John Livingston


I learned a new word today. VAINGLORY. It was used by Karl Rove in describing Beto O’Rourke’s opportunistic use of the Uvalde shootings to further his own campaign for Governor of Texas. Here is one definition: “Extravagant pride or boastfulness; tendency to exalt oneself or one’s own performances unduly; inflated and pretentious vanity; vain pomp or show”.

Vainglory is ubiquitous in our society and not just in politics I think there is a whole lot of “vainglory” going around. It might be contagious. We need to isolate, vaccinate, and mitigate against “vainglory”. Until there is herd immunity—in this case herd immunity would be critical thinking, we should shield ourselves and be in “pandemic mode” until this “crises” is in the rear-view mirror. I know of many politicians, people in the media, almost anyone who considers themselves an “expert”, academicians, and captains of industry who exhibit characteristics of “vainglory”.

We have all recognized VAINGLORY by other names. “False Valor” for example. In my 16 years in the Navy as a surgeon I was never at the “tip of the spear”. I had the honor of taking care of many who were. People like John Kerry and Pete Buttigieg who placed themselves in harm’s way—when Pete “crossed the wire” he placed those in the platoon (not his platoon) who were trained for such circumstance at increased risk because they had to watch out for him. Taking care of a staff officer on patrol—who doesn’t need to be there, comes with an increased risk to everyone else. John Kerry was a little different. He placed himself in harm’s way under questionable circumstances. One always wonders in these situations if a future political career is a consideration. The hundreds of thousands of brave men and women who follow orders and who confront an evil that most of us never have to see are in a special category. No “VAINGLORY’ in their hearts.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked by Wolf Blitzer about opposing a compromise Covid relief Bill she replied:

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“I am sensitive to them because I see them on the street, begging for food, begging for money” — Nancy P. “Madame Speaker, thank you so much.” — Wolf Blitzer

“Have you fed them? We feed them. We feed them,” Pelosi declared. As though she was the conduit for Christian Charity. VAINGLORY?

When Chuck Schumer stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and called out and threatened two justices by name claiming his own virtue and authority to dissidents, he was participating in an act of VAINGLORY.

I believe that at the root of “virtue signaling” and “wokeness” is VAINGLORY”. This is the epiphany that came to me as I was thinking about this. Those who claim to be woke claim a sensitivity to injustice that only they can feel. It is a modern-day allegiance to the “empty hole in our hearts” that can only be filled by God. In Galatians 1:6-9 Paul warns against false Gospels. At its central core wokeness is the belief that social justice and human dignity can be realized in other ways than through Christ. VAINGLORY

I believe we are in a very vulnerable age in our country and our State of Idaho. We need to find leaders who are humble and not VAINGLORIOUS. We need another “Great Awakening”. .

I hope our State Senators and Representatives elect people in positions of leadership who are humble and not beholding to special interests like their predecessors have been. If there is one thing that Chuck Winder, Scott Bedke, and Brad Little have in common it is that they are VAINGLORIOUS. Their “virtue signaling” condescension toward female candidates of their own party was despicable. Another word would be—VAINGLORIOUS

A public servant (Governor) who will not debate because “there is nothing to debate”. VAINGLORIOUS.

The virtuous people of Idaho deserve better.

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One reply on “Vainglory”

The people of Idaho are not virtuous. If they were, we would not have people like Little, Bedke, Winder, et. al. in positions of authority over us. Government reflects the values of the people. I would say that the people of Idaho have mistaken vainglory for something virtuous and honorable when it is in fact, a tool of the devil to beguile the weak minded.

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