True Colours—Election Fallout (Updated)

It is certain that I am not alone in saying that while I am not exactly happy that Donald Trump has been elected president of the USA, I am not unhappy that Hillary Clinton has not been elected.

But the election and its aftermath are fast becoming an object of fascination. Certain things seem to have been revealed even more starkly in their true colours; true in the sense of what they actually are, not necessarily what they should be.

So the sight of liberal voters rioting in Portland and elsewhere, arming themselves with bats to attack police and storefronts, hashtagging #notmypresident like there is no tomorrow (they all expect #Trumpageddon imminently), crying on Youtube videos, and forecasting the end of the American political order is fascinating. Actually, it is a more than a little pathetic.

In June the UK voted in a (admittedly technically non-binding) referendum to leave the European Union. The vote was reasonably close but it was clear. Many of us were not happy with the result but that was the democratically-determined consensus. Those who voted had the democratic right to complain, but not to reject the result, not to riot, not to spit the dummy, grab the ball and storm off home crying “I’m not playing any more”. Democracy cuts both ways, when our side wins and when our side does not. It is no good complaining about the inadequacies of democracy only when its outcomes do not suit us; it  is unreasonable and unjustifiable.

For decades now minority progressive opinions have been able to shout the loudest by means of a mainstream media sympathetic to their agenda, and so impose their agenda on the majority. The majority is never as organised as a militant, motivated minority. Those who dared to oppose them were howled down with cries of “bigot”, “intolerant”, “homophobe”, without ever really engaging in arguing their case. The current phenomenon in universities (of all places!) of de-platforming speakers who oppose the dogma of the militant minority is part of this trend. These are not liberals; they are totalitarians in progressives’ clothing.

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Liberal sentiments?

Such are those now rioting in the streets at the result of a properly-conducted democratic election. It is no good complaining now that the electoral college system is flawed, having accepted it happily enough till now. They did not get their way, and in fact a man who is diametrically and vehemently opposed to their agenda is now in power, and has come to power legally and democratically. Yet, understandably, this frightens them. The hegemony of their camp is under threat, and also the social engineering that has propped it up. It is possible that the abortion culture that had seemed to have become a fact of life will be seriously undermined and disempowered. The absurdity of unisex bathrooms is likewise in doubt. Has society had enough of being cowed into submission by militant minorities with revolutionary, and deeply un-Christian, agenda.

At the same time, we are seeing figures from the past who have better claim to the label liberal speaking up against this ascendent social totalitarianism, at least in Britain. Peter Tatchell, no friend of the Catholic Church and a “gay” rights activist, has complained about the failure of the court appeal by the Northern Irish Christian bakers against their conviction for discrimination for refusing to put a pro-same-sex marriage slogan in a cake. He stated the truly liberal position that “in a free society, people should be able to discriminate against ideas they disagree with.”

Germaine Greer, the doyenne and matriarch of Anglo-Australian feminism, was no-platformed for being “transphobic“, a modern mortal sin for the social totalitarians. Her sin? She dared to say that “transgenders”, men who have general reassignment surgery, are not thereby women: “I’m not saying that people should not be allowed to go through that procedure, all I’m saying is that it doesn’t make them a woman”. Pushed a little further she gave her Australian background more voice, one that is crude but brutally logical:

Just because you lop off your d**k and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a ******* woman. I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that won’t turn me into a ******* cocker spaniel.

I do understand that some people are born intersex and they deserve support in coming to terms with their gender but it’s not the same thing. A man who gets his d**k chopped off is actually inflicting an extraordinary act of violence on himself.

In fact Greer is far more deserving of the label liberal, and she is far more faithful to the feminist agenda as classically conceived. For her, as for true feminists, transgenderism is the act of male imposing his own will and exercising proprietorship over female identity. For a true feminist, a male does not have the right to decide that he can be a female. He can be feminist, of course, as that is an ideology. Femaleness, however, is biology, and Greer implicitly accepts the Catholic teaching, affirmed recently by Pope Francis, that our sexual identity cannot be separated from our inherent natural biology.

Here we see the true colours of those more truly deserving to be called liberal. This is not say that I agree with them on everything; a Catholic cannot. Yet they represent a category of modern thought with whom a conversation can be conducted on civilised lines. They have arguments and will address the arguments of those who disagree with them. They would have no truck with “no-platforming”, which is denying a contrary opinion any voice on the grounds that the expression of such an opinion might harm someone, and so universities need to be safe spaces for such people. Even the Church’s arch-enemy Richard Dawkins cannot accept such bilge:

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Australia’s socially liberal and left-leaning ABC also allowed space for argument against the totalitarianism of no-platforming Greer:

While the stated aim of this approach is to reduce harm, the end result is enforced ignorance. No-platforming does not change people’s hearts and minds, it intimidates people into silence. It is an anti-Enlightenment movement.

