Obama in Never-Never Land – John Malcolm
August 8, 2012 7 Comments
In my last post, here, I wrote some about cultural relativism, and it’s replacement of good and evil with infinite shades of gray. In an age in which every public utterance (and many private ones as well) of a public figure, and often private ones as well are recorded and available to everybody; we have an administration that acts as if its words are written on the wind. Why?
I believe that it is connected, if there is no good and evil, then there is no truth or falsehood. In 1984 George Orwell wrote that “he who controls the present, controls the past.” His point was that the record can be changed if you control the printing press. It was true, too. Compare Bancroft’s history of the United States with the current texts, they take place in different universes. But there is a qualitative difference between a musty old book, and video. It’s seems that this is not an absolute limit anymore but a paradigm,
It was hard to cover up the truth in an ink and paper world but, it could be done if your conspiracy was big enough. Like say, the news media and academia. In the age of the internet, it’s impossible, somebody, somewhere has the original of whatever you are trying to cover up, and it will surface at the worst possible moment.
This is why the desperate attempts for the government to get control of the internet, without it they can not control the information we have and that we can disseminate. This is key. This is also why what I like to call “little groups of conservatives” can totally derail the story of the day, given some ammunition. Remember Attack Watch? Remember how fast it fell apart when attacked with verve and humor from all over the map? That’s the point, if you can’t control the information, you can’t control anything. And the left can’t. Neither can the right but, we don’t have to, the truth stands on its own.
A slavish regard for truth is no match for inspired mythography.
The chief tenet of postmodernism is that truth and facts are arbitrary constructs, set up by the privileged to manipulate others less fortunate. In the case of our first postmodernist president, Barack Obama, there cannot be facts, past or present, only a set of shifting assertions that gain credence to the degree that they prove transitorily useful for progressive causes. A sympathetic biographer, David Maraniss, noted that almost all the touchstone events in Barack Obama’s mythographic memoir were fabricated. Of course, Obama would object to such a value-laden term and instead call them composites, impressions stitched together and presented as truth to serve the higher moral narrative: a young biracial idealist searching for his identity in a mostly racist and oppressive America. To the degree that Dreams from My Father enhanced that narrative, then all of what was in it was “true” — even the literary agent’s bio attesting that the exotic author was born in faraway Kenya.
For the fabulist Obama, the past is a vague mess with shifting narratives that can serve noble contemporary causes. Take World War II — the old war that supposedly proves that victory is now an obsolete term, since, as Obama explained, Japanese Emperor Hirohito capitulated to General MacArthur, apparently on the deck of the Missouri, in a rare act never to happen again. Obama’s own grandfather was in the forefront of stopping Nazism, and the more dramatic the circumstances the better — so who cares whether the Russians, and not an American unit, liberated Auschwitz and Treblinka?
Indeed, the war is a sort of a vague haze where Nazi death camps become “Polish” and Pearl Harbor was hit with “the bomb.” If it is useful while speaking in Cairo to pretend that the Islamic world helped to prompt the European Renaissance (which benefitted enormously from the flight of Greek scholars as Constantinople was threatened by the Ottoman Turks) and Enlightenment (which ignited a Romantic interest in freeing Greece from Islam), then so be it. If Córdoba had few, if any, Muslims during the Spanish Inquisition, who cares, if we wish to hold up the Muslims there as beacons of tolerance in comparison to murderous Catholics?No American has any idea whether recess appointments, executive privilege, executive orders, or filibusters are to be considered good, bad, or indifferent, since Senator/President Obama has damned and embraced them all. I vaguely remember that at one time Guantanamo, renditions, tribunals, and preventive detention were either of no value or unconstitutional, and trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court and prosecuting CIA agents for supposedly too harsh interrogations were good. But that was all more than three years in the past, and hundreds of “Make no mistake about it”s and “Let me be perfectly clear”s ago.
Continue reading Obama in Never-Never Land – John Malcolm.
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