Poverty is an issue Leftists badger the Right about incessantly. Poor people provide a convenient excuse for government control over your wallet. They need food, shelter, transportation, healthcare, and so on, and why shouldn’t these things be guaranteed by a friendly government? Why rely on the charity of individuals to do this, when it is possible that private charity will miss some people, that some of the poor will slip through the cracks and suffer? Only government can make this a mandate. Let us raise taxes, they say, or reduce funding for the warmongering military, to help our poor people! As one Leftist detractor explained, let’s do it for national pride, compassion, and empathy!
The buzzwords sound great, of course. But they are empty platitudes. You cannot eat compassion, nor will empathy put a roof over your head or supply you with good, inexpensive healthcare. And as we give government our money to do these things for us (or, rather, as it is taken from us), be advised that the bureaucrats and politicians will take their slice of the action. They are the middlemen, and naturally a middleman wants his share of the spoils.
Government inefficiencies aside, many of those who are supported by government anti-poverty programs are, essentially, lifers. They are mired in permanent poverty, never to escape. What percentage, exactly? Well, it’s difficult to tell. But those receiving government benefits in the 37-48 month category (the longest period I could find concrete stats for) stands at around 43% of those on government assistance.
In browsing around these statistics this morning, I came across a Huffington Post article that was using essentially the same data (they differed by a couple percentage points here and there, but were clearly using a similar source). Their conclusion was that a majority of people used welfare benefits of varying types for only short periods of time. This was technically true (after all, 43% is a minority). But nonetheless, we are not far from that magic 50% marker.
In any event, for our purposes 43% of welfare recipients will do. These are people who are essentially in a state of permanent poverty. There are probably some who are too proud to take government benefits for long, too, or who do not qualify for one reason or another. So the actual number of those in permanent poverty is probably somewhat higher than that number would indicate.
Thing is most of us, myself included, have probably experienced some form of temporary poverty. For me, this came during the dot-com bust in 2001, when getting work as a web developer was essentially impossible. This happened to a lot of my friends in the industry, too. Those were tough times for folks in my line of work. I took a job as a Costco stocker for a time. Some friends took various odd jobs, or moved back in with family.
When talking to friends, family, and some of my readers here at The Declination, I can safely say that most of us have experienced temporary poverty. When I was born, my father was broke and just barely struggling to keep the lights on and food on the table. But that, too, was temporary. My wife’s family came from Cuba with nothing but the clothes on their backs, all that Castro permitted them to take with them. But their poverty was temporary, also. My wife’s grandfather quickly landed a job (all physical labor, but that was enough) and he managed to claw his way out of poverty. Her father managed to prosper, working his way up from a minimum wage pharmacy worker job to part-owner in a lucrative pharmacy business.
What is the difference between those who fall into poverty, for whatever reason, and those who stay there?
There is a mindset I’ve seen with people who are stuck in permanent poverty. A family friend, who for sake of anonymity I will call Harry, exemplifies the permanent poverty situation quite well. Harry was a general contractor, and had a set of skills that ought to have made him permanently well off. But when he’d land a good contract, and score some hefty profit, he would quickly burn through money. Harry’s house would be filled with toys, from a new lifted F-150, to boats, RVs, motorcycles, whatever. And then, a year or two later, after going through several lean months, the possessions would disappear one at a time, sold or repossessed by the bank.
Feeling sorry for Harry, my father helped him score a job worth a substantial amount of money. Half was to be paid upfront, the remainder upon completion of the job. But Harry spent the advance too quickly, burning through it at the bars and the strip clubs, and found he did not have enough money leftover to buy all the supplies needed to finish the work. The broken contract cost him his contractor’s license, and he found himself out of work. Things continued to go downhill after that, and he spent several months in jail on some unrelated charge.
Harry has since been released, and is back working in construction, but now as a regular laborer. His lucrative career as a general contractor is gone forever. And even still, after all this, he quickly spends his money on booze, women, and toys, and finds himself in financial pickles. So far as I know, Harry has never taken a dime of welfare money, but he is still stuck in permanent poverty. And all the help my father and I could give him was for naught.
The thing is, you could give Harry a million dollars, and it would soon vanish. Just as you could give some folks on welfare piles of money, and in the long run it would do them no good. The money would not improve their lot, but if taken out of your paycheck, it could worsen your lot. That isn’t to say money can’t help a poor man at all. Those who are in temporary poverty may very well be helped by a timely infusion of cash, or some food, shelter, or otherwise.
