Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Come on, Mike, there’s nothing that’s really permanent.” I suppose if you approach these things and these matters from the point of view that there is no permanence, meaning there is no God and there is no Transcendent, then I suppose you could make the case or conclude that there’s only us and only us tomorrow and only the us we make. Then there will be only them and they will decide. Since they all decide and there is nothing that’s traditional, institutionalized or Transcendent, then there is no God and every generation is free to make its own god up … Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: There’s a wonderful post at The American Conservative Magazine, amconmag.com, by Rod Dreher. The headline is “How Will We Know Whom To Hate If The Media Don’t Tell Us?” Dreher continues this conversation that I like to have here on this radio show, which is, like many of you, some of us are just sick and tired and blue in the face — and quite frankly, it’s quite depressing to agonize over and obsess over the actions of an out-of-control federal government, or an out-of-control state government, which you probably have a little bit more control over. I would say you have more control over city governments, but Mayor Adolph Bloomberg seems to have a pretty firm and iron grip on the city of Manhattan, banning sodas, trans fats, cigarettes, smoking, you name it, and most recently telling fat people that they are unwelcome in the bike share program.
There are certain other things that conservatives should be talking about. We should be having conversations about permanent things and about defending permanent things. Instead, what I hear the most of are conversations about ending the permanent thing, or [mocking] “Well, we may have to capitulate. We may have to make a deal with these guys. Come on, Mike, there’s nothing that’s really permanent.” I suppose if you approach these things and these matters from the point of view that there is no permanence, meaning there is no God and there is no Transcendent, then I suppose you could make the case or conclude that there’s only us and only us tomorrow and only the us we make. Then there will be only them and they will decide. Since they all decide and there is nothing that’s traditional, institutionalized or Transcendent, then there is no God and every generation is free to make its own god up and free to determine what it is that they think God wants, what it is that they think God’s will is. I should say God’s will was because we don’t seem to be bothered by this any longer.
Dreher writes about this abstractly. He writes about this dichotomy that has been erected by our elite ruling masters and is now used by our governing masters to cement what has already been taken. What has been taken is fundamental liberty. Freedom that you once experienced in these United States is no longer available, it just simply isn’t. The freedom to choose your own forms of government, the freedom to flee a form of government that you despise and head west young man has even been removed. There’s nowhere to go. If you do find yourself in a place where you oppose someone’s form of government, you move to a place where you may embrace it a little more, you say: We ought to have more of this and less of all that other federal stuff. You say: I got an idea, why don’t we just turn this state into a republic? No, we can’t do that now. We’re all one big, happy, jolly, nationalist, pledge-of-allegiance-reciting-like-a-bunch-of-mind-numb-braindead-robots family. How did we get this way? We’ve been conditioned to think like this.
You say: I got an idea, why don’t we just turn this state into a republic? No, we can’t do that now. We’re all one big, happy, jolly, nationalist, pledge-of-allegiance-reciting-like-a-bunch-of-mind-numb-braindead-robots family. How did we get this way? We’ve been conditioned to think like this.
Dreher writes about how he ran into a friend of his in Baton Rouge. He was visiting the lieutenant governor in this fine State of Louisiana, Jay Dardenne. After visiting the lieutenant governor, he went for a walk and ran into a friend of his. I’ll read from there:
He’s a liberal Democrat, and knows I’m a conservative Independent who writes for a conservative magazine; neither of us care about politics enough to let it come between friendship, ours or with anybody else. He mentioned that he had been over at a pal’s house the other day, and spent an hour or two watching MSNBC with him.
“Good grief, you ever do anything like that?” he asked. No, I told him, I don’t watch TV news.
“Don’t,” he said. “After a couple of hours of that stuff, you either hate everybody or hate yourself. It’s poison. I can’t imagine what filling your head with that stuff does to the way you see the world.” [Mike: Boy, that’s true. And by the way, don’t think because you watch the competition to OMSNBC you’re absolved. You just hate the people on the other side and your worldview is just as jilted as the ones on the other, on the enemy’s television network.]
We agreed that it probably makes you frightened and furious — and that that feeling can be deeply addictive. The world is always ramped up to high drama. I told him that a decade ago, when I would get on cable TV from time to time to talk about issues, I learned quickly that the media didn’t want to have an actual discussion; they just wanted people on to yell at each other, and to repeat talking points.
Mike: This is so true. This is why on this show, folks, I endeavor to have long-form discussions of things. All those bumper stickers and clichés are great for business. As a matter of fact, I would probably be far better off financially and would sell a lot more of whatever product it is that we create in our Founding Father Films gig and our Founders Tradin’ Post — Lord knows there are only about 18,000 items in there — if I would just toe the line. It’s boring to me. It’s just not interesting. Besides that, it is propaganda. This is exactly what the elites want us to do. They want us to scream and yell at one another because they know that will end in a conflict that is never going to be resolved. If it’s never going to be resolved, then their current station in life is thus guaranteed. That’s a happy place to be, brother, a happy place, especially if you’re not actually working for a living or doing anything productive, yet are making or minting hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars per year on these things. Good work if you can find it. It won’t fulfill you in the afterlife, I don’t think, but good work.
This is a cliché, I know, but when you actually go on those shows, and see how it so often works, you understand that the cliché really is true. Passion sells. Passion retains viewers. Passion gets eyes on the webpage. The thing is, passion is so easy to gin up when it’s based on fear and hatred. It’s a lot harder to get people passionate about faith, hope, and charity, even though that’s what most of us crave, and need as much as we need the air we breathe.
On the long drive home, I was thinking about the way our media work to obscure reality from us by confirming our own biases, and by confirming their own biases in the way they frame issues and what they choose to report (and what they choose not to report). People always say, “The media always report bad news; how about some good news?” As a career journalist, I hate hearing that, because I know that they don’t really mean it. Bad news always sells, and news and commentary framed not to challenge our preconceived notions, but to confirm them, is usually more popular than news and commentary that make us confront our own misconceptions, and maybe even see that the people we thought were our enemies are more like us than we thought.
Mike: Then he goes on to write some more things about living in a small town, which he talked about when he was on the show last week. I think what Dreher is writing about, and what Russell Kirk and Joe Sobran and Brad Birzer and Winston Elliott and Barbara Elliott and Stephen Masty and others write about at The Imaginative Conservative website, is basically spot-on. There is a dearth of real, substantive, good conversation. What I would mean by good conversation is conservation about traditions, about permanent things, about the things that a conservative would go: We’re going to have a real perfect world and I get to be the designer. I’m going to pick those five things right there and defend them to the death.
You’ll note that in most of the conservative traditions, and the authors I just cited, you can go all the way back to Jefferson and then to David Hume. You could even go back to Locke if you wanted to. From most of these authors and most of this scholarship and most of what you read from these gentlemen, you won’t find very much cheering. You won’t find very much defense of or even very much recognition of the term or the word nation. We hear it all the time, [mocking] “This nation was founded…this nation.” What is a nation? You mean you pledge allegiance to a nation? The only thing you ought to pledge to, if you’re going to pledge, is to live and love and serve the Lord your God. That’s what you ought to pledge. To elevate these pledges to a death oath, especially when you’re not in a time of war and you’re not being invaded and attacked, is to elevate nationhood and the State above your own God. It is higher. It is on the center pedestal. The nation then gets the gold medal. Hell, God is lucky to get the bronze. He probably doesn’t. Facebook gets the bronze, Twitter or Google, the silver. Think about that.
End Mike Church Show Transcript