But, a perennial interest is politics and culture – and the intersection of the two. I was a 2nd-wave feminist, back when feminism wasn’t cool. For me, that was primarily working to open up opportunities for women in work and education. I drifted away when I had kids – that was a massive slap in the face with reality.
When politics and culture got REAL was in the aftermath of 9/11 (as it was for so many lazy, go-along folks). I read obsessively, trying to get on top of the news, and to make sense of the pushback from the Left. I really don’t know just how I stumbled upon right-of-center blogs; I just know that I had a sudden shock that the blogger was writing directly to me.
From that point, I started exploring ideas that I’d ignored before – about how the culture shapes politics, not the other way around. That to be for marriage and the family was not a bad thing. That the problems of many people were largely of their own making, and that they would latch onto any person – or party – arguing that they were a helpless victim of the Big, Bad Patriarchy.
I was not totally in favor of the 2nd Gulf War. I’d lived through the first, right after cable TV came to the small town we were living in at the time. I was so stressed, I went out several days before the attack started, and bought 10 skeins of yarn and an afghan needle. The result, a mixed blue and wine blend, I called my Afghan War afghan. Which, I gave to my son for his bed.
I had skin in the post-9/11 military activities – two of my kids were active Navy, and my daughter (and her future husband) was in the Army National Guard. For many people, the engagements after the Iraqi invasion was over were a minor sidenote. For me, it was more reason to worry. The smaller, not-fully-engaged wars have killed and maimed more people since WWII, than the full-on invasions. Many of them American citizens.
Me, too – and not that over-hyped bandwagon that makes a woman a victim if she agrees to sex to advance her career, then decides the price was too high.
Feminism has devolved from a quest to level the playing field in work, education, and money access, to a Bitchy insistence that Womyn are the Queens of the Universe, and ALL MEN should Bow Down to Them.
From that original reasonable beginning, the twisted outcomes include:
Removing men from family life completely – whether through unfair custody settlements, unproven and unprovable abuse accusations, donor sperm, etc.
Enshrining the Single Mother as the epitome of excellence – even though, by every measurable metric, the outcomes for the children are uniformly bad. Not just slightly worse, REALLY BAD.
Re-designing the Welfare system to favor single motherhood, so much so, that a committed married couple takes a huge financial hit by remaining together.
No-Fault Divorce – it was sold as a way for a guy to dump a resistant wife. Turns out, the women initiate divorces overwhelmingly.
REALLY bad laws – and different across the country – that can have a guy paying for a kid he KNOWS (by DNA test) is not his. All the while, the mother can live with, and even marry, the actual father, who has NO obligation to support his own kid.
Weaponizing the credit system, so that women can bankrupt an unwilling spouse, even though she has no independent income. In my view, he/she that earns the income, has the say in how that portion is spent, proportionally. With responsibility for providing the income, comes the right to direct that spending.
The Sixties has much to answer for, but the most urgent need is to right the Buffooning of Men. In every depiction of men – whether TV, movies, advertisements, or on the news, there are only TWO ways that men are shown:
Consider this my final kiss-off to current establishment feminism; nice to have known ya and believe me when I say that a female-ruled society would pure bloody hell, if it ever was or would be enabled. It would be somewhat akin to the hell of last week’s hearing for a new Supreme Court nominee – which for me was the very last straw.
No argument here – in my life, I’ve seen the best – and the worst – from women. But, until recently, I’d thought it unkind to speak of women as Literal Witches.
Note: this is the first post here by Triple Sphinctered Wombat. Be sure to give him a good welcome. -Thales
I remember a summer evening in June 1968 at a modest house in northeastern New Jersey when I was a snot-nosed lad of 5. The extended family had gathered at the home of my father’s aunt Millie for dinner. My great aunt was a wonderful woman, a very devout Catholic and extremely kind hearted. Her one fault was that….well, her spaghetti sauce was runny. But nobody really cared – we were a large, multigenerational Italian family whose American roots began with ancestors who cycled thru Ellis Island at the very beginning of the 20th century, and we hardly needed an excuse to be together.
