Different Kinds of Moonbats

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One of the valuable things I learned from Rushdoony was the idea of the inescapable concept. It is not whether we will impose morality through our laws, but rather which morality we will impose. It is not whether there will be an ultimate god for every political system, but rather which god it will be. Not whether, but which.

In the same way, all attempts at political engagement (or disengagement, for that matter) provide yet another setting for the same principle to manifest itself. No matter what you do, or where you go, you will find yourself tied to others doing the same thing for very different and frequently disreputable reasons. It is not whether you will have strange bedfellows, but which strange bedfellows you will have.

If I vote Republican, as I did in the general, in the hope of getting one or two more pro-life Supreme Court justices, I find myself cheek by jowl with somebody else pulling the lever because he will be getting some sweet kickbacks on a defense contractor. If I vote for Ron Paul, as I did in the primary, I find myself cheek by jowl with another fellow up here in the sticks of north Idaho with swastikas all over his backhoe. I know, an absurd example, but it is not as though I haven’t seen that kind of thing with my own eyeballs. Now I am not “contaminated” by either one, unless I overtly own or connive at their evil deeds — like Obama did with Ayers. But I am doing the same thing that they are doing, and I am doing it at the same time . . . strange bedfellows. And I can’t get away from this law by forming a political party of one, and heading up for the tall grass of the high mountain pastures. Lots of people have done that, and many of them are fruit loops.

If mere unity of action contaminates, then I am as contaminated by voting for purist Third Party candidates as I am by voting for the Establishment solons. The one difference is that the impurities present more of an intellectual challenge to the Third Party guys, because their raison d’tre is . . . purity. The pragmatists running the big tent circuses don’t really care about that because all they want is warm bodies checking their boxes, clearly and legibly.

So, if I accept the “guilt by association” argument, I have to accept it across the board. If I don’t, then I don’t. As I said, I voted for Ron Paul in the primary, and had he made it to the general, I would have voted for him there. Had he been elected, I would have supported him fully and enthusiastically for the entire three weeks of his presidency. Having said this, anybody who thinks that there weren’t a bunch of unsavory characters and moonbats supporting his run is somebody who doesn’t get out much.

And having said that, I recognize that there are different kinds of moonbats — for example, there are the kind who draw up working models of a new constitutions in their trailer park near Houston, and there is the respectable kind of moonbat who gives away billions of dollars by the fistful to failing banks in the hope of correcting problems caused by financial irresponsibility. Heh.

Ron Paul understands the Federal Reserve system, and none of the eggheads running that system do. When someone suggests a sane solution to the financial crisis, everyone cries for “realism,” not remembering that it was very similar calls for “realism” that got us into this mess. And so I would be happy to vote for Ron Paul despite unsavory support for him in the background. But when I decide to vote McCain, don’t try to dissuade me by pointing to the unsavory assocations there. I know all about that — but I know about it in every direction, and not just in focused partisan directions. You can’t even identify with Mennonite pacifists without getting into weird associations with communist thugs with blood stains up to their elbows. Welcome to earth. Welcome to political engagement.

The same kind of observations apply to the Constitution Party, the Libertarians, and anybody else numerous and effective enough to get themselves on to the ballot.

At the end of the day I want to conduct myself in principled ways, caring the most about the advance of the kingdom of Christ, and the preservation of human dignity. And so here is the main point. The litmus test of all principled (biblical) political engagement is this: as you engage, are you willing to recognize and denounce the whackjobs who will (inevitably) associate themselves with what you are seeking to do? If so, well done, and God counts your vote, wherever it is cast. If not, then you are just a shill, whether for the big party pragmatists or the little party pragmatists.

Whenever I write about this, the comments invariably divide down a predictable line, with both sides circling the wagons. Both sides point out the glaring faults in the other side. Big deal. Pagans know how to do that. Point out the faults of your own approach, the one you have decided to take. Remember the beams and motes. If you decide to vote Republican, acknowledge that there is much justice in the observations made from the nickel seats of the Third Parties. If you decide to vote for a Third Party candidate, recognize that there is justice in the criticisms mounted against them. That is a genuine third way.

What a field day for the heat,
A thousand people in the street,
Singing songs and they’re carrying signs,
Mostly saying, “Hooray for our side.”

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