The future as pre-written past; or the Left’s peculiar relationship to “history” *UPDATED*

John F Kennedy before assassination

To me, history is what was.  It’s the past that’s been and gone forever.

To people on the Left, however, history is the future that they shape, which they presume their Leftist scholars will later enshrine in propagandistic history books.  I thought of that peculiar viewpoint last night when watching a PBS special about the JFK assassination, an event that doesn’t interest me at all. The most interesting thing about it is a conspiracy theorist’s kerfuffle in its wake.  As for me, I believe in a single gunman acting out a Communist fantasy because, today’s Leftist belief to the contrary, Kennedy was a fierce anti-Communist.

The PBS show wasn’t a bad show, and did lay to rest some of the conspiracy theories, but mostly I struggled to stay awake.  What did catch my attention was Jim Lehrer’s statement that the assassination “changed history forever.”

Thing about that statement for a minute and marvel at its incoherence.  An ordinary person would say that the assassination changed the trajectory America was on as of November 22, 1963.  But it didn’t change what happened before November 22, 1963 which was actual history.  Moroever, at the moment the assassination happened, what was left was the future, not “future history.”

It was with Lehrer’s nonsensical words ringing in my mind that I read Daniel Greenfield’s “The Left Side of History,” which explains the Obama’s leftist habit of seeing history, not as a look back to the past, but as a forcibly created future:

“As frustrating as may be sometimes,” Obama told ObamaCare navigators and volunteers. “We’re on the right side of history.”

It wasn’t the first time that Obama had invoked the right side of history to rally the troops. During the Arab Spring, as Mubarak resigned on his orders, he said, “History will end up recording that at every juncture in the situation in Egypt, that we were on the right side of history.”

It’s hard to be on the right side of history at every juncture. But Obama believed that he had achieved the feat by backing Mubarak, then backing his overthrow and then backing the Muslim Brotherhood.

Read the rest here, and see if you can get a handle on the way the Left views the future as the pre-written past.

UPDATE: Like me, Joseph Epstein doesn’t get the “Kennedy wallow” either.  It’s especially silly when one considers that the Left is fetishizing a tax-cutting, communist-hating, Catholic-worshipping, and black-disliking president.  And thinking about the facts versus the fantasy, I guess we’re just getting another insight into the Left’s idea of reality versus those actual stubborn facts.

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  • Robert Arvanitis

    It’s George Orwell, all the way down.

  • Charles Martel

    Book, Sunday’s SF Chronicle book section prominently featured a review, titled “Hotbed of Hatred,” which reviewed a book that just came out, “Dallas 1963.” The book discusses the right-wing hatred and paranoia that supposedly afflicted the city in the months before JFK came came to town.
    I thought the usual ham-handed leftist attempt at diversion was remarkable. Here was a front-page review of a book designed to make the Chron’s Kool-Aid drinkin’ readers think that right wingers killed Kennedy even though the little creep who murdered him was a Marxist dimwit like them.
    To add insult to Sunday’s injury, an old acquaintance of mine, a woman with a great mind and a wonderful sense of humor, announced her withdrawal from rationality. I happened to see her as she and her husband were driving by in the supermarket parking lot. We chatted for a few moments, then as she drove off, I saw the new bumpersticker on the back of her Prius: “PrObama.”
    It made me feel like the Kevin McCarthy character in the 1956 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” when he peers under the tarp of a freight truck and sees that it’s carrying hundreds of the alien pods that take over people and replace them with Stepford Wife-like replicas. If my old chum can jump so gladly into deep feces, how many others will be there right behind her?

  • Ymarsakar

    Incompetent anti communist, yea.
     Bay of Pigs, Vietnam…. the list probably goes on but it’s ancient history now.

  • Matt_SE

    Funny…Lenin and Stalin said they were on the right side of History, too. Now, the USSR is gone and we remain. Dolts.

  • Charles Martel

    But he was handsome! And glib! And catnip to the ladies! And married to a fashion plate! And surrounded by credentialed people! Do you really need any more qualifications than those to be beatified by the Brights?

  • Bookworm

    And poor Jackie didn’t even have toned arms!  Think how much better they would have sold her today if she’d been buffed as well as fashionable.

  • Charles Martel

    Book, are you referring to Michelle’s bodacious brachial dewlaps?

  • Ron19

    As Ymarsakar points out, he was also pro-military and ready, willing and able to use military intervention.

  • JKB

    They have to rewrite the history.  It was really a Left wing conspiracy to remove a pro-American Democrat so that the anti-American socialists in the party could take over.  Hey, the Democratic party power brokers took on the beliefs of Lee Harvey Oswald after the assassination although it did require a few more assassinations and the great convention riots.  

  • Charles Martel

    JKB’s take is interesting, even though JFK’s murder was accidental in the sense that the Democratic Party’s hardcore left didn’t bring it about.
    Instead, a fervent, closeted wish met a serendipitous coincidence, and subsequently rode the coat-tails of the power-hungry crypto-socialist LBJ. His re-enslavement of the blacks with welfare and victimology established an unbreakable (and unthinking) voter bloc, followed by the opening the whiny anti-Semite Jimmy Carter gave to overt America haters and self-hating Jews.
    In all, a solid exposition of Democratic strengths.


    I saw the new bumpersticker on the back of her Prius: “PrObama.”
    The temptation to improve is overwhelming – YugoObama, EdselObama.

  • Robert Arvanitis

    Isn’t it redundant to put an Obama sticker on a Prius?
    Besides, both the Yugo and Edsel actually rolled, as did the Lada and even the Trabant.  Just sayin’

  • Ymarsakar

    JFK was anti military rather than pro military. He didn’t rely on the joint chiefs for much of anything. Which is why things blew up eventually, though he was dead at the time and was denied observer status.

  • Robert Arvanitis

    Ymarsakar – perhaps JFK was more “a-military,” not so much actually against, as he was arrogantly self-confident he knew better.  Just like Obama.
    Recall that when they met in Vienna, it was Kennedy’s naivete that tempted Khrushchev to try the Cuban missile gambit in the first place.


    Besides, both the Yugo and Edsel actually rolled, as did the Lada and even the Trabant.
    Didn’t they all run on “Soylent Green?”

  • Ymarsakar

    I think evil generally runs on the life force of children, actually. But that’s just me.