Dan Popp
By Dan Popp
July 24, 2017

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Conservatives are talking past each other because we have different conceptions of what battle we're in; of who is the "real enemy."

Dennis Prager, whom I admire, believes that the worst enemy is leftism. And if leftism [his word for "barbarism"] is the existential threat, then it follows that supporting Donald Trump is necessary to prevent annihilation by the Alinsky Zombie army.

In one of those divine jokes that we call "irony," President Trump doesn't seem to agree with Prager. Trump sees the greatest threat to America and the West as Muslim jihadis, or foreign invaders, or foreign opposition in general. If he has any concerns about leftism, he's holding those cards close to his vest. He donated to Hillary before he ran against her. He buys into at least some of the pro-deviancy clichés. His daughter vapidly shills for leftist policies. And, despite Mr. Trump's invective against Obamacare on the campaign trail, it turns out he's for something very similar to it.

I contend that the real, real enemy on the temporal plane is much more subtle than either Islamist attempts to impose a backward civilization, or the leftist war on civilization itself. It is a disease that has infected America, the West, and the world. Even conservatives.

It is the spirit of lawlessness.

And here I'm in trouble. The term "lawless" conjures up images of sociopathic criminals, or greasy-haired anarchists – perhaps a shadowy cabal known only to Alex Jones. No, lawlessness is pretty much the natural condition of everyone who hasn't truly come under the yoke of Christ. In this context I mean the tendency of folks of all political stripes to "bend the rules for a good cause." Maybe we could call it "After-all-ism."

"After all," we can't enforce the immigration laws because they would break up families. "After all," we need to pay poor people even though that breaks up families. "After all," a woman who has sex outside of marriage shouldn't be "punished with a baby." "After all," women who have babies should be rewarded by being paid the same as those who don't.

"After all," in the richest nation on earth....

"After all," if we can put a man on the moon....

After-all-ism justifies anything that anyone can imagine. After all, when this particular government program fails, we can't just let these people die in the streets! We need a new, much bigger government program, after all! "After all" is a great way to express mere wishes as if they were moral imperatives.

After-all-ists see the end result of markets and liberty, and want to rip up the fabric of society to get the results they want.

It's a kind of mental illness that enters through the open door of ignorance into a heart of pride. The biblical name for an after-all-ist is, "fool." This refers to a person who isn't just stupid, but morally bankrupt and oblivious to it, maybe even proud of it. That describes just about everyone in our federal and State governments, and just about everyone voting fools into office. These fools, this foolishness, are by far our greatest enemy.

What we need is a revival of before-all-ism. The Founders would have called it "adherence to principle," or something quaint like that. Before all, God's revelation is true, and we cannot violate it without harm. Before all, government must protect innocent lives. Before all, looting and redistribution are impermissible, no matter the reason. Before all, government force must be used sparingly, and never against the righteous. Before all, the rulemakers must abide by the rules.

After-all-ism is our most terrible foe. Changing Congress – again – won't defeat this enemy. Building a wall won't keep him out. This enemy is here, and "he is us," and we will continue down the broad road to destruction until We the People humble ourselves and stop our own lawlessness.

© Dan Popp


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