The question we need to ask ourselves isn’t so much what we choose to do, it’s what we choose to believe about ourselves.
Thanks Justin for providing such a timely reminder that no, not everyone is corrupt, self-serving, or even evil.
Unfortunately, it seems that much "Nevertrump" discourse on the Right, has become a variation of two themes that I really don't want to believe.
One is the "we thought the liberals were the evil ones, and that we conservatives were the good ones, but it turns out it was the other way around", which is the sentiment of many at the Bulwark, as well as others who have basically switched teams.
But these days, what actually depresses me more, is the idea that "we thought the liberals were the evil ones, and that we conservatives were the good ones, but it turns out everybody is evil, on both sides, except for a tiny Remnant that is doomed to be crushed by the evil forces".
That unfortunately seems to be the growing sentiment of many at the Dispatch, especially in their recent podcasts. Even the AO hosts seem at times resigned to the idea that the post-filibuster federal judiciary will eventually degenerate into a bunch of political hacks who are more interested in climbing the career ladder by pandering to Senators on "their side" by being partisan hacks, than actually following a consistent or even coherent judicial philosophy.
Either way, the discourse is quite negative and just tiresome. At times when reading/ hearing such content I feel like throwing up my hands and screaming,
"So what's the point of even trying to do the right thing, anyway? Trump is probably going to be the GOP nominee again. If not him, it will be Desantis, who is getting Trumpier by the day. Meanwhile, Biden is borderline senile at best and if he passes on a second term we probably get the vapid Harris or someone just as mediocre. Chances are we eventually leave Ukraine in the lurch, just as we did Afghanistan, and we probably let China take Taiwan, too. Congress will continue to happily give away power to other branches and preen for the cameras and be Twitter trolls instead."
(Mike Lee recently going the Twitter troll route has really soured me, as has Ben Sasse leaving the Senate and Mitch Daniels passing on.a Senate bid.)
Sometimes it seems the US will just continue to decline away from superpower status, and we'll eventually go bankrupt from all the excessive spending on both sides.
I admit that even reading your article today, didn't really refute any of my recent doom and gloom thinking. But at least you gave me a tiny bit of hope. Thanks for that.
I love High Noon. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen it, so thanks for the reminder to go see it again.
“ People blessed with peace and prosperity, thanks to the sweat, blood, and tears of those who came before, often demonstrate a distinct lack of gratitude for what they have and a cowardly unwillingness to defend the things they take for granted.”
Something we see on both right and left these days.
“ Indeed, we are so awash with cynicism and nihilism in cinema, in anti-heroes and villains who are “just misunderstood,” that what stands out are those rare moments of stark black and white (derided as campy or too uncomplicated by critics).”
All in all a good piece. History is neither a story of inevitably progress or inevitable decline, and sometimes those of us who seek to preserve “the old and tried, against the new and untried,” (to quote Lincoln) will stand alone. But human nature contains within it both folly and the possibility of redemption, so there is always hope.