Greer, Tatchell, Dawkins, despite so much of their body of opinion being contrary to Christian teaching, are people who are at least committed to the principle of arguing one’s case, and allowing the contrary argument to be heard. Greer may have burned her bra, but i do not recall her picking up a bat, joining a mob and taking swings at policeman because someone was elected to whom she objected.

Yet perhaps the rioting totalitarians are making the further mistake of not allowing Trump to show his true colours. It may be argued, very reasonably, that his remarks about women, immigrants and some other social issues show his true colours in a personal sense, and that these colours are not very attractive. Fair enough.

However, we are yet to see the true colours of his government. There is an emerging body of opinion which believes that Trump never really wanted to be President, but that he was campaigning as a business strategy and as an assertion of ego. It could have be argued that his more outrageous statements might have been made precisely to scuttle his own ship. To some degree unwittingly, he tapped into a core of dissatisfaction with a social and political elite that imposed its agenda on society as a whole and became their voice. So when he opines that Christmas should be celebrated as Christmas even in state schools or public property, and this because it is part of American socio-cultural identity, he speaks the opinion of those who lament the wittering away of their cultural identity. Ironically, faithful Muslims would agree with this position, as religious freedom for Christians implies religious freedom for them.

Trump is now assembling his cabinet, and it is in this team we will begin to see the true colours of his government emerge, no matter what he has revealed of himself as a person. He has pledged to govern for all; he has pledged to avoid interfering in other nations’ affairs when it does not directly affect America’s; he has voiced a desire to deal with Daesh/IS more conclusively; he has promised to defund the satanic slaughterhouses of the Orwellian-named abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. He looks likely to ease tensions with Russia. If these prove to be the true colours of his administration then perhaps the future is not so apocalyptic, and Trumpageddon might not be imminent.

Whether we like it or not, we have President (-elect until January) Trump. Unhappy Americans can either spit their dummies and assault police, or they can follow Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s exhortation that he be given a chance to govern. World leaders who expressed alarm at Trump before the election are now getting on with the take of preparing to work with him and make the best of things. With Americans, the rest of us can do something far more constructive than rioting by praying that God will make of this new order something that will bear fruit for his glory. The Lord ever moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.

There are parallels to this political situation in the Church of the last 50 years, but that is for another post.

Update. My nephew, Fr Christopher, who labours not in an affluent suburban parish but in the remote far north-west of Western Australia, where probably the majority of his flock are indigenous Australians of largely less affluence than the rest of the population, has pointed me to a video (below) which confirms what I had been hearing on the grapevine. If Mr Trump backs these encouraging words with positive action, then he will have gone a long way to make a supporter of me. The presence of Mr Pence as Trump’s Vice-President gives one cause to think these words might not be mere rhetoric. Though he is not a Catholic, Pence is a firm and committed Christian, and very much pro-life.

On a previous post a commenter defended Planned Parenthood because it offers other, positive, services apart from its lucrative task of abortion. This is hardly enough to exonerate PP from the opprobrium it deserves. Hillary Clinton favoured abortion right up till birth (may God forgive her) and was a loud and active advocate of PP and “reproductive rights” (more Owellianism). Trump and Pence could defund PP without too much trouble, and they will have a Congress to support them. As for the positive services that may be offered by PP, the Church has been doing such good works for centuries, and far better than PP ever could. The funding that went to PP would be far more productively and beneficially spent supporting the work of the Church and other pro-life Christian organisations that are committed to helping women who have got themselves into difficulty and do not want to blame the unborn child for it.

 

21 thoughts on “True Colours—Election Fallout (Updated)

  1. That is a totally honest & correct reflection on the state of things today. Many who do not support Brexit complain that they did not vote!! No wonder their ideas did not prove the outcome BUT was Brexit (or whatever else is being complained about) so important to them that they did not vote. Many of my American Catholic friends seem less displeased at the Trump triumph as his running mate is vehemently opposed to abortion on demand as introduced by Obama & co & that Hilary Clinton was actually advocating allowing abortion up to the moment of birth! God works in mysterious ways!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The best argument for compulsory voting, as it is in Australia, is that everyone is obliged to invest in their democracy (democracy does not preclude obligations), and everyone is then entitled to complain about the workings of the democracy. No vote, no whining. I did vote in the Brexit referendum, and so I feel I have the right to complain. That said, I accept the outcome as a valid act of democracy, and am now just getting on with it. If May stuffs it up or plays too many games then I will complain again!

      As you may have seen, I just added a video of Trump’s message to Catholics. It is very sensible and positive. If he can live up to these words, Catholics (and all faithful Christians) will be able to feel some sense of relief, even satisfaction.

      Pax!

