The Political
Is Personal:
An Autopsy

Jon Gallant

Part II
Overall, then, we arrive at a simple diagnosis: the American Left is trapped in a classic neurotic cycle. Politics as dress-up leads to provocative behaviour which in turn sabotages the very politics the Left presumably favours. Hence the perpetual failure.

The failure then reinforces the patients' hostility toward the society which rejects their politics, a rejection which they cannot, of course, imagine has anything to do with their behaviour; the continually renewed hostility pushes their outlook ever deeper into paranoia, which in turn makes them less and less capable of persuading anyone of anything. The FBI doesn't even need to plant provocateurs here: the patients handle that job themselves.

Attend a typical Leftist discussion group, as I did shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01, and the clinical pattern fairly jumps out at you.

At the meeting I attended, the room crackled with indignation, but it was all directed against the US, which was the injured party. Some of the congregants believed that the US had itself connived in (or even organized) the terrorist attacks.

What for? Why, to create a pretext for a long-planned imperialist assault on Afghanistan, in order to seize that country's fabled mineral wealth. Just like the Clinton administration's assault on Serbia, so as to seize the rich prize of Kosovo. The savage internal wars of former Yugoslavia had, of course, been fomented somehow by the USA, the World Bank, and the multinational corporations to this end. Similarly, the diabolical Jimmy Carter administration had tricked the Soviets into their invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. [The congregants undoubtedly also believed that Carter had manipulated Saddam Hussein into attacking attack Iran, and Mount St. Helens into erupting, in 1980.]

It was all really so simple: any evil that occurred anywhere in the universe was due to the machinations of the USA and the Coca-Cola corporation. All this was self-evident to the congregants. It entered my mind that their outlook would not travel well outside the air bubble in which they had been suspended since 1969. I cast my eyes around the room, to see if I could detect padding on the walls, and men in white coats with butterfly nets standing at the doors.

There is no question that George W. Bush and his advisor Karl Rove are counting on these inmates to act out as much and as shrilly as they can between now and 2004. Their performances will thereby tar all opposition to George W. by association, making him a shoo-in for re-election, along with his Republicans in Congress. That will enable George W. & Co. to continue their domestic program of revising the tax code in favour of the very rich, and of dismantling what there is of the American welfare system. Thanks yet again, kids.

Go back to Part I

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