“There is Good in the World, and It’s Worth Fighting For”
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Folks, this really hits home to me because I’ve read this hundreds and hundreds, heard it hundreds and hundreds, seen it on television hundreds and hundreds of times, basically throwing the towel in and saying, [mocking] “We can’t defend this. You’re not going to be able to do that. You’re going to have to make a deal with these people.” As I have said often, draw the line and don’t make the deal.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: “Stand, Men of the West” by Stephen Klugewicz:
Conservative intellectuals tend to be a dismal sort. By natural disposition we are pessimistic people. We cannot really be blamed for this, when one considers the history of mankind and particularly the sorry history of human governance. From starting unnecessary wars to enslaving whole peoples to reducing the masses to poverty through excessive taxation, man, when clothed with the right to rule others, has shown himself to be a tyrant-in-waiting.
Moreover, we conservatives realize that human nature is intrinsically inclined to do evil, that utopias are unachievable and their pursuit dangerous, and that we are apt, over time, to lose our moorings to the commandments of God and His laws of nature.
We thus tend to hold out little hope for the future.
As justification for our inherent pessimism we need only look at the peculiar and sorry times in which we live: [Mike: Listen to this, folks. This is where he lays it on the line.] an era in which the Founding Fathers are considered “dead white men,” but in which the Constitution they made is held to be living; a time in which political compromise is valued as a priority but commitment to principle is reviled as naïve, quixotic; an age in which any kind of perverse speech or lifestyle is celebrated in the name of freedom, but in which free enterprise is stifled in the names of equality and compassion; a time in which information reigns supreme, but in which logical thinking is scarce; an era in which we have attained the greatest technological know-how but in which we have the least understanding of beauty, goodness, and truth.
Added to all this is our conservative tendency to revel in the nobility of lost causes. This in itself is not a bad thing at all—quite the opposite in fact. As T.S. Eliot said:
“We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph.”
But we have not taken Eliot’s words to heart. We mistakenly look for permanent victories, political and cultural, and when they do not come, we despair. We seem not to realize that it is not permanent victories that we should seek but rather the preservation of “the permanent things,” which is victory enough.
As Sam Gamgee says in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, “There’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Mike: Eric, can you do a Sam Gamgee voice?
Eric: Not a Lord of the Rings fan.
Mike: [mocking] “There’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” Back to Klugewicz:
In fighting our worthy battle, American conservatives can position their forces on the ramparts of certain premises: that the Founding Fathers, despite their flaws, still have much to teach us today; that the Constitution is actually dead, in the sense that its actual written words need to be taken seriously; that free enterprise is inextricably linked to political freedom and ordered liberty; that inquiry, to be free, must be grounded in reason and must be directed to the ascertainment of truth; and that information and technology are not goods in themselves unless they serve the good and the beautiful.
Yes, our enemy is strong, but we must remember that temporary victories are indeed possible if we keep sharp our Kirkian Sword of Imagination . . .
Western Civilization is undeniably in decline and indeed its very existence is in doubt. Yet these thoughts ought not to drag us conservatives down into a morass of defeatism. Sadly, though, some conservatives are indeed calling for retreat.
Mike: Folks, this really hits home to me because I’ve read this hundreds and hundreds, heard it hundreds and hundreds, seen it on television hundreds and hundreds of times, basically throwing the towel in and saying, [mocking] “We can’t defend this. You’re not going to be able to do that. You’re going to have to make a deal with these people.” As I have said often, draw the line and don’t make the deal.
Sadly, though, some conservatives are indeed calling for retreat. They say that the hour is too late, that a remnant must run to the barricades and shield itself and whatever is left of Western Civilization from the barbarians at the gates. Like Tolkien’s King Theoden, they seek a Helm’s Deep in a desperate attempt to preserve the world of men from the hour of the Orc. But I call on conservatives to refuse to cede the current hour to darkness, and I join with the Aragorn of Tolkien and Peter Jackson in declaring:
“A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends, and break all bonds of fellowship; but it is not this day! An hour of woe, and shattered shields, when the Age of Men comes crashing down; but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”
Mike: That’s Stephen Klugewicz at The Imaginative Conservative, “Stand, Men of the West.” I’m glad someone else other than me is picking up on the stride to the top of the rampart and refuse to cede any more ground to these Orcs. Just tell them no, we’re not going to do it. As a matter of fact, not only are we going to tell you no, we’re divorcing you. I want to serve you notice. My goal and quest, quixotic though it may be, in life is to leave you, to no longer be taxed by you, no longer be regulated by you, no longer to be tortured and maimed physically and economically by you, no longer to have articles and items of faith assailed and assaulted by you, no longer to have a written rule of law that you fail to acknowledge and fail to live by, no longer to live under the laws that you pass for me but refuse to obey yourself, no longer to be taxed and to have my wealth stolen from me my you so you can give it to someone who hasn’t earn it. All of these things are possible, ladies and gentlemen, if you are willing to actually make positive statements. In order to do that, though, you have to leave the comfort of some of your Tea Party groups. [mocking] “Mike, no, no, going to the ramparts means making deals with these people. It means commiserating with the enemy. It means we sit down at the table with the enemy and negotiate.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, folks. The enemy doesn’t negotiate. If he or she does, I’d like to know where it is that they have ceded ground or territory to the side of goodness, beauty and truth. I certainly can’t find it. Where have they ceded ground or territory to the doctrine that the ratified intent of any law is how the law is to be promulgated? In other words, the intent of the law, as given from the lawgiver, as then ratified is what the law means. You’re not allowed to come behind it and go: Uh, I guess it could mean that, too. We can interpret it so that it can apply to this. No! Did it apply to that when it was ratified? Then it doesn’t apply to it now. If you want to make a new law that will apply to your little cause du jour, fine. You go right ahead. See if you can get it through. See if you can get it ratified. Otherwise, no, the law is what it is.
We don’t live under those circumstances, just like last week when I was talking about and writing about the senator known as Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and her very public hissy fit of Senator Udall of Utah, [mocking] “Who are these people that are spying on United States Senate staffers? You can’t do that.” As now many other people are picking up on this, how come you can spy on us but you can’t be spied on? When did you get an exemption? I think this is at the root of the problem, that the ruling class and the ruling elites believe that they are of a different class.
They are not of the same class that you and I are from. In other words, their class of citizen has privileges
and immunities inured to it that the rest of us don’t get and are never going to be accorded.
Why would anyone want to continue in a relationship like that? Boil this down to a friendship. Would you still want that person to be friends? Would you be friends with the person that stole from you and relied upon you not fighting he or she when they sought to confiscate your wealth? Just imagine if a friend did to you or us or me what our governments do to us.
Of course, we’d say, [mocking] “We can’t do anything about the government because they have all the guns and laws on their side.” Well, in an instance where we are acknowledged to be sovereign, and we should be, we should always retain the ability to alter that, to alter the law of the wrongs, or the laws that are being used wrongly. That’s not the case. “Stand, Men of the West!” is the order of the day. I can tell by your excitement out there on the telephones, email and Twitter that you’re ready to march to the top of that rampart with me, right?
End Mike Church Show Transcript