A Taste of My Own Medicine
Over on the Book of Face a few days ago, a friend (who is, to do her justice, generally eager to reach across the aisle and make common cause with people for the common good) remarked:
A conversation ensued in which a number of people confessed similar feelings. F’rinstance, one person replied:
Same with Bill Kristol–neocon extraordinaire– but I have to say I like many of the pieces appearing in the new mag he started after a Trump crony bought and shut down his Weekly Standard.
To which my friend responded:
Him and Frum I had once considered to be the most evil men in conservative messaging. And even they thought Trumpism was wrong….
And another friend replied:
I have been disappointed with how often I agree with these conservatives.
It was right about here that my innate urge to moralize, lecture, and scold was just about to kick in and sending me off on a peroration about the need to be more accepting and so forth when God, in his Providence, permitted my finger to twitch and accidently scroll down to this:
I dislike Matt Walsh. A lot. I think him a bully. I think him a vendor of bigotry, outrage porn, and abuse of the weak. I…. don’t want to praise Matt Walsh or agree with him. I feel exactly the way the folks above feel about agreeing with Frum and Kristol.
But… dammit!… he’s simply right here. So when I was just about to stoop down from my Olympian height to gabble at somebody else about the need to be more accepting of disliked enemies when they are right, God pointed the spotlight at me and said, “Physician, heal thyself!”
So, Shea, listen up:
“Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.” – C.S. Lewis