As 2007 opened and I looked back at the political events of the past year, I couldn't help feeling that history is on an accelerating path. Many things that have been hazy in the first four years after 9/11 have suddenly come into sharp focus in the course of 2006. And the picture we are left with may be chilling, but it is also enough awe-inspiring that I'll maintain my optimism.
Here are things as I see them.
Point 1: 2006 was the year when many Americans rightfully wrote off government as a potential source of positive change. Never in my life have I seen so little faith in our elected leaders--because never in my life have I seen a political class more undeserving of it. Our two National parties are like two autistic children monomaniacally locked in a hair-pulling fight with one-another, while the frightful hailstorm gathering above their playground goes all but unnoticed.
Jockeying for electoral advantage has replaced governing according to what's right and Constitutional; perennial campaigning and grandstanding for political gain has replaced problem-solving; and cheerleading for one party or the other has replaced journalism, the one activity that could have helped maintain politicians honest and on track. World events are seen, both by our leaders and our media, only in terms of their bi-chromatic reflections on the wall of the Cave of partisan politics, no longer as real images of the Upper World, that can lead to real consequences.
Corollary to point 1: it has become obvious that our wishful thinking regarding passing laws, sealing the border, deporting this or that group or any other meaningful change is just that--wishful thinking. Our political class won't act. Period. So spare your gray cells for other activities than coming up with dreamy political solutions.
Point 2: 2006 was the year when a majority of right-thinking Americans became unafraid of identifying our common enemy--Islamism. So far so good. Now, even in polite conversation many of us are unabashed in stating that Islamism is an evil death-cult that needs to be stopped before it engulfs us all in its cancerous advance. Enough of us have readily-memorized Koran verses that only a complete imbecile wouldn't see as murderous and (most importantly) closely tied in a cause-effect relation to what's going on today.
However, I have a feeling that the number of Americans who can be persuaded of this evil is reaching a saturation point. Yes, the platitude of winning one mind at a time may be palatable, but some plainly don't have the willingness to reason through their political preconceptions, and are therefore deaf to reason. Those cannot be persuaded. They can only be made irrelevant.
Corollary to point 2: it's a worthwhile mission to inform the truly uninformed--the few adult souls that still have absolutely no clue about what's going on in the world--but have the potential to get it. It's right and just to speak your mind clearly about the existence of evil and its location. It is, however, a waste of time to convince a hate-America-first type about your point of view: you're better off finding ways to defeat him or his likes.
Point 3: it was inevitable that so many of us who want to fight this fight would find each other. Now, thanks to groups like the 910 Group and web logs like Gates of Vienna we have. Moreover, with these venues we finally found an outlet where we can make ourselves heard as well as devote our time, our skills and our ideas to the cause in a focused and unified manner. As I read the contributions of many individuals who blog for Western freedom, I see more cohesion, more talent, more skilful analysis and more political intelligence than I had ever seen before in any one place. And although the precise tools with which our newly-found alliance will achieve its first victories are still on the drawing board, the mission is clear--defeating Islamism--and the determination to pursue it is growing every day. So my main source of optimism for 2007 revolves around this community of patriots--and not just American patriots, but also defenders of Western civilization across the whole globe.
Corollary to point 3: we've found each other. Now we need to lay out our strategy in as clear and pragmatic way as possible. Politics are the art of the possible, not of the wishful. We have incredible strength in terms of knowledge, determination and ideas--if not in numbers. Let's not squander it by just trying to sound smart to one-another. Let's find some actionable ways to make a difference, step-wise but with the inevitability that only Right can prevail against Wrong.
So I'm cautiously optimistic for this new year. We've just broken up from a bad relationship with Government, but we are finding solace with our newly-found friends. So here's to all the good people at the 910 Group, all the fine minds who contribute to blogs like Gates of Vienna and--ultimately--here's to our dear Western civilization, the finest and most beautiful achievement of the most god-like creature on Earth.
A warm thanks to Beach Girl for being a fellow optimist and for giving me the idea for this post.