Impersonators of God

As the liberal media is pushed onto the defensive, its talking heads get more and more desperate to prop up their illusions. They are like magicians whose tricks are exposed, or ventriloquists who can no longer keep their mouths shut. It is easy to see them merely as cynical liars. They are certainly not interested in objective facts. But is there something deeper going on here? Something worse than garden variety political dishonesty?

Since at least the beginning of the Obama administration, both politicians and what pass for journalists have been using the word “narrative” more commonly -- and with less reservation. “We have to get the narrative right” or “terrorism is a problem of competing narratives.” Similarly, progressives seem to have acquired an unshakeable faith in sending diplomats to simply talk to our enemies -- like Iran or North Korea -- as though they could be persuaded by pure eloquence to give up on their national agendas. Obama himself began his presidency with the odd notion that he could control the world with a series of speeches -- not speeches announcing particular policies, but speeches constructed entirely of grand dreams and virtue-signaling tropes. Not to be ignored is the left’s confidence in flinging the word “racist” like a voodoo curse. To be fair, the tactic of shaming their opponents has worked well for them for decades -- withering weak Republicans in place like Christ’s fig tree. We drown in the perennial mantras of “diversity,” “social justice,” and “white privilege” -- vague ideas that are moldable enough to suit whatever magic incantation the circumstance requires.  All of it nonsense. All of it just so much sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Progressives love their words. Educated elocution is the public emblem of their self-declared superiority. They sneered at Bush with his Texas drawl, and they despise Donald Trump who -- let me tell ya people -- is never going to speak like JFK. But at some point, the left’s longstanding literary fixation became something more than a badge of identity. It quietly crossed over the line from affectation into the territory of full-blown delusion. The progressive mind has come to believe that reality itself is merely the invention of words. Leftist academics have long been fond of saying -- (fill-in-the-blank) “is a social construct.” What is a “social construct” other than an edifice of words? The left believes that words have direct, causal powers of their own. In a sense they are right -- and we agree. Consider the words of the apostle John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The problem for today’s Progressives is that only God is God. Politicians, pundits, and opinion makers are not. Lies are not the Logos. The elastic and malleable narratives of the left are only powerful enough to fool the minds of human beings -- they lack the power to make falsehoods into facts or work miracles on matter. Detroit is still a ghetto transitioning slowly into scrub forest -- no matter what narrative one invents to describe it. Subtitling the Koran “the religion of peace” does nothing to alter the violent conquest ideology outlined on its pages. Gender is not determined by one’s choice of pronouns. Conservatives know these things; postmodern relativists apparently do not. A generation of Americans has lost the capacity to know anything. When truth is invented and reinvented on-the-fly, the very notion of truth is destroyed. Language not only loses what power it does have -- it becomes psychotic gibberish. Perhaps eloquent psychotic gibberish. A predictable discourse of group howls.

Human beings have always been adept inventors of mythology -- at persuading others, then being seduced by our own persuasive powers. Such is the usual grotesque offspring of human pride and human language. It has never been very difficult to persuade people to worship their own desires. There is nothing particularly contemporary about today’s left except the technological means by which it spreads its narcissistic ideology around the globe. Far from progress, the trajectory of progressives toward indolence, malice, violence, and unrestrained sexuality is as old as society. It is just paganism with cell phones added. Under the mantle of “social justice” it champions the overpowering interests of the eternal “me.” In the name of “tolerance” it burns and brutalizes everything that was accomplished by our ancestors -- everything, in short, that made Western civilization a historical success. In the name of “privacy” it butchers even its own children. Should we be surprised, having turned the bulk of Western churches into mere community centers for the morally indifferent, that we have brought Moloch back in practice if not quite yet in name?

Man has never been able to figure out on his own what course is truly good for him. All we are seeing now is his latest and most preposterous attempt.

As the liberal media is pushed onto the defensive, its talking heads get more and more desperate to prop up their illusions. They are like magicians whose tricks are exposed, or ventriloquists who can no longer keep their mouths shut. It is easy to see them merely as cynical liars. They are certainly not interested in objective facts. But is there something deeper going on here? Something worse than garden variety political dishonesty?

Since at least the beginning of the Obama administration, both politicians and what pass for journalists have been using the word “narrative” more commonly -- and with less reservation. “We have to get the narrative right” or “terrorism is a problem of competing narratives.” Similarly, progressives seem to have acquired an unshakeable faith in sending diplomats to simply talk to our enemies -- like Iran or North Korea -- as though they could be persuaded by pure eloquence to give up on their national agendas. Obama himself began his presidency with the odd notion that he could control the world with a series of speeches -- not speeches announcing particular policies, but speeches constructed entirely of grand dreams and virtue-signaling tropes. Not to be ignored is the left’s confidence in flinging the word “racist” like a voodoo curse. To be fair, the tactic of shaming their opponents has worked well for them for decades -- withering weak Republicans in place like Christ’s fig tree. We drown in the perennial mantras of “diversity,” “social justice,” and “white privilege” -- vague ideas that are moldable enough to suit whatever magic incantation the circumstance requires.  All of it nonsense. All of it just so much sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Progressives love their words. Educated elocution is the public emblem of their self-declared superiority. They sneered at Bush with his Texas drawl, and they despise Donald Trump who -- let me tell ya people -- is never going to speak like JFK. But at some point, the left’s longstanding literary fixation became something more than a badge of identity. It quietly crossed over the line from affectation into the territory of full-blown delusion. The progressive mind has come to believe that reality itself is merely the invention of words. Leftist academics have long been fond of saying -- (fill-in-the-blank) “is a social construct.” What is a “social construct” other than an edifice of words? The left believes that words have direct, causal powers of their own. In a sense they are right -- and we agree. Consider the words of the apostle John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The problem for today’s Progressives is that only God is God. Politicians, pundits, and opinion makers are not. Lies are not the Logos. The elastic and malleable narratives of the left are only powerful enough to fool the minds of human beings -- they lack the power to make falsehoods into facts or work miracles on matter. Detroit is still a ghetto transitioning slowly into scrub forest -- no matter what narrative one invents to describe it. Subtitling the Koran “the religion of peace” does nothing to alter the violent conquest ideology outlined on its pages. Gender is not determined by one’s choice of pronouns. Conservatives know these things; postmodern relativists apparently do not. A generation of Americans has lost the capacity to know anything. When truth is invented and reinvented on-the-fly, the very notion of truth is destroyed. Language not only loses what power it does have -- it becomes psychotic gibberish. Perhaps eloquent psychotic gibberish. A predictable discourse of group howls.

Human beings have always been adept inventors of mythology -- at persuading others, then being seduced by our own persuasive powers. Such is the usual grotesque offspring of human pride and human language. It has never been very difficult to persuade people to worship their own desires. There is nothing particularly contemporary about today’s left except the technological means by which it spreads its narcissistic ideology around the globe. Far from progress, the trajectory of progressives toward indolence, malice, violence, and unrestrained sexuality is as old as society. It is just paganism with cell phones added. Under the mantle of “social justice” it champions the overpowering interests of the eternal “me.” In the name of “tolerance” it burns and brutalizes everything that was accomplished by our ancestors -- everything, in short, that made Western civilization a historical success. In the name of “privacy” it butchers even its own children. Should we be surprised, having turned the bulk of Western churches into mere community centers for the morally indifferent, that we have brought Moloch back in practice if not quite yet in name?

Man has never been able to figure out on his own what course is truly good for him. All we are seeing now is his latest and most preposterous attempt.

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