I just finished reading Christopher Snyder’s book “Hobbit Virtues: Rediscovering Virtue Ethics Through J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.’”
Snyder is a friend and founding dean of the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University. The book is an excellent and thought-provoking read in which Snyder makes a distinction between “values” and “virtues.” The political views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of Snyder.
Unfortunately today, we use the word “values” to describe the good, bad and ugly around us, as if virtues were too high a bar. Snyder quotes Tolkien, who wrote, “I would claim … to have as one object the elucidation of truth, and the encouragement of good morals in this real world.”
It’s safe to say President Trump is the central point of contention dividing America. Considering Left media and Democrats have been vilifying him 24/7 since he won the 2016 GOP nomination, many are quite surprised his poll rankings are as high as they are. Have Left media or Democrats ever said anything positive about President Trump?
After President Trump ended his speech Thursday night, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper agreed it was not “fair” that the president and GOP had held such a visually stimulating convention event at the White House! Afterward, mobs of protesters physically and verbally threatened many who had attended the event! Left media reported the protesters were “mostly peaceful.”
When the RNC began last Tuesday, CNN’s Don Lemon chastised Democrats for “ignoring” riots in Wisconsin and across America, saying, “The rioting has to stop. It’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing right now that is sticking.” By all means, it’s the POLLING, stupid!
On cue, Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden and Left media began calling the “riots,” aka “mostly peaceful protests,” wrong and must stop. Biden kicked it up a notch saying on MSNBC, “I think (Trump) views it as a political benefit. He’s rooting for more violence, not less.”
Biden continued, “The part that bothers me the most is the idea of just pouring gasoline on the racial flames that are burning now. That does not justify any of the looting, any of the burning, any of the damage being done by protesters. But the people have a right to be angry; people have a right to protest.”
Now that Left media and Democrats realize the “mostly peaceful protests” are hurting them in the polls, the “rioting” has been President Trump’s fault for the past three months?
To borrow Tolkien’s language, Americans have strayed far away from having “as one object the elucidation of truth, and the encouragement of good morals in this real world….” We now value the “right to be angry” and we’re suffering from the effects of anger roiling over into unrestrained rioting and destruction. If it weren’t for the polls, would the LEFT have ever acknowledged the raging anger and destruction of cities by the “mostly peaceful protesters?”
What is the truth about President Trump? He’s a bully and brutish in his tweets and comments. He’s always been this way, and supporters know this. Paradoxically, he’s no more a bully or brute than the Left that criticizes him continually. In terms of virtue, President Trump and his critics are pretty evenly matched!
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville. Contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com.