Submitted by AMAC Member Sue Langstaff –
Many conservatives, moderate Republicans and even Democrats are writing ad nauseum about what the GOP must do in order to win presidential elections. I find most of it superficial; actually more harmful than helpful. But then I confess, I am looking through a slightly different prism. To the Ann Coulters, the Bill Kristols, the Charles Krauthammers, the Peggy Noonans, etc, I say STOP. Think about what you are doing. You are swimming with the Piranhas and don’t even realize it. You risk becoming “beltway pundits;” “full of pomp and fury, signifying nothing.” Have you been successfully tempted by the enemy? Has he perhaps appealed to well known weaknesses of human nature….you want to be accepted, wooed, complimented, invited, respected, in a word, popular! Accomplished! But what is bartered away in such a process is the “pearl of great price;” the one true thing, discovered by Dante in his painfully introspective journey. Commentary is only efficacious when its goal is pre-eminently, truth!
Our society has become quite proficient at latching on to one or another superficiality or distraction and wrestling the darn thing to the mat! Did this strategy or that strategy work? What was most effective (in avoiding the truth and winning votes?) There are commentators on every cable network wholeheartedly engaged in this battle as though it meant something important! The tragedy is that these trifles are completely meaningless; they are nothing more than the tactics of evil; successfully keeping us enthralled, at the restless surface, where nothing of import can be discovered, but where our self-congratulatory escapades remain completely harmless to the deeper inexorable movement taking place; the reality that threatens are very existence!
For the most part, the public schools and our universities have completely surrendered to the zeitgeist of “trivial pursuit” at the surface. And, like Hitler’s well trained youth, they have even become the gatekeepers. Woe to the one who steps out of lockstep and asks Ann Coulter, or God forbid, a Clarence Thomas to speak on campus! The “goon” squad will soon beat this “fool” down until the invitation is swiftly retracted and things have once again returned to “normal!” Freedom is no longer the privilege of learning to love the true and beautiful and staking ones existence on it; no, freedom is now synonymous with license. And, license requires no responsibility, only power. And, “power” it shall have! Currently, in our culture, one of two things is happening; either the individual chooses to be liked and accepted and therefore precludes himself the opportunity of challenging the irrationality of narcissistic license; gradually evolving his own thinking into its fantasy ,riding rather gleefully undisturbed along the surface. These keep themselves deceived by busily dotting the (i)s or crossing the (t)s rather than ever risking a look at the earthquake quivering in the depths.
The other group has opted out of thinking at all….they are all in! Now, having become the acolytes of the new “normal “they have successfully stifled all curiosity, questioning or rationality. Usually, they have traded an obsession, an addiction, a “pleasure” for their very soul. However, as Dante frequently alludes to in his epic poem, the irony is, these individuals are no longer free. They have traded their freedom, their individual human dignity for society’s imprimatur! In truth, they have become slaves.
Furthermore, rather than making them cheerful and happy acolytes, they become more and more hostile and hateful toward their perceived enemies, the remnant who oppose them intellectually. These are the “Occupy Wall Street” types, or the frenzied crowd outside the WH on election night, cheering “socialism and Karl Marx. “ Even “mainline Democrats,” with whom I came in contact while working at Douglas County Elections, were afflicted with this hostile, cheerless voice. After their candidate had won re-election, several approached me wanting to engage in conversation. They asked, “Why do you dislike Obama?” I responded that his votes to allow infanticide in the Illinois State Legislature along with rabid endorsement of Planned Parenthood, in spite of proven corruption in their operations, would be the first among many, reasons I voted against him. Rather than answer my response rationally, they suddenly became personally hateful and displayed such anger and hostility that I was shocked! They told me to STOP, to shut up NOW! I guess they had forgotten that it was they who asked the question! I simply asked them to look up Obama’s voting record in the Illinois legislature…facts can be found independent of what they think about me. One would think they had been the losers that night.
I would also include most of the pseudo journalists on MSNBC etc who rail against the” shadows on the cave wall.” Far from being objective or even acknowledging well known facts, regarding Benghazi, for example, they simply charge ahead in what can only be described as emotionally unbalanced hatred and intolerance. They make a mockery of what “journalism” is supposed to be in a free society. They are nothing more than propagandists. Unfortunately, this latter group will only become more hateful; in other places and times they have accelerated a totalitarian government. Once one has come this far, he either throws all his chips in, or he is mercifully shocked out of his downward spiral and literally hits the brick wall of reality….and it is at this time when he is once again offered an existential choice. So, what is deep below the surface? Truth! How do we know it is the “truth?” Absolute truth, what the founders meant when they spoke of human rights and sovereignty springing from the Natural Law; it does exist. Its wisdom is like a key which opens the door to man’s intellect, his will, his heart. Man was created to explore, understand and grow by this very seed implanted in his soul which is the very “image of God.” Man is the pinnacle of God’s creation, he is self-conscious, he is imbued with free will, he is perfectly suited to intellectual discipline and he is a natural contemplative as his spirit is “compassed” to guide him back home to the Triune communion of love which is his home. This is the reason man becomes more and more disintegrated and agitated when he willfully turns away from God and makes himself a god. The “utopia of freedom” supposedly achieved is, in fact, nothing more than a hideous anarchy descending into totalitarianism, power. This death spiral has occurred many times in history, yet man’s lower nature follows Dante down to the inferno time and time again! It fails because it denies the very nature of man! Man needs worship; he needs worship because he was made in the image of his Creator. Man is a creation of body and soul, of physical and spiritual. Let’s consider a train….we all love to watch trains rattle around the track, putting miles and miles of terrain behind them. One could, in looking at that locomotive, say to himself, “that poor train is stuck on that track, it’s the only way it can go any place; if it could think, might it say, just once I would love to jump that track and go off on my own. I don’t need the track….I want to be free. But, if the train could think, it would be missing a very important point. It IS after all, a train! Its very nature requires a track in order to move through reality. It only stops its forward momentum if it somehow jumps the track.
If man is indeed God’s creation, made to find fulfillment within the Triune love of God, than anything short of that will fail to answer man’s existential need.
This is the depth. These are the questions man has been wrestling with from the beginning. And man, through generations upon generations has come up with some answers. We do a grave injustice to the wisdom that has come before us if we simply disregard what has been rationally and spiritually tested for centuries, only to placate our drive for selfish indulgences.
Here is an example of what has come before us, about 2000 years before us:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovable, whatever is admirable…think about these things.” Phil. 4:8
Unfortunately, the search for “truth” is not uppermost in the minds of modern day “talking heads.” “Trivial Pursuit” is the game “du jour!”
Sue Langstaff Parker, Colorado