“Progressives” are socialists hiding under another name.
12 February 2013
Reginald Wormwood, Esq.
Wormwood Consulting, Inc.
1600 K Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
My dear Wormwood,
Once again, my dear nephew, I must admonish you for your naiveté. I have told you that you should cultivate our friends amongst the “progressives.” They’re simply socialists hiding under another name, and are precisely the people to whom we are closest. You tell me, however, that socialists are noble people sincerely interested in the betterment of mankind, and are therefore in league with the Enemy.
My dear boy, at times you surprise me. Might I remind you that you are appointed to the American diocese? Just where do you think you are? Denmark? Or Saskatchewan? Don’t make me laugh (it’s painful for me, as you know).
I grant you that one or two of your noble-minded do-gooders might exist in America, the Larry Lessigs and bothersome people of that ilk. Doubtless there were more of them in the past—simple people, obsessed with abstract theories and ignorant as swans about the consequences of what they proposed. They didn’t believe in wasting government money and sincerely believed in the brotherhood of man. It’s enough to make one sick! Even now I can’t bear to think of Dorothy Day.
What you have to understand, however, is that such people are almost never to be found today, at least within your Temptorship. I’m afraid that you’ve allowed yourself to believe in our friends’ rhetoric and not in the reality of their splendidly self-seeking bargains. You’ve judged them by their loudly voiced aspirations, without looking at what really drives them.
Honestly, my dear Wormwood, sometimes I wonder whether you’re cut out for the mission fields.
To do our kind of work, you need to understand human nature, which is very different from our nature. We’re straightforward folk, you and I. We know what we want and don’t lie to ourselves. For humans, however, self-deceit comes easily. They hide their inmost desire from others and ultimately from themselves, and come to believe in their unspotted goodness. Then they belong to us.
A human’s ability to perform an immensely injurious act and yet think well of himself is the greatest of opportunities for us. By contrast, the person who harms another and feels guilt is frequently lost to us. At the last moment he has a “Come to Him” moment. You’ll recall that hateful doggerel, “Between the stirrup and the ground, I mercy sought, I mercy found.” I don’t know how often we’ve been disappointed by that kind of a trick. It’s really not fair of Him.
Do you remember Oscar Wilde? They brought in the priest at almost the last minute. Or Charles II? A lifetime in our easy company, and then right at the end he betrays us. My Beelzebub, how frustrating! It was enough to have broken my heart, had I one.
Happily, however, the person who lies to himself never experiences a deathbed repentance. He goes to the grave convinced of his goodness—indeed, of his entitlement to a reward in The Other Place. And then we have him!
Now think, my dear Wormwood. Of whom might I be speaking, if not your American socialist? Think of Al Gore, for example, him with the perfect marriage, and that kiss he planted on Tipper at the Democratic Convention. Kissing babies to win votes is mild stuff, but strategically kissing one’s wife? I wish we had a list of the people who thought the sloppy embrace sincere. After that, the separation was no surprise.
Or what about his Nashville mansion, which consumes between 12 and 20 times the electrical power of a normal household? He who won a Nobel Prize for saving the earth? In excuse, a spokesman said that “every family has a different carbon footprint.” That’s a line I could have written myself.
More recently, there’s his sale of Current TV to Al-Jazeera, for which he’ll personally pocket $100 million. Nobody watches Current TV, but Gore twisted arms, and thus many cable providers carry it. Now it’s part of a media company that celebrates the killing of Americans, owned by an oil-producing Gulf monarchy. What’s even better, the high priest of green energy tried to time the deal to take effect just before taxes went up on January 1.
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