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The wrong lizard

Steve’s podcast on the American election. 1P5 Podcast: Episode 31 – Political Messianism

I’d like to remind readers, AGAIN, that I’m not an American, have no horse in that race and think the whole democratic process thing is an insane person’s version of Kabuki Theatre, as our friend Ann Barnhardt puts it. Also, as a Canadian/Brit, I really have to laugh at American political naivte. Seriously guys? You actually thought you could defeat the Great Socialist Slide? By “voting”? Perhaps Americans’ most irritating habit is imagining that their country is the only country, that whatever is happening out here in the great dark, nebulous, misty world-beyond-the-bubble just doesn’t apply to them. Surprise! It does.

But hey, it’s not my planet, monkey-boy! My own political position is completely off the scale. Literally. Every descriptive map of the world’s modern political scene has no corner on it for what I believe. And hasn’t had for about 550 years. I’m a feudal monarchist who believes in the Catholic Confessional State. Yeah. Let that one sink in. I can’t be described as a leftist or a rightwinger. I’m nowhere on that line. So far out of the left-right scale that people now think is like a universal constant of nature that the people I try to describe it to can’t grasp it.

They will listen, nod and then ask, “So, are you left or right?”

Anyone who is interested in learning about real Catholic social doctrine could not do much better than this book: The Framework of a Christian State, by E. Cahill SJ, 1931.

So, the period leading up to the American elections, when the stupid internet gets, if it can be believed, even stupider and more boring than usual, is particularly painful for me. Literally again. I get hoarse yelling at the screen. The only amusing high point about this round is the fact that, apparently, the Americans are teetering on the edge of making PT Barnum the head of the GOP. The absurdity has finally reached its apogee. It’s been a long time coming. But then, we’ve got Jorge Bergoglio sitting on Peter’s Throne, so who am I to judge?

I find more and more I am treating the world outside this valley as though the Apocalypse has already happened. And I just can’t approach anything political without this popping into my brain:

“It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see…”

“You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”

“No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”

“Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”

“I did,” said Ford. “It is.”

“So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t people get rid of the lizards?”

“It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”

“You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”

“Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”

“But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”

“Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?”

“What?”

“I said,” said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, “have you got any gin?”

“I’ll look. Tell me about the lizards.”

Ford shrugged again. “Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happenned to them,” he said. “They’re completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone’s got to say it.”

“But that’s terrible,” said Arthur.

“Listen, bud,” said Ford, “if I had one Altairian dollar for every time I heard one bit of the Universe look at another bit of the Universe and say ‘That’s terrible’ I wouldn’t be sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.”


Douglas Adams, “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”

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19 thoughts on “The wrong lizard”

  1. Aaron Traas says:

    I’m not sure it even has that value in our modern state. We’re so out-numbered. It doesn’t make sense to vote for national offices. Local, sure.

    There’s no real problem with voting, per se. But one shouldn’t ever be able to vote outside their competency. The papacy is an elected position — and the electors are the college of Cardinals. They should, in theory, be the most educated on the topic, and the best qualified to vote, and they have the status of princes to back it up. Imagine how much worse it would be if the general Catholic populace could vote for pope? It would be madness!

    The Holy Roman Emperor was an elected position, which was later restricted to the Hapsburgs by tradition. There were 7 or so electors, all princes and bishops. Again, legitimate.

    We moderns are the only ones dumb enough to allow the illiterate, uneducated, and insane to vote for national office. An illiterate man isn’t fit to elect a dog-catcher. I feel competent to elect a sherif or school-board official or town councilman. Governor? Senator? President? Not so much. What do I know about diplomacy, large budgets, executive authority, etc.?

  2. Aaron Traas says:

    He is the pope, and as such, within the bounds of his authority, must be respected and obeyed. We cannot through violent revolution oust him. That would not only be morally wrong, but grounds for excommunication.

    If a group of Cardinals were to get together and anathematize him, that’s a different story.

    Just like with temporal leaders, if he gives commands, directives, or teachings that are contrary to the faith and/or natural law, I am obligated to ignore or resist those commands. Those are not legitimate uses of authority from anyone.

    But as far as I can tell, he is the legitimate pope, and thus, we can’t revolt against him, schism from the Church to found our own, etc. Likewise, in the presence of a legitimate authority, like the US government, we can neither seek to usurp that authority, or break off and form our own nation (academically, the states theoretically once had the right to secede, but post civil war, they do not).

  3. James C says:

    American here. But my great-great-great-great-grandfather fought on the Loyalist side in New England during the Revolution. The family ended up in Canada for a while before settling in northern New York, where I was born. The Exceptionalist propaganda I was fed of America in childhood never took. I reject America as the Promised Land, both as the Puritan Shining City on a Hill and as a Masonic liberal republic which spurns tradition and the past.

  4. Edison Frisbee says:

    No, my wife would fight you for that title (TOS fanatic)

  5. Evangeline1031 says:

    True, there are millions addicted to the national teat, no doubt about that, but the millions of Trump supporters who are Republican AND Democrat tells us that there is a huge number of Americans who do comprehend what has happened to our country and IS happening, and see a possible light at the end of this tunnel. Watching this election cycle is like that 80’s film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Just when you think you’ve seen all the Socialist/Communist subterfuge you can stand, up from behind the mountain comes something bigger than you ever dreamed was there. The diabolical machinery is in place. There are forces that want to keep Democrats (Socialist/Communists) in power, and we can see they will stop at nothing to do that.
    I don’t know if they will succeed, they very well might, and we would be utter toast at that point, but what I do know is millions of Americans see it, get it, and are trying very hard to stop it. Sen. Cruz may be the far better candidate for many reasons, but it may take a Donald Trump to disrupt this cabal of tyrants from having their way. We’ll see.
    I must say I continue to love the writing at this blog. Ms. White, you are a superb writer and I am not here as an agitator, honest to Pete, but as an admirer. It’s been trying, seeing our country fall apart under the current horrible regime, and then watching our beloved church go to hell. I guess it makes one cranky.

