Obama: Daydream Believer

“What a fool believes…he sees.
No wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be.”
–The Doobie Brothers

Rational discussion with a liberal, let alone a hard-core leftist, is nigh onto impossible.  Facts are like high winds that threaten to blow down their ideological houses of straw.  And, like a shaman in the night, they try to frighten them away with loud noises (their voices) and traditional incantations (Nazi! Tea-bagger!). Their poor pink souls are locked inside a belief system that more appropriately defines who they are than what the world outside is.  But from whence cometh their odd behaviors?  The inimitable P.J. O’Rourke ponders his own journey, and derives some answers:

What I Believed In The Sixties

by P.J. O’Rourke

Everything. You name it and I believed it. I believed love was all you need. I believed you should be here now. I believed drugs could make everyone a better person. I believed I could hitchhike to California with thirty-five cents and people would be glad to feed me. I believed Mao was cute. I believed private property was wrong. I believed my girlfriend was a witch. I believed my parents were Nazi space monsters. I believed the university was putting saltpeter in the cafeteria food. I believed the NLF were the good guys in Vietnam. I believed Lyndon Johnson was plotting to murder all the Negroes. I believed Yoko Ono was an artist. I believed Bob Dylan was a musician. I believed I would live forever or until twenty-one, whichever came first. I believed the world was about to end. I believed the Age of Aquarius was about to happen. I believed the I Ching said to cut classes and take over the Dean’s office.  I believed wearing my hair long would end poverty and injustice. I believed there was a great throbbing web of psychic mucus and we were all part of it somehow. I managed to believe Gandhi and H. Rap Brown at the same time. With the exception of anything my mom and dad said, I believed everything. […]

What I Believe Now

Nothing. Well, nothing much. I mean, I believe things that can be proven by reason and by experiment, and believe you me, I want to see the logic and the lab equipment. I believe that Western civilization, after some disgusting glitches, has become almost civilized. I believe it is our first duty to protect that civilization. I believe it is our second duty to improve it.  I believe it is our third duty to extend it if we can. But let’s be careful about that last point. Not everybody is ready to be civilized. I wasn’t in 1969.

Is There Anything To Be Gained By Re-Examining All This Nonsense?

I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a “learning experience.”  Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I’ve done as a “learning experience.” It makes me feel less stupid. However, I actually did learn one thing in the 1960s (besides how to make a hash pipe out of an empty toilet paper roll and some aluminum foil). I learned the awful power of make-believe.

There is a deep-seated and frighteningly strong human need to make believe things are different than they are–that salamanders live forever, we all secretly have three legs, and there’s an enormous conspiracy somewhere which controls our every thought and deed. etc. And it’s not just ignorant heathen, trying to brighten their squalid days, who think up such things. Figments of the imagination can be equally persuasive here in clean, reasonable, education-chocked Middle America. People are greedy. Life is never so full it shouldn’t be fuller.

[…] Many people think fantastical ideas are limited to the likes of harmonic convergences, quartz crystals that ward off cancer, or at worst, hare-brained theories about who killed JFK. Unfortunately, this is not the case, especially not in this century. Two of the most fecund areas for cheap fiction are politics and economics. Which brings me to Marxism.

Marxism is a perfect example of the chimeras that fueled the sixties. And it was probably the most potent one. Albeit, much of this Marxism would have been unrecognizable to Marx. It was Marxism watered down, Marxism spiked with LSD, and Marxism adulterated with mystical food coloring.  But it was Marxism nonetheless, because the wildest hippie and the sternest member of the Politburo shared the same daydream, the daydream that underlies all Marxism: that a thing might somehow be worth other than what people will give for it. This just is not true. And any system that bases itself on such a will-o’-the-wisp is bound to fail.  Communes don’t work.  Cuba doesn’t either.

Marxism […] gives you someone to blame besides yourself.  It’s theoretically tidy. And best of all, it’s fully imaginary so it can never be disproved.

(“What I Believed In The Sixties” excerpted from Give War A Chance, 1993)

Everybody’s young and stupid once; maybe even young and stupid enough to embrace the tired tenets of old Karl Marx.  But most of us–like P.J.–grow up and grow out of it.  Here’s one who didn’t.  Unfortunately, he’s now the President of the United States:

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About Bob Mack

Retired since 2003. Military Service: U.S. Army, 36th Artillery Group, Babenhausen, Germany 1966-67; 1st Signal Brigade, Republic of Vietnam, 1967-68 Attended University of Miami, 1969-73
This entry was posted in Humor, Opinion, Uncategorized, Video and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Obama: Daydream Believer

  1. samhenry says:

    If I could press the “like” button ten times I would. This is a gem. I resemble that – time period. I was the salmon swimming upstream thinking the kids with long hair were missing the point. My professors were demonstrating and encouraging me to do so and I kept insisting they teach – what I paid them for – and that I would consider demonstrating.

    This man writes beautifully – almost as good a The Bob. SH

    • Bob Mack says:

      Glad you liked it, SH. Some more wit & wisdom from P.J.:

      “Giving money and power to government is like giving whisky and car keys to teenage boys.”

      “Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.”

      “You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.”

      “There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible.”

      “It’s not gay marriage that should be outlawed, it’s first marriages.”

      “Earnestness is stupidity sent to college.”

      “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”

      • samhenry says:

        Appreciate the coda here. I’ve gone round the bend on Israel. I won’t have a friend left. But there are Israelis – younger ones – who think like this old broad. Hope it doesn’t do in any internet friendships. SH

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Obama: Daydream Believer | Be Sure You're RIGHT, Then Go Ahead -- Topsy.com

  3. Excellent post!

    I’ll be linking to this next week for recommended reading.

  4. AFVET says:

    I have found that during a conversation with a liberal the more sense you make the louder they get.
    Common sense questions only result in louder circular answers.
    A dog will chase it’s tail because it thinks it can catch it.
    Once it does, what does it have ?
    I deplore shouting matches, therefore, at a certain decibel level I become silent.
    Silence is Golden.

    • Bob Mack says:

      I try not to converse with them, AFVET. People who think it’s snowing more because the earth is getting warmer will believe anything.

    • samhenry says:

      This dog doesn’t chase it’s tail. It is to fat to bend, lol. But I do have some off the wall views for which I hope I am forgiven and or allowed to have and not lose friends. I agree, shouting is a waste.

  5. J.P. Morgan says:

    Great article, Bob. The liberals have found a new way to avoid a losing argument–they just run off across the border and pout. Reminds me of when I was a kid, and the snot nose who was getting beat decided to take his ball home.

    JP

    • Bob Mack says:

      Evening J.P. The Wisconsin Dems are odds-on favorites to win next year’s Darwin Awards: “commemorating those who yield to natural selection and “remove” themselves from the gene pool…thereby ensuring that the next generation is smarter by one.” In this case, removing themselves from the political gene pool.

  6. J.P. Morgan says:

    Morning Bob. Love to wake up in the morning and watch the Democrat Doo-Dah parade pass by. You might check out my website–I have created a new Academy Awards category for the chief idiot.

    JP

  7. blackwatertown says:

    Hi Bob – Found you via samhenry who’s in the comments above.
    I like P J O’Rourke’s writing – Republican Party Reptile and Holidays in Hell – he’s clever, perceptive and funny. But he also has a tendency, in my opinion, to set up straw men to demolish, rather than attack targets as they are.

  8. Bob Mack says:

    Welcome aboard, BWT. I guess one of the perils of comedic analogy is that you sometimes have to lay your own salt lick in the deer blind. And P.J.’s old school National Lampoon, where writers not only made a habit of setting up straw men, they usually grew their own straw.

  9. The link to this post is up for today’s recommended reading a my site.

  10. Um, “at my site.”

  11. namaste says:

    this is why i write and i read. in our evolution, the exchange we have with each other is just as crucial as the actions we take. i followed this link from aow. thanks to you both for a good read today!

  12. cube says:

    Excellent post. Clearly, wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age.

    • Bob Mack says:

      Not in my case anyway, cube. If Obama’d ever spent any time in a ’60s commune, he’d probably be a right-winger instead of the guy leading the Free World down the drain.

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