Facts now pale in comparison with the higher truths of progressivism.
Do bothersome facts matter anymore?
Not really. This is an age when Americans were assured that the Affordable Care Act lowered our premiums. It cut deductibles. Obamacare allowed us to keep our doctors and health plans, and lowered the deficit. Those fantasies were both demonstrably untrue and did not matter, given the supposedly noble aims of health care reform.
The Islamic State is at times dubbed jayvee, a manageable problem, and a dangerous enemy — or anything the administration wishes it to be, depending on the political climate of any given week.
Some days Americans are told there is no reason to restrict connecting flights from Ebola-ravaged countries. Then, suddenly, entry from those countries is curtailed to five designated U.S. airports. Quarantines are both necessary and not so critical, as the administration weighs public concern versus politically correct worries over isolating a Third World African country.
Ebola is so hard to catch that there is no reason to worry about causal exposures to those without clear symptoms. But then why do health authorities still try to hunt down anyone who had even a brief encounter with supposedly asymptomatic carriers?
The deaths of four Americans in Benghazi were caused by a video that sparked a riot, and then apparently not. Various narratives about corruption and incompetence at the VA, IRS, NSA, GSA and Secret Service are raised and then dropped. The larger truth is that these scandals must be quarantined from infecting the president’s progressive agenda.
Laws used to be real, not abstract. Again, not anymore. The administration sort of enacts some elements of Obamacare but ignores others. Enforcement of federal immigration law is negotiable, likewise depending on the campaign cycle.
The Tawana Brawley case, the Duke men’s lacrosse team accusations, and the O. J. Simpson verdict were constructed fantasies. No one cared much about the inconvenient facts or the lies that destroyed people’s lives — given that myths were deemed useful facts for achieving larger racial justice.
It no longer really matters much what the grand jury will find in the Michael Brown fatal-shooting case. Whether he had just robbed a store, was high on drugs, was walking down the middle of the road and prompted a violent confrontation with a police officer, or whether the officer was the aggressor in the confrontation, these have become mere competing narratives. The facts pale in comparison with the higher truth that Brown was black and unarmed, while Officer Darren Wilson white and armed. The latter scenario is all that matters.
Language is useful for inventing new realities. “Illegal alien” is a time-tested noun denoting foreign citizens who crossed a national border contrary to law. “Undocumented immigrant” is now used to diminish the bothersome fact that millions have broken and continue to break the law.
To play down the dangers of radical Islam, an entire array of circumlocutions — “workplace violence” (in the case of the Fort Hood shooting) “overseas contingency operations” and “man-caused disasters” — were the euphemisms evoked by members of the Obama administration to construct an alternate reality in which radical jihadists are no more dangerous than disgruntled office workers or gale-force winds.
Many of the current campus poster icons are abject myths. Che Guevara, for all his hipster appearance, was no revolutionary hero, but a murderer who enjoyed personally executing his political opponents. Communist leader Angela Davis was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the totalitarian Soviet Union.
Plagiarism and making stuff up are no longer considered serious offenses against the truth. Lots of notable columnists or historians have had to confess to lifting the work of others and passing it off as their own — Maureen Dowd, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Fareed Zakaria, and the late Stephen Ambrose, to name a few. Most faced slaps on the wrist.
Even Vice President Joe Biden once had to drop a presidential bid due to accusations that he had plagiarized in law school and later had copied a speech from a British Labor politician. Barack Obama has had to acknowledge that in his autobiographical memoir, he used “composite characters” in some cases rather than actual people from his life. Sympathetic biographer David Remnick characterized Obama’s life story as “a mixture of verifiable fact, recollection, re-creation, invention, and artful shaping.”
Such disregard for truth and facts is no accident, but the fruit of postmodernism. So-called “after modern” thought was a trendy late-20th-century way to reduce facts to stories.
Progressives believed that because traditional protocols, language, and standards were usually created by stuffy old establishment types, the rules no longer necessarily should apply. Instead, particular narratives and euphemisms that promoted perceived social justice became truthful. Bothersome facts were discarded.
