Moss 300x155 Daniel Moodys No Country for Old Men

Worse is coming

Daniel Moody is an online friend of mine with whom I’ve maintained a correspondence for about ten years I’d guess.  Daniel is a brilliant man.  He lives in England and he’s long been trying to tell the world that it has reasoned itself into madness.

If that sounds like Daniel is just picking up the C.S. Lewis or Chesterton torch, the answer is yes and no.  I don’t think Daniel reads much.  Years ago, I sent Daniel something by C.S. Lewis and he responded saying “Stella Morabito keeps recommending C.S. Lewis to me but I would rather not read him, for the same reason I have never read 1984: other people have written about the theory of the ‘abolition of man’, whereas we are witnessing it in practice. I want to write about the practice.”

And that’s about right, I think.  Chesterton and C.S. Lewis were among the early 20th century writers to point out where things were headed.  Daniel Moody means to announce our arrival.  I’d like to think we’ve arrived because maybe that’d mean things won’t get much worse.

But worse is coming.  I’m reminded of an exchange in Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men .  Sheriff Bell and his deputy stand surrounded in the desert by gun-rattled corpses:

The deputy says, “It’s a mess, aint it Sheriff?”
“If it aint,” Sheriff Bell responds, “it’ll do till the mess gets here.”

Daniel’s post (It’s Abortion, Stupid) is over 7,000 words and goes deep into the weeds. He doesn’t write light reads; it’s not for everyone. I’m not sure that Daniel is right about everything he says here, but he probably is.  This morning, I sent Daniel an email about his post.  Below is that email.

Daniel,

In the United States, a chief concern among the most political people is what judges sit on our Supreme Court.  The Left argues for what they call “a living Constitution” by which they think judges’ opinions should keep pace with the fashions of leftwing political activism. The Right argues against activism and for “originalism,” by which they mean that a judges’ opinions should reflect the original understanding of the law at the time it was written.  Between the two, the Left is far, far closer to the legal reality in America today.

I’m guessing you probably haven’t read Cormac McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men.  Reading your post, I thought of a character in that movie, Anton Chigurh, a killer without a conscience whose single principle is that he honors coin tosses.  Coin flips decide who lives and who dies.

After finishing your post, I thought that if I were a conservative judge and I wanted to prophesize a bit, I would take a page from Anton Chigurh.  I would go into my courtroom with a coin.  When asked for my decision, I’d flip it.  Then, when they put me before the TV cameras I’d use your post to sum up my actions:

Look,  I’m not doing anything new. Roe was 1973.  It’s just taken a half century for the law to catch up with what was decided in full on that day.  This coin?  This coin is catch up.

Roe decided that the law was no longer beholden to “endowed by our creator.”  Roe told us that man doesn’t exist unless the state says he exists. So after Roe, man’s existence is no longer a scientific question nor is it a metaphysical question. It is a state decision. The state is the creator.

Many mistakingly say that the law now concerns itself with mind over body.  You are whatever you imagine and desire.  But that’s wrong because the mind is a part of the body.  No body, no mind.  And if man does not exist apart from a decision of the state, then his mind doesn’t exist. And if man does not exist then the law does not exist.  You might as well flip a coin.

Then I’d hold up my coin and say,

So at this point, this is the most honest game in town!

Conservatives pine for judges that will honor the law as written.  Your post has me wondering if they really understand what happened a half century ago.  I didn’t really understand it myself until the arrival of transgenderism (or maybe until I read your post this morning).

I know of one woman who understands.  She resigned as chairman of the Georgia ACLU when her daughters walked into a girls’ room and were confronted by a group of men, all over six feet tall with deep voices, and clad in makeup and dresses.  She started an advocacy group.  She says it’s about finding a more reasonable ‘middle ground.’  The woman’s naivete is almost heartbreaking.  There’s no middle ground to a coin toss.  Roe closed the doors to our legal process and ushered us into the legal reasoning of Anton Chigurh.  And honestly, it’s worse than that.  Why even honor a coin toss if there is no law?  I’d wind up my speech as the judge this way:

You can fire me and demand my seat be taken by a judge who disagrees with what I’m saying.  You can pick a judge who will tell you that the law does not deny a man’s existence even if the law says he doesn’t exist.  And if you do that we will continue down the road I’m trying to throw some light on today.  But please, at least do me the honor of admitting the contradiction.

Do me a favor, watch the movie trailer below for No Country for Old Men.  Close your eyes at the 1:18 mark and listen to the words, music, and sounds.  I can’t imagine a better soundtrack for January 22, 1973, and in particular, “you can’t stop what’s comin” and “you don’t understand.”

In No Country for Old Men, there’s a sheriff after Aton Chigurh.  His name is Sheriff Bell. He is bewildered by the world around him and doesn’t know what to make of it.  Here is Sheriff Bell.  And in this second excerpt, I think Sheriff Bell arrives at the same conclusion you do in your post.

Warm regards,

Douglas