Dr. Johnson famously responded to the philosophical claim of the insubstantiality of matter by turning and kicking a rock so hard his foot rebounded off it, saying, “I refute it thus.” I’ve already once used an allusion to that episode in a post title, and it looks as though I must do so once again.
The battlespace preparation of the lamestream media for the 2016 presidential elections has already begun. The same organizations who literally camped out overlooking Sarah Palin’s backyard and went combing through Mitt Romney’s junior high school records (but have been strangely silent on the complete lack of information about Dear Leader’s alleged academic achievements) are going to be informing us — breathlessly — that Gov. Christie chalked the word “fart” on the side of a Sav-A-Lot when he was nine, or Rick Perry lifted a Snickers bar from the check-out aisle at 22 months, when mommy was looking away. At the moment they’re all worked into a lather that Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, dropped out of college and never completed his degree.
The Blogfather, guest-columnist over at USA Today, describes this break from a dreary succession of Ivy League goof-ballery (and he’s Yale Law, by the way), as a potential “breath of fresh air.” At his home Instapundit, Reynolds has raised the flag of “credentialed, not educated.” Here’s the nub of his observation: “All this credentialism means that we should have the best, most efficiently and intelligently run government ever, right? Well, just look around. Anyone who has ever attended a faculty meeting should recognize that more education doesn’t produce better decision makers, and our educated mandarinate doesn’t seem to have done much for the country.”
I’d like to suggest another thought. Twice in the past hundred years, Western Civilization found itself confronted with ruthless, blood-thirsty and bloody, ideologies which recognized no limits — none at all — to the demands they made on humanity, neither their own adherents nor any other. Both viewed the extermination of a large part of the species as being not merely a regrettable circumstance of their self-actualization, but in fact part and parcel of their entire package of aspirations. We refer, of course, to national socialism as practiced by Hitler’s Germany, and to communism as practiced everywhere.
Both ideologies found not merely apologists in the West (and invariably among the highly-credentialed), but outright and active supporters. Think Kim Philby and his ilk; the world he moved in and betrayed is laid out its touching naïvete in A Spy Among Friends. Like it or not, Joe McCarthy was right on the money when he claimed that the senior reaches of the United States government were thoroughly penetrated by active Soviet agents (as lately revealed by the Venona transcripts), many of them the products of the best that America could offer, especially in respect of formal education. Franklin Roosevelt’s people actively admired Stalin and Hitler and sought templates for their own policies in those countries. In Britain it was the “sophisticated” people, the Oxbridge cultural elite, the new information moguls, who relentlessly cheer-lead for Hitler. The Times even went so far as to suppress its own reporters’ information flowing back from Germany, lest “Herr Hitler” be offended to see his deeds in newsprint.
What was needed to face down these monstrosities was not nuanced “critical thinking,” but rather the character to recognize evil and accept the battle to the death which is the only prophylactic that has ever proven effective against it. Fortunately for all of us, in both the United States and in Great Britain, there were men who fought their way to the top who had that character. Winston Churchill spent years shouting in the wilderness against the menace of Nazism. He was laughed at by all the Deep Thinkers. Nancy Astor, the American who was elected to the House of Commons, famously sneered (to Joe Stalin in person, no less) of Churchill: “Churchill? He’s finished.” In America, grimly setting his face against the gale of One Worlders and fellow-travelers inherited from Roosevelt, Harry Truman announced that it was American policy to contain the poison of communism to its current areas of infection. He then had the good sense to appoint a soldier, Geo. C. Marshall, as his secretary of state to ensure that policy grew teeth, and backed him in what became known as the Marshall Plan.
It was a close-run thing in both countries. Britain didn’t turn to Churchill until May, 1940 as its only ally, France, was being ground to a pulp beneath Hitler’s tank treads. Even then the king wanted Lord Halifax as prime minister, the same lord who had been among the most prominent appeasers before the war. The Labour Party, in what may have been its last patriotic act, communicated to the other parties that it would serve under no man but Churchill. And the rest is history. Truman had to fight bitterly against those who wanted the Soviet Union to be handed what it wanted. Both Churchill and Truman were men of extraordinarily strong character. Both had ground their way up through adversity that would have daunted most others. Churchill spent seven-plus years in the Wilderness, scorned by his own party, muzzled by the BBC (lest he offend “Herr Hitler”), a figure of contempt. Truman had spent years in back-breaking work on the family farm, a bright, passionate auto-didact shackled to a plow. Had World War I not come along to tear him from the field he would have doubtless have grown old and sour, his talents and energies wasted on making sure the rows of corn were correctly planted.
