Friday, April 9, 2010

Kamikaze and the True Believers

Kamikaze and the True Believers


It would appear that our Republic has been hijacked by true believers, who simply do not care for reelection or their own futures, much less that of the country at large.  Our President continues to plunge headlong towards his own electoral version of self-immolation, given his failure to focus in any meaningful way on the economy.  The stimulus, which stimulated nothing economic but everything partisan, has yielded a net result more consistent with what its advocates said would occur if the stimulus was not passed.  


In short, we have the equivalent of leftist suicide bombers operating underneath the Capitol Dome, and they are busy blowing up the government and the economy from within.  Today, our financial sector continues to aid and abet them in this mission, happily piling up securities for assets that aren’t worth a plugged nickel, mortgages being what they are nowadays and inflation being what it is.  Collateralized debt obligations are nothing short of torpedoes in the water, and we have no countermeasures with which to defeat them as they shoot towards what is left of the world economy.  


But the true believers persist, comfortable in their notion that it will all be better tomorrow if they can blow up the world of today once and for all.  Never mind that the world of today has produced more wealth for more people than most of us could ever fathom.  The poorest individual in the United States has access to resources and advantages which would render him or her an example of the nouveau riche in other areas of the world.  


This is not to say that we do not have our problems: we do.  Chief among those problems are the true believers in government, not so much because they believe in the power of government efficacy, but the fact that they are true believers for whatever cause it is that compels them to enter public service.  Because they are true believers, they see everything as a potential obstacle to be obliterated in the pursuit of whatever utopian ideal they advocate for.  


Their attitude is that crises equal out to opportunities to remake society through the engineered consent of desperate people.  And lest you think that this attitude is confined to the Democrats, allow me to tell you that it is also prevalent amongst Republicans as well.  The great problem of our society is that the lines are no longer clear.  A Republican is no longer a rightist simply by virtue of his belonging to the Republican Party.  


The chief feature of the left and its enthusiasts is an attitude that ends justify means.  This effectively equals out to justification for any and all avenues which lead towards whatever ideal is being pursued.  Election fraud, caging lists, amnesty for illegal aliens, looking the other way where undocumented labor is concerned, turning out the mentally ill onto the streets in the name of expedience and fiscal prudence, setting up bankruptcy laws for individuals which differ wildly from the bankruptcy laws proffered for corporations and business, all of these are mere means to an end and all of these involve breaking the government to achieve the end.  


There is something pernicious afoot in public service when the very men and women who swear oaths to uphold the Constitution and the government of these United States can proceed so obviously in a manner to bankrupt the Treasury and thereby destroy the government from within in order to force a crisis.  Sedition, ladies and gentlemen, does not occur in any real manner in some podunk farm town where average folk with rifles cavort on the weekends and entertain thoughts of fighting the New World Order over campfires.  The real threat to the Republic occurs from within the very institutions and bureaucracies of that Republic, where sophisticates and dilettantes hold forth on this idea and that idea, all the while regarding the Constitution as a mere relic.  They huff pretentiously that serious people do not allow a document written by slave holders and misogynists to define their modern movements.  


They exhibit ignorance of that document, because obviously it is not so important to be familiar with the very document which provides boundaries for the actions of Congress when one is a congressman.  We in Peoria hear of the Good and Welfare Clause, or about various interpretations of natural law which have no basis in reality, or we see our elected representatives display a comportment which evinces their total ignorance of the very system of law they claim to uphold.  Ignorance of and contempt for the law are the two chief characteristics and qualifications of modern legislators.  


The law gets in the way, rules get in the way, and our legislators are trying to get things done which supersede individual rights like free speech and the right to bear arms, or the right to be free in one’s home and effects from unreasonable search and seizure.  Our legislators are trying to get things done which are of such importance that the right to trial by jury and the right to legal representation can be justifiably done away with.  After all, their cause is holier than those rights which our forebears fought and shed blood to attain.  Those of us who have not been enlightened with the gnosis of the initiated members of Congress could not possibly understand, so it is entirely predictable that some discontent would be present among our ranks.  After all, we’re just the dumb simps who have to be manipulated into voting one way or another every two years.  


