Governor Kristi Noem Sees that Human Decency Can Make for Smart Politics, Too
Let me start with a piece of rare encouraging news:
“Gov. Noem understands that every life is sacred and that babies with Down syndrome are a real blessing to their families and their communities,” Father Pavone said. “When we hear of nations like Iceland boasting that they have ‘eradicated’ Down syndrome, what they really mean is that they have killed all of these precious children. That is a tragedy.
“The people of South Dakota should be proud to have a governor who understands that the protection of life must be unconditional and non-discriminatory.”
In America, if not in backsliding Viking Iceland, protecting babies from deadly discrimination because of their mental handicaps isn’t just right but smart. Gov. Noem’s decision to fight on this hill should make us consider her seriously as our candidate in 2024.
Herd Animals for Good or Ill
Morality and politics don’t always march together, as too many people assume. It’s typical for most of us to unconsciously look at the moral claims that hold the power all around us. Then we conclude that these claims are likely true, because they prevail. If you go against them at all, you’re kind of “backward” or even “weird.” If you really push back against the approved public morality, then you’re some kind of “extremist,” “conspiracy theorist,” or “terrorism threat.”
This is the moral reasoning not of a fully conscious adult human, but of a herd animal blindly following the scent of the buttocks in front of it. Sadly, it’s the default setting of most fallen human beings, unless we strive against it. Like fish, if we’re not swimming against the stream, we’re going to float along with it.
The herd isn’t always wrong, of course. In fact, it’s our job to help urge it in good directions — so that public opinion, peer pressure, and the force of law all happily coincide with the real source of moral guidance, the Natural Law God wrote on our hearts. The law can be a teacher. So can ancient custom, established habits, and the small-c conservative force that Edmund Burke called benevolent “prejudice.” You and I are prejudiced, currently, against things like incest, murder, adultery, and theft. You don’t want each generation of young people to face the task of reinventing the whole moral law from scratch.
Wolves Volunteering as Shepherds
Or do you? What if you have perverse ideas that scoff at the wisdom of ancients? Maybe dark personal needs you want all society to approve of and affirm? Or crackpot Utopian notions for re-educating your neighbors? Then you might want exactly that. Of course, you’ll want your little group of bohemian elitists to “help” those young people “bravely” rebel against their pastors and their parents. You’ll affirm free speech, dissent, and apparent anarchy of opinions just long enough … for your new creed to firmly take control.
Then overnight, you’ll demand that people revert to being herd animals again, so you march them into your own barns, and then to the slaughterhouse.
That’s where we stand now on many, many issues in the West. The capture of the White House by the creatures of Big Tech, Big Media, and Big Vote Fix just underlines that sobering fact. Full-scale deadly riots were fine just six months ago. But now elites want absolute obedience to the letter of newly printed laws and executive orders whose ink still hasn’t dried. Now they demand we shut up and stay in line.
Love Wins. Now Shoot the Prisoners.
Pro-life activist Jennifer Morse captures things perfectly in her book, The Sexual State. She shows how one-time revolutionaries always had in mind the capture of power, and the enforcement by the government of their own sexual opinions. And now they’ve won at almost every level, and have started shooting the prisoners.
No reason to despair, though. The Natural Law still survives in the human heart, though clustered over with barnacles of elite and popular falsehoods. We have that natural advantage, since we’re working with the real rules for man as inscribed the God who made him. Instead of the private fantasies of the Marquis de Sade, or Freud’s baroque superstitions.
When you try to re-engineer man in the image of apes or demons, you’re bound to fail in the end. As Rudyard Kipling wrote, the basic truisms of Natural Law, “the Gods of the Copybook Headings,” never vanish, though they’ve been banished. Sooner or later, they “with terror and slaughter return.” If you don’t know Kipling’s poem, go read it. I recite it aloud for encouragement, at least once a month.
The Wicked Don’t Have to Prosper
So what are the implications for practical politics of these insights? I can see several.
