Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. (James Madison, 1822)
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,… (Proverbs 29:18)
Anyone who shares his thinking should expect people to disagree with it. My experience with this blog definitely verifies that expectation. My readership here mainly (though not exclusively) consists of people who think of themselves as conservatives. However, they’re understanding of the term isn’t always congruent with mine. From the first, reader response to my articles reflected this. People have not hesitated to reject what I have to say.
That’s as it should be. I’ve been impressed, though, that by and large my readers couched their disagreement in reasonable terms, relying on facts and reasoning, or a different view of the principles, precepts and priorities than mine.
To be sure, there was the occasional fitful outburst: the dismissive epithet; the off-color exclamation; the attempt to discourage or intimidate with ad hominem put-downs, name-calling and the like. More often than not, however, the little substance one could glimpse in such dross clearly marked the purveyor as a leftist, one of the executioners of history who wander to and fro in the blogosphere looking for opportunities to inflict its judgments. People like this prefer pungent, four-letter words precisely calculated to drive people with a sense of decency from the field.
In recent months, though, I’ve been hearing from people who insist that they are conservatives, Republicans, even once-upon-a-time political supporters. Yet their comments and emails have all the hallmarks my experience leads me to associate with the Alinsky-leftist outriders of “history.” They are full of reeking epithets and ad-hominem verbal punches. (Given the socialist cast of Romney’s career, I suspect that these people reflect his growing impact on the GOP’s political culture.)
Such reasoning as they contain is of the circle-the-wagons variety, except they don’t bother to target any of the arguments I offer against the position their circular reasoning defends: ’Because of the socialist plans Obama is trying to implement, we must vote him out; despite the socialist plans Romney has implemented, we must vote him in.’ Apparently they have adopted a dyslexic political version of the familiar mantra some claim to be a Biblical directive: Hate the socialist but love the socialism. My sin is that I will not accept this self-devouring illogic. I believe that many of the people who are accepting it do so because they are overwhelmed with fear, which leads them to run in panic toward the very thing they claim to hate. They are like drowning swimmers lashing out against the lifeline of common sense that still might rescue them.
I have heard that rescue workers are taught how to deal with this panic so as to avoid their own destruction. I wish I had the benefit of some such instruction as I deal with its political form. Except I share the thinking that allows me to see the danger, what lifeline can I offer to those I see drowning in ignorance, lies and delusion? But because I will not stop doing so, I am losing home and livelihood and all, under the assault calculated to cut-off what had been my lifeline of support from like-minded companions of God and liberty.
Faced with this dilemma, I thank God that I never fell prey to the inhuman hubris of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth…” (Job 19:25) Then, as Ezekiel warns, those who feed off the fruit of the poisoned trees of God opposing largess will find that “they cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity.” ( Ezekiel 7:19)
Meanwhile I will persevere in the hope that, with a dose of the right knowledge, the American people will return to self-government; and to the God acknowledging moral principles on which it depends.