The Right’s Turn to Be Boromir

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It’s been building, but over the past few days, especially, those on the right who are Trump-leaning (or at least Trump-curious) have been pushing lines and rhetoric that, as somebody who agrees with much of what they say much of the time, I find disconcerting.

For example, Ann Coulter — the not-so-affable Eva Braun for Donald Trump — says Fox News’s Megyn Kelly and Republican presidential Ted Cruz are “traitors.”  Then there’s Gateway Pundit’s clipped and slowed evidence supposedly showing that Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, never “even bumped” reporter Michelle Fields. The videos actually support her allegations and show that Lewandowski and Trump have been pushing a lie as they’ve simultaneously attempted a Clintonian smear of Fields.

The latest example is the Drudge Report’s picking up a left-wing lie that Cruz took the stage at the recent National Religious Liberties Conference right after Kevin Swanson “call[ed] for the execution of gays.”  As I explained on Twitter, I don’t like Swanson’s style, his rhetoric leaves much to be desired, and (from my limited experience with his work) I suspect I differ significantly in my theology, but the extended clip from Swanson’s speech shows that he explicitly stated that he is not calling for the execution of gays and, moreover, that he told the audience that heterosexual sinfulness with adultery and pornography addiction is not much different at all from the sins of homosexuals and we should hope and strive for the sinful to repent and thereby avoid eternal damnation.

Indeed, even that extended clip (also from a left-wing source) is abbreviated, and the way it starts with the word “yes” suggests that Swanson’s entire spiel may have been intended to explain why Biblical passages regarding homosexuality shouldn’t be taken as a mandate for Old Testament prescriptions in the modern era.  To be sure, he doesn’t disclaim the entire Bible in order to make his case, but that shouldn’t be a problem outside of the fevered secularist Left.

I fear that parts of the American Right are becoming like Boromir in Lord of the Rings, when he attempted to grab the Ring of Power from Frodo… but only to use it for a little while and in the service of good.  J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel makes clear a point that conservatives have generally understood:  An aggressive lust for strength and power is natural, but its emergence should be taken as a warning sign that something is amiss.

Something is definitely amiss with Donald Trump’s charge into politics if conservatives are losing sight of that lesson.



  • 13citizen13

    I just don’t understand the whole Trump issue. “Trump’s charge into politics” – I see this as a positive. I thought our government was supposed to be populated by regular people who took time from their job/profession in order to serve. It has morphed into a political class that is totally separate and above the people is was meant to serve.

    Detractors are using talking points that attribute Trump’s past situations as a businessman to his current positions as a POTUS candidate. I understand assessing someone’s past to predict that person’s future actions, but do it intelligently and don’t cherry pick. There’s no way to know with surety what Trump will do if in the WH – it’s a total crap shoot. Will he do what’s necessary to put this country back on track? He says he will. He’s saying the right things. Nobody knows for sure, but they’re hoping he’s being honest.

    One thing Trump is doing that no other candidate is doing – putting America and Americans first. I see the media bashing nationalism like it’s some horrible thought. Nobody but Trump is saying that America takes precedence over all else.

    The federal government has become a sovereign entity. It no longer has any connection to the American people. It (its members) is more concerned with its power, its money, and its place in global concerns. People see Trump as someone who at least has a chance of disrupting, if not destroying, that entity and returning control of the US to its people.

    This is how I see the situation. I think I have a lot of company on this.

    • Rhett Hardwick

      You have my company in this. I have long thought of the federal government as a foreign power occupying the United States; doling out benefice according to a formula I cannot fathom.

      As to backgrounds, please point out anything compellingly presidential in backgrounds of these Washington, Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Wilson, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan.

      • 13citizen13

        “Presidential” today means career politician, polished, censored speech, politically correct, member of “the club”. Trump is presidential in a completely different sense: experienced, respected, has presence, intelligent, knows what he doesn’t know.

