Trump and the Sharknadoing of American Politics
There is no way you were fully prepared for it.
Not even if you had been rooting for it for years.
That’s what happens when the status quo gets burned to the ground, as it appears may now be happening in America. Today’s depth of support for the likes of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, while legacy candidates like Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton flounder, has everyone at least a little breathless – myself included.
I never anticipated the public’s rage to be this acute so early in the search for a new president. And it’s been nothing short of fun to watch it all play out. Someone refill my tub-o-corn before the next episode — stat!
These are the days of Sharknado politics, when the deadly seriousness of cultural decline is being met in force by the sometimes farcical anti-heroes of its own creation. It will often feel bizarre and unsettling, but that is as it should be after decades of thin gruel to feed on.
There are many others who could have and should have stepped in more forcefully before it came to this, but when it comes right down to it there was something about the gruel they never wanted to give up.
Let’s start with the example of the church. The reason religious factions came to dominate the activity of just one political party’s base is a cautionary tale. Such a thing happened because the broader church did nothing short of surrender its true missionary calling in the culture.
Way too much comfort and conformity. Way too little cross.
And so it was that the breach was often filled by the ill-equipped, the overly-harsh and, perhaps most of all, by people on both the blue and the red teams who felt it easier and easier to check the God box without ever standing and delivering on His behalf.
Then it got worse. More and more folks started justifying things in God’s name that are in fact antithetical to His plan and purpose. The church fumbled, and the country floundered.
Now we have businesses being shut down because of their beliefs, non-existent borders, worship of the environment, a cross-dressing military, dudes marrying dudes, and bags of baby parts for sale. Yet prophets of rebuke are still in remarkably short supply.
Enter the Sharknado in the form of Trump, a moral code unto himself. Some form of morality – good, bad, or Trumpian – will always fill the vacuum left behind by moral cowards. And right now we are getting the street justice of a campy action film star who isn’t afraid to blast Jaws 3 The Director’s Cut-level rhetoric in all directions.
How long that will be more entertaining than exhausting remains to be seen. But it ain’t Trump’s fault. A Trump has to Trump.
The simple fact is that the GOP establishment treachery – which became the true high-church calling for many playing fast and loose with the labels Christian and conservative — has gotten so bad that the unpredictability of Sharknado politics is far preferable to two-faced business as usual. And you know why? Because at least it’s honest.
Trump isn’t saying he’s a conservative and no one expects him to be. Everyone who isn’t protecting some version of the flat-earth society gets that by now and has made their peace with it. Give them anything other than traveling down a road that leads to the likes of McCain, Romney, Boehner or McConnell.
In fact, folks appreciate Sharknado politics for being so brazenly over the top when all they’ve been dealt for years is underhandedness and subterfuge. It’s kind of like going to Vegas at this point. Sure, they may lose it all on Trump if they go all in, but with the GOP establishment they know they don’t even get to play a hand.
Every other GOP politician, including fellow “outsiders” Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, is indentured to playing by a different set of rules, though. No one stands a chance of out-Trumping the Donald. But if they can combine the qualities of the poet, the statesman, and the warrior in defense of American Exceptionalism as patriots like Jefferson, Lincoln and Reagan once did, then and only then can the Sharknado be quelled.
There is no other way, and in my estimation someone like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is just the field general to call forth the enormous power and glory of the better angels of our nature. Someone who like Trump also offers a divergent path from the GOP establishment’s road to nowhere, but with the conservative principles we cherish in tow.
The only way to clear the air of the Sharknado is to seek new heights, not dig a deeper ditch to nowhere. There are normally reliable, articulate conservatives among the political class and the beltway punditry who have either not figured this out yet or simply resent the hell out of it. The world is passing them by and is requiring far more than words that sell magazines and garner “follows,” but otherwise don’t move the cultural needle.
Enough is enough. The status quo gave us the Obamination enabled and funded by the GOP establishment we currently live in. Thus, viva la revolution!
In the church. In the culture. In our conscience. Every corner of our country is desperate to see the light.
First published at Conservative Review
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