No one ever wants to acknowledge that dystopia is the constant and inevitable result of the true believers.  The Kingdom is never the result.  Christ delays his departure; the folly of men is their desperate attempt to force His return or to achieve the result of that return in His absence.  


The true believers dredge a ship channel through marshland to bolster commerce, and they use the finest engineers and know it alls of their time to accomplish their great goal.  The sides of the channel keep falling in, and the channel keeps widening.  The initially promised negligible environmental impact gives way to reality, which is a channel running right into the heart of a major America city, so that when a small hurricane comes through, the channel can funnel the storm surge directly into similarly engineered levees and canals, the result of which is the submerging of an American city and the destruction of homes and businesses as result of government brilliance combined with private sector greed and malfeasance.  Partnerships between the fox and the guard dog never work out well in the end for the occupants of the henhouse.  


However, in crisis, there is always opportunity.  The advocates of charter schools swooped down on New Orleans and remade the public school system until 48 of the 89 schools in operation were charter schools.  No one gave their democratic consent to such an arrangement, but in the aftermath of a disaster, things previously unimaginable become possible.  It is not that the situation is particularly objectionable, since the test scores of New Orleans students have improved dramatically.  


But that’s the way of the true believer: to wait until the opportunity presents itself, and then to ram through reforms and proposals while the population sits in shock from whatever crisis has occurred.  Sometimes this is not such a bad thing, given that no one can argue that the federal government intentionally opened New Orleans to the disaster of Katrina.  However, imagine, if you will, a situation where the true believers push through some reform or deregulation knowing that it will create conditions where a crisis is more likely to occur.  This is not too hard to fathom, given the fact that the true believers are not who you might think.  


The true believers are not always the elected representatives who put their names on a bill.  The true believers are the individual lobbyists and self-proclaimed experts who write the bill, and one can hardly argue that they are above malevolence in public policy given their overall track record.  Their goal is to advance the cause forward incrementally, inch by inch, foot by foot, until the system breaks under the weight of their proposed remedies and then they can do what they really wanted to do all along in the name of remedying the crisis they created in the first place with their earlier reforms.  


Lobbyists do not have the larger public interest at heart.  They have the interests of their paymasters at heart, and this alone ought to disqualify them from writing legislation affecting the interests of those paymasters.  As I mentioned before, the interests of the henhouse are not served by collusion between guard dogs and foxes. 


Nothing in government is ever as it initially seems, and the stated intent of a bill or a law is rarely its real intent.  If any of you actually believe that the recently passed healthcare reform legislation had anything to do with stabilizing and preserving healthcare in this country, then you should probably schedule a test of your cognitive function with your physician’s office.   If anything, the recently passed bill will have the net effect of breaking private healthcare as we know, and thereby creating the impetus for some groundswell of public sentiment in support of a public option or universal single payer healthcare.  


There was no crisis in health care so great as to compel the majority of the public towards a public option or single payer, given that 85% of the privately insured were happy with their overall experience and 61% were happy with the cost.  Of the 47 million uninsured individuals, something like 32 million could have been reasonably classified as uninsured by choice due to their income level, their spending on alcohol, tobacco, and recreation, or the mere fact that they were eligible for SCHIP but had not been signed up by their parents.  There certainly wasn’t a great deal of democratic support for the idea that individuals could be fined $2,300 for failing to purchase a private good or service, or the idea that individuals with preexisting conditions would be insured, but charged six times the premiums of their counterparts who lacked preexisting conditions.  The net effect of this is simple: given that an individual comprehensive health insurance policy costs somewhere on the order of $3,000 or more, an individual with preexisting conditions could conceivably wind up paying $18,000 or more for insurance coverage.  The fabulous absurdity and fatuous logic behind the so-called elimination of preexisting conditions ought to obvious.  How many of us with chronic health conditions can afford to spare $18,000 just for coverage, on top of which we will have co-pays and deductibles?  


