Various email discussions over the past weeks have pondered who Rod Dreher will be voting for in the upcoming presidential race and have given several plausible reasons why, although Dreher himself has been coy about the matter on his blog in order to technically protect TAC's tax-exempt status.
Regardless of which candidate Dreher actually ends up pulling the lever for, here is who he is pushing to win, and why.
Who: Hillary Clinton
Why: The candidate most damaging to Christians will do the most to promote sales of his forthcoming Benedict Option book, delivered to the publisher just today, a book about, as Dreher himself touts it, the last, best and only hope for Christians at the end of the cultural line.
The better things are for Christians, the worse a book about a pointless and needless Benedict Option will sell. The worse things are for Christians, the better a book that purports to offer any hope at all will sell.
Demand, meet Supply. Or, rather, Supply, meet a Demand massaged as best the Supplier can manage to massage it.
Well, Keith, why do you say such a thing, readers may ask. Rod has already told us he cannot tell us who he favors for President. Why shouldn't we believe him?
He doesn't have to. His actions speak louder than any words ever could. And besides, it doesn't even matter who he votes for. What matters is how many votes he can steer to the candidate he needs to win to maximize his personal book sales profits. He doesn't need to vote at all so long as he steers enough votes to produce a Hillary win.
If one reads his posts over the last year, they are Trump-this and Trump-that out the wazoo, most of them either actively or passive-aggressively negative, with virtually no posts at all about candidate Hillary or any of her sins dating back decades.
Debbie Wasserman Schulz herself could have scheduled these non-existing Hillary posts in the same manner and for the same reasons she made poor Bernie Sanders try to make his case on television on a Saturday freaking night, for goodness sake, in order to effectively render the subject - in Dreher's case Hillary, in Schulz' case Bernie - virtually invisible.
But isn't Donald Trump just naturally more..."newsy"?
Sure enough. Trump is always saying things to make people's tongues wag.
But, although his style will always be Gawkerish at heart, believe it or not Rod Dreher's current beat really isn't the juiciest, most gossipy newsy tidbits of a TMZ or a Gawker. According to Rod, his passion and focus is being ostentatiously hip-deep in his own personal Christian holiness and, above everything else worldly, religious liberty and a fierce dedication to the protection of that religious liberty.
A religious liberty a Hillary Clinton presidency would end up stomping like Godzilla, before Godzilla then ate whatever mush remained.
But he hardly ever mentions Hillary Clinton. Why not? Why does he never mention the one candidate that everyone knows and every liberal dreams will do the most to damage the religious liberty of Christians in every way possible?
Because he needs a religious liberty stomped to mush by a Hillary Godzilla Clinton in order to drive sales of his prescriptive solution for mush-stomped religious liberty - his Benedict Option. If the financial motive were not so glaringly obvious, one might suspect Munchhausen by proxy.
To follow Dreher's comparative interest in Hillary Clinton is to be led to the belief that Hillary is spending her time only doing yoga and playing with her grandchildren, not trashing national security, not selling access to government for personal gain, definitely not working every angle available to change "...deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases..."
Prove me wrong. Watch Dreher's past, present and future posts about the presidential candidates and score things for yourself. Trump will be held up as an appalling pariah; Hillary will be invisible; and a dependable percentage of Dreher's readers will end up voting for the major party candidate who has not been held up as an appalling pariah.
And, then, after Hillary ends up doing enough of this and that, particularly with the help of her newly energized Supreme Court, even you might fall into enough despair to buy Rod's Benedict Option book, if only as the worthless placebo you nevertheless desperately need in lieu of no other hope at all.
This is the true cultural wasteland for Christians, what Hannah Arendt called the "banality of evil": in this case, casual, premeditated betrayal by those you trust most. Your mother sells you to the biker gang passing through for a bag of meth. Your ostensibly most (self-declared) Christian hero sells you out with a smile to line his own pockets.
By the way, I hear Rod's Benedict Option book goes on sale shortly after Hillary's inauguration. Just in time.