Mike Church On Conservatism Doctrine
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Folks, I can tell you, there’s not a philosopher that’s in the GOP that I know of. If they are, they’re about as correct in their philosophy as Freud or Marx or Nietzsche or one of those other clowns was.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Here’s the headline, Matt Welch of Reason Magazine says something interesting about the National Review’s bull of excommunication of Donald Trump. This is from Rod Dreher. I mentioned this earlier and didn’t get into it.
“There’s one thing this dispute symbolizes aside from the ongoing (and long-running) battle for the soul of the modern Republican Party. And that is this: Many or even most of the people who make a living working in politics and political commentary—even those who think of themselves as outsiders, such as nonpartisan libertarians—inevitably begin to view their field as one dedicated primarily to ideas, ideology, philosophy, policy, and so forth . . .
Mike: Folks, I can tell you, there’s not a philosopher that’s in the GOP that I know of. If they are, they’re about as correct in their philosophy as Freud or Marx or Nietzsche or one of those other clowns was.
“. . . and NOT to the emotional, ideologically unmoored cultural passions of a given (and perhaps fleeting) moment. Donald Trump—and more importantly, his supporters, who go all but unmentioned here (Ben Domenech is an exception)—illustrate that that gap is, well, yuuge.
“Yes, Trump is nobody’s conservative, but it’s not at all clear that many voters really care about such things. His rise is a rebuke to the stories that political commentators have long told themselves, and to the mores they have long shared even while otherwise disagreeing ideologically with one another. You can despise Donald Trump (and oh Lord I do), and appreciate National Review’s efforts here, while simultaneously wondering whether his forcible removal of a certain journalistic mask might also have some benefit.”
Mike: Then he goes on to say he thinks this is true. Listen to this. This is where I think this applies.
But a funny thing kept happening. When I would go back to south Louisiana to visit my family, I often got into (friendly) arguments with people about conservative principles and policies. I noticed that we were at loggerheads over many things. It frustrated me to no end that reason was useless; “ideologically unmoored cultural passions” weren’t just something, they were the only thing.
Mike: Think about that. Let me focus in on that one, folks. “Ideologically unmoored cultural passion” are the only thing. When you’re in a Facebook argument with your Uncle Bobo over something, does this describe Uncle Bobo, “ideologically unmoored cultural passion”? Uncle Bobo or Aunt Petunia, do they think that you are guilty of “ideologically unmoored cultural passion”? I bet they do. You know why? Because we have eliminated certitude. That’s what you heard Kennedy doing. We have eliminated truth and universal as our objective. Why would you want universals, Mike? We’re all different. You can still be different and have universals. It is universal that the human being is born with how many eyes? Answer the question. Two. That’s a universal. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? It’s a good thing. You probably see better out of two eyes than you do out of one. Poke one out and see. Put an eye patch on and see how well you see and read. That’s a universal. That’s in the natural order. Even though we are supernaturally created, that’s in the natural world. That’s a universal. Folks, there are universals in the political world. There are universals in the religious world. There are universals in the moral world. Purity and chastity can be known.
What does it mean – I’ll walk you through a quick exercise. What does it mean to be chaste? It’s a word we don’t use any longer. We should with our children. Are you chaste? You should be. Hey, little Johnny. You going to school today? Try to preserve your purity and chastity. Little Suzie, you need to be pure and chaste. What does chaste mean? Chaste means basically abstain, don’t do it, totally abstain. Why should you abstain? What’s the purpose of abstaining, of abstention? It is to deny or to refuse to partake of or participate in something that we know to be sinful. That’s why you abstain. That’s why, for example, during Lent you would abstain from flesh meat on Fridays, although you should do it all year round.
You abstain for a reason. If you’re chaste, you’ve abstained. The result of being chaste and abstinence is what? Purity. Purity of what? It’s purity of body for sure, but it also requires and helps develop what else? Purity of soul. Here’s a question: Will God accept your soul through the narrow gate at St. Peter’s gate if it’s damaged, if it’s all dingy and banged up and blackened with sins on it? If we go to the gospels and look for the answer, you’re going to find out no, he won’t. Why chastity? I just explained it to you. Why purity? I just explained it to you. It wasn’t me explaining it. That has been explained to man for over 2,000 years. That’s a universal. That’s a truth. That can be known. Can we understand it? Yes. Can we repeat it? Yes. Should we? Absolutely. We don’t think we should anymore but we should.
