“You didn’t build that.”
When President Obama said this, I found it breathtaking in its unexpected revelation of what the progressive movement is all about. It was probably the single most important statement he said during his entire presidency. Whether or not he meant to, the statement laid bare the basis of the conflict that is tearing this country apart.
Much has unfolded, has been said, and done, since then, to confirm that understanding, but it is utterly flabbergasting that we should have elected a president to follow President Obama, who would so totally reject that statement. “Make America Great Again,” is to say “Yes, you did build that!” and “Let’s keep building.”
Leaving out a scene of planting the American Flag on the moon in the movie, First Man, is but to affirm President Obama’s utterance and to frontally rebut President Trump; but more significantly it is a total affront to all American achievement and to every citizen that has ever achieved anything. The movie producers are screaming, “You didn’t build that,” to all of America, for all time.
We need to understand why they want, so much, for us to accept their denunciation as justified and as a fundamental truth.
In order to advance the world view of socialism or progressivism or most other “isms” the significance of the individual in a free society has to be expunged. We must all be persuaded to see ourselves as just a part of a group or the crowd – a cog in the wheel – with no standing as an individual and of no consequence in society. We must accept ourselves so diminutively, so we will be less likely to resist being used by the collective, to be enslaved by government, or expect anything great from our lives, because it won’t be delivered by any collectivist form of government.
Progressivism or socialism is all about the collective – the mob. A philosophy that embraces the collective cannot tolerate the individual.
The US Constitution is all about the individual. It is designed to protect the individual citizen from the collective – from the mindless majority. It was structured to maximize liberty for the individual citizens. Freedom is, after all, applicable only to an individual.
Now do you see the conflict? The US Constitution, in its totality, stands as a huge detriment to the leftist dream of the perfect society. To advance progressivism or socialism demands the elimination of the Constitution and the culture it has generated.
The writing of the US Constitution codified the idea that the individual matters, for the first time, and so far the only time. Individual achievement is what America is all about, which is why America stands as the ultimate target of progressives. Everything American must be destroyed or minimalized. Any historic achievement to the contrary must be erased. Going to the moon as an American achievement must be wiped from the history books, and as an achievement it must be attributed to the world-wide human collective. People should not see American achievement for fear of the questions they might ask, or what they might come to expect of their own lives.
The very idea of America is the ultimate threat to collectivism the world around, and it must be obliterated and distorted from the world’s perception, but more importantly, internally.
Legally, societally, morally and culturally, for the individual to stand out from the crowd cannot be allowed. We must be dissuaded from self- realization, discouraged from innovation or creativity, chastised for ambition, convinced that personal success is immoral, and most of all, individual achievement cannot be recognized or in any way encouraged.
So, no keeping score at soccer games. No valedictorians in graduating classes. Trophies are awarded for participation, there can be no winners. Team efforts are heralded over individual effort. Minions must strive to be part of a team, rather than pursue personal ambition. Achievements are acceptable only if they are politically beneficial. Losers, criminals, the clueless, and evil are heralded over self-sufficiency, success, hard-work, knowledge and good.
Indolence is preferable to effort, destruction better than construction, violence or criminal action is condonable and its victims ignored, if it serves the collective goal.
We have been witnessing the impact of this transformation in our society and culture for a very long time. The ground work for it has been decades in the making in almost every aspect of our lives, from the pulpit to the class room, from the work place to the media, and most certainly in politics.
We are involved in a war. It is a very fundamental kind of war. It’s a war of ideas. It is a battle for your mind. The very idea of who do you think you are?
Did you build that or didn’t you?