And ladies and gentlemen, if you really think that the Republicans were opposed to this legislation, a good many of the mandates and requirements came from Republican think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and were supported by Republicans like Mitt Romney, Bob Dole, and Howard Baker.  The mandate for individual purchasing of health insurance?  That’s a Romney special, from his days as governor of Massachusetts.  The exchanges? In some ways, they represent a Heritage Foundation proposal which ultimately was supported by the likes of Dole and Baker.  Let me be fair, however, and note that the exchanges proposed by the Heritage Foundation were more market based in that they relied upon the lifting of exemptions currently held by the insurance industry.  


The Democrats took proposals from the Republican playbook and adapted them to their purposes.  From the Romneycare mandate to the exchanges, the Democrats did what they had to do to get their first step through.  And make no mistake about it, the newly passed law, as bad as it was, was just a first step.  If you doubt this consider the following quote from an op-ed piece by E.J. Dionne: “The newly pragmatic Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) was right to say that this is just the first step in a long process. We will see if this market-based system works. If it doesn’t, single-payer plans and public options will look more attractive [emphasis added] (Why Democrats are fighting for a Republican health plan, 3/19/10).”    


The reality of the matter is that the prescriptive is not an antidote, but rather a more concentrated version of the poison currently ailing our healthcare system.  No one seriously thinks individuals with preexisting conditions are going to get insurance coverage at six times the rate of premiums of their counterparts who lack preexisting conditions.  As a matter of practical affordability, it just isn’t going to happen.  No serious individual thinks that the Democrats are going to cut $500 billion from Medicare.  They aren’t.  They did what they had to do to get a budget neutral and deficit reducing score from the CBO, and when the smoke clears, that money will come back to Medicare regardless of the implications for the deficit and the national debt.  


Simply put, as I said in the beginning of this piece, the Democrats are acting as suicide bombers.  They intend to usher the healthcare system towards a crisis of unimaginable proportions, despite the implications for individual citizens who will be hurt in the process.  They are trying to get things done, and they can’t be bothered to worry about the collateral damage.  Martyrdom is a feature of holy wars, and the Democrats see this as a holy war.  Moreover, their counterparts on the other side of the aisle have taken the same approach with their agenda in the past.    


The Democrats, much like their Republican ideological rivals, see this as an opportunity to remake society.  They aren’t worried about reelection.  As Obama said, "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president." What is a good one-term president?  A president who gets the agenda through at all costs.  


In the aftermath of healthcare reform we have the news that Bart Stupak, the Michigan representative who sold his vote for airport grants, will be avoiding the judgement of voters by retiring.  We have a president who used TARP funds to buy majority stakes in two car manufacturers, even though the law creating the TARP fund gives him no statutory authorization to use TARP funds to buy stock in automobile manufacturers.  We have a Federal Reserve that bought securities through its Maiden Lane holding companies, even though it only has the statutory authority to purchase securities and debt backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.  


In short, we have extralegal or downright illegal activity occurring in Washington and elsewhere in the name of political and economic expediency.  Furthermore, the takeover of GM and Chrysler violated the rights of creditors, who, under existing bankruptcy law, are supposed to have their claims satisfied before anyone else.  Instead, our President and his underlings constructed a bailout plan which stripped creditors of their rightful claims and gave majority ownership of GM and Chrysler to unions, constituencies who have traditionally backed Democrats. 


There is also the fact that cross referencing dealerships with political contributions tends to reveal a disproportionate number of dealership closings tied to contributions to the GOP when compared to dealerships whose owners and operators contributed to the Democrats.  One of the great frustrations of supporters of government regulation and law is this: they find that no matter how many laws are in place to deter or prevent malfeasance, criminals continue to break the law.  That’s kind of the point.  Criminals don’t respect the laws already in existence;  ergo, there is little evidence to suggest that they will respect new laws. The answer isn’t to erect new laws, or proliferate regulation.  It’s to prosecute the criminals and punish them to the fullest extent of the law.  


We already have an impeachment process in place.  It’s the Constitution, and it’s worked reasonably well for a couple of hundred years or so.  The answer to what ails our country is quite simple: elect new blood in 2010, and insist that impeachment proceedings take place immediately.  This President has violated the law; moreover, he has tolerated rule breaking by his underlings in the Treasury Department and presided over an atmosphere of total indifference to the statutory restrictions placed on the Executive Branch by various laws.  


