Thursday, November 26, 2015

Being Thankful for the Left

When we celebrate Thanksgiving, after being thankful for family and friends, for health and comfort, for food and shelter; we shouldn't forget to be thankful for the left.

There is no light without darkness and without evil, the good often fails to find their own voice. It is in the presence of slavery that we remember the worth of freedom. Men and nations are forged in war; not only the war of shell and shot, but the war of ideas. War teaches us to fight for what we have. Wars of ideas teach us to stand up for what we believe.

It is because conservatives are basically hopeful and confident that we are also prone to extremes of despair. Too many us were shocked at the decline of our society because of our great confidence in it. The faith that conservatives have in America makes them vulnerable to being crushed by the latest victory of the left.

I have seen far too much despair and defeatism, too many comments that suggest there is no hope for America and the only thing left to do is pour a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. But those comments testify to how sheltered Americans are from the struggles against tyranny around the world.

Eight years of Obama is bad, but try sixty-nine years of Communism on for size. That's what generations of Russians had to live through. Ask some of the conservative activists in Europe who have never had any of the freedoms that we still take for granted whether they've given up hope. Ask people from countries where criticism of Islam can mean death, whether they've given up hope.

There are countless tales of courage over the last century of men and women who did not stop fighting, who did not stop teaching their children so that they would not stop resisting. And those stories have not ended. They continue today in Europe, Asia and South America. And those people would envy the conditions under which we fight, where we can protest without being shot or sent to prison, where we can have a shot at winning elections if we try hard enough.

Where we are, compared to 100 percent of the rest of the world, still free.

We face a hard fight, not only for our freedom, but the freedom of the world. The international left has made America its special project. It knows that if it can extinguish the hope of liberty in this land then it will drive the rest of those who hope for freedom across the ocean deeper into despair. And it wants your despair. It wants you to give up so that the rest of the world gives up too and bows under its chains.

And yet this fight is a glorious one. This fight is our birthright. And we should be thankful for the fight.

It would be more pleasant if there were no Obama or Hillary. If Alinsky had never been born and Marx had never been whelped. It would be nice if we lived in a world where red was just a color and the Democratic Party was a rural movement suspicious of the Federal government and dreaming of an agrarian utopia. But then so would never having to work for a living or getting up out of bed.

Life is challenge and we face all kinds of different challenges. We get up early out of bed in the morning and drive to work. We rise in the middle of the night when the baby cries and we go to the hospital when our loved ones need us there. We do dreary things and terrible things that seem so different from the life we imagined as children. And we do them not only because they are duty, but because these challenges, the daily ones and the once in a lifetime ones, make us who we are.

Besides these prosaic challenges, the daily routines and the occasional tragedies, there are uncommon challenges that we face when the foe comes to our gate and demands that we bow and become slaves. This is the challenge that we face as a society, a nation and a people. It demands more of us and it ennobles us. It makes us a great people and a great nation, rather than only another people who seek to live in comfort with no thought for anything else.

Good emerges in response to evil. We need our enemies to remind us of who we are and what we can do when our backs are against the wall. We need evil to remind us of the good that we are capable of. As a whetstone sharpens a sword, so evil sharpens us into a weapon against it. It makes us morally stronger and teaches us the stark truths that we cannot take refuge from evil; we must confront it.

If there were no left, would there be nearly as much patriotism among true Americans as there is now? And if there were no left, how many of us would really contemplate the core principles of freedom and free enterprise? If there were no left, how many of us would ponder what we truly believe and what compromises we are willing and unwilling to make? If there were no left, would we be the same people that we are today?

For those of us who believe in the Bible, the Lord created both darkness and light. And if it were not for the darkness, would the light be nearly as precious to us? Imagine a world without sunrise or sunset, where the sight of rays of light clearing away the darkness would have no meaning? And then remember that things are treasured to the extent that they can be taken away from us.

Would we value freedom as much if we did not have to defend it? Would we hold it as dear if we did not fear that it would be taken away? Would we even be aware of what freedom is and what a free people must be if not for the dark hand of those who wish to strip us of those freedoms?

It is the left's opposition that has added urgency to a hundred issues, from the national debt to the War on Terror to freedom of speech and of religion. It has made us think about those issues, to take them out of the back of our minds and hold them up to the light as a reminder of how important they are and what must be done about them.

The left's corruptions remind us of the need for purification. As it gathers the worst of all around it, we find ourselves called to be better than we are. As the left works to doom our country, and as we suffer defeat after defeat, these defeats only serve to remind us that we must be better, that we must do more, learn more and become more in order to save our country.

War is the great teacher and this is a political war, short on bodies and heavy on minds, it is a war in which casualties are not taken in the chest or the arm, but in the mind, in reason and emotion, and against these weaknesses, we can and will prevail.

As we fight the left, we become stronger, more dedicated and more purposeful. We become the men and women that we were meant to be.

