Sam followed Mr. Frodo to Doom. Sam served, as was his place given his personality and talents, and Frodo was worth serving. Sam is what I aspire to be. After all, there are people who are happiest working for others and who do not want the final load of decision making. I have been blessed to serve many good bosses at Biola and The Saint Constantine School, so I have little cause for personal complaint.
But what if you are Sam and Frodo is an ass?
The natural aristocrat has turned out to be mulish, narcissistic, or just plain dumb. He inherited his job or is a lucky rogue, a latter day Flashman.
If Frodo turns out to be Flashman, you have trouble. Flashman will survive, even thrive, but Sam will be left with the hooves of the ass in his back: trampled when he tried to serve. Thomas Jefferson, our most brilliant hypocrite, celebrated the natural aristocrat who rose to the top by merit. All of us Sams are happy to serve such people, but some people are born on third and explain to you in detail how they hit a triple.
Follow Frodo, but not any pretentious hobbit. Some hobbits are just Bill Ferny with a good Hobbit hole.
Read David French. If you are a global Christian in exile in the United States, this is good general advice. French, the second best writer in his household*, points out the obvious: our aristocracy is not so much badly read, as narrowly read.**
Ask them what they think and one gets platitudes armored with bromides. There is no “there there.” Add to it that when they enter the workforce Mr. Frodo is not able to do much. Sam gardens, fixes the electric, takes out the trash. Mr. Frodo natters, nags, and is negative.
He is happy for us to carry the ring to Mount Doom, because he has better things to do.
The Sams of America have revolted, because the Frodos are revolting. We know we should be led by our betters, but we hope our betters to be better. When they announce that Iceland is awesome, because Iceland has done away with Down Syndrome, and then we discover that this is because they kill all the babies with Down Syndrome, then Sam says: “No.”
We will not go. We will not carry your ring to Mount Doom while you mock us. You went to college, but you have credentials, not education. You talk diversity, but you ignore most of the world that thinks you are decadent. We are tired of being told to help you when you are not Frodo, but an ass not ridden by Balaam.
If you must go to hell, we shall not follow you. You think you are Frodo, but you are just an ass.
*Nancy French: I aspire.
*If you were unlucky enough to grow up in a narrow conservative house, then you experienced the opposite sort of censorship. God help you. That’s just as bad, but much less powerful culturally.