Stop! Children, What’s that Sound?
In 1966, in “For What It’s Worth”, Stephen Stills wrote, “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear…”.
Josh Hawley is the youngest Senator is the United States Senate at the tender age of 41 years. He defeated Claire McCaskill just two years ago to become the junior Senator from Missouri. He was born in Springdale Arkansas in 1979 to parents who were a banker and a teacher. He studied at Stanford University as an undergraduate, and then Yale Law school for his Juris Doctorate. Hawley does not fit the profile of an insurgent, a rebel, or an insurrectionist. Why in the world would Hawley sacrifice a comfortable future within the establishment to raise a fist in front of an angry mob, and threaten the institution that makes him an important young man? “There is something happening here.”
Today in the New York Times, Katherine Stewart has written about “The Roots of Josh Hawley’s Rage.” If you are wondering about why Josh Hawley would find himself in this position, I recommend the article. Obviously, this is a theory by Stewart, but it is a good one. And as good information tends to be, it is edifying about the broader question about what is going on in our society currently.
Stewart has written in detail about what seems to be Hawley’s philosophical underpinnings much better than I can rehash her work. I am merely pointing to it so that we might better understand our current confusion about the January 6th insurrection. There are all sorts of theories being bandied about regarding what exactly motivated the crowd laying siege to the US Capitol. “What it is ain’t exactly clear.” Other than the most obvious fact that Donald J. Trump has been pumping up his base for years, why is his base so willing to commit these crimes while holding and posing for videos and selfies? There was the convenient nonsense about ‘election irregularities.’ There has been the ‘economic anxiety’, describing the motivations since Trump first formed his coalition. There are even theories which involve racial animus, of which I have no doubt are involved to some degree. But, as it applies to the race problem in particular, this is nothing new to America, and storming the Capitol is…by Americans. What is different now?
This is not a condemnation of religion in general. If my words come across as implying that, I have failed somehow. What I do see as a problem is the style or flavor of Hawley’s religiosity. Stewart’s article makes mention of Hawley’s philosophical opposition to,
“a British-born monk who lived 17 centuries ago. In a 2019 commencement address at The King’s College, a small conservative Christian college devoted to “a biblical worldview,” Mr. Hawley denounced Pelagius for teaching that human beings have the freedom to choose how they live their lives…”—Katherine Stewart
I see this as a big problem for the type of society that we live in. This is as serious of a philosophical conflict as the actions to interfere with the function of government, in my view. Often, the discussion about current events, as they age into historical events, get discussed in ways that are misleading. This one has that potential. If you want to know next year, or ten years from now what happened 5 days ago, it would be helpful to understand how Josh Hawley thinks.
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