While perusing a video sent out by the Claremont Institute, I was shocked to hear a quote from Obama wherein he states that the Constitution denies absolute truth. Now I trust the Claremont Institute not to promulgate false reports, but I could not believe that someone who had ascended to the presidency of these United States would ever utter such a thing before being elected. I can believe some of our presidents might have believed that, but not that one could actively believe this, say it in public, and be elected by the American people….
…and yet, here it is, from the Audacity of Hope:
“It’s not just absolute power that the Founders sought to prevent. Implicit in its structure, in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or “ism,” any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single, unalterable course, or drive both majorities and minorities into the cruelties of the Inquisition, the pogrom, the gulag, or the jihad. The Founders may have trusted in God, but true to the Enlightenment spirit, they also trusted in the minds and senses that God had given them. They were suspicious of abstraction and liked asking questions, which is why at every turn in our early history theory yielded to fact and necessity.”
How is it that someone can think such a thing of the founders? Everything else they wrote was saturated with the idea of natural law and absolute truth. You would have to believe that there was some kind of secret teaching that you understood with the founders, and that they made arguments in the guise of absolutism to trick the masses – a noble American lie. There is no evidence Obama believes that, since he is making no effort to hide this theory. Is it possible that he hasn’t read the Declaration of Independence, or any of the various essays the founders wrote, appealing to an absolute standard of political justice that stands above the sovereign? Just what the holy hell do they do in Harvard all those years?!
Further, one would have to deny every good thing that America has done since the founding, as just a relative good. So, for instance, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. argues in the Letter from a Birmingham Jail that the human law is unjust when it goes against the natural law, understood as that which finds it’s source in God, in order to defeat segregation. Obama would have to audaciously disagree – without an absolute right to guide us in our actions, all political movements become ones of expediency, and finally, of simple power struggles.
This intellectual absurdity lies at the very heart of Progressivism, the political euphemism favored by leftist and Socialist democrats to cloak their political machinations and soften their image for the voting public. The problem is this – how can you progress, when there is no thing towards which you progress? If there is no absolute truth, then no cause is really true, and so it cannot be just. Ironically, the clarion call of the Progressive is exactly that – “social justice”. But they purposely deny any traditional anchor and compass of truth, such as tradition itself, religious teachings, common sense, and even reason itself. After all, if reason led you anywhere reliably, then that “where” would be absolute truth.
Even still, Barack speaks of trusting in the senses and in the mind. Either he must see the mind as purely a faculty to arrive at an end (determined by the will, not anything absolute) by gathering the best means, or sees it as an extension of the will. If it’s anything else, then it will hit on absolute truth – but that doesn’t exist. If he truly believes these words, it reveals a blindingly shallow thought of a facile mind that doesn’t even sense when it is stumbling over its own contradictions. This is the consequence of the most astute criticism of Barack that arose so early – he’s an “empty suit”. Increasingly, this is becoming more obvious – his failures have all stemmed from an overconfidence in his powers of rhetoric to convince his domestic detractors, and assuage America’s foreign enemies. Without substance, the verbally fixated have only two responses when their words aren’t able to yoke reality to their purposes – they either lash out irresponsibly, or reach out obsequiously for validation.
This is exactly what Obama has done.
Obama has relentlessly tried to characterize those who would dare disagree as being selfishly motivated by political gain, with blind compliance of the (mostly) leftist media. This worked when the majority of Americans supported him, since he could play the public against the recently defeated Republicans. Once America got a good taste of what the Obama administration offered, and started to reject it, then Obama’s obloquy extended past the politicians and descended upon the common American. Without a reasonable defense, Obama and his dwindling supporters resorted to the favorite tactic of the left, the indefensible offense: racism.
There is no debate on the matter, since the “science is settled”, and after all, there is no absolute truth – if you disagree, you’re either selfishly seeking after power, or a racist. Never mind that if there is no absolute truth, then racism can’t be an absolute wrong, and in fact, racism finds a much more reasonable support with Darwinist presuppositions than it would with religious dogmatic ones. Never mind that it is hypocritical to accuse someone of being motivated by the acquisition of power, since having no absolute truth to aim at, every action can be deconstructed into this “will to power” principle.
Nevermind any reasonable objection, just listen to the overpowering oratory, and accept your fate…
Below, the Claremont Institute video that enlightened me…
The Birther jokes in the first half I could do without, but the second half is truly great.