A few years ago I participated in a radio debate on “white privilege” with a certain man, whose name is unimportant, who had a Ph.D. in “ethnic studies.” At one point he introduced an argument by saying, “If whites are 80 percent of the population…,” which prompted me to interject and point out that whites (non-Hispanic) are now only 63 percent of America. Of course, you might think that someone with a doctorate in “ethnic studies” would know what the ethnic and racial composition of the country is.
While no one wants to be a real-life Cliff Clavin (of Cheers fame), mistaking trivia for intellectualism, facts matter because they’re small snippets of reality. They’re little pictures — and, as with a jigsaw puzzle — if you have enough of them, assembled properly, you can see the big picture. This is otherwise known as being in touch with reality.
This is why a certain trend in that liberal bastion called education is quite interesting. Educators will often say today, “We don’t just teach kids facts [uttered dripping with derision]; we teach them how to think.” This is quite convenient. After all, it’s easy to test knowledge of facts; thus, such measures can reveal modern education as a fraudulent enterprise. But “how to think” is a bit more nebulous, and, if you define the expression of feelings-derived folderol as reason, your students cannot fail.
Yet there is a deeper reason why liberals eschew facts: they refute fiction. And since leftist agendas have no basis in reality, exposure to snippets of it is deadly; for, just as one small pin can pop a balloon, one little fact can shatter a rationalization.
This brings us back to Dr. Ethnic Studies. His field of expertise isn’t about anything as old-fashioned as facts, but he can expound at length on oppression, white privilege, critical-race theory and “micro-aggressions.” These things, you see, are the stuff of sophisticated modern men. Never mind that they’re complete fiction.
But liberals are raised on fiction. Fiction about America’s nature and Western influence; fiction about the races and sexes (not to mention “genders”), and fiction about sex; fiction about history and culture; fiction about economics; fiction about religion. Heck, with how liberals claim old fairy tales are destructive, they’re raised with fiction about fiction. This brings us to another fiction: Barack Obama as an educated man.
If we were to mention, again, that he thought “Austrian” was spoken in Austria, pronounced “corpsman” “corpse-man” (three times in one speech) or that he called the “transcontinental” railroad the “intercontinental” one (Amtrak to Bangkok, anyone?), we’d obviously have to be racists. After all, anyone can make a mistake. But it’s one thing to commit a Spoonerism and say “a scoop of boy trouts” or, like Dan Quayle, correct a spelling-bee participant based upon the antiquated word form “potatoe” (which The New York Times used as recently as 1988). But then there are those mistakes indicating that, just perhaps, you don’t really possess the knowledge base one might expect from an educated Western gentleman.
And a fact about Obama’s upbringing is that it was defined by fiction. Clergyman Hosea Ballou said, “Education commences at the mother’s knee…,” but not only was Obama’s mother’s knee not around all the time, but what an odd knee it was. Her father had given her his first name, Stanley, because he’d wanted a boy, and Stanley Ann Dunham’s personal development reflected that bizarre beginning. She attended Mercer Island High in Seattle, which had a wing known as “anarchy alley” that was infested with radical leftist teachers. It is said that Dunham “thrived” in that atmosphere, and she became a committed left-wing atheist herself. Then there was Obama’s mentor in Hawaii, Frank Marshall Davis, a pornographic-novel writer and anti-white, card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA. And how radical were Obama’s leftist grandparents, with whom he lived in the Aloha State? Obama’s grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, was the one who chose Davis to be scrambler of young Barry’s brains.
The point is that there was no prominent person in the young Obama’s life who could or would expose him to reality. It was all anti-American, anti-Western isms and destructive schism. This brings us to Obama’s mind-numbingly ridiculous description of his 2008 campaign travels: “I’ve now been in 57 states; I think, one left to go.” Where does such a bizarre mistake come from? After all, that there are 50 states is drummed into every American child so that it just instinctively rolls off the tongue: 50 states, 50 states, 50 states….
That is, again, every “American child.”
