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The Thing that Used to be Conservatism…

BY Mark Shea

| Posted 9/24/10 at 3:00 PM

 

...is becoming the Thing That Used to Be Liberalism.

The only thing weirder to me than the sudden elevation of an obscure lefty rabble-rouser named Saul Alinsky to the status of Prime Bogeyman by the Crazy Right has been the rush by some of the most repellent figures on the Crazy Right to imitate him.

Some blurbs for ‘Rules for Radical Conservatives: Beating the Left at Its Own Game to Take Back America’:

“A manual for the counter-revolution.” — Ann Coulter

“The Art of War for conservatives.” — Rob Long, contributing editor, National Review

“A deadly—and deadly funny—dissection of the people who brought us to this critical moment in America’s history”—Mark Levin, author of Liberty and Tyranny

But wait! There’s more! The book provides some handy-dandy guidelines for conservatives to follow so they too can be as obnoxious as their lefty opponents:

• Know your enemy, his intentions, his weapons, and his weaknesses. You too can play relentless, on-message hardball with every scandal, hypocrisy, lie, and fundamentally flawed policy your adversaries dish up.
• Become what you behold. Adopt some of our scorched-earth tactics, best described in David Mamet’s Untouchables: “They pull a knife, you pull a gun.” ...
• Never cede anything to the other side, philosophically speaking. ...

The Greeks were right.  You become what you behold.

Here, in contrast, is Paul’s advice on what we should train our gaze on:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:1-14)