Saturday, April 19, 2008

Re: False Witness

A student of mine, a former Marine who served in Iraq during the early period of the war, responds to the video of Democratic leaders prior to 2003 pronouncing their conviction that Saddam Hussein had WMD and that he must be dealt with.

His reply is on the Feedback page.


False Consciousness

George Will avers that modern liberal elitism got its start not so much with FDR but with Adlai Stevenson back in the 1950s. Barack Obama, Will writes, is actually Stevenson's successor:

Obama may be the fulfillment of modern liberalism. Explaining why many working class voters are "bitter," he said they "cling" to guns, religion and "antipathy to people who aren't like them" because of "frustrations." His implication was that their primitivism, superstition and bigotry are balm for resentments they feel because of America's grinding injustice.

By so speaking, Obama does fulfill liberalism's transformation since Franklin Roosevelt. What had been under FDR a celebration of America and the values of its working people has become a doctrine of condescension toward those people and the supposedly coarse and vulgar country that pleases them.

When a supporter told Adlai Stevenson, the losing Democratic presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, that thinking people supported him, Stevenson said, "Yes, but I need to win a majority." When another supporter told Stevenson, "You educated the people through your campaign," Stevenson replied, "But a lot of people flunked the course." Michael Barone, in "Our Country: The Shaping of America From Roosevelt to Reagan," wrote: "It is unthinkable that Roosevelt would ever have said those things or that such thoughts ever would have crossed his mind." Barone added: "Stevenson was the first leading Democratic politician to become a critic rather than a celebrator of middle-class American culture -- the prototype of the liberal Democrat who would judge ordinary Americans by an abstract standard and find them wanting."

Will explains how the progressive elite bypasses the people to implement its goals and objectives. The people, progressives believe, are literally too dull to know what's best for them. They have a "false consciousness," that misleads and blinds them to the nature of their true good:

... Because the manipulable masses are easily given a "false consciousness" (another category, like religion as the "opiate" of the suffering masses, that liberalism appropriated from Marxism), four things follow:

First, the consent of the governed, when their behavior is governed by their false consciousnesses, is unimportant. Second, the public requires the supervision of a progressive elite which, somehow emancipated from false consciousness, can engineer true consciousness. Third, because consciousness is a reflection of social conditions, true consciousness is engineered by progressive social reforms. Fourth, because people in the grip of false consciousness cannot be expected to demand or even consent to such reforms, those reforms usually must be imposed, for example, by judicial fiats.

Read the rest of Will's essay to see how this relates to Senator Obama and his analysis of the "bitter" American.

HT: Jason


False Witness

If you've ever wondered why President Bush thought Saddam Hussein was a terror threat to the U.S. and was working on weapons of mass destruction, this video very clearly explains it. He was listening to the Democrats.

Watch this and you'll have to wonder whether, if Bush lied us into the war, all these Democrats were lying as well. You'll also have to wonder how these same people can possibly keep a straight face while accusing Bush of going into Iraq under false pretenses.