In honor of President Trump, I have a yuuuge collection of splendid posters. I know you’ll enjoy them:
If you read one thing today, read Daniel Greenfield about Leftism as a brand. He perfectly describes the milieu in which I grew up and in which I live:
The left originally wanted to be seen as associated with the lower class, even though it actually came out of the upper classes. Political activism requires leisure. It’s not really for working people. This created the image of a “dirty” leftist dressed in working clothes.
But without being able to actually organize enough workers as canon fodder in a violent revolution, the way they had in Russia, this image was a dead end. So the left embraced its upper class roots. It became a movement of the glittering people. A moneyed class choked with its own compassion.
And the conservatives were depicted as fat Walmart shoppers, bible-thumpers, gun-lovers, ignorant, inbred, dirty… you’ve heard the list. Conservatives were lower class. Not aspirational at all.
The left was New York and Los Angeles. The right was flyover country. The left was spending more to buy less food and clothes. The right shopped in bulk and got value for its money. The left was always getting a higher education without actually working. The right worked without the education.
This was the new liberal brand. It made liberalism seem like a leisure class with the money and time to pursue its pleasures and its goals while conservatives lived a lower class lifestyle.
Liberalism had become a movement of upper class elites violently hostile to the working class and openly contemptuous of it. That contempt was returned leading to the political disasters of the Democratic Party among white voters, particularly in the south. But at the same time it made the liberal into an aspirational figure.
Colleges became finishing schools for teaching youth the manners and attitudes of a new elite. The political emphasis of the curriculum was the point. If you wanted to move up the ladder, you needed to embrace the left’s way of thinking and living. If you didn’t, you were part of the dirty lower class.
The message was unstated and insidious. It’s embedded as an attitude that the younger generation quickly picks up on from popular culture and then from their education. The path upward lies through the left. The left is the movement of the beautiful and successful people. It’s the future.
That’s the power of a brand. A brand can make a product seem like it’s associated with an elite until in a cargo cult response people will buy that product to seem like members of the elite.
In 2008, whenever I pointed out that candidate Barack Obama came from the far Left of the political spectrum, a liberal I know would invariably tell me that this was just a campaign pose to inspire the more fanatic members of his base, and that, once elected, Obama govern as a centrist. Of course, it wasn’t just a campaign pose and Obama has governed from a harder Left position than any other candidate in American history — all while he and his people assiduously deny that there’s any Left about it.
Nevertheless, my liberal acquaintance is perfectly happy with Obama’s policies and continuously tells me that I’m the political extremist, while denying that he has any discernible ideology at all. Jonah Goldberg ably captures this Leftist denialism:
For the last 20 years, give or take another 50, one of the most cherished baubles of Beltway conventional wisdom has been that the Republican party has moved too far to the right.
We’ll come back to that in a moment.
Another beloved trinket in the nest of notions that make up elite groupthink is that liberals not only haven’t moved left, but they aren’t even liberals at all. A week doesn’t go by without Barack Obama insisting that he’s merely a pragmatist and problem-solver, with nary an ideological ax to grind. Shortly after he was re-elected, Obama told David Gregory, then the host of Meet the Press, the obvious takeaway of his presidency is that, “I’m not driven by some ideological agenda. I’m a pretty practical guy and I just want to make sure that things work.” A few weeks later, he gave the most ideologically left-wing State of the Union address of any president since FDR.
There’s something almost Soviet in this compulsion to follow a party line so disconnected to the reality it allegedly describes.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Beltway establishment, particularly political journalists, believes these talking points, largely because they, too, are committed liberals who think they are mere non-ideological arbiters of the facts.
So, what’s a hardcore Leftist denialist to do when Leftism doesn’t work and he needs to woo the voters? He pulls Left, even harder, all the while denying that he’s doing so. Sean Trende explains that this is what Hillary’s doing in her effort to lock in the Obama coalition, while Richard Fernandez points out that these same denialists are responding to the world’s crises by pulling ever harder to the left — and, by doing so, they’re only making things much, much worse.
Regarding Hillary’s campaign, Lincoln presciently summed it up: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” I just hope that the American people have finally reached the third clause in that aphorism. For the last two elections, we seem to have been stuck in the second clause.
When it comes to the panicked stampede to the Left from those whose policies are so signally failing in every area, from national security, to the economy, to the management of Democrat (mostly minority) enclaves, we can turn to Einstein for the appropriate aphorism: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” (Ironically, I remember that the Clintons loved to recite that quotation during their 1992 campaign from a His and Her presidency.)
I continue to be unpleasantly overwhelmed by deadline intensive work. Breaks are few and far between. The virtue of this is that, separated from the minutiae of daily news, I’ve had the opportunity to step back and focus on larger trends. My musings today too me into the realms of Leftist Infallibility.