    • Mario

      Nationalism isn’t patriotism. People get confused now because the idea of an ethnocentric state is largely past, but for a good number of people, particularly Trump followers, “America” is explicitly white. We have seen this story before — it never ends well.

      • Rhett Hardwick

        I take it you mean by “explicitly white” that there are racist undertones to his campaign. I would suggest that he is espousing values readily understood by those of European descent. If the “idea of an ethnocentric state is largely past” I would challenge you to name a multi-ethnic state as successful as our own. By “ethnic”, do you mean “racial”? The only example I can think of is Brazil, which hobbles along because of huge arable areas and abundant natural resources. As I write this, huge crowds are assembled in their capital demanding the ouster of their President.

        • Mario

          All multi-ethnic states seem successful until a demagogue comes along to exploit temporary economic problems and latent racial tensions to seize power. The message is always the same: our country would be stronger if there were more of us and fewer of them. And the result is the same as well… Bosnia, Sudan, Rwanda.

          Trump knows what he’s doing. That’s the scariest part.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            I ask you to name successful multi ethnic states and you respond with “Bosnia, Sudan and Rwanda”? Bosnia is too newly created to really be credited with a history, Muslims were injected into their society during the 17th century Muslim attempt to conquer Europe., The Sudan has not been united since the Mahdi’s men killed Chinese Gordon, that unification only lasted about 10 years. Bosnia, before the introduction of DNA their war was hailed as a “civil war” until it was discovered that the Hutus and Tutsis were of different ethnic stock. So, what “multi ethnic states seem successful”?

          • Mario

            I don’t understand your question. You want a white nationalist uprising to destroy the stability of the United States and still somehow claim credit for its relative ethnic harmony? The United States has been very successful so far, I think we agree, but what makes you so confident that that success would continue under the management of a racial grievance regime?

          • Rhett Hardwick

            It is handy and trendy to perceive a racial divide. One could also look at it as a divide between “makers” and “takers”. Whites and Asians tend to be well represented in the “makers”, other groups are over represented in the “takers”. Last night I stopped at a Stop & Shop in Attleboro. Along with the price is advice as to whether am item is “WIC Approved”. Something has gone very wrong. Working people whose friends have lost their jobs to China, and who fear for their own, are concerned by these things. Those who do not participate in the workforce are probably not much concerned.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            “I don’t understand your question.”
            OK, I will try it again. Could you name a multi ethnic society that operates as a fully functioning democracy, and does not have deep European toots. It might almost be fair to say Northern European roots as those former Spanish colonies only seem to operate as democracies between coups. I would guess that Europeans are on to something, and if we squeeze them out or “Marginalize” them) it may be at our peril. If you regard the founding fathers as “Dead White Males” does American Scripture resonate with you?

          • Mario

            I don’t think Europeans are on to something at all. The genius of America is that it takes ideas that work from anyone that has them. It is a culture of change and adaptability. I wouldn’t take issue if you said that that idea itself was English in origin, though.

            America was founded by merging English common law with Roman, Greek, & French political philosophies. Now, though, the country is largely populated by Germans, Irish, and other groups who, frankly, added very little of value to the governing philosophy. The fact that the original ideas were heavily European was more an accident of geography than anything. In fact, I would suggest that you would not have seen so much European settlement of America had that continent been better managed. So European success here is a kind of mirror to European political failures elsewhere.

            So, no, I don’t think the ethnic makeup of the country is even slightly important as long as the culture persists, and that culture has heavily African and Jewish influences now, just as it will have others in the future, and is all the more stronger for it. The only thing that threatens to stop it is the occasionally popular idea that the culture needed to be preserved, which is antithetical to the element of adaptability that originally made it so strong.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            I think the history of the world indicates ethnically similar cultures enjoy the most success, perhaps because they deny a foothold to demagogues. It is not the case that “diversity is our strength”, our strength is forming a common culture from diverse elements. Some would say “making them see the light”. You mention several groups that have added little of value to our governing philosophy. You are correct, among them are “ward heeler politics” and organized crime.. For St. Patrick’s Day I’ll have a little guacamole while studying up on how the Chinese hate the Japanese, who hate the Koreans.,Not only are they of similar ethnicity, the Japanese are ethnic Koreans.

