Friday, December 31, 2010

Constitutional Governance and the People Who Stand Against It

Leftist apologists for the incomprehensible crimes of Communism and Fascism in the 20th century often claim that "real" Communism has never been tried because they didn't have the "right people" in charge. But if they could get the "right people" elected, it would prove itself to indeed be a Utopia. Of course, since such people seem to be as rare as hens teeth, one of these indispensable persons could be run over by a bus and the whole thing would collapse once again into mass murder and corruption. But that eventuality never seems to enter these peoples thoughts.

It is this notion that somewhere, out there, is just the "right person" that intrigued me about an article today in the American Thinker entitled IF I Do It, It Is Holy by Henry Percy.  To quote Percy:
Whatever a great man does is good because, well, he's great. Sound familiar from our contemporary politics? The same principle is found in Indian spirituality: whatever the guru does is holy because he is the guru. He is good not because of what he does, but what he does is good because he is good. His behavior may appear immoral, unethical or even illegal, but that is because our consciousness is too impure to evaluate the actions of the holy man. Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them," but for the seeker of enlightenment the task of separating the false prophets from the true has nothing to do with evaluating a candidate guru's fruits. No, the seeker's task is to find a perfect master, follow his behests blindly, and accept all he does no matter how inimical it may appear.
I was reminded of a conversation between two Obama supporters and myself several months ago during which a remark was made that Bush and put in place the Patriot Act, and how that was evil and showed that Bush was evil. I interrupted to note that Obama had not repealed the Patriot Act, and had even embraced it. One turned to the other and said "But don't you think that Obama's use of the Patriot Act is noble, while Bush's was evil?" The other nodded approvingly, saying "Oh, yes, oh yes!"

Clearly, if they were to run the rest of their lives on the basis of "good people can do no wrong, and bad people can do no right," they would be at a loss to explain the actions of anyone, or to understand them.  In such world view there would be no possibility for redemption, or for making mistakes.  Every mistake is the result of a bad person acting evilly.  And since the mistake was the result of evil, there can be no apology, no trying to set things right, and no forgiveness.  But such a worldview does explain how someone can defend an offspring even knowing they did wrong, and condemn the society that seeks justice for that wrong.  Said offspring would be good in their eyes, and therefore any action taken by that offspring would of necessity be good also.

I think the notion of the guru character fits in with how many people view Law in the Empathetic Society, another piece in the American Thinker today by Jeremy Egerer. Go read the whole thing, as it has some important things to say.

At first glance, the two ideas seem to stand in contrast to one another. Either people believe that good men can do no wrong, or they believe that compassion should rule a good man's life. Either way, one can not believe in both. But I think, in their deepest part, they retain the childish notion that a good man can not commit evil, and a bad one can not do right. Sometimes, as in the conversation mentioned above, they inadvertently reveal that belief. But since they know that others believe man to be more complicated, they hide instead behind a crippled and often misplaced version of compassion. After all, it is said Hitler loved his dogs. He may have even loved Eva Braun, though he clearly loved power more.  For all that, he was still a profoundly evil individual.

People who think like this, unfortunately, can still vote.  The only way to minimize the damage they can do is to insist that government never exceed the limitations placed on it by the Constitution.  While the Constitution has been abrogated at several points in our history by emergencies that may have seemed overwhelming to those in the thick of them, I think most of them could have been avoided had people been determined to do so.  We must be determined reign it in, and keep it in the box.

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