John Zmirak: The War on Kavanaugh Shows Us Why We Needed Trump, and Why Trump Needs Jesus

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By John Zmirak, The Stream, October 3, 2018

John ZmirakSo President Trump came out swinging yesterday. Finally, one Republican was willing to question the truthfulness of Kavanaugh accuser (and abortion profiteer) Christine Ford. (If you still think it’s “too soon,” go read David Horowitz’s admirable analysis of how empty her case still remains.) Watch the video of President Trump forthrightly defending the honor of the man he chose for our nation’s highest court.

This is why we need Donald Trump. To do things like this. Can you imagine Jeb Bush, John Kasich, or Mitt Romney doing this? No, at the first whiff of scandal they’d have pulled Kavanaugh’s nomination, and left his good name in tatters.</h4>

I’ll admit it, I was a Trump skeptic. I didn’t think he could beat Hillary Clinton. He also reminded me a little too much of my bombastic, blue-collar father. So I backed Ted Cruz for the nomination, all the way through the Convention. Then of course I rallied to the party’s nominee.

My real motivation was probably emotional and tribal. That’s most of politics, actually. I’m the same kind of person as Cruz: a Pointy Head. (We both won college debating prizes, he at Harvard, I at Yale. We both published books we’d written ourselves.) Pointy-Heads think that winning the argument is the same as winning the war. We both learned our lesson. Now more than ever, America needs a Hard-Head.

More voters will identify with him, for one thing. He won’t be as out of touch. He will operate on gut instinct, personal experience, and common sense as much as on abstract ideas. And when you’re going mano a mano with the likes of Kim Jong Un, or Angela Merkel, or Chuck Schumer, those “gut” virtues matter far more than well-crafted arguments. Especially when you’re dealing with a sworn enemy of everything you stand for. Like each of those three leaders.

Washington, Grant, and Patton: Hard Heads

George Washington, Ulysses Grant, and George Patton were never the guys with the best grades in school, or shiniest resumes. But they could lead in time of war. And thanks to the Left’s calamitous charge to insane extremes, that’s almost what we have right now, right here, in America.

For the half of the country that controls the White House, both houses of Congress, and most of the private firearms, conservatives are putting up with an awful lot. Trump’s appointees have been badgered and threatened in restaurants with their families. Republican congressmen got shot. Yesterday, a House Republican, Andy Harris, was assaulted in his congressional office. Ted Cruz’s campaign office was subject to a biological warfare threat, staffers sent to the hospital. Our elected representatives get mau-mau’d in the Senate elevators.

Was anything more contemptible than the spectacle of Senator Jeff Flake changing his position on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, because two girls yelled at him in an elevator? Watch his face melt and bubble like a bar of cheap, sickly sweet white chocolate dropped into lava.

Jeff Flake: Afraid of Girls

Let’s talk about congressional elevators. Was anything more contemptible than the spectacle of Senator Jeff Flake changing his position on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, because two young women yelled at him in an elevator? Watch his face melt and bubble like a bar of cheap, sickly sweet white chocolate dropped into lava:

Days later, he was campaigning with Democrat Chris Coons. And driveling that even if Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh prove baseless, he worries about Kavanaugh’s “temperament.” You see, when a gang of senators accused him of being a gang-rapist based on the slurs of a sleazy porn lawyer, Kavanaugh got angry. He fought back. He defended his family and his honor — unafraid that he might lose votes.

In other words, Kavanaugh showed that beneath his Yale-sharpened Pointy-Head sits an old-fashioned Irish Hard-Head. Flake grudgingly admires, but also resents, Pointy-Heads like Ted Cruz. But he loathes Hard-Heads like Donald Trump. He fears them. And above all, they make him ashamed.

The Pressure Points of the Soft-Heads

You see, Flake hails from a third tribe, the Soft-Heads. You know how babies’ skulls don’t fuse together for months, leaving a soft spot in the middle which parents must guard with care? Apparently, there’s a whole faction of self-identified conservatives whose plates never came together. So they go through life with a vulnerable spot on top of their heads. Leftists can spot it from 100 yards, that squishy pressure point. It’s the place where the Soft-Head hopes that liberals will deposit little treats: a warm, soft kiss for being “bi-partisan.” Gentle pats for being “principled,” when the Soft-Head defames his fellow conservatives. A slow, soothing scratch when he betrays his promises to voters.

Our party was once led by Soft-Heads. Trump saw them out. He kicked the senile Bush dynasty to the curb. He replaced empty talk of how “family-friendly” millions of Latino immigrants ought (theoretically) to be — even as they vote in pro-abortion, anti-Christian leftists in state after state after state.

Around the world, Soft-Heads in parties that claim to be conservative are losing out to the Hard Heads. And Pointy-Heads are taking notice, and slowly switching allegiance, from Soft-Heads to Hard. From Britain to Sweden, from Germany to Italy, the men with the squishy spots are losing their crowns.

