On high horses

I have often thought (well, not that often) if elected to public office, I should ride in on a horse. Verily, if elected Her Majesty’s chief servant in right of England (“Prime Minister” I think they call it), I should wish my whole cabinet to clopple down Whitehall to the Palace of Westminster, astride these noble animals, resplendently attired. I am bored with cars, and think them an undignified way to arrive anywhere. A car in livery is ridiculous. It must be a horse.

So my congratulations to Mr Roy Moore, who has been living my phantasy in the State of Alabama. A populist twice elected sheriff of some sort (“Chief Justice” I think they call it), then twice removed from office for quite literally keeping the Ten Commandments (carving one set himself, I’m told), he is now the Republican candidate and thus presumptive Natted States Senator-elect. The primary wasn’t close. Thirty million dollars and the counter-endorsements of the entire Merican political class could not defeat him. A magnificent troll of Southern defiance, Moore rode to the polls on his fine horse, with his wife on the fine horse beside him.

As a Siamese kickboxer, and former cowboy in the Australian outback, he will bring some much-needed diversity to that Washington Upper House. As a stalwart of the First Baptist Church of Gallant, he will also abet the trend to catholicity. Too, and most happily, he will drive his hapless opponents in the Southern Poverty Law Centre, and the American Civil Liberties Union, bananas. The media are already apoplectic. God must be in this somewhere.

I am, of course, personally opposed to populism, and “democracy” for that matter. They are divisive forces, as the mediaeval scholastics warned. A society divided into two parties (or more, the way the Europeans do it) is a society at war with itself. Mass voting is an invitation to class warfare. Moreover, by the time it comes to blows, all sides have undermined themselves by concessions to the “smelly little orthodoxies” of the political life. That which binds a society — principles such as those expressed in the Ten Commandments; the patriot love displayed in flag or crown; the central and abiding symbol of the Cross — have been obviated in the electoral horseplay.

As Simone Weil observed, the British and American democratic arrangements almost worked, because the political parties were of aristocratic origin, and in their outward manifestations flaccid and bourgeois. There were no originating ideological differences between “conservatives” and “liberals”; both once agreed on mom and apple pie. Whereas, the European parties were revolutionary in origin, and thus essentially totalitarian. Not one, but all, needed to be destroyed.

She died in the course of the last World War. Had she lived she would have seen the irruption of the totalitarian impulse in Anglo-Saxonia, too. All the principles of public order and human decency have been challenged, at an accelerating pace, because the poison of “political correctness” has seeped into all our parties, and throughout what Steve Bannon calls the “elites.” The beauty of it is that “po-co” views are so false, that the opposites tend to be true.

With his genius for picking enemies, Donald Trump is currently at war with football kneelers. (The polls show he has overwhelming public support for this.) Roy Moore will indulge campaigns of that sort, with less of Trump’s shrinking-violet bashfulness. My sense is that the public at large (even in Europe) has got powerfully sick of being micromanaged by the besuited knaves of the upper middle class. And Bannon is right: their days are numbered.

What follows won’t be pretty, however. But can be made prettier upon a high horse.