After dinner, everyone decided to take some of the cool evening air in Uncle Louie’s tiny but well tended back yard. With a few fireflies zipping about, the adults all began chatting with each other in random groups while us kids immediately began working off dinner by running around like banshees. These were days where children were expected to play outdoors and weren’t immediately diagnosed with a hyperactivity disorder and given medication.
I remember how wonderfully happy I was. We were all together – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, cousins. I felt safe, secure, loved and protected on a cool early summer’s eve.
The grown-ups were gabbing away happily about the daily trivia of their lives until someone mentioned the TV news and……Vietnam. A wave seemed to pass over the adults as they all expressed agitation and dismay over the images they were seeing on the nightly news. The conversations became anxious as their faces registered confusion, horror and even a dose of fear.
Please understand – these were people who had come thru the Great Depression and the Second World War. Some of the younger men had served in that war. My mother had emigrated to the United States 10 years earlier and had experienced the war in Italy as a civilian – seeing family members lose their lives, family friends taken away by “Le Fascie Nere” or Wehrmacht troops to never be seen again, being buried alive in a bombing raid and quite nearly dying under the rubble, starving a little more day by day as food got ever scarcer and the Allied advance stalled in the Appenines – you get the picture.
When she arrived in America in 1958, she experienced what America’s Greatest Generation had built in the post-War years – a nation brimming with civic duty and pride, whose freedom, prosperity and peace seemed miraculous compared to the trials all of them had experienced in their lives. Yet just as the nation they had helped build was about to plant its flag on the moon a full half dozen times, they were being presented with video clips of men who could have been their friends, neighbors, cousins and in some cases even sons or nephews who were fighting and dying in a foreign land they knew nothing about for reasons that they could not decipher – and they couldn’t understand why such a thing could be happening.
As young as I was, I perceived the profound unease and bewilderment enveloping the adults in that backyard and felt something shift in my soul. The bedrock of my stable, protected and nurtured existence cracked as I recognized their profound disquiet, a result of the unexpected and wrenching change in their world. The need to understand what could have affected them so – men and women who shepherded me, taught me, cared for me, encouraged and guided me, people who never left the house without putting on a suit, shirt and tie or a proper dress, who created the order and tranquility into which I had been born – started that night, and evolved into a yearning to discover the underlying truths of the course of human history. It’s been a lifelong and serious hobby of mine to understand not only who we are as a people and how we got where we are, but to delve into the lives of individuals, creeds, tribes and societies across the span of mankind’s recorded past, so that I might learn enough to have an inkling of what the future might have in store.
In the following series of essays I will apply, as best I can, all that I have learned and deduced (rightly or wrongly) on the topic of human history to delineate where I perceive America to be today not just as a people but as a culture/civilization, as well as where it may be headed. I will refer as needed to the work of William Strauss and Neil Howe and their Generational Cycle of history, and will depend even more on the exhaustive 12 volume treatise of the history of mankind composed by former University of London professor Arnold J. Toynbee which he called, with stunning modesty, “A Study of History.” I believe it necessary to employ both theories and their methodologies in this discussion as I have come to the conclusion they are concurrently manifesting themselves in American culture in an accidental yet nevertheless near perfect synchronization.
With this in mind, I will begin by immediately borrowing a page from Toynbee and specifically define the “Object of our Inquiry.”
Per Toynbee, America can be classified as one amongst a relatively large set of European ‘parochial states’ which constitute a Western Civilization birthed by the Renaissance and Enlightenment, these events being the product of a 1,000 year medieval ‘interregnum’ following the demise of the Roman Empire, itself the last manifestation of a Hellenic civilization which is the direct ancestor of Western culture.
