Monday, July 27, 2015

What Trump offers

So, as if this writing, Trump's made a few moves of interest.

First, there was his initial observation that - shocking as it may seem to some - not every illegal alien is an out of work devout Christian physicist who just wants a better life for his intact home and law-abiding family. In fact, there's a good number of gang members, criminals, murderers, rapists, drug dealers and other lowlifes. Everyone knows this, including illegal immigrants and the latino community themselves, but this was supposed to be something that no one could ever frankly talk about on pain of public shaming and worse. Trump, being in a unique situation as a billionaire who apparently doesn't give a shit about such things, stuck to his guns even while getting savaged left and right.

The result? Lost business contracts, but a whole lot of fame and admiration, along with surging poll numbers. This, despite most of the GOP immediately trying to attack and bury him, since they're on Team SJW when it comes to this kind of thing.

Shortly thereafter, Trump cracked that McCain wasn't exactly a war hero, since his main claim to fame was being shot down and held as a POW for years. Ouch. So again, the attacks came, this time intensified because - really - veterans are one thing the media and GOP both assume every mook out there is hyper defensive about, and attacking 'war hero' McCain was surely Trump's death knell. And once again, Trump doubled down, said McCain had been screwing over veterans for years and also lost to Obama when he should have won.

The result? McCain limped away bitterly, and Trump somehow moved even further ahead in the polls.

Since then, Trump's done everything from call out an MSNBC reporter as dishonest, then tell him to get lost instead of letting him submit a question to Trump, to attacking the other GOP candidates and otherwise. He's the man of the news hour, and at this rate may well end up showing up at the debates. Despite attempts by big GOP donors to get Jeb and Rubio to boycott the debates if Trump shows up.

There's also been a tremendous amount of complaining from the GOP - both the elected officials, and the bloggers. Lots of hand-wringing about how Trump was damaging the GOP. How he was making it harder to attract latino votes, which are so desperately needed (and everyone else, apparently, doesn't matter.) How the people who supported Trump were idiots, how Trump isn't really conservative, how he's flip-flopped on everything from immigration to abortion.

A bit like Romney, but shh, don't bring that up.

That said, there's truth to the criticisms. Do I think Trump really intends to stop illegal immigration, in the longshot (but not unthinkable) scenario where he gets elected? Not really. Do I think he's sincere in his Christianity, or his switch to a pro-life outlook? Not so much, no. Hell, do I think he even wants or expects to be president? At most, I think he regards the prospect as kind of amusing. A nice brass ring to shoot for.

But despite all this, Trump's offering something important - so important, that I find myself supporting him and fighting his detractors.

He has talked frankly and honestly about immigration, in a way that's honestly unheard of in this era, despite being sorely needed. He's refused to back down from the content of his comments, even at personal expense to him - whatever expense one can tax a billionaire with, anyway - and he's done so with bombast and grace. He's openly defied the reigning elite culture, refusing to grovel at their command. And he's inspiring others to do the same.

That is golden, frankly. It doesn't matter if he is, at the end of the day, dishonest. If Trump can successfully convince people - particularly conservatives - that they don't deserve to be pariahs because of their beliefs, and that there's something admirable in their stating their views and fighting against a hostile culture, refusing to apologize or back down, then he'll have been a net boon. Which is more than I can say about just about any politician or public figure as of late.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Reposted Comment

At the end of a conversation I was having at Ace of Spades, regarding Trump's statement about illegal immigration, and why I defend it:

I would like to win elections, yes. I'd like to see more conservative policies passed - better border control. Less corporate welfare. Less subservience to the state. Lots of things. 

Ace says that he thinks the cost of defending statements like Trump's - even saying 'they are not racist, there's nothing to apologize for' - is lost elections, and never winning another. 

In addition to what I said before - I think ace's strategy, as he's laid it out, is a losing one - there's another consideration. Imagine if you told black people that the only way for them to get any political power is if they were silent in the face of insults, if they avoided saying anything that would upset anyone (including a hypothetically black-hostile media), and if they just were good little boys and girls who did what they were told, and basically accepted that culturally, they would be expected to be ashamed of themselves, their culture, and their history. 

Do you think black people would be wise to accept those terms for a -chance- at victory? What's the point of winning when those are the terms? 'You can win, but only if you shut your mouth, never say anything that upsets people, and give up on a lot of what you want besides. Then you'll be able to sometimes eke out a victory, maybe, and if you're lucky your 'victory' - which means a successful election - will result in policies you like, unless the powers that be decide they have other priorities now that they've won'? 

No, they wouldn't. Because you're basically telling them that the only route to victory is humiliation, shame, and acting as social lepers who should be grateful they have any input in society whatsoever. 

Which is part of the reason why Trump is surging. He may be lying (rather impressive lie, as he's actually losing a lot of money so far for taking his stand) but he's sending the message that no, perpetual serfdom to a hostile culture isn't the right course to take. He has a right to speak his mind, and in this case - a case where his sin is minor at worst when reasonably looked at - he has no need to apologize. 

Put another way? Let's say I was able to choose between the following two choices. 

1) 30 years of electoral victories, but the perpetuation or even growth of the culture that we have right now - a culture where conservatives are mortally afraid of even stating their opinions openly on various issues, despite half the country (or more!) supporting them. 

2) 30 years of electoral losses, but a change to the culture that meant conservatives could speak freely, without fear of backlash or punishment, about issues that mattered to them. 

I would choose 2 in a fucking heartbeat, and 1 would be tantamount to defeat anyway.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Liberal Christians are Christians no more.

A short thought that I'd like to expand on later, but which I'll put succinctly soon.

Right now, we're starting to see liberal Christians preparing to act as apologists for the next round of attacks on Christianity in the US - namely, penalizing and attacking Christian churches (and any organization which is Christian in both name and policy) for opposing same-sex marriage. We're going to start hearing more and more arguments like this from liberals:

"When you think about it, Christians being untaxed is really unfair. Shouldn't we render unto Caesar? That's a bible quote, you know!"

"Churches are part of society, and if you really want to be part of society you should be doing your fair share. Hell, even if this wasn't being pushed to crack down on churches that oppose gay marriage, we should DEMAND to be taxed!"

"Christians need to reclaim the public mantle of love, and people see opposition to gay marriage as hateful! We should support these laws to encourage Christians to give up hate!"

And so on, and so on.

To that, I'm going to come out with my own view on these matters: the Christian response to the SCOTUS decision should be to kick liberal Christians out of their churches.

It's a very easy line in the sand: if a person supports penalizing Christian businesses or churches for rejecting same-sex marriage, or refusing to provide service for a same-sex marriage, they should not be welcomed at a Church. In fact, they should be told to leave, and regarded as no longer a member of either that church, or the faith in general.

This is going to be called divisive by some. It is - it's a necessary dividing line. All manner of politics are things Christians can disagree over, but starting here is where the line must be. Once you support throwing the weight of the state against Christians for the crime of opposing anal sex, you're done. It makes for a reasonable enough yardstick to determine when someone has become, for all practical purposes, an ex-Christian.

Of course, I'm no clergy. I'm just one guy. But as of now, this is my own personal line in the sand: whoever gets behind these laws, this social vendetta, is no longer a Christian as far as I'm concerned. They're something else - some aberrant combination of Christianity-lite and Government.

Bureautheists, perhaps.