In the final book of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle, the forces of Narnia, hard pressed on every side by their Calormene enemies and their false god, Tash, fight to save Narnia.
The Narnians last stand takes place atop the hill just outside the Stable (in and of itself symbolic as an entry into a new world just like one who was born in a stable thousands of years ago to bring new life). As the book reaches its conclusion, “the pace quickens” and it is clear that there is one camp that refuses to be on either side of the conflict. They literally would rather kill both sides so that they stay in control (they think) of their own destinies.
As the battle rages on, King Tirian of Narnia calls out to the Dwarfs.
“Dwarfs,” cried Tirian. “Come here and use your swords, not your tongues. There is still time. Dwarfs of Narnia! You can fight well, I know. Come back to your allegiance!”
“Yah!” sneered the Dwarfs. “Not likely. You’re just as big a humbugs as the other lot. We don’t want any Kings. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs. Boo!”
Again and again throughout the battle the Dwarfs repeat their rallying cry, “The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs!”
I have thought a lot about that line the last few days as the political scene spirals into chaos with the rise of an American Strongman, Donald Trump, and the leadership of a modern day political party that refuses to understand or accept its role in all of this.
A case in point: what could be more ludicrous than John Cornyn and Mitch McConnell’s allies calling on Ted Cruz to apologize for calling McConnell a liar? Cruz was, and is, simply voicing the frustration of a party base betrayed. They understand the difference between a campaign promise, a fulfilled campaign promise and a broken campaign promise.
So as “the pace quickens” and Donald Trump gets closer to capturing the GOP nomination, our allegorical counterparts to the Dwarfs, the GOP Establishment, are caught between two camps.
If Donald Trump wins the nomination, they feel he will go on to lose to Hillary and they will maintain control of their fiefdom (“The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs!”). If Ted Cruz wins, the hold they have had on the party for the last 20+ years will be gone. They would rather lose than help him win. This includes donors as well who just cannot accept that their best hope to defeat Trump is Ted Cruz.
Not might. Is.
The battle lines are clear. As a friend told me this morning over the phone: “It’s not like the stakes are high at all. It’s just our Republic that’s at stake.” On one side is Trump, a sure loser. On the other is Cruz, the man who understands the party platform and the transformative power of limited government and the free markets.
The question remains. Will the GOP rally to help Ted Cruz (a sitting Republican Senator, I might add)?
Or will they sit on their hands to allow Trump to win and go down in defeat with their rallying cry echoing in our ears for a generation to come: “The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs!”