Polemics & Exchanges: June/July 2023

Not Wish, But Reality

Prof. Price’s article “The Great Conservative Death Wish”, (February 2023 Chronicles) should have eliminated its last word “Wish,” as it seems too late to wish for the continued life of the American Republican conservative political party. I’m no scholar and not as articulate as Prof. Price, since I’m an 80-year-old retired venture capitalist. Of our seven children, six are unrepentant Democrats. They will reap what they’ve sown politically in this country. Hopefully I will be dead before that time.

The essence of Prof. Price’s piece is what I have long expressed: that the right is too polite to fight, while the left has been fighting to win. The left has an army in the media and social media and owns most of the rest of what Professor Price correctly identifies as “every institution of power and influence” in the U.S.

The left has been boiling the Republican frog for decades, desensitizing the right to continued perversions with its propagandistic tentacles. Every new liberal outrage gets brought into popular acceptance by mass media blanketing the public discourse, which sets the stage for the next made-up idea of the left. The outrageous becomes more and more blatant, such as the “existential risk” of climate change; The New York Times’ racial rewriting of history in “The 1619 Project”; and the DIE (Diversity, Inclusion, Equity) regimes in academia and corporations. Truth has been rejected in favor of personal identity, especially regarding sexuality and gender. And other human behaviors once thought to be far from orthodox are now completely accepted as normal. There are no liberal constraints.

The right is weakened by philosophic internecine fights, such as Chronicles vs. National Review and MAGA vs. Conservative Inc. Sure, the Democrats have their divisions, too, however when it comes to getting things done its leaders deliver. Republicans go to war with the Democrats reluctantly, wielding popguns, while the Democrats deploy nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump won the United States presidency in 2016 apparently by following one of Napoleon’s maxims: “The art of being sometimes audacious and sometimes very prudent is the secret of success.” Unfortunately, it appears to have been a Pyrrhic victory, as his administration was taken down by a concerted effort by the media, Democrat civil servants deeply embedded in the U. S. government “swamp,” and the activist mob, who relentlessly demonized Trump.

With so much arrayed against him it is unlikely Trump can win in 2024, and a divided Republican Party will once again deliver us a Democrat government. The Republican Party may go the way of the Whigs, and along with it will go the greatest attempt at representative democracy and freedom in world history.

If Republicans are to survive, they might learn from Napoleon, who knew he had to crush his enemies. A saying attributed to that preeminent warrior is highly relevant to the present left-right war: “God is on the side with the best artillery.”

—Ted Wight
Tucson, Ariz.

Disillusionment Syndrome

I found Pedro Gonzalez’s piece on Trump (“Trumpism: The Man, the Myth, the Mandate,” February 2023 Chronicles) very interesting, as I have been criticizing Trump for some time. Particularly the way Trump seems to snow the public with photo shoots of him praying with religious officials, giving an impression that he has always been a devout Christian. But if this is so, how come his daughter converted to Orthodox Judaism and married a Jew? Doesn’t compute, does it?

The same goes for his photo ops standing with military personnel to bask in their reflected honor when he didn’t serve in the military. He received a medical exemption during the Vietnam War because of a doctor’s report that he had a bone spur. I don’t think that any living member of the Trump family has ever served. Junior and Eric have posed with their kills as great hunters, but deer do not shoot back. Maybe Barron will break the mold…

More importantly, Trump and his family have not supported those who were unjustly imprisoned during the Jan. 6 capitol protests. Some have been in jail for two years without trial. There are many reports of the brutal treatment inflicted on them. When a commander abandons his troops in the field, he is without honor. They went to the capitol at his urging, but he was nowhere to be seen. Shame on him!

Trump also takes pride in the rushed COVID vaccine rollout “Operation Warp Speed,” and he owns it. But evidence has emerged that the vaccine was at best useless and at worst harmful. Trump and his program is probably directly responsible for deaths shown in the insurance companies’ excess mortality tables. As more information about this is revealed, I predict that anger, and soon rage, will descend on his reputation in a very few months.

Trump is tone deaf on this and other issues. Excuses that his mistakes were the fault of incompetent or malicious advisors don’t cut it. He chose to listen to them and not others. His poor choice of advisors on the vaccine and in so many other areas is a reflection on the competency of the one doing the choosing.

Years ago when he separated from his late first wife, he had his new paramour and soon-to-be second wife Marla Maples brag to the New York media how she had never experienced such fantastic sex before The Donald. This petty and adolescent behavior came from Trump when was in his 40s and should have been more mature. His recent attacks on DeSantis are also petty and mean-spirited. Even Trump’s supporters must admit that he is a narcissist. It is all about him. He is neither a statesman nor an honest leader.

—Richard J. Johnson
Kellogg, Idaho

Good News

In 1983, the song “A Little Good News” was released by Nova Scotian singer Anne Murray. Fortunately, those who read Edward Welsch’s editorial “Three Cheers for the Twenty” in the February issue of Chronicles learned of a little good news (something conservatives don’t get enough of today in the Disunited States of America).

The twenty GOP members of the U.S. House who held off on voting for Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker until he promised certain reforms displayed levels of courage, endurance, and perseverance that are rare in Washington, D.C. The major lesson to learn from this episode is, I believe, that it often takes just a few good people to get something done.

Of course, it should’ve been a lot more than just 20 out of a House GOP membership of about 220. But maybe The Twenty have blazed a trail that will be more traveled this year and next. If the Disunited States become United again, we’ll need more courage and hard work similar to what the Twenty provided us in January, and I thank Mr. Welsch for giving us a thorough report on their accomplishment.

—Kenneth Reynolds
Bronx, N.Y.

Marx, Tailor of Errors

Dear Editors, I really enjoyed the April thematic issue, “Is Wokeism Marxist?” There were many great points made. Wokeism and Marxism are clearly not the same, but just as clearly, they are related. Reading the essays in the issue, I thought of Karl Marx’s stated ambition to “dethrone God and destroy capitalism.” This proves that he knew even in the 19th century that his was a multi-front ideological war that included overthrowing religion and traditional values as well as the economic system.

Though I am Protestant, I also thought of the Catholic “seamless garment” argument, in which Christianity is supposed to combine the various threads of its ethical, religious, economic, and political teaching into a unified moral vision. I think the inverse also is true: just as truth hangs together, error congregates, and thus Marxism and wokeism are cut from the same cloth.

It seems to me likely as well that, like the Frankfurt School and French postmodernism, American progressivism and the Social Gospel movement also derive from Marxism just as various heresies derived from a common Christian source.

Keep up the great work!

—Steve Sawyer
Fountain Hills, Ariz.

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