So far, political mythmaking has become confined to popular culture and politics, and has not affected the ironclad facts and non-negotiable rules of jetliner maintenance, heart surgery, or nuclear-plant operation. Yet the Ebola scare has taught us that even the erroneous news releases and fluid policies of the CDC can be as likely based on politics as hard science.
If that is a vision of more relativist things to come, then we are doomed.
© 2014 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
12 thoughts on “Our Make-It-Up World”
So in other words, Obama is incompetent and liberals generally manage affairs and propagandize with smoke and mirrors?
If you are only able to utilize 14 words, then yes, you summed it up quite well.
OK, we’re doomed. Now what?
A terminal diagnosis can be very liberating. “Let’s roll.”
I like to think that there are still people in this country who are not totally stupid and that we might be able to change things starting next week.
Has the administration achieved any of the following?
(BHO and HRC might pursue these “Rules for Radicals” ,but this is rejected by Snopes as being false)
1) Healthcare — Control healthcare and you control the people
2) Poverty — Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt — Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control — Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare — Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).
6) Education — Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion — Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.
8) Class Warfare — Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
I believe they espouse at least seven out of the eight rules.
Please tell me where I am wrong.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/alinsky.asp#lIeLXBm7Cs7cQeyf.99
it appears Maryland is leading the way forward unveiling voter fraud. four voters are suing the state to force it to review voter rolls and force it to remove i llegal aliens. it seems 400 illegals were called up for jury duty but declined and admitted they were not u.s. citizens. all 4 hundred are registered voters. one hundred of these illegals voted in the last election. this is only one county. it is one of the planks of the communist party to make fun of the truth. the democrats aka. socialists, progs., Marxists etc. have consistently denied any such shenanigans happening. now we know why Clinton started motor voter and some states will register to vote, anyone with a drivers license. voila— voter fraud on a massive scale. same with same day registration. if this massive fraud continues–we have lost our republic and our constitution. voter i.d. must become the law of the land. now we know why Romney lost.
WOW that is very troubling…..Thanks for shinning the light on the issue – voter fraud is the big issue….watch what happens next Tuesday
Never really considered that all these things; like motor voter, same day registration, hacked voting machines, zero votes for Romney in some counties, truly have added up to a very, very serious problem which has compromised the integrity of our representative democracy. We can speculate about Nixon losing to Kennedy because of fraud, but now I believe the democrats have institutionalized voter fraud through these programs.
True distinction here is that progressives don’t believe in evil…a huge blind spot and misallocation energies is the result
Time to remind the choir to get them to sing that evil exists and not everything can be “fixed”… What is frightening is that those who lead us know nothing of evil…leaving us utterly exposed and impotent with the mightiest military the world has ever seen dangling in their hands like a limp noodle….This is the greatest country on earth…and it’s energies and compassionate people left under-utilized, and worse…..undefended.
We have been embarrassed on the world stage and the reputation born out of the blood & sacrifice & moral knowledge of generations past is being disrespected with no gratitude or thankfulness. The Boomer generation has really let my generation down…so our job now is to clean up the mess and we will….SO SING!
” He thinks he’s on Oprah”, Great read posted by the xx committee— ” Poland prepares for russian invasion”
Out today, must read from zero hedge—” globalization turning on itself”. History has a way of repeating itself… Worries in the the pentagon about China…..
I like VDH’s habitual crispness, conciseness, and clarity. I appreciate that the way he states his observations invites debate not just about the raw data, but also about the philosophical bases for interpreting and understanding that data. This shows up in the final paragraphs.
There are some who would agree with his observations as well as his conclusions. There are those who would disagree with him entirely. The people most interesting to me are those who might concede that VDH accurately describes data points of the current scene but unlike him, see progressive aims justified by post modern means as a good, righteous and bold march into a promising future. They would seem to believe our philosophy textbooks should be written by practitioners of realpolitik or political ideologues of a particular persuasion rather than have our politics (and the rest of life) scrutinized in the grid a coherent, tested and less agenda driven political philosophy…that is, if they believe that writing such things down isn’t too permanent, constrictive, inconvenient, counterproductive and, dare we say, counterrevolutionary.