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Monday, January 22, 2018

Celebrating Lee Day, While Thousands of Women Go Marching Off to Hell

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I was in Raleigh, North Carolina, on January 20th to join over 350 North Carolinians gathered in the old House of Representative chamber of the historic 1840 State Capitol to celebrate North Carolina’s 29th annual celebration of Robert E. Lee Day. It was an impressive ceremony that reminded the attendees of the precious historical legacy and cultural inheritance that we have received and that is so gravely endangered these days. I came away encouraged: there were men, women, and children, various members of the military and surviving veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm, with their families, all joined in memory of veterans—not just Confederate soldiers but all veterans—who went before us, those who selflessly defended their homes, their land, and their faith, so that we might enjoy and experience those gifts…and pass them on to our children.

When I walked the short distance from a crowded parking lot to the State Capitol, I noticed that my car was surrounded by dozens of other cars emblazoned with bumper stickers with such messages as: “Dump Trump, Keep Your Hands Off My Vagina,” “Abortion Free and Legal,” “Open Immigration NOW!,” “Lesbians Unite to Smash the Right,” “Resist!”—those are just the ones I noticed. And I wondered if, when I returned, my little Kia (with a Confederate license plate) would be scarred or damaged by those latter-day liberated amazons. As I walked up the sidewalk to the Capitol I noticed hundreds of women—most of whom I would have certainly avoided had I met them at a social gathering—headed for a rally, an event concurrent with our event, just a few blocks away on what is called the Bicentennial Plaza, a much larger event for certain, but in no way comparable in quality or merit.

It was the Raleigh extension of the “Women’s Resist” movement, a grab bag manifestation of a whole motley crew of what is best described as an expression of “feminist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, Marxist and anti-Trump sentiment,” which was held on the one year anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Despite a mammoth Pro-Life Rally in Washington the day prior—perhaps as many as 200,000 participants and the president addressing them (the first president to do that)—it was the women’s  march that was practically the only thing the media could or wished to concentrate on, those hundreds of thousands of #Resist movement women (with some of their poor, bedraggled husbands and brainwashing-in-process young daughters and sons in tow), now supplemented by the supposedly-sexually-abused #MeToo militants, out in the streets demonstrating for a variety of feminist and civil rights causes.

If there was and is anything that should convince us of the absolutely deleterious and poisonous effects of modern public schooling and university education and the effects of our entertainment Behemoth, it was to behold those women (and their menfolk) heading to their rally. Most carried signs, bearing expressions which, when not just foul-mouthed or profane, partook of what I would call “illiterate-speak.” That is, sloganeering based on fiercely weaponized and half-baked nuggets of thought; those bits of ideas spread throughout our dominant culture, which for them are in fact unquestioned and which under normal circumstances would not bear up under any close analysis or scrutiny.

Those women live their lives based on Progressivist slogans, incorporating a deconstructed—or, rather, reconstructed—language of short catch-all phrases and terminologies, buttressed by pseudo-scientific gobbledegook: “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobe,” “voting rights,” “gender equality,” “transgender rights,” the list is interminable. Their explanations and definitions are usually circuitous, and generally all come back to a foundation in what they call “equality” and “liberation” from traditional—and thus “oppressive”—rules and moral (and natural) law, which they almost always misunderstand or simply ignore. In other words, those foundations that have created our civilization and given it life over the past more than twenty centuries are discarded, become mere impediments in the way of Progress that must be overthrown, or at least radically altered, transformed or re-interpreted.

One thing you can be sure of is that tomorrow we shall see another “right” invented for whatever new barbarity will be intuited to have been miraculously found in the “penumbra of the Constitution,” and that there will be some federal judge or judges out there who will confirm that that is exactly what the Founders and Framers of the Republic truly intended, whether it be for some dehumanized “metrosexual” male who all of a sudden “declares” that he “feels” like a woman and demands that he be allowed to use a lady’s restroom, or for some husky female who decides that she should be a tackle on the Minnesota Vikings football team so she can run up against a player who weighs in a 320 pounds (and has three convictions for wife abuse).

Now it is transgender rights and gender fluidity, but tomorrow it will be incest and polygamy, no doubt.  And there will be a series of “experts” and assembled PhDs in psychiatry and counseling brought in to testify that such practices are indeed just fine and—shall we even use the word?—normal.

Yes, that is most assuredly what James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and other fathers of this republic envisioned! 

I have argued previously that what we see presently in our society, and not just with the so-called “women’s movement,” is a form of collective madness, the existence of an artificial counter-reality; a condition in which certain broad strata of our population, ingesting decades and, yes, centuries of both intellectual and spiritual disinformation, have constructed around themselves a pseudo-reality to match their ideological indoctrination. Reality for them must match what they have been told and instructed to believe. So, instead of accepting the God-given reality and the natural order as created, instead of accepting their own creaturehood and an understanding of the flawed nature and limitations of humanity, itself, they construct a revolutionary counter-existence to explain things and events, what German philosophers might call “gestalt,” as a way of justifying their beliefs and resulting actions.

And thus there is the need to diagnose and explain why the rest of us—those who reject their worldview—do not accept the new template and the new reality they propound. Whether it be the attempts of historic liberalism of the 19th century to define traditionalist, religious and royalist thinking as “reactionary,” “anti-democratic,” and “opposed to the inevitability of Progress,” or more recent efforts in the old Soviet Union, when not exiling dissenters to the Gulag, to send those who opposed the new orthodoxy to mental and psychiatric hospitals for treatment and “re-education,”—no matter what the example—those who advance the counter-reality (which in essence is a rebellion against God and His creation) seek to deauthorize and delegitimize their opponents.

Just recently a veritable gaggle of “expert” psychiatrists and non-medical pundits spent an inordinate amount of time on air, “diagnosing” Donald Trump as “mentally unfit” for office. Obviously his physical examination tests were skewed, obviously his doctor (who was also Obama’s) was lying…this is what we were told. Even as I caught a bit of NPR riding in my car to Raleigh (the program “What! What! Don’t Tell Me”) and later that night (Jimmy Fallon), the unhumorous attempts at humor, characterizing Trump as “mentally abnormal”, were shot through with bitter scorn and hatred, a drippingly vile condescension exhibited not just toward the president, but at anyone who would not follow the new dogmatism and accept the new reality.  (Remember FBI agent Peter Strzok’s description of being able “to smell Trump supporters at Walmart”?)

The Progressivist syllogism goes as follows:

Premise #1: What we in the media, academia and the dominant culture dictate and proclaim as true cannot be legitimately contested;

Premise #2: But Donald Trump and millions of those “deplorables” in the despised “fly-over country” (to quote the condescending pornographic novelist Philip Roth) deny and refuse to accept what we demand they accept;

Conclusion: Therefore, Donald Trump (and all those unwashed deplorables) are “mentally sick” and “unadjusted,” requiring counseling and correction, and if that doesn’t work, condemnation and exiling from the public square.

(And, let me point out, that one doesn’t have to agree with the president on every issue to fall victim of this new dogmatism —I certainly have my disagreements on some issues.)

And thus we see the broadly erupting epidemic, which becomes fiercer as the days pass, of suppression of  “dissident” speech on college campuses in the name of protecting students from racism, sexism and homophobia; of firing or penalizing employees who question the Progressivist narratives on race and sex; the censoring of those on Facebook or Google who question the new totalitarian templates; the abject fear of any politician (Democrat or Republican) or any public personality of transgressing the steadily-moving-to-the-Left goal posts on race or sexual “liberation.” To do so will result in overwhelming demands for a complete and groveling apology—and perhaps a handsome donation to the NAACP or Planned Parenthood, to help make up for the “sin” committed against the new dogmas.

I have termed the counter-reality that produces this palpable intellectual and spiritual totalitarianism as a form of lunacy, a kind of madness that inverts and attempts to pervert creation and nature itself, so as to match a synthetic and imposed, essentially anti-human, ideology. To protect itself from dissent and probing questions, it must continually be on the offensive, continually convulsed and convulsive like all fanaticisms, and always on guard that some “reactionary,” in some place, will speak up and notice its intellectual vacuity and artificiality…and its horrid and genocidal effects.

Those women yesterday professed that they were marching for “equality,” for the expansion of something they called liberty. But they have no idea of what genuine liberty is or entails.  

In his volume, The Poet and the Lunatics (1929), G. K. Chesterton’s character Gale asks the question: “What exactly is liberty?” He responds, in part:

“First and foremost, surely, it is the power of a thing to be itself. In some ways the yellow bird was free in the cage…We are limited by our brains and bodies; and if we break out, we cease to be ourselves, and, perhaps, to be anything.

The lunatic is he who loses his way and cannot return…. The man who opened the bird-cage loved freedom; possibly too much... But the man who broke the bowl merely because he thought it a prison for the fish, when it was their only possible house of life—that man was already outside the world of reason, raging with a desire to be outside of everything.” [Italics added]

True liberty, and its exercise, requires that it have an object and a terminus. In our European and Christian civilization, with its fundamental inheritances from the three great historic centers of learning and wisdom—Rome, Athens, and Jerusalem—that means we are entrusted with essential rights and liberties that are both inherited and defined by who we are as a people and by our relationship to our Creator and to those institutions that give us existence and life. This is our inheritance; we have no other. To attempt to overthrow or pervert it is to open the doors to self-destruction.

Those women I saw yesterday, and the millions of other Americans like them, are modern revolutionaries, and, to use Chesterton’s parable, are lunatics, “already outside the world of reason,” whose unrestrained rage to destroy is only matched by their profound inability to create anything of real and lasting value.

And thus that smaller crowd at Lee Day at the State Capitol, while overshadowed in numbers (and by media coverage), represented hope and recovery, and the blessed assurance that our battle goes on…and that numbers and fame, while significant and certainly important, are as nothing if we are on God’s side.

 

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Dr. Boyd D. Cathey

Boyd D. Cathey, a native North Carolinia, received an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow) and served as assistant to conservative author, Dr. Russell Kirk, in Mecosta, Michigan. Recipient of a Richard M. Weaver Fellowship, he completed his doctoral studies at the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. Then, after additional studies in philosophy and theology, he taught in both Connecticut and in Argentina, before returning to the United States. He served as State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives, retiring in 2011. He is the author of various articles and studies published in several different languages about political matters, religion, and culture and the arts.

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