Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sophisticated, Delicate, Sensitive Useful Idiot of the Day

Joel Stein. Sorry, calling people "useful idiots" is what we do here. If you don't like it, you're probably not reading.
I don't love America. That's what conservatives are always telling liberals like me. Their love, they insist, is truer, deeper and more complete. Then liberals, like all people who are accused of not loving something, stammer, get defensive and try to have sex with America even though America will then accuse us of wanting it for its body and not its soul. When America gets like that, there's no winning.
You're sooooooooo cute, Joel.
But calling your wife fat isn't love. True love is the blind belief that your child is the smartest, cutest, most charming person in the world, one you would gladly die for. I'm more in "like" with my country.
When a Democrat loses the presidential race, real lefties talk a lot about moving to Canada. When Republicans lose, they don't do that. Though, to be fair, they don't have a lot of nearby conservative options
Well, that's kind of the point of why America is so great, isn't it?
This doesn't mean I'm not fascinated by American history, impressed by our Constitution or don't appreciate our optimism and entrepreneurial spirit.
Fascinated, really? Wow. But just as a thought-experiment, right? You don't actually belong to any country, do you? That would be, like, weird.

I'm convinced that people like Stein are liberal because to be otherwise would be unsophisticated and simple. Unless it's ironic. In which cause it's a secret masochism. Which is a damn shame.

So I wrote a heartfelt letter to pretty boy here. I doubt he'll read past the first sentence, so I post it here so my half-hour was not wasted:
Mr. Klein,

I feel sorry for you. You have learned one half of a truth (people love what is their own) and are unable to move past it. You are, for me, at least (one of your simplistic, patriotic Republican rubes), emblematic of the half-baked, half-learned peoples that philosophers from Socrates to Tocqueville lamented as the future of all free societies, instead of the beautiful twin-inheritance of religious temperance and political rationalism. It would be one thing if you were a brave intellectual unfit for some backward, restrictive, tribalistic society which knows nothing but tyranny, and thus cried out in vain for some truth beyond the brutalizing forms of power possessed by local chieftains, cowardly elders, and ignorant priests.

But you are a citizen of the most free, most justified, best-considered, most truthful and most honest society known to man, a beacon of possibility and hope for all the world's oppressed (often oppressed by the idealist internationalists you probably admire), and yet you harp on nothings, spitting out the venemous inspidities of dimestore Marxism (probably unknowingly but nevertheless merely the boiled down and tired language of "bourgeouis" and "revolutionary spirit," rephrased to meet the accepted leftist-academic, Harper's-style phraseology of the day, but still recognizable to my people as the hateful propaganda of the murderous ideology of Communism) and being lauded by your equally half-baked colleagues as "thought-provoking," "challenging," and "progressive." It is the same nonsense as always, repeated endlessly in an echo chamber of useless idiots until all who consider themselves "sophisticated" accept it without a fight.

There are those in this world who would detroy you, your human dignity, your lifestyle, your children, everything. There will come a time when you or your children or your children's children will have to accept slavery, or virtual slavery, or extermination at the hands of barbaric peoples. And then what will your careful, considered duplicity, your sophisticated opinions and dainty ironies, be worth? They will be nothing.

So I exhort you to use that half-learnedness as a steppingstone to what is greater. Your knowledge is but vanity, a bauble you can use to show that you are smarter. But I urge you to consider Pascal's hierarchy of faith. The simple people believe because it is what they have always known; it is their own, and they love it. The half-learned reject the simple people's faith because it is ignorant. Don't they know that their faith is merely one among a catalogue of faiths, that their own is arbitrary and incidental, and thus to be knowledgeable is to consider in turn the value of each, without clinging to one that is nearby through circumstance alone? But the truly wise know that the faith of the simple is best, more truly human, and thus really more true.

This would be true even if America were not a unique country in the history of the world, one that was formed by a revolution that did not turn to tyranny and bloodshed a thousand times worse than what came before (apres moi, le deluge), and delicately balanced by both classical and modern political rationalism, democracy and aristocracy, radical religious individualism and unrestricted market freedom, a force for freedom in a world otherwise marked by tyranny, a place where tired, weary, oppressed peoples risk all to reach. But it is that place. And nothing you leftists say ("But America propped up Pinochet in Chile!" or "Oppressed people? Hello, slavery!" will change that.

We say "God Bless America." It is a prayer with all that prayer entails-- hope, faith, and yes, love.
Hopefully we will meet some day at a cool hipster bar and enjoy an ironic Miller High Life together, and then we can talk about it.