KLAVAN: Republican Men Without Chests

Will Deschamps, state chairman of Montana, wears a tie decorated with elephant mascots at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, Florida, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012.
Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

I have a friend who despises Donald Trump. Whenever Trump does something he finds outrageous, my friend mocks the president’s supporters by mimicking their frequent defense of him: “At least he fights.”

As I’ve often said, Trump is a great big American character with great big American flaws – and some great big American virtues too, often overlooked.

But you know what? At least he fights.

Never-Trumpers have retreated from the political battle we’re actually in to an imaginary world where they are knightly defenders crossing swords with the Ray Harryhausen skeletons of ideological decay. They call their anti-Trump PAC The Lincoln Project. They call their anti-Trump websites The Remnant or The Ramparts. The idea is that they are the last men standing atop the last redoubt fighting for the party of 1860 against the perfidious President the Donald who has so badly disfigured it.

Well, no.

Black Lives Matter – a small and violent radical organization dedicated to a Marxist revolution and bent on hobbling our police and destroying the American family – has terrorized this country with riots and other ugliness for a long month now. They are not black – only one sixth of the protesters are black – and they don’t care about Black Lives or they wouldn’t be attacking the police. The police killed nine unarmed black men in 2018. Seven thousand four hundred blacks died at the hands of murderers that year. More than 200,000 died at the hands of abortionists. Black Lives Matter doesn’t give a damn.

And yet what is the response of our elites to these terrorist thugs? Corporations rush to show support for them. Democrat governors, who impose unconstitutional bans on worship in the name of keeping us ever-so-safe from the Chinese Virus, celebrate and join in with their massive demonstrations. Democrat spokesmen – also known as the news media – play down the “mostly peaceful” violence while upbraiding and cancel-mugging any law-abiding citizen who dares to draw a gun to defend himself against it.

So what about the Republicans? The ones who get their ideological ideas from Honest Abe. The ones we’re standing on the ramparts to defend the remnants of.

Well, they’re negotiating. Maybe the Marxist terrorists have a point. Maybe some statues should come down. Maybe some Army bases should be renamed. Some are offering a new federal holiday on Juneteenth. Senator Ron Johnson has a great idea – let’s get rid of Columbus Day so the new Black Lives Matter holiday won’t cost the federal government another day of paid leave. We may be handing over our culture to terrorists, but think of the money we’ll save!

Hundreds of former Bush administration officials are endorsing Joe Biden, now little more than a moderate mask for the radicals who would surely run his administration. That’s who they are. That’s who they always were. Compassionate conservatism was Leftism with a flag on it.

Back in the Obama years, the leadership of the Republican Party told me to my face that they would “use” the Tea Partiers to maintain power while meeting none of their demands for constitutional governance. They announced in public that they would never try to impeach Obama, leaving him free to shred the Constitution with his misuse of the IRS, the State Department, and the FBI. They would not legislate against unbridled illegal immigration. They would not cut entitlements. They would not repeal the oppression of Obamacare.

What Lincolnian principles have these people represented in living memory? What ramparts are we standing on to defend what remnant? If the True Republican Party is an outpost, it’s Jamestown, long gone. Donald Trump did not destroy it. He rose to power because it had been destroyed. He is the emanation of their failures.

Republicans – and conservatives – are now what C. S. Lewis called men without chests. They have high-sounding theories and ideas about our founding and our Constitution, but they will not defend them from the radical destroyers.

Their theories and ideas are worthless. As Lewis pointed out, “In battle it is not syllogisms that will keep the reluctant nerves and muscles to their post in the third hour of the bombardment. The crudest sentimentalism… about a flag or a country or a regiment will be of more use.”

The ancients located such sentiments in the chest. With the help of an intellect trained from youth, those sentiments recall us to our duty when it’s time to face losing an election or profits or a social media platform or a sponsor in the defense of principle.

Instead, “we make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise…” Lewis said. “We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

That’s your Republican Party. That’s your Conservative Movement, too. That’s why Trump is president. Because at least he fights.

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