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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Macchiavelli, Meekness, and Stacy McCain

Dana Mathewson

This is a long article, and starts out with a sports analogy (I hope you like those) which, once you've read the whole thing, will seem very appropriate to you (I hope). The quote "Just Win, Baby," is from the late football legend Al Davis, and it was his approach to football.

It's also a standard approach to politics, as you'll see here.

We see the Democrats use it all the time, and although many of us profess to wish for the Republicans to use the same tactics, we often appear uncomfortable when they do. The author here is implying that we should get over that squeamishness if we really want to win.

Your thoughts on the subject?


I agree with McCain TO A POINT; we end up bound by rules of decency which the Democrats and Left exploit, and that has gone on for a hundred years and seen the continual advancement of Leftist programs as a result. Look at some of the things done to members of the Nixon Administration, for example, or the attacks on people like James Watts during the Reagan era. And we dump anyone with a hint of scandal, while they circle the wagons. Would anyone in the GOP have defended Bill Clinton were he a Republican? Would the Democrats have taken it easy on him during the impeachment hearings, as the GOP Senate did? Look at the attacks on Cain today; clearly an example of using our own decency against us.

That said, we have always had one thing going for our side, and that is the patronage of the Almighty, something we can expect to lose if we morph into David Axlerod. How can we expect to prosper if we become the very evil we have sworn to defeat? Our side may be a bunch of blunderers, but we have often held our own against the tremendous forces of iniquity encompassed about us - and that is more than coincidence. A grounding in morality is necessary both for victory and for ourselves; do we want to become those bastards?

There is a way to fight aggressively and yet not cheat. One can outsmart the enemy without resorting to dirty tricks and foul play. I am mindful of the St. Louis Rams when they won Super Bowl XXXIV; they were very fast and they had constant motion in the backfield, totally confusing the opponent's defenses. One opponent, when asked about the unorthodox style, said "that's a bunch of shit" - but it was fair shit. It confused and yet nobody could argue that it was somehow wrong to do it.

On the contrary, the Rams played in Super Bowl XXXVI against the New England Patriots, and the Pats DID cheat. Their victory was a function of how badly they broke the rules; there was endless holding (which wasn't called) which kept the Rams offense from setting up properly. Balicek has often been victorious by "bending" the rules, and his Patriots won that year - and not just against the Rams but throughout the regular season and in the playoffs - through cheating. They were the golden boys, though, because of the 911 attacks and the symbolism involved. (I remember Paul McCarthy being interviewed before the game and he said "wouldn't it be wonderful if a team called the Patriots would win the Super Bowl" and I knew all was lost.)

The Rams didn't have to lose that, but they needed to retaliate in kind. They had been following the Pats and knew their dirty tricks. One must fight fire with fire. One needn't be the first to play dirty, but one cannot let onesself be beaten to a pulp in the interest of being the bigger man. Schoolyards are full of innumerable nameless victims who have eaten the blacktop by trying to be the bigger man and ignoring the bully.

Hitler gobbled up half of Europe solely by playing dirty while the leaders of the West sought to be the bigger men. He could have been stopped at any time early on - but nobody wanted to be on a par with him.

This is the sin of pride. Pride can be as much about doing what you think is right for the wrong reasons as anything, and I fear often we take the high road because of such pride. And Pride goeth before a fall. Our enemies have no such pride, rather, they pride themselves on being scoundrels, which makes it hard to fight them fairly.

I am mindful of a scene in Milton's Paradise Lost in which Lucifer and the rebelling angels are on the threshold of victory over Michael and the loyal angels, and Jesus comes forward to try to gently reason with them. He asks them to quit this nonsense and all will be forgiven. The demons take this as a sign of weakness. Jesus says (I paraphrase) "since power is what you love, that is what you will get" and it says his visage changed to a terrifying display, and he began advancing on them menacingly. They were frightened out of their wits and ended up jumping off the ledge of Heaven to hide from this terrible judge. Jesus could not win them over by patient persuasion; he had to resort to using their own tactics against them.

Now, Paradise Lost isn't an official book of the Church, granted, but Jesus certainly used his enemies tactics on occasion, calling the Pharisees vipers and overturning the money changer's tables. And, when they tried to trick him, he often tricked THEM. There comes a time when one must fight back. The admonition of turning the other cheek was for interpersonal relations, not public policy. George W. Bush tried it as a matter of public policy and ended with broken cheekbones.

But again, that does not mean we lose our souls in the process. We have to be wise as serpents and innocent as newborns. The trick is knowing when to be one and when to be the other.

I fear far too often we have been the newborns. We listen to the media too much. We need to be serpents more often for we are truly battling the basilisk.

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