Friday, February 29, 2008

The Obamessiah

Once again, Gagdad Bob over at One Cosmos nails it. I'll post an excerpt below, sans indents, to make it easier to read. Bold added by me.

Obama and the Lure of the False Vertical: Worshiping a Groovin' Image

Regardless of whether or not you believe human beings are in need of salvation, they inevitably seek it in one form or another. Some of these forms are both "authorized" and therefore operative (i.e., vehicles of grace, the only real means of salvation), while others are sham versions that — at risk of conjuring a disturbing image — may send a tingle up Chris Matthews' pasty and dimpled thigh, but leave you back down on the launch pad in some rancid dimension of hell — which you soon realize when you look to your left and are assaulted by the beastly image of Keith Olbermann.

Now, among the ten commandments there is one in particular that leftists always poke fun at, and that is the injunction against worshiping graven images. Why would the Author of Creation care about that? And what relevance could it possibly have for contemporary people?

The purpose of this commandment is to check the human tendency to worship the relative, the ubiquitous tendency to "bow down and serve" manmade gods, whether secular or religious. Idolatry occurs whenever one holds a value higher than God, or let us say the Absolute, or One.

Thus it is actually possible to turn one’s religion — or irreligion — into a false god, and to value it above all else. Certainly in the Muslim Middle East, it would appear that the worship of God has been completely eclipsed by the worship of Islam. But it is also soph-evident that the secular left displaces the need for religion and salvation to the plane of politics — i.e., they horizontalize the vertical, and imagine that, with enough coercion, manipulation, and thought control, they can recreate paradise on earth.

....

Now, where does the latest messiah, Obama, fit into this scheme? Clearly — often in a shockingly naive and undisguised manner — Obama draws upon (or, to be precise, his enthusiasts draw upon) the universal hunger for messianic redemption, for a cosmic-historical figure who will shatter the existing corrupt order and make us "whole" again, which is to say, at one with God.

Now the fact that even secularized flatlanders sense the need for a messianic redemption speaks to unconscious awareness of our fallen situation. But naturally, the leftist understands the Fall in an unorthodox — to say the least — way. In fact, it would be an interesting exercise to "reverse engineer" their outward passion for the Obamessiah, to try to discern their unconscious understanding of what he is here to accomplish, or "undo." In short, exactly what is Obama's divine mission?

I think Julie is on the right track with a comment from yesterday. Obama
"embodies (at least outwardly) everything that leftists wish they were themselves: he's black, but also white; he's American, but also a 'citizen of the world'; he pushes for everything the leftiest of lefties desires, but somehow he also has social skills and charisma, so he makes it all look cool and appealing (as opposed to a Cindy Sheehan, or Code Pinkos, or Hillary, or any of the nutjobs who tend to flock to protests). He doesn't screech, whine or nag (he leaves that to the wife, I guess); instead, he cajoles and (anti)inspires. He absolves them of the sin of being white. He's like a great big mirror, showing them exactly what they want to see; they see their dream selves in him. Which would be all well and good, if what they fervently desired were not the most deadly, self-destructive governmental policies man has ever conceived — socialism, multi-culturalism, pacifism, etc." [and Fascism, I'd add — Ed.]

Therefore, our first guess is that Obama is indeed a messiah, only a messiah of the lower vertical, the projection of faux wholeness — i.e., the healing of spiritual brokenness — only in a circular, narcissistic, and ultimately "infertile" way. It is the creation and projection of a just and healing god to compensate for the absence of God. In essence, he is a groovin' image for the spiritually grooveless secular masses.

Reminds me this line by Samuel Johnson, quoted today in Peggy Noonan's tribute to Buckley: "How small of all that human hearts endure / That part which laws or kings can cause or cure."

