With DeSantis in the Race, Will the Right Explode into Pieces, Dooming the Country?
Let’s be clear, there’s nothing more obnoxious than NeverTrump Republicans. Worst. Americans. Ever. I’d rather hang out with “The Squad,” or break bread with Bernie Sanders.
But there’s something also irritating and dangerous out there: ForeverTrump activists who have developed an excessive personal loyalty to the man, potentially at the expense of his movement and even the country.
A Political Genius
It’s fine to say that you think Trump was cheated out of his second term. Even that he was largely cheated out of actually exercising his first, by a Deep State conspiracy to annul the people’s will. All that is sadly true, and crucial to shout from every housetop.
It’s also a sensible option to say that Trump is the best and most electable candidate this year. To recognize that he’s a once-in-a-generation political genius, on the order of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, whom the GOP stupidly mistreated instead of embracing. He’s the guy who will get crossover black and Hispanic voters, and vastly increase turnout among blue-collar whites. So he’s the best choice for 2024, most likely to win the next crucial election. That all might be true.
Not the Duly Anointed King
It’s quite another thing to suggest that any candidate who challenges Trump for the nomination is “disloyal” or “ungrateful.” Or to conclude that any ambitious Republican who wants to put himself forward must be the tool of a secret cabal of “globalists,” “RINOs,” “neocons,” or other evil actors trying to rob Trump of what’s rightly his.
This isn’t a monarchy, and Trump was never anointed as God’s representative on the throne. But too many Trump loyalists seem to treat him like a legitimate king in exile, and his rivals like Ron DeSantis as faithless courtiers who betrayed their solemn loyalty oaths.
If the Right Splits, America Is Finished
Let’s clear that junk off the table, and consider the strategic implications of a race between Trump and DeSantis, along with the raft of other vanity candidates who have announced, but stand no chance. There’s a profoundly serious issue that might arise, which could well splinter the Right and leave our country in the addled hands of marionettes like Joe Biden and John Fetterman, controlled by malevolent, un-American puppeteers like John Brennan, Andrew Weissman, and Marc Elias.
This problem (as I’ll show) destroyed Trump-style movements in many Western countries, leaving them to the scavengers of the post-Christian, post-patriotic left.
Immigration decides whether America survives. Abortion decides whether it deserves to.
I’ll recall what I wrote last week: “Immigration decides whether America survives. Abortion decides whether it deserves to.” It’s absolutely crucial for any conservative movement today to affirm both of these precepts equally. The great danger is that the movement will split between those who believe the first, and those who believe the second.
What Satan Wants for America
Make no mistake: The Enemy seeks moral chaos amid political tyranny, a Sodom where all but the rich live in fear and squalor, looking to Caesar rather than God for help, protection, and safety. And wallowing in their vices, ignoring a forgotten, discredited Church. So our eternal foe attacks us on many fronts. The two chief ones are these:
- Reckless, promiscuous mass immigration to blow up public order, keep labor cheap and powerless, and grow the size of the government. And
- Callous, lax abortion laws that embody and teach a contempt for human life, sexual fidelity, marriage, and our very existence as souls inhabiting bodies.
Divide and Conquer
Each is, in its way, profoundly evil. So evil that some citizens are moved to oppose it. The Enemy knows he can’t quite stop this. But he can, and does, something preternaturally clever: He tries desperately to stop people from opposing both 1) and 2) at once. In fact, he uses those under his sway in both Church and state to set up a division between the two.
In my own Catholic church, the Enemy managed this via the “Seamless Garment,” invented by radical leftist and heretic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. He argued that nobody could oppose the killing of innocent children for sexual convenience unless he also embraced a crackpot Utopia that kept its borders open, gave up its nuclear weapons, and created a massive nanny state that wiped every snotty nose in the nation.
Which of course, nobody did. No political figure has ever embraced the Seamless Garment or ever will, because it’s obviously insane. Bernardin invented this poison pill as a favor to corrupt Irish and Italian-American Democrats who wanted political cover for backing abortion on demand, while still winning Catholic votes.
Conversely, the movement for immigration control was long dominated by misanthropic eco-pessimists who simply wanted to shrink the U.S. population, and didn’t care if that meant allowing abortion at will. And yes, a tiny smattering of genuine racists, whom the Enemy lured in to help discredit the cause.
You Can Reject Poison or Cancer, but Not Both
Of course, a genuine Christian patriot should reject both destructive, promiscuous immigration and legal abortion. But by highjacking to some degree the leaders of opposition to both these evils, and setting the movements against each other, the Enemy could keep both firmly in place.
In Europe, the churches mostly swallowed Seamless Garment arguments. They were so spooked by the ghosts of long-dead Nazis that they were willing to open the borders to Jew-hating, violent Muslims, and let the reins of government fall into the hands of Marxist-influenced population controllers who favored abortion. Anything, anything to prove that they weren’t “nationalists.”
Patriots who were outraged by this betrayal of their countries mostly turned against the churches for peddling such poison. So the natural alliance of pro-life Christians and patriots instead became a squabble, and then a feud. Parties that wanted to control immigration just shrugged when it came to abortion, making them non-starters for most sincere Christians.
An American Political Miracle
We saw a similar division inside the GOP, to a lesser degree. No, it didn’t help when Christian Right leaders unified in 1996 to hand the presidential nomination to centrist, secular hack Bob Dole — in order to stop the “dangerous extremist” Pat Buchanan.
In 2016, we saw a kind of political miracle.
But in 2016, we saw a kind of political miracle. Donald Trump wanted to run for president, to address the genuine threats to American nationhood and its people. He had no political base inside the Republican party, however — no leaders, no groups, nothing but millions of disaffected voters.
Meanwhile, conservative Christians had no obvious candidate to rally behind. They were still smarting at the constant betrayal of their interests by GOP leaders who fobbed them off with table scraps — while abortion continued untrammeled, same-sex marriage got codified, and not one single Christian interest got taken seriously.
Let’s Make a Deal
Trump was willing to make a deal uniting the populist nationalists with the Christians, and to the world’s amazement, it stuck. Still more astonishingly, he actually kept his promises, and appointed the justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. If anything, he did less for those concerned about immigration than he did for pro-lifers. He forged the alliance between those who advocate justice in the womb, and those who want lawful borders — an alliance that doesn’t exist in Britain, France, Germany, or any other country in Western Europe. It’s the pact we need to survive, and to deserve to.
Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.
And now Trump is endangering that crucial alliance by his ambiguous, even ominous statements on crucial social issues. No, Mr. Trump, a ban on abortion after six weeks isn’t considered “too harsh” by prolifers. No, it doesn’t make sense to side with the Satan-boosting groomers at Disney against Ron DeSantis. No, this isn’t going to win you the nomination and the election. If you win the former this way, you’ll surely lose the latter, because millions of Christians will simply … stay home.
He might splinter the right in America for a generation, though — and leave us a country that’s both unfixable and reprobate, just another fallen empire in history’s long list of failures. Let’s pray that he changes course.
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.”