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Matthew A. Sears @matthewasears
, 15 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
This is a "pox on all your houses" take. And it's meant to justify the support of its author, @matthewschmitz, and his magazine, @firstthingsmag, a conservative Catholic publication, of Trump. Here's what I mean: 1/
The article appears to take a neutral stance, just laying out the different "family values" held based on class, arguing that Trump's "family values" align well with those of non-elites, whether religious or not. 2/
But here's the key passage: "Just as a Catholic priest at a wealthy parish would be accustomed to overlooking his parishioners’ discreet reliance on contraception (a respectable practice his Church condemns as immoral)..." 3/
If you read @firstthingsmag (I do, or did - it's a long story), you'll know that they rail against liberal Catholics, including Pope Francis, almost as much as they decry secular progressivism - *both* have, in their opinion, undermined necessary social structures. 4/
But, and here's the kicker, in their view elites (religious or secular) undermine social structures while still adhering to them themselves, which is an arch-hypocrisy and has destroyed American non-elites and widened the gap between classes. 5/
The @firstthingsmag crowd thus think Trump represents a necessary corrective in the direction of non-elites, or at least lays bare the damage elites have done. @matthewschmitz doesn't actually think Trump has "family values." He thinks *none* of us do. 6/
It's actually a rather nuanced and thoughtful position, but I think it's wrong and dangerous for several reasons. 1. This NYT piece is fundamentally dishonest in its posture as a neutral reporting of class attitudes. 7/
2. In an effort to teach all of us libs a lesson, they continue to support a leader and movement that are bound to have catastrophic effects on lower-class Americans, especially those who are non-white, but also white Americans. 8/
3. They fail to acknowledge the socio-economic reality that Trump supporters actually *are* upper-class elites (as Trump is himself) that are cynically using non-elites to gain and maintain power. We still have elites in charge, just different ones. 9/
4. They would have much more of a leg to stand on of they acknowledged those elites, even progressive ones, that *do* exhibit the kinds of personal family values for which they'd like to see a revival (the Obamas come to mind). 10/
5. Tearing down the whole social system, which Trump's nihilism threatens to do, is not going to clear the ground for a revival of traditional "family values". It's just going to destroy everyone's family, the most vulnerable especially. 11/
6. Finally, in their effort to own the libs, @firstthingsmag has abdicated its responsibility to be a prophetic voice in the defense of the "least of these," which include, in Trump's America, non-whites and immigrants especially. First Things has utterly sold them out. 12/
So, this column is far more than just trolling (Bari Weiss style). It *is* trolling, but in service of a clear agenda (which, dishonestly, isn't stated) that I think misses the point, can't work, and threatens to do more damage to more vulnerable people than the other side. 13/13
There's obviously lots to be upset about with this column. Here's an important point:
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