One of the most frightening things that characterizes the Left it its sense of its own god-like power and knowledge. That’s always been present in its atheistic tendencies (look at the bloodshed of the French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions), but we’re seeing a different version of it in the 21st century, one that I think arises because of “scientific utopianism.” When I say “scientific utopianism,” I’m talking about a sense that began with post-WWII culture and, all emerging data to the contrary, continues to escalate amongst Lefties.
Scientific utopianism used to be summed up in the old slogan “Better living through chemistry.” That was a commercial line to sell products, both licit and illicit. Amongst Leftists, however, it’s the belief that science — or, more specifically, their take on science — offers all the cures for mankind, not to mention the power to destroy mankind.
Back in the 1950s, although people understood that science could wreak unbearable havoc (e.g., the atom bomb), at the same time possibilities seemed so limitless and exciting. I think Disney captured it best in educational cartoons celebrating medical and scientific advances, in Tomorrowland, and in the Carousel of Progress. People envisioned a world of clean, easy, unlimited travel; perfect health; endless food and clean water supplies; the ability to wage war quickly, efficiently and, if possible, relatively painlessly; day-to-day comforts that effectively ended work; and comfortable control over the environment.
Barring that looming mushroom-shaped cloud, this scientific utopianism promised the Baby Boomers (and their progeny) that Nothing was Impossible. The ordinary consumer, not given to deep thought, understood these “Better living through chemistry” and “Nothing is impossible” slogans to mean basic, and wonderful things, such as the eradication of polio and the introduction of the microwave often.
For the Leftist intellectual, though, these slogans meant something much greater: If nothing is impossible for man, who needs God? Man is God. So as not to offend those “voting morons in flyover country” (and yes, that is how the Left thinks of you), it’s dangerous to be tactless enough to admit that man is his own God, but the Leftist intellectual class certainly concluded that this was the case.
If man is God, he has asked all the right questions and, solipsistically, has all the right answers. Your Man-God has cleared the way for himself: His beliefs about the Big Bang (a Catholic priest may have come up with the idea, but it clearly means no God); climate (man is more powerful than the earth, and the solar system); diet (science or their accompanying Gaia worshippers, who are the crunchy version of God deniers, know exactly what you should and shouldn’t eat); medicine (which merges perfectly with the “man is God” ethos about science and food); and gender (mere biology is so limiting, and Man-God can and should transcend it) have create to the Man-God’s satisfaction a fully realized universe and moral doctrine. Moreover, given that this is a faith, whether achieved through white-collar science or crunchy Gaia-worship, this new Man-God, is just like that nasty, judgmental, homophobic, probably racist, and definitely misogynistic Biblical God in one very significant way: He is infallible.
Except that every month a slew of news stories shows that your newly anointed Man-God is not infallible. Indeed, far from it. In a very short time, we’ve learned the following (and I’ll leave you to search for links, if you’re so inclined): butter in moderation is not bad for you; cheese in moderation is not bad for you; whole milk in moderation is not bad for you; salt in moderation is not bad for you; artificial sugar in any amount is bad for you; polar bears are not going extinct; glaciers are not vanishing; the Arctic and Antarctic are still here; hurricanes are not worse; the ocean has not risen to the proportions of that mythical Biblical flood; the Big Bang theory may be wrong; unlimited amounts of marijuana probably aren’t harmless; chocolate is healthy (I always knew this); coffee is healthy; vaccinations do not cause autism; and on and on. I bet that, even as you’re reading this, you’re mentally tallying up all the recent stories I’ve forgotten that turn conventional wisdom on its head.
The problem with having elevated yourself to the altar is that the view from there is nice. There’s a heady pleasure in seeing people bow down, worship, and obey your every command. The world’s collective Leftists are therefore unwilling to acknowledge their all-too-human fallibility. Instead, they’re doubling down on their assertions, predictions, demands, and sense of infallibility.
Think of it: In a Judeo-Christian era, when individuals or select groups arrogated god-status to themselves, they’d be appropriately ridiculed and marginalized. Now, they’re worshiped and we offer them the keys to our earthly kingdom.
In connection with my post my post about War, Disease, and Malthusian Leftists, Kathy from Kansas wrote something very interesting (and, when my comments are restored, you can see it for yourself). She said “I noticed a long time ago that most of the little foot-soldiers in groups such as PETA are mentally disturbed: self-hating and humanity-hating. I actually pity most of these unhappy souls.”
Aside from being an excellent statement on its own merits, Kathy’s comment reminded me of something that’s been swirling around in my brain today, and that’s Jane Fonda. You see, in the course of the past two days, I’ve read two things about Jane Fonda. The first is an apocryphal tale about Fonda visiting American POWs and, upon receiving messages from them, turning those messages over to their North Vietnamese captors. While Fonda didn’t do anything quite that bad, her behavior during the Vietnam War was appalling, insofar as she gave aid, comfort and propaganda chops to the enemy:
The second thing I read about Fonda was a Daily Mail story reporting on her utterly appalling parents and the abusive marriages into which she entered. Her mother, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, was a manic-depressive nymphomaniac who eventually committed suicide by slitting her own throat, while her father, famed actor
Peter Henry Fonda, was as mean and cold a son of a bitch as you’d ever hope to find. Fonda’s first husband forced her into sexual debauchery and her second husband, rather typically for a hard Leftist, treated her like a slave.
