This week Jeff takes a look at the movie American Sniper and Fox News’ rising star Megyn Kelly, to make the case that conservative culture is evolving by taking on the best of green altitude values. And it’s not just a one-way street. The left also evolves by taking on the best values of amber altitude traditionalism, such as the gay rights movement’s argument for marriage and military service. This year’s Super Bowl commercials also moved the ball…
You can listen to the entire podcast at the bottom of this post. Or if you prefer to read, the full written transcript is there as well. For a quick listen check out the excerpt below which focuses on the controversial new movie, American Sniper.
Excerpt | “Chris Kyle is no John Wayne”
American Sniper tells the story of Chris Kyle, “America’s deadliest sniper in the Iraq War”. Kyle is credited with a record number of kills: 165 “confirmed kills” and another 95 “claimed kills” (which is where the bullet hits the target but death cannot be confirmed).
Let me stop here and let our liberal blood curdle over the fact that there’s such a thing as a count of “kills” … that such distinctions are even made, and that racking up a high number makes you a hero and a legend. This is just naturally repulsive to liberals.
Moving into the green altitude of development requires that we at least try to take on the perspective of other people, especially victims. This realization forms the essence of the liberal critique of American Sniper: the movie doesn’t consider the humanity of the people it’s fighting and killing, the Iraqis. It doesn’t consider their motivations, their context, or the fact that they love their families and value their lives as much as we do.
But like it or not, conservatives (amber altitude traditionalists) do indeed see killing enemies in war as something to enjoy and take pride in. It makes perfect sense because at the traditional level of development life in general is seen as a universal battle between the forces of good and evil. We are the people who are on the right side of things, thank goodness. We are the chosen people of God. We have a blessed way of life, and we are — and this is always the case in the traditional stage of development — we are under attack by the forces of darkness.
This is why for the vast majority of human history people have found killing to be deeply fulfilling. Every dead enemy just makes the world that much safer for us, our people and for the Kingdom of God we are building. There are few things so sweet. This is the essence of the traditionalist view presented in American Sniper.
Yet, in American Sniper the traditional “god and country” view is leavened with a sensitivity that recognizes the collateral damage of war, not just for the Iraqis, but for the military families and the soldiers themselves. This is evidence of the evolution of the conservative view. John Wayne never worried about PTSD (and “shell-shocked” veterans of earlier wars were seen as weak and pitiful), but now it’s unpatriotic not to.
The integral view is that every perspective is both true and partial, so even though integralists are steeped in green sensitivity, we also seek out the piece of the truth that the traditionalists bring in. And so the question becomes: what in this world is actually worth fighting for, and dying for, and yes, even killing for?
Full podcast below includes the excerpt plus further commentary
In the rest of the podcast Jeff examines this year’s Super Bowl ads, finding more evidence of cultural evolution, this time as an integration of the polarities of masculine and feminine.
He ends by making the case that Fox News’ breakthrough anchor, Megyn Kelly, is likewise widening conservative values to include territory that had been previously held by liberals. Why? Because it works — her ratings are stratospheric and leading the way in Fox’s goal to appeal to independants. Orange cash trumps amber ideology. Ain’t evolution beautiful?