A Trump supporter follows me on Twitter, solely for the sake of being irritating (one of many). His time line is a rat’s nest of bizarre declarations and retweets of the usual fiend folio of White Nationalists and Trump apologists (but I repeat myself). Regardless, I found his pinned tweet fascinating, a snapshot of an article. So you understand why I find it fascinating, here’s an excerpt: “Literally nothing the left says or does matters to me anymore. I don’t care about their tantrums. I don’t care about their accusations. I don’t care if they say Trump is lying. I don’t care if Trump is lying. They created this Frankenstein. They own it. I am free of all obligation. I will never play defense again. I will attack, attack, attack, attack using their own tactics against them until they learn their lesson.“
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I deal with this sort of roadhouse pseudo-scholar lunacy from Trump supporters practically every day, so this isn’t necessarily new or even unique. I’m certain that many of my readers, who have been active on social media and have had to deal with these people for any length of time, have their own impression of these clowns, but it’s still important that we realize exactly who these absurd “Brave New World” pseudo intellectuals really are and what they reveal about themselves, without their own cognitive realization.
“He would drown the stage with tears, and cleave the general ear with horrid speech, make mad the guilty, and appall the free, Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed the very faculties of eyes and ears.”
So this guy describes himself as a “rhetorical soldier” in the “Republican batallion” (sic), even checking off on all of the neo-partisan keywords: principled, conservative, and Republic. If you didn’t know any better, you’d look at his profile and, assuming you’re right of center minded, politically, think he was more or less on your side, even considering his obvious inability to spell. However, contrast how he describes himself and the ideals that he espouses, and does he sound like a principled conservative or a “rhetorical soldier” (whatever that is)?
The Oxford dictionary defines rhetoric as “The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.” What you are reading now, is rhetorical writing, intended to inform and persuade you, the reader, to a political point of view. It is presented in this fashion specifically because I view your agreement, dear reader, as crucial to the purpose of restoring the republic. That is, after all, the purpose of rhetorical debate or discourse: to seek a mutually agreed upon conclusion or discover an objective truth.
With that in mind, consider the espoused position of MAGA, “…nothing the left says or does matters…“, “I don’t care about their accusations…“, “I don’t care if they say Trump is lying. I don’t care if Trump is lying…“, or “I will attack, attack, attack, attack…” Does any of this sound like a rhetorical position or device intended to pursue a mutually agreed upon conclusion or discover an objective truth? Not even remotely. It’s angry noise, like the angry waling of an angsting teen who, upon finding himself deeply aggrieved, abandons all pretense of adulthood and lashes out to inflict his spite and vitriol on the world.
“This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”
Make no mistake, though this rhetoric seems fit only for a fringe movement, it’s mainstream within MAGA. At one level or another, all Trump supporters believe Trump’s presidency represents retribution for the Left’s past “political sins“, especially those elements they consider “radical“. In their minds, Trump’s excesses are justified, and their own excesses are equally justified. They aren’t taking any prisoners and mean to do the worst kind of political violence, not caring if they do so in the name of truth or fiction.
Conservatives have an obligation to be truth tellers, holding fast to principles of rationalism and honesty, even if we do it alone. As rationalists, we have an obligation to care whether or not an accusation is true or false, regardless of how we feel about the accusation. As patriots, we have an obligation to pursue the individualist philosophies of the Founding Fathers to the same full extent that they did. Where we find wrong, whether it be our side or someone else’s, we have a duty to pursue truth, without fail, hesitation, or reservation.
We cannot forfeit the Republic to those who would abandon everything that we have fought for. Follow truth, because it matters.
Liberty is For The Win!