  6. Edison Frisbee says:

    You win the all the internets!

    The only debate any more among the few thinking ‘Muricans left is whether we are truly past the tipping point or not…..and that is becoming less debatable with each passing day. Ferrara’s book “Liberty:The God that Failed ” was a real eye opener for me (after I had already sworn an oath to defend the Constitution and taken two expense paid trips to help “promulgate” it……live and learn!). Will have to check out “The Framework of a Christian State” …..

  7. GW says:

    “Any Catholic that defends the American rebellion against HRH George III
    doesn’t understand the teachings of the church on the nature of
    authority.”

    Honest and curious question given that you brought up this interesting point: how do you feel teachings of the church on the nature of authority apply to Francis’ papacy?

  8. Aaron Traas says:

    But unlike other nations, Americans have a proven history of rebellion when there are nasty totalitarians around, be it trying to stick us with Tea Tax or trying to take away our right to hear the candidates we want to hear! There is trouble brewing in these United States.

    Yeah, those totalitarian Brits, taxing Americans at like 7% of their incomes. And those bastards started tolerating Catholicism in Canada. Such monsters! Good thing we gave them the boot! Because Jesus said “Screw Caesar, don’t pay your taxes!”

    Any Catholic that defends the American rebellion against HRH George III doesn’t understand the teachings of the church on the nature of authority. Also, anyone who thinks that the American rebellion was justified, and doesn’t think the South should have had the right to secede, or that similar rebellion wasn’t justified under every regime from FDR to now, is just an idiot.

  9. Pearl of York says:

    Sorry, pal, I’m an American and this is every bit the Nanny State as Europe and Canada and most Americans are quite delighted with it. Too, things here are tainted with the heresy of Protestantism which American Catholics have adopted as their own. The entire West is circling the drain and until Christ is proclaimed King and given His rights, we are all up Shit’s Creek.

  10. standtall909 says:

    How right on you are!!!! Without the U.S. of America the world would have already all but dissolved into NOTHINGNESS!!!! ………..”We helped others out”………..we still are!! We support many countries with billions every year. Yes, we have a Muslim Marxist sitting in the Oval Office but I will never be convinced that it wasn’t orchestrated, and that he got there legally……NEVER!!

  11. Hilary White says:

    Let the thread begin!

  12. Hilary White says:

    I’m a very open minded nerd. Also, I’m probably the last surviving TOS fanatic in the world. The series properly called Star Trek started three months after I was born, and one of my earliest memories was being annoyed with my mother for watching the countdown of the Apollo Moonshot while the show was playing on another channel. I’m pretty sure my first words were something like “Acknowledged, Landing Party.”

  13. dcm says:

    his last sermon , it is on topic https://youtu.be/fL54w5c_xpc

  14. Evangeline1031 says:

    Well, I hope you can take this, but back at ya Slick, because as far as I can see, Canadians/Europeans most annoying habit is looking down their noses at Americans, harping on everything we do, and imagining that they are somehow much, much smarter, more sophisticated, and better than we are! Trust me, it’s true. Over the years I have read countless snipes and snarks from Canadians, and frankly, I’m sick of it. What makes Canadians feel sooo superior, I really don’t know, but I suspect envy. Perhaps it’s because the US has gotten so much deserved press for many reasons, and I don’t see anyone confusing Canada with Utopia. Ok, I’ll stop there, but enough already. Americans are not naïve about political processes. We get it. But we are in a fight for our lives because yes, we have Socialism and Marxists up the…well….up there, and we don’t like it or want it. But unlike other nations, Americans have a proven history of rebellion when there are nasty totalitarians around, be it trying to stick us with Tea Tax or trying to take away our right to hear the candidates we want to hear! There is trouble brewing in these United States. We are sick of immigrants coming in and killing us with crime and drugs, clogging up our schools and hospitals and demanding everything, and we despise socialized medicine, which we had to have due to….all the immigrants, and our Muslim president. We have suffered under 8 years of totalitarian regime, and we see that there is one man not carrying water for someone else, but saying what we want to hear. You may think he’s a joke, and we may turn out to be the biggest suckers that ever lived, but at least we are trying. We try. We do something. Yes, we have millionaires who right now are paying protesters and anarchists to disrupt the democratic process and deny our Constitutional rights. We are doing our best to take back our country. It would be great if just once we could count on our neighbors for more than insults and sarcasm, after all the times WE helped others out. Without the US, many European nations would look vastly different. How about a little support every so often.

  15. Michael Dowd says:

    Very good Hilary. How about Trump is to the feudal monarchist who believes in the Catholic Confessional State as Jorge Bogoglio is to a Pope who believes in Catholic doctrine.

  16. Edison Frisbee says:

    It’s nice to see a Stars Wars person open to the “Trek”…..

  17. louiseyvette says:

    Yes!!! I love “The Framework of a Christian State”! I must make a concerted effort to read the whole thing entirely. I have favourite bits which I reread periodically.

  18. Jim J. McCrea says:

    Yes the Catholic confessional state is the only proper form of government, and all viable alternatives right now are far from it. The only value in voting is in somewhat limiting the evil.

  19. Aaron Traas says:

    The only amusing high point about this round is the fact that, apparently, the Americans are teetering on the edge of making PT Barnum the head of the GOP. The absurdity has finally reached its apogee.

    Meh. I see it as we’re getting our own Berlusconi. Trump is the ice cream to Berlusconi’s gelato.

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