I know, I know—everyone wants to read and talk about the storming of our metaphorical Bastille. I’m going to cover that in-depth in this weekend’s SubscribeStar Saturday post, not because I know it is the event of the decade—and will therefore crassly milk it for subscribers—but because my own observations are so tantalizingly spicy, I have to hide them behind a paywall. Believe it or not, $1 is apparently a major hurdle.
Instead, I’m going to focus on a bit local draconianism that I will hopefully soon be able to address head-on: my small town of Lamar has adopted a mask ordinance. Given our current Town Council, I’m surprised it took this long.
The ordinance, dated 14 December 2020 and effective 4 January 2021—but only received in water bills on 7 January 2021—is entitled “REQUIRING INDIVIDUALS TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS IN RETAIL AND FOODSERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS, AND MATTERS RELATED THERETO.” It features a number of “WHEREAS” justifications, mostly the “recommendations of public health experts.” It then lists the “Use of Face Coverings” in Section 1, detailing that face coverings must be worn indoors at stores and restaurants, etc., with plenty of opportunities to not wear a mask listed in Section 2, “Exemptions”—religious reasons, dental cleanings, etc.
The penalties for infractions—detailed in Sections 3 and 4—are $25 for individuals and $100 for businesses that fail to require employees to wear masks. Section 3 seems laughably unenforceable in a town that has maybe three police officers—and just a recipe for another unpleasant interaction between otherwise law-abiding citizens and police. Section 4 is particularly onerous, though, as it forces private companies to force their employees to wear masks, or face daily $100 fines.
Granted, most business establishments have already bent the knee and have bought into the mask hysteria. In my mind, though, that makes the mask mandate even more unnecessary: if Dollar General is making me wear a mask to buy a $1.26 loaf of bread-based loaf product anyway, why does the Town Council need to ladle an extra dollop of self-righteous scolding?
The results are coming in from the two Georgia Senate run-offs, and it looks like the Democrats (at the time of writing) have secured one US Senate seat, and are poised—thanks to some last-minute ballot-printing, no doubt—to win a second. Raphael Warnock, the black minister who hates the military, defeated Kelly Loeffler. Jon Ossoff, a progressive’s progressive (he attended Atlanta’s incredibly Leftist Paideia School), holds a razor-thin lead over David Perdue. I’m sure Stacey Abrams will manufacture the necessary votes.
Of course, the Democratic victories—which will give the Democrats narrow control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency come Biden the Usurper’s inauguration later this month—rest squarely at Georgia Republicans’ feet. Governor Kemp’s unwillingness to uphold the integrity of the presidential election demoralized conservative voters—why vote if the system is rigged, and your own party won’t fight to fix it?
It’s another weekend full of questions here at The Portly Politico, as we continue our review of posts that pose a question in their titles. Each of this Sunday’s posts were written during the heady, violent days of Summer 2020, when the nation was aflame with lawlessness and disorder. Naturally, they reflect the fears and anxieties of those days, when it seemed like everything was coming apart at the seams:
“SubscribeStar Saturday: Civil War?” (post on SubscribeStar) – Perhaps one of my most powerful essays (if it’s not too much to give myself such accolades), “Civil War?” spells out the irreconcilable differences at the heart of the United States today. I wrote it at a time when local governments in progressive urban centers refused to put a stop to the looting and rioting, and instead tacitly encouraged the destruction. That mental and physical divide between progressives and conservatives is so profound and deep, I expressed pessimism of any kind of peaceful resolution—though I continue to pray I am wrong.
“Law and Order?” – Just as urban progressive mayors failed to address the violence in their cities, so President Trump—who I love as a president—dropped the ball on quelling riots and the ridiculous CHAZ/CHOP experiment. As I wrote at the time, it seemed that his strategy was wise—give the Left rope with which to hang themselves, allowing CHAZ to fizzle out under the weight of its own insane contradictions—but also undermined the legitimacy and authority of the government, and Trump’s own calls for “law and order.” Here was a moment where President Trump could have acted decisively with a legitimate display of power, and give proof to his claims to want law and order. That only comes with the firm smack of power.
“What is Civilization?” – As progressive mobs continued to burn cities, Milo Yiannopoulos argued “that by abandoning our cities, we are, essentially, abandoning our greatest cultural products.” Milo was engaged in a discussion with Steven Franssen and Vincent James, who countered that Americans who fled the cities were not abandoning their civilization, but something that had become alien and foreign. I tend to favor the latter argument, but the post is worth reading as my summary of the discussion between such intriguing thinkers.
That’s all for this weekend. Here’s hoping everyone is doing well and staying safe. Christmas is almost here!
The American experiment in self-government is at perhaps its lowest ebb since the 1850s, a decade whose division and partisan rancor rival our own. That decade’s statesmen’s failures to address sectional tensions—and, ultimately, to reconcile two fundamentally incompatible views of the world—resulted in the secession of eleven States that no longer believed the national government was acting in accordance with the Constitution.