As I read about the horrors — the very real horrors — of Fonda’s young life, what I thought was “And this is the kind of person who takes that anger and despair and trauma and abuse . . . and becomes a Leftist.
I’m in a very visual state of mind today, so I thought I’d dedicate a post to the superb cartoons and posters people send my way. Special thanks go to Caped Crusader, Sadie, Earl, and W “B” S for helping me compile this truly epic illustrated edition.
And a hat tip to the wonderful American Digest for these two:
One of the things that’s frustrating for non-liberals and non-Progressives is Leftists’ refusal to look Islam in the face (so to speak). Yes, there are crazy people who are Christians and there are entire Christian sects that are crazy (such as the Westboro Baptists or Warren Jeffs’ polygamist Mormon cult). The fact remains, however, that Christians as a whole, whether they belong to big churches or small ones, do not embrace or practice terrorism to achieve their political or religious goals.
Muslims, by contrast, routinely practice terrorism to achieve goals that are simultaneously religious and political, owing to Islam’s fusion of God and state. Even though it’s remarkably simple to tie Islam to terrorism (9/11, the underwear bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, the attempted Portland Christmas tree massacre, the Boston Marathon bombing), Leftists scurry around like cockroaches exposed to the light in their desperate attempt to avoid acknowledging Islam’s violent heart.
Today, I read one thing and wrote another, both of which address Leftist hatred for Christianity, even though modern Christianity and genuine Judaism (as opposed to the hard Leftism that masquerades as “reform Judaism”) are the most humane, civilizing forces the world has ever seen. With their focus on justice and grace, they rid the world of slavery, ended child labor, advanced women’s status and, in Israel’s case, fought a 60-year war without sinking to the level of her enemies. But the Left truly hates them and seeks to undermine them at every turn.
The article I read on this subject is Benjamin Wiker’s “Why aren’t liberals more critical of Islam?” In it, he posits that, because secularism arose within and in opposition to a Christian Europe and America, Christianity was its original enemy. Giving proof, however, to my repeated claim that “Progressives” are actually profoundly “regressive,” secularists (i.e., Leftists) continue their battle with Christianity despite that particular war having ended long ago. Judaism and Christianity absorbed the better parts of secularism while holding on to their core religious principles.
Because they are locked forever in an ideological time warp, says Wiker, liberals (or Progressives or Leftists or whatever else they call themselves to avoid the taint their ideas leave behind) cannot contemplate the possibility that there is another enemy, greater than their old foe Christianity. Which brings me to a post I did today for Mr. Conservative. It concerns Michael ‘Mikey’ Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and one of the most rabid anti-Christians you will ever meet.
When I wrote the post this morning, it made me uncomfortable that such a venomous man is somehow Jewish, whether genetically or in actual practice. I hate to see that kind of hatred emanate from a group with which I’m affiliated. However, having read Wiker’s essay, I realize that my concern is unfounded. Weinstein’s hostility to Christians isn’t because he’s Jewish, it’s because he’s a Leftist. (Not all Jews are Leftists, and not all Leftists are Jews, but those Jews who are Leftists are amongst the most extreme Leftists. Mikey’s in that category.)
Here’s my Mr. Conservative post. See what you think:
The Obama government sure knows how to pick ‘em. Right now, the Pentagon is concerned about religious intolerance in the American military. When people who are neither Leftists nor career politicians in thrall to the White House think of intolerance in the military, they think of Major Nidal Malik Hasan who went on an “Allahu Akbar” shooting spree at Fort Hood, killing 13 people and injuring more than thirty. The Pentagon, though, isn’t fooled by these false trails. It knows who the really intolerant people in the military are: Christians.
To that end, the military has brought in Michael Weinstein, Esq., a “religious tolerance” specialist and the man who founded the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”). Michael knows all about tolerance. Or at least, he knows all about tolerance in the Obama era. To Michael (or “Mikey” as he likes to be known), a good way to express tolerance is to call Christians “monsters” or, even better “bloody monsters.”
According to Mikey’s tolerant world view, Christians who serve in the American military are “well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.” And that’s just Mikey’s throat-clearing.
Troll through an article Mikey wrote in The Huffington Post to justify his tolerant attack on alleged Christian intolerance in the American military, and you’ll learn quickly that the people he’s out to destroy (tolerantly, of course) are “evil, fundamentalist Christian creatures.” They are “bandits” who “coagulate their stenchful substances” in religiously-based organizations that support traditional marriage and oppose abortion. Don’t be fooled by these old-fashioned values, though. In fact, says Mikey, “The basis of their ruinous unity is the bane of human existence and progress: horrific hatred and blinding bigotry.”
