I’m Glad That’s (Almost) Over!

Roger Fisk
4 min readMay 9, 2018

I am not diametrically opposed to traditional Republicanism and share with it a couple fundamental truths; humans are not susceptible to perfection, government is a poor instrument with which to attempt to conjure that perfection, and an empowered individual is better than an empowered state.

Eclipsing that however is the modern cloud of false moralizing that has rooted me firmly in opposition to modern republicanism. In analytical terms this is better known as the values voters’ marriage to fiscal conservatives in the GOP, and what we are witnessing is the wholesale suicide of the values contingent by throwing in with the current occupant of the White House.

This is a good thing.

From the moment I saw a preacher on tv as a child my immediate reaction was that I was witnessing utter insincerity. The many years I spent in church held a handful of jewels in terms of community and learning about people and me, but as soon as things turned to the pulpit I could just feel my brain tune it out and wait for the next carol, which would then lift my spirit again. Worse, the Falwells and Grahams and Robertsons and Bakkers I saw on TV were always kind of peeking around the drapes and telegraphing their complicity in a fraud, with Bakker falling to flesh, Graham fond of rambling, casual Anti-Semitism with Richard Nixon, and the law firm of Falwell and Robertson sharing a bizarre lifetime habit of blaming American gays, lesbians, abortionists, scientists and atheists for terrorism and virtually any natural disaster over the last 40 years.

It used to be a joke that the Moral Majority was neither, and now, having thrown in with a truly pornographic presidency, the false moralizing of the TV faithful can thunder no more as it has abdicated both words in its old moniker.

There are some reasons for this that converge and force multiply.

First, America believes less and less every day. The correlation between modern religion and morality is demolished by even a casual look at the highest rates of divorce, domestic abuse, and teen pregnancy, which lead one straight to the most pious of states. And those pious states are intent on crippling their children with a warped view of our origins and a hostility to science that robs their kids of the tools to participate in an economy that is more about innovation and change than it is about bricks and mortar and tradition. You can extrapolate this to the global level as well as the nations with the highest level of religiosity in no way collate to health, success or happiness.

Second, it is no accident that this demise is overseen by the dim offspring of the original perpetrators. Falwell Jr. has reduced what was already a squalid family legacy into one of abject political subservience, and never again will his comments on marriage, divorce, or temptation be listened to after his Siamese twin act with the current occupant. Franklin Graham doesn’t seem to know the Internet is written in ink, allowing his damning fire-and-brimstone comments on President Clinton’s conduct to stand in stark moral contrast to his craven genuflection to the current occupant. As his father’s Anti-Semitic rants in the Oval Office still echo, birther Franklin’s frothing, partisan hypocrisy ensures that the last bit of his family’s capacity to moralize curdles in the digital sun. Throw into this Next Generation mix WH Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of a Flat Earth moralizer who herself casually aids and abets commandment-breaking immorality on a daily basis, and a full constellation of mendacity along with second generation mediocrity comes into focus.

Now, rest assured, the judging will continue and the bizarre statements about America bringing it on herself after a flood or something will as well. The greatest hits still get applause, but as with an oldies act the sharpness is not there and the rough edges sanded off by time. For the most part you can hear the door closing on a whole generation of Americans for whom the false morality of incoherent Bronze Age texts is more central to their lives than the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, and we should welcome this. There are plenty of theocracies in which one can live, but the US isn’t one of them.

The “values” voters still look like the foundation of the modern GOP. But in throwing in with the current occupant’s sustained disregard for any kind of moral restraint, they have pulled the plug on their capacity to judge or chastise, leaving the rest of us listening to a voice that becomes more distant and feeble every day.

Soon they will have faded entirely, not before some reluctant spasmodic grasps at relevance post-Trump, perhaps even in the form of one or two of the people referenced here asking for “grace” after they drifted so far. But by then it will be too late, since credibility cannot be taken but must be given away. The sanctimonious will trail off to a whisper, never to return to anything approaching their zenith when they could damn and judge and condemn and moralize.

This is a good thing.