By Doug Newman
January 4, 2010
Posted at Bartleby's
Tree of Liberty, Blue
Press Collective, The
Daily Paul, Novakeo, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, Facebook and Freedom4um.
The mainstream media – including Fox News, Limbaugh and the big-time media that calls itself "Christian" – would have you think that the grand battle is between the left and the right.
This is such a lie.
Here are some examples.
GW Bush outspent Clinton by $1 trillion per year and continued every last federal welfare program – and added a few of his own – and left-wingers hated him.
Obama has continued all of Bush’s wars – and added a few more – and right-wingers hate him.
Left-wingers say they support civil liberties, yet look the other way while Obama continues with the Bush surveillance state.
Right-wingers say they support individual freedom, yet have no apparent problem with rogue police and the fact that America has the world’s highest incarceration rate.
Left-wingers want us to panic and give up our freedom out of fear of global warming.
Right-wingers want us to panic and give up our freedom out of fear of terrorism.
Left-wingers say they are tolerant, but want to stifle public expressions of Christianity.
Right-wingers oppose Obamacare because it puts medical decisions in the hands of the government, yet they get their undies in a bunch about the idea of legal medical marijuana.
Left-wingers want to regulate how fast your toilet can flush.
Right-wingers want to ban online poker.
The left has its limousine liberals.
The right has its chicken hawks.
The left has Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, John Edwards and countless others.
The right has Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and countless others.
No matter which wing gets the upper hand in government, the result is the same: perpetuation of the welfare-warfare-police-nanny state.
As Butler Shaffer once wrote, “Left and Right are only two wings on the same bird of prey.”
The hypocrisy is endless.
In the words of REM, elections anymore are just tournaments of lies.
As I wrote just before the 2008 election: “Ultimately, the same people run the show. They set up this false left-right paradigm and get people fighting endlessly over meaningless junk. There is a great line in Macbeth about "a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." The real problem is not the media, Washington, Hollywood, etc. The real problem is that so many people are so willing to believe what their chosen spinmeisters tell them, no matter how absurd.”
The grand battle is between liberty and tyranny. I woke up to this in late 1991.
When will you wake up?
If you would like to post this, please e-mail me and include this URL.
JN in Colorado writes:
read your note about right wing and left wing contradictions and lies. I offer
these comments for your consideration and feedback.
I agree. The typical left-right stereotypes and debates are insidious distractions, lies, as you illustrated nicely. You also answered the right implied question, "Distraction from what?" It would have been better to ask this directly. Saying the right-left debate isn't the answer coupled with the answer you gave in the end, "The grand battle is between liberty and tyranny." implies this question to me but it may imply other questions to other readers.
The momentum of your message fell apart with the assertion that "The grand battle is between liberty and tyranny." You managed to see through all the right-left tricks and absurdities but then just repeated a slogan prepared by your enemies. Tyranny is a means, a tactic, while liberty in this context is a vague, un-actionable ideal. Until one understands the difference they remain vulnerable to the lure of comfortable herd behavior despite its obvious futility. The Tyranny-versus-Liberty perspective is the same us-versus-them, good-versus-bad, Christian-versus-Heathen template that the left-right paradigm defines incessantly in our culture. This is a faith-based template.
For many people faith justifies the use of force to impose the tenets of their faith on others of different faith. The problem with the Tyranny-versus-Liberty version of the template lies in the template, not in your usage of the template. The template demands those using it dismiss their opponent's faith and the logic by which they rationalize that faith. This ensures that much of the interchange between those on the side of "good" and those on the side of "bad" is pointless, one-way jibbing just as is taught in school by convincing one small town that kids in the neighboring town are the enemy. Any objective observer can readily see that both sides believe theirs to be the side of "good." That fundamental misconception is at the heart of the whole contrived right-left stereotype.
A war against tyranny is no more focused or appropriate than a war against terror, or poverty. Wars against tactics are rallying cries for . . . well, nothing specific. It gets some folks all worked up but doesn't inform their behavior.
struggle is between two kinds of individuals: those who struggle for
"freedom from" things they don't like and those who struggle to
defend their "freedom to" exercise a diversity of individual choices.
Liberty demands tolerance and is only available through its eternal defense by
individuals who act in constructive endeavors.
The notion of a "grand battle" is another bit of manipulation intended to convince the current generation that "freedom from" the struggle lies in this battle's victory. In both religion and politics the "ultimate climax" must be constantly perpetuated as an eventuality to keep new generations willing to suffer. The truth, that the struggle is eternal, doesn't wield sufficient influence over large numbers of voters or faithful followers of any chosen religion.
This right-left paradigm deliberately creates a "fog-of-war" intended to mask two strategies shared by both the left and the right.
political battle is for the centrist voters. The only thing that matters is
control of the margins in the central density of voters, this is what drives
the traditional left-right stereotypes you exposed. Those at the fringes in any
direction can be counted on to do exactly what is expected of them without any
manipulation from the herd master.
Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman