William (Bill) Schambra (Dr. Schambra, in fact) is one of the most vital and stimulating thinkers on philanthropy, public policy, and political theory and practice. Although he may not spend much quality time with the hicks, lubbers, life insurance agents, money managers, petite bourgeois clients, religious zealots, patriots, and white trash to which I have devoted my own meteoric career in Wealth Bondage, and while he is no longer a speech writer for Republicans energizing this disreputable base, he does channel some of that anger, and resentment of the elites to which Bill (presumably in self-loathing) belongs, as an honored thinker, in his own right, a denizen of a reputable (as these things go) think tank and a familiar speaker wherever policy and philanthropy elites meet (such as Council on Foundations and Philanthropy Round Table) to settle each other's hash.
Bill (Dr. William) Schambra, says now, in an essay at Nonprofit Quarterly, "About what Happened," that it is the liberal approach to fixing things, an approach that Bill likens to Eugenics, that account for Trump's rise. It is true - I agree with Bill -- that my progressive friends do feel they are "more highly evolved," a phrase some actually use, than the knuckle draggers in the flyover states. One of my progressive friends, a Harvard educated PhD, from a family that fled the Holocaust, even has a statistically valid test he administers to people to determine how highly evolved they are in ethics, with the Authoritarian, Faithful, Mercantile, Ignoramus as the lowest of the low, and with the open minded promiscuous, cosmopolitan intellectual as the The Finest Fruit of Civilization So Far. It is also true that a large number of voters, behind the curtain, chose to approve an explicit agenda that involves visceral hatred, scapegoating, gloating cruelty, mob-mania, deportation gangs, vilification of minorities, defense of boundaries and borders, unless female, and assertions of racial identity and superiority.
Those who, like Bill have, since at least Nixon, whistled to the dogs had better feed them. When those Bill sides with, the lubbers, come for elites, he had better have some symbol he can paint on his door to indicate that race-baiting, misogyny, and xenophobia are good with him, appearances to the contrary. Bill is a personal friend, and a role model; he is a good man with a record of inciting deep thought, passionate thought, about philanthropy in a free market in a just society. He is ungodly gifted and can channel the great God Pan, or Dionysus drunk on blood, a gift he shares with Euripides and with Trump. In this case, though, he had better update his Theory of Eugenics with input from the Alt-right if he wants to get traction and be in line with God-In-History, as we make Progress towards Cultural Purity.
Euripides? The Bacchae is what I had in mind, as in the prior post. Tragedy follows satire at the Festival of Dionysus. In These Great Times, it is Farce first, or Punchinello, then Tragedy. Sacred Violence, for that we need a scapegoat. Eugenics is cold science. Dionysus prefers havoc, a mob run amok, a lynch tree, human sacrifice, a god bleeding into a chalice, at least a lamb slain on an altar, if not a son of the priest, or the priest himself.
I am reminded, speaking of the great liberal project, of Isaiah Berlin, whose favorite quotation was from Kant, "From the crooked timber of humanity, nothing straight was ever made." At heart, liberalism is the view that in each of us -- all of us - high and low, educated and uneducated, is a spark of the divine, largely obscured by sin. I believe that, too, but the pre-Christian god whose spark I channel, as does Bill, as do some of the Higher-ups in Wealth Bondage, and their minions, is elated by suffering, the suffering of the one expelled, the one fired, the one subordinated, the one molested or broken to submission, the one whose humiliation fuels the rituals of The Apprentice, to which role - The Boss - I aspire. The difference, I am sorry to say, is that after decades in Wealth Bondage, in service to my generous patron, she who rules us all, I have never risen from prostitute to pimp, let alone owner of the Bordello. In a Master/Slave hierarchy (please Bill, credit me here with Hegel) from the dregs on up to the Gold Encrusted Palace of Good Taste, I never made it above the slave of slaves, the butt of all jokes, even my own. If, unlike Bill, I identify with the losers and feel their rage, it is because I am one. I want to hurt others now, as I have been hurt. If I cannot live in the Big House, with Bill, or serve as Doctorate Inside the Belt Way, in a Think Tank, I want to burn it all down.
When my blood is up, as once in awhile it still is, I exult in the shrieks of those burning, in the fear in the eyes of those who will be sacrificed, in the flinching and groans of the satiric victim I flay for her own good, to heal her, set an example, and cure our sick society. Nothing would please me more, as beaten down as I now am, than to make myself feel great again by restoring the moral order, by burning my enemies alive, as human torches, while I sip a cool drink, or eat lemon sherbet, as a Distinguished Guest, in the Rose Garden, and have my pick of the defeated females, who cannot resist me (for I am, grotesque appearance to the contrary, irresistible!, since all women love the man with power to harm on a world historic scale).
At last I have a party, indeed a country, to which I can pledge allegiance with my heart, soul, and body, once we have purged ourselves of the toxins, exterminated the vermin, and Restored the Righteous like me. A job for which I feel well suited, if I can be awarded a badge, a uniform, a billy-club, or other sufficient sign of my superiority, and license to use it. All I need is a sign! A hint as to whom I should beat, or threaten with deportation, or death. Or, if there is to be a Think Tank of the Unthinking - Who better than I? I believe Bill disqualified himself from the Future of Policy by coming across once again as a reasonable man with a conscience. I say to my Fellow Unreasoning Americans, let us spare Dr. William Schambra's life, when we come for the Elites. He has done little good for our cause, but little harm, too. Well, of course there are two sides to every story. Let justice be done. I would spare his wife, if it were my decision. I owe him that much.