The quality of mercy
by Tom Sullivan
King Midas with his daughter - Walter Crane
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
David Atkins comments on a piece from the National Review that displays the nihilist greed of the Midas Cult in the ghastliest terms I have yet seen. Atkins writes:
The establishment Republican ideology prioritizes capital above all else. For them, the market does not exist to serve people: people exist to serve the market. Unregulated capitalism can never fail; it can only be failed by those too lazy, useless and unproductive to serve and profit by it. It is a totalizing ideology as impractical as state communism but lacking the silver lining of its species-being idealism; as impervious to reason as any cult religion, but lacking the promise of community, salvation or utopia; as brutal as any dictatorship, but without the advantage of order and security. Worst of all, it blames its victims for its failure to provide solutions to their needs.Too strong, you think? Consider this excerpt from the NRO piece in which Kevin Williamson condemns Trump's supporters as apostates from the one, true faith — his (emphasis mine):
It is immoral because it perpetuates a lie: that the white working class that finds itself attracted to Trump has been victimized by outside forces. It hasn’t. ... They failed themselves.Or else curl up and die, as Jesus taught. As Darwin's theory demands. As the U-Haul-less Lower Ninth Ward died. This guy makes Scrooge look like Mr. Rogers. What do you bet there are more like him where he came from? And movement conservatives wonder why working-class white communities don't want to vote for establishment Republicans.
If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy—which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog—you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.
The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible ... The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.