Mind Meld

During the Cold War, the "convergence" theory held that over time the Soviet Union and the United States would become more and more alike, ushering in an era of world peace. Liberals liked the theory because it meant that the Soviets would magically evolve in the direction of freedom and democracy, thereby making unnecessary our efforts to defend ourselves, and because it gave an air of inevitability to social programs in the United States, even making them instruments of world peace.

While the Soviet Union and the United States were busy converging into nonexistence and lone superpower status, liberals, ever at the forefront of history, were busy anticipating the convergence by becoming more like the Soviets. Whatever the Soviets liked, liberals liked, and whatever the Soviets disliked, liberals disliked.

The demise of the Soviet Union presented liberals with a problem and an opportunity. They solved the problem but neglected the opportunity. That Soviet collapse and American survival destroyed their convergence theory did not discomfit them. Empirical disconfirmation of their theories has never been a problem for them, and they are quite capable of making up new ones. No, the problem was that without the Soviets, they would not know what to think, and they might splinter if they began thinking independently.

The opportunity was that Soviet overlordship could no longer hinder the growth of the American left by discrediting it in the eyes of the American people and by preventing it from developing according to American realities. Indeed, as soon as the Soviet Union was swept into the dustbin of history Marx had assigned for capitalism, a flawed liberal candidate won the presidential election, something he probably could not have done had his political opponents not first vanquished the most powerful enemy our nation had yet encountered, a feat the liberal establishment considered impossible.

Bill Clinton epitomized American liberals in more ways than one. James Carville famously drew an empty box meant to represent his boss's brain and said that he didn't know what the President really believed. That empty box was the potential post—Soviet liberal mind.

Here they were in power in all three branches of the federal government, in the media, in the universities, in the public schools, in city governments, in the foundations, and in much more, and they were not sure what to do with their lives. They had almost everything, but it somehow felt like nothing. They wanted to question authority, but they were authority. They felt an emptiness they could not fill with yoga or formulaic charges of racism.

They had campaigned for decades against the arms race, and Reagan and Bush had ended it. They had not trusted anyone over thirty, but now the young were bored with them and their reminiscences. They had hoped to die before they got old, but now they feared death from cancer and heart disease. They had scorned as money—grubbing materialists people who worked decade after decade to support their families. Now they put in endless hours to further their own careers. They had reveled in free love, and now they hated their ex—husbands and former wives. They wanted to preserve the environment, but did not want to actually live out in it. When the salt has lost its savor, what is the point of sprinkling it on our food?

And then came 9/11, and though they were too stunned to realize it at the time, for American liberals, life again had meaning, that is, an enemy of the United States to make excuses for, to protect from conservatives, and in whose image to fashion themselves.  Islamofascists would try to drive American troops from the Middle East, and liberals would try to bring them home. Criticism of Islam is illegal under sharia law, and liberals would try to make it impossible here.

Terrorists would seek a repeat of 9/11, and liberals would oppose the Patriot Act. Al Qaeda would use public libraries to avoid detection by Internet sleuths, and liberals would make people crazy with fear that Bush would find out what books they were checking out. Palestinians would blow up pizza parlors, and universities would divest from companies doing business in Israel.

Iran would stone adulterers and homosexuals, and Hollywood would mock uptight Republicans. Islamic immigrants would commit honor killings, and feminists would accuse conservatives of sexism. Saudi Arabia would prohibit Christianity and Judaism, and the ACLU would drive them from public life in the United States. Insurgents would blow up American soldiers as they handed out candy to Iraqi children, and Democratic senators would liken our armed forces to Nazis and communists.

Terrorist sympathizers would concoct American and Israeli atrocities, and the world press would report them. Suicide bombers would infiltrate Iraq through Syria, and liberals would denounce the United States invasion. Muslims would brag about their ancestors, and liberals would denigrate ours. Terrorists would kill the just and the unjust alike, and professors would deconstruct the difference between right and wrong.

Islamicists would burn American flags, and liberals would scoff at flag—wavers. Muslims would claim that the Bible is made up of forgeries, and liberals would engage in Higher Criticism. Baathists would disrupt elections in Iraq, and Democrats would declare ours illegitimate. We would uncover mass graves in Iraq, and liberal Democrats would call for investigations in the United States. Muslims would drive Jews from the Middle East, and liberals would limit their numbers in the academic world with affirmative action.

Islam would spread polygamy, and liberals would undermine the institution of marriage. Zarqawi would bomb crowded mosques, and liberals would accuse conservatives of Islamophobia. Pakistani terrorists would behead Daniel Pearl, and liberals would accuse conservatives of hostility to freedom of the press. Terrorists in Iraq would behead Nicholas Berg, and his father would blame the President. Insurgents would kill Casey Sheehan, and Cindy Sheehan would accuse George Bush of murder. How sweet it is!

Yogi Berra says that predictions are difficult, especially predictions about the future. Nevertheless, I predict that as the "war on terror" drags on, as it will regardless of what happens in Iraq, the left in America will come ever more to resemble foreign jihadists, to the extent even of carrying out suicide bombings and maybe even beheadings. Frustration with the failure of their message to bring about political change, combined with blind hatred of the existing order will be the trigger, just as it was for the Symbionese Liberation Army and other brutal left wing groups of a few decades earlier.

Liberals will make excuses for them, of course, and make their capture difficult, just as some did for the SLA, and as some are now making excuses for foreign terrorists and hampering our efforts to defeat them. Now that liberals know what to think again, will anyone else trust them?

