In Canada, the death of New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton yesterday has permeated the news. He was a strong, far-left, big government socialist. He was the hero of the Canadian youth much like Obama once was. His followers are as vocal and unrelenting as he was. He never wasted an opportunity to extol social justice theories or attack conservatism.
As a rare conservative Canadian youth, I haven't shared the same sentiments as most of my peers.
Layton is predictably being portrayed by the media as "courageous" and "a fighter." This doesn't bother me. I believe that no matter how objectionable a human being may have been in life, they should be given respect in death. Many of my liberal friends are expressing their grief in their Facebook statuses, referring to him as a visionary and a prophet.
Again, I figured that I would give the man and his followers their respect and not engage in any kind of a political row.
Several of them had quoted his final letter that he had written to Canadians on his death bed.
I decided to read Layton's letter.
I was astonished. I could not believe how political it was! He initially addresses other cancer patients with some words of encouragement. These sentiments were positive.
But then it goes downhill. He extols the NDP for being on the side of "social justice, universal health care, public pensions." He goes on to speak of how proud he was of his party's performance in the election (they leapfrogged the Liberal party and came in second to the conservatives). He then congratulates Quebecers for replacing "Canada's Conservative federal government with something better." How much "better" progressive-minded leadership will be. They made "the right decision."
He ends the letter by applauding his party in seeking "a society that shares its benefits more fairly." He ensures readers that, "in the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you."
I was amazed. He used his final opportunity to speak to Canadians as a forum to take pot shots at political opponents and advance partisan policy. It was directed toward all Canadians,
but really those who share one particular vision of governance. You'd think we could put politics aside for one second to address a human issue that goes beyond party lines.
Sadly, I think this goes to show the emptiness of the left. This is what happens when one has nothing higher to define life by than politics. They can afford to be so vociferous and ardent because so many of them have nothing higher than their politics by which to define their lives. For many, there is nothing outside of 'saving the world.' Don't try to tell them the world doesn't need their saving though. Otherwise, what else is there to live for?
I could not imagine even mentioning my political party in a letter I was writing on my deathbed. I could not imagine engaging in policy or partisanship. I would certainly like to think I would address something that connects us as human beings and the virtue of a life well-lived.
But Layton doesn't speak of principle, or of spirit, or religion, or God. He speaks of programs. Where the attainment of socialism is the highest goal of all, above any kind of personal virtue. Promulgation of socialism is life's greatest virtue! Faith goes no higher than the state.
It made me realize that politics is the religion of the left. There is nothing more important. Not principles of righteousness or holiness or anything as outdated as that. Rather NDP policy. And don't believe that it's only a foreign concern. American liberalism is not a lot different. It's saddening. That this earthly socialist utopia is the highest that humanity has to aim for to so many.
Mark Twain said, "I never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."
While I can't say I take pleasure in Mr. Layton's obituary, I'd be lying if I said I was in mourning. Maybe that's wrong. I don't know. I hate to think that I would be like those on the left who have expressed such wishes. But it should be instructive as to the mentality of a prominent politician who spent his life attacking principles of liberty, and attacked conservatism even on his deathbed.
I would hope that politics never so consumes conservatives, Canadian or American, that they are unable to entertain more important considerations, even at the very end.
But for those who wish to maintain their freedoms, just know that in the battle for the culture -- of freedom versus tyranny -- those who oppose you will fight for their socialist heaven on earth, even to their last breath.
It is their religion.