More Contradictions of the Left

I was listening to my local National Public Radio affiliate a while ago on the way to work, because I really have no other alternative. However, they were doing fundraising, so I did a seek up to the next station, knowing that it would be WWUH — the radio station of the local University of Hartford.

They were playing a song by a certain Iris DeMent. It was mildly clever, definitely leftist — of course! — and called: “Wasteland of the Free”

The lyrics were essentially “We got [fill in leftist-perceived social ill here] and that don’t seem American to me.” And so forth.

This is of a piece with something that I’ve always wondered about. If you listen to the left, America is nothing more than a hellhole, and the worst country in history and full of greedy corporate fat cats, and cruel, snarling, vicious, rapacious fiends stealing from the poor (never mind that the poor have no money, and that much of what they have is given to them), and on and on and on.

Well. Okay.

If it’s all that bad, why are people not exiting in droves? Seriously. It’s not difficult. I know first-hand. Why, also, are people of every race, color, creed, ethnicity and national origin doing everything they possibly can, by hook or by crook, sometimes flinging themselves into the sea on ramshackle rafts, hoping against hope just to wash up on these very shores?

Look, America ain’t perfect. But it’s a whole heckuva lot better than anywhere else in the world.

Let’s look at Iris DeMent’s song in that light, and see what we have.

Here are her lyrics, with a reaction to each verse.

Verse 1:

We got preachers dealing in politics and diamond mines
and their speech is growing increasingly unkind
They say they are Christ’s disciples
but they don’t look like Jesus to me
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

Okay… I suspect she’s talking about Conservative preachers, because the rest of the song is very leftist. However, the only ones preaching hatred are the Jeremiah Wright’s of the world. the hyper-leftist, virulent racist left-wing nutjobs who occasionally find their way into the pulpit… and the President’s ear.

No, they don’t look like Jesus to you. Okay… no one but Jesus should look like Jesus to you. None of us measures up to that standard. That’s why He came … to let us know that we’re forgiven if we repent.

Now, I know that DeMent’s target here is the Jerry Falwell’s of the world, who make no bones about the fallen nature of humanity. However, love him (RIP) or hate him, Falwell’s message — like Pat Robertson’s, like Billy Graham’s and others’ — is a whole heckuva lot closer to Jesus’ message of universal love, than the “G-D America” message of Jeremiah Wright. That observation really shouldn’t be all that controversial.

Verse 2:

We got politicians running races on corporate cash
Now don’t tell me they don’t turn around and kiss them peoples’ ass
You may call me old-fashioned
but that don’t fit my picture of a true democracy
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

Actually, that’s not true. However, corporate money is a factor. It’s the 2010 Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision that this 1996 lyric foreshadows, in which the Supreme Court decided that corporations could donate to political campaigns.

The point, though, is that corporate money is available to all candidates — left, right and center — and corporations are composed of citizens. When politicians are “kissing them people’s a**es,” they’re smooching the behinds of citizens. To some extent at least, that’s exactly what they’re supposed to do. You can argue the merits or demerits of corporate money in politics all you like, but there is a simple truth: money doesn’t corrupt anyone. You cannot corrupt the incorruptible. Money can be a temptation to corruption, as is, let’s face it, power. We the people need to demand that the politicians we send to represent us be incorruptible. Of course, if we were to do that, we’d have to demand the resignation of nearly every current officeholder who belongs to the Democrat Party.

Verse 3:

We got CEO’s making two hundred times the workers’ pay
but they’ll fight like hell against raising the minimum wage
and If you don’t like it, mister, they’ll ship your job
to some third-world country ‘cross the sea
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

Now, Iris is just getting into leftist cant.

“We got CEO’s making two hundred times the workers’ pay”

Yeah? So what? Seriously. You have to give me some indication as to just why that’s a bad thing, if you want me to get all outraged. Otherwise, you’re just whining about economic mobility — the opportunity for poor people to escape poverty — and economic mobility is quintessentially American.

Go ahead, put a cap on the salaries of CEO’s. Guess what else you just did: you put a cap on the maximum earnings of poor people as well.

You just said that you are not going to allow the poor to earn more than a certain amount. Wow! you must really hate the poor, you rotten, mean, cruel, heartless dastard!

Otherwise stated: if some corporate fat cat is making 200 million a year, that means simply that it is possible to make 200 million a year. Make it impossible to make 200 million a year, and all you do is lock the poor and the middle class into their income strata. I thought we were trying to help the poor and the middle class!

The left certainly isn’t.

Verse 4:

Living in the wasteland of the free
where the poor have now become the enemy
Let’s blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free

More silly left-wing cant. This song disproves its own point. If we were living in a country where there were people in power trying to implement a “Hitler remedy,” Iris wouldn’t be free to sing, publish, sell or reproduce this song anywhere in America.

No one whom anyone takes seriously considers the poor “the enemy.” Nor does anyone whom anyone takes seriously think that the weak are responsible for our troubles. To the contrary, it ought to be pretty well known that Conservatives — the targets of Iris’ complaints — have long maintained that the powerful are the problem. Hence, the Conservative idea of devolving power away from Washington, out to the states, and closer to the American people. Anyone who’s not totally ignorant knows that.

It’s not Conservatives who are trying to accumulate even more power centrally in Washington, D.C.

I think you get the point. There’s probably no further point in dissecting this silly ditty that, presumably, made Iris DeMent a mint. Okay, okay… not a mint, but someone had to make the bad pun!

— xPraetorius


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