The 2020 Political Victory
The 1619 Project and BLM are right — you must get rid of the United States as we've known it to produce "The Good [i.e., Godless] Society."
Dear friends and supporters:
Last Friday I pointed out that 2020 was a year of victories: cultural and ecclesial. Today I’ll expound on our recent the victorious election. Wait. Victorious election? Yes. While nobody reading these lines wanted a Biden win (you’d better not have wanted to), if he enters the White House it will almost certainly be with emaciated domestic powers. He can’t accomplish a successful legislative agenda simply because the Republicans retained control of the Senate (assuming they win at least one of the Georgia runoffs on Jan. 5). This means: No successful judicial nominations, at least for the next two years. And many other victories.
The dramatic and unexpected Republican pickups in the House translate into a huge minority, and House Republicans could pick off some Democrats from time to time. Frankly, Mitch McConnell will be the most powerful politician in Washington D.C. Whatever you may think of Mitch McConnell (and I think highly of him), Republicans could have done a lot worse.
Add to this the solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court, and Republicans and conservatives have no reason to be politically pessimistic.
And while Republicans are far from the perfect party, they are also far from the worse party. See “Is Biblical Christianity Republican?”
Make Christianity Great Again
Christianity’s greatness has diminished, that is, Christianity historically and culturally considered in the West. By contrast, the greatness of the Christian Faith objectively understood has not lessened: the Lord Jesus Christ and his word and the Cross and resurrection, for example, are just as great today as they ever were. But the Faith at is practiced in the West and particularly as it influences what we nowadays call “public” life, is at a low ebb. This diminution has occurred before historically both in the West as well as in the rest of the world, and it has been recovered. A contribution toward that recovery in our own time is the chief objective of this book.
Get the e-book here.
But I want to address the greatest political victory of all. That’s the persistent victory for the U.S. Founders and the glorious American Experiment. This is a victory that is deplored by Leftists and too often ignored by conservatives.
Joe Biden‘s domestic agenda will be dead on arrival, precisely because the Founders believed in divided government. We sometimes hear people decry gridlock in Washington DC. The late Ross Perot was famous for that line.
In favor of do-nothing politics
But to the Founders, what we call gridlock is good. If politicians in Washington D. C. are hotly divided, it’s probably because the country is hotly divided. And when the country is hotly divided, politicians don’t need to be making big, sweeping decisions. There is something worse than do-nothing politicians. And that is politicians who are always doing something when that something is bad.
We should be highly cautious and suspicious when politicians talk about doing great, massive things. In his weekly newsletter The Square Inch, Brian Mattson wrote recently:
We have a governing architecture that makes it very difficult to do really big things ….
Doing really big things almost always means doing really bad ones, and the Founders created a system that discourages doing really big things anyway.
No matter how well intentioned, presidents can never accomplish what they claim they will. Barack Obama did lead in installing a nationalized healthcare, but not on the scale he intended, and Republicans have chipped away its leading features.
Donald Trump promised to build a big, beautiful wall between Mexico and the United States. He was able to bolster border enforcement and build some of a wall, but not that big, beautiful wall that he promised.
If you respond, “Well, that’s because a feckless, cowardly Congress wouldn’t get behind him,” you’re only making my point. If there’s significant disagreement in the country, there shouldn’t be unparalleled agreement in Washington D.C.
At least that was the Founders thought.
Original Sin and Politics
Divided government is based on the Christian truth of original sin: everybody is a sinner, and people aren’t less than sinful just because they get elected to political office. In fact, they’re often more sinful. They need checks on their power. This is why we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights and divided political power.
The profits of partisan politics
And this is why a multiparty system is so good. We might hate the Democratic Party. I certainly do, but I wouldn’t want to live in country without a rival political party.
Like many of you, I’m a lifelong Republican. Not once in my life have I voted for a Democrat anywhere, under any condition. In any specific election, I want the Republicans to win, or at least the Democrats to lose.
But it would be pernicious indeed if over my 40 voting years, Republicans won every national and state election. We have a name for countries in which one party dominates all elections. They’re called totalitarian dictatorships.
Over the last few years I’ve noticed how the Cultural Marxists have wanted to slowly, sometimes swiftly, overturn our basic governing institutions. They’ve been dramatically unsuccessful until now.
The judiciary has gained excessive power, but at least it’s still independent; it’s not an arm of politics.
Congress is often uninspiring, but I’d rather it be uninspiring than so inspired that it deprives people of their liberty.
I’d far rather have Trump in the White House than Biden, but a GOP-controlled Senate and a large minority in the House, coupled with a conservative judiciary will assure he’s mostly ineffectual in his domestic agenda.
The checks and balances are just as important for our side, conservatives and Republicans, as the other side. The most dangerous decisions of people in power arise from the very best intentions. The imposition of virtue by politics is not virtue, and it’s the most dangerous kind of politics.
The Vaccine for Pessimism
The 1619 Project and Black Lives Matter Are Right
Both the 1619 Project and the most vocal proponents of Black Lives Matter (BLM) are onto something: it’s not possible to create a secular/neo-pagan egalitarian and Marxist culture coercively incorporating socialism, radical feminism, homonormativity, “gender fluidity,” Leftist racism, and ecclesial “wokeness” without torpedoing the U. S. Founding and the Christian culture it presupposed and perpetuated. The cultural success of this newest New Left is simply incompatible with the United States as historically conceived and developed until well into the 1960s. Unlike 60s early New Leftists exemplified by the Port Huron Statement of Tom Hayden and the Students for a Democratic Society, the 1619 Project and BLM don’t see modern America as failing to live up to the high ideas of the Founding. Rather, America has been corrupt and venal all along. Nothing less than “Total Revolution” will suffice to create The Good [i.e., Godless] Society.
The U. S. Founding stands as a barrier to this nihilistic cultural vision.
So let’s rejoice today, and thank God for the prescience of our Founders. By no means were they all Christians, though some of them were. All of them, however, even the freethinkers like Jefferson and Franklin, were heavily influenced by the Christian ideas they inherited from the Christian culture that preceded them. “A Christian and a Patriot?” A thousand times yes.
After almost 245 years, the American political experiment is still a smashing success, and a success not because the men who framed it were intelligent, wise, and virtuous, though they were, contrary to the ungrateful snipes of modern Leftists, but because they shaped a form of government in line with Christian truth.
This is not just a 2020 victory, but a 245-year-old victory, and we can still rejoice in it.
This week I delivered three (zoom) lectures to the Church & Culture Colloquium for Dr. Joseph Boot and the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity. The topic of my final lecture was: “Egalitarian, Complementarian, or Reformational?” An expanded and revised version should appear in my book scheduled for 2021: The Making, Meaning, Marring, and Mending of Marriage.
The e-book titled Religionless Christianity: Why the Faith in America is Toothless, Spineless, and Harmless should be out in December. Total Revolution: The Replacement of the United States should be released in January. Next comes Realized Soteriology: Victory Before the Second Advent.
CCL’s impact and platform continue to grow every week. God is using you to provide prayer and money for the expansion. Thank you deeply and sincerely.
Yours for unmitigated victory,
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