David French’s headline is prescient: “‘Burn It All Down’ Is Not the Answer, Trump Fans.”
Have Americans lost the American spirit? Have Christians forsaken their faith? Have Conservatives abandoned their principles?
In his column, French pointed out the obvious – at least obvious to those whose reason has not been replaced by irrational anger: It is far easier to destroy than to build. America’s Founders built America. The American experience is one of building and creating, not burning and destroying.
A strikingly high percentage of even evangelical voters are siding with Trump, not because they approve of his policies or his character, but out of pique at both political parties.
But is destroying the GOP without a replacement truly Christian, Conservative, or American?
French observes (emphasis added):
“As the evidence mounts that Trump isn’t exactly channeling justifiable conservative (or even populist) anger for constructive ends, Trump’s fans have found themselves reduced to a single argument in his defense: Even if he’s wrong on substance and they reject his personal values, at least he’ll ‘burn it all down.’ He’ll wreck the broken system and destroy a failed party.”
But French does the unthinkable! He actually resorts to history, logic, and principles!
French responds to this destructive ethos pervading American culture and politics, writing, “Yet it’s hard to think of an answer more antithetical to the spirit of the American Revolution and our Constitution than ‘burn it all down.’” French notes that the American colonists, Founding Fathers, and Framers of the Constitution faced “a crisis far graver than the crises we face today,” and, instead of pursuing destructive goals, built a great nation.
French warns, “The torch and pitchfork, meanwhile, are instruments of the French revolutionary, of the nihilist who lives only to take revenge on his enemies, with a will to power but no interest in justice.” He adds, “’burn, baby, burn’ is the language of the Left.”
Plato referred to this as “canvas cleansing” with the idea being to destroy everything and then create a utopia from scratch. (It never works. Ask the victims of any socialist regime in history.)
The vapidity of Trump supporters who seek to bring down the Republican Old Guard is countered by French with lucidity (emphasis added):
“Replace men who surrender to Planned Parenthood with a man who embraces Planned Parenthood? Replace men who supported a path to legalization with a man who supports amnesty? Replace men who failed to stop Obamacare with a man who embraces single-payer health care? Nominate a man who believes in Iraq War conspiracy theories to confront the party that spawned those theories? Meet the new boss. He’ll be the same as the old.”
French cautions (emphasis added), “An American revolution isn’t a temper tantrum. It’s hard work. It’s anger channeled into virtue. Trump represents anger stripped of virtue. He will burn the GOP, but what will he build in its place?”
Trump’s ascent – in a nation which opposes his New York values and desires people of character and integrity – is shocking!
We must eschew the “torch and pitchfork” and, instead, have faith in our principles and our God, championing people of character and integrity who love God, love our Country, and love the Constitution!