Saturday, August 15, 2015

Alan Keyes: Still Crazy After All These Years

Remember Alan Keyes? He ran for president a few times back in the old days. 1996, 2000 and 2008 to be exact. If you are under the age of twenty-two you probably don't remember Alan Keyes or all the whacky things Alan Keyes said back then. But Alan is still bouncing around saying a whacky thing or two when he gets around to it, so, you're in luck! He's done it again.

Recently AK submitted an op-ed - to something with the menacing brand name BarbWire - in which he holds forth on the subject of Donald Trump. Who, he concludes, is in actuality a leftist Democrat and a socialist. And - as if it couldn't be more sinister than that - a "competent" socialist to boot! "Trump stands for socialism, competently imposed," Dr. Keyes explains.

Trump has been outspoken in his criticism of the incompetent launch of Obamacare. But that’s not because he opposes socialist healthcare. He has in fact repeatedly said that he’s "a liberal" on healthcare. He has long favored a single payer system. During the GOP’s recent mock-up of a debate (more like overdone personal bickering than debating) he was clear about his position, going so far as to claim that "It works well in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland." Trump doesn’t oppose socialism. He opposes what he sees as the incompetent administration of socialism.
Keyes then proceeds to invoke the experience of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who was imprisoned in the Soviet Union - or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) - in 1945 for his criticism of Joseph Stalin's handling of the war.

Solzhenitsyn well understood, the real objection to the socialist ideology isn’t just its failure to deliver "the goods." It’s the fact that it invites people to understand those goods in strictly materialistic terms. By doing so socialism denies the spirit God shares with humanity, thereby endangering our living souls. But exactly what significance do spirit and soul have for someone like Donald Trump, who professes to be a Christian, yet frankly admits that he has never seriously sought God’s forgiveness. Instead, he says, if and when he has sinned, he just fixes it himself. This is precisely the delusion that lies at the heart of the socialist ideology– the delusion of God-denying self-sufficiency that obscures the intangible essence of human being, so that people may be regarded as nothing more than complex arrangements of soulless matter, no more intrinsically significant than the dust. The literally atrocious aspects of the socialist regimes of the 20th century were not a function of the incompetence with which they were administered. They were the inevitable result of the degraded view of human personality the socialist ideology entails and inculcates.
Ok, got that? Socialism is bad, "endangering our living souls" - "the spirit God shares with humanity," and so forth. And Stalin's Soviet Union is historical evidence of what "socialist ideology entails and inculcates." Just ask Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Keeping in mind that Stalin became a dictator controlling a single party communist nation/state.

Also keep in mind that Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act ( Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) in 1935 (ten years before Stalin deposited Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in a gulag) and the Rural Electrification Administration which was created about three months earlier in May of 1935.

By all indications these were and are socialist programs which would no doubt qualify as a "failure to deliver the goods," as Dr. Keyes would no doubt complain.

But does Keyes really believe that all those homes and farms in Nebraska and Kansas and the mountains of Appalachia were better off before they could turn electric lights on and off in their homes and barns and businesses? Before they could heat their homes in winter with electrical thangs and keep food cold with refrigeration. Listen to radios, pump water from a ground well into their homes and so on?

Does Keyes really think that all those people who benefited from the Rural Electrification program were denied "the spirit God shares with humanity" because they could turn on a table lamp and sit in bed and read the bible after sundown?

Does he believe that all those people who have benefited from Social Security through the years have been reduced to "soulless matter, no more intrinsically significant than the dust" because of it?

What Keyes is doing here is attempting to use conflation to marry socialism, "Obamacare" and single payer healthcare to Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union, godless materialism, and tyranny. It's an absurdity of course but Keyes is a master of absurdity.

Conflation occurs when the identities of two or more individuals, concepts, or places, sharing some characteristics of one another, seem to be a single identity — the differences appear to become lost. In logic, it is the practice of treating two distinct concepts as if they were one, which produces errors or misunderstandings as a fusion of distinct subjects tends to obscure analysis of relationships which are emphasized by contrasts. However, if the distinctions between the two concepts appear to be superficial, intentional conflation may be desirable for the sake of conciseness and recall.

The overall objective of course is to impress upon his readers the belief in a unity of adversarial particulars. In this case not only what he perceives as socialistic/socialist programs (Obamacare, single payer etc..) but also those he attacks as liberals on the left and "GOP quislings" (2016 presidential candidates) who are part of an "elitist faction sham" on the right.

I’m tempted to believe that no self-respecting conservative could possibly be that thoughtless, but then I remember that many "conservatives" who still accept the GOP delusion are self-professed, not self-respecting. If they were the latter, they would cast aside the elitist faction’s sham two-party con game, and devote all their energy to building an authentically conservative political vehicle, compatible with the provisions of the U.S. Constitution and the liberty of the American people. They would also reject, out of hand, whichever candidate the elitist faction sham sends forth to beguile us into surrendering it. Donald Trump is such a candidate. So in fact are all the men and woman who have "made their bones" in either of the elitist gangs now masquerading as opposing political parties
All these different parts then become - Keyes wants you to believe - a dangerous unified whole where the eventual consequences of their decisions and actions can be measured in a creeping Stalinesque type tyranny and ultimately a nation reduced to a Godless, soulless void.

Adolf Hitler, writing in Mein Kampf, put it this way:

"It belongs to the genius of a great leader to make even adversaries far removed from one another seem to belong to a single category... a multiplicity of different adversaries must always be combined so that in the eyes of the masses of one's supporters the struggle is directed against only one enemy."

I assume that Alan Keyes is more or less familiar with modern plumbing and the concept of municipal public sewage systems. Which are, for the most part, a socialistic endeavor. In any case, I also assume that on occasion Keyes has found himself plopped down on the pot - insert Godly soul-deep contemplation here - in some town or city with a functioning socialist municipal sewage infrastructure.

Does Dr. Keyes believe that every time he flushes "the goods" down the Godless can a little bit of his "intangible essence of human being" is incompetently carried away down the drain?

Uh, yeah, he's probably just crazy enough to think so.

See link: 
trump stands for socialism competently imposed

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