Dignity Be Damned

An article in The Hill outlines the negotiations taking place between Donald Trump’s campaign team and Mitch McConnell’s representatives, seeking to “lay the groundwork” for McConnell to officially endorse Trump’s presidential bid for the third time — Dr. Frankenstein debating over whether to support the bucket of innervated nuts and bolts that escaped from his own lunatic laboratory. The article quotes various unnamed Senate Republicans and GOP staffers discussing the issue, and explaining why and how McConnell may finally “relent” and throw his public support behind the sub-mental cult-leading demagogic monster he was instrumental in creating in the first place. One of these quotes, from Anonymous Pragmatic Non-Statesman No. 2, sums the whole mess up perfectly, in addressing McConnell’s thought process:

“He’ll look past a load of s— to improve the path to the majority,” a second Senate GOP member said. “That’d be the one reason why Mitch would rise above principle and do the politically expedient thing … because he is hellbent on getting the majority, and he’ll make personal sacrifices for that.” 

“Rise above principle and do the politically expedient thing.” That may be the most inadvertantly honest statement any elected politician has ever made. Discarding principle in favor of expediency is nothing new in democratic politics, of course. But reversing the moral hierarchy such that principle is now perceived as a weakness that must be risen above in the name of the higher good of political expediency: therein lies the essence of our problem in the so-called free world. Freedom in the democratic sense seems inexorably to cultivate a vulgarization of political thought, a steady rejection of aspirations and dignity so thorough that aspiration and dignity themselves gradually come to seem mere nuisances or impediments to the ersatz good of victory for its own sake, which is to say of “success” defined without reference to any coherent, or even noticeable, notions of the public good or the priorities of human nature. Such notions — principles, as they were once referred to with noble, if often only rhetorical, deference — are now merely hurdles to be overcome, bugaboos to “rise above” in search of the all-encompassing goal of a victory reduced to “political expediency,” i.e., practical attainment detached from any standard of what is to be attained beyond the gaining or preservation of power as such.

Donald Trump is a man who as president will, once again, do everything in his power to destroy American credibility and influence on the world stage, to advance protectionist economic policies in defiance of liberty and the free market, to abandon strategic and military alliances forged over generations for the purpose of thwarting aggressive tyrannies of global reach, and in general to undermine all the moral and intellectual precepts that conservative Republicans once regarded as essential to maintaining America’s social fabric, civil discourse, and that sense of national unity beyond party divisions and personality cult animosities which must be revitalized if that country is to recover from its current, and apparently fatal, deterioration.

McConnell has announced that he will relinquish his position as Republican leader in the senate as of November of this year. His successor, beyond any doubt, will be a more overt and unabashed Trump sycophant and cheerleader. Good riddance, then, to the duplicitous and compromised pragmatist Mitch McConnell, as well as to the last remnants of the once semi-rational political faction he did so much to send into its death spiral, not least through his refusal to put principle above expediency in the decisive matter of the anti-American personality cult that has now burned the party of Lincoln, Coolidge, Eisenhower, and Reagan to the ground.

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