Obama's finest speeches.... elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. —Ezra Klein, blogging under the influence

****

When I heard Michelle Obama's infamous "he will heal our souls" speech, it sounded as if they both had read Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, not for enlightenment but to copy the techniques of the Big Guys. Spooky.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jonah Goldberg's Tribute to WFB

It was written in 2005, but it's worth reading now, on the day that the giant of modern conservatism died.

Conclusion:
William F. Buckley understood that conservatism can only be a partial philosophy of life, because any calling which claims to be a whole philosophy of life is not one at all. It is a religion, and in all likelihood a false one. Armed with this conviction, he changed the world by arguing with those who could not comprehend that a man could be joyful, charming, generous, and passionate about hobbies and people far outside politics while walking against what all the right people insisted was the tide of All Good Things. In this he remains the archetype for conservatism, properly understood.

Conservatives believe in dreams but we don't believe they can ever be made reality in this life. Nonetheless, when Bill Buckley once asked, "Have you ever seen a dream walking?" he may not have realized that for conservatives, at least, he was the answer to his own question.

I have yet to read God and Man at Yale, but it's on my Amazon wish list, and I'll eventually get to it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why We're Angry

Many of the pundits on the right are perplexed by the apoplexy of most of talk radio and the blogosphere over McCain's apparent nomination to the GOP.

Here's the reason for the "Kossak-like anger," Glenn:

For about a year, over here in alternate-media land (talk radio and the dextrosphere), it's been all about Rudy, Mitt, and Fred--Fred, Mitt, and Rudy. McCain and Huckabee were nowhere on our radar, and didn't appear to be on anyone else's, either.

We've slowly grown disillusioned with GW Bush's "compassionate conservatism" and the country's slow slide into the Nannystate.

So all of the sudden, the primaries arrive, and out of nowhere, there's this Huckabee chap who strikes new-media types as a Jimmeh Carter with an -R after his name. And he takes Iowa for no apparent reason.

That made no sense. No sense at all.

Then McCain sweeps in from left field (literally) and takes the nomination. McCain: whose mutual animosity with the conservative base and New Media has been going on for years.
  • Whose amnesty bill was opposed by 70% of the entire population. (And who hired Juan Hernandez on the one hand while saying he's "learned his lesson" on the other.)

  • Who believes in Global Warming and would spend 1.2 trillion annually to fix it.

  • Who wants to shut down Gitmo.

  • Who doesn't understand that tax cuts "for the rich" fill the state's coffers and employ the poor.

  • Who organized the Gang of 14 so that SCOTUS nominees can't get an up or down vote.

  • Who uses class warfare language to defend his positions.

  • Who thinks the Fairness Doctrine and other free-speech restrictions are dandy.

  • Who TWICE has flirted with crossing over to the Dems.

This makes no sense to us. No sense at all. And it came upon us fast, like a 2x4 to the back of the head.

And strangely enough, we're howling in pain over this very unexpected, inexplicable blow.

Screaming that we'd rather vote for Hillary than McCain is more an expression of rage over the fact that the party has failed—again—to nominate an actual conservative. We supported Bush because he was "good on the war," as is McCain, but Bush was a moron the rest of the time.

We don't want that to happen again.

Of course, what happened is that most voters don't inhabit the New Mediasphere, so they haven't been hashing all these issues out day after day, and in many cases, they aren't aware at all of who believes what. Most voters would rather not deal with the political morass until they absolutely have to, and they go on impressions rather than analysis. That's just how people are. I can't say I blame them, either.

We may be Kossak-like in intensity, but there is an important difference: Kossaks raged because they were denied the levers of power, thus to impose their idea of a Good Society on the benighted masses.

We are enraged at the prospect of someone else using the levers of power to micromanage our lives. That it might be a Republican—again—is enough to drive anyone to madness.

Don't worry: most of us will calm down by November. Life turns on a dime, and anything could happen between now and then to focus our minds differently than they're focused today.

Let us yell for awhile, K? It's cathartic. And catharsis is one of the aims of Tragedy, which this is.