Saturday, December 31, 2005


Victor Davis Hanson suggests that we are being plagued by success:
Now the horror of 9/11 and the sight of the doomed diving into the street fade. Gone mostly are the flags on the cars, and the orange and red alerts. The Democrats and the Left, in their amnesia, and as beneficiaries of the very policies they suddenly abhor, now mention al Qaeda very little and Islamic fascism hardly at all.

Apparently due to the success of George Bush at keeping the United States secure, he, not Osama bin Laden, can now more often be the target of a relieved Left — deserving of assassination in an Alfred Knopf novel, an overseer of Nazi policies according to a U.S. senator, a buffoon, and rogue in the award-winning film of Michael Moore. Yes, because we did so well against the real enemies, we soon had the leisure to invent new imaginary ones in Bush/Cheney, Halliburton, the Patriot Act, John Ashcroft, and Scooter Libby.

Ah yes. We know what that is all about, don't we? We are not so much plagued by success as we are plagued by the psycholgoical displacement, denial , and self-delusion of the Left; and a public that is increasingly able to be manipulated by irrational hysteria and never-ending succession of "scandals" that rewrite history and distort the current reality .

Hanson wonders:
Why are we like children who damn their parents for not providing yet another new toy when the present one is neither paid for nor yet out of the wrapper?

One cause is the demise of history. The past is either not taught enough, or presented wrongly as a therapeutic exercise to excise our purported sins.

Either way the result is the same: a historically ignorant populace who knows nothing about past American wars and their disappointments — and has absolutely no frame of reference to make sense of the present other than its own mercurial emotional state in any given news cycle.

Few Americans remember that nearly 750 Americans were killed in a single day in a training exercise for D-Day, or that during the bloody American retreat back from the Yalu River in late 1950 thousands of our frozen dead were sent back stacked in trucks like firewood. Our grandparents in the recent past endured things that would make the present ordeal in Iraq seem almost pedestrian — and did all that with the result that a free Germany could now release terrorists or prosperous South Korean youth could damn the United States between their video games.

Once again, I am struck by the incredible failure of our current educational system to turn out rational, thinking adults with a modicum of knowledge about the world. This system's failures are not so much in the area of the sciences (contrary to what the brouhaha about Intelligent Design suggests; and contrary to the stem cell controversy); as much as they are in the humanities--history, language, art, philosophy.

In other words, those areas of the curriculum that are predominantly controlled by the pseudo-intellectuals of the Left, who scorn reason and embrace feelings. More and more we are seeing the terrible consequences of a lack of intellectual diversity in a K-12 educational system that promotes a false self-esteem and a cultural relativity that becomes the foundation for self-indulgence and emotionality instead of scholarship. By the time most of these kids get to the college level, they are ready to be subsumed into the intellectual conformity mandated by Leftist elites.

The last thing these "elites" want is someone who is able to reason or have independent thoughts; or able to put current events in historical perspective; or to (god forbid) think outside the ideological box of the Left.

Even those students who major in the sciences still passively absorb much of the ideological pap fed to them by the professors they are required to listen to in their non-science classes.

The "adolescents" that Hanson writes about are in truth the adults in our population who despite because of their successful negotiation of our modern multicultural and politically correct educational system, remain intellectually, pychologically and morally challenged. They surround themselves with others of like mind and never have to deal with real intellectual diversity.

In a recent post, Neo-neocon discusses what it is like to finally break free of the liberal bubble and have to deal with friends who are stunned at your transition to the "dark side".
It's easy to move through life in a liberal bubble if everyone around who disagrees is silent and invisible. The only way to change that is to challenge it by standing up, speaking out, and bursting the bubble. It's very difficult; but you may find, as I did, that most of your worthwhile relationships survive the blow, although many are never quite the same again.

You will find her entire essay very interesting. Especially now, as a new year approaches, thinking outside the ideological box of the Left--and opening one's eyes for a change-- could be an extremely illuminating experience.

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