Despite what Alcee Hastings may say as an impeached judge, there are rules.  I am reminded of a scene from one of my favorite movies, where Walter Sobchak informs a fellow bowler by the name of Smokey that they are not in Nam.  There are rules, and while those rules may obstruct the efforts of Obama and his fellow kamikazes, they are still the rules, and our elected officials are bound to follow them.  Moreover, our unelected officials over at the Federal Reserve are bound by the same.  


There will be the routine objections and protestations that previous Administrations violated the law and got away clean, but that is no matter.  A five year old can be brought to the comprehension that two wrongs don’t make a right, and it is time to bring the same epiphany to Washington.  Law and order must be restored, if we are to have even a fighting chance of saving the Republic from insolvency and implosion.  


A hallmark of true believers and kamikazes is their willingness to sacrifice themselves for what they believe is right.  I have never been an enthusiast of martyrdom myself, believing as I do in the sanctity of my own life and the reasonableness of my own positions.  However, if our enemies in Washington want to feel the sting of self-sacrifice and believe it to be a form of validation, I say that we should give them their wish.  This is not to say that I believe we should kill the leftists, moral pragmatists, and true believers who have come to dominate both major parties, but we should send them to hell in a handbasket come November by voting them out.  Nothing is worse for a narcissist than the removal of a reflective surface or office.  In some ways, the narcissist is left with his true image: irrelevance and insignificance.  He or she no longer matters.  


Our preening peacocks of power are in need of a pruning.  Allow them to walk about shorn of their former glories, and see if they are of any effect.  It’s time for ordinary folks to go to Washington and do ordinary things like spending within their means and paying down their indebtedness.  The focus should be on the especial interests of the nation as a whole, as opposed to the special interests of a specific or narrow grouping within that nation.  This is not to say that we should sink into collectivism, but rather to advocate a return to focusing on those general matters like the debt.  


At every juncture, however, we must be careful not to lapse into the ideological traps of the past.  We must avoid surrendering our minds to the same blind convictions of true believers, and we must instead decide that our actions will be guided by moral principles which decree that collateral damage is not an acceptable byproduct of political processes.  Human beings are not collateral damage, and the government is not a vessel to bring about utopia.  We can, however, pay down the national debt and restore some semblance of sanity and balance to our trade and monetary policy.  These are the things which effect us all, and have grave implications for the future of our nation and the vast majority of its residents.  Reasonableness and moderation in public policy must make a return to prominence in our power centers, and we must be vigilant to guard against the election of those who seek to break government in order to redeem it to their ideological ends.  A kamikaze or suicide bomber mentality is not appropriate in elected office.  

Posted via email from momus1978's posterous

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ideology and the American Mean: Do They Meet and Match?

Ideology and the American Mean: Do They Meet and Match? 


One of the critical issues in American political and social discourse is how ideology has come to dominate virtually every dialogue within the civic discourse, even though the vast majority of Americans are not themselves ideologues.  The vast majority of us are, for lack of a better word, and certainly not due to any condescension on my part, ordinary.  We live our lives with pedestrian concerns, and occasionally we entertain thoughts which for us constitute grandeur but for others are merely ordinary and perhaps even universal ideals and aspirations.  


Who among us does not think of getting a nicer car, or adding some sort of expensive (for us) accoutrement to our existing automobile?  The American experience has always been one of upgrading, to some degree or extent.  We start out with the entry level, and dream of moving up in the world.  There is arguably nothing wrong with this progression, either in dreams or in action.  One learns to earn progressively grander possessions, ranks, and stations in life by aspiring to be better.  


For those of us who hit upon our particular genius or ability, and learn to commoditize it, success and its accompaniments can be phenomenal.  But for most of us, success is a Ford F-150 with chrome accents or some souped up Japanese import which we will progressively tweak over the course of ownership.  It is not that we are humble; it is instead that we are realistic and content to live the life we can reasonably attain.  There is absolutely no shame in living within your means, despite what advertising agents and the popular culture seem bent on telling us.  


