Two articles that I’ve read on the internet have reminded me of the notion of authority and the dignified part of government:
The first: “An Interview with the most hated man on the internet” by D.D. Guttenplan at The Nation:
But if you’re based on an agreement to a set of ideals, then surely immigration becomes different because you don’t object to people because they’re of different stock as long as they subscribe to your ideals.
No. You object to people because of values, which is why Trump’s values test was so popular a few weeks ago. That’s exactly what his voters want. They don’t care about skin color. They want somebody to come over and believe in America. They want the kind of immigrants that came two, three generations ago who came to participate in the American dream, not the kind of immigrants that are coming now to destroy it.
Do you think that’s really true? I’ve talked to Trump voters in Florida and South Carolina.
By the time you’re talking about policy positions, you’ve already lost the war. By the time you get down to elections, I lose interest. I like Trump because he’s a cultural candidate for president and because Trump represents an existential threat to political correctness. I will put up with almost anything that he does because of that.
Why are you so infuriated by political correctness? Why not just laugh it off?
Because it’s deadly.
The second: “Waiting for a young pope” by Matthew Schmitz at First Things:
Upon his election, the young pope takes the name Pius XIII to signal a return to the past. When he addresses his cardinals, he lays out his anti-modern program: “Tolerance doesn’t live here anymore. It’s been evicted. It vacated the house for the new tenant, who has diametrically opposite tastes in decorating.” Diametrically opposite, and much improved. “The liturgy will no longer be a social engagement,” he declares. I confess that when I heard him say, “The Vatican must immediately buy back the papal tiara,” I let out a whoop.
Paolo Sorrentino, who wrote and directed the series, does not seem to be a traditional Catholic. As with most recent treatments of faith, a little more religious literacy would have gone a long way. Nonetheless, The Young Pope reveals the exhaustion of attempts to make the Church attractive by conforming it to the world. Reveling in supposedly old-fashioned garments like the papal red shoes and wide-brimmed saturno, it shows how attractive an unapologetically traditional Catholicism can be.
As a filmmaker, Sorrentino is particularly alert to the power of images. “In the 60s,” says Pius, “the young people that protested in the streets spouted all kinds of heresies. All except one: power to the imagination. In that, they were correct.” He vows that his first public appearance will be a great visual event, a “dazzling image, so dazzling it blinds people.” For Sorrentino, the Church is most eloquent in its pomp and dumbshow.