Here is my latest commentary, posted at http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/holybook/articles/2lefts.html .
The Two Lefts, Revisited
Traditionally, if you were "liberal," you believed that people were inherently good and rational, so they did not need big government or censorship meddling in their lives. But now liberalism means the opposite of what it used to mean. Consider these examples:
- Liberals used to be populists; now they’re elitists.
- Democrats used to be the party that represented the working class, but now, judging from their presidential candidates (e.g., Gore, Kerry, Edwards, Obama) and from the fact that they control more than half of the wealthiest congressional districts (San Francisco, Boston, Baltimore, etc.), it’s safe to say that they have become the party of the rich.
- Whereas liberals used to favor human rights and the spread of democracy, now they don’t care; note their lack of enthusiasm for the elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, and how Jimmy Carter went from being the human rights president to the former president who never met a dictator he didn’t like.
- The Democratic Party used to portray itself as "the party of love"; now, except on the gay-marriage issue, it’s the party of hate.
- In the past, most conspiracy theories came from right-wing extremists; now they’re more likely to come from the left end of the political spectrum (e.g., see what they said about September 11 and Hurricane Katrina).
- College campuses, the best place to find liberals in most communities, used to be bastions of free speech; now they censor even harmless comments, pictures, etc., in the name of "political correctness."
- Most telling of all, liberals used to embrace change for its own sake, but now they’re often afraid to try any new idea, calling it a "risky scheme."
There is no doubt about it, Barack Hussein Obama is the most liberal president we have ever had. He got elected because people found his multi-ethnic background interesting; a white liberal running on his platform would have gone down in flames (remember how well McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry fared). And look at his story before becoming president. He was taught to resent successful people and despise what had made the United States great. When he wasn’t living abroad, he was in a state where the teaching of American values is optional (Hawaiians tend to know more about their Asian/Polynesian heritage than about their American heritage). After he grew up, he surrounded himself with America-hating leftists, in college, church, and in public life; every step of the way they helped him climb the ladder. In 2004 he got elected to the US Senate, and after just a few months as a senator, he decided to run for president.
In addition to the anti-American background, Obama is the most mysterious of all "dark horse" presidents we have ever elected. We know bits of trivia about the other presidents: George Washington allegedly chopped down a cherry tree as a kid, Thomas Jefferson had children by one of his slaves, Abraham Lincoln split rails as a young man, Theodore Roosevelt was a hero in the Spanish-American War, Harry Truman ran a haberdashery, Jimmy Carter had a peanut farm, Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood actor, and so on. Can anyone recall such stories about Obama’s early life? Outside of the official biography, we have terribly few records of what he was doing before 2004. Never mind the ballyhooed birth certificate; we also can’t look at his baptismal certificate, Selective Service Registration, the grades and papers from the colleges he attended (Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School), and his medical records; even many records of his attendance and voting in the Illinois State Senate are not available. Despite the lack of a resumé and accomplishments worth remembering, we gave him the benefit of the doubt, and elected him to the highest office in the land. If the story of Obama’s rise to the White House was written as fiction, how many of us would believe it could happen?
Or consider this analogy. Let’s go back to 1944, the year during World War II when a US presidential election took place. What if, along with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Thomas Dewey, there was a candidate named "Benito Stalin Franco?" He attended the church of Father Charles Coughlin, a notorious anti-Semitic priest who praised Adolf Hitler and regularly preached hate-filled messages on the radio. Most of his mentors, friends, and associates were Nazis, communists, or members of a corrupt political machine. Another "mentor" was an anarchist who had attacked targets in the United States many years earlier, in an unsuccessful attempt to start a revolution. Meanwhile, this candidate attracted huge crowds because he was as glib and charismatic as the best rabble-rousers in history. In the middle of a war, would such a person be allowed to have a security clearance, let alone become president of the United States?
