The god of liberalism is an idea and ideas are notoriously fragile things. They fall apart once they make the transition from the ivory tower of the mind to the mud and dross of reality. Every writer and artist has had the experience of holding a perfect ideal in his mind only to lose it as he struggles to set it down on canvas or paper. The creative process is that recognition that the ideal cannot be made real.
Liberalism, progressivism and the various names by which the modern left identifies and is identified is the belief that the ideal can and must be made real. That anything short of the ideal is a savage state of repression, tyranny, patriarchy, fascism and the whole litany of crimes against ideal humanity.
The liberal god rises as an idea and dies again. And rises again. No matter how many times the whole thing ends in blood and bankruptcy, the worshipers return to worship the coming of the god again.
“People in every corner of the globe who saw in him a hope for the future and a chance for mankind. We weep for our children and their children and everyone’s children: For he was charting their destinies as he was charting ours,” Art Buchwald wrote in the International Herald-Tribune after the assassination of JFK.
In Buchwald’s crude Stalinist panegyric, JFK was a deity who charted the destinies of the whole world. “He cared about all of us,” he writes. No sparrow could fall but that JFK would see it. JFK would help the “Negro”, the “working man”, “the artist, the writer and the poet”, “teachers and pupils” and even “old people”.
But John F. Kennedy the man with flaws and strengths is not present in the North Korean scale orgy of leader worship because it isn’t really him that Buchwald is mourning. It isn’t Kennedy the man that liberals weep for every year. It is liberalism.
Camelot is liberalism. The death of Kennedy was the death of the idea. Liberalism didn’t die, but its best avatar did. The ideal became the real with a magic bullet. The man who was supposed to chart the destiny of the world couldn’t save himself from a “single lousy Communist” who killed the hope that he was supposed to represent.
The god of liberalism vests in an avatar like Kennedy or Obama. The avatar is messianic. It is superhuman. Its empathy is unlimited. Its liberal godhood elevates us all by merely being in its presence, hearing it speak or reading one of its speeches. It is the idea made flesh. The secular god.
But the god of the left must die. It is a mad illusion to think that any man can chart the destinies of the world. Buchwald put far too great a burden on JFK. Had a lousy Communist not killed him, then, like Obama, he would have lived to disappoint and infuriate his followers.
The Russians went mad when Stalin died. The North Korean weeping was equally insecure.