Jonathan David Carson, Ph.D., may be reached at jdc@makehasteslowly.com For more information, see his website Make Haste Slowly

During the Cold War, the "convergence" theory held that over time the Soviet Union and the United States would become more and more alike, ushering in an era of world peace. Liberals liked the theory because it meant that the Soviets would magically evolve in the direction of freedom and democracy, thereby making unnecessary our efforts to defend ourselves, and because it gave an air of inevitability to social programs in the United States, even making them instruments of world peace.

While the Soviet Union and the United States were busy converging into nonexistence and lone superpower status, liberals, ever at the forefront of history, were busy anticipating the convergence by becoming more like the Soviets. Whatever the Soviets liked, liberals liked, and whatever the Soviets disliked, liberals disliked.

The demise of the Soviet Union presented liberals with a problem and an opportunity. They solved the problem but neglected the opportunity. That Soviet collapse and American survival destroyed their convergence theory did not discomfit them. Empirical disconfirmation of their theories has never been a problem for them, and they are quite capable of making up new ones. No, the problem was that without the Soviets, they would not know what to think, and they might splinter if they began thinking independently.

The opportunity was that Soviet overlordship could no longer hinder the growth of the American left by discrediting it in the eyes of the American people and by preventing it from developing according to American realities. Indeed, as soon as the Soviet Union was swept into the dustbin of history Marx had assigned for capitalism, a flawed liberal candidate won the presidential election, something he probably could not have done had his political opponents not first vanquished the most powerful enemy our nation had yet encountered, a feat the liberal establishment considered impossible.

Bill Clinton epitomized American liberals in more ways than one. James Carville famously drew an empty box meant to represent his boss's brain and said that he didn't know what the President really believed. That empty box was the potential post—Soviet liberal mind.

Here they were in power in all three branches of the federal government, in the media, in the universities, in the public schools, in city governments, in the foundations, and in much more, and they were not sure what to do with their lives. They had almost everything, but it somehow felt like nothing. They wanted to question authority, but they were authority. They felt an emptiness they could not fill with yoga or formulaic charges of racism.

They had campaigned for decades against the arms race, and Reagan and Bush had ended it. They had not trusted anyone over thirty, but now the young were bored with them and their reminiscences. They had hoped to die before they got old, but now they feared death from cancer and heart disease. They had scorned as money—grubbing materialists people who worked decade after decade to support their families. Now they put in endless hours to further their own careers. They had reveled in free love, and now they hated their ex—husbands and former wives. They wanted to preserve the environment, but did not want to actually live out in it. When the salt has lost its savor, what is the point of sprinkling it on our food?

And then came 9/11, and though they were too stunned to realize it at the time, for American liberals, life again had meaning, that is, an enemy of the United States to make excuses for, to protect from conservatives, and in whose image to fashion themselves.  Islamofascists would try to drive American troops from the Middle East, and liberals would try to bring them home. Criticism of Islam is illegal under sharia law, and liberals would try to make it impossible here.

Terrorists would seek a repeat of 9/11, and liberals would oppose the Patriot Act. Al Qaeda would use public libraries to avoid detection by Internet sleuths, and liberals would make people crazy with fear that Bush would find out what books they were checking out. Palestinians would blow up pizza parlors, and universities would divest from companies doing business in Israel.

Iran would stone adulterers and homosexuals, and Hollywood would mock uptight Republicans. Islamic immigrants would commit honor killings, and feminists would accuse conservatives of sexism. Saudi Arabia would prohibit Christianity and Judaism, and the ACLU would drive them from public life in the United States. Insurgents would blow up American soldiers as they handed out candy to Iraqi children, and Democratic senators would liken our armed forces to Nazis and communists.

Terrorist sympathizers would concoct American and Israeli atrocities, and the world press would report them. Suicide bombers would infiltrate Iraq through Syria, and liberals would denounce the United States invasion. Muslims would brag about their ancestors, and liberals would denigrate ours. Terrorists would kill the just and the unjust alike, and professors would deconstruct the difference between right and wrong.

Islamicists would burn American flags, and liberals would scoff at flag—wavers. Muslims would claim that the Bible is made up of forgeries, and liberals would engage in Higher Criticism. Baathists would disrupt elections in Iraq, and Democrats would declare ours illegitimate. We would uncover mass graves in Iraq, and liberal Democrats would call for investigations in the United States. Muslims would drive Jews from the Middle East, and liberals would limit their numbers in the academic world with affirmative action.

Islam would spread polygamy, and liberals would undermine the institution of marriage. Zarqawi would bomb crowded mosques, and liberals would accuse conservatives of Islamophobia. Pakistani terrorists would behead Daniel Pearl, and liberals would accuse conservatives of hostility to freedom of the press. Terrorists in Iraq would behead Nicholas Berg, and his father would blame the President. Insurgents would kill Casey Sheehan, and Cindy Sheehan would accuse George Bush of murder. How sweet it is!

Yogi Berra says that predictions are difficult, especially predictions about the future. Nevertheless, I predict that as the "war on terror" drags on, as it will regardless of what happens in Iraq, the left in America will come ever more to resemble foreign jihadists, to the extent even of carrying out suicide bombings and maybe even beheadings. Frustration with the failure of their message to bring about political change, combined with blind hatred of the existing order will be the trigger, just as it was for the Symbionese Liberation Army and other brutal left wing groups of a few decades earlier.

Liberals will make excuses for them, of course, and make their capture difficult, just as some did for the SLA, and as some are now making excuses for foreign terrorists and hampering our efforts to defeat them. Now that liberals know what to think again, will anyone else trust them?

Jonathan David Carson, Ph.D., may be reached at jdc@makehasteslowly.com For more information, see his website Make Haste Slowly