Today is my birthday, the glittering crown of the holiest of all holy periods, Chris Week—that blandly temperate bacchanalia celebrating all things Chris (with, I promise you, generous libations to the gods Irony and Self-Deprecation). I am today 33, which my wife pointed out is when Jesus died. If that doesn’t set a high bar for this year, then I don’t know what does.
Today is also the first day of public impeachment hearings for the witless human bagpipe scientists called Donald Trump, the quasi-sentient lump of burger fat birthed when a bolt of lightning struck a puddle of wig hair and Burger King effluence. Herr Trumpen, for those not following Earth news, is an abhorrent human being, an incompetent administrator and even worse crook, and a more lasting stain on the Oval Office than anything Bill Clinton may have left on the curtains. At his back is the simpering, sniveling squad of slithery sycophants* whom scientists call the Republican Party. I couldn’t think of a worse cavalry to come to my defense, even considering the possibility of anthropophagy among Ewoks. To say that I would not be sad to see Monsieur l’Donald scrubbed from the White House walls is something of an understatement. Unfortunately for me, America, and the story of Western Civilization, the dashing heroes of this third-rate, direct-to-VHS entry in the turgidly stupid saga we call national politics are those whom scientists worship as the Democratic Party: a squabbling, self-devouring patchwork of reanimated skeletons and totalitarian Instagram stars whose inability to politically out-maneuver the human equivalent of a pontoon full of drunk NASCAR fans is perhaps more damning than anything God will pronounce on Judgment Day.
This is all such a historic embarrassment that it makes one laugh until they cry, carefully ferment those tears, then imbibe as moonshine while tightrope-walking over a belching Icelandic volcano. While props must be given to those poor professional souls like Ambassador “Bootstrap” Bill Taylor swept up in this bipartisan million ring circus, no props may be given to either the Blues or the Reds. No, not one. Could there be any more irksome ruling parties in a democracy? On the one hand, we have the Reds, whose sense of nobility, tradition, and virtue was fanned away like a dog fart at the faintest glimmer of hope in authoritarian success, a party who once boasted of putting an end to the U.S.S.R. but now looks longingly at post-Soviet kleptopcracies and thinks, “Yes, I’ll have some of that.” On the other hand, we have the Blues, a churning froth of demented Cool Moms and self-righteous warrior children unwilling to digest any ideas more nuanced than the Tweet summary of a Vox explainer, a concrescence of postmodern Puritanical scolds whose primary takeaway from George Orwell’s 1984 was that there just wasn’t enough pronoun policing and whose entire social platform seems derived from a bleak cyberpunk novel.
Imagine if someone offered you a choice between a fatal wasting disease or being strung up from the gallows for the mortal sin of opining a man is a human born with the dangly bits downstairs. You’d find a different restaurant. A street war between rival gangs of howler monkeys armed with electric vuvuzelas couldn’t be a more insufferably annoying clash than that between Republics and Democrats. It would certainly be less grating on the ears. It causes me to look longingly at Jupiter in the night sky, fervently hoping for the planet to swing by and accidentally crush the eastern seaboard before hurrying away with frantic and apologetic goodbyes.
It is all the more vexing to a Christian—by which I mean a committed follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the traditions and metaphysics built upon them, not whatever the hell Jerry Falwell Jr. is—because one cannot help but feel to be on the cusp of a crisis on that teeny-tiny matter called existence.
