by James Lewis
There's a German word used by European Jews after the Holocaust, called "Luftmensch." It means something like "space cadet." I never quite got it 'til now. But if you look at the paintings of Marc Chagall you see the little village people from the Shtetls of Eastern Europe and Russia, floating in midair.
Why good artists do what they do, and why it moves their audiences' hearts is anybody's guess, and I don't claim to know the answer. Marc Chagall's people are dead, of course. They are the traditional Jews who lived the way they have done for centuries, until that booted Nazi war machine decided to crush them. Maybe they are floating angels, or maybe they are the people Chagall saw as a child. Maybe they are his magical effort to bring them back.
One thing we know medically is that people who suffer very great traumas are often "dissociated" --- which means a lot of different things. It could mean what we experience in hypnosis when one hand rises up at the hypnotist's command, and we have a sense that our hand is no longer in our own control. It seems to be happening to us, in a mysterious way. About a quarter of the normal population -- that's you and me, folks -- are highly hypnotizable. So it could happen to, oh, about 75 million Americans out of a population of 300 million plus.
It's the best explanation of Obama voters I can imagine. Two years ago liberals were caught up in some strange, self-absorbed dream under the 24/7 onslaught of the industrialized mob media. Many people don't have a way of resisting media propaganda. They just go into a dream, like the Beatles in the Lucy song. They are natural mob followers.
Dissociative states are a dime a dozen. They happen all the time. It can happen after a minor car accident, or after the loss of a loved one. If you can turn off the pain of a dental drill by listening to your favorite songs, you're doing it.
But when a whole population is deeply traumatized by war or disaster, or just by psychotic propaganda line like North Koreans are getting every hour of the waking day, millions of people become much more severely dissociated. They may feel as if they are floating in an unreal reality. Sometimes they lose a grounded sense of self. Sometimes they flip the aggressor with victims, like the Stockholm Syndrome. Sometimes they get severe personality disorders.
My guess is that Chagall's floating Shetl paintings reflect his own sense of unreality after the Holocaust. Children need to know where they are and who they are. They figure it out from Mom and Dad and the other kids. They take their comfort blanket along. Toddlers take in their own neighborhoods in amazing detail, more than adults ever do. Adults just take that boring stop sign on the corner for granted. For your toddler it's the first stop sign in human history, and it's a thing of wonder and beauty. It marks the neighborhood as their own.
Take away those cardinal points of the human compass, and we float. That's what happens in total wars and genocides. It is what we have allowed to happen in our inner cities, where gang warfare rules the streets. Liberal mayors have gotten elected for decades by demagoguing away the violence, despair, and drug plagues in their own inner cities, and paying off people locked into those places to vote Democrat -- because liberalism makes their lives so much better, you see.
Then every now and then, somebody comes along and tells the truth to a whole group of dreamers, and it's an amazing thing. I think Hermann Cain has a good chance of being that person in the next election. I know Governor Palin and Rep. Michelle Bachmann are waker-uppers to millions of tuned-out Americans. That's why those candidates might have a huge impact, not just in normal politics, but as a healing experience for America. They are what Obama could only wish to be, because Obama always exploits sucker fantasies. He never wakes people up, just tells them to go back to sleep and Uncle Guvt will take care of everything.
A Gallup Poll this week claims that 60% of American Jews "approve of the job Obama is doing."
Now remember, this is a couple of months after Obama told Mubarak to resign, in the biggest, most brutal act of in-your-face imperialism any American president has performed since the Stalin years. This was not private advice to an old friend. This was a brutal, shaming, public attack on an ally who had kept the peace between Egypt and Israel for 30 years.
And nobody in America got what Obama was doing. Except maybe a few conservatives and foreign policy nerds.
