People's fascinated outrage with Donald Trump has always confounded me. No one can actually think he is worse than Hillary Clinton, can they? I ask myself. Then I realize, Trump has done what cannot be done: said something concrete. No matter what else, you can't pin Clinton down to anything, because she vectors within realms of interpretation and quantities. Concern for the poor, the middle class, etc. - these are meaningless concepts because they can mean whatever you want them to mean. A wall separating the US and Mexico is not something you can interpret. If it's ten feet tall or fifteen, it's still a wall. You can't be sorta pregnant.
Most of the hardship of my life has surrounded my inability to abide by the rule that no one should be definite about anything. I am always definite. I loved completely. I followed rules to the letter than I signed on for. And yet time and time again the other people changed their minds and I got the short end of the stick because of it.
I was told that love is everything. And it wasn't.
I was told that there are no bad questions. There are.
I was told the pursuit of knowledge is the most important thing. It is not.
I was told to be true to your convictions. That is now called bigotry.
If you pay attention to the way our culture is moving it's always followed this rule: that rules are irrelevant. Nothing could have undermined the Roman Empire but the Romans disregarding their own rules.Nothing might undermine the American Empire, but the Americans - and they will. Cultures move toward the path of least resistance. It's easier to break rules than to follow them. Who should we let get married? Everyone! Who is ill? No one! Who wins - we all do!
But we all lose. Civilization is about ideals. Great ones are based on great ideals, but they don't seem to hold sway indefinitely.
Civilizations are forged in crucibles. Rome was built on the backs of soldier-farmers. The US on the back of farmer-industrialists. Rome was built under the tutelage of virility, manliness. The US on the ideal of liberty. These were great ideals. Not sufficient, but great. The bottom line is, ideals trumped the manipulations of the other kinds of people, the destroyers of civilization: the cowardly and the venial. These types cannot put a forest under the plow, as the great men who settled the US and Italia and Germania could. No, they are the parasites who come out and feed on what the great built. And in the end, they will destroy all that the great men built up. People fear that Trump will be that Caesar who will turn the US from a republic to an empire. But that's not an apt description of Rome's fate. Rome was destroyed long before Caesar came along to pick the bones. It was destroyed the moment Carthage was destroyed, Rome's final mortal enemy. The Scipios were replaced by the bureaucrats. Civilizations are forged in fire. When the fire cools, their vigor is lost, and they die with the cooling of the last embers. Yes, Caesar was more noble than Caligula, and that is Trump to Clinton, but the difference is negligible when it comes to the fate of a civilization.
If the West of the US is a civilization distinct from that of the Holy Roman Empire, that is, if Locke and Voltaire and separable from Paul and Aquinas (and I do not think they are), then it has its own history. If it ends now, then for as great as it is, it would be but a flash in the cosmos. I think that the US world is with respect to the Holy Roman Empire, like Rome was to Greece, or Persia was to Babylon. In every case the story is the same: Gregory and Charles Martel forged a civilization from the crucible of Germanic and Muslim fire. The parasites destroyed it, whether we are talking about the Bourbons and Hapsburgs or the Robespierres, Lenins, Merkels and Obamas.
But hopefully something of the ideal carries on: Roman virility, on the one hand, Christendom's love of God and man and reason, the Enlightenment love of reason and liberty.
We need to judge people harshly. Did they create or consume? Trump, for instance, asks a good question: what good or service did the Clintons provide so as to earn them their $200 million dollars? An industrialist creates value - whether by bringing forests under the plow, by mining mineral wealth, or with a new idea, like the printing press, the light bulb, the internal combustion engine, or the personal computer. Charles Martel provided a good too: security against Muslims. This is creative. You can't farm without security. The US military has been providing this to the world for seventy years. The military is the first thing that the parasites turn against because they take their service for granted. Does the military today create or consume? Trump has done well to point out the services that it provides: it gives the world freedom to do business, to create.
Law and order are absolutes that people do not tolerate for long. They are absolutes and therefore inexpedient.
World War Two, I think, was the West's last moment of excellence. How we view our war heroes determines the health of a civilization. It indicates whether we are in decline or are still vital. Watch how November 11th is observed. It will determine where we are going.
Do a people believe that who they are deserves to continue?
People are either creators or consumers, idealists or cynics, builders or parasites. People either believe in something great or they do not. These two types of people could not be more dissimilar.
In the end, don't believe people. Or at least, take them with a grain of salt.
And don't be like them. Mean what you say.