It is not a lack of intelligence, or sophistication, or culture which compels us towards contentment with the simpler things in life.  It is decency, and decency is something that those ideologues on the right or the left cannot fathom.  Decency is what separates the Karl Roves and Saul Alinskyites of the world from the vast majority of the American population.  In our current culture, decency is also what handicaps the majority in its reckoning and understanding of the political class.  We cannot fathom why anyone would want to engage in wanton slanders of the most invidious sort.  For us, there are just some things we would not do, even for a great deal of power.  


We would not, for example, refer to our political opponent as limp wristed and imply that he was a homosexual because he was a fortyish year old bachelor.  We would not slur a divorcee governor as a lesbian, or engage in race baiting.  We would not show up to a political opponent’s rally dressed up as Klansmen holding signs in support of that opponent in order to cast false aspersions on him.  We were raised to be decent, to have some sense of right and wrong, and to understand that the ends do not justify the means.  


Unfortunately, we are susceptible to appeals from those who would engage in these sorts of shenanigans. History does not lie.  But let us consider that the two men I mentioned before, Saul Alinsky and Karl Rove, are both godless and faithless individuals with arguably no moral compass whatsoever due to their inability to conceptualize or recognize the existence of a higher power.  Alinsky was an atheist, and Rove is a self-described agnostic.  Apropos of this unbelief or disbelief is a sense that morality is of the individual and dependent upon his particular setting or goal, and thus subjective.  There is nothing higher than the individual and his need in a given moment.  


The results of such a morality are predictably amoral.  It is okay to vilify gays, to stereotype blacks, and to misrepresent religious folk all in service of some pursuit of power.  After all, they deserve it and society would be best served by their marginalization.  And some do deserve the crude characterizations, but the larger point here is that not every gay man is wantonly promiscuous or overly effeminate, and not every black man is a criminal or a conspiring party, and not every religious individual is an illiterate hypocrite with one set of exceptions for his own behavior and another set of standards for the behavior of others.  The net consequence of politics as it is currently practiced in this country is that innocent people get hurt.  


The problem, however, is that those innocents are very often party to their own demise.  They help individuals like Saul Alinsky and his descendants out, or they aid and abet the plan of Karl Rove.  They buy into the notion that ends justify means.  Those of us who have a moral compass recognize that ends never justify means.  Moral means are conducive to moral ends.  Moral ends never arise out of immoral means unless one is perhaps entertaining hypotheticals in conversation.  Conversations, like laboratories, can be controlled settings in which everything goes quite according to plan.  Life is not like a conversation or a laboratory.  There are other variables to consider, and vast consequences which can arise out of the interplay between those variables.  Control is not possible.  Unpredictability is the norm.  


The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God, and of the uncertainty of man before God and within the inherently unpredictable world God created.  We stand humbled by our inability to grasp every variable, and we are careful in how we proceed.  The first rule of moral behavior is to avoid assumptions.  We deliberate over the impact of our actions on others.  We understand that it is extraordinarily important to be careful in how we proceed.  


No political operative ever comprehends such things.  Expediency by its very nature decrees that deliberation must be sacrificed.  It is not that political operatives ever have to make the hard decisions; instead, it is that political operatives must avoid the hard decisions in pursuit of the path of least resistance which leads to their ultimate goal: power.  The life of a political operative is one of making the easiest decision as many times as possible, as efficiently as possible, without regard for the consequences of that easy decision.  


Take a look at the degradation wrought by such ease, and you can understand why morality matters.  The absence of morality leads to what we currently have: a divided and polarized country, whose most decent members can be persuaded to abandon decency out of fear and irrationality.  The simple folks, the good, salt of the earth, decent folks whose lives seem mere cliches to the intelligentsia, a group the political class belongs to, are mere pawns to be summoned and deployed in the game of power.  It is not that Karl Rove or Saul Alinsky ever gave a damn about the average individual they sought to manipulate into action.  They clearly did not.  They only cared for the end result.  


