How the Fourth of July Ends… and Begins

I have yet to recover fully from a long, long, painfully one-sided phone conversation with a close family member (too close to be avoided).  Trump Derangement Syndrome suddenly became a very personal—and not at all funny—reality for me.  The Russians stole the election… the man is an idiot, an absolute idiot (expressed mostly in unprintable terms)… all of his appointees are incompetent lackeys… the only reason he interests himself in foreign affairs is to brag about his deal-making skills… oh, and the Russians authored about nine out of every ten votes cast for him.

Why career women of a certain age, single and childless, so often have this response to Donald Trump is a source of mystification for me.  It appears that any man now who issues a firm “no” on any subject is something like a rapist, while only women are allowed to display such coarse “manly” behavior as dropping f-bombs.  That’s my best guess: something Freudian.  Something to do with two generations of deadbeat dads, invertebrate male “feminists”, and all those bestial Spring Breaks in college. Something intricately connected to the rich heritage of the Sexual Revolution. Donald Trump (for whom I didn’t vote in ‘16, by the way, and whose habits and manners are not such as I taught my son) is at once the father who abandoned his little girl and the frat rat whom Tammy found sprawled beside her on Saturday morning in a naked stupor. The Donald signifies a roadblock in the utter feminization of the West with his Wall and his calling out of “fakeness”—but also the motive force behind the #MeToo movement with his unchivalrous crudity.

My point in raising the subject to begin this essay is that the alienated, frustrated, simmering-aggressive single/urban female isn’t a demographic which promises to slip into recession any time soon.  Trump may win again in ‘20.  My money is on his doing so (and, yes, he’ll get my vote this time).  But what about ‘24?  The man is already something of a pariah in his own party.  Do we really expect “collaborators” of the Paul Ryan/Mitch McConnell stamp to disappear in half a decade?  Mitt Romney is clearly betting that they won’t.  Water always runs to the lowest ground… and politicians always find settled, stagnant water.

Consider John Roberts, that highly useful tool of Barack Obama’s who has perhaps done more to sap the republic’s foundation than any man (Obama included) except George Soros.  Or consider what Roberts represents: an ever more politicized judiciary elected by no one and embarked upon a lifelong wooing of good press from beltway media.  Or consider the mainstream news media: as cliquish, elitist, pampered, and unprincipled a band of slander-smiths as ever assassinated reality to build palaces of utopian ordure.  Does anyone seriously suppose that the dominance, not just of network news, but now of social media by such clever little Paul de Mans is trending in a downward direction?

Who will chasten that class?  The judiciary?  Who will compel the judiciary to uphold the law?  Congress?  Who will persuade Congress to execute its constitutional duties rather than finesse donors and secure a spot in the evolving oligarchy?  The voters?  Who will give to masses of voters the genuine facts they need rather than the panem-et-circenses titillation they suckle from their “smartphones”?

If it comes to that… will not a vast herd of college-graduated numbskulls and lonely, bitter social flotsam whose only comfort is electronic escapism actually need something like a nanny-platoon of authoritarian aunts and uncles to tell them what to eat, when to sleep, and which bathroom to use?

I look high and low for reasons to feel optimistic about the nation’s future.  I can’t find them.  Even among Trump’s supporters, I see too many who have posted on Facebook or Twitter doctored photos of the man kneeling with a Bible or crossing the Delaware in a skiff’s prow.  Messianism doesn’t strike me as a very healthy approach to government in a free American citizen.

And exactly what “nation” am I talking about?  Which are you talking about when you say “United States”?  Forget about leaving newborns to die on the table as mother and doctor have a “quiet conversation” (if you can forget about it… but which of us is able to?).  Forget about the Betsy Ross flag now being “code” for slavery, the word “owner” being a “dog whistle” for slavery, the cotton in your Tylenol bottle being semaphore for slavery.  (Yes, yes, my neighbor’s great-great grandparents may have been slaves!  Oh, the horror!  Oh, the atrocity unparalleled in human history!  Just kill us all and desecrate our mass grave!)  What about the conservative columnist I once admired whose new site publishes articles advising men my son’s age on how to get hot chicks into bed?  Or what about our activist Christian ministers who demand that the border be thrown wide open because some children are sleeping on concrete floors?  (You should try it some time: the only sleep I ever got while serving in one of my jobs-from-hell was on a thinly carpeted concrete floor, because a “comfortable” bed let my thoughts out by the hundred to haunt me.)

All the statistical curves are indicating the collapse—the dissolution—of a culture, and hence of a political unit; for what enduring marriage have you seen where one partner takes in random conquests of any sex while the other fasts and prays?

I wrote last week about what a mug’s game prediction is.  Yet as your luxurious jetliner takes a very slow, smooth, inexorable plunge into the deep blue sea, you can hardly help but ponder the nature of the splashdown.  Must all aboard inevitably die?  Might there be a survival strategy?  (But the passengers on either side of you have decided that they have time to finish their movie.)