First we must steadfastly hold to the moral high ground. We must use the Natural Law as both the cornerstone and the litmus test for any policies we propose. Even if something is urgently in our nation’s, or church’s, or social group’s self-interest, we can’t propose it if it really violates the Natural Law. Nor can we advance it using intrinsically evil means. (Note that I didn’t rule out “alarming,” “impolite,” “divisive” or “tacky” means, just provably evil ones.)
If we have sifted our policies and tactics, and none of them are evil, we may proceed. The next question, then: Though we stand on the moral high ground, does the general public know it? Are we going with or against the grain of current opinion? Are we standing for an issue where the Natural Law is still reasonably clear to most of our neighbors?
Or have propagandists for evil largely prevailed? In that case the “mainstream” is flowing over the cliff, down to the sea with the Gadarene Swine. So we’ll have a tough swim against it. The answer to these questions will tell us what tactics we’ll need to use, and how hard our fight will be. How disruptive must our campaign be? Will we have to make frontal attacks on well-entrenched false premises, and risk being labeled (egads!) “extremists”?
A Wacky Thought Experiment
Let’s say you stand in a weak position at the moment. Imagine — just being purely hypothetical here — your party has lost power at every level of the central government, after an orchestrated campaign of media lies, mass censorship, mob violence, vote fraud, and judicial complicity. Now you face in most seats of power not just disagreement but hatred. The stronger half of the country hates the (currently) weaker half the way Rwanda’s Hutus hated the Tutsis. It’s just stopping short (for the moment) of labeling them “cockroaches” who must be “exterminated.” Elites have gone from silencing their opponents to demonizing them, trying to stop them not just from dissenting, but even from earning a living.
Are you still with me? I know, this requires a real effort of imagination, but let’s all try to stretch. Pretend, that in some bizarre alternative universe, America today met such a description. Okay?
Pick the Right Hill to Fight On
With all that true, if you were an appealing, attractive potential leader of the Resistance to such an evil regime, what would be both the right and the smart thing to do? One thing might be: oppose the regime on an issue where it’s blatantly wrong, and most people on some level still know it.
Face down those in power over a point of the Natural Law that stands close to the surface, not one that’s been deeply buried. Tap into powerful sentiments that accord with that Law, and try to force the regime to back down. When it refuses, you’ve helped to stir the thought in millions of minds that this empire might be … evil.
Gov. Noem Hit the Sweet Spot
As a justly ambitious conservative leader, Gov. Noem picked her battle with Joe “President” Biden wisely. We aren’t quite at the point where the regime has convinced us to feel noble and selfless for murdering helpless children because of genetic issues. This isn’t a case where the kids would be born with hideously painful, incurable diseases. Then we might convince ourselves that murdering them is a mission of mercy.
In Britain, the state just starved to death a comatose patient in no pain at all, to affirm the moral principle of … saving the NHS money. We’re not quite so far gone yet. Though give America’s “second Catholic president” time, and he’ll shove us down that road.
No, aborting Down Syndrome kids means snuffing out the life of kids who if left alive and loved would lead happy, fulfilling lives. Authoritative surveys report that such people report being quite satisfied, day-to-day:
Among those surveyed, nearly 99% of people with Down syndrome indicated that they were happy with their lives; 97% liked who they are; and 96% liked how they look. Nearly 99% people with Down syndrome expressed love for their families, and 97% liked their brothers and sisters.
But narcissistic parents aren’t satisfied with them, and don’t relish the prospect of raising such imperfect Xeroxes of themselves. They pretend that these kids would someday look in the mirror, realize they weren’t as perfect as Lena Dunham or Stacey Abrams, and curse their very existence. But these parents know better.
Killing the innocent and helpless just because they’re innocent and helpless, and in some ways might stay that way … it’s hard to sell that as anything less than Satanic. Indeed, I think hatred of handicapped children comes neither from the world nor the flesh, but straight from the devil. Let’s see how Biden and his collaborators defend it.
Of course, many other aspects of Biden’s regime are equally, if less blatantly, evil. But exorcists will agree with me … you have to start somewhere.
John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream, and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”