Gloria Patri: glory to the father. Jim Geraghty at National Review hits on a fundamental illness affecting America:
A historically literate conservative stands on a soapbox, addressing a crowd.
‘As Americans, we are born free men and women. Our rights are endowed by our Creator, and our forefathers fought and died to protect that principle,’ he pleads. ‘We do not need a nanny state! We are not children! The state is not our family! The president is not our father!’
To which all the Donald Trump supporters in the audience reply: ‘Daddy’s going to win! Daddy’s going to win! Hooray!’
It’s not hard to find Trump supporters who describe their preferred candidate in such directly paternal terms.
Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos has, in fact, taken to calling Trump ‘daddy.’ Jamiel Shaw, Sr., the father of a high school student killed by an illegal immigrant, told CNN that he thinks of Trump ‘as a father figure’ even though the two are similar in age. ‘He’s the kind of man you would want to be your dad,’ Shaw said. ‘He’s the father figure I always wanted,’ supporter Catherine Leafe told the Boston Globe. ‘I feel like he’s protecting me.’
Even Trump’s longtime employees see him as more than a boss: Michael Cohen, Trump’s Special Counsel and Executive Vice President, said, ‘To those of us who are close to Mr. Trump, he is more than our boss. He is our patriarch.’
Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, who predicted Trump’s rise early, sums up the probable general-election matchup nicely:
‘So when we have Trump versus Clinton, assuming they get to the final match, it’s going to look like mom versus dad. Now, they’re not going to say that, but in our minds we’re going to start seeing them that way. And the thing about dad is that dad is kind of an a-hole, but if you need dad to take care of some trouble, he’s going to be the one you call.
Our father. A patriarch. Donald Trump—or Barack Obama, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Hillary Clinton, any politician—madness.
I fear America is too far gone to be saved. I fear we deserve that for which we clamor. Most of all, I fear we’re going to get it, good and hard.
Politicians are not our fathers or mothers. They are nothing more than hired hands, employees we hire to represent our interests, and the corporate interests of America. They are not our moral, intellectual betters. Together, they form a government and we must ever keep in mind one unassailable fact: government has no conscience. It cares nothing for any individual. Politicians may often claim to care deeply about the welfare of “the people,” but that doesn’t mean individual people. It can’t mean individual people.
As long as we have the Constitution and the rule of law, the rights of the individual stand and may not be arbitrarily abrogated (I know; I’m speaking of theory. In an age of unrestrained executive orders and the administrative state, we may already have lost all). All a father-figure politician can do is provide the illusion of caring, distract us from all that is already lost and all that he intends to take.
True, the best politicians—think an Abraham Lincoln—can make a difference, save a nation, can turn it around. In that case, we have hired the right man at the right time, a man who is not only a great manager, but one willing to put the nation’s needs ahead of his own. As great as Ronald Reagan was, he made fundamental mistakes. One would hope that the Secret Service, like the Praetorian Guard, would, from time to time, whisper to the President “remember: thou art mortal.”
Who can imagine any Secret Service agent saying that to Barack Obama continuing on the presidential detail a second after whispering those words?
Of what value is a father whose solution to any problem is a slogan? Iran is days away from deliverable nuclear weapons? “I’m going to make America great again!” Uh, OK, but how? “Because I will! You won’t believe how great America will be! Remember 7-11!”
However, when a significant portion of America begins to think politicians fathers and mothers, saviors, super-human beings that will protect and nurture them and set everything aright, it’s reasonable to ask whether our national character continues to exist? Is the America of our grandfathers and fathers, the America of self-reliance, assimilation and national pride, gone forever? Have we lost it, little by little without ever noticing it slipping through our grasp?
Are we so enervated, so hopeless and helpless we look to fast talking con men, criminals, liars and moral reprobates, people without understanding or moral depth, to save us from ourselves? Do we recognize that we cannot turn to ourselves for sustenance or salvation? Is our fate utterly in the hands of others, as progressives would have it?
Are we, finally, reduced to hoping against hope that the next president won’t do as much damage as the previous, or as fast? How long can America survive that debilitating deluge of dissolution?
Gloria Patri—and Kyrie eleison (Glory to the Father–and Lord have mercy).