Saturday, July 30, 2011
Sarah Palin and the Hobbits
By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 8/1/11
Interesting how the WSJ commentary referring to Tea Partiers as hobbits caught on after John McCain repeated it in the Senate. It might hold. Note on hobbits: Joseph Campbell wrote that myths reveal the deepest psychological passages of a people. “Lord of the Rings” by Oxford professor J.R.R. Tolkien, may be the most important myth of transition in modern times for the English-speaking people. I know a psychologist in Israel who says so. Because what the hobbits did was take the ring of power from golem and destroy both ring and golem. This can be seen in context of Rabbi Loeb of Prague’s great myth which introduced golem at the beginning of the modern age; golem the symbolic figure of rising unlimited power; golem the shadow which blocked the path of God and nature. The destruction of the ring and the golem allowed the world to be born again. Worth noting that the warrior Aragorn was not able to do that. Only the common people; the people of the earth, the hobbits, were.
McCain did express a kind of alienation from the rising times; that something was happening . . . again . . . and he doesn’t know what it is. But those pesky Tea Partiers are certainly behind it.
George Will, on the other hand, has a remarkably good grasp. In his Saturday column, “Declaration of Independents” he talks of Michele Bachmann’s summer reading, the dense tome of Ludwig von Mises, “Human Action” in a thoughtful review about a new libertarian book: “Autodidacts less exacting than Bachmann should spill sand on the pages of ‘The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong With America’ by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. These incurably upbeat journalists with Reason magazine believe that not even government, try as it will, can prevent onrushing social improvement.”
The hobbits take their inspiration from Gillespie and Welch and for the longest time, the hobbits were the only ones who listened.
“America is moving in the libertarians’ direction not because they have won an argument but because government and the sectors it dominates have made themselves ludicrous. This has, however, opened minds to the libertarians’ argument,” writes Will.
But his Post colleague, Kathleen Parker, is not so gracious: “Take names,” she says. (Frodo, Bilbo, Sam?) “Remember them. The behavior of certain Republicans who call themselves Tea Party conservatives makes them the most destructive posse of misguided ‘patriots’ we’ve seen in recent memory.”
And where do they get their crazy ideas? Look no further than Sarah Palin’s Facebook page, where she warned freshmen about contested primaries and urged them to “remember us ‘little people’ who believed in them, donated to their campaigns and “spent hours tirelessly volunteering for them, and trusted them with our votes.”
Primaries. That is a dangerous idea. And I guess the “little people” Palin is referring to are those hobbits. So I guess that should make her Galadriel, Lady of the Woods.
RE Mythology: The Founders often compared fledgling America to Rome and recently the analogy has expanded to include Los Angeles; Rome and Athens. These are correct approximations of Europe’s prehistory or framework. But it was the brave Gauls in the center that gave the millennia their actual life force and history. And that is what we see rising here with the hobbits and their Galadriel; America’s center awakening to its destiny.