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Obama as the Devil’s Advocate

The Devil's Advocate

“What manner of men had lived in those days…who had so eagerly surrendered their sovereignty for a lie and a delusion?  Why had they been so anxious to believe that the government could solve problems for them which had been pridefully solved, many times over, by their fathers?  Had their characters become so weak and debased, so craven and emasculated, that offers of government dole had become more important than their liberty and their humanity?  Had they not know that power delegated to the government becomes the club of tyrants?  They must have known.  They  had their own history to remember, and the history of five thousand years.  Yet, they had willingly and knowingly, with all this knowledge, declared themselves unfit to manage their own affairs and had placed their lives, which belonged to God only, in the hands of sinister men who had long plotted to enslave them, by wars, by “directives,” by “emergencies.”  In the name of the American people, the American people had been made captive.” 

Taylor Caldwell, The Devil’s Advocate

Back in my mispent youth I read quite a bit more fiction than I do currently.  (Lack of time and much greater access to more non-fiction works are probably the two chief factors in my changed reading habits.)  I read several of the novels of Taylor Caldwell.  She was a competent novelist, I can’t praise her novel about Cicero, Pillar of Iron, too highly, and she wrote from a distinct point of view.  Her point of view was that freedom was a rare commodity in human history and that it perished quickly.  I could call her a conservative, but that would be a bit weak in describing her.  She wrote pieces for the John Birch Society for a time, but she probably regarded them as too timid in standing up for the liberty she treasured above all.  She shared with them a conspiratorial view of the world, and her novels usually depict sinister behind the scenes forces plotting the end of freedom.  However, even paranoids can have real people out to get them, and Caldwell was usually correct in her novels in her description of the desire of so many to escape from the need to make decisions on their own, and to leave everything up to a supposedly benevolent ruler, even though all of human history argues against the reality of such a pleasing fantasy.

In her 1952 novel, The Devil’s Advocate, Caldwell envisions an America where freedom is only a faint memory.  America has long been ruled by a leftist military dictatorship.  The Republican party has been outlawed and even mentioning the Old Constitution is a criminal offense.  The protagonist of the novel is Andrew Durant, an official of the leftist government, but also a secret lover of the Old Constitution.  He and other patriots within the government hit upon the plan of increasing repression until they trigger a revolution to reestablish American freedom.  The rebellion succeeds and Durant is killed in it, his fate in history is to be damned as an official of the toppled regime, his role in the reestablishment of liberty dying with him.

Now let us consider the impossible.  Let us think that Barack Obama is cast in the same mold.  Secretly repulsed by the way in which the American people have been ceding liberty for security for generations he embarks upon a plan to become president and to implement a regime so oppressive that it will trigger a reaction that will safeguard traditional American freedom for generations to come.  He is dismayed by how long the process is taking, and therefore he continually ups the ante:

Well, if sending a trillion dollars down a rat hole won’t do it, surely ObamaCare will do it.  Obamacare didn’t so it is time to attack religious liberty through the HHS Mandate.  Even that wasn’t enough so time to let good men die in Benghazi and lie about it.  Still not enough?  Time to move against guns.  Still no reaction?  Roll out the IRS.

Impossible that this is the secret motivation of Obama?  No doubt.  But if his administration comes to a bad end, and his example causes a rebirth to the freedom bestowed upon us by God through the Founding Fathers, it would be the greatest irony of all for Obama to secretly think, “Success at last!  Thank God!”

“The primary purpose of the IRS is not to collect taxes but to force federal controls upon the people, to bribe the obedient and destroy the dissidents, [and] to elicit favors and impoverish independence”.

Taylor Caldwell

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

17 Comments

  1. “Now let us consider the impossible. Let us think that Barak Obama is cast in the same mold. Secretly repulsed by the way in which the American people have been ceding liberty for security for generations he embarks upon a plan to become president and to implement a regime so oppressive that it will trigger a reaction that will safeguard traditional American freedom for generations to come. He is dismayed by how long the process is taking, and therefore he continually ups the ante:”

    Whatcha been smoking?

  2. Sometimes it is fun Phillip to soberly consider absurd explanations for events. It certainly explains his choice of Joe Biden for Veep, and I do not think there has ever been a good competing explanation for that bizarre selection!

  3. Sometimes it is fun Phillip to soberly consider absurd explanations for events. It certainly explains his choice of Joe Biden for Veep, and I do not think there has ever been a good competing explanation for that bizarre selection!

    Or putting Hildebeeste in charge of the diplomatic corps. Or having Valerie Jarrett vetting special ops.

  4. Or putting Rahm Emmanuel in charge of the White House Staff. Hildebeeste and Rahm Emmanuel are each known to be a terror to work for; appointing them to superintend anything was a sure indication that Obama does not give a rip about his subordinates.

