Sunday, August 30, 2015

The saddest thing about Donald Trump

...Is that he has no Christian doppelganger.

When everyone was outraged that a law in Indiana would protect Christians who didn't want to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, what public representative of Christianity stood up and said 'Fuck these corporations, this law is necessary and we should stand by it'? Instead we had people either going completely radio silent, or fretting about how they were being misrepresented.

Prominent Christian leaders of the past decade have been absolutely obsessed with appearing open-minded, civil and unwilling to cause offense to anyone except Christians. They apologize for everything, beg for forgiveness, and heap praise on people - even ideologies - that want to destroy them.

Regardless of how Trump's candidacy shakes out, I hope he imparts a lesson to at least some Christians that meekly seeking 'dialogue' with people who seek your ruin, and apologizing constantly for any effect the faith has had on the world, is not some master strategy that shows the world how humble you are and glorifies God with your meekness. It's merely pathetic.

26 comments:

B. Prokop said...

This is a rather insightful article about Trump that every Catholic ought to ponder.

Crude said...

You're right Bob, it is. It's a great explanation of why Trump is necessary right now.

I'm tired of being told endlessly how I need to sacrifice, to give up, to stop fighting, to not dare complain about immigration and other problems. I'm tired of jackasses saying 'White, nationalist and xenophobic' as if that ends debate, and that if I so much as disagree, I'm doing something wrong.

See, Bob, that whole article is predicated on a very nice, stark division:

White bad. Non-white good.
Christian bad. Non-Christian good.
Man bad. Woman good.
English bad. Spanish good.

And here's the beautiful thing: Trump's the first politician in a long while to say that's wrong. When the fake moralists show up and wag their fingers saying "You must apologize. You must give up! You're a bad person, and we're here to correct you.", he told them to get bent. They insisted he shut up and cower - he refused.

Which is why people forgive him over and over again: because he's not only doing something right, but something which most other people have been afraid to do. And that's precisely why guys like John Thatamanil are afraid of him. They're petrified of a world where they can't just say 'You're a racist and a xenophobe' and that ends the conversation.

Bob, you and yours are going to have to start admitting that Trump, and the people he represents, matter. That they have legitimate grievances which need to be heard and treated as real. Not passive aggressively told they're 'afraid of the other' by academics who are increasingly irrelevant. Not hypocritically told that 'we must all rise together or fall together' by people who cheer on the most openly racist non-white groups.

That's the funniest part. You don't like Trump? You don't like the attitude he has? Well, guess what. Guys like Thatamanil are the reason it's here.

B. Prokop said...

Trump is an enemy of the Catholic Church.

Crude said...

No, Bob. Your linked author is.

But here's the thing. I can't discuss this with you. I would actually love to, because I still have echoes of this idea that our faith in common - Catholicism, even Christianity - gives us a common ground to work with. Where I can explain my concerns, you can explain yours, and we can appreciate each other's sincere points.

It's echoes of a dead conviction. Liberal "Christians" have proven that it's utterly impossible, because they don't want discussion at all.

You won't discuss with me, just as your author doesn't offer a single rational point for his claims. It's all emotion and political allegiance for you. You don't have a single relevant reply to the points I'd make, because you have that liberal attitude where all you need to do is disqualify. 'You're against illegal immigration? Racist! There, I called you a racist, therefore nothing you say can matter.' There's no conversing with a person who operates like that. I've tried before, and even when I catch you in a blatant contradiction, you just quote Walt Whitman and act like irrationality is a virtue.

At the same time, I like you. I really do! So I can't answer you rhetoric with more rhetoric. It'd be effective, but it would cut. If this were a more public venue, I'd do so out of necessity. But it's just you, me, and maybe a handful of people who largely roll their eyes when you do this dance, so I can skip it.

But I will say this. That attitude you have is why Trump is where he is, and it's why he's changing the debate. Your kind has psychologically abused and bullied people for far too long, and it simply doesn't work anymore.

This all means nothing to you - you will not comprehend a word. But maybe, when in the next election you inevitably pull the lever for a candidate who proudly sends Christians to jail for opposing same-sex marriage and defends live birth abortions, you'll understand a glimmer of what I'm getting at here.

B. Prokop said...

"It's all ... political allegiance for you."

You persistently refuse to believe this, but I am apolitical. I do not view everything in the universe through a political lens. In fact, whole days go by without a political thought entering my head. And when one does, I show it the door.