      Like

  2. Ok Father, here goes.
    As you probably could guess, I was one of what they are calling the “shy trump voters”
    As our family opted to vote for Trump as opposed to Hillary—trust me—it was not because we were / are ardent supporters…quite the contrary. Even as late as the last weeks leading up to the election, both my husband and I debated the notion just not voting..and it was the fist time I wasn’t harping to my son and daughter-n-law to make certain that they got out to vote, as I normally would, if I had felt the candidate deserving—but…and it’s a big but—we felt Hillary was far worse for the country, for the constitution and for us, two Christ loving middle Americans as opposed to Mr. Trump.
    I have been sickened by what is now happening in this country.
    The hateful attacks coming from the Clinton supporters, who mind you are predominantly young immature kids who are having a collective and very public temper tantrum.
    I am who they attack—a white college educated woman who did not support the woman candidate—I am not a homophobic, xenophobic, racist individual as they would argue because I voted for a man who they deem is all of that and then some—but I am a Christian who is tired of being bashed for that very fact—that I am a conservative Christian—I could not vote for Hillary because of Benghazi—as she truly has blood on her hands. I could not vote for Hillary because of her support of same sex unions as I see that as a direct blatant sin before God’s word. I could not vote for Hillary because of her appeasement in the Middle East…the list goes on and on. This kum-bi-ya sort of wanting just sit around holding hands while ignoring that we have certain tenants and commands given to us by God Almighty is just simply wrong….
    Mr Trump is no saint…but he is not the typical Washington elite who has slowly allowed us as a Nation to sink—
    Our country is divided almost in half as we can see that from the past 4 elections that have been so very close.
    Our young are weak, spoiled and coddled. They have no idea of why they are actually so angry…
    We as a nation and as Western Civilization in general have turned so far from God and from that of His law and of His words that we are now reaping those arrogant seeds that we have sown.
    Presidents come and go, elections come and go—the way the democratic process works is that we have choices—we, the people, are the ones who orchestrated the choices in our own previous choices, be they poor or not…it come down to two poor choices and therefore no one on either side should be surprised that one of the two choices won…that’s how it works—one wins, one loses—but our young people are so unfamiliar with defeat or losing as they have never had to deal with such because their entire lives they have never had to truly deal with loss or defeat because our society has worked so hard to level all “playing” fields as to neuter the human experience. Even college professors have told students that they could skip their exams since they were so distraught over the election—what kind of world are we living in I wonder???
    I want to tell everyone to buck up…suck it up and lets get on with living and being Americans…roll up your sleeves and get about the business of living and working and doing something productive.
    When Obama became president, I was very unhappy. I didn’t vote for him and I hated the thought that he would be what would govern our country for 4 years. 4 years became 8…I watched a man refuse to call Islamic terrorists that very thing as he was so afraid to upset Muslims—I watched a man waffle and pander to groups and nations that ran counter to our Christian/ Judaeo foundation as he put Israel out basically to dry by herself…
    but I didn’t protest. I didn’t rally. I didn’t call his supporters names or threaten them with violence. I lived with him as President…honored him in his position…and that is the difference in a small nutshell—as a Christian, I prayed—I didn’t have a temper tantrum.
    Is Donald Trump going to be the “fixer” and turn things around? Only time will tell—but I will afford him the opportunity to at least try—something my fellow Americans have forgotten as that is what we are to do—we afford people opportunities to do what they say they will do regardless of whether we supported them or not—it is now what it is and we have no do overs, no recalls, no recounts…the time is at hand and it is time to get on with things….
    And we pray—as that is the huge missing component.
    So thank you Father—for your words of encouragement as we all watch this pheromone with concern and worry.
    And thank you for your prayers….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hulie. You personify, or better, give voice to that section of society that was able to shake off the shackles of a militant and totalitarian hijacked social progressivism. So you offer a good complement to the post.

      I was struck by your observation that the young are now having their public, and in places violent, tantrum because they are not used to losing. This is worth more thought. It is the plight of millennials that they grew up molly-coddled and protected from failure, with everyone getting a prize and no one ever deemed to have lost. They were largely shielded against failure, not its reality but rather its honest naming. This might be the biggest handicap the modern social hegemony has bequeathed our younger generations.

      Pax!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Very interesting additional information. Especially arresting was the graphic showing the horrendous retail markup PP adds to the wholesale cost of its “services”, and showing also what services it does not offer women, such as mammograms and pre-natal care.

      The latter is no surprise of course; they in the business of preventing or terminating babies, not caring for them.

      Like

  3. Thank you Father. As a New American (this was only my second Presidential election as a voter), I felt rather short-changed at the ballot box, but I am certainly committed to ‘getting on with it’ now that we have a President-elect, and I pray that we will enjoy all the best that this man has to offer, and very little of the worst ! It is indeed an irony that the dummy-spitters now on the streets were the first to throw up their arms in horror when Mr Trump refused to predict that he would support the duly elected winner of the election ! Please keep your wonderful, thought-provoking posts coming . . .

    Like

  4. Thank you, dear Father, for a comprehensive and articulate analysis. Concerning the anti-Trump protestors, one does wonder if they, in fact, voted (or were eligible to). Secondly, did Germaine Greer and co. burn their bras whilst still wearing them? That truly would have been a statement😉

    We look forward to your next post on the Pope’s book-length interview with Father Spadaro.

    Like

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