Obama inherited a recession, and did terribly little to fix it. While unemployment stayed high, he spent money like it was going out of style, and advanced his program of "social engineering" (green energy, Obamacare, and gay marriage). His supporters had a ready answer for why the economy did not get better — they blamed it on George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress. Critics felt the problem was his lack of experience; after all, the presidency was the first job he ever had with real responsibilities! Almost thirty years earlier, Jimmy Carter showed similar incompetence, so talk show host Sean Hannity called Obama "Jimmy Carter on steroids." But unlike his predecessors, Obama was so rigidly linked to his ideology, that he would not compromise when his policies did not work.
Economists claimed that the 2008 recession ended in the summer of 2009. This graph shows why it didn’t feel that way to the rest of us.
With all that Obama did in his first term, you would expect that some part of his economic policy would turn out right, if only by chance. You may have heard the saying that a stopped clock shows the correct time twice a day, or that even a blind squirrel can occasionally find a nut. The fact that no such thing happened brings up a more sinister possibility: what if he doesn’t want the economy to get better? A few writers like Dinesh D’Souza have thrown out the possibility that because Obama’s father opposed British rule in Kenya, Obama wants to cut down the last powerful Western nation, namely the United States, because he feels it is unfair for any Western nation to be stronger and richer than the Third World countries the West used to exploit. If that is what he wants, then the reckless spending, $16 trillion national debt, lowered credit rating of the US, and his "apology tours" are not evidence of miserable failure, but signs of success — as he sees it.
At first I did not want to consider the possibility that Obama is engaged in a purposeful attempt to destroy the US economy; only a right-wing conspiracy theorist could be comfortable with that idea. However, Obama’s behavior since getting re-elected is pushing me into that camp. For example, when there was talk at the end of 2012 about a "fiscal cliff" of mandatory tax increases and spending cuts, instead of trying to do something about the problem, Obama went to Hawaii for Christmas vacation. You’d think that if he sincerely wanted to help this country, running off to play would not be his response. After he returned he still refused all deals that did not give him everything he wanted, in effect telling everyone it was "my way or the highway." Then after Congress came up with a bill, Obama went on vacation again, instead of signing it.
This picture is obviously a bit dated, so I checked, and Obama’s 2011 Christmas vacation was spent in Hawaii, too.
Many years ago, I read the novels and short stories of Keith Laumer, a former diplomat who became a science fiction writer. In Laumer’s tales of diplomats in space, the human characters are incompetent, and the hero, Jaime Retief, saves the day by ignoring the rules of diplomacy and bureaucracy. When he wrote the first stories in the 1960s, the general attitude toward Retief’s companions could be summarized as "Sure, they’re idiots, but they’re our idiots." Later on, though, Laumer’s storytelling grew grimmer, comedy turned into commentary, and the message became, "Hey, these bastards are doing us real harm." In the past, I took the former view when Washington was controlled by people I didn’t agree with; unfortunately the latter view now seems more accurate.
I will finish this commentary by sharing Steven Plaut’s article from 2002, which compared the two most important leftist factions. Sure, it is simplistic (there are no official "Stupid Left" and "Satanic Left" parties), but it is also accurate, maybe more so than when he wrote it.
Stupid Left, Satanic Left
By Steven Plaut
It is impossible to understand politics in the world today without grasping the fundamental fact that there exist two different Lefts. I propose that the two be referred to by everyone as the Stupid Left and the Satanic Left.
The two are very different, although they work together. People who are part of the first are simply stupid people. People who are part of the second may in fact be quite shrewd, but are evil and nefarious. There is no third type of leftist.
Over time, the Stupid Left has been losing its numbers, as many Stupid Leftists either become smarter or morph into Satanic Leftists, and so desist from being mere Stupid Leftists. So a process of selection is occurring whereby the strength of the Satanic Left within the overall Left grows.
The anti-American demonstrations we have been witnessing in Europe and the United States are attended by both kinds of Leftists, although they were organized by Satanic Leftists.
Both the Stupid Left and the Satanic Left demonstrate together against the United States, in favor of Saddam Hussein, in favor of destroying Israel and in favor of Palestinian terrorism.
The Stupid Left really thinks that if the U.S. leaves Iraq alone, Saddam will refrain from developing weapons of mass destruction. The Satanic Left supports Iraq precisely because it knows that Saddam will develop them — and will use them.