You need to examine your conscience and decide which is more important to you - your faith or your politics. I made my decision more than a year ago (in fact, it might be several years ago now). I judge everything on whether or not it is compatible Christ's teachings and with His Church (Catholicism). No other criterion is of any importance.

I truly hope I'm wrong, but you appear to have other priorities.

Crude said...

You persistently refuse to believe this, but I am apolitical.

Sure, Bob. You say this, then you say 'I think the Second Amendment should be removed from the Constitution!' I call you out on this, and well, see the line about contradictions.

You need to examine your conscience and decide which is more important to you - your faith or your politics.

There's zero incompatibility between Christ's teachings, the Church's teachings and Trump's desire to deport illegal immigrants and build a wall. Go ahead, try to find one. At best, you're going to get papal political thoughts, which aren't 'my faith'. At worst, you're going to get schpiel like you linked, which amounts to 'If you oppose illegal immigration in any way, you're a dirty racist, shame on you'.

Here, tell you what. I think the wall we build along the border should only be as high as the wall around Vatican City.

Crude said...

By the way - I love the mix of 'I am utterly, totally apolitical' and 'If you support Trump you are not a Catholic and are a traitor to God and the faith'. Bold move.

I notice also that you're freaking out about Trump, but the fact that the entirety of the Democratic's running slate is virulently pro legal abortion doesn't so much as make you bat an eye.

A bit of their policy in action, in case you missed it.

Now, please perform that Catholic leftist move where at once it's crucifying Christ all over again to so much as have a secure country border, but the legal killing of infants for profit is a moral grey area, and besides, each and every woman who has ever gotten an abortion in history only did so after being forced at gunpoint by her abusive boyfriend.

B. Prokop said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Crude said...

Bob,

I'm tired of this, and I'm not going to be drawn into another pointless discussion with you.

I laid down my challenge: There's zero incompatibility between Christ's teachings, the Church's teachings and Trump's desire to deport illegal immigrants and build a wall. Go ahead, try to find one. At best, you're going to get papal political thoughts, which aren't 'my faith'. At worst, you're going to get schpiel like you linked, which amounts to 'If you oppose illegal immigration in any way, you're a dirty racist, shame on you'.

Here, tell you what. I think the wall we build along the border should only be as high as the wall around Vatican City.


If you can't show where securing the border conflicts with Church teaching, we're done. My guess: your best shot will be to argue that 'it's mean', and Christ was never mean, ergo it's unChristian.

Feel free to tell me that you also will oppose Bernie Sanders come hell or highwater. He is, after all, an agnostic jew - further away from Christian than Trump is, even on the worst reading.

B. Prokop said...

"doesn't so much as make you bat an eye"

It not only makes me "bat an eye" - it make me cringe. But I don't see the alternative as being any improvement. I have zero tolerance for conspiracy theories, but it's almost as if the two parties got together somewhere and divided up how they could most offend all voters.

Stalin actually did something quite similar in the old Soviet Union. There was a conscious, deliberate government policy of making day to day life impossible without breaking a few laws along the way. This was so that every citizen would always feel guilty about something (and they could always pin something on anyone). That's the situation every thoughtful American voter is in today. It is impossible to actually vote for anyone. You are forever voting against someone.

B. Prokop said...

"Feel free to tell me that you also will oppose Bernie Sanders"

I don't know enough about Bernie Sanders to have an opinion about him one way or the other.

Crude said...

It not only makes me "bat an eye" - it make me cringe. But I don't see the alternative as being any improvement.

And there we have it.

How dare you support Trump, he said he never really felt the need for forgiveness, that's totally incompatible with Church teaching and you can't vote for him if you're a faithful Catholic!

Making slaughtering infants illegal is just as bad as keeping it legal! You can totally support someone who favors killing infants for profit, and still be a completely faithful Catholic!

Like I said - you don't have any actual argument to provide. It's just emotion, fury and illogic. And, as Trump has shown, people just aren't as afraid of that as they used to be.

Crude said...

It not only makes me "bat an eye" - it make me cringe. But I don't see the alternative as being any improvement.

'Trump said he never felt the need to ask for forgiveness! Wicked immoral monster, he rejects Christ!'

"Oh, Sanders is an agnostic jew. So I guess you can't support him either."

'Now now, let's not be so hasty...'

Hilarious.

B. Prokop said...

"Sanders is an agnostic Jew."

I had no idea that he was until you wrote that. I haven't been paying any attention to him. (I guess that could count as hilarious.)

