The old irascible, politically incorrect, and acerbic sage of Baltimore, H.L. Mencken, once famously defined Puritanism as, "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." Mencken today likely would want to revise his definition; Puritans and their ethos have long departed the American political and cultural scene. Today's warriors against happiness, those haunted by the "fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy" are the leftist ideologues in charge of most of our social, political, educational, and cultural institutions. Yes, of course, they have an insatiable drive for power; yes, of course, they want control over all aspects of our lives. I, however, have come to the conclusion that what really fuels them, or put it another way, the hidden turbocharge in their engine, is their hatred of joy, of happiness, and most notably of the special joy and happiness that comes with an individual expressing and exercising independence.
The manifestations of this war are everywhere in small details and in large panoramas. The war on Christmas, for example, is real. The MSNBC crowd might laugh, but the war is there for all to see. We see it, for example, in the mock outrage over Fox newscaster Megyn Kelly's comment that Jesus was white and so is Santa. Who with any amount of brains would think that the historical Jesus was black? That is utter Farrakhan nonsense. What difference, at this point, to paraphrase Hillary, does his race make if you believe he was the Messiah? Presumably we are all creatures of God regardless of race or color. The historical Jesus was a semite, a Jew. As far as I know, Arabs and Jews are considered white. Let's put it this way, he was more white than George Zimmerman whom the press had no trouble labeling as such despite his Afro-Peruvian grandmother. And Santa? Why should he be black? Should Uncle Remus be declared white? If you want you can go with the Three Wisemen, one of whom, Balthazar, in Spanish culture is black. Why ruin the holiday for the kids with this debate? Why try to ruin their joy and wonder? Why does even this issue need to be politicized? This, of course, all forms part of a broader war on the Judeo-Christian fundaments of our society. We don't need to review all that but we all can hear that "dog whistle" loud and clear.
The war on happiness and joy, of course, goes well beyond the assault on Christmas traditions. The left cannot stand the thought of individuals doing things that bring them joy and happiness. Automobiles. Yes, automobiles form a major target of this assault. Driving an automobile can bring joy, excitement, and independence into a person's life. Driving an "impractical" automobile such as a Porsche, a Corvette, a Nissan GTR, a Cadillac CTS-V, a Ferrari, or a 700Hp modified Shelby GT-500 is fun and brings joy. The leftists would have us all in grey buses, trains, and, at best, in subsidized pokey Priuses and Volts, stifling our joy and happiness in the name of protecting Gaia against a fake warming threat. They will use taxes, and EPA and safety regulations, and absurd speed limits to ruin our joy. The same with gun ownership. Guns are fun; they bring joy to the owner, and assert an individual's right to independence and self-defense. Gun ownership, of course, also limits the power of the state, and the ability of the leftists running the state to dictate the arc of our lives. We see the same in the assault on drinking, smoking, eating meat, homeschooling, and on individual choice in medical care. The state will decide which schools our children can attend, what they will learn; the state will decide our medical choices. They wage war on small businesses, which bring joy to the owners and, again assert independence, because after all, "you didn't build that."
My favorite philosopher, William James, argued that "truth" is whatever makes you happy,
“No concrete test of what is really true has ever been agreed upon. . . . If a man chooses to turn his back altogether on God and the future, no one can prevent him; no one can show beyond reasonable doubt that he is mistaken. If a man thinks otherwise and acts as he thinks, I do not see that any one can prove that he is mistaken. Each must act as he thinks best; and if he is wrong, so much the worse for him. . . . In all important transactions of life we have to take a leap in the dark.”