The Left Is Run by its Hard-Heads

That’s largely because the Left has gone to the barricades with insanely destructive policies. They’ve purged all their Soft-Heads — sent them to the wipe the noses of sullen Islamist refugees. They keep their Pointy-Heads locked away, to bang out elaborate alibis for the latest Hard-Head outrage, and moralistic goads for the next one. And they keep on pushing, pushing, pushing.

  • You’re worried about Muslim rape-gangs taking over your nation’s cities? You’re a racist criminal and the police will be coming for you.

  • You don’t want male rapists who “identify as women” sent to prey on female inmates? You’re the “transphobic” mental patient, in desperate need of counseling.

  • You don’t want your country’s laws written in secret by appointed bureaucrats in Brussels? You’re part of a dim and fading, contemptible remnant of society. The sooner you die off, the better.

  • You’re a ten-year-old girl who prays for her father’s accuser? We’ll mock you for that, and paint you as calling your dad a rapist.

When the Left is led by its radical Hard-Heads, our Soft-Heads don’t stand a chance. A couple of unarmed girls can flip a senator’s vote on a Supreme Court appointment. One of them just reaches up to press on Jeff Flake’s soft spot. It hits the Reset button. He remembers that he is desperate for this young woman’s approval, as desperate as a lost toddler in a shopping mall seeking his mama.

So he forgets everything he told the voters back home. What he published in the book The Conscience of a Conservative, whose title he stole from the Pointy-Head Barry Goldwater. Even what he promised his colleagues mere hours before. He is now as a good as a puppet, and the Hard-Heads on the left will pull his strings.

The Headship of Jesus Christ

With all of this said, yes, Americans and Westerners indeed need Hard-Head leaders. They should listen to the Pointy-Heads who rally to them. We’ll help keep their policies smart. Then make strong arguments for them. And discourage destructive excesses.

The conservative causes we cherish because they make sense, are fair, and effective … they’re doomed without the Gospel.

But in the end, we can’t make the difference. As Western country after Western country devolves into a battle between the Hard-Heads of left and right, we’ll need a force more powerful than smart ideas to keep us from ripping apart. Or from enacting policies that serve good ends by wicked means. In fact, Hard-Headed laws can’t even save us. Nations with vanishing birth rates can build all the walls they want. (And of course, they should.) But they’ll die off by natural causes even without Islamist invaders unless they rediscover the goodness of life, dig down to the roots of their culture which are watered from the Cross.

As David P. Goldman wrote in Why Civilizations Die, it turns out that once contraception exists, people won’t bother replacing themselves unless they believe in God. Only the prospect of eternal life is enough to make this one bearable. Or to make the sacrifices entailed by child-rearing worth it. If you really think you’re just a dying animal on a dying planet in a universe gradually winding down to its heat death, it makes perfect sense to grab all the happy moments you can. That doesn’t leave much room for bawling infants and diapers, sullen teenagers and their tuition.

So all the conservative causes we cherish because they make sense, are fair, and effective … they’re doomed without the Gospel. Every nation which abandons God pretty quickly gives up the ghost.

No Pointy-Head’s clever arguments, or Hard-Head’s brazen courage, or Soft-Head’s soothing words, can finally redeem it. That would take a Miracle. Happily, we already had one, one Easter long ago. It’s only in the light of that astonishing resurrection that our nation or any nation will rise from its bed of ashes. Exclude God, and the best you can hope for is a short-term reassertion of national group narcissism, a last flare-up of anger like the twitching of a corpse.


John Zmirak is a Senior Editor of The Stream, and author of the new Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1986, then his M.F.A. in screenwriting and fiction and his Ph.D. in English in 1996 from Louisiana State University. His focus was the English Renaissance, and the novels of Walker Percy. He taught composition at LSU and screenwriting at Tulane University, and has written screenplays for and with director Ronald Maxwell (Gods & Generals and Gettysburg). He was elected alternate delegate to the 1996 Republican Convention, representing Pat Buchanan.

He has been Press Secretary to pro-life Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, and a reporter and editor at Success magazine and Investor’s Business Daily, among other publications. His essays, poems, and other works have appeared in First Things, The Weekly Standard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, FrontPage Magazine, The American Conservative, The South Carolina Review, Modern Age, The Intercollegiate Review, Commonweal, and The National Catholic Register, among other venues. He is a fellow of Citizens of the American Republic. He has contributed to American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought. From 2000-2004 he served as Senior Editor of Faith & Family magazine and a reporter at The National Catholic Register. During 2012 he was editor of Crisis.

He is author, co-author, or editor of twelve books, including Wilhelm Ropke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist, The Grand Inquisitor (graphic novel) and The Race to Save Our Century. He was editor of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s guide to higher education, Choosing the Right College and, for ten years, and is also editor of Disorientation: How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind.