who normally doesn’t follow the news wrote to me about Rathergate, and I replied:
> I got sucked into this Rathergate stuff by the way, because it seemed so weird.
I thought Rathergate (which I just began reading up on last night after I got home from a wilderness trip) is truly interesting, but it must really be extraordinary if it even caught your attention. :-)
> It’s really my impression that the Democrats have gone insane.
Welcome to the club. People have been noting this and been increasingly amazed by it (and in my case appalled by it) for the last couple of years.
> Why do they think this Natl Guard stuff is the issue they should press?
Part of it has to do with the sheer personal nature of their hatred of Bush—spoiled rich man’s son, and so on. So they think that’s his most vulnerable point.
It’s also an expression of how their own emptiness and dishonesty has become a kind of cult for them. What I mean is, they normally disdain everything to do with the military, right? Then suddenly they make Kerry’s military service the gleeful, passionate center of the campaign. Why? Because it’s something that they can use against Bush. So they become wildly enthusiastic about, of all things, Kerry’s supposed advantage in manhood and courage (things they normally despise) over Bush, solely because that image can now be used to discredit Bush. They believe in nothing except what they can use to destroy their “conservative,” “right-wing,” “fanatically religious” enemy. Whatever can help them defeat their conservative foe, is for them a god. The National Guard thing is an extension of that.
This is, of course, a complete reversal of the truth, just like their phony “I’m-John-Kerry-and-I’m-reporting-for-duty” national convention. The reality is that, like Kerry himself, they care nothing about national defense, but they feel they have to pretend they care about it a lot, in order to win the election. So they go through this transparent dog and pony show of how gung ho they are to destroy terrorists.
This is all a logical working out of liberalism. Liberals don’t believe in substances, especially our own particular substances, such as our nation and civilization, because those substances are unequal. But they are still functioning in a not-yet-completely leftist country where they have to pretend to care about those substantive things. So, the more they really are indifferent or hostile to those things, the more urgent and aggressive becomes their assertion of how much they care about them (and they do care about them, insofar as they think it will help them win), and the more the National Guard issue beckons to them like a glimpse of ectasy, a temptation they cannot possibly resist.
To put it another way, liberalism is the pursuit of anti-being, the hatred of being and of truth, because the truth of being implies distinctions, exclusions, and inequalities between different beings. Setting up a forgery to destroy your hated foe (who represents in your mind the principle of exclusiveness and inequality and unfair advantages, and thus implicitly the principle of being itself), and then being so indifferent to truth that you don’t even bother to make the forgery half-believable, is an expression of that rebellion.
But it’s worse than a mere rebellion against being, because of the pretense in their position. In energetically promoting the true values they most despise,—manhood, courage, duty, the willingness to risk death (and use deadly force) in defense of country—they lose any remaining contact with reality they may have had. Not only are they opposing true values, as is usual for them, but now they are going through this big act of caring tremendously about those values. This separates them from moral reality and from themselves even more than before. Released from any mooring, their collective will becomes demonic. So they can’t stop themselves from using instantly discreditable attacks against their enemy, because all they know is the rush of their will to destroy him.