To See Ourselves as Others See Us Part 1 of 2

O would some Power the gift to give us
To see ourselves as others see us.

Wise words from the Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Unfortunately, not a prayer likely to be answered any time soon. But maybe not so unfortunate. After all these centuries of “What will the Goyim think?” we’ve gotten pretty good at managing their opinions of us.

We know what we want them to think. That we’re benevolent and virtuous and pious, some of us all the time, the rest of us some of the time. We’re brilliant and successful and never, ever arrogant or flaunting about it. We’re pure. No sexual, alcohol, drug, corruption or crime problems among us. (And if there are, it’s our duty to shut up about it. What will the Goyim think?)

Violence? Of course not. We’re altogether tolerant, respectful, benign. And if we have to do hard things from time to time – self-defense only.

Anyway, someday we’ll forgive them for the things they make us do.

We’re a democracy. That we’re really an oligarchic/theocratic republic – no problem. Nobody knows what an oligarchic/theocratic republic is. Or wants to know.

We’re an outpost of Western civilization. The fact that outposts are, almost by definition, expendable, we won’t fret too much or mention too loudly. Anyway if “outpost” doesn’t work, there’s always “bridgehead.”

Bridgehead to what? To where?

Moving right along . . .

We’re lovable. You know, the old sabra motif. Tough on the outside, soft and sweet within. Even after all this victimization and oppression.

So that’s how we want them to see us. We’re certain of that. We also know for certain how they do see us.

They hate us. Every one of us for everything about us. Whatever we do is either criminal, inadequate or otherwise wrong. Six billion people on this planet besides little us, and just about everyone’s either an anti-Semite or will be.

Define anti-Semite? Sure. Anyone who criticizes or doubts. Also look up “self-hating Jew.”

So let them all hate us. We’re going to act as we damn well please because whatever we do, it won’t matter to them. And if anybody dares question, we’ll rant and insult and get all righteous and mad.

A ridiculous juxtaposition of outlooks and responses. But one we’re been living with for a long time, now. And unless we change our sense of how others see us, and how we see them, we’ll be paying for it for a long time to come.

Blessedly, we’ve got guidance. There are opinion surveys, that ultimate confusion of the statistical and the normative, of ignorance and understanding. Polling as a science has come a long way. But unless the pollsters have attained a degree of scrupulosity hitherto unknown in secular human affairs, three caveats apply.

To borrow yet another Scottish adage, Who pays the piper calls the tune. Got a survey to wave around? Great. Who paid for it?

The answer you get depends on the question you ask. Totally obvious. Generally forgotten.

Beware the headlines. The text doesn’t always support their effusions, nor the statistics the text.

So, polls are good. Pundits are better. All kinds of pundits. They’ll tell you what to think.

I’ve often wondered what a committee of elephants might conclude, examining a pundit.

And whoever pays him or her.

Anyway, as Marcus Aurelius put it so well: “Do not copy the opinions of the arrogant, or let them dictate your own.”

Yup, the same Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor, most powerful man of his day, who cautioned himself to remember when rising each morning: “Today I’ll be dealing with jerks.” Liberal translation, this. And of course, Marcus never had to endure think tank experts, network news, social media and the blogosphere.

So such were my thoughts a few days ago, watching Mr. Netanyahu’s now mostly forgotten Iran speech. What I can’t forget is the spectacle of America’s elected representatives acting like a bunch of groupies at a rock concert. What I cannot forget is how he trotted out Elie Wiesel while not acknowledging another guest in the gallery, Sheldon Adelson.

So what might Mr. Netanyahu have said that might have kept the House chamber from turning into a mosh pit?

Maybe this.

Western civilization is in a struggle for its existence against an array of enemies, bound by a common religious ideology and hate, who neither ask nor give any quarter. We’re in this together. We expect no special treatment, only the right to participate as an ally in a struggle that goes far beyond our own.

Face it. No deal with Iran will be worth anything. Look up the word taqiya. Forget the charade. Remember that deterrence works, and Islamist leaders rarely seek personal martyrdom or sacrifice their empires. What we must now do, together, is to understand ourselves, each other, the enormity of the global threat, and why so many Muslim residents of the West regard it with approval.

Let’s fix our understandings first, then do what needs to be done to destroy this enemy, whilst helping Islamic civilization to rid itself of this evil, as we not so long ago, Gentiles and Jews together, rid the world of Nazism and Soviet communism.

Here’s how.


To Be Continued.


About the Author
Philip Gold made Aliyah from USA in 2010 after several decades as a Beltway "public intellectual" of sorts.
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