Re: The Final Chapter

by Jonah Goldberg

Kevin, thanks. I thought you made a very strong case. And you can be sure I’ll be recanting and sucking up to you if Cthulhu gets here first. And I think we can both agree that short of an extinction-level candidate, Crom could really be a party-unifying fusion candidate.   

For those who don’t subscribe to my “news”letter, it’s now up on the homepage. An excerpt from the Smod v. Cthulhu section:

I don’t want to force Kevin into a label he does not accept — that would be Cthulhian of me — but I’d like to suggest he’s an Old Whig without knowing it. If there is a single moral principle that united the Old Whigs — from Burke to Hayek — it is the evil and folly of “arbitrary power.” Kevin’s book, The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome, is not a jeremiad for moral anarchy and rule by the cruel or the strongest. Rather it is an argument for the morally restorative powers of anarchy — i.e., liberty rightly understood.

If Cthulhu stands for anything, it is for himself. His motives are beyond our ken. His blood-soaked actions are grounded in nothing but his own whimsy. Is this not the very definition of arbitrary power? Obviously, in a world where Al Sharpton can blame Texas floods on “climate control” [sic], all rational men wish for the sweet release of total destruction. But is a mercurial ancient being of indecipherable evil the kind of being you want to pin your hopes on? Just for giggles, he could make Al Sharpton his Warden of Terra for a thousand centuries. That’s a blink of the eye for one who stands outside the currents and eddies of time as we know it. If such a delay amuses him, what does he care about the timetable of those eager to leap in the cosmic bologna grinder?

Meanwhile, Smod is beholden to the rule of law — in this case, the law of physics. As an inanimate object — “a chunk of space-rock,” Kevin dismissively spits — Smod could no more change his mind, or his schedule, than 4 could choose not to be the sum of 2+2. Sure, he lacks Cthulhu’s experience, but he has knowable and reliable convictions. If experience is all that matters, then in the human presidential contest (“a feckless battle of impotent meat-sacks,” in Cthulhu’s colorful phrase) Kevin should be pulling for Rick Santorum, George Pataki, or Hillary Clinton. All I need to know about Smod is he is committed to Newton’s First Law of Motion. And, to paraphrase another Old Whig, Margaret Thatcher, the meteor’s not for turning.

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