Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Random thoughts

I keep vowing to work on my novel really, but then I have random thoughts. 

Just beginning to thumb through a remarkable book, Liberty: The God That Failed (by Christopher Ferrara, Angelico Press, 2012) is enough to give anybody random thoughts. The author's argument seems to be, that since the United States was founded, by cravat-ed and gentlemanly Deists, as the world's first utterly secular state, inevitably its adoration of its own founding will lead to a situation that looks familiar today. Maybe it looked familiar in the days of the Whiskey Rebellion, and lots of other times. Pick your bit of American malfeasance from history. Namely, it is the situation in which "freedom" is god, but paradoxically the government decides what freedom is. Avenues of dissent do not exist. Most especially do they not exist, as it were, running up the nave of the Catholic Church; which is eternal, as nations are not. 

This business of the nations being beloved by God, chastised like Israel, nevertheless not eternal like Israel, seems to me a lesson repeated in those sometimes very repetitive Old Testament prophets. "The burden of Moab, oracles against Ammon," etc. etc. "He has not done thus to other nations -- he has not taught them his decrees" (Psalm 147:20). Ancient Israel's supernatural purpose, as the bearer of God to the world, found fulfillment through Christ's being born to the world through Mary, and then by his one sacrifice for the sins of all. Re-presented every day of history everywhere since, the Mass is therefore the point of life and the foundation of reality. Insofar as modern nations have deliberately founded themselves, absent the Mass, so much do they thrash and suffer. Insofar as the West founded itself from the ruins of Rome and barbarism, upon the Mass, the saints, and the Church, so much did it prosper. 

And it is obviously not a question only of prosperity, of wealth and comfort. I'm grateful for the prosperity of a Protestant/Deist-origin nation. I can look at the world and see impoverished, ostensibly mostly Catholic countries. However I can also see a nation like the United States, which I seem to see with new eyes ferociously, officially devoted to wealth and comfort, clearly disintegrating under a top-down revolution that "liberty" cannot combat much, and that is also creating poverty. If nothing else it's creating a new poverty in paying already morally impoverished people more money to stay unemployed than to go to work. My mother in her nineties remembers the Depression, when the nobility and dignity of work was understood, desperately wanted along with the paycheck. Perhaps she and everyone then remembered the burden of St. Paul: "he that does not work, neither shall he eat" (2 Thess. 3:10). In a troubled moment she said, "I've lived too long." She has outlived all her age group. She can remember when it was safe for young girls to ride their bikes home from one part of Chicago to another at night. "People say it wasn't any different. Yes, it was different. People were different." Reflecting a bit sideways now, I wonder if it's too bad after all we didn't have a monarchy from the beginning. The execution or exile of a royal family, by this stage, would at least have made things gruesomely clear.  

Going on with my random thoughts, I have a question about the creed now recited by any professional in media who values his career. "The idea that the 2020 election was stolen is chickenshit," said a radio host yesterday evening. Not in so many words, the vulgarity I mean, but he made himself plain. All right. Leaving aside all longstanding questions, about vital states changing their election laws for this election, or bizarre turnouts of over 100 percent in the most vital Democrat cities, leaving aside the scope for fraud in mail-in voting to begin with, or the fact of states simply ceasing to count their ballots in the wee hours of the vital night -- leaving aside all that, let's agree a man in dementia got 82 million votes when no one seemed to attend his rallies. While his incumbent opponent drew throngs that caravanned for miles. All right. I can posit that Donald Trump lost fair and square, which is more than the professional media types can posit about my doubts or my view. You begin to see how, in a free democracy, there is no dissent. You are only free to admit the truth. 

Anyway my question is, well and good. If Biden and the Democrat party won fair and square, where is the investigation into the coup attempt on Trump? Shouldn't they be concerned about such an attempt being grievously launched against themselves? 

What coup? I think the last and greatest service Rush Limbaugh rendered to the country and his audience before he died was to explain how the Russia collusion/Ukrainian quid pro quo/impeachment train got rolling. It was early in January 2017, a few days before Trump's inauguration. Hillary Clinton and her team may have "conjured up and disseminated" the fake stories for freight, but Barack Obama and the FBI started the train. Absurd fabrications, which the flacks mouthing them denied were true under oath on any gray Washington morning, could be injected into the news narrative on any glittering New York night because the new President Trump had been briefed on them. Anything the President is briefed on is news. Even "pee dossiers." Therefore the narrative was pumped into the nation's bloodstream. Poor little classical WFMT began each newscast at 6 am and 7 am, for three years, dutifully reading the script. Russia. Ukraine. Impeachment. In year four it became Coronavirus. 

It's not nice to try and eject an elected president by a coup; it is hard to see what else this was. The present victors' lack of interest in the story seems jarring. We can say it's all over and done with and no good to dwell upon. But the fact that the election itself is the firewall protecting victors with no interest in the past, seems to hint at some kind of fragility. So does the look of the capitol encased in razor wire and patrolled by soldiers; it would be laughable how frankly illegitimate this has always made usurpation look, but again our victors have no interest in the past or in being laughed at. I seem to remember, in the months and weeks before the election, happy Trump bloggers would still worry that Democrats would contest a Trump victory in the courts for years. "If they win they win, and if they lose they win." May I daresay, one never dreamed that they simply would not tolerate the word "if." And would move heaven and earth to see that it did not apply. 

Well, perhaps they won after all. I can be open-minded too. Perhaps the country really is too sprawling for electoral fraud to work. When the election was fresher, radio hosts sensing where their careers lie (I think) would pull up angry callers short by barking, "All right, if you're going to talk fraud, fine, what allegation and what precinct?" And the poor caller would be at a loss because he's just an ordinary person. As Chesterton remarked in St. Thomas Aquinas, "Popular errors are nearly always right." 

But to go back to that remarkable book, Liberty: The God That Failed. We now have an administration just about as divorced from heaven and from the Catholic Church, from what is eternal, as could be, what with its love of abortion and sexual depravity for a start. But then how piquant! that the current President is a Catholic whose obvious non-belief is of no more interest to most of the Catholic bishops who are our shepherds, than a long-running coup against #45 is of interest to #46! Most odd. They know something else, or have pressing matters. Or some other treasure to guard. Perhaps it's liberty.        

Sources: "Obama Caught Collaborating with FBI to Create the Russia Collusion Narrative," The Rush Limbaugh Show, transcript, May 11, 2020. 

"Tucker Carlson 'Confirms' Stunning Claim: Biden Intelligence Agencies Spying to Take Him 'Off the Air.'" Victoria Taft, PJ Media, June 28, 2021. 


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