Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Obama's New America
When the Greeks sought to enter Troy, first they laid siege to the city but when they realized that its defenses would not fall, they instead built something that mirrored the Trojans' beliefs, and let them do the hard work of bringing it into their city, along with the enemy force hidden inside.
There are two sides to the left's ongoing siege of America. One side is the openly hostile one, the radicals who hold rallies cursing America, waving bloodstained puppets and burning American soldiers in effigy. Their pamphlets promise a coming revolution and a war against American fascism.
Then there is the truly dangerous one. This side of the left is far more numerous and well established. It does not openly talk about destroying America, instead it talks about reforming America, bringing fairness and justice to all. It wraps its agenda in the American flag, even when its agenda is legitimizing flag burning. Its organizations have names like People for the American Way or the Center for American Progress. It builds up a wooden mockery of American values, hollows it out, and then pushes it toward the city.
The Openly Hostile Left will call for freeing terrorists, because America is a capitalist imperialistic monstrosity and the cause of the terrorists is just and right. The Trojan Horse Left however will call for freeing terrorists in the name of American values, the Constitution and Freedom. I don't have to tell you which approach has been more consistently successful over the years.
Obama is an interesting phenomenon because he represents the most obvious bridge between the Openly Hostile Left and the Trojan Horse Left. Obama's mentor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, relied on his race to serve as camouflage for his hateful rhetoric as a member of the Openly Hostile Left. Obama's contribution was to take the ideas of Wright and camouflage them in the rhetoric of American values. In this way Obama imitated another of his mentors who had crossed the bridge from Openly Hostile Left, to Trojan Horse Left, William Ayers.
Ayers had made the transition from leader of America's best known domestic terrorist group at the time, whose goal was the armed overthrown of the United States, to "working within the system" as an academic and an educational reformer. Ayers' journey was not simply a case of radicalism made respectable, but radicalism made more potent by its seeming normalization and integration into the American worldview, and actualization through gaining positions of power.
"Working within the System" is the best embodiment of the Trojan Horse strategy. It's also the Lobster strategy, slowly raising the ambient temperature of the environment by implementing radical ideas slowly through a pipeline of increasingly legitimate institutions, until the country is finally boiled alive. The most legitimate and most American institution there is, the one that also has the widest range of power and control, is the Presidency.
A Trojan Horse attack's power lies in its seeming invisibility, in the way that the attackers seem like they belong there, doing what they should be doing. After all when you're attacked you can defend yourself, but when you're infected, there is no obvious outward threat. Instead you notice you are growing weaker, things that were once easy to do have become hard, you experience symptoms that are not crippling, but irritating and difficult to cope with. That is what the infection of America looks like to most people, a gradual weakening, annoying social problems, and a growing lack of competence and impaired reasoning. America is sick, and the left's ideology is its disease.
The left does not think that "real problem" with America is limited to a bunch of corporations, but to selfish and nationalistic American values that need to be changed. And it has built up its own wooden mockeries of American values, and slowly used them to replace the real thing. The left however is also well aware that you can't simply tear down the Capitol Building, drag it away in the night, and replace it with the Red Square, and not expect anyone to notice the difference. It's a process at the end of which no one will notice the difference, because there will be no difference to notice.
The Trojan Horse Left's approach to building "The New America" is not the Openly Hostile Left's slash and burn tactics, but Values Sliding. Values Sliding begins not by tossing away American values, but by emphasizing some out of proportion, with a specific aim, and deemphashizing others. This game of 3 Card Monte is usually covered by occasional references to American history and the boilerplate rhetoric that everyone has heard at a million rubber chicken political dinners. Few listeners will even notice that anything is wrong. After all the speaker mentions Valley Forge, our common sacrifices, the Mayflower, tolerance, unity, community, sacrifice and building a future together. It all sounds right, except it's all really wrong.
That is Obama's rhetorical approach when dealing with larger more mainstream audiences. The inauguration address was boring and generic because it was meant to be. The address that had been crafted for him was a masterpiece, not because it was a work of oratory that stood out, but because it didn't. The inaugural address was meant to reassure everyone that Obama's reign would be business as usual. "It's just another inaugural address, exactly like the ones you heard before. No need to worry folks, go back to sleep, we'll wake you up when the train reaches its station."
That's the same approach Obama has taken in putting Conservative Democrats like Hillary Clinton into prominent positions around him, and then cutting off their legs by quietly empowering the radicals in his administration who will actually be making the real decisions. On the surface everything seems like business as usual, in the basement where the coal furnace is, the temperature is slowly being turned up as high as it will go.
With Values Sliding you can create a distorted image of America that fits your agenda and use it to sell just about anything. The proportions of a nation's values are like the proportions of a human face. Continue distorting a man's feature, and you create a grotesque creature that looks like him, but is really a hideous mockery of him. Like morphing the photographs of two men into one, you can use this process to transform a nation into its worst antithesis.
That is what Obama's New America is meant to be, the final culmination of the left's long efforts, of the work of men like Ayers "within the system". It will happen with the American flag waving high, with references to George Washington and American history that will grow scarcer and scarcer, as the values continue to be slid, and it will all be called a New American Dream, a New Revolution in American Democracy or a New American Way, and its aim will be to subvert the Constitution, the rights of all Americans, free elections and Democracy itself.
Like Orwell's Oceania, responsibility will come to mean slavery, free speech will come to mean political correctness, unity will mean obedience, and democracy will come to mean doing what you're told. It will demand nothing from our leaders, and everything from the people who will be told to put away such childish things as individuality and private property to work for the greater good. A bright day and a new beginning to America, united behind one leader, and his call for universal national service. And there he is, the man on the cover of every magazine, in the headline of every paper, whose face and whose family the citizens know better than they know their own. As always he is looking upward at the bright future to come, his head haloed by the sun.