          • Mario

            Just don’t make the mistake of saying that to the Japanese. 😉

      • Mike678

        Nice mudslinging. I don’t like the guy but this is over the top. But you know that, don’t you. Pot calling the kettle black.

        • Mario

          I don’t exaggerate, and I think you’ll find that if you said any of this to his face he’d agree. He knows what he’s doing, and he doesn’t bother being coy about it. He enjoys seeing how brazen he can be and how none of that changes his position. Look at him insulting Christie to his face today; it’s all a game to him.

          I stand by everything I said, and I’m not sure what I called him that would accurately describe myself (pot, kettle?). Every sign is there to people willing to see past his theatrics. At the very least, you can’t say you weren’t warned.

          http://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/709546492189499392/pu/vid/640×360/ROuxBzaM5u-OYj7E.mp4

          • Max

            I don’t like the guy either and don’t believe he can accomplish any of what he’s proposed but it rubs me the wrong way when people start throwing the racist label on something as simple as pumping the brakes on our open borders. You call it racism but I call taking pause to evaluate our security. As shameful as it is, I understand your only recourse to his campaign is to call him racist. Your just playing to the low information voter. Congrats!

          • Mario

            Ha! Now that‘s the pot calling the kettle black. The problem with the racist label is that it was so overused by the left for so long, that some on the right have forgotten it can be real. And I’m not sure that I ever called him racist (I think he probably is, but he’s careful with his language), I just think that his campaign appeals to racial impulses, even leaving aside the issue of immigration. To believe otherwise is to ignore his legions of loyal white nationalist followers. I usually find that arguing that point with a Trumpkin leads to them arguing that there is nothing wrong with “pro-white” policies rather than denying the problem, which I think says all it needs to say.

          • Max

            ” I just think that his campaign appeals to racial impulses”

            Maybe it does but the tendency is to lump anyone who supports him into the racist category. What “pro-white” policy has Trump advocated?

          • Mario

            If you are waiting for coherent policies from Donald Trump you’ll be waiting a long time. I appreciate the argument, but I’m not sure it’s fair to suggest I can’t criticize the tone of his campaign until I can point to which policies of his are awful, when his supporters could no more point to policies which would be good.

            It’s all blather; I just think it’s dangerous and inspires the worst of people’s instincts. It is easy to start riots, it’s harder to bottle those passions back up later.

          • Max

            “It’s all blather”

            On that we agree.

      • 13citizen13

        Nationalism = putting America/Americans first. Get off the race card. It’s become a joke.

        • Mario

          I’d hate to disagree with the noted 13citizen13 on matters of semantics, but there are other perspectives on the meaning of nationalism that may be of interest.
          http://orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_nat

          • 13citizen13

            Yes, there are, and they are not applicable. Thank you for dropping the race card.

    • George from Warwick

      This is how I see the situation. I think I have a lot of company on this.

      ITA

      I am from Ohio aand used to be a big Kasich supporter … until I learned he wants Total Amnesty for every single illegal immigrant … and he wants it NOW

      http://www.breitbart.com/immigration/2016/03/14/john-kasich-goes-all-in-for-amnesty-illegals-made-in-the-image-of-the-lord/

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Thinking too much again. It occurs to me that we approach the Ides of March. I wonder about the attempts to “assassinate” Trump and the assassination of Caesar. As I understand it, the causes for Caesar’s assassination were his popularity among the citizenry, and that he threatened the deep vested interests of the patricians, who had run the Republic and the Senate for so long. Is history repeating itself?

    • George from Warwick

      History repeating itself now would be like comparing today with when Reagan was elected POTUS in the Election of 1980

      Then — as now — the Pundits & all the news media & the ‘experts’ were all aghast at the rise of this ignorant fool
      … who would go on to win TWO land·slide elections

      I can only pray that History is repeating it·self

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