Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Will It End?

 

At the Battle of Camlann, King Arthur fought his bastard son, Mordred. In the end both were dead: Arthur pierced with Mordred’s lance and Mordred by a thrust of Arthur’s sword. Mordred was the spawn of incest between Arthur and his sister. In the telling of the Arthurian legend in the movie Excalibur, this liaison was a result of a spell, not unnatural lust on the part of Arthur. Even so, Arthur’s punishment for incest is his own death at the hands of his bastard. At least that is what is prophesied. Arthur seeks to avoid this fate by banishing his baby son. But Mordred returns years later to foment rebellion and take Arthur’s crown. The ensuing battle only ends in death at the hands of each other.

Keener minds than my own might fashion this into a metaphor of the American experience. A foundation of liberty, but not for all. A conflict inherent in the dynamic tension that exists between the power of the individual and the power of the collective. A complex modernity that relies on technocrats whose moral fiber is tested not to take advantage of and control the masses for the benefit of the elite.

Are we obliged to share the fate of Arthur and Mordred? Is there a way out?

Bill Maher is suggesting that there needs to be. His monologue on “Let it go” (hat tip, Ann Althouse) asks his progressive followers to accept that no one is going away. Maher says that if progressives think there is an opportunity for absolute and eternal victory, they are kidding themselves. Although his characterization of those who support Trump is crude, in fairness it is no cruder than the darker thoughts of those of us who feel Trump is being unfairly persecuted and our Constitution put under threat.

So be strategic about this short term conflict between now and November 2020. The progressives are not going anywhere regardless of the margin of victory that Trump might achieve. The battle is perpetual. Stay out of the reach of the lance or the sword.

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There are 10 comments.

  1. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Well done, @rodin. It’s easy to say we need to work to change things, and hope we can turn the tide for the better. But I’m afraid the war will never be over. They are buoyed up by their idealism, that each loss shouldn’t be discouraging because they are just working toward the better. It makes me tired to just think about it.

    • #1
    • November 17, 2019, at 1:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It makes me tired to just think about it.

    I think the current intensity is that so many of us for much of our lives thought that the political battles would be fought within the proverbial “40 yard lines” of each side. Therefore the battles did not seem consequential. It has only been of late (the Obama Administration) where it seemed that the momentum was really going in the wrong direction from many people’s perspective. So we have been drafted into a conflict we never wanted and never seemed necessary. But now it is. And it is tiring. It is the raw recruits who suffer the most from the exertion. We need to tone our political muscles and build up endurance. We no longer have the leisure of sitting on the sidelines and letting the “pros” battle it out. “Our” pros cut a deal that we were not privy to. It sold us out. So now we are in the trenches, and dreams of the “quick victory” need to be understood as simply that: a dream, well wished for but a dream nonetheless.

    • #2
    • November 17, 2019, at 1:19 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. Randy Webster Member

    Rodin: Although his characterization of those who support Trump is crude, in fairness it is no cruder than the darker thoughts of those of us who feel Trump is being unfairly persecuted and our Constitution put under threat.

    Sure. But we’re right.

    • #3
    • November 17, 2019, at 1:33 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. David Foster Member

    You are correct that we must not think there will be a straightforward and complete victory, after which we can relax. BUT, we must also not underestimate the extreme and different nature of the threat that the country is facing.

    In his invaluable memoir of growing up in Germany between the wars, Sebastian Haffner records his horror and distress when Hitler became Chancellor. But…that evening, after discussing the situation with his father, he felt better about the future. Hitler, after all, had not been elected dictator: he was merely head of a coalition government and indeed had sworn an oath to the Weimar constitution.

    We agreed that (the new government) had a good chance of doing a lot of damage, but not of surviving for very long: a deeply reactionary government, with Hitler as its mouthpiece…Even with the Nazis it would not have a majority in the Reichstag…Foreign policy would probably be a matter of banging the table. There might be an attempt to rearm. That would automatically add the outside world to the 60 percent of the home population who were against the Government…No, all things considered, this government was not a cause for alarm.

