Friday, December 15, 2006

Carter-ing Swine Before Pearl

For years now, I have been saying that one of the major causes of our culture’s downfall is the lack of logic and reasoning skills instilled in our younger generations. But a hours-old story about ex-president and current National embarrassment Jimmy Carter is forcing me to review at least part of my theory.

Here’s the pith of the story, according to Al-AP. Emphasis is mine.

BOSTON (AP) — Former President Carter has decided not to visit Brandeis University to talk about his new book "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid" because he does not want to debate Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz as the university had requested.

"I don't want to have a conversation even indirectly with Dershowitz," Carter told The Boston Globe. "There is no need ... for me to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine."

The debate request is proof that many in the United States are unwilling to hear an alternative view on the nation's most taboo foreign policy issue, Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory, Carter said.

Carter, who brokered the 1978 Camp David peace accord between Israel and Egypt and who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, has said the goal of his book is to provoke dialogue and action.

"There is no debate in America about anything that would be critical of Israel," he said.

But it's Carter who is unwilling to debate his own best-selling book, controversial because the title's inclusion of the word "apartheid" appears to equate the treatment of Palestinians with the state-sanctioned racial segregation that once divided South Africa.

In this case, the contradiction is so macroscopic that even the gallinaceously-brained staff writers for Al-AP couldn’t afford going on the record without noticing it. Good job, Al-AP, for once: see, it wasn’t too hard, even if you had to soften it with your own editorial qualification.

Of course, I don’t need to point out exactly where the contradictions are—and I’m avoiding the term “hypocrisy” on purpose (read on). So, it appears, it is not only the young generations that are affected by a lack of reasoning and logical skills that I find (frankly) borderline-offensive. But this incident also corroborates another theory I’ve been chewing on for a while.

What this incident shows is also this: it is not that the Liberal elites are afraid or unwilling to debate their ideas; rather, it is that they see themselves immune from the obligation to do so. In their mind, they are an absolute oligarchy with a natural right to govern by virtue of their self-bestowed nobility of character. Therefore, by definition, they do not need to persuade about their ideas—they merely need to rule by them. Louis XIV did not need to debate farmers and merchant when he imposed a new tax; Torquemada did not need to debate the Lutherans when he further tightened the squeeze on his definition of “orthodox.” That would have been demeaning to their absolute right to exercise power absolutely.

Likewise, I’m sure in Carter’s mind, it would have been demeaning for that Nobel Price winner to have to throw the pearls of his wisdom before a common Swine like Derschowitz. Therefore, he can state with perfect honesty and composure that turning down a debate is compatible with the goal of his book, which was provoke dialogue. Which brings us to the Left’s definition of dialogue, which is “I tell you what to think, you actively think it,” but that’s for another post.

So, next time you wonder why Hillary, Obama, Kennedy, or any other major or minor deity on that Mount Olympus Of The Poor that is the American Left gets out of explaining or debating their ideas, know that it may not be for fear. It may be for sheer disdain for their intellectual subjects—a category that comprises the President, the Pope, Joe the Truck-drivin’ Deerhunter and everybody in between.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Contrapunctus XIV

Contrapunctus XIV is J. S. Bach’s greatest unfinished masterpiece. The composer’s death in 1750 literally cut this sublime composition in mid-sentence, in a way that is both eerie and awe-inspiring. I have decided to name this commentary page after this composition, for it bears many analogies to today’s America and, in a wider sense, Western culture.

Contrapunctus XIV is the climax-piece of The Art of Fugue, a work in which Bach brought the fugue—Western music’s most perfect expression—to its highest level. Similarly, America is the climax-piece of Western civilization—the world’s most advanced, accomplished and generous culture since the days of Ancient Greece.

Several composers and scholars have attempted to finish Contrapunctus XIV, using as a guide the fugue’s magical self-developing DNA as well as a deep analysis of Bach’s original style. Some attempts produced wonderful music; other attempts failed. In both cases, the deciding factor was how close the scholar remained to the original intent of the great man who envisioned the piece in 1750.

Like Contrapunctus XIV, America is an unfinished masterpiece. Our forefathers left us a Nation more perfect than any other through generations of brilliant philosophical thought mixed with the leadership and sacrifices in many hard-won wars. But we are now nearing the fateful last bar: it is time for us to decide whether we want to prolong this masterpiece so that the next generations can enjoy its harmony--or to let its voice fall silent forever.

This is the time to decide what kind of composers we want to be. We too have at our disposal America’s magical DNA in the form of our Constitution; and we can consult a powerful archive of the Founders’ brilliant original intentions. But many among us—including our leaders—choose to ignore, bastardize or downright vilify these tools; worse yet, a growing number of cultures incompatible with ours are laying claim to their right to alter our Country so as to reap its last fruits before letting it wither to the status of another has-been.

A new orthodoxy is ossifying around these anti-American, anti-Western sentiments, and many of us have been intimidated into silence. This new orthodoxy has promoted the valueless concept of “diversity” to the rank of an idol to be absolutely worshipped; and on whose altar manliness, honor, national pride, Christian tradition and moral clarity are but smoldering sacrifices. Our leadership has far abandoned these old, noble concepts, often being the ones who lit the sacrificial flame; and we, the Citizens, are now alone with the responsibility of our Country.

The pen is in our hand. How do we choose to continue the masterpiece America? What will the bars we write sound like to our children’s and grandchildren’s generation? Will they sound like the nihilistic blather of Madonna’s and Britney Spears’ modern pop? Like the incoherent tribal rants of Eminem and Snoop Doggy? Like the passive, plaintive and self-indulgent sobs of Whitney Houston and Tracey Chapman? Like the chilling adhan of an Islamic Muezzin, as our heads are forced to bow or to fall, followed by deathly silence?

Again, the pen is now in our hands, and this is up to us. We have the information, we have the means to communicate, we have the dedication and we have the invisible hand of our Forefathers on our shoulders, as it encouragingly prods us along the right path. Let’s write another great page of music together, so as to make our next generations proud of how we preserved America—and Western civilization--intact.