Klavan On The Culture

4 Ways to Preserve the Nation in my Absence


I notice my wife is packing many of our belongings so either she’s finally had enough or we’re going on vacation. Since I can’t imagine life without her, I have no choice but to assume we’re leaving town for a week. Do me a favor:  try not to destroy the country or yourselves while I’m gone. Here are some handy tips.obama_guitar_hippie_12-2-13-3

1. Remember it’s Obama’s fault. It’s a principle of child psychology that children who are abused by one parent frequently focus their anger on the other parent for not preventing the abuse. “Never mind that Dad used to spank me with a hammer, why didn’t Mom stop him?” Remember that principle the next time you hear yourself say: “That rotten Mitch McConnell is worse than Barack Obama.” Mitch McConnell is bad; really bad; stinky-cheese level bad. He’s so paralyzed by the thought of getting blamed by the media (who are going to blame him anyway) that he imagines the failed end of every possible political action and takes no action at all. But remember: What’s bad about that is that Obama is such an anti-American, anti-constitutionalist, anti-capitalist, anti-liberty narcissistic fathead that simple patriotism demands he be opposed at every turn with courage, canniness and vigor. Obama, not McConnell, is the source of our country’s woes. Save the full blast of your ire for him.

2. Kill each other with kindness. These are the days when it’s necessary for conservatives (aka, the good guys) to discuss various ways forward among ourselves. Obama’s is a failed presidency in that virtually every single thing he’s done has made the nation and the world less happy, less peaceful, less prosperous and less free. There’s a lot of cleaning up to do in the aftermath, and it’s only right that we discuss how to do it. So sure, sling your arrows. But I don’t want to get back and find Jonah Goldberg and Ben Shapiro rolling around in the mud, Jonah gouging Ben’s eyes and Ben biting off Jonah’s ear, and a mob of conservatives gathered around them shouting, “Tarnation, ma, thar’s a dust-up in the holler!” all while Iran acquires nuclear weapons and blows us to hell. There’s a lot to fix and only we, not they, know how to fix it. So work out your differences in sober intellectual commerce then, in an orderly fashion, form a ravening mob and attack the opposition with pitchforks and torches.

3. Understand that no leader can save you. The smartest thing Rush Limbaugh ever said — in a life of saying smart things three hours every weekday (and more, for all I know, when I can’t hear him) — was this: “I think that the country could survive four more years of Obama, but I don’t believe the country can survive in a country full of people who would re-elect him.” To put this another way: It’s not about them, it’s about us. No leader can save a people who will not, each one, save himself. No leader can save a nation that has forgotten the necessity of free speech, the virtue of self-reliance and the satisfaction of personal morality. I understand there are differences between the Republican candidates and I have my own feelings about each. But really, there are a goodly handful who would do their best to restore some measure of freedom and the rule of law to our country. In the end, that’s all we can ask. If I disagree with one of them on some issues, or dislike his attitude or his face, I’m not going to go crazy about it because ultimately the responsibility for my life rests not with them, but with me. Therefore…


4. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. I can’t remember whether it was God who said this originally or Sean Hannity…  Which one has the beard? No, but really. To my mind, the single most important thing any American citizen can do is to journey heavenward with fearless joy. Telling others how to do it doesn’t work; scolding them doesn’t work; raging at their failures and hypocrisies doesn’t work — because who wants to imitate the sort of bullying, scolding, raging clown who behaves that way? If faith and liberty lead to joy — and I know they do — then live free in faith and be joyful and maybe the guy next to you will wonder what you’re on and want some. What I’m really saying is: politics is only politics. Don’t let it make you crazy. Don’t let it make you angry. Don’t let it kill your joy.

I want you all here when I get back.