I don’t think it’s an utterly sterile exercise, at any rate, to acknowledge certain facts.  For instance, our economy is obviously slated for collapse as we go surging past 22 trillion in debt (without factoring in unfunded liabilities).  The hardest hit will be the dependent class: those, in other words, whose numbers the Democrats want to multiply exponentially and at breakneck speed.  They will be crammed into urban centers where—already as things cruise along—rent is exorbitant, food expensive, heating or cooling often a necessity at certain times of year, self-defense a pressing concern, and clean air not available for love nor money.  Once they’ve voted invincible Democrat majorities into both houses, as per The Plan, they will serve no further purpose to anyone.  Of course, they won’t die quietly as “favors” replace rent, food goes black-market, the only heating is an open fire, cops are run over for their weapons, and tap water breeds cholera.  They will fragment into gangs, take massively to the streets in riots… and martial law will be declared, hundreds will bleed out on the sidewalks, elections will be suspended indefinitely—and Bob’s your uncle, as the Brits say.  Uncle Bob, also known as Big Brother and Peerless Leader.

Certain trends will nosedive right into an unforeseen but permanent resolution, just like our hypothetical jetliner.  We really don’t have to worry about LGBTQXYZ culture further appropriating our civilization, because its legions will die childless.  The ruling class itself will probably average about .2 children per… per ménage (I almost wrote “couple”, in a naive archaism).  The masses bleeding out on the sidewalks will continue to reproduce lustily—but to what end?  Like stray dogs, that unhappy generation will be set free to scavenge and dodge the bullets of guards mounted over gated neighborhoods.

Forget about the university’s subversion of our cultural life, as well.  Not only will there be nothing left to subvert by this point; to the extent that “free college for all” was realized before the collapse, “college for nobody” will have blossomed naturally out of “college for everybody”.  The student mob will no more sit still to learn about Queer Theory than about String Theory.  Campuses will merely be uneasy holding pens for cattle awaiting slaughter. Education of a dazzlingly Mandarin technocratic sort will be available as on-the-job training in nameless, numbered bunkers where an elite few learn to develop whatever-the-hell it was that cruised over Arizona during the Phoenix Lights in 1997.  As for Shakespeare… who?  (If you haven’t noticed, Shakespeare is already Who?.)

And then… and then, there are those of us who live in smaller towns and strewn about the countryside.  The rural and semi-rural Deplorables.  Here’s where the story-line departs from that dystopia novel which your Kindle keeps teasing every time your power up (featuring a feminist vampire with an AR-15 perched on her shapely hip—for even social meltdown is just another “narrative” to us now).  I actually believe in the boondocks.  I don’t think people will be killing and plundering here, or certainly not at megalopolitan levels.  I think, clinging to their guns and Bibles, they will feed the hungry and shelter the homeless to the best of their ability.  Even today, at this instant, the most rabid Build the Damn Wall enthusiast you know, if he’s a farmer or a rancher, wouldn’t call the Patrol right off if a family of illegals staggered in dying of thirst.  He’d see them brought in from the sun and fed properly.  That’s how people—how Americans—are when you exit the city on an interstate and then exit the interstate.

I’m not saying the people are basically good (calm down, Dennis Prager): I’m saying that, where they develop calluses supplying their table with food and know that manure makes excellent fertilizer, they learn far more humanity than any college teaches.

I think the boondocks may be okay.  They—we—will have rainwater to filter and drink.  We have almonds, walnuts, and pecans for protein.  (I have two trees each of the former kinds and four pecans, which are my weakness.)  An open fire isn’t a problem out here… but most of us have chimneys.  Naturally, progressive politicians hate our guts, thanks to our relative independence of centralized delivery systems for supplying needs.  (Oprah’s Stooge of the Month last October, Stacey Abrams, was caught on video patronizing an audience with the words, “I don’t want you living on farms!”)  Naturally, the oligarchy will favor any sort of program that casually thins us out. In fact, the devout dystopian will protest, “But they’ll get you—they’ll pick you off like fish in a barrel!  Think of all the drones over your farmland!  Think of the… whatever-the-hell was over Phoenix in 1997, three decades farther along!”

The thing about death rays, even state-of-the-art ones (indeed, especially those), is that they’re expensive.  The oligarchs of Megalopolis will be keeping their lasers dry for more important targets than Leesboro (still bearing a Confederate general’s name) with its trove of pawpaws and polk salad.  They’ll probably be laying plans to zap each other, as far as that goes.

For a final fact about human nature—and it is a fact, and in its very pessimism lies hope: the oligarchs will never get what they want because they cannot get it.  Each of them wants, above all, to be the last oligarch standing: the supreme autocrat.  But even that position rolls at the feet of God’s throne like a dust ball—and they expect it to be nothing less than God’s throne.  All of them want to be God.  We know how that ends up, every time.  Julius Caesar could not be God, though he left tens of millions of uprooted and starving Gauls in his wake… and Gallia somehow remained Gallic after his murder.  Stalin shook his fist at God on his deathbed… and died, leaving millions of not-quite-starved peasants to survive on the taiga and scattered through the Caucasus.  Even Hitler could not kill every Jew; even Mao could not kill everyone capable of thought.  Trying to scale to heaven on a mountain of corpses is a surefire means of suicide.

And if they kill me… well, I would have died, anyway.  We all die.  But my son will not die.  Or if they kill him, then others like him will come and harvest my pecans, and survive.  An entire nation will die—but then, nations always die.  This nation already lies on a cot immobilized by its mass of gangrenous limbs (and unable even to shake a fist at heaven).  A figure sits at its bedside, however.  At the right time, that figure will cover the dead man’s face with a sheet, rise up, and leave to tend the garden.

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