Such a categorization of America has historical precedent per Toynbee’s thesis. Among his examples: from the collapse of the Sumeric civilization there arose Achaemenid Persian, Assyrian, Phoenician, Babylonian and Judaic states, all considered part of a ‘Syriac’ civilization with shared roots for their languages, political structures, social norms, customs and religious beliefs (though the Persians broke from this last factor thru Zoroastrianism, as did the Hebrews thru Judaism.) Toynbee cites other examples with which historians broadly agree, and the USA is considered by most people in modern times to be a European ‘spawn’ under a Western civilization’s ‘aegis.’
However, with the greatest respect to Toynbee, for whom I have profound admiration, I must dissent.
Consider the following factors:
The first colonists to arrive on American shores were Dutch and English. (Yes, the Vikings beat them by 400 years, but they didn’t stay.)
The single largest group of immigrants to America came from Germany in the early to mid-19th century. The third largest group was from Scandinavia (Danes, Swedes, Norwegians and Finns), arriving nearly the same time (more or less) as the Germans.
If we mark the official establishment of the United States of America from the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, we can legitimately state that America’s beginning coincided almost exactly with the start of the Industrial Revolution.
From #1 we see which groups poured the foundation for American culture, and from #2 we can identify the groups that both preserved and greatly reinforced this foundation. Crediting the creation of America to Europe in a collective sense is thus grossly imprecise. It is far more accurate to attribute America’s early formation specifically to Northern European Protestants.
Allow me to explain my thesis in detail.
Europe’s protestant nations were predominantly or overwhelmingly populated by invading (and homicidally competing) Germanic tribes during Rome’s republican and Imperial eras, sharing cultural characteristics between one another that sharply differentiated them from their Celtic neighbors/enemies. Among these attributes were a respect for the individual over the group; the combined use of statutory and common law; respect for private property; personal responsibility; and the recognition of equal or near equal rights for women. Notice how these aspects influenced even religious choices. After all, there are very fundamental reasons why the Germanic areas of Europe are protestant, whereas the Gallic regions are catholic and the Slavic ones orthodox.
A surprising number of people – most especially on the left – seem to have forgotten that this Germanic cultural foundation, combined with the explosive growth of the industrial economy, was the key to integrating successive and massive waves of immigrants in the latter half of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. The fresh influxes of migrants during that period were mostly from non-germanic nations – primarily Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Poland and Russia (if I skipped anybody, please don’t take it personally.) These were people who for the most part were fleeing the grinding poverty of permanent lower class status in their home countries. Feudal customs pertaining to social class and status, along with the tradition of ingrained resistance to social advancement, persisted with significant vigor across Europe (and still do, albeit in reduced form and varying by country in this day and age. NOTE: from personal experience, it’s noticeably more evident in Gallic countries than Germanic ones.)
People with the courage to leave all that they had ever known in exchange for a chance to start fresh had the necessary mindset to embrace a new life. The factory environment – with its respect for rules and regulations applicable equally to all employees, rewards for efficiency, productivity and extraordinary contribution, and opportunity for financial and social advancement – not only vaulted these non-Germanic immigrants into a middle class existence, but proved to be the perfect training ground for helping them join the American melting pot. People from non-German nations and cultures learned thru their factory jobs that the Rule of Law trumps the Rule of Man; that what you earn belongs to you; that you are responsible for your own success or lack thereof; and that what you gain from your hard work and achievements cannot be denied you either by archaic custom or by someone with inherited privilege and position, as there was no multi-generational hereditary aristocracy to lord over you and deprive you by ‘divine right’ or medieval tradition of what you had earned from the sweat of your brow.
It was these same Germanic cultural traits that most readily embraced the organizational and social principles necessary for the rapid growth of industrialization, both in America and Europe. One can readily observe, for instance, that it was in the Germanic states where the Industrial Revolution advanced most rapidly and successfully, while the non-Germanic regions struggled much more with industrialization and lagged quite far behind.
But concluding that America is essentially a Germanic parochial state within broader Western Civilization would be a mistake. To understand why, we need to examine factor #3 .