The Stupid Left is anti-American because it thinks people in America are oppressed, poor, mistreated and that America is an evil country. The Satanic Left is anti-American precisely because it knows the opposite is the case.
The Stupid Left hates America because it thinks America promotes evil, oppressive regimes around the world. The Satanic Left hates America because America gets in the way of the evil, oppressive regimes that the Satanic Left promotes.
The Stupid Left denounces capitalism and globalization and supports communism because it really believes that people are poor and oppressed under capitalism but free and happy under socialism. The Satanic Left denounces capitalism and supports communism precisely because it knows that the opposite is the case.
The Stupid Left does not know that communism produces gulags. The Satanic Left supports communism precisely because it produces gulags and also because the Satanic Leftists presume they will be placed in charge of the gulags.
The Stupid Left wants a Palestinian state because it thinks that such a state will pursue peace alongside Israel. The Satanic Left wants a Palestinian state precisely because it knows such a state will launch a war of destruction against Israel and endless atrocities against the Jews.
The Stupid Left thinks Israel mistreats Arabs. It does not know that Arab regimes mistreat Arabs. The Satanic Left knows Israel does not mistreat Arabs and Arab regimes do. It wants Israel destroyed not because it thinks Israel is unjust, but rather because it hates Jews.
The Stupid Left opposes Israeli armed force being used to suppress terror because it thinks that terror can be resolved through dialogue and negotiations. The Satanic Left opposes Israeli armed force being used to suppress terror because it supports terror against Jews.
The Stupid Left is convinced that most Arabs seek peace, are moderate and decent people, and have a legitimate grievance against the West. The Satanic Left supports Arab aggression and terror precisely because it knows this is not true.
The Stupid Left thinks that Palestinian leaders and Arab nationalists are progressive and liberal. The Satanic Left supports the same people precisely because it knows they are fascists.
The Stupid Left is under the impression that Arab states have elections and freedom and enlightenment. The Satanic Left supports Arab regimes because they want to destroy Israel and murder Jews.
The Stupid Left thinks the West should not place its Arab residents under surveillance because they are decent people and loyal to their adopted countries. The Satanic Left opposes such surveillance because it wants more Bin Ladens.
The Stupid Left thinks that Israeli settlements are an obstacle to peace. The Satanic Left wants the settlers evicted or killed because they are an obstacle to the Palestinians destroying Israel.
The Stupid Left thinks the Middle East conflict is about Arab human rights. The Satanic Left knows the Middle East conflict is about suppressing Jewish human rights. They support this suppression.
The Stupid Left thinks the Middle East conflict is about land and borders. The Satanic Left knows it is about Israel`s existence.
The Stupid Left thinks Israel is a discriminatory, apartheid country. The Satanic Left wants Israel destroyed so that the Arabs can impose an apartheid regime directed against the Jews and any other non-Moslems.
The Stupid Left believes it is trying to reform and change America. The Satanic Left wants to destroy America.
The Stupid Left thinks socialism works. The Satanic Left wants socialism because it knows it does not.
The Stupid Left thinks it is opposing racism. The Satanic Left`s fundamental urge is to impose its own mode of racism and anti-Semitism on the world.
The Stupid Left thinks Zionism is a form of racism. The Satanic Left supports anti-Zionism precisely because it is a form of anti-Semitism.
The Stupid Left chooses its political positions on the basis of the desire by leftists to make their mommies and daddies mad. So does the Satanic Left, but they really hate their parents.
The Stupid Left says it favors equality. The Satanic Left favors transferring power to itself so that it can oppress others.
The Stupid Left supports Marxist groups all over the world because it thinks these are non-violent and favor pluralism. The Satanic Left supports them because they know these are violent and totalitarian.
The Stupid Left thinks animals should be treated like humans. The Satanic Left thinks humans should be treated like animals.
The Stupid Left wants socialism because it thinks that people will not have to work under socialism and because it thinks that leftists will have a lot of friends under socialism. The Satanic Left wants socialism because Satanic Leftists will not have to work under socialism while they turn everyone else into slaves, and because they`ll get to shoot their friends.