There are other truths out there. You find them in the commandment. What does the Ten Commandments say? Thou shalt not what? Steal, for example. Is there ever a circumstance under which it’s okay to steal, under which the commandment can be violated? Again, if you’re not stealing, then there is a certain purity of the virtue that you’re practicing, an avoidance of the sin or soul-blackening vice. The commandment is there as what, and the commandment is a universal because it produces what? Something good. What is an opinion? An opinion is not a universal. An opinion, by definition, takes a universal and says: I reject it. It takes the truth and says: Yeah, well, that’s your version of it. No, it’s not my version of the truth. I don’t get a vote on the truth. I don’t get a vote on the law of gravity. Do you?
Modern man has been convinced because of pathetic education and even more pathetic catechism, or maybe it’s the catechism that leads to the pathetic education, that there is no truth and there are no universals. Everything is compartmentalized. Everything can be broken down into constituent parts and there can’t be any agreement on the use of the constituent parts or on how to break the whole down so it can be made into constituent parts. Is there a way to keep the whole together? Yes, there is. Why isn’t that taught? Well, you’d have to believe that there were consequences to your actions. We don’t ever tell anyone that’s about to go rob someone or murder someone that there’s not consequences for that action, do we? Don’t we say that ignorance is no excuse to the law? Then why is ignorance of universally known, what should be universally known truths, why is that any less important? Why is it any less binding on someone to know? Back to Dreher:
It frustrated me to no end that reason was useless; “ideologically unmoored cultural passions” weren’t just something, they were the only thing. This was a tribal conservatism, one that had very little to do with ideas, and everything to do with nationalism and a sense of us-versus-them. To be a conservative is to agree with Us; to disagree with us means you must be a liberal.
I remember getting into it with my dad once . . . during the Obamacare debate, and he started complaining about welfare spongers who expected the government to pay for their medical care. I pointed out that he was an avid user of Medicare and of veterans’ medical benefits, and that if not for those government programs, he would have died a long time ago.
“That’s different,” he said.
“How?” I asked.
He just got mad, and changed the subject.
Mike: I’m sure many of you have experienced this in debate or in alleged debate before. That’s not the same thing. Yes, it is. We have this conversation here on this show all the time. How is it that you can be pro-life on the one hand and then pro-death when it comes to people that are noncombatants in villages in third-world countries or countries that are run by Muslims that you can’t point to on a map? But it’s okay because their life is not equal to yours. Yes, it is. Do you think God creates a life and then assigns a value to it based upon the flag that they live under? Really? Really?
Where do you find that at? [mocking] “The Israelites are the chosen people.” Again, you’re thinking of Israelites in terms of geography. To think of the term Israelite is not to think in terms of geography and where the borders are for particular nations; it is to think of the people that are descendants. Then again, I digress.
I spent the better part of the show on Friday talking about this subject. Listen to this. If you fast forward later on into the piece, you find this. National Review, back in the day, excommunicated Patrick J. Buchanan, our friend and one of my favorite writers and all-around people.
“And here is Patrick Buchanan that same day gloomily asserting that the United States would be as baffled by Osama bin Laden as the British Empire was by George Washington: ‘We remain unrivaled in material wealth and military dominance, but these are no longer the components of might. . . . Our instinct is the strongman’s impulse: hit back, harder. But like British Lobsterbacks dropped in a colonial wilderness, we don’t know this battle, and the weapons within our reach are blunt.’”
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Mike: That was the National Review’s rebuke of Patrick J. Buchanan. Remember, National Review said that Buchanan was not a conservative. Why did it do that? Because it had to make sure that it establishes what the establishment was, and then everyone else would refer to the establishment as conservative. I’m really not sure how the term took on such meaning, such programmatic and dogmatic meaning. Isn’t it amazing to see Republicans, your friends, my friends, roaming about the countryside, babbling on endlessly what amounts to dogma? What’s the dogma? Republicans nominate conservatives. That’s dogma to people. How did it become dogma? Because people kept repeating it. Is it an actual dogma? I don’t know.
I guess if we had the Book of Republican out there somewhere and it was a gospel and told us it was a dogma it could be, or maybe if it was in a party rule – if it is a rule, I can’t find it – yet people repeat it as though it’s a dogma. Go tell the same man an actual dogma like the ones I told you about stealing and morality and the truth and they will deny. [mocking] “You’re being dogmatic. I’m not dogmatic.” You’re dogmatic when it comes to – here’s a good question. Answer this: Is it a dogma in Republican and conservative circles to say, “He’s a liberal. He can’t be politically good then”? Someone is a lib if they’re blue and lib, if they’re a Yankee. They’re automatically bad. It’s like if Obama were to walk out of the White House one day and look up at the sky and say: Look, it’s blue today. I’m going to do a radio show and say it’s a blue sky out there. Some people would say: No, Obama is wrong. He can’t be right about anything, so he’s got to be wrong about the sky. That’s dogmatic. It’s incorrect dogmatic but it is dogma.
End Mike Church Show Transcript