“The pretend war of celebratory fireworks thus becomes part of a propaganda campaign that inures us—especially the children among us—to current and future wars half a world away.”
—Former teacher and current Howard Zinn disciple Bill Bigelow, in a jaw-dropping screed titled “Rethinking the Fourth of July”
Revolting and hateful right wing radio host Michale Savage authored an appropriately revolting and hateful book titled “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder.” That kind of marginalization of dissenting opinions apes the tactic of recent totalitarian regimes, which often subjected political enemies to forced hospitalization as “insane.” Extreme ideological zealotry that refuses to acknowledge either the good faith or the possible virtues of opposing views is anathema to a functioning democracy, and the fact that we have a toxic amount of such zealotry right now is one of the reason our government isn’t working very well. Nonetheless, when I read a statement like the quote above, I cannot help but ponder how any rational individual reaches the point where he would think such a sentiment was worth publicizing. I think it is a form of ideology-sparked derangement. That doesn’t mean that liberalism is a mental disorder. It may mean that intense indoctrination in leftist (or conservative) cant leads to progressive derangement.
How does someone come to see the colorful spectacle of fireworks as “pretend war”? The invention of fireworks predated the use of bombs as weapons. They are an art form, and nothing more nor less. All right, they are also fun. (Can’t have that.) Seeing celebratory firework displays as indoctrination requires a paranoid view of one’s country and the world.
Paranoia is, of course, what the teachings of the late Howard Zinn encourage. To him, like the equally dark-minded America-hater Noam Chomsky, the United States of America’s creation was a curse on mankind, and led only to genocide, racism, death and oppression. Thus, to Zinn’s acolytes like Bigelow, celebrating the Fourth of July is celebrating evil. The approach of Bigelow to remedy this is familiar: he cites the environmental and health risks of fireworks..
“that terrify young children and animals, and that turn the air thick with smoke and errant projectiles. Last year, the fire department here reported 35 fires sparked by toy missiles, defective firecrackers, and other items of explosive revelry. The Washington State Department of Ecology warns that “Breathing fine particles in fireworks smoke can cause or contribute to serious short- or long-term health problems. They include: Risk of heart attack and stroke. Lung inflammation. Reduced lung function. Asthma-like symptoms. Asthma attacks.”
The horror. How did we survive the Fourth of July this long? This is all part of the now familiar strategy that the extreme left has fallen in love with: attempting to control thoughts and ideas by making inconvenient opinions more difficult to adopt. The less Independence Day is celebrated, the less special it seems. The less special it seems, the easier it will be for those who detest the ideals and history of the United States to undermine support for the nation’s beliefs and founding principles. This is the same tactic we see employed in the schools, when they enforce policies that make pictures, words and toys that reference guns taboo.
There was a time not so long ago that this kind of bile in the nation’s public discourse could be safely ignored as the harmless rantings of outliers, like the John Birch Society’s accusations of Communist conspiracies and tabloid assertions that the President was a Martian. In an environment, however, where all sides, including high elected officials, seem determined to promote division, and to demonize opposing views once divided, Bigelow-like views of reality seem less unreasonable, and even defensible.
When almost everyone is deranged, it is those who are not deranged who appear crazy.