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Obamagnosis August 15, 2012

Posted by Daniel Downs in moral law, moral relativism, natural law, politics.
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by Prof. Paul Eidelberg

A Muslim extremist shoots up a U.S. military base and it’s called “workplace violence.” It’s called “workplace violence” by those suffering from an extreme case of “agnosis,” a mental or moral inability to recognize certain human acts as downright evil. Since this ignorance is quite prevalent in the pronouncements and policies of the Obama Administration, we may reasonably say his Administration is suffering from “Obamagnosis.” Let’s see where this agnosis leads us, beginning on the surface and proceeding step-by-step to the underlying and insidious cause of this mental and moral disorder.

If a Muslim employee of the House of Representatives or of the Senate—or better yet, of the White House—was to shoot up some Representatives or some Senators or members of the President’s staff—Aha! This would be nothing more than “workplace violence” or manifestations of Obamagnosis! Now let’s probe more deeply.

Obamagnosis is not merely a diagnosis of the flawed human being in the White House. Since many millions of Americans voted for this man in the 2008 presidential election, Obamagnosis describes a malady of national scope and significance. These Americans voted for this man even though he displayed not only unparalleled political ignorance and inexperience, but also utter contempt for what Americans represent as a nation but also the price Americans have paid in blood and treasure defending freedom and human dignity against Nazi and Soviet tyranny.

Even while campaigning for the Presidency, this man had the audacity as well as the mental vacuity or agnosis to disparage America’s most revered foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution. Despite his agnosis, which is unparalleled in the history of democratic politics, many millions of Americans dignified this stranger with their votes. What a travesty of American Exceptionalism! But what is the root cause of this decadence, of this sickness unto death called “Obamagnosis”?

To begin with, we must ask, “Who are the educators of the many millions of Americans who have been rendered so morally and intellectually vacuous by Obamagnosis that a Muslim terrorist attack on a U.S. military base can be called “working place violence” without causing a national uproar? Can it be the legions of academics who, for more than 100 years, have dominated American colleges and universities? Or am I am painting with too broad a brush?

I know it’s not de rigueur to name names, but America’s existential situation compels me to do so. The academics I am alluding to comprise the multitude of “post-American” intellectuals who, influenced by the crypto-Marxism and historical relativism exemplified in the 1913 publications of Charles Beard and Carl Becker—the former on the Constitution, the latter on the Declaration—rendered those once venerable foundational documents of the American Republic intellectually obsolete. Indeed, decade after decade they have been relegated to the trash heap of history. As a consequence, the political and spiritual ideas articulated in these documents were degraded or were nothing to be very proud of let alone worth fighting and dying for. Today they no longer incite in countless Americans the moral sense and integrity to identify and candidly denounce America’s evil and existential enemy—the military ideology that precipitated that Muslim’s terrorist attack on a U.S. military base.

Now let us focus on the crypto-Marxism of Charles Beard’s Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. This book has had so many printings since 1913 that it has become a veritable icon for tens of thousands of American educators—and not only historians and political scientists—who reduce the ideas and statesmanship of America’s Founding Fathers to their economic interests. This crude and simplistic crypto-Marxism took academia by storm. Indeed, it is still cited uncritically by scholars. It seems never to have occurred to these patriotic intellectuals that they were impugning the integrity of America’s greatest statesmen—which does not mean that these extraordinary statesmen should be lionized (but what shall we then say of today’s politicians?).

In any event, given the two pervasive and related academic doctrines of crypto-Marxism and historical relativism, I must say in all candor that “higher education” has corrupted generations of American college and university students. And since moral relativism is evident at all levels of American education—most conspicuously in the social sciences and humanities—I contend that this doctrine, more than any other single factor (such as money, skin color, or the ineptitude of John McCain), that enabled Obama to win majority of the votes in the 2008 presidential election.

Now, since Americans influenced by moral relativism must be deemed either ignorant or dismissive of the universalism and trans-historical validity of the principles of America’s Declaration of Independence, is it not obvious that what is primarily responsible for this widespread ignorance and indifference is academia?

Viewed in this unconventional way, Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election should be understood as an “electoral” victory of the cynical and degrading doctrine of moral relativism over its opponent, the magnificent universalism of the Declaration articulated in that document’s humble appreciation of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Nor is this all.

Know well that in the eighteenth century, both in Europe and America, educated people regarded the Laws of Nature as the “Moral Law.” What the Declaration calls the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” may rightly be construed as the American abbreviation of the Seven Noahide Laws of universal morality. This is evident in the writings of some of the Declaration’s most learned signatories such as James Wilson and John Adams. These men, like the Continental Congress that promulgated the Declaration of Independence, were averse to Jefferson’s omission of the name of God and Divine Providence in his initial draft of that document.

Finally, contrary to academic opinion—even of scholars of the Straussian school of political science—the natural-cum-moral law doctrine of the Declaration of Independence is rooted not in the political philosophy of John Locke but in the Seven Noahide Laws of the Torah. This may be may confirmed in the writings of Locke’s acquaintance, the greatest Hebraist of the eighteenth century, John Selden, at least one of whose lengthy volumes on the Talmud was in Locke’s libarary.*

Summing up, Obamagnosis represents a denial of the natural-cum-moral law. It is precisely this denial that underlies the moral or mental disorder that impels those infected by Obamagnosis—a sickness unto death—to call a Muslim’s shooting up of an U.S. military base “workplace violence.”

Prof. Paul Eidelberg is President of The Israel-America Renaissance Institute. His most recent book is The Theo-Political Foundations of American Exceptionalism.

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