Christian love, which applies to all, even one’s enemies is the worse adversary of Communism.

N. Bukharin, in Pravda, March 30, 1934

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I have been reading Peggy Noonan’s When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan.  It is a relaxing read and written in Ms. Noonan’s easy style, one in which the reader feels as if she is sitting in your living room chatting with you.

It is a delightful read about an interesting man, one of character whose life, like each of ours, had its substantial hurdles.

In Mr. Reagan’s case he faced poverty, the Great Recession of the 1930’s, a father who wrestled recurrent unemployment and alcoholism, a divorce he did not want, loss of his acting career, and conflict with the Communist Left in the Hollywood labor unions of 1940’s-50’s.

Yes, he was down, and he was up – but through it all he maintained his character, and his good values.

It is Ms. Noonan’s account of the conflict with the Communist Left that speaks to me today.

In particular I am struck by how the conduct of those Leftists mimics the conduct of the American Left today.

First, if you took a view different from the one they held you were persona non grata – simply unwelcome, the enemy, called a right-wing zealot or worse.

Second, they were not interested in argument, a test of ideas publicly aired.  If you were out of step with their views you were attacked personally, your career was at risk.  Freedom of speech was neither cherished nor encouraged; it was not tolerated if your words did not match their view.  People were silenced. Conformity was enforced.

The Left he encountered was secretive.  They worked in silence to gain control over useful institutions and power. They sought to control.  They attacked those who stood in opposition and name-calling and character assassination were invoked, reputations were targeted.

They spoke a common language of conflict and division.  They divided people from one another.

They were hyper-political, consumed by it.  They saw themselves as superior to others, smarter, more knowledgeable, as people alone “divined” to govern by the dint of their intellect.  They practiced a modern gnosticism – they knew better than others.

They threatened violence and donned the public cloak of “progressives” – the benevolent “new idea” people;  yet, always their ideas were designed to centralize power and put them in control.

Their loyalty was to ideology not country.  They had contempt for democracy.

I am struck by the circumstances Ms. Noonan recounts and how much like the Left of today this conduct is, and by the fact that virtually no one in public life or public media makes any mention of this.

Yes, those who forget history are to relive it.

Sacred history is not restricted to the contents of the Bible, but is still going on; we are living in sacred history.

Jean Danileou, The Lord of History

Are you struck by circumstances?  Do you live in sacred history?  Or do you live otherwise?

Shalom.

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