It wasn’t just the non-Germanic European peoples who left a dead-end social and economic status in their home countries, but the Germanic ones as well. When they came to America – a country whose birth occurred at the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution – all of them made a conscious decision to join something new, young, fresh and growing and, most importantly, to leave their roots behind.
Toynbee observed in his travels to America that immigrants to their new land – the 1st generation migrants – clung to their original country’s language and traditions rather strongly. However, their children – the 2nd generation of migrants – while using their parent’s language at home, would almost invariably use their adopted country’s language and traditions as a first choice, and that their own children – the 3rd generation – would almost always forget their grandparent’s tongue and customs. We have all seen and experienced this ourselves and can observe it in today’s descendants of more contemporary immigrations from Cuba, India, Vietnam, Japan, Iran, China, Puerto Rico and Haiti, where the second generation is already quite thoroughly Americanized. The 1st generation is almost always the driving force behind this, even if they tend to cling to many of the old ways and their original language.
What benefits and losses have we and our ancestors incurred for this?
Granted, the Germans and British make better beer than we do. The Irish and Scots have better whiskey (though I am a big fan of Jack Daniels – within reason, folks; I’m not a lush. 😉 ) The French, Spanish and Italians have better wine. The Swiss, Italians and Belgians have delicious chocolate – truly like nothing we have here. And there are uniquely beautiful things that Europeans have inherited from their history and traditions – castles, cathedrals, ancient cities and towns, art, sculpture, literature, music…we could go on with these comparisons for quite a while. Yet for the purposes of this discussion, none of it matters in the slightest.
We are, in summary, the product of borrowing features from Europe’s civilization (such as statutory codes and common law practices, individualism and natural rights, early democratic and republican governing concepts from the Greeks and Romans passed down and gradually refined over the centuries), deliberately discarding everything else and modifying, enhancing and improving on what we took to make it our own. America is a BREAKAWAY culture that has become a civilization in its own right, separate from Western civilization – which is more appropriately defined as Europe west of the Elbe.
This is why Europeans find us rather alien, incomprehensible and even frightening. We have become so different from them in so many ways that we can no longer be said to share a common culture. And, truth be told, though we have lost some genuinely beautiful things by discarding the past of our ancestors, we have gained quite a bit in return. After all – it was not Europe that split the atom, invented the transistor or laser or personal computer, just to name a few of this civilization’s achievements. To make the contrast as stark as it can be: America started in 1789 as a strip of coastal forest and alluvial plain on the northeast edge of the continent, with 3-4 million people plowing a few acres of rocky New England ground to raise a crop, riding horses or carriages to get around and carrying muskets to defend themselves. 180 years later – the lives of two long-lived men – this same country planted six flags on the moon. (SUCK IT, EUROCOMMIES!)
It should be obvious at this point why I will be using not just Toynbee but also Strauss & Howe’s Generational Cycle in this series of commentaries, as their theory is so well suited in application to dynamic societies – ones where there is no rigid social structure or hierarchy supported by hidebound tradition to confine a culture’s citizenry to predetermined lifestyles and associations.
And now that we have fully defined the ‘Object of our Inquiry’, we will be able to proceed to the point of the discussion – assessing where American civilization stands at this point in its history. The situation is one worth examining in depth, as there are more and more people – not just pundits and talking heads in the MSM, but among an already large and continually increasing number of the regular citizenry – who are openly discussing the possibility of a breakup of America into separate states and the likelihood of civil insurrection or even war.
I, for one, thought that things could never again be as bad in my lifetime as they were in the 1970’s. However, nobody back then was talking about ‘echoes of 1860’ in our daily civil and political discourse, whereas nowadays it’s become a genuine and widespread concern.
America has had crises, tumult and upheaval before. We have found a way to survive and recover from them all. But it seems fair to ask nowadays: is this time different from any of the last ones? And we should also ask ourselves more broadly:
Where are we going as a civilization?
How did we get to this point?