  5. The night of the first election of BO I did not sleep all night long. I was in some kind of state of sheer panic that I had never experienced before. I cleaned an entire 600 sq ft antique shop along with the loft. I must have said at least three rosaries an hour. Our Lady has told us over and over, if we do not come to Her and take seriously her warnings through Fatima and Medjigoure great suffering will come to our nations. The second election was proof to me that our country is not listening and not changing. This is no conspiracy theory this is fact. It has gotten worse and worse. As I have stated before, this has been going on since the very inception of the right to life movement. It ties in with the control of the land, population control through contraception, gay marriage, and abortion. It is has not been hidden in any way from the masses. Why do you think this administration’s main goal is thwarting the pro life movement. We are EVERYTHING they are against. My God if we could have a Hitler and his ilk along with all of the other tyrants throughout the world why could we not have a BO? They want to adore and glorify the god’s THEY control. Not our God, not our belief that we are all souls destined for the Kingdom. What they want is here and now. As long as we answer to a Higher Power, and we refuse to live by their filthy ways and means we are all targets. It has not just been the dems but the pubs too.

  6. When I saw the title I assumed you were referring to the Pacino film “Devil’s Advocate”. A bit of dialog between the young lawyer protagonist and Satan:

    Kevin Lomax: “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven”, is that it?

    John Milton: Why not? I’m here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I’ve nurtured every sensation man’s been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I’m a fan of man! I’m a humanist. Maybe the last humanist.

    The “humanists” certainly seem to be on the march these days.

    Like you, I recall Taylor Cladwell’s novels fondly, esp. The Captains and the Kings, Dear & Glorious Physician and Grandmother and the Priests.

  7. “The “humanists” certainly seem to be on the march these days.” The humanists deny man’s soul.
    “Sometimes it is fun Phillip to soberly consider absurd explanations for events. It certainly explains his choice of Joe Biden for Veep, and I do not think there has ever been a good competing explanation for that bizarre selection!”
    At one time Joe Biden was a devout and respected practicing Catholic, and was chosen by the Democrats to bring the Catholic vote. Now, Biden is another word for fool and a heartbreak to people who love and pray for him.

  8. Tom, that’s a fascinating movie. I couldn’t recommend it to anyone for a variety of reasons, but it seems like it should be mandatory viewing for seminarians. It lays out the consequences of sin like a supernatural documentary.

  9. One recalls Rousseau, “AS soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall. When it is necessary to march out to war, they pay troops and stay at home: when it is necessary to meet in council, they name deputies and stay at home. By reason of idleness and money, they end by having soldiers to enslave their country and representatives to sell it.” [Contrat Social IV 15]

  10. I agree on the HHS mandate and IRS thing but the conservative emphasis on stimulus & Obamacare as not just traditional left vs. right policy differences, but some great philosophical debate on liberty vs. tyranny, doesn’t take. Democrats have wanted universal healthcare forever, and the question during the economic crash wasn’t “should we have a stimulus” but what form the stimulus would take as far as ratio of tax cuts/spending.

    this isn’t to say there were no reasons to oppose this particular stimulus or universal healthcare. Just that I don’t see the issue with allegedly “weaker” criticism of why they’re flawed as opposed to the charged rhetoric it’s framed in. I get it as far as politics, but not as a serious debate.

    the liberty rhetoric on healthcare specifically seems incredibly abstract for anyone who doesn’t have it through their employer & cannot purchase due to conditions

  11. “At one time Joe Biden was a devout and respected practicing Catholic, and was chosen by the Democrats to bring the Catholic vote. Now, Biden is another word for fool and a heartbreak to people who love and pray for him.”

    Nope Mary, Biden has always been pretty much a dope. As for his Catholicism, you would not know he was Catholic from his votes when he was a Senator, at least since 1982.

  12. “Liberty rhetoric on healthcare seems abstract”. Tell that to the forty teachers aides at our local school system that learned yesterday that many of them no longer have jobs and the ones that still do are having their hours cut and will no longer have “healthcare” benefits available to them. These same people were screaming in the street to recall Walker. Marching for BO and whoa to those who supported a conservative candidate. Life was hell at that school. Now here they sit. Some I know are farm women who needed the job but also needed the insurance. Up until all the farm women and men had to get off the farm jobs just so they could have health insurance we paid out of pocket right here on the farm. No one had any “benefits” unless you paid for them yourself. People have gotten so use to thinking they get all the “benefits”. Now they’re totally freaked out. They wanted all right and now they got it. Serious debate happening around many a household in our little community today.

  13. Not having grown up an American, my own memory of a book called “Devil’s Advocate” was by Morris West, so I was surprised to know there’s another book by that name. Truly I was enjoying your retelling of the Caldwell novel until you inserted Obama…Then you lost me.

  14. There are few remaining affiliated with the Norbertine (Praemonstratensian) Order who would lay claim to Joe Biden as a product of their academic regimen. He’s an Archmere type from Delaware. More accomplished Norbertine grads came out of the order’s midwest school.

  15. “Truly I was enjoying your retelling of the Caldwell novel until you inserted Obama…Then you lost me.”

    Ah but that was the whole purpose of the exercise Marietta. Art can often tell us a great deal about life, and I think The Devil’s Advocate by Taylor Caldwell tells us a great deal about life in America in this year of grace 2013.

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