Differentiating between the temporarily impoverished and the permanently impoverished is a mission we’ve largely outsourced to the government, and I consider that a mistake. The government is ill-equipped to do this. Some of the temporarily impoverished may be turned away, and many of the permanently impoverished may supplied with money and/or benefits that are, essentially, wasted. Take this story, confirmed by Snopes, of a man using his girlfriend’s EBT card to buy steak and lobster. He then resold the food for cash, 50% of the value of the original food. He was caught and arrested for fraud; for reselling the food and using someone else’s benefits. But this sort of thing goes on all the time. And sometimes the EBT benefits are sold more directly. And let us not forget the FEMA cards after Katrina, often being used for strip clubs and booze, not unlike what Harry did with his profits. Some got caught. I suspect many more got away with it.
The point is, some of these folks have a mindset that mires them in permanent poverty. Even given the food, they will sell the food at a discount and use it for something else. Given the welfare cash to pay bills, they will spend the money on something else. Give them millions, and they will soon be broke again. Such aid only truly improves the lot of the temporarily impoverished. And even then, I’ve never taken such benefits, even when temporarily impoverished, and neither have most folks I know. Most of the time, we can get out of temporary poverty with some bootstrapping and some assistance from family and friends.
How do you change the mindset of the permanently impoverished? I don’t know. What I do know is that if the purpose of government welfare spending is to lift them out of this state, it’s not going to work. It may help the temporarily impoverished, though I’d argue we could do that more efficiently via private means. But the permanently poor are going to stay that way, short of changing their mindset. I’ve spoken at length on the possibility that pain is a good teacher; that maybe making people too comfortable in poverty (the regularity and guarantee of government assistance) may work against learning the habits and mindset necessary to escape poverty. But Harry’s example is also instructive, he’s had every incentive in the world to change his behavior, and he never did. Some people may be beyond our help. It’s an unpleasant thing to contemplate, but it may nonetheless be true.
The question is, if some people are beyond our help, if lifting them out of poverty is beyond our means, what is our responsibility to them? Do we owe the government an ever-increasing slice of our earnings to fail to help them? Where does our obligation end? To those in power, of course, middlemen taking their slice of the action, the answer is that the obligation never ends, and is an essentially unlimited mandate.
Our resident Lefty troll has spent the better part of the last few days lecturing my readers on their moral inferiority. He offers no solutions, no costs, no benefits, and is quite vague on matters of policy. Rather, he hopes to play the Alinsky handbook out and see where it takes him. But in the process, he has exposed a facet of Weaponized Empathy that bears elaboration.
A few months ago, a friend of mine suffered some serious legal trouble. He was innocent of the charges levied against him, and his lawyer was confident of victory in court. Indeed, the charges were immediately lowered, and just last night I heard that his lawyer had secured evidence that ought to clear him. But, as is often the case, the punishment is the process. My friend’s legal fees were mounting. He does pretty well for himself, but while the court case was pending, his employer placed him on leave. So he was eating into savings very quickly. Things were looking grim.
A few of us got together and did some crowdfunding for him on social media. We secured enough money to pay his legal fees through small, private donations. It was enough to allow his savings to cover his day-to-day costs, and keep him afloat in what would otherwise be a very trying time. And we did so with small donations. $25 here, $50 there. It all adds up. So at no great cost to ourselves, we willingly helped him, and it worked.
Legal fees being about as ridiculous of an albatross as healthcare, one wonders why this approach isn’t championed by the morally-enlightened paragons of the political Left. With the rise of the Internet, and the power of mass media, it seems there is a great missed opportunity. When a leftist browbeats you with some sob story, and uses it as evidence as to why we need some government program, why we need higher taxes, ask him about this.
The tone of the article would have you believe that the landlord is a heartless, cruel company (or person). Why, for a mere $173, they charged this woman late fees, and now she can’t catch up! More subtly, the article is asking the question of why this woman should even have to pay rent at all. Clearly, the government should pay all of her housing expenses (it only pays most of them now). There is even a picture of the woman in her wheelchair next to her son, trying to waive down a bus to take them to the courthouse. Think about that, a reporter who knows this woman’s story is right there taking the picture, seeing this woman suffer, and can’t even be bothered to give her a ride. But the staff photographer has plenty of time for some quick Weaponized Empathy photo ops.
Yet if $173 is a mere trivial nothing, and the late fees so unimportant that the landlord should be expected to waive them away because of media outrage, where is the gofundme for this woman? And why have the journalists who exposed this terrible case not donated a few dollars themselves? You could circulate that crowdfunding link around the office of The Dallas Morning News and pay this woman’s bills for an entire year with what these people spend individually on a cup of overpriced Starbucks coffee every morning.
Some time ago, I read an article (which I can’t find at the moment – if my readers know, please reply in the comments) where some old woman wound up dying because she could not afford her electric bill. The electricity wound up getting shut off, and she froze to death in the winter. Naturally, everyone was angry at the utility company for shutting off her power. Why, the whole community was outraged at the greed of such a terrible company.
