Monday, April 18, 2016

Pope Francis' exhortation to attend to those in irregular relationships, like Trump

A really very clever article by Maggie Gallagher, "Trump's Family Values" (National Review, April 16, 2016):
In his highly anticipated new exhortation The Joy of Love, Pope Francis urges us Catholics to journey with those in irregular relationships and appreciate the good things they can represent.

“I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion,” he writes. “But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness.”

So let me start by attending to Donald J. Trump.

As my regular readers know, I am no fan of Trump’s — indeed, I fall somewhere between #probablyNeverTrump and #NeverTrump on the Republican spectrum. But let me nevertheless say a good word for Trump-family values.

It is true that Trump has discarded two wives, cheated on at least one of them, and (as I have) made a child out of wedlock. But he then married the woman who bore that child, however briefly. He has always supported all of his children financially, unlike many unmarried or irregularly married fathers. And he has managed to create and maintain close relationships with those children despite the barriers to fatherhood imposed by divorce.

They, in turn, are the best part of Donald J. Trump: educated, hardworking, productive, and (in the case of Ivana’s kids, at least) all married with children themselves.

Then something a bit more biting, by Maureen Mullarkey, "Trump: Beau Ideal of Consumer Culture" (Mullarkey: Studio Matters, April 14, 20016).

[Hat tip to JM]


Carlos Devadip Santana said...

Gallagher: Ok, sure, I suppose. Probably Genghis Khan was nice to his kids as well. Is anyone moved to write an encomium? On the other hand, Ronald Reagan was said to have been something less than Father of the Year. Maybe Maggie's conscience bothers her just enough to blow this heart-shaped smoke ring to balance the non-stop opprobrium that she and her highminded colleagues at NRO have heaped upon the vulgar lout's phony hair over the past year. NR has never recovered from its embrace of the neo-con [read: liberal republican] Bushes in the nineties, when Mr Buckley read Pat Buchanan out of the movement -- a horrible decision which greatly detracted from his achievements as conservatism's honest broker. NRO is now an online neo-con Grub Street: degraded, pedestrian, unreliable.

Mullarkey: worth the read, as usual. The point she makes about Trump and his critics reminds me of the cultural struggle of old money vs new money – the evergreen meta-conflict of American culture. Jay Gatsby was new money. He longed to be accepted by old money, to be one of them. Trump is the inverse of Jay Gatsby. He too is new money, but he doesn’t give a dry fart about old money and whether old money accepts him. His indifference to elitism and its cultural cues enrages elitists, and those college-educated bonkuses who presume themselves to be elitists. And that’s just it: every generation since the baby boomers has been taught elitist attitudes as an entitlement. Elitists and faux-elitists alike hate Donald Trump because he is American to the core. He is George Babbitt, warts and all, and nuts to you if you don’t like it. There is nothing more offensive to elitists than unapologetic Americans. Mullarkey may not be a fan – after all, both Trump and his critics are essentially post-Christian types -- but she understands the situation clearly: unapologetic vulgarity vs unrestrained hypocrisy.

Sheldon said...

Great to see you here, R!