    Haffner considered leaving Germany, or demonstratively converting to Judaism.

    Though it was not really relevant to current events, my father’s immense experience of the period from 1870 to 1933 was deployed to calm me down and sober me up. He treated my heated emotions with gentle irony…It took me quite a while to realize that my youthful excitability was right and my father’s wealth of experience was wrong; that there are things that cannot be dealt with by calm skepticism.

    also

    My spiritual preparation for what was ahead was almost equally inadequate. Is it not said that in peacetime the chiefs of staff always prepare their armies as well as possible–for the previous war? I cannot judge the truth of that, but it is certainly true that conscientious parents always educate their sons for the era that is just over.

    • #4
    • November 17, 2019, at 1:34 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin Post author

    David Foster (View Comment):
    You are correct that we must not think there will be a straightforward and complete victory, after which we can relax. BUT, we must also not underestimate the extreme and different nature of the threat that the country is facing.

    Yes. We thought the draft was over and war could be left to the professionals. We.were.wrong.

    • #5
    • November 17, 2019, at 1:39 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    I think we will live our lives for a few years if Trump is re-elected. If not, then all bets are off. Eventually the bill will come due for all the profligacy since 1965. I think it was deTocqueville who said that the democracy would last until the people discovered they could vote themselves money from the Treasury. That occurred in 1965. Social Security might be considered the origin but it was a program based on contribution and a life expectancy of no more than 65. The actual quote is The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. Same thing.

    The 2008 collapse was a warning. It didn’t work. I am a fan of Nicole Gelinas’ book.

    https://www.amazon.com/After-Fall-Saving-Capitalism-Washington-ebook/dp/B01N9YG0UY/

    I wrote a review on Amazon here.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1UI9RKEE3SBRX/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01N9YG0UY

    There is not much good about growing old, and I will be 82 next birthday,. but one thing is that I will not have to deal with this, unless I am so unlucky as to live as long as my mother , 103.

    • #6
    • November 17, 2019, at 3:47 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    There is not much good about growing old, and I will be 82 next birthday,. but one thing is that I will not have to deal with this, unless I am so unlucky as to live as long as my mother , 103.

    In spite of the bleakness of the future, @michaelkennedy, I wish you a long life.

    • #7
    • November 17, 2019, at 3:50 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    One could portray this as a balance between good and evil, but I would suggest instead a balance between (very loosely) super ego and id. 

    Leftist attempts to exert control are in part a response to a vacuum left by the unwilling but de facto retreating of the organizing principles of our Judeo-Christian heritage and the existential (real or imagined) threat of Soviet-era Communism. 

    I am not making a case for ‘gimme that old-time religion’ here. Rather I am noting that people are compelled by PC culture because there are people making a powerful effort to compel them. 

    • #8
    • November 17, 2019, at 4:17 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Randy Webster Member

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    I think we will live our lives for a few years if Trump is re-elected. If not, then all bets are off. Eventually the bill will come due for all the profligacy since 1965. I think it was deTocqueville who said that the democracy would last until the people discovered they could vote themselves money from the Treasury. That occurred in 1965. Social Security might be considered the origin but it was a program based on contribution and a life expectancy of no more than 65. The actual quote is The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. Same thing.

    The 2008 collapse was a warning. It didn’t work. I am a fan of Nicole Gelinas’ book.

    https://www.amazon.com/After-Fall-Saving-Capitalism-Washington-ebook/dp/B01N9YG0UY/

    I wrote a review on Amazon here.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1UI9RKEE3SBRX/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01N9YG0UY

    There is not much good about growing old, and I will be 82 next birthday,. but one thing is that I will not have to deal with this, unless I am so unlucky as to live as long as my mother , 103.

    I think the quote is about democracies in general, not America in particular. We’re on the downhill side of the quote.

    • #9
    • November 17, 2019, at 6:53 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Trump is toast. Warren wins then things get interesting. Most likely class and race wars.

    • #10
    • November 17, 2019, at 8:18 PM PST
    • 1 like