What inspired Weinstein’s apopletic rage is the fact that conservatives took offense when the military piggy-backed on a delusional Southern Poverty Law Center screed and identified conservative Christians as the greatest terrorist threat in America. Because these groups use hate-filled language, Mikey says, such as “God Hates Fags” or “Thank God for IEDs,” they’re obviously one step away from committing a bomb attack in a major American city. (It’s so magical. It’s as if 9/11, Fort Hood, and the Boston bombing never happened!)
If Mikey is correct, that toxic, hate-filled rhetoric is all one needs to prove that a person or organization constitutes an imminent danger, then Mikey better start looking over his shoulder. Considering the “evil, fundamentalist Christian creatures,” “bandits (who) coagulate their stenchful substances,” and “monsters” who inhabit his rhetorical world, he looks like he’s ready to blow.
What Mikey can’t comprehend is that, while mainstream Christians and conservatives routinely condemn and distance themselves from organizations such as the Westboro Baptist Church, Mikey gets to disseminate his particular brand of hate-filled, toxic intolerance at a major Progressive internet outlet.
Even worse than the applause he’s getting from the mainstream Left is the fact that he’s been taken on by the Pentagon as a consultant to help develop new policies on religious tolerance in the military. These new policies will include rules for court-martialing military chaplains who use the Christian gospel when they counsel the American troops under their care. Or, as MRFF Advisory Board member Larry Wilkerson told The Washington Post, they essentially sexually assaulting the troops with their God talk.
No kidding. Wilkerson says that “Sexual assault and proselytizing are absolutely destructive of the bonds that keep soldiers together.” Lest there be any misunderstanding, Mikey clarified to The Post what Wilkerson really meant:
This is a national security threat. What is happening [aside from sexual assault] is spiritual rape. And what the Pentagon needs is to understand is that it is sedition and treason. It should be punished.
Mikey hates everything. Or at least he hates everything that has to do with Christianity. He foams at the mouth, spittle flying, when he talks about Christians, imagining them guilty of the most heinous crimes. The problem is that it’s not Christians committing the crimes he imagines. The major terrorist crimes come from the Islamists, something that Mike and his friends on the Left refuse to acknowledge. It’s bad when even arch-liberal Bill Maher calls this denial “liberal bullshit.”
Speaking of committed, though, in a sane world Mikey’s delusions would have him being checked out by psychiatrists as a clear and present danger. In our insane world, psychiatrists are used to disarm our veterans and the delusional, hate-filled, spittle-flecked Mikey gets to work with the Pentagon to create a tolerance policy that ensures that military chaplains will be court martialed for doing their jobs.
If troops are indeed being punished or ostracized because they don’t embrace a particular form of Christianity, the military has to address that. But Mikey makes it clear that, for him, being Christian is the real problem. In that regard, he’s the typical Leftist who says that the First Amendment, rather than giving people the right to worship, means that the Christian religion must be erased from America.
(End of the Mr. Conservative article, beginning of my last comment on the subject.)
As for me, I think that people who are willing to fight and die for their country in a constitutionally-bound military run by civilians, in a nation controlled by the First Amendment, should be allowed to practice their religion without Leftists denying them the comfort of knowing that, as they go into battle, God walks at their side.
Maybe I’m in denial, but I’m feeling less depressed than I felt last night and this morning. Part of my more sanguine attitude is based upon a Taranto principle, which is that Obama now owns the events of the next four years:
Obama has spent the past four years explaining away his failings by essentially arguing he is the best of all possible presidents–that he has done as well as any man could given the “mess” he “inherited” from his predecessor. It is certainly true that he took office under adverse circumstances. But so will whoever takes office Jan. 20. In fact, things are about to get a lot worse because of decisions taken but deferred during the Obama years.
The mess today’s winner will inherit includes not only high unemployment and slow growth but impending policy changes that threaten to make those problems worse. On Jan. 1, unless Congress acts, the Bush tax cuts expire–or, to put it another way, “massive, job-killing tax increases” are about to take effect (that quote is from President Obama). If Obama gets his way–which he likely would if re-elected–Congress will forestall the hike only for taxpayers making under $200,000 or $250,000 a year. That would be good for those fortunate enough to have jobs, but it would not change the tax increase’s job-killing nature, as it would hit investors and small businesses hard.
Then there’s ObamaCare. Although enacted nearly three years ago, it was written so that most of its provisions would not take effect until the next presidential term. “The bottled-up rules to set up President Barack Obama’s health care reform law are going to start flowing quickly right after Election Day,” Politico reports. “As soon as Wednesday, the gears and levers of government bureaucracy are likely to start moving at full speed again.”