Is our civilization still growing and evolving, or is it dying?
Organized religion is clearly waning as a rallying point for a growing plurality of citizens. We are also losing confidence in our political and spiritual leadership. Have we reached a point of no return? If yes, what happens next? If no, how do we move forward?
We’ll begin this discussion in depth in the next essay.
I mentioned elsewhere that many people – perhaps even a majority – are engaged in a constant social media PR campaign.
By this, I mean that folks take a strong interest in appearances on social media. They will post things that make them look like good, moral people (without regard to actually being good, moral people), or post things that make them look rich, interesting, trendy, whatever (again, without regard to actually being any of those things). This may very well make up a majority of social media posts, outside political arguments and cat memes.
Now, folks have always signaled status and virtue, since the dawn of time. So by itself, this concept is not new. What social media has brought to the table is a sort of marketing and PR angle to it. It’s like every individual has a miniature marketing and advertising campaign running. Constant pictures, link shares, and quick tidbits become advertisements of one’s value. Facebook is like “free” ad space for your personal PR campaigns. Instagram, of course, is even more dedicated to this. All social media platforms have shades of this, though at least on Facebook, we spend some of the time hating each other for various political positions, or posting stupid (but oddly addicting) memes.
There is a gradient between this activity, and the so-called social media “influencers”, whose personal PR campaigns have succeeded to sufficient degree that they can be monetized. They are those who appear most moral, or most trendy, or most interesting, rich, whatever…
…but still irrespective of actual morality, trend awareness, uniqueness, and wealth.
Pretending to be something you are not is so much easier on social media than it was in the past. But the competition is fierce.
2. Trump and Collusion – Nobody Knows Shit
Pardon my bluntness, but it’s true. Something like half the political conversations I overhear or see on social media invariably sink into the pit of Russian collusion and Donald Trump. By itself, this wouldn’t bother me. Yes, it’s stupid and probably completely fictional, but it’s conversation material.
What is annoying is everyone involved pretending they understand even a minute fraction of the legal wrangling and political bullshit surrounding it. A Leftist will say that some dossier is going to lead to an indictment, which will in turn force Trump to testify or be interviewed by such and such. Whatever. These are armchair lawyers who know nothing about any of this. They just repeat mainstream media talking points and fantasize about Trump getting impeached and Hillary Clinton somehow being installed as Empress, starting a dynasty of female Clintons ruling the world until the end of time. Or something vaguely like that, anyway.
It’s all fanciful bullshit. Nobody understands what’s going on. Not even, I suspect, a great many of the people who are involved in it in one way or another. This is a problem with any investigation or witch hunt (whichever you prefer) that happens at the federal level. It soon becomes a bureaucratic brier patch that nobody can navigate or understand. It’s a mess.
Many Rightists have taken to arguing with the Lefties in the same manner, saying that such and such document really says some other thing, and their legal interpretation is wrong, and Mueller is… well, some damned thing. I’m not much of a fan of this method, either.
I will be clear: I don’t think there was any collusion. I think the Left is using this narrative to distract from the fact that they colluded with pretty much everybody on Earth who would give them some campaign support, and is using this to try and limit the reach of Trump’s administration by tying them up in endless red tape. But I have no specific legal or technical arguments around this. I base this on the general hostility of the media, and the fact that most people involved have a track record of being corrupt liars.
Most of the people arguing this case don’t know any more than I do, but couch their arguments in legalese to appear like they do. It’s rhetoric pretending to be dialectic.
3. Facebook’s Stock Dump
I’ve been waiting for a long time to see Facebook suffer some consequences for their behavior. Zuckerberg appears to be in a world of hurt, insofar as a billionaire can possibly be said to be “hurting.” Facebook, like many social media outlets, has engaged in a stealth campaign against Rightists. Or, perhaps more accurately, has engaged in a stealth campaign to support Leftists.
