Ms. Geraldine Ferraro, a Democratic party hack, a Catholic feminist (what a spiritual and spirited concoction, brewed according to the recipes of the Queens-Long Island bourbon culture!) whom the amalgamated USA womanists (the newest vocable) wished to see as the next vice president, said of late: “The only real threat to women in America is Reagan. . . .”
So, it’s no longer violence, rape, male chauvinism, unemployment, sexism at the workplace, household exploitation, and cruelly brutal mates. It’s Reagan — short and simple. One cannot help but wonder how could a courtly man who takes off his hat when a woman enters an elevator, who stands up when she enters a room, a model husband and father, and a President with the best record of appointing women to the highest civic and political positions in the history of America, be an ultimate threat to women? What Reagan may actually be, however, is not a threat to women but a challenge to feminism, both as ideology and movement. In the deafening din of liberal yellowish journalism, certain notions and differentiations get easily blurred, obscured, or obliterated. The relentless pressure on the Democrats to put a woman and Ms. Ferraro on the ticket came mostly from the National Organization of Women, a political outfit that fraudulently claims to represent American women and womanhood — a bizarre postulate, as there never was any constitutional process put into motion which would determine who represents women and womanhood in America in keeping with correctly established democratic procedures. But such fine details do not bother NOW, its leaders, ideologists, and propagandists. They are feminists; thus, they form a Manichean and totalitarian socioideological construct by definition. Their goal is not representation, spokesmanship, or any semblance of democratic values; their goal is power which will be wielded allegedly in the name of women by and on behalf of women by a self-appointed group of female political operators. This basic premise, grounded in purely totalitarian morality, makes Ms. Ferraro so loose with the plural “American women,” though there’s not the slightest evidence that she was authorized to do so by anyone else except for her own feminist pals. Which, thank God, are still a paltry minority within this society.
Hearing Aids Needed
Mr. Reagan has spoken and, all over the land, the liberal conscience, which is located in an average Democrat somewhere between heart and stomach, exploded with an all-engulfing scream: “Negotiate!” The howl, of course, was dutifully amplified through the entire media structure. What the outraged owners of this type of conscience wanted was to start immediate and nonnegotiable negotiations with Salvadoran terrorists, guerillas, and leftist thugs, with Nicaraguan henchmen, and with everybody in Havana and Novosibirsk who train, arm, and instigate them.
However, if the liberals were to merely listen to what the guerillas and the henchmen openly, constantly, and loudly say, repeat, and make known to everyone who wants to listen, they would easily discover the bottom-line fact that they, the aggressors, all of whom were breast-fed on Marx, Lenin, and Castro, do not want to negotiate. They want power — and they are only willing to accept it on nonnegotiable terms either from the liberal appeasers and self-deluding “negotiators” or from the massacred remains of their liquidated opponents — in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and anywhere else that are interested in absolute political control. They do not want to negotiate with a legitimately elected government in El Salvador, with the opposition in Nicaragua, which has been illegitimately deprived of any civil and human rights, nor with anybody, period.
And if the doleful American liberal Democrat were ever inclined to muster a bit of knowledge and the mental agility that’s traditionally associated with keeping the Western mind free from suicidal fumes, he/she would reach for the holy scrolls written in blood by Soviet slaughterers and Cuban torturers about the rearing of their minor gangsters in the Central American isthmus, and in these writings discover why negotiations between them and us are impossible. We believe that free will, human dignity, political fairness, and justice are the preconditions for a better society. They believe that free will, human dignity, political fairness, and justice are the preconditions for a better society. They believe in merciless, deadly, all-encompassing oppression as the only means to make a society better. This chasm between beliefs is proclaimed by our opponents with a booming shout, in the most thunderous and strident promulgations, with a sound so blaring that everyone in the entire world can hear them. Everyone, that is, except the Democrats in Congress, the editorialists in the New York Times and Washington Post, and the National Council of Churches clergy whose fine consciences are disconnected from the supreme and timeless Christian virtue — the pursuit of truth.
The Ostrich Chic
As the main reason offered for not honestly and fairly discussing the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s real message (as it was propounded during the Democratic primaries), our liberal, fair, honest, and impartial press claims that what he and his proselyte, Mr. Farrakhan, said was “only” black rhetoric, an oratorical ornamentalism devoid of factual meaning. However, what Mr. Farrakhan said, and what is by now common knowledge, was far away from biblical invocations of damnation, burning in hell, the Old Testament kind of transcendental vengeance: he openly promised a very modern sort of règlement des comoptes, of revenge that is obtained through the barrel of a gun. In a larger sense, he asked for a sort of the Night of Long Knives for anyone who had the temerity to stand in the way to power of a demagogue anointed by the most obscure mandate — that is that of a minority group’s fanaticism, which is sustained not by any democratic legitimacy but by a power-thirsty political gang dead set on getting to the top — no matter what the cost. Actually, Mr. Jackson’s smug complacency in accepting the backing of such henchmen and “our” media’s corrupt liberal insouciance in playing it down are nothing new. Referring to Mr. Farrakhan’s rhetoric, the Rev. Jackson told Time: “I immediately recognized it as religious metaphor” — and Time, that beacon of specious liberal objectivity, though armed with its own formidable checking department, accepted the Rev. Jackson’s words at their face value. “Metaphor, schmetaphor…” would be the more prudent response from a resident of what the Rev. Jackson calls “Hymietown.” Not that long ago, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and a score of minor practitioners of that figurativeness of speech were saying the same types of things; the wise liberals in the West smacked their lips, relishing their oratory for the sake of pure literary effect. When Lenin announced his plan to create a new socialist man from the bleached bones of the old humanity G. B. Shaw, the smartest of all those liberal skeptics, declared that the Soviet murderer was perfectly legitimate in his exquisite eloquence of a people’s tribune who knows how to inspire the imagination of the masses; today, we know a bit more about Lenin’s fertilizing style, which resulted in slaying millions and millions of Russians in his gulags for the sake of breeding a new humanity. When Hitler promised to eradicate European Jews, the Western liberal press wrote about the inevitable theatrics of his political movement of which bombast is the only substance. “He does not mean it …” wrote the organs of liberal conscience on London and New York. He did.
