Friday, July 28, 2006

Lessons from the meeting

First, the important news: we survived the meeting.
Now, a quick report...

Returning home last night on the bus I was witness to an interesting individual, whose actions offered an ironic summary of the meeting I had just left. This man on the bus was the personification of what we are up against, in Canada.

Juding by the body language of two individuals sitting nearby, it seemed as if a man simply attached himself to a conversational partner to keep himself amused for the ride. Pigeonholing some poor hapless passenger this man gave her, and anyone nearby with ears, his life story. It went from an annoying distraction to a revealing life lesson when he got to the part about his complete lack of curiosity. "I don't watch television", he said. "Don't read newspapers, either; or listen to the radio. [He didn't even mention the internet, and he didn't come across as someone who owned a computer] I am not interested in politics or current events. But I still know what's going on in the world. I know about Israel, for instance."

And off he went about why Israel is such a bad place. Interesting that someone who brags about how clued out he is can take equal pride in the depths of his perception on "the jewish threat". A man willfully disconnecting himself from his world, a man so tuned out to the lives of others that he can harass innocent bystanders with no hesitation, yet from the depths of his insensitive hermitage he still dares pontificate on the supposed perfidy of a nation that by his own admission he chooses to ignore on a daily basis. He just parrots "what everybody knows" is true.
It is the self-centered myopia of individuals such as these that plague Canada at this time, those that are so set in their thoughts, so comfortable with their beliefs, so confident in their purity and their sanctity, that they are determined to not change one iota from who and what they are, and possess the hubris to brag of this status, no matter how little they do to test or measure the ongoing truth of their worldview.

How to get more people to question their beliefs, to interact with others who hold different views, to investigate the other side of the great arguments of our time; this was a major question discussed at our meeting. An anecdotal example: a young idealist at the MAWO desecration the week before came over to Dag all afire with fury at the small group daring to protest his protest; by the time his conversation with Dag had drawn to a close, he was a smiling, becalmed, pleasant fellow, disarmed of his hatred by Dag's reasonableness, revealed through prolongued exposure as hardly the monster described by the young fellow's "friends" back at the rally. Sadly it is likely that the moment the idealist was back among his "friends" his mind would be assaulted anew, to bring him to yet another boiling anger about having been, I don't know, beguiled or seduced by our being happy warriors.

I remember several people from the previous protest at the World Peace Forum, who openly declared they would not read our blog because it would be a different point of view than their own. This is the attitude of a student of history?? This is the attitude of someone wanting to be clued in to current events?? We read what the left writes, we hear what the left says, because we can't escape it, certainly not here in Canada: they dominate the discourse with their amoral funhouse mirror vision of our nation's place in the world.

How to expose the other side to our view, to a window into the arguments of people who are proud of the gifts of western civilization, grateful for the opportunities and freedoms bestowed by that western civilization, and safeguarded by nations like the United States of America and Israel. There once was a time when Canada could be counted as an equal shephard to democratic freedoms, and the spreading of them throughout the world. Will that time ever return? Can we recreate a majority willing to bear such responsibilities again? Not without an argument. Yet the left won't even debate, because they don't want to change their minds. For whatever reason, they fear being wrong more than they fear being dead.
Maybe because, with such a limited view, both mean the same thing.

How to reach people, on an ongoing basis, to a sufficient amount of exposure, to give them time to see that what they thought was a window is actually a mirror, that the evils they see are reflections of what lies within them.

The hermit on my bus who brags about how little he needs the outside world turns out to be so desperate to connect to it that his desperation reduces him to parasitically attaching himself to strangers. The left in Canada who brag of their superior compassion seem to hate everyone. They are so determined to help others that they only help themselves.

What will it take to get them to look inward, so that their outward view may be changed?

What seems to work best, to date, is using their own against them. Their methods, their terms, their allies. When we protest them, it unnerves them mightily. When we appropriate their slogans du jour, it mutes them. When we show them what bedfellows they sleep with ideologically, it reaches them.
Because it cracks their mirror.


nomdeblog said...

I agree with much of what you say but the good news is that there are were always Liberals who are really “blue liberals”. Maybe because their parents always voted Liberal they have too; now they are willing to give Harper a chance because they can see that he is not all that scary.

Having said that, now that Harper has thrown the gauntlet down on being pro-Israel and anti-terrorist there will be more votes shifting around .. but where’s Iggy on these issues? Too early to tell if we could get a majority but I’m hopeful. Because we know the free world is at risk and conservatives have a better chance of containing that risk.

The facts will win eventually. Many of us have decided to no longer be politically correct and speak our minds with confidence in Harper’s leadership. I find my lefty friends are “unnerved with their cracked mirrors” and are backing off somewhat. Many of those in the middle who were wavering are now leaning right. The left wing MSM has gone overboard and this is now apparent for the first time to many.

truepeers said...

Yet the left won't even debate, because they don't want to change their minds. For whatever reason, they fear being wrong more than they fear being dead.
Maybe because, with such a limited view, both mean the same thing.

-I think this is a keen insight, Charles. At root, their attitudes and sociability is pagan and accordingly full of sacrificial violence.

Putting a mirror in front of people is always a powerful strategy. We can also think about making traditional values like honour, courage, perseverance noteworthy again (e.g. by fighting to speak the truth about Israel and America) and represent them in the name of the mainstream Canadian culture that has so few public defenders, or even representatives, today. In part, the left hates us because we have entered a freer, highly decentralized age with little of singular importance winning attentions at the centre of our culture or society. Lacking the old-style high culture which the anachronistic left would still like to make it their business to represent and criticize, they must punish us for abandoning the stage and audience they desire. To their way of thinking, we bourgeois westerners are now only notable as victimizers of the victims they must now put at the centre of attention. They will gall us with the finger that declares us racists, sexists, homophobes, whatever, until some of us have the gumption to fight for the centre again (and thus acknowledge their desire to fight for the centre). So I am glad to hear nomdeblog saying he sees many deciding no longer to be pc.

But while the old, centralized, national high culture has declined for understandable reasons, this is not to say that we can ever do without someone taking responsibility to defend the centre of national life . A viable national politics will always require it, if we are to escape the fate of being nothing but subjects of some imperial bureaucracy. So, I think we are now entering a time when anyone who is capable (this is now the only prerequisite) of representing the Canadian centre through noble acts can do so and get some attention. So, let's show them the mirror with one hand, and what a good Canadian can be with the other.

nomdeblog said...

Well said truepeers. Blogs can make a difference. Roger Simon is a good example that you’d be familiar with. Many commentators on his site have been life long Democrats who now fed up with the waffling wishy-washy Dems. The left is afraid of making a mistake, as you say, thus they want to just plan, centrally.

Good luck to you and Charles Henry with your left coast efforts.