The futile dreams of progress
By Michael Moriarty
"… those complicated, interesting people who like to call themselves American."
The preceding quote is from Ken Burns' impressively smug tribute to Jacob Needleman's inspired examination of The American Soul.
We like to call ourselves American?
Would Mr. Burns prefer we nickname ourselves "Usies", as children of the US, or "Users", leaving Mr. Burns's sophisticatedly global opinion of his countrymen and –women less veiled?
Mr. Burns, producer of the famed PBS documentary series on American history, is a profoundly successful Progressive, right up there with Bill and Hillary Clinton, so these days he's allowed to more than look down on Americans. As a Progressive superstar, he is obliged to remind us that patriotism, unless it's in the heart and mind of a Progressive historian like himself, is a "refuge for scoundrels".
The American Soul is an infinitely patriotic love song to America's frequently diabolical "warts and all". It is a "re-mythologizing" of the American experience in not only biblical terms but metaphysically limitless imagery as well. It is certainly one of a kind. I cannot recommend The American Soul highly enough.
It will take just such a vision, a courageously honest acceptance of ourselves as we are, as the phenomenal spectacle which Americans have made of themselves, to battle the American Progressives who are determined to return us to a newly packaged version of Confederate Southern supremacism, one that is not racial but intellectual. It is from this intellectual supremacism that the Progressives defend their Roe v. Wade decision, defend it in the same way the Confederate South took the Dredd Scott decision to be the intellectual benchmark and blessing upon racial supremacism.
Racial supremacism "morphing", as they say, into intellectual supremacism is the virtual inevitability of the British Imperialism that provoked the American Revolution in the first place. While Communist Supremacism was born of the French Revolution, the American, Progressive Intellectual Supremacism is a direct descendant of the Confederate South's racial supremacism and of the contemporary influence of such "Dixiecrats" as Sen. William J. Fulbright and his disciple, former President William J. Clinton.
Mr. Needleman so stresses the ultimate reconciliation of good and evil within our individual natures and that of the conglomerate American soul, that I began to think it a prelude to some tribute to Franklin Roosevelt's policies with the Communist dictator, Joseph Stalin; and therefore an inferential blessing upon the entire Progressive Movement – see my trilogy God of the Progressives. I thought that until I read the last few words which end Mr. Needleman's chapter on slavery and the abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
" … in the futile dreams of progress …"
Hmmm … legalized abortion as "progress" … about as "futile" a "progress" as slavery in the Confederate South.
As for the homicidal irresponsibility of legalized abortion, can you treat your genitals as any more independent of personal responsibility than you can treat your fists?
Legalized slavery endured in America for 89 years. Roe v. Wade and legalized abortion recently "celebrated" their 35th anniversary; but this cannot hold for much longer.
Legalized abortion is as "futile" a dream as legalized slavery. Such "progress" will ultimately fail.
As Mr. Needleman says, the American future cannot be rooted "in the futile dream of progress that has so blinded America to what it shares of the barbarism that has stained the whole fabric of human history."
Obviously such a "fabric", in America at least, receives an inevitable cleansing. While Mr. Needleman deftly avoids the moral issues of Roe v. Wade and abortion, his prescription for re-mythologizing American heroes such Frederic Douglass would seem to include legalized abortion as one of America's uglier irresponsibilities and delusions of progress … right down there with the self-defeating economic gains of legalized slavery.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Moriarty is also running for President of the United States in 2008 as a candidate for the Realists Party. To find out more about Moriarty's presidential campaign, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.