The boundless ignorance of “well-informed” Progressives

7052753377_48a483ef97_reading-newspaperSince I started on my real-me Facebook many years ago, I have filled my feed almost entirely with two things: (1) offbeat, funny, and quirky stories to entice my friends to read my feed and (2) stories about rising antisemitism at home and around the world. For domestic stories, I daily link to news stories about rampant, naked antisemitism on America’s college and university campuses; the antisemitism powering the BDS movement; the antisemitism that’s become integral to the Black Lives Matter movement; the antisemitism that animates intersectionality; and the antisemitism in the Nation of Islam, which gave birth to Keith Ellison. Each of those incubators for antisemitism, of course, is a core Democrat constituency that neither the DNC nor any Democrat candidate (including Hillary) has ever disavowed.

For international stories, I point daily to the doings at the UN, to Iran’s routine assertions that it will annihilate Israel (a goal closer to reality thanks to Obama’s willingness to hand hundreds of millions of dollars to Iran), to the blatantly antisemitic attacks that terrorists have folded into the larger terrorist attacks that grabbed headlines; and to the endless Palestinian depredations against Israeli citizens. During the knife intifada, I was posting stories about murderous attacks every day — and sometimes several times a day.

Invariably, the articles I posted to Facebook came from specialty publications, catering to conservatives, Jews, and Israel supporters: Israeli newspapers, Jewish blogs, Stand With Us, UN Watch, Campus Watch, the Gatestone Institute, and the Clarion Project, to name just a few. I turned to these specialty publications because most of the stories never made it into the mainstream media.

Throughout the years, my Facebook friends have responded to these posts in two ways: my few conservative friends invariably commented on these posts; the rest of my friends — all of whom are Progressives — ignored them entirely.

So let me sum up here: For the last decade at least, the American mainstream media has downplayed or ignored rampant antisemitism at home and abroad, including antisemitism at the heart of the Democrat party. Likewise, for the last several years, my Progressive friends have been equally willing to turn a blind eye to this antisemitism. Indeed, they’ve been supportive of Obama’s increasingly overt efforts to isolate Israel from both the US and America, leaving it (and the Jews within it) prey to the thugs surrounding her, including a potentially nuclear Iran.

Let me distill that summation even more: Throughout the Bush and the Obama years, Progressives have been entirely okay with surging, violent antisemitism, both at home and abroad.

That is, they’ve been okay until suddenly they saw a benefit to attaching the “antisemitic” label to Trump. Instantly, my Facebook feed was crawling with posts claiming that, overnight, antisemitism has become a major threat in America.

The Progressives’ evidence? Well, it’s pretty slim. Wolf Howling has already attacked the paucity of any data supporting the claim that Steve Bannon is an antisemite or that Breitbart News, which is heavily staffed by conservative and Orthodox Jews, all of whom are pro-Israel, is a hotbed of right wing antisemitism. Progressives are seldom deterred by missing facts.

Today’s howling headline is that some little sleazebag named Richard Spencer hosted an Alt-R soiree for Hitler devotees who have attached themselves, not to Trump’s coattails, but to the bottom of his shoes, and who are reveling in the attention they’re receiving. To give you a little perspective about this group’s irrelevance to Trump’s success, Trump was routinely appearing at rallies across America with 20,000 people inside packed stadiums and more outside, just to be near him. Spencer, on the other hand, wasn’t able to gather more than 300 people for his party.  He’s no Trump; he’s Hillary or Tim Kaine. That is, he and his Nazi buddies are losers who should be ignored so that they can rot in the darkness instead of thriving in the media’s artificial sunlight.

Artificial sunlight? What the heck am I talking about?

