I’ve quietly withdrawn from the public square as I lament the sorrowful condition of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. If this is what winning looks like, then I’m not sure that it was worth it. Obviously “establishment” Republicans and conservatives would just as soon see a smooth-talking political party animal in the White House; they don’t know what to do with an unpredictable, inelegant, sometimes vulgar leader who despite his clumsy manner is trying to do what the majority of Americans want done.
I have to admire the Left. Like zombies, they just keep coming at you; they are relentless. Whether they win or lose, they never stop their pursuit of power. In the end they will win — that’s my fear.
The Left controls the media and the academy. They have polluted the arts, much of organized religion and the entertainment industry. There is hardly a crevice of classic American culture that is safe for true conservatives to crawl into. Maybe my biggest disappointment is with the Catholic Church, which has made a hard left turn, especially with the election of Pope Francis, who peddles his liberation theology all over the world and brazenly persecutes conservative ranking prelates.
My candle in the darkness is Fr. George Rutler, pastor of Saint Michael’s Church in New York City. He gives me what little hope I have for my country, culture and religion. Here is his latest issue, you’ll see what I mean.
In the nineteenth century, the poet Adam Mickiewicz dramatized the theme of his suffering Poland as the Christ of Nations and, in an image used by many others, Poland was crucified in the twentieth century between the two thieves of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. It was not the West’s proudest moment when President Roosevelt complained to Stalin at the Yalta Conference that Poland has been a source of trouble for over five hundred years. Pope John Paul II lamented Yalta in the encyclical Centesimus Annus. That will resonate in the annals of papal teaching more than recent magisterial concerns about the responsible use of air conditioning and the like.
On July 6 in Warsaw, the President spoke of a culture with which a generation of millennials have been unfamiliar: Americans, Poles, and the nations of Europe value individual freedom and sovereignty. We must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the South or the East, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.
Comfortable journalists, for whom the “Christ of Nations” is an enigma, resented a tiny speech, a perfunctory racist speech, xenophobic and a catalogue of effrontery, and a comparison was made with Mussolini. Solzhenitsyn once was pilloried for similar themes, and Reagan was advised by his Chief of Staff and National Security advisor not to tell Mr. Gorbachev to take down the Berlin Wall.
The Warsaw speech mentioned three priests: Copernicus, John Paul II and Michael Kozal. The latter was the bishop of Wloclawek who was martyred by the Nazis in Dachau along with 220 of his priests in 1943.
Among the irritations in the Warsaw speech were these words: “We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives.” As that was being said, the parents of a gravely ill child, Charlie Gard, in London were tussling with government officials who did not want to release their infant to them.
A Polish philosopher, Zbigniew Stawrowski has written: The fundamental cleavage is not the West v. Islam or the West v. the rest, but within the West itself: between those who recognize the values of Judaeo-Christian, Graeco-Roman culture and those who use terms like “democracy, values and rights” but pervert the latter. So it means democracy of the elites, values of secularism, rights to kill Charlie Gard, marriage that has nothing to do with sex, sex that is a private matter to be funded by the confiscatory state and your duty to support this incoherence.
The Polish king Jan III Sobieski rescued Christian civilization at the gates of Vienna in 1683. That was one of the troubles that Poland has caused in the past five hundred years. We survive because of such behavior.”