Crude said...

I had no idea that he was until you wrote that. I haven't been paying any attention to him. (I guess that could count as hilarious.)

Splendid. Then you're well aware now.

So, can Sanders be supported?

ccmnxc said...

Well, since my knowledge of the issues surrounding immigration is practically nil, let me try my hand at this and see where it goes:
My tentative personal position is that we ought to restrict illegal access into the country (build a wall, put up more guards, whatever - my thought on this particular point is pretty inchoate right now), but we should open up legal immigration to a greater degree and and allow illegal immigrants who are here and are innocent of any criminal activity to stay. Insofar as many of these people are effectively refugees of financial and sociopolitical turmoil, we ought, given the principle of subsidiarity as well as care for the alien, to grant them refuge in the US, where we allow local governments to respond to the needs of the local immigrant populace as needed and only call on state and federal aid when it is too much for the local authorities to reasonable handle. This is my general position as informed by Catholic teaching, but I am certainly open to critique.

Thoughts?

Crude said...

but we should open up legal immigration to a greater degree and and allow illegal immigrants who are here and are innocent of any criminal activity to stay.

Alright. I completely disagree - I think they should be sent back, the wall put up, and any legal immigration system we have must be balanced with the interest of American citizens in mind. They're already guilty of breaking various laws: illegal immigration itself, working under the table, and more.

where we allow local governments to respond to the needs of the local immigrant populace

We can repatriate them, and their local governments can respond to their own needs. It's going to be tremendously hard to square the principle of subsidiarity with the claim that a local government has a duty to help people who hail from thousands of miles away, with a different culture, different language, and often a different religion besides, particularly ones moving en masse and only present because of an intentional dereliction of duty on the part of the authorities at every level of government.

I claim that my position is in no way a violation of Catholic teaching, and is in greater line with the principle of subsidiarity than the alternative.

Crude said...

For the record - I'm not saying that support of illegal immigration runs contrary to Catholic teaching, though I can damn well make a case that it's utterly immoral. But this idea that only the wicked and impure of heart oppose it is insane.

And the so common move of 'If you oppose illegal immigration you're a racist' is directly tied to Trump's rise, as is the PC culture in general, which at its heart is a perverted form of moralizing.

ccmnxc said...

For the record - I'm not saying that support of illegal immigration runs contrary to Catholic teaching, though I can damn well make a case that it's utterly immoral.

If possible, do you think you might be able to briefly lay out that case? Like I said, this is all pretty tentative for me, and I guess I am tending to default to the USCCB's preferred view.

Thanks.

Syllabus said...

FWIW:

If I were at all convinced that Trump believes even 10% of what he's swearing up and down and up and down that he believes, I'd be inclined to maybe consider him as anything other than an idiot blowhard.

But I don't. I don't believe he has (hardly -- I will hedge here because I might be wrong) any coherent political principles other than "I'll say/do/profess whatever I think will get people to vote for Donald Trump", and that he figures that it'll be easier to exploit the anger and (quite legitimate) pent-up frustration of the Republican/conservative base. I believe this because if you look at the positions he held until like 5 minutes ago (progressive income tax, for instance, or his record on things like eminent domain, single-payer health care, 2nd Amendment, etc) he has almost uniformly either center-left or whole-hog statist.

Now, I suppose one could say "what does it matter that he has had positions different from the ones he takes now? People change!" And this is true, to an extent. But I don't for a damned second believe that Trump changed his mind because of some ideological parousia: he changed it out of raw self-interest. Which means that the second he gets to the White House and figures out that it's more narcissistically expedient to take left-leaning positions, I am pretty damned sure that he'd take it in a second. Really the only value the man has as a candidate is to serve as the id of the conservative movement and to shift the Overton window on issues like, say, deportation or walls (both of which I find at least on the face of it reasonable, if not automatically correct, positions).

Other than that, he's a fucking grifter, and the second professing conservatism ceases to be personally profitable to his Jupiter-sized ego, he'll drop it in a second. That's not to say any of the alternatives are good, or even necessarily desirable in themselves. But whatever we really need right now as a rallying figure, Trump ain't it.

Crude said...

Syllabus,

I realize, that I'm making a big gamble here. I don't for a moment believe with a convinced heart and mind that Trump is sincere in his positions. But I'm willing to gamble, and part of the reason for that is I have no realistic alternatives.

