In my many years of blogging I have come to know all types but the 9/11 Democrats have always held a special place. They had the courage and conviction to see that their whole world view was wrong, and they changed it. Many people go their whole lives without reexamining their beliefs but not these people. After 9/11 they saw the hypocrisy and utter foolishness inherent inside the Democrat party.
Sure, some of this may come with age. In youth we have a idealistic view of the world because, well, we really are not that smart. Oh, we have plenty of schooling by the time we hit 20 or 22 but no real life experience.
It’s only as we get that life experience that we come to understand that an ideology which believes there really isn’t no right or wrong, that it’s all relative, is not an ideology that is truly going to protect people’s individuality. Instead they will fight "racism" and other social ills by demanding more government. They want the government to tell you how you will believe, and force you to accept it. Don’t believe in gay marriage well dammit, the government must be forced to demand you believe and accept it. Don’t believe in abortion, well dammit the government will force you accept it.
If a certain radio format is successful at putting out the other sides message well dammit, we will force the government to put our message on also. Doesn’t matter if its successful or not, you must be forced to play it. They are eager to use the coercive power of the state to impose ideological conformity. The leftist ideology has become enemies of freedom and now, after 9/11, some of the left have opened their eyes and see the true nature of their "side".
Where am I going with this? Well, The Guardian reprinted sections of a new book by Andrew Anthony. Someone they describe as a "committed member of the liberal left" until 9/11 occurred. Some great sections were quoted but Normblog reprinted a section they missed that has an important message:
‘I have been reluctant to comment on the recent "events",’ Jameson opened in characteristically lofty fashion, ‘because the event in question, as history, is incomplete and one can even say that it has not yet fully happened.’ Well, I remember thinking, it’s certainly happened for the many thousands who were dead. The ‘event’ was unlikely to get any more complete for them. ‘Obviously,’ he continued, ‘there are immediate comments one can make, in particular on the nauseating media reception, whose cheap pathos seemed unconsciously dictated by a White House intent on smothering the situation in sentiment in order to demonstrate the undemonstrable: namely, that "Americans are united as never before since Pearl Harbor."’
Jameson prides himself on his critique of postmodernism but could there be a more nauseating illustration of the warped priorities of postmodern thinking? All things considered, it wasn’t the mass murder that was cause for distress but instead its media coverage. After the customary impeachment of American foreign policy, Jameson concluded with a breathtaking example of what, to use his own language, might be termed ‘dialectical reversal’.
‘As for the future, no one (presumably including our own Government) has any idea what the promised and threatened "war on terrorism" might look like. But until we know that, we can have no satisfactory picture of the "events" we imagine to have taken place on a single day in September. Despite this uncertainty, however, it is permitted to feel that the future holds nothing good for either side.’
In two metaphysical swoops, Jameson had upended the twin towers of sequential truth: cause and effect. We cannot describe what has taken place, he seemed to say, until we see what the response is to it. Yes, you may think – or ‘imagine’ – your daughter was flown into a skyscraper but that’s just an interpretation of ‘events’ that cannot be verified – or presumably dismissed – until we have seen the reaction it may provoke at some unknown point in the future. We can’t acknowledge a crime, as it were, until its punishment has been delivered. Hold on a moment, I recall thinking as I reread the passage to make sure I hadn’t missed something, what is this self-hatred doing to our powers of reason? Into what moral quicksand had intellectual obfuscation led us? And how sinister was that ‘permitted’?
And a conclusion on his change from The Guardian’s excerpts:
In the end I reached the conclusion that 11 September had already brutally confirmed: there were other forces, far more malign than America, that lay in wait in the world. But having faced up to the basic issue of comparative international threats, could I stop the political reassessment there? If I had been wrong about the relative danger of America, could I be wrong about all the other things I previously held to be true? I tried hard to suppress this thought, to ring-fence the global situation, grant it exceptional status and keep it in a separate part of my mind. I had too much vested in my image of myself as a ‘liberal’. I had bought into the idea, for instance, that all social ills stemmed from inequality and racism. I knew that crime was solely a function of poverty. That to be British was cause for shame, never pride. And to be white was to bear an unshakable burden of guilt. I held the view, or at least was unprepared to challenge it, that it was wrong to single out any culture for censure, except, of course, Western culture, which should be admonished at every opportunity. I was confident, too, that Israel was the source of most of the troubles in the Middle East. These were non-negotiables for any right-thinking decent person. I couldn’t question these received wisdoms without questioning my own identity. And I had grown too comfortable with seeing myself as one of the good guys, the well-meaning people, to want to do anything that upset that image. I viewed myself as understanding, and to maintain that self-perception it was imperative that I didn’t try to understand myself.
In a sense 11 September was the ultimate mugging, a murderous assertion of a new reality, or rather a reality that already existed but which we preferred not to see. Over the years I had absorbed a notion of liberalism that was passive, defeatist, guilt-ridden. Feelings of guilt governed my world view: post-colonial guilt, white guilt, middle-class guilt, British guilt. But if I was guilty, 9/11 shattered my innocence. More than anything it challenged us all to wake up and open our eyes to what was real. It took me far too long to meet that challenge. For while I realised almost straight away that 9/11 would change the world, it would be several years before I accepted that it had also changed me. I had been wrong. This was my story, after all.
I take my hat off to Andrew. Some never get the courage to reexamine their life and do something to change it when they come to understand that all their years of believing in a certain ideology was wrong.
His book, The Fall-out: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence, can be pre-ordered here through Amazon UK.
A great comment left by Scott Malensek:
"liberal" was originally the idea of being open-minded, open-armed, and embracing, equalizing, seeking of justice for all, but it’s gone. It died a long time ago. I dunno when, but somewhere along the line, it died and was replaced with "progressive," and while both liberal and progressive were embraced by the Democratic Party, it’s more accurate to say they embraced the party rather than vice versa. Today, gotcha politics, a vacuum of political alienation, frustration, and the cold realities of the jungle-like planet we share have created a demographic that is all to eager to attack, oppose, and all the while offer no better suggestions. Could anything be less liberal; less open-minded, less academic, less open-armed, less embracing? Instead of a demographic that reaches across party lines to find and instill solutions, we have Kos, Air America, and the moonbattery claiming their position as moderates, liberal-no, sorry, progressives while at the same time being completely based on confrontation and opposition. The deliberate dividing of America by the "progressive" left (formerly known as liberals) is disgusting, and a time of political reckoning is approaching. It grows closer and closer each day. Already I can hear see the Groundhog coming out of his hole on 2/2/08, hearing the ruckus, and declaring that there will be but 3 more days of winter.