People are not a means to an end.  They are not pawns.  They are not objects.  Their lives are not irrelevant factors to the pursuit of power.  Sophisticates often lack the ability to comprehend this, because their sophistication is never called for what it is: sociopathy. In general, what both Alinsky, Rove, and all of their antecedents and descendants have displayed is a general inability to comprehend any perspective besides their own with an attitude of respect or compassion.   In general, what Alinsky and Rove have sought to do is to undermine the beliefs of others up to a point of totally discrediting them for the purposes of marginalizing entire groups of individuals in order to gain greater power.  


Homosexuality is merely incidental to someone like Karl Rove.  He doesn’t necessarily hate or fear gay people.  He recognizes a fear within the wider population of gays, and he seeks to capitalize on that fear by catering to it.  It is a source of great bemusement to me that we could fear a group whose numbers do not exceed nine million at most, in a population of some three hundred million.  Moreover, if the history of the homosexual culture has demonstrated anything, it is their total incompetence at accruing and deploying power in a way that sublimates into actual results.  


Tellingly enough, the gains of the past forty years for homosexuals in America have been almost completely due to the efforts of heterosexual leftists.  There is no such thing as a gay agenda.  Gays have no agenda which has been defined entirely by gays.  They have no track record of deploying such agendas with any especial competence.  The truth is that heterosexual leftists have largely taken up the cause of gay Americans as their own, and they have pushed for advances through popular culture and various other mediums like the courts.  There is an agenda of heterosexual leftists acting on behalf of what they perceive the gay cause to be.  


And on the other side, there is the agenda of someone like Karl Rove, who needs a demon to get his constituents focused.  The agenda of demagogues depends largely on an enemy to focus one’s anger and paranoia on.  For Karl Rove, the enemy, like all enemies of demagogues, was one of convenience.  Mainstream America, in particular evangelical America, has no greater fear than that it reserves for homosexuals, who in their lavender and pastel militancy seek to subvert the football and baseball teams of America into assorted legions of bottoms.  How absurd a fantasy this is, given that one is either inclined towards homosexuality or disinclined.  Do we imagine a situation where fashion obsessed men with hair highlights somehow manage to pin a 300 lb. offensive lineman in order to have their way with him?  Seriously.  And what does it say about heterosexual mainstream America that it spends so much time obsessed over the kinds of sex engaged in by a demographic constituting no more than 3% of the population?  


Then again, the radical left would have us believe that Salem witch trials are on the verge of breaking out perpetually, that the milquetoasts in the pews are potentially religious zealots who could cut out on the warpath at any moment.  The simple truth is this: within the pews of the most hardcore fundamentalist church, a maximum of about 10% of those in attendance actually believe everything that their church teaches and preaches.  It defies common sense to believe the portrayal of religious folk offered up by leftists in much the same way that it defies common sense to believe the claptrap proffered by the likes of Karl Rove where gays are concerned.  


Americans, by and large, get along.  There are occasional hiccups, but the reality of the matter is that most of the big haired, evangelical Christian, Republican country club wives of Dallas have their hair done by a queen.  What’s more, the queen in question does not sabotage their hair in order to make a political statement.  


What is so utterly idiotic about the sway of the ideologues every two to four years is this: we have ample evidence from our day to day lives that the American they portray isn’t real.  Not even remotely.  Ideologues foment crises where there are no crises in order to gain the one thing that they care about, and that is power.  


One has only to look at the example of Saul Alinsky instructing his minnows to dress in full Klan regalia in order to attend a George H.W. Bush rally with signs advertising the supposed fact that the Klan supported Bush to know that much of the hullabaloo in American politics and popular culture is nothing more than a manufactured hullabaloo.  The Ku Klux Klan does not support a globalist, East Coast, establishmentarian Republican.  It is ludicrous to suggest that they ever would.  Yet those within the media who sought to stir up such nonsense in order to advance the leftist ideological agenda had no problem whatsoever playing up the entire thing.  


Or how about Karl Rove having his minnows go about East Texas distributing fliers advertising an interracial gay couple locked in embrace with the insinuation being that Ann Richards supported a radical gay agenda?  What, exactly, was the radical gay agenda?  Chocolate in peanut butter?  