I’ve spoken at length about the double standard before, and have witnessed it in person, and seen it well documented by others. But always, Facebook retains an air of plausible deniability. At first, they claim it’s an accident, or that there are no double standards. When the truth is discovered, they retreat to “individual employees did it.”
We all know this is horseshit. But for the longest time Facebook suffered no real penalty for it. Leftists control the establishment in the West, and their money can cover for a great many flaws, but not forever. It seems they may be reaching the limits of their pocketbooks. George Soros himself has said as much in recent days. Mark Zuckerberg’s troubles may be a bit of confirmation of the same.
It has come to my attention that the comments have been partially broken for some users. It is inconsistent. Not all users have problems. Those that do often have different problems. Tracking down the reason behind this has been troublesome, so I have made some major changes in terms of the plugins, theme, and anti-spam defense used at The Declination. If you’ve had problems before, please attempt to comment on this post. If you get an error, please use the contact form to inform me of the error you are getting.
If this does not work, I will be shifting the comments to Disqus, since this site gets an extreme number of spam attacks on a regular basis. I cannot possibly run it without a workable spam defense.
Surfing around Instagram, you will find a large number of scantily-clad women travelling the world petting cute little animals, talking about “body positivity” and posing provocatively, generally with the juicy bits only barely covered enough to avoid attracting the attention of the censors. Invariably, every cause spouted by these Instagram ladies is boilerplate Leftism. Save the whales, maybe, or fat is beautiful, or white men are vaguely shitty and probably shouldn’t even exist. Also, Christianity is crap, and Atheism is morally superior to the zombie sky wizard.
Now, we roll our eyes at this and go about our business. Why, after all, should we worry excessively about near-porn fusing with idiotic Leftism?
Truthfully, this is a massive problem. Leftism is seen, even by most Rightists, as the default position. It’s the ‘no thinking required’ setting. If you want to spout some kind of philosophical nonsense to make yourself look smart and cultured while your boob is falling out, you do Leftism. It’s easy rhetoric. Hey look, there’s a man with no fish. Saying “somebody should give him a fish, look he’s starving” is the easy rhetorical answer. Defeating this argument is simple with dialectic, but few people care about dialectic. It’s boring. Nerdy. Too many words. Better to just call somebody a bigot and move on.
Defeating Leftism with rhetoric is much more difficult. For not only must you use a convincing argument, that argument must be truthful and honest. The Leftist may use deceit without remorse, because to him the end justifies the means. You may not. Furthermore, Leftism itself is tailored toward sounding good. Rightism is full of unpleasant truths about human nature and the how things work in the real world. People don’t like to hear these things. Only when it comes to money does Rightism have a rhetorical advantage. Even the most ardent Leftist feels the pinch of the tax man.
This means superficial Instagram would-be porn stars are going to spout Leftism. It requires minimal intellectual investment. And in order to please these attention-seekers, hordes of thirsty men will likewise spout Leftism. After all, they want some of that boob that’s falling out. Sure, baby, climate change is a horrible tragedy. Want some dick? This effect is amplified by the constant Leftism spouted both blatantly and subtly by the media and entertainment establishments. Remember V for Vendetta? Or the Handmaid’s Tale? These are the caricatures bandied about by the establishment. You can have semi-nude Instagram girls, or you can have some kind of twisted theocratic dictatorship. Framed that way, who would choose the latter?
Delusional rhetoric is the centerpiece of Leftist thought. These people believe – or at least act like they believe – that we live in the most oppressive, terrible society ever, when it is far closer to the exact opposite. If a more tolerant society has existed, it certainly wasn’t for very long. Usually tolerance at the level we’re at today results in societal collapse – indeed, it may be heading that way now. But either way the point is, the oppression they crave, the oppression they rant about (not the contradiction it first seems) does not exist.