In their frenzy to highlight how horrible Trump is because some fringe weasel has attached himself to the Republicans for headline value, the always agenda driven, always stupid American media seems to have forgotten the lesson they ought to have learned on November 8:  It was the same mainstream and social media that pushed forward Trump’s candidacy because reporters and Progressives (but I repeat myself) thought that even a loser like Hillary could beat Trump. As it happened, Trump managed to win on his own after the media turned on him, but he got a massive head start on the election because that same media focused on him obsessively during the primaries to the exclusion of all other candidates. For example:

Undeterred by their earlier miscalculation, the same social media and mainstream “news” outlets are doing their best to thrust Spencer into the spotlight in order to achieve a short term gain:  They are so desperate to humiliate and disempower Trump that they’re doing their darndest to give millions of dollars of free airtime to a neo Nazi. If Spencer gains fans and fame in the next year, it won’t be because he’s a nasty little fringe follower; it will be because he’s a media creation.

Summing it up:  The professional Left cares nothing about antisemitism, seeing it only as a tool in the arsenal when it can be used against Republicans and conservatives. And why does this tool work? Finally, I’m about to get to the point of this post.

These tools work because all those Progressives, the ones who read The New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Washington Post; who listen to NPR; and who watch the Progressive gamut of TV from MSNBC to ESPN are know nothings. I mean, they really know nothing.

I had an interesting conversation today with a very nice neighbor who is a solid Progressive, who is Ivy League educated, and who knows I’m conservative — and who very nicely (really very nicely) asked me my opinion about all the bad things he’d learned about Trump as well as expressing his bewilderment that anyone could support Trump. I wish more people were like this neighbor who, being genuinely curious instead of actively hostile, allowed me to bestow upon him a wealth of new information:

Question: “Doesn’t Trump want to register all Muslims?”

Answer: No, Trump simply wants to reinstate a law that was put in place after 9/11, and then without much fanfare. It requires that people coming into the US from known terror-sponsoring or terror-infested countries register so that they can be located if there is a terrorism scare as well as tracked to ensure that they don’t overstay their visas (as the 9/11 terrorists did).  In fact, if you look at Trump’s agenda, the vast majority of his promises boil down to laws placed on the books in the last twenty or thirty years that the current administration stopped enforcing.

Question: “Isn’t Trump an antisemite?”

Answer: No. (See the discussion that opens this post.)

Question: “Doesn’t Trump hate women?”

Answer: No, Trump is from our parents’ generation. He likes women a lot, but he’s a boor (no dressing that up). Having made that point, I also got my neighbor to agree that, when you’re as rich as Trump, there are a lot of women that, as Trump said, are happy to have the billionaire grab their bits and pieces and, indeed, encourage that behavior. If you’re a crude billionaire, you might take advantage of these offers . . . but it’s neither sexual assault nor rape.

Question: “But doesn’t his conduct encourage rape and sexual assault?” (Further questioning elicited that he was thinking about campus rape.)

Answer: Absolutely not. What’s going on at America’s colleges is a travesty of justice that the Obama administration mandated, instructing colleges to abandon due process (which includes referring genuine rape claims to the criminal justice system) and, instead, to have kangaroo courts that deprive young men of all rights.

Question: “Yeah, I’ve heard about that. I know that there are a lot of false claims, but the Stanford rape . . . that was real, wasn’t it?”

Answer: No, it wasn’t. I gave my neighbor variations of this post and this post. He was unfamiliar with the facts, most specifically the fact that both parties to whatever happened at Stanford were so drunk that neither could remember the night’s events. What that means is that there was no way to determine a central element of a rape claim, which is lack of consent. The woman’s regret the next day that she got blind drunk and blacked out does not equal lack of consent the evening before.

This conversation about American college campuses revealed that my neighbor, who has two teenage boys, knows nothing about trigger warnings, safe spaces, microaggressions, the intersection between Black Lives Matter and college campuses, or the Yale uproar over Halloween costumes. He had heard of Mattress Girl, but had no idea what it was really about. In other words, he’s totally unaware of the SJW PC culture that has driven so many middle Americans into the Trump camp.

Question: “But won’t Trump destroy the environment?”

Answer: No. I’m a little older than the neighbor, so I told him that I remember a filthy America, with air and water that had the look of modern China or India. The original laws environmental protection laws and regulations cleaned up America. The current laws and regulations are simply impositions on business without adding anything to what was already done.

Question: “But isn’t it great that we give incentives for buying electric cars?”