So once again we have someone who speaks publicly in those rasping cadenzas, in that inimitable style of an infuriated ideologue who cleverly erases distinction between spectacle and superstition, for whom perspiration is a vulgar prop of pop-heroism and who at the climax of the boorishness of his pitch genuinely does not know whether he preaches truth or just wallows in his own psychosomatic orgasm instantly merchandised for voyeuristic mass-consumption by “our” media. And what does the liberal press have to say about the phenomenon? “The most gifted orator in American politics”; “Charismatic public speaker”; “Spellbinding presence”; “The master of overheated oratory of black churches and revivalist meetings.”
The last characterization is the worst fraud. There’s passion, often frenzy, in black churches, bur they serve as exhortations to redemption, penitence, deliverance. Words like “racism,” “retribution,” and “setting the accounts straight” are out of place there. It’s hard to discover protocommunist ideas shouted in quasi-fascist style in the revivalist chants. But let’s not aske the Gold Coast condo residents, or Sutton place liberals, or all the Dan Rathers of this land to acknowledge the difference. It would be a waste of time. They will endlessly blab about how American politics will never be the same, about the Rev. Jackson’s enrichment of the political process — about what he has brought to it, how he made history, what he does for the black pride. Dull columnists in trendy, glossy magazines will revel in their own stupidity, never inquiring whether “charisma” is good or bad for our democratic health, what it means for a pluralistic society, what consequences loom ahead for a civilized republic when a politician demands that his frantic listeners give up their particular faculty of judgement and follow him blindly as their “Führer” for the right or wrong of his choosing. This is exactly what charisma means in 20th-century politics.
Fortunately, we do not believe the Rev. Jackson will make such a big difference, let alone history. He and his campaign will soon be forgotten. Then, the majority of blacks will recognize what their thoughtful leaders like Barbara Jordan on the left, or Thomas Sowell on the right, alluded to all along: that the Rev. Jackson’s “rhetoric” has actually set back the cause of black influence on this civilization some half a century.
A Prudent Progressive
All appearances to the contrary, Americans never lived by simple truths. The perennial conflict between the Puritan and rationalist traditions, the two main sources of Americanism from the outset, evicted simplicity from the American Weltanschauung. However, in order to facilitate the endless updating of their social mechanism and mental habits, Americans worked out many ways of living by simplified truths, thus acquiring throughout the world a rather doleful image of quintessential simple-mindedness. If the rest of the world persists in its self-deception, then that’s its problem. The fact is that the simplified truths, in their essence, are affirmations of a preceding intellectual effort; their streamlined-for-common-use application to our social, cultural, and political realities only corroborate the actual and subcutaneous influence of the sophisticated mind on our daily affairs.
Thus, as far as I can see, the coming presidential election is going to be fought out neither on pocketbook nor on foreign policy issues, though both of these elements of the historical moment will play a significant role in the voters’ decision-making process. To my mind, the overriding quandary that will effect the conscious or less-conscious choice of most Americans is that of the meaning of life. “That’s quite an abstract mental torment,” many would say, by way of discounting my proposition. Yet I maintain that what oppresses the individual and collective minds of the constituency between ages 20 and 40 — the single most dynamic voting bloc and one central to anybody’s victory — is the very sense of existence, which was ravaged by the apocalypse of irrationality and moral incoherence of the 1960’s and 1970’s. It is a frustrated generation, one that has tried every offering of the most garish cultural bazaar in recent history, and which now wishes to know something more about things like marriage and patriotism, and to strip some hoary notions to their marrow and rediscover what they can do in order to improve their generation’s appreciation of its own being. It is an attentive audience, not easily impressed by artful sociopolitical shrillness, but anyone who would come to them with a New Word about the necessity of refurbished prudence on the international scene, or about the hidden charms of sexual jealousy (which have been so callously destroyed by permissiveness and feminism) may find some unexpected riches of support that can be translated into political power of quite novel dimension and significance. If only President Reagan would discover how to do it, this country could enter a new phase of material, spiritual, and social prosperity that would dwarf everything we have known before.