It’s the Shire, stupid.
How do we hope when all the news is bad?
And it is bad, very bad.
The left are tearing down marriage, gender, the natural family, the sanctity of human life, free speech and even the very economy upon which all of the above depend.
They present an alternative vision of a seductive utopia but it comes at the price of subservience to Mordor.
It feels like the left are a collective Orc pack ravaging the edges of the Shire, the Hobbits oblivious.
The ones who should know better, like Bilbo, are saying “we do not want any adventures!” when Gandalf the Grey comes calling.
Like the elves of Rivendell, “it’s not our fight”, they say.
Constructive criticism that comes my way from time to time goes something like this: What about a positive vision? How do we make what we are for seem attractive rather than just railing against what we are against?
These are good questions.
For years I have been one who has railed against the darkness in a bid to try and wake people up.
I have assumed that everyone wants the life of the Shire. I assume that everyone knows what the Shire is, and that it needs no explanation. Why waste time explaining motherhood and apple pie when wild boars are rushing through the hedge?
The Shire is of course a place where hobbits live in peace, community and freedom. Free to raise their families, build a life, enjoy communal festivals and be safe from the Black Riders.
But the Shire is forgotten.
We’ve accepted the lie that abortion empowers women sexually when all it does is fulfils the great male fantasy – sex without responsibility.
Now we legally rip babies apart in their mothers’ wombs right up ‘till birth. Our politicians, without conscience, allow this and make us pay for it through Medicare.
At the other end of life, we are rushing to assisted suicide to deal with what at least one euthanasia advocate described as our “unproductive burdens”. This includes the mentally ill, as “progressive” slippery slope trailblazers in Belgium affirmed this week.
Somehow, we’ve bought the lie that family structure doesn’t matter as millions of women struggle to raise kids in fatherless homes. Again, men are generally the ones who get the leave pass from the lion’s share of day-to-day responsibility, although they are not without the pain of estrangement.
We are told that all kids need is love – mum and dad are irrelevant as two blokes will do, or two women. Renting a womb and trafficking in children is fine in this brave new world.
Biological bonds can be deliberately shattered and gender diversity in the raising of a child along with mothering and fathering, trashed.
The sexual revolution smashed the idea of a mum and dad morally faithful to each other. Anything goes with no thought of the consequences for children of adults pursuing sexual licence.
We poo pooed the family as an anachronistic prop for an evil patriarchy while caricaturing motherhood as Desperate Housewives.
Modern Family proved the gay guys were cool while heteros were like country music.
No wonder everyone is confused.
Yet deep down, to the chagrin of the left, people long for the Shire. Even if they don’t quite know what it is.
Perversely, the wealthy university educated elites work this out and have higher marriage and family stability rates than people in lower socio-economic brackets.
With money and education comes an ability to correct, to some degree, the mistakes of a youth spent living the flower power dream.
Sadly for the poor, the social carnage is too great and family dysfunction and child poverty gets baked in for generations.
Wealthy green left socialists bleat about equality but fail to realise that the poor suffer because the consequence of junking the wisdom of the ages is inequality.
Debate on all of the above is criminalised by a human rights law system that is rigged to punish anyone who critiques it as a “sexist” or worse, a “bigot” and “homophobe”.
Instead of communities where women and men work together for the collective benefit of their children, who were once raised in security to become good citizens, we have an out-of-control child protection system which can’t protect children. Children are being injured and killed at a rapid-fire rate and no can stop it. The problem just gets worse despite governments throwing more money at it. The emptiness of the failed 60s vision is medicated with drugs and alcohol. Children suffer.
Billions are spent unsuccessfully trying to do what mums and dads used to.
Try and say that and the PC brigade will jump on you from a great height.
People who know in their gut something is wrong are paralysed by fear of offending polite elite opinion.
And we’ve not even come to the rainbow left’s gender fluid project on our young, something so manifestly stupid and harmful it defies belief.
When the British parliamentarian, William Wilberforce, was fighting the 18th and 19th century slave trade, he spoke mostly about what he was against.
While for the brotherhood of all men, regardless of skin colour, that idea didn’t resonate with society which saw whites as superior to blacks (although it helped get the serious Christians on board whose religion taught them there was “neither Greek nor Jew, all are one in Christ”).
But Wilberforce did expose the filth, squalor, chains and death of the trans-Atlantic slave ships which to the average Englishman had been out of sight, out of mind.
Public opinion eventually turned on the horror of the injustice and Parliament finally changed its mind after decades of hard heartedness. Now slavery, which had been a feature of Britain for 400 years, is unthinkable.
Martin Luther King Junior managed to articulate a compelling vision from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in his “I have a dream speech”.
But he also led protestors in non-violent acts of civil disobedience at Selma and elsewhere against laws he deemed to be non-laws because of their innate injustice.
Speaking of Lincoln, few speeches inspire as much as his brief Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural. King’s soaring words echoed back among their etchings on the walls of that great memorial.
We remember Lincoln’s oratory and vision splendour but not Antietam, to this day the bloodiest single day in the history of US warfare.
He calculated that his words were worthless without leading his nation to fight for what they meant.
Sir Roger Scruton, the philosopher who was mercilessly mocked by the left because he said love of home and love of nation were good things, passed away last month.
Yet in spite of the left’s project to undermine the family and the nation state, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were blockbusters with a generation who had been raised to be cynical about what Scruton called oikophillia – the love of home.
The hobbits voted for Brexit – twice, despite the wishes of the wizards in Brussels.
The “deplorables” voted for Tump and look set to do so again in November.
Mordor is seething.
Bilbo didn’t want any more adventures when Gandalf called. He wanted to ignore the gathering forces of evil and pursue a nice life in the Shire, hoping he would be untouched.
One of my mentors, a military man, drummed into me that “hope is not a strategy”.
Frodo knew he had to overcome his inner demons and stare Mordor in the face.
But he had Samwise Gamgee, that simple stupid hobbit, to remind him of life in the Shire every step of the way.
Evil is real. It sometimes presents as a white wizard.
But keeping in mind a vision of what our family’s life in the Shire can be like will help us to see through the fog of deception and stand firm against the Orcs and dragons.
That is why we must fight.