Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Thursday, January 22, 2004  

That Hideous Strength

With my wife, I attended a Candidates' Night at our local school for upcoming elections. Two men were running for county supervisor, and eight people were running for the 9th Assembly District for the State Assembly.

The two men (out of four candidates) were certainly Democrats, but the issues asked were local relating to traffic and development. They responded to written questions, one of which was: "Since honesty and a strong moral foundation are essential in our elected officials, please tell us - What is Truth?"

That was my question. One I've been waiting for some time to pose to politicians in public.

The first responder was clearly nonplused, and hardly knew where to begin, in fact, failed so miserably to articulate a rational response that he immediately turned to his cheat sheet on talking points, and began enumerating all the things he would do for the county - and that was the truth according to him.

The second man actually made a stab at a coherent answer. He said, "It has to do with integrity, and, uh, honorability", but then he couldn't help himself, "and, uh, not being beholden to special interests and developers", and droned on. But I gave him credit for the initial effort.

Both men essentially believed that more money for government, and more programs would solve our local problems.

The next round featured six Democrats, one Republican, and a Libertarian running for the Assembly which is an open seat since it was term limited.

Two Dems were neophytes, and not serious contenders while the other four were all experienced office seekers and holders on local city boards, councils, and so forth. They were also clearly ideologues of the sort favoring what Paul Cella describes as "managerial socialism, bureaucratic usurpation, cultural Marxism".

Although I asked the moderator to repeat my truth question to the panel, it didn't occur (but I spoke to two afterwards) due to the volume of queries. They were asked if they favored "gay" marriage. All six Dems said yes (even though the people of California overwhelmingly rejected it with an initiative forbidding it).

One man, Roger, claimed it didn't hurt anyone, and so I blurted out -- "How does it affect children?" He said it didn't affect them at all. The next candidate said that any kind of love was all right. They all agreed that our laws discriminated against homosexuals regarding marriage.

The non-Dems both said they were against it.

Afterwards I asked two of the men, "Are you saying that a child doesn't need a mother and a father?"

Manny: "Not exactly, but a child can do well without."

Roger: "Yes, a child doesn't have to have a mother and a father."

Me: "But we're talking about what's best for children here. What's optimal for children is to have a mother and a father, isn't it?"

Manny: "Yes, but not all situations are perfect."

Roger: "Children can manage fine..."

Me: "You can't just treat children like toys."

Roger: "I'm not." And he moved away. So, I asked Manny -- What is Truth?

He said truth was relative. When I pointed out that statement as inconsistent with truth, he didn't get it. So I shifted to the 1+1=2 example of an absolute, unrelative truth. He actually began to say that it wasn't unrelative, that things (I had used the example of two bottles of water on the table next to us) were shifty by changing the object or moving it. Realizing that I didn't want to beat a dead horse, I asked him about how much taxes are too much. Is there any limit he believed in. He said average people and small businesses paid too much, but rich people didn't pay enough, nor big businesses.

"Aren't taxes on business, though, just another tax on me"

"Well, no."

"Where do they get the money to pay taxes from? They get it by passing the cost on to me, don't they? So aren't you taxing me twice?"

"No, they make plenty of money, it's not all from passing on the cost?"

"And why should the rich pay more than my percentage?"

I got a little more of the same. When I pointed out that in three years, this state with 59,000 millionaires went down to 22,000. Some was the dot com bust, but most of it is people leaving. He couldn't quite believe it. When I pointed out that the rich pay the bulk of income taxes in the state, he agreed, but still wanted to soak them for more.

So I moved on to Roger, and asked him, "What is Truth, since if you don't know what it is how can I trust anything that you might say?" And I nodded to a younger man standing there, "right?" And he nodded back.

"I think truth is what can be verified," Roger said.

"Can all truths be verified the same way?"

Here it got dicey, and he started dancing as I questioned him as to whether all truths are matter of factly evident by science. He began backing away as we talked so I let him go. I'd heard enough.

In the aftermath of the event, I found myself terrifically frightened for my state and country. My stomach was tied up in knots, and as the Dems were all approving of homosexual "marriage" and sodomy around children, I had viscerally reacted with a sort of panic and horror (a flight response). To sit and listen to my fellow human beings cavalierly throw away 100,00 years of human experiment and wisdom without blinking an eye, doing so with only the rudest idea of facts, morality, consideration, the needs of children and how meeting those needs helps not just children, but everyone else.

It was very disturbing to witness the total lack of respect for truth, and of the People (whom in great majority oppose their view).

I saw four ideologues who weren't running from concern for others so much as desire for power; desire to engineer lives and control others; to play at being little tin gods, for they had no perspective of any limits to be put on government (and their rule when they gained it). Their contempt for their fellows was not exactly palpable, but clearly the subtext of their lives, for each of the four was a Utopian, a true believer in making a better world no matter what it took.

Manny really believed that taxation improved life immensely, and more programs could solve all problems. They all believed that people were not really responsible for their lives, and so government agencies had to step in and fix them.

It chilled me as if I were in a room of Stalinists or Hitlerites matter of factly discussing their plans for enslaving whole swathes of peoples. Because the four ideologues clearly viewed us all as mere means to their ends. It was all about utilizing us -- our money, property, work -- for their aggrandizement. Not one of them really mentioned how they could make our lives better. They talked about making the homeless better off, the uninsured children insured, the homosexual happy, and so on; one group after another, but not even the slightest lip service as to how this would make us happy. They assumed that all their ideas at re-engineering our lives were of the highest and most obvious good. It was as if they were so certain at the transformation to the world they would bring that they never doubted their virtue, nobility, superiority, and orthodoxy.

It was like encountering religious converts on a mission to save the world.

All I could do in response was to write a letter to the newspaper detailing their same sex and unlimited marriages rights beliefs, hoping that others might not want such people representing them. Small hope of that in my city, though.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:00 PM |