In the country of the blind...
0 comment Tuesday, June 24, 2014 |
I recently read this excerpt from a Kenneth Minogue book, The Servile Mind. I have yet to get hold of the book, but I hope to read it soon. Meantime Minogue's words seem to apply very much to our society, and to the West overall. I hope to comment on the excerpt later.
What is on my mind now, in connection with what Minogue wrote, is this upcoming, much-hyped and much-vilified 'rally' in Washington, D.C., featuring Glenn Beck and his PC "revival" show, or whatever it is. Somebody (and I would like to credit that person, but I can't recall where I read it) described Beck as a weeping TV evangelist of the political right, or words along those lines. I think he is just as much a huckster as the show-biz 'ministers', playing on people's emotions and on their gullibility.
Beck seems to be shilling for a new religion, sort of a Politically Correct cult where MLK and the Founding Fathers are co-venerated.
I was checking the posts on Free Republic as I often do, to 'take the temperature' of the Republican faithful, and they are eager for this rally to take place. When I read that forum these days, I truly do wonder about the future of this country because I keep hoping for any sign that the mainstream ''right'' will wake up, and sometimes it seems as if they are doing that. Some of the politically incorrect comments there make me think that the critically ill patient is showing signs of recovery, but then they lapse back into the febrile babblings, the obsession with 'racism' on the left, and with sniffing out racism among their fellow FReepers.
I've thought a lot about what is wrong with our people, and that's really the theme of this blog, since 2006 when I first began. I've spent a lot of time discussing the symptoms and their possible etiology, and I've looked for that magic bullet, a remedy for this sickness-unto-death that seems to be gripping the entire West. I keep taking the patient's vital signs, and sometimes he rallies a bit, but goes on languishing.
I've written about Beck and his counterparts on the Republican side: media personalities like Rush, Hannity, Mark Levin, et al. Politicians are part of the problem, too, but I think the root problem of all this may be something that is more and more common in the character of Americans and other Westerners: the tendency to be followers. That is at the heart of Minogue's piece, which I hope to blog about later in more detail. But the thing is, Americans in particular have become too besotted of individual personalities, whether it be Beck, Rush, Sarah Palin, or their favorite politico. Some people from Arkansas are fiercely defensive of their guy, Mike Huckabee. Some fawn over Bobby Jindal because they see in him some kind of hope. Herman Cain is a recent darling with the FReeper crowd. Lately there has been a furor over Ann Coulter's remarks about conservatives who oppose homosexual 'marriage', with many of Ann's devotees fiercely defending her.
If someone criticizes one of these 'personalities', his or her followers will react as if their own mother or beloved spouse were being attacked, or perhaps, more aptly, as if their faith and their God were being blasphemed. If only we could defend our kin and our people as aggressively as some defend their favorite personality.
I don't know if there are more of these blind loyalist individuals around these days; I have generally thought that our society has declined in the character of the people since our colonial and founding generations. I still think that to some degree, but perhaps there have always been these people who are 'respecters of persons', in the Biblical sense, people who will fix their loyalty and devotions on some individual with charisma or with glib answers and a good spiel. Beck seems to be the most successful of these types at the moment.
I don't know what will happen at this rally tomorrow, which has been so much 'cussed and discussed'. I do hope that he will not continue to lead 'conservatives' down the rabbit hole of political correctness as he seems to be doing.
Americans talk a great game about individualism and independence, but I am afraid I see far too many people willing to be led up the garden path by some snake-oil salesman. I don't know where all our discernment has gone, or if there is any regaining it.
Perhaps it is natural for people to follow leaders, but woe be to us, as we have no leaders of character and courage to stand up today, it seems.
As the old saying goes, in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. How else can we explain the grasping at straws that causes people to follow these media shills and charlatans?

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