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Thursday, December 17, 2015
Neocons on ISIS, and America's Age of Atonement
Much of advocacy is knowing what values and emotional triggers underlie what is being said. This is sometimes called the unsaid message.
The same is true in what passes for politics -- or theater -- these days. (See this author on presidential puppetry; highly recommended.)
But what happens when someone you might think (incorrectly?) is an ally, actually lobs a strong moral judgment against you?
Paul Mulshine's NJ.com column appropriately hits on the flaws in "neocon" ideology as most recently and tragically expressed by John Podhoretz. Now, in many quarters, Podhoretz is considered a conservative, a Republican, whatever. But Podhoretz attacks those who raise questions about American intervention in the Mideast, including questions about the method if not the ultimate target.
And in so doing, Podhoretz actually raises very troubling implications about America's basic role in the universe, and Americans' basic duty, which are indistinguishable from the Marxist world view of "blame Americans first."
As you'll see in Mulshine's article which links to Podhoretz's New York Post piece, Podhoretz calls the non-interventionists (e.g., Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, even Donald Trump) "repugnant" for simply failing to endorse full-blown war on the ground against a somewhat amorphous enemy in ISIS (also known as ISIL).
This is not merely an error in judgment. It is to use a dog whistle to chide "conservatives" while signaling to the "far left" that there is a shared disdain and moral disapproval of America in its essence, and really of its common people.
You see, Podhoretz has hidden messages. These are the messages which one might not understand, or be able to verbalize. Yet they are the messages that are felt. Physically. This is where and how psychologists and therapists make their money.
The core, unsaid message: Americans have a duty -- an obligation -- to rescue the rest of the world. That is often referred to as American exceptionalism, a term which actually has Marxist origins and is idiotically used by Republicans trying to compliment America.
But saying Americans must sacrifice their safety, their children's lives, in a war to protect, well, exactly on whose behalf are we fighting now? -- that is not a compliment.
It is a mandate. And it has the same effect as a punishment. That is, Americans must be punished for being in a great country, for having a reasonably free economy, for having a Constitution, for the essence of what they are...you get the picture.
This is an emotional trigger that is no different from an attack, a racial epithet, indeed, directed at a target solely because of the immutable characteristics of his being (e.g., race, height, disability, etc.). Ergo, you are inherently bad because you are an American.
Or irredeemable. Beyond redemption. What the Orthodox Jews call amalek.
When you decode the message, you see the essence of this name-calling is an absolute disdain for the basic humanity of fellow American citizens.
It is no different from the core Marxist disdain for achievement and self-esteem, hidden of course under the cloak of human rights and rhetoric exalting the common people too uneducated -- or exhausted -- to know better.
When the neocons call for American intervention, they are calling for average Americans to sacrifice their lives. Because to them, the average American is nothing more than cannon fodder.
Might that explain the Republican Establishment refusal to engage the growing Marxist philosophies infecting and now dominating the Democratic Party, Washington DC and many opinion leaders in big business, the news media and the entertainment and legal industries?
Because, in fact, on an emotional and hence a visceral basis, the Republican and Marxist establishments share the same core view of Americans -- the "99%"?
This is why the "neocon" message can be decoded and explained very simply to average Americans -- your average jury, that is. And this is where there is political opportunity and also the opportunity for tragedy.