tactics to accomplish that masterfully. Yet he rescued Democrats from the consequences of their depravity by twice giving them the Republican votes needed to raise the debt ceiling. He has consistently refused to investigate the massive vote fraud of the last election – and looked with disdain at any who think there should be a real investigation. On the debt ceiling, some have argued that doing that robbed Democrats of the chance to change the narrative to Republican “obstructionism.” There is something to be said for that, but how long can we continue to give cordial aid to a party that has been in “take no prisoners” mode for the last six years? On the bright side, after McConnell’s second helping hand on the debt ceiling, Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) went on and savaged him in a press conference anyway. That led McConnell to vow to give no more aid to the Democrats. While I would prefer that he had come to that conclusion based on the systematic assault on Americans’ basic rights rather than from the callous personal insult, I am glad he got there somehow.
Sen. Ted Cruz got a whole lot of blow-back when he called the events of Jan. 6 a “violent terrorist attack.” It didn’t entirely surprise me – either that he called the Jan. 6 events that or that he got such serious blow-back. I spent most of election season in 2018, when Cruz was challenged by Beto O’Rourke, in Texas working with Texas Right to Life and Republicans in the State House and State Senate. I discovered that while Cruz has a great bark, he doesn’t have much of a bite and has little concern for helping others in his party. On the bright side, the blow-back Cruz received from this seems to have motivated him to get more serious about defending basic American rights. He is suddenly a real point man in finding out if the Feds provoked a tiny slice of the million people protesting to get out of hand – and has suddenly found himself concerned about the hundreds held as political prisoners in appalling conditions for “parading” inside the Capitol Building.
The problem is that Republican officials, as a group, show little desire to vigorously defend against political persecution even though it is un-American and tatters liberty, but only get animated when their personal future is endangered. That is far too leaky a vessel in which to entrust our liberty. Bottom line, I do not trust Republicans to defend the liberty of citizens just because they are citizens of the United States. If the Democrats are so foolish as to provoke them to that defense for personal reasons, after the left is pulverized in the elections this fall, I expect Republicans to say, with General Meade, that they have “driven the invader from our soil” without lifting a finger to recover the rights of ordinary people that have been lost in the process.
Many conservative commentators are celebrating the Supreme Court’s order vacating Biden’s Covid shot mandates for private businesses while allowing those for health workers in facilities that receive federal disbursements to stand. I am not among them. Three questions that count are:
- On what Constitutional basis does the federal government have the power to force medical therapies on unwilling people? Historically, that has been a state power. The justification here is that facilities receive federal money. By that logic, what depravities could the Feds not enforce on citizens who receive any sort of social security or federal assistance? And if that is the case, when exactly did we cease to become a government run by the consent of the governed rather than by the whim of the bureaucrat with the only check being the Supreme Oligarchic Council which calls itself the Supreme Court?
- What criteria constitute an emergency? If the definition of a crisis is not clearly elaborated and tightly constrained, ambitious officials will keep us in a state of perpetual emergency and liberty is at an end.
- In a medical emergency, is the treatment to be mandated effective and fully tested? If there are no serious standards for this, what is to stop a tyrant from mixing arsenic and strychnine into a cocktail, putting it in a syringe, and calling it a “vaccine?”
Frankly, the Supreme Court addressed none of these problems to my satisfaction. They, too, are working from political grounds. Chief Justice John Roberts does not decide critical cases on the merits, but based on preserving the “legitimacy” of the court (a practice that has made him widely regarded as the worst chief justice since Roger Taney). Roberts now votes more for the left than the right. Brett Kavanaugh seems to want to be the “swing” justice, perhaps figuring if he votes for enough liberal claptrap, they won’t call him a gang rapist anymore. The Democrat appointees are candid now about believing the Court is the final determination on what is good policy. Only Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito have proven themselves to be consistent originalist jurists who will stay in their lane. With the notable (and dangerous) exception of voting law, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett show signs of being reliably conservative. What a motley crew – unmoored from the Constitutional purpose of the Supreme Court and the principles of restraint in a government by the consent of the governed.
We are headed for a great collision. Almost all officials believe they are rulers rather than servants. The Republicans promise to rule more gently than the Democrats – and more effectively – but conceptually they all see themselves as rulers. Until that mindset is utterly destroyed – and rule by bureaucrats consigned to the dustbin of history – we will not again be a free, self-governing people. Officials will only be as conservative and protective of human liberty under natural law as we force them to be. Sadly, once God has been effectively banished from the mix, there is only the will to power. For most officials, office is no longer about service, but about self-actualization, a way to mine meaning from their otherwise callow, empty lives. I say that this year is when all our illusions will be swept away. By the end of the year, we will know that no one will defend our liberty for us; we must do it ourselves.
Alas, serious political dysfunction is prelude to massive and basic dysfunction. Shut down energy pipelines and companies and you get high energy prices and reliance on hostile foreign powers again instead of being a net exporter of energy. Set up all manner of regulations that slow trucking and shipping down and you get supply chain problems. Spend trillions of dollars that don’t exist and inflation shoots through the roof. Mandate that people get shots (that are not, but that you call, vaccines) that have been poorly tested and already show hideously large adverse reactions and you have a shortage of workers in critical industries and professions. The whole Biden “Build Back Better” slogan is best translated into normal speak as “Tear Down Faster.” Make no mistake: while 2020 and 2021 were years when the left gleefully destroyed thousands of small businesses and millions of peoples’ lives in order to seize permanent control, this will be the year when large businesses and institutions that you thought would last forever will topple. People who are freshening up on home and frontier-type skills are not withdrawing from the world, but getting a head start on navigating the new economy that the “Tear Down Faster” crowd is crafting. By the end of the year, you will see (or be on the verge of seeing) much more intimate, smaller, local economies and organizing principles. The left is governing by suicide vest, unaware that they go, too, when it blows. So back off and get out of their way.