Bend over and let your thong bikini ride between your ass cheeks, snap a picture, and rant about how Trump is a racist… and you are rewarded with thousands of followers, likes, and comments mentioning “goddess.” Which, as a side note, has become something of an irritant to me. As a man, I don’t expect to be referred to as a “god” and, furthermore, would be somewhat pissed that somebody would refer to me that way. I’m not that arrogant. So what’s with this “zOMG you’re such a goddess” crap?
Anyway, I digress. Just notice how much society rewards people who claim oppression. It’s actually a benefit. People compete and jockey for oppression points, because the more you have, the more attention you get. Pop out a boob, and you get even more. Don’t have a boob? No problem. Call yourself trans – you don’t even have to shave the beard – and now you’re a goddess too. Stunning and brave, of course. Just make sure to tell everybody that Barbara Bush was a horrible racist and deserved to die. Then pop out a non-existent boob, and you’ll be flooded with positive comments.
Of course, if you’re trans and anything but a raging Leftist, expect the Blaire White treatment. You’re no longer stunning and brave, you sexist, transphobic transsexual. The contradictions don’t seem to bother them much.
It’s all mass delusion, but it’s a strange sort of self-reinforcing mass delusion. It’s like a brain virus, and once you have it, obtaining a cure is exceedingly difficult – because you have to realize that you are sick in the first place, something Leftism explicitly tries to avoid. Don’t question the narrative heretic… er… I mean racist. If there is any sort of religious dictatorship threatening to micromanage every facet of our lives, it’s coming from the Left, not the Christian Right. Of course, their dictatorship doesn’t make women wear strange red bonnets, but it does make you sign a consent form to have sex, so there’s that. The boob on Instagram is free, though.
All of this is simple rhetoric. And it all stems from something Francis at Liberty’s Torch said some time ago (I’ll have to dig up the link again later). White Christian men are the last group for whom hatred is celebrated. That, in polite company, you may trash and insult without mercy, and expect to receive accolades for it. The people of the in-crowd can take dumps on a God-fearing farmer of Podunkville, pat each other on the back, and go drool over Instagram girls saying they are going to end the objectification of women by wearing see-thru lingerie on the Internet. It’s easy rhetoric. There’s no social cost to it, and plenty of social benefit.
It is the ease of this rhetoric, the reward for it, that really pushes people into Leftism. Oh, sure, there will always be welfare queens and hardcore Marxists who spout this crap, but the regular Joe is responding to a need to be accepted. The middle manager trying to angle for promotion to the upper tier is saying what he thinks people want him to say. And yes, even the flaky Instagram girl is just responding to what will get her the most likes and comments.
It is the ease of this rhetoric that must be defeated more than the rhetoric itself. Even if a Milo or Ben Shapiro gets in a slick comeback; even if Thomas Sowell comes to the party armed with every economic statistic known to man and has them on immediate tap, it won’t be enough. Such victories are short-lived, and the culture at large goes back to ‘if you want upvotes, talk about Islamophobia!’ Rightists are fighting an enormous cultural current, and are doing so admirably. But it is the current itself that must be changed.
The bikini girl on Instagram should be at least as likely to talk about taxation as theft as she is to take rhetorical dumps on Donald Trump. Only then will the rhetorical battle be on level ground.
Well, dealing with a newborn, doing a lot of work, and getting my home fixed up and ready to sell all at the same time is… fun. And by fun, I mean sleep-depriving. But I’m coming up to the end on a lot of my work, which is good. In any event, a lot has happened since I was last blogging here. Of course, my first topic after my hiatus is going to have to be the guns. Specifically, the supposedly spontaneous child protests across the country.
To preface this, I don’t care what a child thinks about political issues any more than I worry about my dog’s opinion of my cooking. This strikes me immediately as similar to the “woke 8 year old” bologna that appeared all over Twitter in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.
This is another manifestation of Weaponized Empathy. “It’s for the children” was a tactic employed by the media during the Syrian refugee crisis, often by showing carefully staged bodies of children, or as in one particular example, showing an injured child in an ambulance. In the latter, the child was dirty and bleeding, but journalists still found time to sit him in the otherwise clean ambulance and take a carefully-considered photo to push their political points.
