My search for understanding uses a wide brush of history and the mythologies of history (Thank you Joseph Campbell). Modernity, the modern world created after the Middle Ages and in which we currently live with all its comforts and problems is a mythology, or a world view that holds everything together in one coherent view. This is necessary in order for us to communicate and work together like ants in a colony. The Middle Ages was held together by the Holy Roman Catholic Church as its center, along with the Biblical authority of creation. The Age of Reason broke this monolithic world up into fragments of the once whole world. Instead of One Church you had thousands of individual churches. Instead of a King with absolute power, you had individual citizens with the power of the vote. Authority shifted from the One to the Many.
The unique individuals of the Age of Reason, our founding fathers like Jefferson were giant individual, Renaissance men who were knowledgeable in letters and the sciences. Each was a Unique Center. As the Industrial Age progressed, however, the modern man became a self image dependent upon the rules of conventional society. Modern man’s duty was to conform the social rules of industry and commerce, no longer being a free thinking individual dependent upon no external authority.
With the loss of the Unique Renaissance Man as center, a man who was in contact with Reason, or God’s logos, the center couldn’t hold. Ego centers our group think came into existence where individual would bind themselves to an external center or Leader or ideology and fight with competing centers.
The Republican Party, bless its hearts, came to the rescue by proclaiming that it alone could hold the center against the rising tide of liberalism that had no center. The scientific universe has no stable fixed point, says Einstein. Everything is relative. The GOP came to the rescue by offering no only a moral center, but a center in political leadership. A strong man, a Renaissance Man like our founding fathers, one who could bring law and order to these emotional Democrats. This has been working for 40 years since the fragmentation of the 70s.
Now this mythology is cracking up. Trump is a character of the Renaissance Man, the Savior who will restore America’s Center. But I digress from the topic of this talk, which is God’s Last Stand. But maybe not.
In the same way that the Church of the Middle Ages resisted the Copernican revolution, the secular/Biblical Right resists Climate Change where God is the last Center of the universe, and since the Right is the Party of God as a fixed center, they have stake in this big tent story.
Mythically speaking, it seems to me that the view of liberalism and the Democratic is a fear of chaos, of the loss of center, reason, and sanity. From the Right, the GOP is that last stand for a stable center that can hold against the flood of scientific materialism and immigration, an invasion of foreign values. This is a projected fear of our own mortality, but even a greater fear than death itself, is the fear of a loss of center, of being swept up into a vortex to oblivion. People die to protect the center, the flag, that which they hold with ultimate concern. One’s center transcends death itself.
The modern GOP plays hosts to several streams of Center mythology: the Lost Cause of the Confederacy and Christianity and white nationalism are Center mythologies that make the current GOP River—and Trump speaks to all three like Bush with the bull horn. We’re going to get those tho threaten to take our towers (center) down.