Yet because such tactics tap into our deepest unknowns, and our fears thereof, they are effective at getting us on board with whatever Rove or the Alinskyites are shilling.  We sell our votes to purchase the alleviation of the unknown, only to see progress disappear on the issues we care about as individuals.  Abortion is never restricted or outlawed, gays are still kicked out of the military for being gay, and the deficit continues to skyrocket while corruption explodes.  


We’re decent, reasonable people.  We’re not particularly prone to hysteria immediately before or immediately after elections. Most of us who have ever gotten to know a gay person have come to the conclusion that not all gays wear feather boas, leather codpieces, or have an effeminate manner. In point of fact, they’re boring people who look like accountants.  Well, they’re not boring per se, they’re like us.  Ordinary.  


It is only when confronted with the horrid logical conclusion of bigotry that the most fearful among us snap back to reality.  Those of us who supported defining marriage at the federal and state levels as between a man and a woman recoiled at the idea of executing or imprisoning gays when such proposals entered the Ugandan legislature.  We suddenly realize that we don’t support thatThat is just too far.  


Even those of us who profess to be biblical literalists don’t go for such proposals, even though the Bible explicitly proscribes such punishment in Leviticus.  Well, most of us don’t. There are a few among our ranks who claim the banner of Rushdoony, but no one takes those folks seriously.   As I told one of those types a while back during an encounter at a dinner party, I just can’t do much with a man who doesn’t drink at all.  And then I puffed my pipe in his face.  


Demagoguery is wrong, but it is especially wrong when deployed for political purposes within a free society.  Eroding or denying freedoms for one group within a society, ostensibly in service of some high or necessary cause, is the first step towards a universal erosion of freedom for everyone within a society.  Acknowledging that a government has the power to regulate the sex lives of consenting adults of a particular persuasion is the first step towards acknowledging that a government has the power to regulate to the sex lives of every consenting adult.  It is not that I am particularly enthused about the sexual liberation of a gay men and women; it is that I am enthused and passionate about my own sexual freedom and do not wish to have any government telling me or my wife how we may choose to express ourselves within the intimate confines of our marriage.  


Political strategists and ideologues like Rove and Alinsky bear a striking resemblance to rapists in that their apparent intent is never their real intent: the rapist does not rape because he wants sex; he rapes because he wants power.  The ideologue does not vilify a particular group because he genuinely feels animosity towards that group, he vilifies a particular group because he wants power.  Would it were that we simply regarded ideologues with the same contempt we reserve for rapists: perhaps their attempts at dividing in order to conquer would have less success.  


There is a common attempt to equate homosexuality with pedophilia, but that is easily disposed of by anyone with even an elementary capacity for logic.  A pedophile focuses on children who cannot form consent, whereas a homosexual’s proclivities run towards towards others of the same sex who can form consent.  The difference ought to be obvious.  Is there an overlap on occasion?  Are their homosexual men who engage in pedophilia or hebophilia? Yes, but that is hardly a grounds to stigmatize the entire orientation, especially given the fact that there are heterosexual men and women who engage in pedophilia and hebophilia as well.  Shall we ban the one and exempt the other, and if so, on what grounds?  Both are equally reprehensible.  Punish the individual for his or her actions.  Do not collectivize guilt and lapse into error.  


The beginning precept of any free society is that the individual must be free.  We build our concept of rights around the idea that rights apply to individuals.  Moreover, to rights we add individual responsibility and individual accountability.  We understand that there are limits to freedom, and that freedom is graduated from childhood until one reaches a certain age and can inherit the full measure of freedom and accountability by law.  


The ideologue’s first aim is to deracinate these notions of individual accountability and individual freedom, for these notions stand as the chief obstacles to his attainment of power.   He seeks to collectivize guilt, by blaming gays, or blaming America, or speaking in general terms when specificity is more appropriate and more accurate.  One cannot blame the entire German people for the actions of Hitler given the fact that no fewer than 64% of the German people voted against Hitler and his party in free elections.   One cannot blame the German people without unfairly convicting men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the members of his Confessing Church, who stood as an organized and principled opposition to Hitler and the National Socialists.  


