by Jerry Richardson 3/26/15
In a previously posted article, Willful Blindness, I attempted to explore and generate reader comments concerning willful blindness. My exploration in the previous article focused upon what I chose to call ideological willful blindness. As a result of that exploration I have read books, read reader-comments, and pondered the concept, so now: What do I think is the primary cause of willful blindness?
Let me just cut to the chase.
The type of willful blindness that I have tried to explore is at bottom a spiritual problem. And that problem is rampant across our nation today.
I’m not talking about the decline of organized religion. I’m talking about the decline of goodness. I’m talking about the decline of people’s ability to differentiate between simple right and wrong. I’m talking about the decline in many spheres—both public and private—of basic honesty and integrity. I’m talking about the undeniable rise in deceit and outright lies constantly pouring-forth from our highest governmental officials.
I’m talking about a steadily-increasing decline of moral clarity in America.
The concept of moral clarity is stated quite clearly in the Bible in one of the most important, in my opinion, social and political verses in scripture:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
—Isaiah 5:20 KJV
Moral clarity is the ability and the willingness to refrain from equating good and evil; and to clearly recognize which is which. Lack of moral clarity will always be found where there is False Moral Equivalency.
I think that some of the best writing on the concept of moral clarity is found in Natan Sharansky’s riveting book, THE CASE FOR DEMOCRACY THE POWER OF FREEDOM TO OVERCOME TYRANNY AND TERROR. The book is well worth a read.
Here are two pertinent quotes from Sharansky’s book:
Over the years, I have come to understand a critical difference between the world of fear and the world of freedom. In the former, the primary challenge is finding the inner strength to confront evil. In the latter, the primary challenge is finding the moral clarity to see evil.
<blockquote>Those who seek to move the earth must first, as Archimedes explained, have a place to stand. Moral clarity provides us with a place to stand, a reference point from where to leverage our talents, ideas, and energies to create a better world. Without moral clarity, without a reference point, those same talents, ideas, and energies are just as likely to do harm as good.
—Sharansky, Natan; Dermer, Ron (2009-02-23). The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror (location 354, 307) Kindle Edition.
OUR WILLFULLY BLIND PRESIDENT
What is the mistake that President Obama is making with Iran? It is not just the probability of allowing Iran a path to a nuclear weapon; it goes to something more fundamental than that.
In the words of Natan Sharansky we have leaders (especially the President) who do not have “the moral clarity to see evil.” This is a glaring spiritual problem—it results from a vacuum that many people recognized in Barack Obama even before he became President. And what is that vacuum? There have been numerous speculations with few consistent agreements.
Dr. Ben Carson (who may run for President) just recently stated in public that Obama is a “psychopath”; strong words, but many of Obama’s behaviors certainly fit a number of Dr. Robert Hare’s 20-item Psychopathy Checklist. Here are several items from the checklist, decide for yourself if you think they describe any of Barack Obama’s observed behaviors:
1. Glibness/Superficial Charm
2. Grandiose Sense of Self-Worth
3. Need for Stimulation
4. Pathological Lying
6. Lack of Remorse or Guilt
7. Shallow Affect
8. Callous/Lack of Empathy
9. Parasitic Lifestyle
16. Failure to Accept Responsibility for Own Actions
—Kiehl Ph.D., Kent A. (2014-04-22). The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience (pp. 46). Kindle Edition.
The undeniable evidence of President Obama’s lack of moral clarity is the well-documented and frequently-noticed fact that the President and his administration are unwilling to even call-out, by name, Islamic Terrorism—there could hardly be a clearer indication of a serious moral deficiency. How can anyone possible have moral clarity about something they refuse to name? If this weren’t so serious it would be hilarious; it is so childish; it sounds like a policy someone would develop after reading in Harry Potter about Lord Voldemort—He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Natan Sharansky’s two earlier quotes describe in a nut-shell the dangerous weaknesses of President Obama’s dealings with Iran as well as the rest of his disastrous foreign policy:
1) Obama lacks the moral clarity to see evil.
2) Hence, the Obama administration has no consistent baseline or reference point from which to evaluate friends and foes.
What is one of the easily-expected results of Obama’s see-no-evil foreign policy? Enemies may be treated as friends; and friends may be treated as enemies—our nation is in serious trouble due in-part to the fact that our President cannot seem to tell the good-guys from the bad-guys; or simply won’t because he’s in league with them—I think reasonable people have to consider that a possibility, even though I believe that willful blindness is the most probable explanation.
The simplest statement of a USA foreign-policy baseline has always been, “that which is in the national interest of the USA.” However, it is impossible to accurately determine a viable strategy for defending national interest if you cannot, with reasonable accuracy, sort-out your friends from your enemies.
…we seem still to suffer from Neville Chamberlain’s failure: Our leaders and our intellectuals cannot imagine people so different from our image of human nature.
So we have to ask once again, why don’t we see evil when it’s right in front of our faces?
Just as the West insisted that we could deal peacefully with Hitler, just as we reassured ourselves that Stalin was a decent man and Soviet dictators were just like anybody else, so today our leaders refuse to recognize that other evil regimes are on the march. The clearest example is Iran, where an evil regime oppresses its people and wages war against us.
—Michael A. Leden, ACCOMPLICE TO EVIL IRAN AND THE WAR AGAINST THE WEST, pp. 62, 76. Hardback.
Moral clarity is a cure for spiritual, willful blindness. But in order for someone who doesn’t have moral clarity to gain it, there must be a process similar to, or perhaps identical with, biblical repentance (turning around). Sadly, I don’t see any reason to expect that process to happen in the Oval Office any time soon, at least not prior to 2017.
© 2015, Jerry Richardson • (2230 views)