It’s not that I don’t think Obama knew there are 50 states. Rather, he doesn’t have the intellectual foundation you’d expect of an educated Western man, and this includes a lack of the rote knowledge that, like an actor who has spoken a certain line in 500 rehearsals and performances, is expressed the same way every time. And this, by the way, has nothing to do with where anyone thinks Obama was born. He simply is not truly American in mind, heart and spirit.
But to fully grasp the nature of leftists’ ignorance, an understanding of their philosophical foundation is necessary. There is a certain experience many conservatives know very well: You debate a liberal, and he just seems immune to facts and reason. No matter how airtight your point, it rolls off him like water off a duck.
To explain this, let’s start with an analogy. Becoming proficient at golf involves gaining knowledge about the swing. And if you realize you’ve fallen victim to a misconception, improvement depends upon rejecting it and accepting the truth in question. But what if you were so bent on using your old swing — so attached to “hackerism” — that you simply would not accept that truth? A pustule on the face of the game you’d remain.
So it is in all of life. Everyone falls victim to certain misconceptions, and growing in knowledge and wisdom involves rejecting them when we’re blessed enough to discover refutative truths. But this can be difficult for two reasons. First, it may involve relinquishing ideas to which we’re strongly attached. This could be because they’re integral pieces of an incorrect jigsaw puzzle we’ve glommed onto, an example of which would be a committed atheist who insists there are no moral absolutes because he knows their existence implies God’s. Or it could be that an incorrect belief is embraced as a justification for a behavior (e.g., sexual perversion, heavy drinking) to which we’re attached. Or it could be both.
Second, pride can get in the way, as correcting oneself involves admitting error, often with respect to ideas we’ve spent an entire lifetime defending. It can be like giving up a cherished son.
And while most everyone exhibits to some degree this tendency to rationalize, leftists are defined by it. They are, to use a favored psycho-babble term, morally and philosophically “dysfunctional” people. They live lives of rationalization — which is when you lie to yourself, sell yourself on a fiction — and for this reason only intensify whatever dislocation from reality their upbringing, sometimes, might have wrought.
Their greatest act of self-delusion — their ultimate denial of reality and the one that facilitates all others — is their embrace of moral relativism, the idea that there are no moral absolutes. The appeal of this fiction is that it allows one to justify any behavior imaginable. After all, my sins are not sins if there’s no vice, only viewpoint. Who is to judge? Who is to say? There’s no black and white, only gray.
But once you unmoor yourself from objective moral reality, there is no limit to how immoral you can become. This is why Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Ivan Karamazov said that without God, “everything is permitted.” It’s why occultist Aleister Crowley insisted, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” And it explains leftists’ bizarre thinking. Did you ever wonder, for instance, how modern liberals can say something so preposterous as “The truth is no defense against a hate-speech charge”? It’s not hard to understand.
When a person who lives a sincere life finds that part of his ideology conflicts with the Truth, he alters his ideology. But what if you not only were attached to your ideology like a drunkard to drink, but didn’t acknowledge Truth’s existence? It is then that you, instead, rationalize away the Truth.
In fact, with his denial of Truth, the leftist places his ideology where Truth should be: the center of his life. This ideology, which just reflects his emotions, anyway, then takes on the role of God. It becomes the ultimate arbiter, the fiction that becomes “fact.” This is why Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels once said, “National Socialism is a religion. …My Party is my church….” Like him, today’s leftists have repeated a big lie to themselves so often that it has become the “truth.”
Interestingly, or maybe ominously, the Bible speaks of the end times in 2 Timothy 3 and writes of “men of depraved minds” who are “always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” I don’t know if these are the last days, or just the last days of freedom, but our republic is now infested with millions of fiction voters who elected a fiction president based on fairy-tale promises. And it’s looking less and less like our story ends with “happily ever after.”
The Moral Liberal Associate Editor, Selwyn Duke, is a columnist, public speaker and Internet entrepreneur whose work has been published widely. He has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show, is a regular guest on The Michael Savage Show, and has a regular column in both the Christian Music Perspective Magazine and The New American magazine. Copyright © 2014 Selwyn Duke