Written by Daniel Greenfield
It wasn't long after Obama's victory that liberals began trying on patriotism like an old ill-fitting coat, admiring themselves in the mirror, and even denouncing conservatives as unamerican (yes it happened). Caught in the afterglow of their win, basking in the radiance of their man addressing the country, beaming down from the carefully arranged set pieces and choreographed events, guzzling the myth like hopeandchangey brew-- they could almost believe that the great clock of history had wound back to the Kennedy Administration. Before the Vietnam War or the shot in Memphis that killed Martin Luther King.
That golden moment between FDR and LBJ, only briefly broken by McCarthyism and Ike, when hating your country hadn't yet become the mandatory liberal position. When it was still possible to look up admiringly at the flag and be a liberal, even if Phil Ochs and the SDS might mock them for it. When America to them was still the hope of the world, not the shame of the world.
More than anything else, the rise of Obama offered them that. A return to loving their country and being loved by it. Of course some things would have to go. Many things. But there could be a reconciliation of some kind. A new unity after the 'nightmare years' of the Bush Administration when the local Borders could never keep enough Bushisms books in stock, for reasons that they were sure had something to do with the Patriot Act, and their European friends didn't like them anymore. The new golden moment was here. Obama was the new JFK. And this time he wouldn't be shot and no one would have to be drafted to go to Vietnam. Altamont would end peacefully. Jimmy Hendrix would never die. Neither would Jim Morrison. All the culture clashes and racial hatreds would be reconciled. And all the national traumas would be healed again.
But despite what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thought, there is no 'Reset Button' on history. You don't need one. History naturally repeats itself because history is nothing more than people following patterns. Liberals who talk about being traumatized by the America of the sixties and the seventies, and the death of their dream of the Age of Aquarius, have never understood that they created their own traumas. And manufactured their own history. Their 'traumas' were created by their own cultural war against America. A cultural war that did tremendous damage to America as a whole. But even more damage to them.
Vietnam was the work of two Democratic Senators with no executive experience, who promised the country that a new age was coming. The JFK assassination was the act of a misfit turned radical socialist who ate up all the paranoia being dispensed by the left, and decided to jump the gun on the revolution. All the overdoses and assassinations were spawned by the cultural chaos that the counterculture itself had unleashed. An anarchy that rebounded on itself in murder and suicide. And of course the great legacy of drug abuse and insanity, by counterculture figures who had made their living celebrating both, until it killed them.
The moral of the story is that the left destroys itself. At the beginning of the 20th century, Moscow was swarming with every breed of socialist, radical, anarchist and leftist. A generation later they were all dead or rotting in gulags waiting for Stalin to die. It wasn't the right that it did to them. It was the left devouring itself. Ideological factions forming alliances against each other. Declaring zero tolerance for minor deviations. Denouncing each other and staging executions. By the time they were done, there was no more 'left' left in the Soviet Union. Only illiterate thugs mouthing party slogans that they couldn't understand. Eventually those thugs, like Khrushchev and Brezhnev, became the leaders of the Soviet Union and destroyed it from within. And today there are far more leftists to be found in Germany, than in Russia. Because even the Nazis didn't wipe out the left nearly as thoroughly as the Motherland of Socialism did.
The left always destroys itself. Every time it takes power, it unleashes the seeds of its own destruction. And the same greater thinkers who can write entire treatises on the perfect society, and have hair-pulling eye-gouging fights over the precise definition of working class, can no more run a country, than they can run a farmhouse. They are moralists by nature, bureaucrats by inclination and tyrants by inevitability. On paper they scribble governments of theories, but when they are forced to govern people, they no sooner encounter a setback than they reach for the whip. People are naturally governed by consensus. But the left cannot even find consensus within its own ranks.
Had the left been able to unite, Hitler would have never come to power. And if it cannot find consensus within its own ranks, how can it possibly govern by the consensus of a population with diverse views and needs? It can't. It tries to force them to comply with its theories and when they don't, it declares an economic war against the rich, a cultural war against the bourgeoisie and the morals of the working class, it denounces its own parents, burns the flag and announces that if it doesn't win the next election, it's moving to Canada. We've gone through this farce many times before. And it all ends with the country in worse shape than ever and elderly leftists waxing nostalgic for the radical days of their youth, when they protested whichever war was happening, smoked illegal substances and practiced spiritualism.
