While you wingnuts are busy litigating Rahmbo v. El Rushbo, the larger point of what’s happening to you is sailing right over your fat heads. You’re letting yourselves get bogged down in minutiae — Does Carville talk to Stephanopoulos? Does Steele have iron in his spine? Is Matt Lauer as dumb as he looks? — when you should really be seeing the forest behind the trees. For, in the end, our Cold Civil War against you conservatives and your institutions is not really about personalities, or even policies. For once, Rush is right: It’s about principles.
And what — besides Blame America First — are those principles? Simple: Fairness and Tolerance. Which are themselves based on our inalterable and inalienable view of life: that history is one vast conspiracy against us and ours. Which is why — by any means necessary! — we’re out to take direct action against you. It’s payback time.
If you older folks detect the dulcet echoes of the ’60s in the previous paragraph, you’re hearing right. I learned from the best: my sainted father, “Che” Kahane, who stood for free speech with Mario Savio at Berkeley, fought the pigs in Chicago, bombed the science lab in Madison, occupied Columbia University, blew up the townhouse in Greenwich Village, dodged a bullet at Kent State, and kidnapped Patty Hearst. Mao famously said that power flows from the barrel of a gun, so the Flower Children first stuck a dandelion in the muzzle and disarmed society with their pleas for Fairness and Tolerance, then grabbed the trigger the first chance they got. Suckers!
What you Rethuglican fascists will never understand — especially not with the knock-kneed, apologetic, fat-headed leadership you’ve got now — is that while we appear to be speaking the same language, participating in the same politics, and sharing the same hopes, dreams, and aspirations, we’re really not. That, in fact, was the genius behind the Manchurian Campaign last fall: a soothing baritone and an unflappable demeanor that blinded you to what the Dear Leader and Teacher was really proposing. Now that the stock market has collapsed for real, the housing market is truly in the dumper, and the only ones who voluntarily pay their taxes are the little people, you know what “fundamental change” means, don’t you? Vsya vlast sovyetam: “All power to the soviets!”
Because here’s the deal. In our rage against a non-existent God, we comrades of the Left are morally offended by almost everything, but especially by your continued existence. (Ours, too, but that’s a different story.) And so it has fallen to us to right the wrongs of the past 2,000 years of the Common Era — so glad that superstitious “A.D.” nonsense is a thing of the past — by legislating and suing you out of existence. By tying you down with a million petty regulations until everything you do, say, or even think will be subject to prophylactic reflection before you do, say, or think it. We’ve won the argument — the personal is political. And now you’re about to experience the political consequences of how much we dislike you personally.
Take Fairness. Sounds unexceptionable, right? That’s exactly what we want you to think. Who could possibly be against Fairness, except for maybe Ayn Rand and the Atlas Shrugged kooks? (Sorry, Angelina! I’m not talking about you. My agent will call your agent, apologize, and beg you to give me a shot at the rewrite.) In our view, everything in modern America is unfair if it results in the slightest disparity in income, lifestyle, job description, or the availability of Chicken McNuggets at your local fast-food place — which we’ll soon be shuttering in the interests of the People’s Health; no further need to call 9-1-1! And we are more than willing to sacrifice everything you have in pursuit of social justice.
Sure, it will make you mad for a while when we “looters” systematically sack your homes, smash your pianos, and turn over your spare rooms to the wretched of the earth, but after a while, like Pasha in Doctor Zhivago, you’ll come to accept it, and even embrace it. Shared misery — what could be fairer?
When my “Uncle Joe” Kahane was a student at Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University in Moscow, there was a joke making the rounds. It seems there were two farmers, Ivan and Mikhail, equally poor, probably thanks to the crimes of the kulaks. Then one day Ivan gets a cow and his life changes. No longer does his wife have to pull the plow. They have milk and cheese. They breed the cow and suddenly they have meat. The transformation is amazing.
So Mikhail “prays” to some “deity” thus: “O Gaia! Ivan and I were always equal. Please make us equal again.” And, amazingly, Gaia answers and says: “Mikhail, your prayers have been answered.” Mikhail leaps to his feet in disbelief. A look of egalitarian radiance plays across his noble Slavic peasant features: “Oh good!” he exclaims. “You’re going to kill Ivan’s cow!”
And so to Tolerance. For 40 years we have been provoking you, goading you, mocking you, denigrating you, demeaning your faith in God and country and yourselves. We turned the all-American dad into a doofus figure of fun. We’ve gotten you to loathe stay-at-home moms, celebrate pregnant teenagers, cheer for their abortions, and sue the doctors when they botch them. We’ve convinced you that kids are smarter than their parents, that the poor are more virtuous than the rich, and that all cultures are equal. We demanded that you tolerate it — and you did! Chesterton, or some other religious nut, may have said that tolerance is the only virtue left to the man who no longer believes in anything, but so what? Tolerance is the only virtue you’re going to need while we destroy your culture, and when we’re finished, well, you won’t need it any more. Herbert Marcuse was right in Repressive Tolerance: The only thing we can’t tolerate is you.
So whether you believe in it or not, that’s the change you’re about to get, the change that was planned all along. Which is why the time is ripe for a remake of the Pasternak–David Lean movie. Imagine a society in which everything really is equal. In which everyone shares the same moldy crust of bread and rat’s-tail soup in collective harmony. In which everyone’s thermostat is set at 60 degrees. In other words, imagine paradise.
You know what I’m going to call my new script, don’t you? Of course you do: Doctor Zhivago II: This Time, It’s Personal.
– David Kahane is relearning the words to the old Soviet national anthem and recommends that you do the same. You can sing along with him at [email protected].