Vail Valley Voices: Beneath the surface of leftist thinking
Vail, CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: This is part 2 of a three-part series of weekly commentaries by llocal pastor Bob Branden.
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” commanded the man upon exposure, using the voice and image of the great and terrible Oz.
What if Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Lion had obeyed? The ruse would have continued to the slow, inevitable destruction of all.
Fortunately, spurred on by the incessant barking of lowly animal, the plot was uncovered and the evil witch finally met her doom. So then, ignore this look beneath the surface to your own peril. But be forewarned: Looking beneath we may find a mirror that reveals our own soul.
Patterns and cycles are common experiences to all. Spring, summer, fall, and … of course, you know the answer.
Patterns and cycles are just as common in antisocial behavior. Ancient cultures knew this. That’s why one particular poem describing alcoholism has the first line beginning with the first letter of the alphabet and then ends with the last line also beginning with the first letter of the alphabet, revealing that this person is struggling with a cycle.
The following is a cycle of leftist political behavior. In a sense it is a caricature. While it fits perfectly for the likes of Stalin, Lenin, Castro, Khomeini and Ahmadinejad, it wouldn’t fit perfectly for the far left in this country. However, the danger is the fact that it might then become less frightening and even appear laughable.
A simple reminder: The characters already mentioned in this paragraph are not fictional, they are all too real, as is Saul Alinsky and the person he gave a shout-out to in order to introduce his book.
The leftist cycle begins with a combination of alienation-self loathing-anger-guilt. Powerful forces, indeed. This leads to a strong desire to connect with and submit to a dominant power. This leads to destruction of the ruling power and the necessary shedding of blood. All resistance fuels increased anger, which in turn increases the alienation, and the cycle goes on.
There are some essential healthy fundamentals lacking in this cycle. First, there is a basic denial of the fallen nature of man. The problem couldn’t be within me, reasons the person on the far left. It must be with society.
This leads to the false utopian idea that if we could just create the right society, everyone would be perfectly healthy and sound. If we could just be big enough to apologize, enemies would stop hating us and we could unite with them; I’m paraphrasing Saul Alinsky, the teacher.
What did President Obama, the student, do quickly when he got in office?
The second healthy fundamental lacking in the cycle is meaningful positive identification, which severely limits the formation of other positive relationships. So, do your homework. Check out President Obama’s family background.
Is there large potential for building unhealthy attachments and relationships? Who became his teachers? How does he connect so easily with American youth? Could it be that they too are disenfranchised from family and meaningful relationships?
The third fundamental that is lacking in the cycle is internal values. The good of society, the ultimate savior, trumps any less than wholesome action that must be taken to ensure it’s good.
The end justifies the means, trumpets Alinsky loud and clear.
There are some concerning observations about the application of the leftist cycle to American politics.
First, it is an attempt to find a political solution to a spiritual problem. Politics exist to curb, not cure, sinful human nature. There is no utopian state that will cure everyone’s deepest longings. There is no state that will wipe out poverty. Those on the left who pursue their politics like a religion will be perpetually disappointed.
Second, the leftist cycle generates a movement, not a search for the truth. This is why discussions with the far left inevitably result in frustration. Those in the movement want identity, and they get it from the cause. The truth would only retard and then shatter their perceived progress. The truth is, for instance, that Cuba is a hell, not a heaven, despite what Spielberg, Mailer and Stone believe.
Third, the ultimate result of the leftist cycle is destruction and the mass shedding of blood. “Everything that exists deserves to perish.” Let the reader discover the source of that quote.
The constant chant of the campaign, “Change,” took on whatever particular itch the chanter wanted to scratch. It was an echo of the modern originator of the slogan, Alinsky the teacher. To him it meant class warfare, a reversal of the “haves” and “have nots.”
What do you think it means to President Obama, the student? The same.
Knowing human nature and the course of history, will that ultimately be achieved without bloodshed? “The train, it won’t stop going, no it can’t slow down,” sang Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson.
This is why the right fears President Obama. There is a better way.
Bob Branden is the pastor of the Sanctuary, a church centered on discipleship in Gypsum.