When Ideology Rules Us
By Bruce Walker
May 11, 2009
The unfolding spectacle of which ideological cipher should be appointed by Obama to replace the retiring cipher, David Souter, underscores just how purely ideological justice in America has become. Racial and gender quotas, of course, are a part of the Left's passion to turn courts and law into their own agenda. At first blush, conservatives might have taken some hope from Obama's promise to look for "those on the outside" to be on the court: there is no more underrepresented group in government or politics than conservatives, and there is no group more subject to the unfair application of the law than conservatives.
The Left, of course, does not care at all about the qualifications of any nominee. Robert Bork was profoundly qualified and yet utterly unacceptable. The Left also does not really care about demographic representation: ask Clarence Thomas, Miguel Estrada, Janice Rogers Brown, or Priscilla Owen. The Left cares only about having enough Lords in our American House of Lords so that the Constitution can be bent into any purpose which suits the agenda of the Left.
It should be that justices are impartial, learned, honorable, and independent. But that ideal exists only when everyone with political power has the same tacit covenant with unprejudiced, individual justice. When justice is dragooned into a political movement or an ideological agenda, then justice no longer exists. It is not just judges who have become advocates of causes instead of neutral referees. Prosecutors have also pandered to racial and gender hatred (as in the Duke Lacrosse Case) or vicious partisan persecution (as with Scooter Libby or Tom Delay.)
The ugly fact is that in every crevice of public life in which we expect to find an unbiased, objective, and dispassionate guardian of individual fairness, we find instead a blinkered, bigoted, and boorish hack whose only real interest is in advancing "the cause." Witness the nauseating spectacle of parrots and hand-puppets in the mainstream media slavishly advancing the Obama cult of personality. Witness the thuggish intrusion of political correctness into the pleasant diversion of beauty contests. Witness the kindly mask of public librarians, whose mission was once to liberate minds through the vistas of books, and who have now descended into champions of the tunnel vision of the Left.
Public education has become a form of thought control and textbooks have deleted from famous literature the very language which made the literature great, replacing forceful words with euphemisms, historical and fictional characters with proscribed dogmas of what the Left believes that real life should be, and calculated excisions of vital knowledge as thorough as anything that Stalin's toadies could have done in the black dungeon of totalitarianism.
We are all marked, almost as brutally as the Nazis marked Jews, Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals. "Let me see your skin color, and I can tell if you are just. Let me know your sex, and I can tell you if you are kind. Tell me where and how you seek God, and I will tell you if you are a bigot - and tell me nothing about you as 'you,' for you are a sociological construct."
We are judged in courts of law or our Fourth Estate or in every public instrument of education and enlightenment according to how slavishly we mimic the party line. We look at a land, once basically free and noble and fair, and we see instead thousands of minions scurrying about, seeking enemies of the party to torment (alas, the Obama policy on torture is that only those who politically oppose him may be terrorized and threatened without due process or mercy.)
We are referred in the various contests of ordinary life by men and women who have no more interest in the standard rules of fair play than the Nazis had in universal science. They have waited patiently. One last old professor (who believed in academic freedom and such nonsense) will retire soon: We will put a cipher in his place. One hopelessly objective journalist will die: We will find a jihadist to fill his shoes. And another jurist enamored with individual justice will leave the bench: We will slip our Stalinist into his seat.
It is not that "the cause" is always bad: Many ordinary people can be persuaded to believe in good ideas and in bad ideas, provided that a monolithic vision is not imposed and that the lessons of experience can be referenced when "the cause" fails. It is rather that "the cause" is preordained true and, like their colleagues, the Nazis and the Marxists, any apparent failure is simply proof that enemies of the cause must be smothered more thoroughly.
Life is not politics. Life is faith. Life is family. Life is love. Life is a leisurely but serious stroll toward truth. Life is the delightful enjoyment of our differences and disagreements. Life is a vocation which is not drenched in partisanship. Politics, justice, and formal education should be transitory, limited, and simple processes which do not interfere with the much more important business of life. But what should be is not: the Left, the Inquisition of our lifetime, demands we all be orthodox and that heresy be crushed. There are no barriers of gentle mediation. There are no guardians of good gamesmanship. There are only agents of the Inquisition - and the rest of us.
Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.