However, today’s tactic is, perhaps, even more insidious. In this case, Progressives are using the gullibility and lack of experience of children to push for their political goals. One individual of some noteriety, whose name escapes me at the moment (it made the rounds on Twitter, if one of my readers has a name please drop it in the comments), mentioned that children are often wiser than their parents on social and political issues. And they are supposedly less gullible, too. And while Democrats want to raise the age required to purchase a gun, they simultaneously want to lower the voting age. Surely there’s no self-interest in that, right? After all, it’s easier to talk a child into Socialism with a basic “it’s not fair” kind of argument.
Look, the fact is children just don’t understand. That’s why they are children, not little adults. They don’t have the life experience to make such weighty decisions yet. The fact that some of them were talked into protesting (I seriously question the spontaneity of these events) doesn’t mean anything. When I was a child, I once threw a ball of watered down toilet paper at the gym teacher, and the other kids laughed and clapped when it happened. Children do a lot of stupid things.
Woke 8 year olds around the world were trashing Trump, right? Just like mommy told them to. Now students are comparing the NRA to the KKK, just like their parents and/or teachers are doing. And so long as they parrot a Leftist agenda, why not, right? I’m sure if a bunch of 8 year olds started protesting abortion, the Left would tell us how the kids are brainwashed or something. The media spin would go in the opposite direction, because according to the media, Left = good, Right = bad.
Hilariously, as a friend of mine pointed out, the children cannot even maintain a level of consistency (because they are children) in their messaging. Take a look at this hilarious example and see if you can spot the contradiction:
I don’t care if a child is singing the praises of Donald Trump or comparing the NRA to the KKK. He’s a child. His political opinions are irrelevant. Anybody attempting to cynically use a child’s ill-formed positions in an effort to sell a political agenda is evil. Such people are using our natural instincts to protect and cherish our children in order to sell a political position. Forget the facts, forget the rights of Englishmen. Forget history, forget economics, forget what actually works and what doesn’t. Instead, the message is this: “do what we say, or else you hate children.”
It’s conceptually no different from “you want to push granny off a cliff.” It’s an emotional argument. Pure rhetoric and a form of Weaponized Empathy.
Yesterday my 3 year old wanted a popsicle for breakfast. Because he’s a child. His opinions on nutrition are irrelevant. And so are the opinions of children on the matter of gun ownership and gun control. They are being used as pawns in someone else’s game. And the idiot who said children are less gullible than adults is a liar.
I mean, what’s next at this point? Here’s a list of some unpleasant truths about Progressives and the cynical manipulation of people:
Leftists like mass-immigration from the third world because they believe such people are more gullible, and thus easier to con into Socialism.
Leftists like child-protests, because children rely on popularity and peer pressure more than adults, and are more gullible, thus easy to con.
Leftists want to lower the voting age because the younger you are, figures the Leftist, the easier it is to con you into voting their way.
The lower your economic class, the Leftist figures, the cheaper it is to bribe you into voting their way.
And so on and so forth, ad nauseam.
Everything they do is about more Socialism. And they don’t care what lever they use to move you out of the way of Progress ™. Sad stories about third world refugees failed to move you? Okay, bring out some pictures of dead kids. That didn’t work? Con their own kids into some kind of twisted version of the Children’s Crusade and get them protesting in the street. That didn’t work? How about some woke 8 year olds on Twitter? How about some peer pressure? How about threatening your income?
You have to understand, with these people, the means doesn’t matter. Only the end matters, and the end, as they see it, is Socialism.
This lever failed to move me. It was, in fact, one of the dumbest Weaponized Empathy tactics I’ve seen them deploy in recent days. If we listened to children, everybody would be eating junk food, watching TV, posting on social media, and playing video games basically 24/7.
But what do I know, right? Listen to some 10 year old who was talked into protesting by his teacher saying he could get out of class early. Because that clearly makes sense, right?