Answer: No, it’s utterly unprincipled that we use taxes from working class people to inveigle people like us into buying cars that we can afford but that those helping to subsidize them cannot afford — and, in the process, we leave those people with even less money than before, thanks to the taxman, and push them further away from buying new, clean energy cars. Nor is it relevant that working class people pay a fraction of the tax money that the rich pay. (That is, because I’m in a higher tax bracket, more of my money goes to the subsidies than comes from a working class family.) They shouldn’t have to subsidize us in any way.

I used this as an opportunity to say that all people should pay taxes in order to avoid a situation in which non-payers vote for parties and policies that strip wealth from the rich and hard working, to say that there’s no reason why hard working innovative people should be forced to turn their wealth over to the government, and to point out that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the free world, driving capital out of the country. These were new ideas for him.

Question: “Why do you think The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal got it wrong?”

Answer: They got it wrong because their obsession with diversity is limited to skin color. Intellectual diversity is nonexistent in these outlets. All that they do is reinforce each other’s prejudices, which makes them incapable of (a) straight news reporting without editorializing and (b) acknowledging that anything outside of their frame of reference is valid or meaningful.

I added that, while conservatives read Progressives’ favored publications, Progressives almost never read conservatives’ news sources. I didn’t say it, but the intimation was that conservatives are much better informed than Progressives. (And, indeed, data shows that Trump’s allegedly “moronic” followers are factually stronger than Hillary’s so-called “elite and educated” supporters.)

Question: “But Trump and his followers are racist?”

Answer: No, they’re not. But the important thing is the free market. As Milton Friedman said, the free market is color blind. In a competitive market, without a monopoly, people who want to profit will make their business available to anyone. And those who put principles, good or bad, over profit, will have to accept that they won’t do as well in the market. I reminded him that Jim Crow was so effective because it was government action that barred the free market from working and allowing those who weren’t racist to show that it was good business to deal with blacks.

The conversation ended there. Had we talked longer, I suspect that I would have given my neighbor data he didn’t know about guns, abortion, race relations, the economy, the huge constitutional problems with the Supreme Court’s gay marriage bodice ripper romance (er, I mean opinion), transgender rights, etc. Some of what I said was definitely opinion. All of what I said was supported by verifiable facts that were completely unfamiliar to my neighbor thanks to the information ghetto in which he lives.

Again, this conversation was possible because you couldn’t ask for a nicer man, one who sought to learn, not to insult. If more Progressives were like him, I can imagine a future in which there is an inevitable drift to the right. I say this because, contrary to the imaginary world the Progressives inhabit, actual facts are intrinsically conservative:

God/Nature created two sexes as revealed by two chromosomal pairs: XX and XY. While some people, especially those subject to childhood traumas, may not like the sex to which their chromosomes consigned them, their wishes don’t change basic biology. Moreover, to the extent that people with genuinely confused hormones are an infinitesimal minority and those who don’t like their gender are a tiny minority, these minorities should not be able to terrorize the majority. We owe it to ourselves as a decent society to treat them with kindness and respect, and to protect them from assaults against their person, but we are under no obligation to upend our entire civilization at great expense and at no small risk to women and children.

People respond to incentives: If you give people incentives not to work, they will not work. You can label it as kindness or dignity or whatever you want, but that’s the bottom line.

Radical Islam, not radical Christianity or radical Judaism or radical Buddhism, is a danger to the civilized world. You can dress it up however you want, but the number deadly religious attacks by people other than Muslims has to be, at a guess, fewer than 20 worldwide in the last 20 years. Maybe even fewer than 10. Islam, on the other hand, is nearing 30,000 terrorist attacks in the last 15 years alone.

The earth’s temperatures refuse to conform to computer models. Faking the numbers doesn’t make this reality go away. (If you don’t follow any other hyperlink in this post, I recommend that you read the one about faking the numbers. My friend Wolf Howling wrote it and it is, I think, one of the best challenges to the climate change fraud that you’ll read anywhere.)

You can add more as you please. I’ve been trying to write this post since 11 this morning, but the combination of computer problems and family demands means that I just got to it now and, sadly, can’t remember many of the points I’d wanted to make. So it goes….

Photo by Moyan_Brenn