Why Do They Hate Us?

Save Me, Lord, from lying lips,
From the tongues of the deceitful
— Psalm 120

Why do they hate us? No, I don’t mean Al Queda, or the Arabs, or the Persians, or the Taliban. It’s my acquaintances in the media who ask the question – quietly, and among themselves: “Why do the American people hate us?”

Could it be because they’re lying to us? All the time?

This is not new. In 1964, I was on the floor of the Republican National Convention that nominated Barry Goldwater. Most accounts focus on Goldwater’s acceptance speech, where he steadfastly defended principle in the face of compromise. But I remember another historic moment from that memorable week – the address delivered by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

After recounting various accomplishments of the Republican Party over the course of its history, Ike made an impassioned plea for party unity. “My friends,” he told the delegates, “we are Republicans. If there is any finer word in the entire field of partisan politics I have not heard it. So let us particularly scorn the divisive efforts of those outside our family, including sensation-seeking columnists and commentators, who couldn’t care less about the good of our party.”

Pandemonium ensued. Delegates jumped out of their chairs, shouting and shaking their fists at the skyboxes where the network luminaries sat, stunned. On air, looking down on the delegates, Huntley, Brinkley, Cronkite, and the rest eventually recovered, smirking in feigned disbelief. But in their hearts they knew Ike was right. “They hate us.”

And for good reason. The GOP had achieved “a record of strength for America abroad,” Ike said, and “a record of responsible, common sense government at home. But the raucous cry of demagoguery has never ceased. Beginning in the 1930’s and continuing to today,” Ike roared, “our countrymen have been subjected to a sustained barrage of political misrepresentation.”

“DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER”

So wrote Winston, Member of the Outer Party and professional liar at the Ministry of Truth, in his diary on April 4, 1984. Just out of sight of the Telescreen (but not the Thought Police). Of all things, our local television affiliate aired 1984 the night before Election Day 1964; at least two people — Paul Weyrich, who later founded the “New Right,” and I – went to bed that night confident that Goldwater would win the next day. “In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right,” read the Goldwater billboards – and Goldwater said that Lyndon Johnson was the liar of the century. In our hearts, we knew he was right. Didn’t everybody?

Apparently not. At least, they didn’t care. Of course, being told that “Ignorance is Strength” didn’t help the residents of Orwell’s Oceania either. Winston knew that. Under Big Brother, there was no such thing as a lie, since Winston’s day job consisted of revising reality repeatedly, lying all the time. Nor was there any such thing as a crime: “nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws,” he thought – except, of course, ThoughtCrime, which was punishable by death.

It was Big Brother, of course, who demanded that Winston lie all his life. O’Brien, Winston’s superior and Inner Party official, knew the consequences: “Tell me,” he asked Winston, “what are your true feelings towards Big Brother?”
“I hate him.”
“You hate him. Good. Then the time has come for you to take the last step. You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.”

With that, O’Brien sent Winston to “Room 101” the subterranean torture chamber in the Ministry of Love.
O’Brien admitted to Winston that even Big Brother was a lie. The party merely used the myth to perpetuate its power, period. “If you want a picture of the future,” he told Winston, “imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”

Power, period. All the rest is lies.

Christ was pretty tough on liars. Satan, He said, is “the father of lies” (John 8:44). And lies have consequences in the natural as well as the supernatural order. As Solzhenitsyn put it, “falsehood always leaves violence in its wake.”

Every even-numbered year, the media seem to push the envelope ever further towards and beyond demagoguery. And it will get worse. Team Romney has apparently agreed to allow Bob Schieffer of CBS and Jim Lehrer of PBS to “moderate” the presidential debates. Schieffer’s biases are well-known – he has flaunted his condescending contempt for conservatives, especially Christians, for years. And Lehrer cynically offers “balance” on his left-wing, taxpayer-subsidized News Hour by inviting a smug neocon now and then, to remind his viewers once more just how unattractive “conservatives” really are.

But won’t these old pro’s rise to the occasion and be truly objective? Unlikely. Schieffer and Lehrer are warhorses on their way out. This is their last hurrah: there’s no way they’re going out with a whimper when they can be the toast of the elite for years — if they deliver a “suitable” performance, with a bang.

Good News, Bad News

First the good news: John Carr, director of the USCCB’s office of “Justice, Peace and Human Development,” has resigned after a quarter-century at the conference. More than many bishops, Carr was responsible for the drastic collapse of the credibility of the USCCB as the conference melted seamlessly into Washington’s gaggle of liberal sycophants and panhandlers seeking government funding. With pro-abortion Democrats as their “Social Justice” allies, the bishops’ impact on serious moral issues evaporated. Only this year did they finally realize that they had been betrayed — and that it was their own fault. Finally, Cardinal Dolan has apparently decided that enough is enough.

In the case of Carr, as in the abuse scandals, the bishops ignored repeated warnings and failed to act. In 1980, Carr had led President Jimmy Carter’s groundbreaking “White House Conference On Families” (emphasis added), an early federal effort to undermine the traditional family by shoving “diversity” down the nation’s throat through the power of the federal fist – and funding, of course. The appointment of Dr. Jonathan Reyes, a Notre Dame Ph.D. and former Academic Vice President at Christendom College, to replace Carr mystified an editor at America magazine, who pouted that Reyes “is frankly an unknown quantity to me and someone from completely outside the conference universe” – all of which is good news, of course.

A couple of years ago Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput assured me that Catholic Charities of Denver, headed by Reyes at the time, was working hard to reflect the teaching of Humanae Vitae in all the programs of the Archdiocese. Judging by his priorities, Carr apparently considered Humanae Vitae to have nothing to do with “human development” — so, dissidents to the contrary, the Rubble welcomes Dr. Reyes’s appointment and urges all Catholics of good will to pray for his success.

The bad news: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel didn’t fire Chicago’s overpaid, belligerent, and incompetent teachers when they walked out on strike. There are thousands of bright, capable recent college grads in Chicago who can’t find jobs but who know their subjects cold. As new teachers, those young people would be grateful for the opportunity to teach and to inspire the kids who have been so ill-served for so long. Alas, that’s not the “Chicago Way.”

Christopher Manion is the director of the Campaign For Humanae Vitae™. Write him at cm@bellarmineforum.org.  Column provided courtesy of The Bellarmine Forum. ©2012, Christopher Manion. All Rights Reserved.


This article, Why Do They Hate Us? is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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Christopher Manion

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