The scale of the messes Taranto describes makes it unlikely that Romney could have been a successful president. At best, he might have stemmed an economic or national security collapse, but I doubt he could actually have improved things. The systems for self-destruction — massive debt, vast entitlement expectations, ObamaCare beginning to weave into the warp and woof of our social and economic fabric, a dangerous world outside of America’s borders — are already deeply entrenched. Four years won’t fix them. (Which may be why voters ignored Obama’s empty 2008 promises and decided that he really need 8 years to fulfill the hope and change manifesto.)
But, but . . . what about Reagan? He also inherited a dangerous world and an unhealthy economy. That’s true — but he inherited a different ground game. Political correctness didn’t exist then. Skin color diversity (offset by ideological homogeneity) was at the beginning of its trajectory, not the peak. People still viewed government aid as something one first earned or, if one didn’t earn it, as something one accepted with some degree of embarrassment. Now, even with no pay-in, they view it as a right, with no shame attached. In Reagan’s day, our troops hadn’t been fighting a blood-and-guts war for eight years (as opposed to a massive Cold War chess game) against an enemy that neither the Republican nor the Democrat President willingly named. In Reagan’s day, the intelligentsia may have tried to downplay the Soviet Union, but ordinary people still knew that it was indeed the Evil Empire. Israel was still loved, not hated, so Americans supported a president who supported Israel.
The ground game has changed. As Roger Simon says,
So we have a problem with democracy. It’s not working or, more specifically, has been turned on its end, with the masses manipulated against their own self-interest, creating power elites similar to those described in Milovan Djilas’ The New Class.
How did that happen? I think many of us know there are three pillars of our own destruction: the educational system, the media and entertainment (the popular arts).
Those three areas are so corrupted those who legitimately are on the center-right (or anywhere close to it) will increasingly find themselves swimming upstream against a current so great who knows where it will take them. (Think Hayek, Orwell, etc.) We must address ourselves to these three immediately before it is too late. In many ways, it already is. Culture is the mother of politics and mother is turning into Medea.
Okay, fine. We fight the wars we’re given, not the wars we want. So here’s my thinking.
As I said, I’m less depressed than I was because I think our culture is such that, no matter who occupies the White House, bad things are going to happen. Really bad things, both with our economy and our national security. Seeing as I think the coming hurt is inevitable, I’d rather it happens on a Democrat’s than on a Republican’s watch. If I’m wrong, I’ll eat crow and begin to consider whether my political leanings of the past eight years have been a temporary aberration, and I’ll even contemplate returning to my liberal roots. (Unlikely, but if the next four years are an American boom time, we’ll all need to rethink our belief systems.)
Accepting the inevitable, how do we fight back? As polite conservatives, we’ve always tried to work through the ballot box. We’ve decried the bias in media (including PBS, which we pay for), academia, and education, but we really haven’t done anything about it. We tried to vote for people who would stop funding PBS and we whined on websites about the indoctrination at our children’s schools. We’ve still paid to watch movies and we tune in to TV.
We resent the system, but we work within in. For all that we talk about the ageless wonders of our Constitution and free-market principles generally, we are short-term thinkers, who keep believing (all evidence to the contrary) that we can kill the Progressive tree, not by attacking the roots, but by taking an axe to the tip-top of the tree through honestly brokered elections. The fact is that the cultural battle is so one-sided (against our side) that we’d probably lose even honestly brokered elections, ones that did not involve massive fraud and media malfeasance.
We keep doing trying the same failed tactic, even though we recognize that the strong Democrat victories resulted, not because the Left voted, but because they spent 60 years going after America’s social and intellectual infrastructure. The numbers of actual Lefties are probably pretty small; the number of people who have been taught to vote Democrat without thinking what it really means, is huge.
William F. Buckley figured out the problem in the 1950s and started a cultural counter attack, which ended with the Reagan ascendency. Whew! That was it. We won. Yay. We won forever. NOT. The Left never stopped its ground game. Indeed, during and after the Reagan years (including during the Clinton years), the hard Left consolidated its hold over cultural institutions. We just watched and whined.
We cannot do that anymore. For the next four years, conservatives need to stop worrying about this candidate or that candidate (which is all we ever do) and we need to start wooing the masses.
My friend Lulu, who comments here and who has been an occasional guest poster, called me today with a wonderful idea: Star Parker. Okay, you’re right. Star Parker is a wonderful person, not a wonderful idea, but she’s the symbol for my friend’s idea. We don’t need to run Star Parker for office, we need to run her for talk show host, a la Oprah. She’s engaging, approachable, intelligent, conservative and black. I hate to add the last, because I don’t like to judge people by the color of their skin, but I’m in minority. I live in my head, so I relate to people intellectually. Most don’t. They need other people to look like them in order to start feeling comfortable with their ideas.
The talk show idea, though is the right one. We know that most people aren’t high-level thinkers when it comes to politics but are, instead, low-level, emotional reactors. I do not mean that they are stupid. I just mean that, when it comes to politics, they engage in a non-abstract, non-theoretical, non-intellectual level. The old saying is that, if the mountain won’t come to Mohamed, than Mohamed must go to the mountain. We need to reach out to non-engaged voters by meeting them at their level, rather than insisting that they meet us at ours.
