2017: The Scouring of the Shire

2017: The Scouring of the Shire

A new year, a new hope. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

In the Christian calendar, this is the season of hope. The birth of the Christ is not the end of the season, as it seems to be in our modern culture, but rather the beginning. The Twelve Days of Christmas begin with Christmas Day and end with Epiphany on January 6th when we celebrate the Wise Men finding the baby Jesus.

In the American political calendar, the November election has been—especially for the victors—the beginning of a season of hope, which hope begins to be realized on January 20th, Inauguration Day.

The comparison is especially apt as the secular left treat their candidate as a messiah.

Barack Obama’s “third term” in the form of Hillary Clinton didn’t happen. The left collectively (because they are collectivists after all) felt as though they had been thrown into the outer darkness and proceeded to wail and gnash their teeth. Very publicly, as we have seen.

They can’t believe they lost, so they have invented narratives to explain the loss without accountability. It’s somebody else’s fault. Blue collar males in fly-over country who were just too stupid to know their own self-interest. How could these rubes possibly miss the fact that their intellectual superiors in academia and government knew better?

Or take the “Russian hackers” meme. Despite the total lack of proof and the physical impossibility, Barack Obama went so far last week as to proclaim sanctions and expel 35 Russian diplomats. Wisely, Vladimir Putin didn’t take the bait and did not reciprocate.

Regardless of why they lost, the concern of the leadership of the left now is about the legacy of the last eight years. They are right to be concerned.

In the past century, every lurch to the left has been more or less permanent. Like a retreating tide leaving flotsam and jetsam on the shore, every retreat from progressivism has been incomplete. Bureaucracies and programs may be downsized but never eliminated, only to rise again. Sometimes Republican administrations actually add to the detritus of government: Richard Nixon founded the EPA and George W. Bush added both No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D.

Because of this history, the Democrats believed that once they had passed Obamacare there was no turning back the clock. Moving policy in a “progressive” direction is always “forward” while doing anything else is “backward.” Like marking forward progress in football, progressives believe once they have achieved a certain position, retreat is unthinkable.

Mostly they’ve been right.

This time it just might be different. This time there is real danger to the utopian plans of the left. In previous regime changes, Republicans either weren’t that different from their Democrat predecessors or they didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to withstand the howls of outrage coming from the left.

This time it just might be time for the Scouring of the Shire.

For those not acquainted with The Lord of the Rings, after the climactic destruction of the One Ring at Mt. Doom, there was a literary denouement. The Hobbits returned to their home in the Shire to find it laid waste by the Saruman, wizard of Isengard. He had to be deposed, those who had cooperated with him dealt with and the Shire restored to its former state.

Sound anything like “Make America Great Again”?

Trump is not a career politician; he doesn’t think like one. The people he’s picked for his cabinet are not either. Some have sat in opposition to the very agencies they will now lead. Tom Price comes immediately to mind. All are accomplished leaders in their fields. In 2008, Obama appointed ideologues who shared his vision and were ready to implement his agenda. Today Trump is appointing people who will dismantle that agenda.

Scouring the Shire sounds a lot like draining the swamp. Man the pumps! Let the draining begin.