Among the Blues there is an uncomfortable echo of the intellectual and spiritual malaise that reigned among the secular intelligentsia leading to the 1917 revolution in Russia. I am not here equating the vague wish for government-sponsored medical care with Communism. I mean the hunger among the intellectually smug and materially comfortable to (literally) burn down the existing order and rewrite history and language to better suit the vision of a technocratic utopia erected atop the bones of unwilling martyrs. Now, I do not expect that if Democrats win in 2020 we will all be sent to gulags administered by Secretary of Loyalty Ocasio-Cortez—we are, for some baffling reason, the ones with all the guns—but one cannot help but notice the ravenous gleam in progressive eyes when the likes of erstwhile human meteor Beto O’Rourke speaks of punitive legal measures against orthodox Christian institutions simply for being orthodox (note he did not mention orthodox synagogues or mosques, which necessarily would suffer the same under rules). But triumphalist government organs in several blue states have aggressively pursued policies of revenge against their conservative Christian minorities** since the reign of St. Obama***, and while O’Rourke may be dismissed as an also-ran outsider, in 2016 Sanders was the same. Now his heterodoxy is 2020 Democratic party dogma. The past century of “enlightened” and “modern” Europe is a century of bloodbath unprecedented in history, perpetuated by adherents of the first truly secular ideologies. Previously Christian bastions like Germany and Russia became slaughterhouses of martyrs who kept to the traditional faith. These were not ignorant backwaters. Like Revolutionary France, Russia and Germany were gems in the crown of Western philosophy and art. The idea that a secularizing, modernist intellectual front is somehow categorically immune to persecuting Christians is self-evidently stupid and historically ignorant.
And then we have the Reds, a groveling and clownish pack of financial grifters, political opportunists, religious charlatans, mutant remora fish, and outright racists who’ve coalesced around a jabbering and senescent New York liberal famed for two things: being on television, and being pretty bad at things he claims to be pretty good at. The idea that these are the defenders of the faith, that the Republican Party is somehow the natural home for Christian believers, is beyond ludicrous. If you were to scrape the Old and New Testaments for every injunction against immoral, unethical, and unjust actions, you would literally—I mean that in its strongest sense—literally come up with the curriculum vitae of Donald Jesus Trump. Depriving workers of due wages, contemning immigrants, mocking honorable men, blatantly lying, adultery…the list goes on. It’s all in there. There is nothing whatsoever in the two thousand years of the faith which justifies believers in clinging to whatever barbaric strongman offers them a modicum of material safety. The heroes of the faith did quite the opposite, in fact—they rebuked, scorned, and mocked the powerful wicked, even when torture or death were the expected outcome. All of the worst episodes of Christian history involve kneeling before secular powers. The Spanish Inquisition really was a weapon of national cohesion wielded by Ferdinand and Isabella in the formation of a unified Spain which the Pope reluctantly allowed to form and then (ineffectually) protested its bloody use.**** We should not be so quick to thankfully cower behind a man as plainly atheistic and demonic as Trump simply because his surrogates wave crosses at rallies. If nothing else, it only fuels the raging smugness of the Blues, who will inevitably win back the increasingly imperial presidency someday.
It is now hour six thousand of today’s impeachment hearings. The circus drags on. Indignation is had. Dogs howl in perfect arrangements of Beethoven and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon simultaneously. I haven’t the faintest idea of what the Blues hope to get out of an impeachment process which will not result in removal (besides not being lynched by their activist base), and I haven’t the faintest idea what Reds hope to get out of lying through their teeth to defend their stupid, dishonest brute of a leader (besides not being lynched by their activist base). I stopped listening after one of the congressional interrogators began an uncanny impression of Queen Latifah’s parody of political grandstanding on 30 Rock. It is, after all, my birthday, and none of these people—not a one—have stopped their meaningless noise to flatter me or sing my praises on television.
*My spoken word instrumental album, Sexual Sibilance, drops in Sep—er, August.
** How the hell Democrats were even able to find conscientious objector artists in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, or New Mexico is perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of the last millennium.
*** Or, formerly St. Obama. The fact Barack “I’ve evolved on marriage, har har” Obama is now an object of progressive contempt and mockery would be an amusing irony if it were not a frightening bellwether of revolutionary ruthlessness and patricide.
**** The total body count of the Spanish Inquisition, by the way, is what Stalin would have called a “lazy Saturday.”