Plus, he's already producing tangible results, now. I think it's true that Trump is the one who put the immigration issue on the map. I think it was an act of fortitude for him to withstand that initial onslaught of hate and denunciation he had for simply pointing out that some illegal immigrants are, in fact, bad people - and that we have a right to protect ourselves from illegal immigration. Hell, I even think he's indirectly responsible for Boehner getting ousted.

And as an aside... there's no real alternatives. Jeb? Rubio? Effing Fiorina? Carson I like, but I don't see it happening. Cruz I wonder about, and even Paul doesn't seem to have the fire for it.

But it's the positions I'll defend here, and it's those positions which Trump gets attacked on. Wrongly. He's actually fighting back, and he did so even when the world was against him. That much I respect greatly.

Crude said...

ccmnxc,

Not a problem. Pardon me if I seem stern on this. No disrespect intended, sincerely.

Syllabus said...

But it's the positions I'll defend here,

OK, but which ones? Again, recall that a) his tax paper is... well, I'm not an economist, but it looks damned fishy, b) he pretty much came out and said in one of the debates (I can't remember which, the first I think) that you could rip him for supporting single-payer, but it works pretty well in Canada and in Scotland, c) he gets the words of the 2nd Amendment flat wrong in his position paper... but I shan't multiply examples past that.

I suspect that you mean the immigration positions, and as far as that goes, I'm not unsympathetic -- but, seriously, if you want that you could go for Jindal, say, and get essentially the same position. Does it really boil down to a single issue? I mean, I get that it's an important one, but I don't see it outweighing the detriments of having that ludicrous ass in office. And if the response is that "well, Jindal wouldn't win in the primary", that would commit you to the view that Trump can, which strikes me on the order of saying "tomorrow a teapot will be found orbiting the moon".

Crude said...

b) he pretty much came out and said in one of the debates (I can't remember which, the first I think) that you could rip him for supporting single-payer, but it works pretty well in Canada and in Scotland,

I despise Obamacare and socialized medicine. But frankly? The GOP has signaled that they've given up on the issue completely. If that wasn't bad enough, the SCOTUS outright made it clear that there's no overturning Obamacare either. It's not an issue that motivates me anymore. Rather like how you don't see me agitating for gay marriage to be outlawed. I oppose it, but I need to oppose it in new ways; the old ways are denied to me.

I think his tax paper is fine enough. Not ideal, but also not bad. I'd like to see it paired with additional welfare reform.

c) he gets the words of the 2nd Amendment flat wrong in his position paper..

That's not really a concern to me. A minor gaffe maybe, but what he promised on the 2nd amendment, particularly with regards to concealed carry, is fantastic.

I suspect that you mean the immigration positions, and as far as that goes, I'm not unsympathetic -- but, seriously, if you want that you could go for Jindal, say, and get essentially the same position.

Not really, and Jindal hasn't paid it the attention necessary. No one but Trump did. Even Cruz didn't - I do not appreciate his supposed trick of 'I totally oppose illegal immigration. See, what we need is massively more -legal- immigration.' Not to mention his last-minute about-face on TPP, unsurprisingly the moment it was clear that his vote wasn't needed to pass it anyway.

Does it really boil down to a single issue? I mean, I get that it's an important one, but I don't see it outweighing the detriments of having that ludicrous ass in office.

It's not just a single issue. It's an attitude and a change of culture. I would sacrifice the next ten presidential elections if, in exchange, I was able to direct and change the culture in the ways I think are necessary. The culture is all I really cared about. Change that, and laws melt.

And if the response is that "well, Jindal wouldn't win in the primary", that would commit you to the view that Trump can, which strikes me on the order of saying "tomorrow a teapot will be found orbiting the moon".

I think, at this point, anyone who would claim the certainty of Trump's failure should at least have a moment's pause. The man's had more premature obituaries than Houdini.

Already, I see Trump's presence and influence in the race as having had positive effects on the culture, invigorated the morale of people who need and deserve it, and even in toppling Boehner. He's put Jeb, who I politically despise, on the ropes. Rubio may well be next.

Trump, just by running, has led to more cultural victories than I can recall in eight years of a W presidency.

I fail to see a reason I should support anyone else at this point.

Syllabus said...

I think, at this point, anyone who would claim the certainty of Trump's failure should at least have a moment's pause. The man's had more premature obituaries than Houdini.

