This article is in
The Spectator’s December 2019 US edition. Subscribe here.
’Tis the season friends. The season to be merry. But also the season to remember. Especially those who gave their everything. For us. Great Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the greatest nation on earth.
I speak, of course, of the true meaning of Christmas. The Yuletide. The winter festival. The hinge of the Judeo-Christian cultural year. The subject of so much opprobrium from the secular left.
Christmas is under attack. It has to be defended. President Donald Trump is fighting back. But we all have a responsibility to stand up. To say ‘No!’ To insist on our right to say ‘Merry Christmas’, rather than the degenerate, relativistic ‘Happy holidays’.
Christmas is why I wrote Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies — With No Apologies (available on Amazon for the low, low price of $18.75). Because Christmas is about sacrifice. And greatness. And the greatness of sacrifice. For America.
Christmas is also about faith, of course. About family. About our Judeo-Christian values. The values I learned as a boy. That’s why Christmas makes me nostalgic. It makes me recall my youth. I spent my boyhood in London, a town I no longer recognize since it fell victim to the ravages of multiculturalism. At St Benedict’s, I was a large boy for my age, and a dreamer. Other lads built their character through cricket. I enjoyed the bonhomie of books, of history, of heroes.
In those days, I longed for the banks of the Danube. I dreamed of scholarly service to a great man, a modern Matthias Corvinus. Like you, I’m sure, I wanted to be a hero when I grew up. It is only thanks to President Trump I can now say ‘mission accomplished’.
But I jump ahead. Christmas. Hungary and England both loved this holy day. For them, however, Christmas was also a shopping bonanza. They overlooked their honored dead in favor of fatuous frivolity. And I never understood the national custom of ‘chase and pummel the foreign boy’. What has it to do with the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the wellspring of our Judeo-Christian values? I never could say.
Things were different in the Gorka household. There, bliss mingled with reverence. My mother, earnest in her love of homeland, desired that I drink deep of its cultural nectar. She insisted I wear a traditional Hungarian pantomime costume. My mother would play Mary and dote over an empty wooden cradle. My father, resplendent in finery and face paint, portrayed all three wise men at once.
At my mother’s insistence I would don shaggy britches and, bedecked all in bells, dance the urgent jig assigned to the devil. What fun we had. Serious, serious fun.
Despite my physical precocity I was never fleet of foot. Indeed, my school days taught me the art of stealth, the virtue of cunning, the way of asymmetric struggle. But my mother so loved my dancing. She would have me wear my devil costume, or at least the bells, whenever I was home.
The coming of manhood led to more ecstatic pursuits. At university I joined the voluntary, part-time Territorial Army. I relished weekend drill. The marching. The uniforms. The standing. Some men seek comradeship. I joined for the out-of-doors. My superiors taught me much about manhood, honor, blood and the spirit of Christmas. Captain Alfred James Taylor impressed on me the importance of keeping one’s wits. Taylor was a man who knew his way around a bottle and a boudoir. He would rouse me well after midnight and send me off into woods without supplies, his sidearm trained upon me to dull my senses against panic. Upon my return the next morning he would say: ‘Here comes Gorka. Where the devil has he been?’ I recall snow in those days, but no snowflakes.
Our commanding officer, Colonel St John Reginald Dyer Pine-Coffin Grapple, was the very model of a soldier-scholar. He always wore spurs, even in cold weather. During an especially boisterous unit Christmas party, he demanded I carry him about the mess hall ever faster as Captain Taylor trained an antique Enfield at my center of mass. Inspired, I resolved to return to Hungary and make an intellectual success of myself.
The Territorials prepared me for the academic demands of Corvinus University. I had been a middling student at best. Yet, cloistered in drafty quarters in mid-city, my life’s experience came into focus in my work. Looking over the icy river, I saw the civilizational challenge posed by radical Islamic terror. And I was unafraid to speak its name.
Now race across a decade. Across an ocean. Across three passports and two-and-a-half cable contributorship deals. I’m in the White House. A man in full. A man with a Mustang. For what red-blooded American male doesn’t aspire to the most iconic automobile in the history of the internal combustion engine?
My White House tenure might not have been what I wished. I was internally countered, undermined, systematically removed. Did my tenacious dedication make America great again? I wouldn’t dare to presume. President Trump assures me I’m more useful to him ‘on the outside’. I believe him. That’s strictly off the record, by the way.
And that, friends, is what Christmas is all about. We love our country. We sacrifice. We believe. We pay our respects to those who have given the last full measure of devotion. And we make no apologies for driving a fine piece of American engineering, even if it can’t handle the snow.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bell-shirt to put on, and a devilish dance to do. I have so much energy since I started taking these Balance of Nature supplements. God bless America. And a merry Christmas to you all.
As imagined by Digby Dent. This article is in The Spectator’s December 2019 US edition. Subscribe here.