Thursday, 6/2/16

  1. The “conservative project” is dead
  2. The trans train
  3. Alexa: ever-vigilant
  4. The Boss sinks into ideology
  5. Red roller, Blue roller
  6. The image of evil
  7. Rotten foundations

1

[T]he shameful spectacle of older Religious Right leaders prostituting themselves to Trump is

also a cautionary tale about seeking to acquire power and influence while lacking the sort of Christian practice necessary to sustain virtue in the teeth of success. We chased fame and prestige as it is defined by the world and we had it… for awhile. It’s just too bad it clearly cost us our souls. Now the party we pledged ourselves too and which clearly never saw us as anything more than useful idiots is ready to kick us to the curb. But rather than standing by our principles, the purported moral voices of the old religious right are cravenly throwing themselves after the scraps that a racist, womanizing, vulgar, and laughably insecure rich boy brushes off his table.

Whole thing here. You’ll want to read and ponder the last paragraph.

So: maybe the best social-conservative answer to the question, Will social conservatives survive Trump? is to ask in return, Who cares? Concealed within the original question is the assumption that protecting political power and a place in the public square ought to be something religious and social conservatives are worried about. Maybe that’s wrong.

(Rod Dreher quoting Jake Meador) It was hard to decide what to quote and what to skip. Dreher’s response to Michael Cromartie and Maggie Gallagher is also notable:

“Evangelical social conservatives are going to lose any cachet in bringing up character questions in the future about anything,” Cromartie says. “They’re just going to lose all credibility.” …

Gallagher says that supporting “a guy who says crude, disgusting, hateful-to-women, highly sexualized, racist things that violate American principles” would “establish that we don’t care about any of those things.” She fears that a Trump presidency could do more to hurt the conservative project in the long-run than a Hillary Clinton Supreme Court appointment …

To Gallagher, whose views on Trump’s character I completely share, I would ask: what is the “conservative project”? I don’t want to see a trade war with China either, but it sounds to me like her assumption is that the old Reagan-era coalition of free marketers + national security conservatives + anti-statist libertarians + social conservatives still stands. It does not. After the Indiana RFRA, I consider Big Business the open enemy of my interests as a Christian conservative … The “conservative project” is dead.

For Cromartie, to what extent do Evangelicals have any credibility on matters of public policy anymore? I don’t ask it in a hostile way, heaven knows, but it’s not clear to me that Evangelicals, speaking as Evangelicals, have much influence to preserve. Is this a way of saying, “If we support Trump, they will kick us out of the public square?” Sounds like it. But has this not already happened? If social and religious conservatives don’t support Trump, it’s not going to win them any friends on the left.

(Emphasis added)

2

More on Sexual Lysenkoism.

Being told to exercise my clinical judgment with some clients, while ignoring it with others, made me feel like a fraud …

identities do shift constantly in kids and teens …

What saddens me the most is the way children are being trained to think their parents do not love them if mom and dad don’t jump aboard the trans train. To me, this is a brutal aspect of a near-dictatorship being foisted on everyone. The kids are too young to see that there are no other people who will have their backs, throughout life with lasting devotion, in the unique way their families will. They think these new friends they’ve made online understand them perfectly. And in believing this unquestioningly, they find themselves lulled by the frictionless experience delivered most powerfully by group think.

Many of the trans kids I’ve worked with will joke about how they and their friends are dictators, “masters of the universe!” I find that clinically significant. This is something toddlers do when they are first discovering they are separate from their rulers (parents). Rather than fear the parent, they seek to control the parent, exert their will on the parent and co-opt the parent’s power as their own.

3

I don’t blog much about Tech stuff, but this was humorous.

The Wall Street Journal had a Tech column and video Wednesday, with Joanna Stern admonishing Apple for its lame iOS apps, comparing them (unfavorably, of course) to offerings from Amazon, Facebook and Google.

In the course of the video, she illustrated how responsive Amazon’s Echo is, whereupon my Echo perked up her little Alexa ears and averred that she couldn’t understand one question and then duly added to my ToDo list sending some flowers to Tim Cook — just like Joanna Stern said through my computer speakers.

No if only I could find that ToDo list to remove those flowers.

4

It makes no difference to me if Springsteen wishes to follow in the fake-farmwife footsteps of Sissy Spacek and volunteer to testify in the North Carolina statehouse against the injustice of preventing a self-proclaimed “woman” from using the same public restroom as a five-year-old girl.  But in canceling his April 10 tour stop in Greensboro, North Carolina, he did not “show solidarity for those freedom fighters” who think that the best way to treat the mentally ill is to indulge their fantasies.  What he did was to ruin the evening of the husband who gave his wife tickets to that concert because they share a story like Amy’s and mine; of the young man who was planning to use the event to propose to his girlfriend; of the son who is headed toward an Independence Day of his own, but whose memory of this night spent with his father might someday have helped to draw him back home again.

Everyone who had tickets to that concert in Greensboro has a story about why he was going.  And if Bruce Springsteen hadn’t canceled the concert, each would have had a story about what that night meant to him.  None of those stories may have been earth-shattering; they may all have been mundane; but in the hands of a true artist—say, the man who once wrote the lyrics to The River, before his imagination was clouded by ideology—they might have become a work of art.

(Scott P. Richert)

5

Being Pentecostal is a quaint curiosity if you’re a Democrat but it’s a huge liability if you’re GOP.

6

A year or two after emigrating, she happened to be in Paris on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of her country. A protest march had been scheduled, and she felt driven to take part. Fists raised high, the young Frenchmen shouted out slogans condemning Soviet imperialism. She likes the slogans, but to her surprise she found herself unable to shout along with them. She lasted no more than a few minutes in the parade.

When she told her French friends about it, they were amazed. “You mean you don’t want to fight the occupation of your country?” She would have liked to tell them that behind Communism, Fascism, behind all occupations and invasions lurks a more basic, pervasive evil and that the image of that evil was a parade of people marching by with raised fists and shouting a denticle syllables in unison. But she knew she would never be able to make them understand.

(Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being) I don’t recall ever underlining so much in a novel.

7

The thing that frustrates me… is that so many of the anti-Trump people seem to think that Trump is some kind of aberration, that the system was more or less fine before he barreled in and started tearing it up. Not true. He was only able to accomplish this because the Republican Party, and indeed the entire edifice of our political system, has grown weak at its foundations.

… [I]t will never fail to astonish me, the degree to which the Left is blind to how its own principles and illiberalism strengthens Trump.

(Rod Dreher) That foundational weakness is another way of expressing the attraction of a third party candidate. “Why vote [for a major party candidate]? It only encourages them.”

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.