Square Pegs In Round Holes

The Second DemCong Parati Debates were held earlier this week in the progressive eden of Detroit, a sparkling gem of a city demonstrating the majesty and wonder of decades of one-party rule.  In the first night, candidate Marianne Williamson made a favorable impression on the crowd with this compelling observation:

 “…This is part of the dark underbelly of American society. The racism, the bigotry and the entire conversation that we’re having here tonight, if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.”

While this understandably drew a predictable degree of derision, the line appeared to resonate with the crowd, and spark interest, both from media gadflies drawn to the train-wreckiness of the speaker’s apparent sincerity, those who seek to find affirmation in their “othering” of Americans who look upon the same events they do and come to very different conclusions, and, those who hear this and find something appealing on a spiritual level in this take on the matter.

I confess, at first, I was amused.  To me, Williamson is much like so many other people who toss great bowls of word salad in order to persuade us of their deep thinking nature and the expertise of their pontifications.  However, on greater reflection, it occurs to me that she is much more dangerous than the average left-leaning academic, politician, or pundit.  While those suspects have largely succeeded in transforming politics into a ersatz religion, complete with its own dogmas (such as the belief that man-caused climate change is an existential threat that requires you common people to completely  change your lives, so that your betters don’t, and that you must give them all of your money and power so they can save you by taking away your own power and freedom) and talismans (like screaming “Racist!”, “Bigot!”, “Sexist!”, “_________-Phobe!” or any other word to immediately impugn the character of someone who has the temerity to utter a truth that does not conform to your dogma, or who asks a provocative question that might cause you to have to defend your belief), but despite the widespread practice of this new faith, everyone, including its high priests, know that while it is a means to power, it isn’t *really* to be a faith, first, because it can never satisfy the part of the human soul that knows that a reliance on humanity alone will always result in spectacular failure.  The average adherent knows this on a visceral level; this is why the practice of the faith of politics is so important; it serves first to provide a purpose, and second a distraction from a sustenance that never satisfies.  This enables those at the top to benefit from the power provided by this congregation, and those laboring on its behalf to believe that they are good, and righteous (hence the never-ending stream-of-consciousness lip service to their “acceptance”, “tolerance”, and “diversity”)  You don’t have to take my word it.  All you have to do is approach someone espousing this belief about themselves on social media, and express an opinion that challenges theirs, and they will demonstrate the truth under this lie for you.

But the most telling moment comes, when they are approached with a deeper appeal from one of their own.  As I thought about Williamson’s performance this week, I remembered this moment from not-so-long ago:

“Barack knows that at some level there’s a hole in our souls,” she said. This was a variation on her normal line that “Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that, that before we can work on the problems we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.”

This statement, and Williamson’s both represent a greater danger than the more cynical practitioners of the Faith of Politics, because they take a fundamental truth, which many recognize, even if not fully consciously, and then wrap it in garbage.

There is a spiritual inanition in this country.  The daily headlines provide the evidence of this.  We don’t have people performing mass shootings because guns are easier now to obtain than in earlier decades, or because they are more dangerous than they used to be.  We have these shootings because we deify celebrities, and because sensationalism makes those who perform these monstrous acts famous.  We don’t have people opening ice cream, licking it, then putting it back on the shelf, or peeing on produce in grocery stores because society is under some brand new and unique stress.  These things happen because we decided than no one has to govern themselves.  We’ve been programmed to go along with the dubious notion that government can fix what is wrong with people, and it is why that is usually the loudest prescription when these things happen.  It would be an ironically curious phenomenon if it wasn’t so terrifying.  “We need more gun laws!!!!”  “Why?  The shooter didn’t bother to follow the twenty or so that made what they did illegal in the first place!”  “But another law will fix that!!!”

When you can recognize that many, if not all of society’s problems are problems with people, but you can’t understand that government can’t fix people, you have a recipe for misery and death.  Government was never meant to address or deal with the spiritual needs of its people.  It isn’t equipped to do so, and can never solve the root issues, because it always looks to itself as the solution.  This is why when those who would lead can correctly say out loud what the problem is, and then tell you that government (led by them, of course) is the solution, you should run.

Quickly.

 

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