After Obama brutally kicked away the biggest pillar of Arab stability from Morocco to Bahrain, naturally all those other rickety regimes started to totter. They are still doing it, and nobody knows if the Muslim Brothers will end up brutalizing the people of Egypt, like Khomeini and his nuke-happy cult of thugs have done for the last 30 years in Iran. Turkey is already under the control of a Moo Bro group. Radicalism is on the goose-stepping march all over the Middle East, and very few people seem to get it. Are they waiting for that Iranian nuke to explode before they panic? Or are they so fantasy-prone, so hypnotized, so PC-whipped that they will never get it?
Enter Prof. Ruth Wisse, truth-teller. The Jerusalem Post has an article on Prof. Wisse, who miraculously survives at Harvard University, hardly the sanest place on earth by any means. Harvard is full of Luftmenschen, the ghostly denizens of never-neverland. (They are the ones who are convinced that normal Americans are idiots.)
Prof. Wisse has some words about the "peace flotilla" that was organized by Obama's good buds Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin at Code Pink, holding hands with Hamas and the Turkish Moos. She calls it the "Kill the Jews Flotilla." By gum. A ray of sunshine penetrates the media fog.
Dr. Wisse also says:
The purpose of the flotilla is to discredit the Israeli attempt to protect itself and to give Hamas a free hand amassing weapons to use against Israeli civilians. It should be called what it is: a 'kill-the-Jews flotilla. If it is called by its proper name, then it will be recognized for what it is.
Which is pretty obvious if you look at the facts, and manage to ignore the wall-to-wall lies streamed to you, courtesy of the NYT and the WAPO.
Wisse points out another obvious fact, that Israel is the "fighting front line of what we used to call Western civilization, of the democratic free world. The main force of anti-Semitism today is coming from the Arab and Muslim communities and leaders. They are the ones who are using this most actively, spreading it through the world in whatever form possible for their own political purposes" world in whatever form possible for their own political purposes."
... As long as the Arab world uses Israel as a convenient excuse for not looking inward, for not undergoing its own reformation, for not undertaking its own improvements, those countries cannot improve.
This is not a war between two entities over a piece of land, as it's sometimes cast, and it's not a normal war in terms of two parties who are actually clashing against one another with competing interests. This is a completely unilateral assault - and a very lop-sided assault. I don't think there has ever been as lop-sided a war in human history as the war currently being waged - meaning the last 60-odd years by the Arab world against Israel.
People think it's pessimistic to expect the Arab world to change for the better[.] ... They would think that it is more optimistic to hold Israel responsible. We all think that it's easy to persuade the Jews of anything."
Which brings me back to those slack-jawed, dope smoking, mind-addled fellow Americans, not only the Jews, but especially the Jews (and Christians) because they should know better.
It's obvious that they are either
(a) helpless victims of Leftist indoctrination
(b) too cowardly and gutless to protest their Messiah, The One, Barack Obamajad the Savior.
(c) ignorant of their own history and values
(d) or -- I hope -- they just lied to the Gallup pollsters.
But I don't think so.
I think that for decades, Americans, including Jews, have put up with third rate demagogues instead of leaders. That is true at the national political level, it is true in the liberal Churches -- which are all betraying their own histories, every single one -- and it is true among American Jews. If Herman Cain gets his say, that new conviction might even spread among American blacks, liberalism's biggest victims.
Marc Chagall was right. The question is if his Luftmensch metaphor applies to contemporary Jews and liberal Christians, as well as the victims of a previous generation of totalitarian aggressors. Those people are no longer with us, and a certain Ahmadinejad in Iran will not let a day go by without threatening the 7 million Jews in Israel with another Holocaust.
Obama pretends that Ahmadinejad doesn't exist. All of his brainless followers imitate his every move, like Michael Jackson moondancers. But this isn't a conga line. This is serious.
Leadership can make a big difference, and the kind of leaders we need today are Abraham Lincoln, Golda Meir, Winston Churchill, David Ben Gurion. We need truth tellers, not phonies.
Fire all the others, say I.
This is not a time for pushovers and cowards.
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