The ideologue’s path to power is paved with demagoguery, in order to distract the masses from his craven and crass coveting of power and to provide a justification for his desire to attain power.  He seeks at all times to collectivize guilt, and to label all of the members of a particular demographic or group within a society as guilty regardless of the evidence which would exculpate individuals within that group from culpability for the alleged sins.  He seeks to do this because it provides him simplicity, and enables him to avoid ever having to address the complexities of the reality he seeks to overthrow.  


And make no mistake about it, the ideologue seeks to overthrow, to overturn, to destabilize, to destroy all that is old in order to bring about some grand new order.  His first task is to appropriate the institutions of a government, and then to work those institutions against their purpose in order to cause their failure and discredit them in the eyes of average people.  He does not give a damn about the implications of such actions for average people.  He seeks only to enact his grand vision, and human casualties along the way are merely collateral damage.  See Cloward-Piven for proof of this on the left, and read Naomi Klein’s excellent chronicle of the same methodologies by supposed rightists The Shock Doctrine.  


In my own notes on the matter, I have always said that the chief indicator of a leftist is his belief that the ends justify the means.  Decent people do not believe this, because they are capable of recognizing moral complexity.  They have not surrendered their minds and comprehensions to a diseased ideology and an unrealistic utopian impulse.  As such, I would disagree with the notion that Karl Rove is of the right.  I find Karl Rove to be of the same vein as Saul Alinsky.  That is, I find them to be evil, in that they believe morality can be compatible with pragmatism.  


Morality is fraught with trial and difficulty.  To choose the moral option or the moral path is to choose the difficult path with the recognition that it is the best path.  Why is it the best path?  It reconciles us to that which is good within us, and that which is good outside of us.  It brings forth those qualities and traits which are virtuous within men and women, and it brings us closer to the divine.  To choose such a path, however, is to set oneself in opposition to everyone who chooses the path of pragmatism.  It is to surrender oneself to suffering for one’s principles.  It is to resist that which would compel you to avenge, to reciprocate, to compromise.  It is to suffer a thousand slights in the course of a day, and to celebrate being seen as a fool for Christ by the urbane sophisticates who know better.  


It is to stand for the widows, the orphaned, and the afflicted, with your own energy and money.  It is to rise in defense of principles, to beat back the armies of pragmatists who daily lay siege to all that is good and decent in our world and in ourselves.  It is to hold the line against the charge of demons and devils, who smile when we pass them at the water cooler or encounter them on the street.  It is to refuse to be as they are.  


I am of a firm mind that Americans want to be moral, to stand on principle, and to contend for something better than the degraded discourse they currently have.  They are aware that something is deeply wrong, morally wrong, and yet because we have such a dearth of decency among our leaders and teachers, there is no one to identify exactly what is wrong with our society and our culture.  I say to you that the armies of darkness have massed under two false flags, one of the right and the other of the left, and that regardless of who prevails in their battle, evil will triumph if the American mean of decency is not defended against the encroachment and aggression of ideologues like Saul Alinsky and Karl Rove.  


I have been tempted by cynicism; I have even entertained it in theory in my writing.  My life and my thoughts are a battle between that which is moral and that which is pragmatic.  However, I refuse to surrender.  The bastards can anger me to no end, but I will never be one of them in the way that I choose to respond.  I will not vilify one group of people in order to attain power or to see my side prevail.  


Among our kind, we must resolve that our Tea Party, our 9/12 Projects, and our neighborhood conversations are not tempted to degradation.  We will be better than our rivals.  We are better.  The challenge is to resist the temptation to sink to their level, and to trust that God is with us.  Be passionate for moral discourse and moral action, be inflamed for change, but never be out of control. The future of the Republic depends upon our maintaining of control and dignity.  Show the world that ideology and the American mean have not yet come to a match, and that the battle for this nation’s soul is not yet won by those damned moral pragmatists on the left.  We are the last light the world has, and we must shine without self-inflicted blot or stain.  

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