Not long after Obama had set down his laurel crown, the radical left set off denouncing him for not getting everything they wanted done right away. They weren't listened to at first. They never are. But there's money in them that radical hills. The Michael Moores of the country know that if they stick to their guns, sooner or later mainstream liberals will become embittered and disappointed, and admit they were right. And now that the elections of 2010 are over and done with. And Obama has to govern with the Republicans, their hour has come round at last. Now they can condemn every bipartisan compromise as treason. Embrace Assange. Rant about robot drones bombing poor innocent terrorists from the sky. Now they can tear down what Soros' billions built for them.
The great ignorant failure of the left is that it never learns from history. It improves its tactics, but never its worldview. It learns how to get elected, but not how to govern. When its black and white view of the world and the country has to be leavened by a touch of gray, it retreats in a huff and sticks to its principles. Those principles being that they are completely right. Everyone else is completely wrong. And the rest of the country is a bunch of FOX News brainwashed doodooheads for not seeing it their way. Then when the next messiah comes along, the next JFK wannabe looking gravely at the camera, and with just that right combination of hopefulness and seriousness, invoking some great dream or another, they'll swoon and rush right out to faint at his speeches. But when the smelling salts of bipartisanship and practical governance are waved under their noses, they leap up and abandoning their newfound patriotism, begin burning the flag again.
And so history repeats itself. Again. And again. And each time the left is certain that this time they will get it right. But how can they get it right, when they're the problem? For all their cleverness at theory, they're hopelessly stupid about practice. And as good as they are at staging elections as theater and governing through bureaucracy, they're terrible at dealing with people and keeping the books straight. There's no better formula for disaster than that.
Now the left has cast off its briefly worn flag, thrown away the pins and banners, and gone to war against their country again. The embrace of Assange marks the moral irrelevancy of liberals. Not just their willingness to suddenly defend a rapist and demean his victims. Anyone who remembers what actually went on behind the doors of the Clinton White House, knows that isn't new. But their sabotage of their own government's soft power strategy.
Wikileaks is not sabotaging the hard front line of warfighting with its release of confidential diplomatic cables, but the soft power that liberals promised would prove to be a more effective and respectable method of fighting terrorism. Much as Michael Moore or Naomi Wolf may posture, what they are actually doing is destroying the very approach that liberals sold as an alternative to the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. This is no longer Cindy Sheehan crying on cue for the cameras or newscaster gravely intoning the latest death count, while showing background footage of an anti-war rally. This is exactly what liberals accused Cheney and Rove of in the Plame Affair... but on a vast and epic scale. On such a vast scale that if you imagine Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson as a single fingernail, then the Wikileaks diplomatic cable release is the entire population of the Houston metropolitan area.
Wikileaks has helped the right, because the diplomatic cable leak mainly hurts liberals. It undermines the diplomatic corps. It sabotages the Obama Administration's efforts at building international relations. It makes the case for a War with Iran. It mainly leaks things that the liberal side of the foreign policy aisle wanted to keep secret.
Michael Moore can put on his clown suit and pretend that he's fighting Sarah Palin on Twitter. But he's not. He's fighting the Obama Administration. So is every liberal Assange supporter. And why? Why sabotage the man they were on their knees for, in the winter of another year. To answer that question is to understand why the left destroys itself again and again. Why lemmings dash off cliffs and socialists murder each other over the placement of a comma in a policy statement on the role of the peasantry in agrarian socialism. Ideology is theory, not reality. Theory promotes radicalism, because the radical position can never be disproven in theory, only in practice. The easiest way to build a cult of personality within a community where radicalism equates to integrity is to take the most radical position possible. And the most radical position possible is always the one that is the most Anti-American. And the most Anti-European. And Anti-Israeli.
Drunk on theory, the left either seizes enough power to manage tyranny, or defeated slinks away while its more moderate figures hammer out a slightly less dysfunctional system whose only virtue is that it will completely collapse in 20 years, instead of 20 minutes. And the drunken theoreticians on the left assail them from the sidelines for selling out the movement, the working class and the revolution. In a democracy, the theoreticians get book deals. In a tyranny, they get the Gulag. The system collapses either way and the cycle begins again. At least until the barbarian hordes overrun the entire civilization. And then the clock gets reset to zero.
The War on Terror is the hamhanded attempt by our civilization to keep the barbarian hordes back a little. Like most such historical attempts, it's incompetent and futile. But the left is busy hammering holes in what few walls we have managed to put up. Sabotaging even our meager efforts to extend the life of our civilization by another decade or two. "Let it all burn," they cry. "A better world will come in its place." But this time it will not be Gulags for them. There is no snow in Arabia. Only dunes. And the always waiting headman's axe.