Redefining Virtue in the Bizarro World Order
In 1958, writer Alvin Schwartz introduced a character named “Bizarro” to jazz up the Superman comic franchise. “I was striving, you might say,” Schwartz noted, “for that mirror-image, that opposite. And out of a machine which would reveal the negative Superman, came the mirror image.”
By his very nature, Bizarro did everything the exact opposite of the way a rational person would. On at least one occasion he explained why, “Me unhappy! Me don't belong in world of living people! Me don't know difference between right and wrong -- good and evil!” If there is a difference between Bizarro and the preening progressives of the Obama era, it is largely in self-awareness -- advantage Bizarro.
The world has been spinning in Bizarro’s direction from about the time he was introduced. Since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, that spin has been dizzying. Resident "Duck Dynasty" philosopher Phil Robertson got it right when he described the progressive worldview as “constantly changing and evolving” and eventually “morphing into a dark maze of nonsense.” If old school “liberals” can content themselves with honoring a fixed set of principles, progressives, like sharks, have to move forward. At the risk of tautology, progressives “progress.” Alas, too many of us are redefining our basic values to keep pace.
The new president started redefining “justice” right out of the chute. On Election Day 2008, two New Black Panthers in paramilitary gear intimidated would-be voters at a Philadelphia polling place. One carried a nightstick. Both were abusive. "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker!" one of them yelled at a white voter.
Before Obama was sworn in, the Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party for violating the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The attorneys had never seen a clearer violation. Shortly after Eric Holder was confirmed as Attorney General, however, the DOJ dropped the suit and let the Panthers walk away unchastened. Said Christopher Coates, the DOJ attorney who filed the case, "I had people who told me point-blank that [they] didn't come to the voting rights section to sue African American people."
This same New Black Panther Party openly offered a $10,000 bounty for the capture of this “child killer” George Zimmerman and passed out “Wanted Dead or Alive” posters. The DOJ spent three years investigating a possible civil rights violation. In their eagerness to redefine “civil rights,” the attorneys pursued not the Panthers, but Zimmerman. To make their case, the DOJ and its media allies redefined this dark-skinned Latino as a white man or “white Hispanic” and transformed his tall, vicious assailant into a small, innocent victim, a “little boy” with Skittles and iced tea. As Zimmerman learned the hard way, people who looked like Obama got a different brand of justice from those who did not.
Anti-bullying guru Dan Savage redefined bullying much in the way Holder redefined justice. He turned it on its head. At the 2012 National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle, Savage viciously bullied an audience of well-mannered teens with a rant so crazily hateful it would make a Jeremiah Wright homily sound like the Sermon on the Mount.
“We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people,” Savage instructed the captive teens. He mockingly compared the Bible’s sanctions on homosexuality to those on masturbation, menstruation, and eating shellfish. When several of the students bravely walked out in protest, Savage showed them how an anti-bullying Bizarro might have reacted. "It's funny, as someone who's on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible,” he said with undisguised contempt, “how pansy-assed some people react when you push back.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Obama both recorded videos endorsing Savage and his anti-bullying organization. Savage’s bully-boy performance should have troubled Obama who was still on record as professing that marriage was “a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
Troubled he was not. Obama was about to squeeze God out of the mix and to redefine Christianity in time for the 2012 election. He had to give his airhead supporters -- living testament to what Jonathan Gruber called “the stupidity of the American voter”--something new to get excited about.
And excited they were, particularly after the Supreme Court giddily redefined marriage. To show he shared that excitement Obama bathed the White House in rainbow colored lights just hours after the decision. A month later, it took that same president five days and a ton of grief to lower the White House flags to half-mast in honor of the Marines killed in Chattanooga. This time, Even the media were not willing to redefine Islamic terrorism as “workplace violence.”
“War is peace,” wrote George Orwell in 1984. “Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” An Obama-era version might have added, “Intolerance is tolerance.” If there is any unifying theme among the various subcults of the progressive cabal it is the enthusiasm for accusing others of “hatred” and purging the symbols thereof.
As I speak, protestors are digging up the bodies of Confederate soldiers. Democratic clubs are scrubbing the names of Jefferson and Jackson off their annual celebrations. Media pundits are shaming Donald Trump for telling the truth about the Mexican border, and the righteous everywhere are huffily unfriending relatives on Facebook for calling Bruce Jenner “Bruce.”
To be sure, Bizarro World is a special place. It is the only place I know where the inhabitants consider it more sinful to honor tradition and respect history than to dismember a baby and sell her body parts. “Me unhappy!” our progressive friends are telling us. “Me don't belong in world of living people! Me don't know difference between right and wrong -- good and evil!”
Don’t abandon them. Give them the good word. “I judge no person and condemn no one,” said Phil Robertson. “I only want America’s culture to change for the better.” That change will come when many others do what Robertson did -- tell the truth, tell it loudly, and refuse to submit.
Jack Cashill’s new book, Scarlet Letters: The Ever-Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism, is now available through Amazon.com and will be in bookstores next week.