Van Jones: Symptom of a Larger Disease


By: Guest Authors

By: Greg Halvorson

How predictable. Van Jones, President Obama’s “green jobs” advisor, has stepped down after what he calls “a vicious smear campaign against him.” His past affiliation with Communism, advocacy on behalf of a cop-killer in Oakland, and dignified address in which he called Republicans “assholes,” are irrelevant—he’s been smeared. Yes, he signed a petition blaming the downing of the World Trade Center on then-President Bush, but this wasn’t intended as SUPPORT for the cause. Please—he can’t be held to account for his signature. In a statement, Jones said he didn’t agree with the petition’s stand and that it certainly “does not reflect my views, now or ever.”

But there is that one detail.

Apparently—the vicious smearers?—someone forced a pen into his hand, smashed it against a clipboard, and against his struggle to break free, scrawled “Van Jones” across the page. Not only has he been smeared (viciously), those responsible, Jones says, “use lies and distortion to distract and divide.” THEY are the problem. In Jones’ world, the world in which “green” jobs abound and penguins roam Manhattan, responsibility is a no-show. It isn’t his fault. The paradigm in which slander self-serves and outer-forces stamp victims explains liberal arrogance. No liberal—certainly no Communist—is ever to blame, for the lens of victimhood and denial grants cover. By abdicating responsibility (that’s PERSONAL responsibility for addled Leftists) Jones exemplifies why America as a whole is becoming less free. Self-reliant and responsible people reject the idea that others are to blame. Victims, on the other hand, point elsewhere, demanding succor from the state, for imagined inequities and the inability to forge ahead. Socialism, I argue, is nothing more than a collective Jones statement, in effect saying, “’Tis better to relinquish personal liberty than to accept responsibility and accountability for behavior.” If everyone, save you, is to blame, it naturally follows that learned and acquired helplessness will appeal to bureaucracy, and that entitlements and hand-outs will perpetuate drift. Imagine Jones apologizing, owning his behavior, and rejecting aspersion. This article would be moot. Instead, he acts superior and implies he did no wrong. Symptomatic of a larger disease in which responsibility denies virtue, Jones’ behavior and ideology mesh. Communism, remember, oppresses religion, and without spiritual anchors men embrace government. In communism, as in socialism, the State usurps God.

That Jones resigned is remarkable, as well. He should have been fired. But firing obligates superiors to play judge. To “take responsibility.” Van Jones’ superior? Barack Obama. Who else?

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