As you sit around your tables, thinking of all that you have gained and lost this year, remember and be thankful for the left, for though the winter ice gives way to the summer sun and bitter defeat gives way to sweet victory, it is defeat and hardship that teaches better than comfort and ease. We can learn more from our defeats than we ever could from our victories. Our defeats teach us endurance and fortitude, they teach us that defeat can be borne and that its sting can be turned into the weapon that unseats the foe. And our foes make us who we are.

Their evil teaches us to find the good within ourselves. Their strength teaches us to find our own strength. And their plots against what we have teach us how many treasures we have, not least of these being the full value of our freedom and our happiness that they wish to take from us.

Their war on America is teaching us to be better Americans. It may not feel that way right now, but we are privileged to have this opportunity and this fight. 

We should be thankful for the left, its assaults on us are teaching us how to fight and its plots against our freedom are teaching us how to be free.


Anonymous said...

America still is the shining city on the hill despite some folk trying to fundamentally trash-form it...

Arkady Renko said...

Thank you, Daniel Greenfield. I am thankful for your wisdom and your insight.

Red Squirrel said...

Thanks you so much, Daniel. You always inspire. I needed this! Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Y. Ben-David said...

Daniel, I really love your writing. But it has to be pointed out that have been massive sociological changes in the US which are pushing it in the wrong direction. I hope you have read Charles Murray's book "Coming Apart" who shows how changes in values are bringing about the creation of a massive white underclass taking its place alongside the black underclass which is not going away in spite of end of official discrimination and this will drag down the entire American enterprise. Murray points out how the very values that gave America the tools to provide unprecedented freedom and prosperity,such as personal responsibility, initiative, striving for excellence, self-reliance, belief in democracy and American exceptionalism have been thrown in the garbage can and are now replaced by mediocrity, post-Modernist moral relativism, self-doubt and the futile attempt to make everyone economically "equal".
If decades ago you had asked liberals like LBJ, RFK, JFK, FDR or Harry Truman about their values or what they thought of homosexual "marriage" or American exceptionalism and patriotism, you would have found that they were no different than Herbert Hoover, Alf Landon, Tom Dewey, Calvin Coolidge, Barry Goldwater or any other conservative. All the political smoke and fire would have been restricted to economic policy and taxation...things like that. Today there is almost no agreement on ANYTHING regarding values or what their views about how America should go in the future. When someone like John Kerry, supposedly a former "patrioticwarrior" and current Sec'y of State, says that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hypercacher were "understandable" unlike this last attack which was, instead, an attack on civilization (as he sees) because it attacked people at various venues of entertainment, he is stating that his idea of civilization does NOT view freedom of the press or protection of minority groups like French Jews as being part of his culture (i.e. he can "understand" those who want to kill those people) but having a good time does represent the essence of his culture and civilization that supposedly should be fought for.
I only hope and pray that you are right, Daniel and the rot can be stopped.

Anonymous said...

Trump and his supporters have taken up that challenge. Also Cruz.

- Halevi

Anonymous said...

We have been fighting this war for a long a long time and this may be one of the toughest battles yet for Americans. The battle of ideas can sweep people away and make them forget what they were fighting for. It's always liberty and freedom.

Keep up the great thoughts, Daniel, we need them.

Stacey Gordon said...

Thank you for this. Much needed. Good perspective. I despair at times, but you always bring me around.

jeyi said...

Touched deeply. Sultan, by your posting the portrait of Andrew Breitbart...with no need for caption nor comment.

Anonymous said...

Your premise - all things started with Obama - is completely wrong. The culture war waged by communists started well before WW2. And the brainwashing in the media (TV, newspapers and now internet) that happened since the '50s has in many ways the same result as the communist years had in Eastern Europe. Obama only accelerated the process. Do you think that after a few million immigrants from the Third World settle in America the country will be better or worse? There is no turning back. Yes, there might by a Renaissance, as it happened in Europe centuries ago, but that is many decades if not centuries from now. For living persons there is no hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

EarlW said...

Thanks. Sometimes it's difficult to put these issues in perspective. This struggle is older than the bible. from Samuel 8 10-18

10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king."
11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.
12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.
14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.
15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.
16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.
17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.
18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day

gracem said...

Thank you. Very beautiful, and full of hope!!!!

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...


That wasn't my premise.

Anonymous said...

Bracing words and reminders how soft we have become. The other thing never to forget that we cannot give into evil because as we see with Isis there are no limits to evil. Did you know that the Nazis used some of the ashes of Jews they incinerated in ovens as fertilizer that they shipped to Italy for instance?
As someone not religious and turned anti communist by Ayn Rand's writings, I don't believe that evil is a good, but I agree those who have been through wars or lived under tyranny may appreciate what is worth fighting for more than we may sometimes do.

katzxy said...

Something here seems a bit out of kilter. I'm thankful, beyond words, for creation and free will, which entails the possibility of choosing evil. I just can't quite bring myself to be thankful when that particular choice is made.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

No one should rejoice when people choose evil and yet we are not so good without that tension.

