Love, loathing, and loyalty
0 comment Wednesday, May 7, 2014 |
I have had this post simmering for a day now, and I have been dragging my heels about writing it, but I suppose it will keep nagging at my mind until I write it.
We have likely all heard the often-repeated saying ''A society (or civilization) can be judged by how it treats the least (or weakest) of its members.'' Who said that? It is credited to several people, including Mohandas Gandhi, (the MLK of India and the hero of lefty new agers everywhere). A close approximation of that sentence was also spoken by Hubert Humphrey, a Democrat politician and presidential candidate who was defeated by Richard Nixon in 1968.
Pearl S. Buck, a popular writer and leftist activist of the mid-20th century said something similar:
"Yet somehow our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members."
This piece by Tim Heydon, about the National Health Service report on elderly care in the UK hospital system, posted at Sarah, Maid of Albion provoked a kind of strong reaction in me. I reacted, understandably, to the disturbing content of the article -- and to the comments attached thereto at Sarah's blog.
And it was more than that. It was the cumulative effect of a number of callous comments, or downright hateful comments posted by 'conservatives' of various stripes, everywhere from Free Republic to the comments section on this blog, over the last few months.
We've been hearing a lot about the proposed government-run health care system that looms in our future, and its proposals to curtail health care for those over 60 and those with chronic conditions. The gist of it all is that such people are being increasingly talked of as being a drain on the economy and a waste of space and resources. And in a way, this is all the culmination of many decades of propaganda which exalts youth, beauty, and perfect health, as being the epitome of human worth. The counterculture of the 60s, with its adolescent narcissism and its unhealthy obsession with 'health' has taken its toll. It's been a long time since America respected its elder citizens.
No doubt there have always been people who did not respect their elders, even their own parents, but they have not been brazen or bold enough to display their callousness and resentment openly, as we see now. And this is even among 'conservatives', many of whom name the name of Christ, and profess to believe the Bible.
I blame the decades of leftist propaganda. Leftists are odd in that they claim to care for society's ''weakest members'' and the helpless and the poor, but when you look at what they actually do, they clearly don't care. They have had their consciences seared 'as with a hot iron.' They claim to care about children, but support abortion.
But they don't even pretend to care about the old and the infirm, unless said old and infirm are of a victim group of some sort. They obviously, emphatically, don't care about their own blood kin and countrymen.
And I am going to make the same charge against many of the callous fiscal conservatives who would pull the plug on granny, their own and everyone else's, if it meant lower taxes for them, or less of a burden on them financially. And if their granny is sitting on a sizable fortune, so much the better if she pops her clogs sooner rather than later.
When I had deserted the liberal camp, I still, for a long time, could not bring myself to identify as a 'conservative' because to me, conservatives were all too often grasping and mean (in both senses of the word), eager to judge others who they deemed 'deadbeats'. I wrote about this a few weeks ago in the context of the debate over extending unemployment benefits. There is incredible hardness of heart among many Republicans and among many libertarians who spent their adolescence reading Ayn Rand. They truly do believe selfishness is the ultimate virtue. They truly despise the man who is experiencing hard times.
That's to be expected if one is a nonbeliever, but it is just not possible to hold those attitudes if one is a Christian.
I truly think we are being sifted now, and that we will see who is a real Christian, and who has a heart for his neighbor or his brother, and who is living only for Self and money.
And even if this does not matter to you on moral grounds, think of it this way: do we really love our people, or are we really even loyal to our folk if we despise some large segment of them?
For some people, their despised group is Christians. Well, that category includes most of our ancestors up until recently, so if you loathe Christians, you loathe your own forefathers, your blood and kin, as well as your European and American heritage, which was bound up, like it or not, with Christianity. Our ancestors lived and died for it. Go ahead and despise them and all they believed in, but forfeit your right to claim you care about your people or heritage.
And can anyone say he cares about ''the existence of our people'' if he hates his elders, or the elders of our people in general? I say categorically: no. It is not possible to have contempt and a cold heart towards your elders and still claim you care about our people, your people, or your nation.
So I say, if you name the name of Christ, you cannot hate your own people, especially your elders who raised you and taught you and nurtured you when you were weak and helpless and dependent.
Despise the weak, if it makes you feel tough, but remember you too will likely be weak one day, or ill one day, and possibly broke one day. How much comfort will Ayn Rand be then?
And if you claim to be an ethnopatriot yet loathe large segments of your people, then your claim is dubious.
I am reminded of an old 'Peanuts' cartoon, in which 'crabby' Lucy Van Pelt says ''I love mankind; it's people I can't stand.''
Do you hate the old, or Christians or the Europeans or the Anglo-Saxons/WASPs, White women -- and still claim you love your race? You can't love an abstract notion of your people, or your idealized version of your people. You have to love the flesh-and-blood, imperfect people that you see around you.
It seems that for some people, loving their folk means that they love those people who are exact mirror images of themselves: people with the same ideology or belief system, people of similar ethnic identification, people who speak the same shibboleths. What kind of love is it that loves only that which mirrors onself very closely? Loving those like ourselves is a necessary balance to the insane xenophilia that is force-fed to us day in and day out, but it can be carried too far. If we love only that very small coterie that is on the same page with us ideologically, or generationally, then our love is too narrow to enable us to prevail in this crisis.
Like many of us, I have family members whose political views are absolute anathema to me, yet I can still love them as my flesh and blood. After all they might come around and see common sense one day. That is where 'charity' comes in; I may not like my lost relatives very much but I can be patient with them and loyal to them when the chips are down. That is all that is required for the disparate elements among our people to work together. Your family, warts and all, will always be your family.
We don't all have to love each other in the warm and fuzzy sense. We should be loyal to one another if we intend to continue as a people.
We cannot afford the division and constant infighting.
Our enemies are trying to ensure that we all turn on each other and become hopelessly divided. Divide and rule.
In fact, I am going to have to convince myself, for the sake of keeping up my morale, that all the cold-hearted ones out there, the misanthropes and the nihilists are really just provocateurs or operatives pretending to be on our side, in order to sow division. If I believed there really were so many hard, bitter hearts on our side, people who would turn their backs on their elders, I would not be able to continue this effort any longer. What would it all be for? Why save a people that is no longer a cohesive and loyal group in any case? Why save a people that won't save their own? Why save a people that have so little love for their own kin?
Some people on our side, when accused of being 'haters', have offered the rote response that we don't hate anybody; we are acting out of love for our own people. Well, where is the evidence of that love? It is increasingly hard to find out there.
Maybe the charge of 'hatred' fits -- but only in the sense that many of us hate our own, far more than we hate the sainted Others. And that is sad.
The most tragic thing about a protracted struggle like ours, and the long-term onslaught of propaganda, is that we have started to believe the rhetoric of the Left, and have become a kind of reflection of the Left. We merely react to their manipulations, and have lost track of what we once were, and become something our ancestors would not even recognize.
As for me and this blog, I had hoped that I would be able to post more positive things about our heritage and our people, to call us back to an awareness of what we might be at our best.
Can it be done? Can we change things? Awash as we are in this sea of ugliness and lies, it becomes harder and harder to see the other shore.
We have to believe it's possible, as an act of sheer will.

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