Oh, and one more thing: Neither Churchill nor Truman attended so much as a day of “college.” Neither was a man of subtlety, but the challenges of their day did not require subtlety. Those challenges required men who were equally ready to kill as to die in defense of all that was best of Western Civilization.
What is also not recognized is that both Churchill and Truman exercised power in a world the very fundaments of which were shifting beneath their feet as they moved forward. There was no guarantee what the post-war world was going to look like when Churchill vowed that Britain would fight on, “if necessary for years . . . if necessary alone.” As he correctly pointed out when handed the news of the Alamogordo tests, the nuclear bomb was “the Second Coming in Wrath.” This was the world dumped in Harry Truman’s lap to deal with. Neither had a road map to the future; neither could count on the signposts from the past as a reliable guide to the future. Almost every major decision they had to make had to be made in the context of a novel, unstable, rapidly morphing world.
And both acquitted themselves remarkably well, all things considered.
Despite what Dear Leader may say about the Religion of Peace, we are at war. We are at war with a religion which utterly rejects almost every value we know as “Western.” That includes pretty much anything that falls within the rubric of “sanctity of life.” This religion, well-funded and absolutely without scruple, is bent upon subjugation of the entire world to the thrall of its death cult. It has no intention of stopping. Lining up 21 men and simultaneously sawing their heads off, for no fact other than their Christianity, is all in a day’s work for the Religion of Peace. And all we have to counter them is someone who thinks that faculty-lounge debates are reality (I say this ignoring the equally plausible explanation, at least based upon his observable actions: he’s on their side). We desperately need a Truman or a Churchill, and all we’ve got is a fellow-travelling disciple of Saul Alinsky.
We are in a world war in which we cannot know what the back-side of this war will look like. How do you fight a war against an entire widely dispersed religion and not grasp the expedients of a Holocaust? How do you suppress in public life a faith the central article of which is the duty to slaughter all who do not espouse that faith? How do you deal with the millions of adherents (however far they may stray from their faith’s strictures on the point) of that faith who in fact do not wish material destruction upon us? How do we do all of that and not sacrifice our very nature as a Judeo-Christian civilization? How do we deal with the enemy in our homelands, whom we invited in, in a way which does not make a mockery of centuries of Anglo-American recognition of due process of law? [I can tell you very much how the continental European tradition would deal with them: Can you say “St. Bartholomew’s Day”?] The answers to those questions, if there are answers at all, are not to be found in learned treatises, or in theoretical babble, or “critical thought,” or in any of the nostrums of “community organizing.” They must arise and be formed from the character of the men and women who will make the decisions that determine those answers. We need leaders of a strength of character which has within it the ability to answer, plainly and irrevocably, the challenges to our existence.
This need is inconsistent with the politics or philosophy of the American leftists.
Scott Walker fought and won not one, not two, but three elections for governor within the space of four years. He faced down millions upon millions of dollars of highly coordinated political and legal attacks and three times won, handily, in a state which is not known as welcoming to his end of the political spectrum. And he’s done so with a certain amount of dash, and completely without apology. He gives off, at least at this point, a decided whiff of moxie, of character. He must therefore be destroyed.
And so we are going to hear, relentlessly, about his dropping out of college, as if that is a disqualifier in and of itself. Referring to Churchill and Truman, I refute it thus.
[Update: 20 Feb 15] And right on cue, we have an administration spokes-drone claiming that her strategy of fighting people who are willing to saw off another person’s head because of where he goes to church, not by killing the hewer-of-heads, but by offering them all (presumably government) jobs, “might be too nuanced” for people who realize how asinine that statement is. I can’t say that it was this same goof-ball who said it, because I wasn’t watching the segment, but it was reported to me that someone on a CNN discussion panel seriously claimed that, among other inducements (including, we must assume, lack of government jobs), insufficient “art” was an impetus to American terrorists flocking overseas to join their ideological brethren. Really? If readily available “art” were sufficient to calm these savages, how do you explain the 7,000 French Muslims who have gone to fight with ISIS? Whatever other deficiencies life under dirigisme may exhibit, a lack of access to top-flight art, no matter of what kind, ain’t one of them.