By Charlie Johnston
I know a little something about extended hikes, having walked 3,200 miles across much of the country in 2011 and 2012. Some things about this massive caravan coming through Mexico in an effort to invade the US strike me as strange.
First off, they seem to be averaging almost 100 miles a day. I averaged between 12 and 15. On my best day, I did 24 miles. Of course, I am an old fellow now and was an old fellow then…but 42 miles a day is average performance for military men in top condition on a fast march. The caravaners are also not carrying 75 lbs. on their back, as I did. But they are pulling suitcases behind while some are moving with children. Things that are awkward to handle on such a hike slow you down more than the weight on your back. Neither food availability nor the need for adequate toilet facilities seem to slow the caravan down. They sure occupied me – and when food, particularly, was in short supply, it slowed me down. Logistically, this caravan is running as smoothly as a crisply-planned military operation. I smell a rat…in fact, a lot of rats. And I can’t help wondering, if these folks could so effortlessly organize such a mass march to the US, why didn’t they organize a mass march on their own governments seeking redress of their grievances? Hideously, I find that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops founded the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), which is backing the caravan. It seems many in the Catholic hierarchy don’t want any entity to defend its borders except for the Vatican (which is entirely surrounded by…wait for it…a wall to keep interlopers out.) Sheesh! I love my Magisterial Church – not so hot on the many hack politicians infesting its hierarchy these days, though. What really pains me is that the Church could do so much to help reform immigration policies and facilitate legal immigration if the hierarchy would stop the cheap, impotent virtue-signaling and get seriously committed to the hard work and sacrifice required to get this right.
After all these questions, I have come to think this whole caravan is little more than a “Resistance” reality show – planned and paid for by sinister forces in the US.
I have little to say right now about the letter bombs sent out today. It looks to me like a very clumsy false flag event. Who knows? If it was some idiot conservative, I am sure they will be quickly found. If it was, in fact, one of the very common “hate crime” hoaxes the left has loved to mount this last decade, I think the perpetrators will quickly be found – mainly because this was so clumsy.
Why do Russians (who we could never try anyway) get indicted for publishing statements about the US and our elections for interfering with elections, while Hispanic illegal aliens are encouraged to actually vote? The Russian efforts may sway the gullible, but they do not actually interfere with any electoral machinery. Voting by illegal aliens does. To be consistent, Democrats should either be voter security hawks for all aliens or they should advocate that Russian meddlers be allowed to actually vote in American elections as well as comment on them. Intellectual and moral coherence does not allow any other path. But the Dems think Hispanic illegals vote for them while Russians say mean things about them…so their principles are entirely dependent on what they think will help them take power.
I used to think the left did not know history or philosophy and was absolutely clueless about basic economics. Made for lively debates…but now they are just brazenly incoherent. The old communist dialectic re-defined truth, itself. It defined “truth” as anything that advanced communist ideology and a “lie” as anything that damaged communist ideology, regardless of what the facts were. Whatever else they think, the atheist neo-fascists who have taken over the Democrat Party have wholly adopted the communist dialectic.
Then there is “fake news.” Since mankind began to organize itself into communities, there have been gossip-mongers and scandal sheets. A pre-requisite to a functioning democracy or republic is the expectation that its citizens are intellectually curious enough to examine and make sound judgments, to separate what is credible from what is not. The very idea that some “experts” must tell us what is fake and what is accurate infantilizes the citizenry. If that is a correct assessment, we have already lost the capacity to function as a free self-governing society.
Throughout our history, the worst purveyors of “fake news” have been the media and politicians, the same as now. Up until early last century, newspapers were largely honest enough to identify who they were advocates for. This is why you see newspaper names such as the Quincy Whig-Herald, the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. They are relics of a time that, if equally scurrilous, was far more candid. The pretense by the legacy media that they are neutral, while scabrously pimping for one point of view, has crushed most of the vestiges of media credibility. We get left-wing fact-checkers telling us that what is obviously cant is what we must believe; perfectly “neutral” social media sites shutting down conservative points of view while simultaneously defending violent leftist rhetoric as “freedom of speech.”
This sparks division and violence. The American Republic’s original commitment to freedom of speech was underscored by the experience of millennia of differences being settled by strife and violence. All that does is leave people bloody, battered and enslaved. Bad speech must be countered with better, more compelling speech – not violence or being shut down. Anything else is a regression to the bad old days of blood and iron. Freedom requires that we defend the right to speak of even those we completely disagree with – and that we take responsibility for investigating ourselves the claims we hear, using evidence and logic. We have to grow up and exercise our responsibility.
The proper response to continual “fake news” is contempt for those who purvey it – and publicly shaming them by revealing their errors and bias. That, actually, is the bitter harvest that the establishment media is now reaping.
Then there are “hate crimes.” I knew we were going down a very bad road when we adopted this sort of policy. Is any crime made a whit more heinous because hate was involved? If we punish crime based on the heinousness of the crime – and leave condemnation of hate to healthy social strictures, we would get equal application of the law based on the crime.
What the adoption of “hate crime” legislation has accomplished has simply been, like the novel, “Animal Farm,” to declare some animals more equal than others. Young black men are routinely slaughtered by other black men in the ghettoes at epidemic rates, but little attention is paid to it because, supposedly, no “hate” is involved. The victims are just as dead.
Your personal feelings are your business; your criminal behavior is the business of the state. Anything else is a formula for authoritarianism, division and strife. We need to grow up.
I profoundly sense that the American mid-terms are become a great sort of historical Rubicon. Increasingly violent political strife is the shroud surrounding an old order that is passing away. I believe Republicans are going to win a big victory. Either way, though, I think this is when the dam fully bursts. Truly epochal events will follow in the wake of this election, as a new era is born. It is like a great ship coming into port at night in a fog: first you feel it, then a part of the fog is a little darker than the rest, then it suddenly takes on its full, majestic shape.
“And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth…but her child was caught up to God and his throne…Now war broke out in heaven.”-Revelation 12:4-7
Something completely new and huge is aborning. But such a transformative birth is accompanied by wailing, screams and blood. We will be a new people, but through much travail. I’ve been thinking of my poor Mother of late. She went into labor with me on a Friday – but she was only 15 and had, of all things, the mumps. So the doctor gave her injections trying to delay my birth until she was less contagious. She spent the weekend in labor. Finally the injections failed – and that Sunday I arrived despite the doctor’s best efforts to prevent it. I suspect that will soon be only the second most laborious birthing I ever participated in.
I did see and have spoken for decades of the coming “global civil war fought on cultural lines.” It is here. But I also saw who we would be after the Storm finally passed. What a great, glorious renewal! The time is coming – and that right soon – when our joy over what was born out of the ashes of our bleeding world makes the strife it took to gain as unimportant as the terrible labor is to the overjoyed Mother considering the beloved child who is the fruit of her labor.
A foreshadowing of what we will be is found in the final lines of the open letter the Australian Catholic Students Association recently sent to the Synod on Youth:
“So how can we become flowers in the Paradise of God, like Mary? We do not find flowers in the mountain-crag, or rich fruit in the sandy desert. We will not find heaven wandering the wasteland around us. We will find it by being born again in Baptism, nurtured by the Sacraments and sheltered by the Truth in the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church.
The young do not want to look elsewhere any more. We do not only want accompaniment in the wasteland. Synod Fathers, plant us in the mystical garden.”