Admittedly, our conservative social infrastructure is limited. Liberals own the media and the entertainment world. But how did they get there? They pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. We need to start pushing too. We need talk shows, even if they start on cable or internet. We also need to take a page out of the Leftist handbook and start using the courts. For example, Lulu suggested that, as taxpayers, we have standing to sue PBS to demand that, as long as public broadcasting gets public monies, it must devote 50% of its programming time to conservative programs. After all, for decades, simply because they rented public airwaves, TV and radio were required to be neutral. Why isn’t PBS?
When it comes to Hollywood, we need to come together an create alternatives. Stop spending your money on movies by people who hate us. Why are we doing that? And we should take the money we didn’t spend on the haters and invest it in movie makers (such as Declaration Entertainment) that will make entertaining movies that don’t hit us over the head with their message, but that feed it to us subliminally. (When we do make movies we always go for the iron hand, rather than the velvet glove). The Left figured this one out, as Ben Shapiro explains in Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV. We too can change the paradigm without being obvious.
And why are we, who pay most of the taxes, allowing publicly funded schools to discriminate against conservative teachers? We sit back and cheer when an individual conservative teacher sues after being denied tenure, but we’ve never had a taxpayer suit saying that, just as student body’s have to be diverse, so should faculty — and that this diversity includes not discriminating against belief systems. In other words, we have to redefine diversity so that it encompasses ideology as well as (or instead of) skin color.
We also have to advertise ourselves better. As Romney’s campaign (and McCain’s and Bush’s too) showed, Republican political “leaders” find our ideology embarrassing and seek to wrap it up in gauzy, often impenetrable, platitudes. One of my readers, Fern, suggests that our campaigns have a musty, fuzzy look. The Left identifies us as backwards, reactionary, etc., and we yield. We’ve certainly given the Left linguistic control. They’re “Progressive” and “Forward.” We’re fuddy-duddy “conservatives.”
Obama, a child of the Left, understands that words matter, more than the fact that these so-called Progressives keep trying to recycle ideas that failed in all nations that have tried them. They’ve got the glamor and the gloss, and those gimmicks sell in a superficial world.
One of the first and easiest things we can do is to start with re-branding. Keep in mind that calling conservatives “right wing” harks back to the 18th century French parliament, when the non-revolutionaries sat on the right side of the hall. Is that how we want to identify ourselves — as relics of the ancien regime? “Conservative” too makes us sound like a bunch of reactionary codgers who can be painted as desirous of slavery (never mind that the Republicans freed the slaves), Jim Crow-lovers (never mind that Republicans opposed Jim Crow), and misogynists (never mind that Republicans are in the vanguard of fighting Muslims and Chinese Communists who treat women and girl babies like disposable property).
It turns out that, in a media rich world, Shakespeare was wrong. That which we call rose, by any other name does not smell as sweet. With that in mind, how about starting to call ourselves “Individualists” or “the Freedom Party” or something like that? Liberals successfully (and mostly under the radar) rebranded themselves as Progressives, leaving behind the musty Victorian taint of “liberalism.” If they can do it, why can’t we?
Truly, the wake-up call we received yesterday is not about 2012 or even about 2016. It is about our finally understanding that the opposition has long had a better strategy and endless institutional patience. We won only when there were still enough voters who hadn’t been indoctrinated. In 2008, there weren’t enough of us remaining to tilt the scales. The Left attacked America at the root, and we need to take it back at precisely the same level.
The battle is over. The war has begun. Consider this post Ground Zero. If you have ideas — practical, non-whining ideas that ordinary people can put into effect — post them in the comments section, and we’ll see how far we can disseminate them. For starters, I am no longer a conservative. I am an “individualist” who supports a “Freedom Party,” as opposed to a “statist” who supports “Big Government.”
UPDATE: Others thinking about a new ground game too —
Don Quixote (at our own Bookworm Room)
I left a trail of hostile professors in my wake when I graduated from UC Berkeley. I didn’t do that intentionally. I never set out to be obnoxious or disruptive. Back in the day, I marched in ideological lock-step with my professors. (Although even then I couldn’t stomach the hypocrisy of the Berkeley professors prating on about class warfare while making under-the-table payments to Mexican women to clean their houses and Japanese men to groom their gardens.)
The problem I had at Berkeley is that then, as now, I have a great reverence for the English language and, more than that, I’m a complete nincompoop when it comes to learning other languages. This means that I never mastered Marxist cant, which is as foreign a language to the good English speaker as are Chinese and French.
