Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Cat's Meow
We have lost the language. We no longer listen to each other, we only speak. As such, we do not hear what anyone else is saying. It’s become a problem worldwide. Arab hatred for Jews is based on a lie. The idea of ‘global warming’ was based on a lie. Democrats painting Republicans as racist is a convenient lie, as is the current campaign against ‘the rich’.
The templates are set. There is no escaping. We, on the right, have hardened our templates as well in response to the Left’s aggression. We ourselves have countered with lies. In this climate, how can mere words be anything but partisan? Our alienation from each other goes much deeper than words. It can no longer be solved by simply inventing new words and casting new templates.
Words and templates seem flimsy when seen alongside powerhouse emotion. Palestinians hate Jews. Democrats hate Republicans. Communists hate capitalism. The poor hate the rich. Words are the kindling. Once the fire is started, it can no longer be contained. More kindling will not douse it. We are already into the next phase: power.
As Tom rightly points out, the Left has been meticulously organizing since the 60’s. They’ve done so incrementally, taking tiny steps: at first it was casual Fridays. Now, they also have the power. They control the narrative. All we on the Right can do is counter with kindling. Truth has long since become irrelevant - economic theory, for instance.
The only way out is to ‘reset’ (sorry Hillary!). Something of such significance must happen as to be capable of blowing all previous assumptions away - bringing people back to basics; getting them to actually face each other again, and begin responding to others’ basic needs.
In the past, the only human instrument capable of bringing this about has been war. In war, ideologies are not of much use. All such armchair posturing is subjugated by the need to survive. Soldiers may even encounter situations in which they must depend (in one way or another) on the enemy for their survival. (Note: leaders seldom face this dilemma.) Life hangs in the balance, but at least you’re looking at the whites of someone’s eyes who is not you, and you’re almost bound to find that common thread (good or bad) that defines a human trait.
I hold that when it gets down to brass nuts, men will behave like men – with kindness and good will. It may take something calamitous to get us back to there.
NY-26 is an example of localized political pantomime. We’re seeing lips move, but we’re not actually there. It would be a mistake to characterize these (or any) voters as dumb (or easily led.) There is a reason for why things happen the way they do.
From this distance, it looks like the partisan shtick all over again with a twist: It seems to me that Republicans are even more hated than Democrats. Republicans are hated for being weak and not standing up to Democrats. They’re hated for reaching across the aisle; they’re hated for compromising. They’re hated for getting up and smiling broadly under the TV lights after having just betrayed some important principle, thinking themselves the cat’s meow.