J3:16 said...

Not only is your perspective correct, but it comes at a time when it's most needed. It will be an honor to share this article with others.

katzxy said...

"... yet we are not so good without that tension." True indeed. Yet another reminder that He is G-d and I am not (thank G-d!).

The more I know the greater my ignorance.

Anonymous said...

If I can borrow from popular culture, Gandalf tells Frodo, who despairs of his burden, that all so burdened feel the same. The burden is not a choice, but how one carries it is. I feared that we had quietly but quickly reached a tipping point. I still feel tat we have, but it is our burden to fight back and recover the legacy of this last, best hope.

Lars said...

I have lived through this assault on our society and spirit. I can confirm that fighting the monstrosity of bad ideas is real and well worth fighting. Great perspective oh great Sultan of Knish!

Anonymous said...

I just pray that young people are still reading Lord of the Flies. That will give me hope. -$$$

Darnelle Mason said...

Wow. This spoke to me on several levels. Albeit, spoken on a secular, political level, I derived many spiritual truths from it as well. I just came home from Ukraine as an official State Dept. election observer from Ukrainian local elections, and I can tell you that every place I went to I observed the following: One, America is still the beacon of hope of democracy, as I was continually asked, "What does America think of our efforts at democracy? Are we doing well? We are trying hard, can we measure up? Will you continue to assist us? How do you do it? Are we following your example? I was humbled as I realized that despite my despair at our present political nightmare, countries abroad are still, yes, still, looking to us to help them in the process of becoming democratic and free. I realized on the long trip home to California that I am so tunneled vision into thinking that America is on the demise while outside our borders, America is still the standard of hope for democratic freedom. Two, yes, Daniel, we will only rise to become stronger when even our own countrymen, rally to deconstruct the essence of what America is - freedom for individual liberties - because this continues to be a unique commodity throughout the world, and we must stand up to fight for it here, as it continues to give hope to those abroad. On a spiritual level, our Creator knows, in his wisdom, that humans must confront and endure adversity and discomfort to summon his strength to clarify his standards within us to fight for truth and righteousness, because these virtues just don't sustain themselves magically, it only takes courageous warriors to uphold them and pervade them throughout our society. You inspired me with this piece, written from your heart and soul. I am grateful. Merci~

Unknown said...

Amen Daniel

Anonymous said...

"To watch a shining star a lot of dark is needed". Goethe

Clelia&Eric, Eurabia, Italian province

Rich Kozlovich said...


Another masterpiece. I've posted it and linked it to other sites.

Best wishes,
Rich Kozlovich

careyrowland said...

Well this ray of unexpected gratitude from somewhere in the Sultan's darkly cynical rectitude is a reconciliative surprise. I never would have thought it.

Eric said...

In line with the general advice, a specific action I recommend is to 're-litigate' the decision for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Set the record straight on the actual law and policy, fact basis - the why - of the mission at the premise level of the zeitgeist.

At present, the urgently needed 'strong horse' type of American leadership has been disqualified by a taboo premised on a stigma derived from a false narrative of OIF. Breaking the taboo on the 'strong horse' type of American leadership requires de-stigmatizing OIF by discrediting the false narrative (and false narrators) of OIF in the public conception. Once the why of OIF is correctly understood, then the 'strong horse' type of American leadership that manifested with OIF can be re-normalized.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Daniel. Nothing given to us is nearly as dear as that which we have earned.
Freedom is not the natural state of the world. It can disappear quickly when people won't fight for it. Once won, it is only a generation away from disappearing without continual vigilance and the willingness to do battle with would be tyrants.

meema said...

I’m quite sure that I’d rather die trying than simply roll over and be enslaved just to stay alive. “Give me liberty or give me death...”

Jjust found out yesterday that the the long awaited sequel to Agenda - The Grinding Down of America by Curtis Bowers is now available. Here’s the link to the trailer.

Anonymous said...

But who is observing the federal elections in the USA? Who is watching the watchers in the USA? Considering the fact no ID of any kind is required to vote in the USA, shouldn't someone be watching these watchers?

Anonymous said...

1slam doesn't benefit anyone - even its adherents. It is a Pandora's Box that should never have been opened. The Amalakites, Shepard Kings and nomad bandits were bad even before that ideology existed.

Jill said...

Inspiring article, but posting a photo of Reagan, who signed the document entitling the Soviets to fill American schoolrooms with Soviet propaganda is not a nod to freedom by any means,.

fodderwing said...

I remember a song from the sixties, "Abraham, Martin and John." Howbout "Ronald, Winston and Andrew." Good faces in those pics.

Unknown said...

When I start to feel optimistic I remember the huge debt we have run up that can't be repaid and I despair for my children. Can you help me?

Unknown said...

When I start to feel optimistic I remember the huge debt we have run up that can't be repaid and I despair for my children. Can you help me?

Sally said...

Get em

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