My inability to comprehend Marxism at a linguistic level meant that, when my history professor made some statement about “the alienation of the medieval peasant as resulting from the hegemony of the feudal infrastructure that dominated the commodification for the agricultural economy despite the destructive rise of the proto-petite bourgeoisie,” I didn’t nod sagely and scribble frantic notes as did the rest of my classmates. Instead, assuming that my class had some number fewer than 1,000 students, I raised my hand and said, “Excuse me, Professor Whatsit. I don’t understand. Can you please explain?”
This seemingly innocent question would result in another shower of Marxist gibble-gabble. At which point I, supremely confident in my mastery of the English language and therefore unfazed by my inability to understand, would repeat, “I’m sorry, I still don’t understand.” Eventually, parrot-like, I was able to repeat this nonsense with sufficient facility to garner a magna cum laude degree, but I never did internalize all this babble. And, as I said, many professors weren’t very fond of me.
In retrospect, I suspect that the professors looked askance at me because I played the role of the little boy in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” effectively pointing out that what they were saying had no meaning — at least with regard to the feudal, agrarian culture that existed in medieval Europe. Likewise, there was simply no Marxist way to make sense of Jane Austen. I must say, though, that my suitably Marxist English literature professor managed to do what many might have thought was impossible: he made Jane Austen dull.
I’m politically more astute now, but have just as little patience for Leftist gibble-gabble. That’s why, despite attempts to read Shari Motro’s NYT’s Op-Ed about “Preglimony,” I still can’t make sense of what she’s saying. Motro seems to argue that men will be less likely to get women pregnant if they had to pay for her . . . what? . . . pain and suffering or clothes or something during pregnancy. Heck, they might even be forced to help to pay the cost of killing their baby (emphasis mine). At least, I think that’s what Ms. Motro . . . or, should I say, Professor Motro, because this incoherent ideologue is a professor of law at the University of Richmond in Virginia. See what you make of this:
Since the 1970s it has been possible to genetically link a father and his baby with increasing levels of accuracy. Then, a test using amniotic fluid let us test a baby’s DNA before birth, but the procedure increased the risk of miscarriage. Now a prenatal blood test has made the process far easier. Since a small amount of fetal DNA is present in a pregnant woman’s blood, the pregnancy can be genetically linked to her partner through a simple blood draw from the woman’s arm.
One of the potential ramifications is that men might be called upon to help support their pregnant lovers before birth, even if the pregnancy is ultimately terminated or ends in miscarriage. They might be asked to chip in for medical bills, birthing classes and maternity clothes, to help to cover the loss of income that often comes with pregnancy, or to contribute to the cost of an abortion.
Frankly, I don’t see why pregnancy support would be any more of a deterrent than child-support. Having drifted away from her shopping list (clothes, medical bills, killing baby), Prof. Motro gets abstract, and I do mean abstract:
Rather than focusing on the relationship between the man and a hypothetical child, the new technology invites us to change the way we think about the relationship between unmarried lovers who conceive. Both partners had a role in the conception; it’s only fair that they should both take responsibility for its economic consequences.
Former spouses are often required to pay alimony; former cohabiting partners may have to pay palimony; why not ask men who conceive with a woman to whom they are not married to pay “preglimony”? Alternatively, we might simply encourage preglimony through the tax code, by allowing pregnancy-support payments to be deductible (which is how alimony is treated).
Huh? An entire high-exposure op-ed to say that men who can’t be counted on for child support might pay for maternity clothes?
Despite having encouraged men to pay to abort their DNA (apparently yet another way to encourage them not to get women pregnant in the first place), Prof. Motro feels compelled to assure New York Times readers that her whole “preglimony” idea isn’t just a backdoor argument against abortion. After all, some might say that, if you’re arguing that both biological parents’ obligation to the fetus begins in utero — or, at least, that the obligation to make sure Mama is stylishly attired begins in utero — maybe you’re also arguing that the fetus has legal rights, including the right not to be aborted. Not so. In a paragraph that I still haven’t completely deciphered, Motro assures pregnant women that, even though men have an obligation to the fetus that bears their DNA, abortion is unlimited. Or at least that’s what I think she’s saying:
The most frequent objection I hear to this idea is that it will give men a say over abortion. A woman’s right to choose is sometimes eclipsed by an abusive partner who pressures her into terminating or continuing a pregnancy against her will, and preglimony could exacerbate this dynamic. But the existence of bullies shouldn’t dictate the rules that govern all of society. In the name of protecting the most vulnerable, it sets the bar too low for the mainstream, casting lovers as strangers and pregnancy as only a woman’s problem.
It’s also possible that preglimony could deter a different form of abuse by making men who pressure their partners into unprotected sex, on the assumption that the woman will terminate an unwanted pregnancy, financially liable for the potential result.
To which I again ask huh? Feel free to translate. I don’t know what she’s saying, except that Motro thinks a right to choose eclipses all other legal and moral rights.