Fortunately, the psychodramas that play out intensely in our politics, media, business and cultural institutions have not been able to completely shut down ordinary Americans’ basic goodness and decency. I travel all over the country. People I meet casually are almost uniformly friendly, cheery and with a lively sense of humor. Most of these people don’t know me at all, but are happy to get into a lively, fun conversation. And this covers all ethnicities and genders. What the left is accomplishing is convincing ethnic minorities (who had until recently credited them with good intentions, anyway) that leftists are neither competent nor allies. Rare is the person who I meet that I don’t have a good, friendly encounter with – and many are relieved that a normal fellow can laugh and talk about things that matter to us all. So we start with a larger pool of good will than one would think by watching the media or public officials speak. We’re going to need it because the government and formal culture is disintegrating faster than you think. Ernest Hemingway told the story of asking a man how he went bankrupt. “Slowly, at first,” the man replied, “then all at once.” We are just about done with the slowly phase.
The disintegration of social function is happening most rapidly in deep blue urban cities and the bluest states. I have said before that, from a political standpoint, nullification of federal laws by rational states is critical to slow the fall and that, if, the left is determined to crash everything, the temporary “panic room” strategy of secession. I emphasize the temporary nature of the latter tactic. On the one hand, red states do not need to follow blue into complete collapse when it is willfully done by their arrogant but ignorant officials – and separating will buy red states some time. But it is not a long-term strategy. Like a lion, demonic leftists are always on the prowl. Incapable of building anything, they restlessly seek to tear down what others have built. Making red and blue countries would simply be, for the red country, like having the old Soviet Union on its border, constantly trying to subvert the free states. The only way through in the long term is to utterly defeat destructive leftists. The only way to do that is through a religious renewal with personal initiative.
As I said, leftists can’t build anything and they don’t do anything to actually help anyone. They try to find meaning in their lives by hating and denouncing others for not doing enough. It is a bitter, joyless type of satanic idealism that progressively spirals down into deeper despair. We must defend ourselves while, at the same time, evangelizing those unfortunates caught in this vicious spiral of despair by showing them a better way: the way of love. I am speaking of the real love of giving and helping – not telling others what they should do, but doing it ourselves with joy. Nor is it the false love of serial and progressively more depraved lusts. The self-sacrificial love I speak of breeds contentment, fellowship and joy. We are already halfway there. As I noted earlier, most ordinary people are not in the grip of the angry madness that afflicts the leftists. Reach out to people you run into and most all will be relieved that you act normally and gladdened that you can laugh and interact with them as fellows. We are going to have to build new social structures very locally to replace those that just don’t work anymore and attempt to tear everyone down.
If you live in a deep blue city, do your best to move out – or at least have a bug out plan. That is where the violence and suffering will be worst and where people have the fewest skills to survive even an extended power outage. Be prudent, but understand that your security is in God – and is manifested here by the friendships you make with those around you, working collaboratively to help each other. Learn some basic skills. Know how to read a map. If you don’t know how to read cursive (shockingly, a common thing among young people these days) learn it. Ironically, young folks often chuckle over the struggles older folks have with electronics. Watch for the tables to turn, as young people have to lean on older folks to teach them baffling old-school ways.
As government restlessly seeks more ways to coerce people, it progressively paralyzes itself, making it less and less capable of doing anything. If you depend on the dying state, you will have serious problems, as it can’t deliver for anyone anymore. To the extent you can, try to wean yourself away from dependence on it. In those areas where you are not ready to do that, start to visualize what you would do if there were no social security checks, no Medicare, no effective police force, no effective medical system. This country was founded by people who often had none of those things. You can do it. And you will “build back better” by collaborating with those around you for the basics you need to both survive and thrive. One of the most powerful motivators is fear of loss. One of the things government has done effectively is to create dependents who are fearful of losing the pittance government provides them. As far as you can, divest yourself of such dependence now and visualize how you would proceed if it stopped because of a crash of incompetence.
Do I think all these things will come to pass this year? I don’t know. But I know the left is on a suicide run and would like to take us with them. I have no confidence that the right will do anything other than make a brief pause in this trajectory even if they win overwhelmingly. They will simply work to secure their own little fiefdoms of self-actualization rather than devote themselves to securing your liberties. The old system is dying, collapsing before our eyes. The new will be built by your dependence on God and your fellows around you. The quicker you can re-orient yourself to that reality, the closer we will be to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the renewal of the world. What is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart other than the triumph of fairest love?
The existing system does not serve humanity: it feeds on it. When a multitude re-orient themselves towards God and collaboration with their fellows, divesting themselves from dependence on it, there will be a lot of spontaneous standing ovations as that system falls in on itself.
On Monday, we will begin a fundraising drive that will continue through Feb. 11. Our last was interrupted by my tough bout with Covid. Even so, I will risk it again, as we have more work than ever to do this year.