‘Useful Idiots’: Still Around and Found in Surprising Places

Written by John DeGroff on July 20, 2018

Most of us have heard the term “useful idiots”. It’s political jargon, actually a derogatory term, for a person perceived as a propagandist for any cause that they really know nothing about, but are happy to follow the agenda and leaders of that cause.

The phrase has been attributed to Vladimir Lenin, but there is no documented proof that he ever said it. American journalist William Safire, in a 1987 New York Times article, noted that in doing research on the origin of the term, discovered that a senior reference librarian at the Library of Congress was unable to find the term in any of Lenin’s known writings. The Oxford English Dictionary, in defining the term, said this: “The phrase does not seem to reflect any expression used within the Soviet Union.”

The first appearance in print of “useful idiot” was in 1948 in a New York Times article on Italian politics. It was used again in 1955 to describe Italians who supported Communism and the possible communist overthrow of the Italian government.

“Nonetheless, the term has come into popular use to mean anyone who blindly, and without knowledge, follows anything.

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So, who are today’s “useful idiots”? Regardless of the term’s close association with Communism, it’s more than applicable to a host of Left Wing groups and individuals who have been very vocal in their opposition to President Trump and anything conservative. Anyone or any group that claims special victimhood status or entitlement; The Resistance; the Occupy movement; #MeToo (or for that matter, hashtag anything); anyone who is “woke”, and all the climate change zombies. And that’s just the starter list.

It’s also tempting to include any “Never Trumpers” who, although they might claim to be Republicans and/or conservatives (and yes, there is a difference…), are so beholden to their establishment elite status that they can’t support the President of their own party.

The election of Donald J. Trump definitely gave new life to the world of “useful idiots”. Beyond the 24-hour news cycle of professional pundits and all the attendant journalists, wannbee journalists (i.e. bloggers), and the just plain garden variety Internet trolls who have nothing better to do when their Xbox breaks down, we have the rest of the country who understand what’s really going on. Yes, Deplorables really do pay attention, and we’re far more aware of the bigger picture than The Left realizes.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee said on Fox and Friends (7/19/18) that…”This is not a one election moment.” Meaning that while the Left fumes, foams at the mouth and rants, all they’re doing is proving who they are and providing the rest of us with a reason not to be complacent.

However, there is one area of conservatism (…or rather mostly conservative…) where’s its somewhat questionable if folks really are cognizant to the larger, long term political reality. That area is the church.

When I speak of the church, I’m not focusing on any one denomination. No, the true church is the group of true believers in Christ Jesus. Where you attend services is not what makes you a Christian. Okay, so much for Theology 101, but I’ve mentioned this in order to get to my next point, which is this:
the church also has its share of useful idiots. Before you get honked off that I’ve insulted my fellow Christians, there are scriptural references that prove the point.

Rev. 2:18-29 mentions the Church of Thyatira. This is the church in idolatry, following false teaching. We can mention any number of examples, but it would take too long. But it is easy to get caught up in a belief system that adds or subtracts from the essentials of salvation and growth. It can lead to the attitude that only the doctrine you are taught by Brother So-And-So is what makes you Christian. You become so concerned with looking for that speck in someone else’s eye that you lose focus towards everything else. However, in verses 24-26 of that chapter in Revelation we’re told that breaking away from false doctrines brings power.

The Church of Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-19) is the church in apostasy. This is the church that is caught up in worldliness and overly concerned with wealth and becomes “neither cold nor hot”. Of course it takes money to keep the lights on and run an organization, but where’s the focus? When “blessing” is spelled “ble$$ing”, all balance is gone and you’ve become a useful idiot for financial gain.

It’s not lost on too many people that the world has permeated the Church like never before. We were told it was going to happen. (I Tim. 4:1) ”Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that, in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.” For even more clarification, read Matt. 24: 4-14.

But, by not being a “useful idiot” (Christian version or not…), there is hope.

Ezekiel 6:8: “Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword from among the nations.” And….

Joel 2:32 “And it shall come to pass that whosever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, and in the remnant when the Lord shall call. ”

Next week, I want to go into a little more specific detail. Thanks for your indulgence.

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Image: Excerpted from: https://pixabay.com/en/shield-boards-dumb-idiotic-doof-726890/

John DeGroff
John DeGroff is the original bass player for the Christian rock band Petra. He currently plays for the band GHF which is comprised of other original members from Petra. DeGroff has extensive experience as a freelance music journalist and newspaper reporter as well as an on-line music reviewer. He is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and lives in Warsaw, Indiana where he is employed as a care giver for mentally challenged adults.

 

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