This isn’t Motro’s only foray into incomprehensibility. Back in 2008, right before the election, Motro wrote a masterfully incoherent love letter to Obama’s promise as a healer. In it, Motro dissed her native Israel for being a hate-filled, racist land, rhapsodized the American South for its love-level, and vomited up the usual charges against Bush. Keep in mind as you read these excerpts that this woman is a product of higher education and that she teaches the next generation of leaders:
I grew up in Israel, and during my last visit there I felt the interconnectedness of the violence of that place in a way I never had before. I felt the hatred and the heartbreak and the hopelessness seeping like sap from everywhere, from the ambient near-fistfight atmosphere in every interaction. I felt it in the venom with which a minibus driver shouted at a migrant worker who didn’t want to pay for her five year old son “Go back to Africa,” and from the look on the boy’s face as he watched their shouting match quietly, resignedly, understanding that this is the world, a battle. I felt the poison walking on the beach in Tel Aviv – beautiful, sunny, blue skied Tel Aviv – because I knew that my mere presence there is so offensive to some people they want to kill me, want to kill themselves in order to kill me. And it hit me in Jerusalem, walking through bucolic, placid streets where Jews live in Arab houses, houses in which people who are still alive have memories.
Flying back from Tel Aviv to Richmond was, as always, soothing. Richmond, where you get to a four-way stop sign and everybody stops. And marching through campus with students and faculty on MLK day, I thought: these American feel-good gestures, which the Israeli in me rolls her eyes at, there’s something to them. These Americans, and the Richmonders I’ve met in particular, they get something right. With good will and gentleness, they are working hard, imperfectly, but working hard nevertheless at healing this bloody, bloody history which here in Richmond is so recent.
And what a gift it would be if we had a president who would stoke this flame.
And what a shame these past seven years.
Abu Ghraib and leaving the bodies of Katrina victims to rot in the streets while Brownie did a heck of a job and reading My Pet Goat as firefighters climbed up against the tide of fleers to rescue as many as possible.
How have seven years of Bush affected our hearts?
Imagine 9/11 with Obama at the helm?
The woman is a walking-talking and, sadly, teaching, spouter of Leftist platitudes and hypocrisy, untethered to either fact or logic. No wonder our children aren’t learning. With teachers such as Ms. Motro, they don’t have a fighting chance.
A gazillion of my liberal facebook friends have posted this little bit of wit and wisdom:
After seeing this post once too often, I cracked. The last person amongst my friends who posted it got a message from me asking precisely how compelling an argument can be when it compares a human moral code to unreasoning animal behavior. Even if one thinks the human moral position is wrong, it still makes no sense to compare a human’s view homosexuality, a view based on reason, faith, logic, hate, or whatever, to a cow’s or penguin’s approach, which is purely unreasoning and instinctive. It’s a cute aphorism, but a lousy argument.
Clever aphorisms that are actually lousy arguments are the Left’s stock in trade. One of the oldies but goodies is “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Hah! Hah! Hah! Men are useless! Except for pesky little things like making babies possible and, under ordinary, non government welfare circumstances, providing both the woman and their child with love, shelter, food, and stability.
Another cute, meaningless Leftism is “War is not the answer.” Whenever I see that stupid bumper sticker, I always mumble to myself, “It depends what the question is.” War is not the answer if your neighbor asks to borrow a cup of sugar. War is a useful answer if a hostile power uses high impact explosives to kill thousands of your citizens — and threatens to repeat the performance until you are entirely subjugated.
Oh, and about this one?
Isn’t that a great idea? Who cares that the Islamic religion does not acknowledge the possibility of coexistence? Islam isn’t shy about touting the fact that it is predicated on absolute conquest and subjugation. So the coexistence is kind of Orwellian (“All animals are equal, but some are more equal that others”), or Tacitus-ian (“They make a desert and call it peace”).
This long harumph is my way of introducing a couple of posts that Zombie wrote, each of which tracks Leftist protests, all of which come complete with signs. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to review the images Zombie shares, and to spot the Leftist sales pitches in all their glory. They are, without exception, illogical strident, obscene, or selfish (or some combination of the four).
Of course, when the logic of illogical slogans fails, Zombie’s other posts proves that war is indeed the answer:
The Washington Free Beacon is a new online paper with an interesting premise: unlike MSM papers, which treat liberalism as the norm, and conservativism as a headline grabbing abnormality, this publication gives the big scare headlines to the Left. In other words, it’s not just that it reports the stories, but that it reports them so as to highlight Progressive malfeasance.
I like the idea. This site gets a bookmark on my Firefox.
UPDATE: Matthew Continetti explains what “combat journalism” is and why two can and should play at this, to date, one-sided game.
Oratory died with Leftism, which hides, rather than reveals, truth; and with MTV, which brought America’s attention span down to 15 seconds. This is the sad result. No wonder Newt is popular right now. Whether he’s a snake oil salesman or the real deal, and regardless of staggering baggage, he might just go down as the last real public speaker, someone who can hit core truths and do so extemporaneously.