Right, but that's in polling of "likely Republican voters" -- which tend to be kind of bad/unrepresentative of the public at large or even the actual Republican voters -- not the Republican primary, still less the general election. My statement concerns the latter, and I'll stand by it. Though I will admit to being somewhat astounded at how much shit that man can get away with saying.

But I want to return to something else you said earlier:

For the record - I'm not saying that support of illegal immigration runs contrary to Catholic teaching, though I can damn well make a case that it's utterly immoral. But this idea that only the wicked and impure of heart oppose it is insane.

I agree with pretty much everything you're saying there, with the obvious caveat that I'm not a Catholic. But... at this point that's not all he's saying. He's saying that, if elected, he's going to send back all the Syrian refugees we've taken in.

Now, I'll easily go on record as thinking that taking in a volume of refugees that the administration and a lot of people on the left want us to take in is problematic at best and completely stupid at worst. I'll even go on record as saying that, yeah, there very well might be Islamic extremists intermingled with the refugees. That strikes me as a very plausible proposition.

But... I mean, watch the video, man. He's not saying "we'll deport the extremists", he's saying "we'll deport all of'em". These are refugees, not illegal immigrants. You might argue that the unilateral actions of the administration in taking them in are illegitimate, and I'm pretty sympathetic to that line of argumentation, but we're talking about sending these people back into a war zone. Not just a war zone, but directly in the path of the most brutal motherfuckers to pollute the planet since Imperial Japan, or maybe longer. That moves the conversation from "there's absolutely nothing intrinsically immoral or contrary to Catholic/Christian teachings in deporting illegal immigrants and building a wall", with which I'd agree, to ""there's absolutely nothing intrinsically immoral or contrary to Catholic/Christian teachings in deporting refugees from Syria and putting'em back in the path of ISIS", which strikes me as at the very fucking least really suspect, and at worst flat-out wrong.

Crude said...

Right, but that's in polling of "likely Republican voters" -- which tend to be kind of bad/unrepresentative of the public at large or even the actual Republican voters -- not the Republican primary, still less the general election. My statement concerns the latter, and I'll stand by it.

Considering how awful everyone's been in predicting Trump's demise at this point, I think my skepticism at forecasts of inevitable doom is justified. I also heard how Hillary was inevitable, and I laughed at that - they called her inevitable in 2008 as well.

But frankly, even putting all that aside? I would rather run with Trump and face election defeat than win with Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. I repeat - if I have to choose between Hillary and Jeb - hell, SANDERS and Jeb - I'll hope Jeb goes down in flames, and causes a rupture in the party. I am not beholden to the game of 'vote for whoever is marginally better'. I want something more than that.

But... I mean, watch the video, man. He's not saying "we'll deport the extremists", he's saying "we'll deport all of'em". These are refugees, not illegal immigrants.

Are these the same refugees that are currently flooding Europe? Overwhelmingly male in their 30s and younger, overwhelmingly muslim? I question their refugee status if so. And I likewise question America's moral obligation to not just host them, but host them in our country. If America is a universal camp for the world's miserable, then we're done as a nation - there is no lack of miserable people who not only want to come here, but increasingly are capable of it.

My sole point of hesitation is that idiotic foreign policy by both Bush and Trump has made life hell for Christians in that region. I'd sympathize with taking in Syrian Christians - which, I recall, some Europeans (otherwise hostile to immigration) said as well. But that's not what's being asked here.

And further? I know better. I know that whatever sympathy I have for the Syrian Christians makes political cynics' eyes light up. The line comes, 'Well, if you want to help then, then take in the Syrians! Oh, but, you can't just select the Christians. You have to take them all, even though the Christians will be at best a modest fraction of the total. And sure, the total will include economic refugees too - you can't expect people in a warzone to have papers. And so long as you're taking THEM in, I'll have you know the Mexican Drug War is every bit as bad as Syria, so...'

So no. The terms on which I'd agree to help Syrian refugees are terms which are not an option. The terms which are, are too high of a price. Blame the people looking to defeat, by any fucking means necessary, the push to end illegal immigration. Blame that idiot Beck going on TV and wailing about the poor children coming over the border (ignoring how many were teenagers with gang affiliations) and how we all had to have a heart and help, when suspiciously Beck doesn't give a flying fuck when they're not at our border. If their plight is so important, set up camps and locations somewhere else in the world - ANYwhere else but in our country, complete with citizenship, voting rights, welfare and more.

But few people care about that. They only seem to care right at that critical point when their geolocation intersects with a few other compatible interests. Funny how that works.