It brings me no joy to make such a grim assessment, nor to contemplate what comes next as a result, but it is a necessary task. My sincerest wish is that our great Union remain intact, and that we see some restoration of constitutionalism. An increase in States’ rights and federalism—greater sovereignty at the State level and less power at the federal level—would go a very long way in resolving at least some of our national issues.
Lest I be cast as a “doomer”—one who has given up on President Trump’s noble attempt to win the re-election that is rightfully is—it seems likely that our ruling elites will assure Biden wins the presidency. I still believe that Trump is the rightful victor; that the election was stolen from him; and that the evidence of widespread voter fraud is compelling enough to throw, at the very least, the election to the House of Representatives.
Again, I hold out hope that Trump will be vindicated and that justice will be served. Nevertheless, as conservatives, we should adopt the distinctly conservative course of preparing for what comes next. Even if our dream scenario comes to fruition, it only buys conservatives time. Either way, we’ve got to consider seriously where we’re going, and our place in a society that increasingly rejects us and our interests.
I’m embracing the lazy logic of Thanksgiving Break with more throwback posts than usual this week. After Christmas Break, this little Thanksgiving reprieve is my favorite short break of the year. It combines family, fun, and food, with enough time to enjoy all three.
Last year when I wrote “Brack Friday Bunduru: Workers Need a Break,” I was growing increasingly burned out and fatigued from my job and my various obligations. Between work, music lessons, and various ensembles, I wasn’t getting home most nights until 9 or even 10 PM. That clearly showed up in my argument here for giving workers the day of Thanksgiving—and at least Christmas Eve and Christmas Day—off from their toils.
That said, I still believe it. What’s humorous to me, in re-reading this post after a year of lockdowns and shutdowns, is that my call for “[s]hutting down everything but essential services… would be an admirable goal for at least Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as Thanksgiving” came to pass—with deleterious effect—for not three measly days but for months on end. That’s certainly not what I had in mind, but I think workers have had all the breaks they can stand this past year.
Still, in normal times, having a couple of days for Christmas and a day or two for Thanksgiving isn’t going to tank the global economy. Workers could use the break, and the reminder that all that hard work is in service to something greater: family, faith, and God.
I love hard work—indeed, I think it’s one of the keys to happiness and purpose, particularly for men—but there’s hard work, and there’s exhausting yourself for a pittance. Let’s reward the former with some downtime.
Last night I attended a men’s monthly Bible study at a church in Lamar. My neighbors had been inviting me for a couple of months, but when that mythical third Monday would roll around, I’d always have some outstanding obligation (mainly rehearsal for the Spooktacular). Since I’m running for Town Council again in January, I figured it would be good to feed my soul and my political ambitions simultaneously (they also brought sub sandwiches, so I was pretty well-fed holistically by the time I left).
The evening was spiritually, culturally, and politically encouraging. These men were fired up for Jesus, our country, and Trump, in that order. After everybody caught up a bit and after some introductions (I was the new guy at the meeting), the conversation gradually turned to politics, starting (I believe) with the necessity for a border wall, and Biden’s hare-brained pledge to tear it down.
From there, it was a free-ranging discussion, including vigorous airings of grievances; laments for the state of our nation; pledges to resist excessive government mandates; and repeated admonitions to trust in God. Our Scripture reading was Psalm 138. The Psalm is a reminder that God is in control, and will support us in our hour of need. Here’s verse 7, from the New King James Version:
7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.
But we can’t give up on our man. Donald Trump didn’t give up on us. Yes, I know he mildly denounced the Proud Boys, but as even Gavin McInnes noted, Trump probably doesn’t even really know who the Proud Boys are. Maybe he should, but if he knew the PBs, he’d probably applaud their patriotism.
Leave that aside. President Trump delivered—big time—for his supporters. Three Supreme Court justices. Hundreds of lower court judges. Lower taxes. No more critical race theory training for federal employees. Substantial protections for religious liberty. A roaring economy. And, quite frankly, common sense.
In looking back to November 2019’s archives, I found this post from 4 November 2019, “Trump Stands for Us.” It’s a powerful reminder for why we love Trump, and how he’s fought for us. Now it’s our time to fight for him:
While watching the election returns, it occurred to me that Georgia and North Carolina should not be risky toss-ups, and Virginia never should have been lost to hordes of Swamp People. It’s an irony of history that Washington, D.C., was placed next to Virginia so the ornery planters, suspicious of federal power, could keep a closer eye on the national government. Now, that bloated national government dominates politics in Virginia through its largess.
Meanwhile, transplants from up North have infested previously conservative States. Charlotte, North Carolina has become a wretched hive of globalist scum and villainy. During my online dating days, I would routinely get matched with babes from Charlotte; invariably, they were always from Ohio, or New York, or California—never actually true North Carolinians.
It’s one thing when local blacks vote Democratic. Fine—we’re at least part of the same(-ish) Southern culture, and we’ll help each other out. But then gentry white liberals start coming down here, ruining our politics and our cities.
Now, we live in a world in which Joe Biden might win Georgia, and North Carolina—NORTH CAROLINA—has become a nail-biter every four years.
Such is the price of our addiction to economic growth and convenience. What we’ve gained in luxuries we have lost in heart. We have paid for them with our souls.