Yet where were these outraged people when she was still alive? Could they not cobble together a few dollars each to pay her bill, to see her through the rough times? No, chances are they didn’t even notice she existed. And if they did, they paid her no mind. She wasn’t their problem. She was somebody else’s problem. And when she died, they were shamed, because they let it happen. The utility company, who likely had no idea what was going on (only that they weren’t being paid), became the scapegoat for their shame, for their lack of caring for their fellow man.
The solution for such people is to outsource the responsibility of caring to someone else, namely the government. Out of sight, out of mind. They never have to mix it up with folks living at the edge. They don’t even have to bother with the time it takes to go to a gofundme link and donate a few dollars. Let the government handle it all, they say. And they account themselves our moral superiors because of this.
To them, charity is some distant, impersonal thing. Some money is taken out of their paycheck every month. Where it goes, nobody knows. But the leftist has done his duty, you see. He doesn’t have to think about his fellow man anymore. Indeed, he could write a story about a poor woman in his own community who needs a mere $173, and use his podium to lecture the public that someone else ought to cough up that money.
When government charity fails, when it breaks the human spirit, when it destroys entire communities, leftists can always point to the mean old Republicans and blame us for the suffering. All because they can’t cope with the shame that, when you get right down to it, they did nothing. All they did was watch the IRS come and take some portion of their paycheck. They did the easiest thing in the world: they threw some money at a problem and hoped that it would go away and trouble them no more.
Usually, when you encounter an item with no definitive price tag, it is because the item is absurdly expensive. When a potential customer is forced to ask for the price, the salesman might gauge his wealth, his gullibility, his willingness to part with his money, and a myriad of other things before settling on what he believes he can get. It also provides an opportunity to sell the customer on the object, rather than merely counting on the item and its price to convince the potential buyer.
In simple terms, forcing another to be open about his wants, and being closed off on your own, gives a man a decided bargaining advantage.
Lately, we’ve seen this at work with Antifa, BLM, #TheResistance, and other assorted left-wing groups. Grievances are produced, from slavery, to the plight of Native Americans, to American foreign adventures in the Middle East. Being honest with ourselves, some of these grievances have at least a historical merit to them. But for such leftist groups, the price for burying the grievance is obfuscated behind buzzwords and jargon. We must dismantle the cisheteropatriarchy, we must check our privilege, we must become a positive advocate for change. Everything from microaggressions to cultural appropriation are cited as examples of these things.
But I ask, what change?
Allow me to step into the shoes of one of Babylon 5’s villains, Mr. Morden, and ask the question: “what do you want?”
Well, leftists? What do you want? What is your price for putting away identity politics and your incessant portrayals of right-wing racism, sexism, homophobia, and islamophobia? These portrayals have silenced some of us, enraged others, and sent many conservatives running for the political closet. And once there, they still voted right-wing. Thus we now have one Donald J. Trump, despite all predictions to the contrary.
Some of us, like the esteemed Francis at Liberty’s Torch,have made peace with the incessant accusations and said something to the effect of “if you think that means I’m a racist then fine, I’m a racist. Now what?” Others, like myself, maintain that the portrayal of racism as the greatest of all evils is a mistake, dredged up because of the relative historical freshness of Nazi evil, and America’s own struggles with slavery. These evils most Americans are familiar with, but judging from the proliferation of Che Guevara t-shirts, the evils of Communism are less well understood.
And so racism becomes the number one evil in America, a sort of 21st century red scare, except there are even fewer to play the part of the reds (and many more actual reds).
All of that is immaterial, however. What is the end goal of the leftist? What does he want? What does his ideal America (or world, for those of a globalist persuasion) look like? Who gets to live there? What becomes of us and others who do not fit this progressive vision of the future?
When asked, leftists are often quite silent on the price. Just today, one explained that I should google the matter (never mind that I’ve exhausted google as a resource for this) because she didn’t want to “perform free emotional labor” on my behalf. Naming the price is now something that, in itself, costs money. Imagine if you asked the salesman what the price of a thing was, and he replied “you have to pay me to find out.”
Like the little psychological trick of decreasing sticker shock with slick salesmanship, the left understands that by hiding the price, they increase the possibility of ripping off some gullible idiot. Namely, us. And it works well enough on some. Enough that the thought of being accused of racism or prejudice is enough to elicit outright fear in many, not just an answer to the question.
Once an accusation of racism is leveled, very little is sufficient to dismiss it. Do you have many friends of the race in question? RationalWiki tells you that this is insufficient (after all, Hitler liked one Jew). You’re still a racist. What if, instead, you married a black woman, loved her and her family, and had a child with her? Well, you’re still a racist, because as some Puppy-kickers explained on Facebook (they have since deleted the posts in question, but I saved a screenshot, and Brad Torgersen can confirm it), black pussy doesn’t mean you aren’t racist. The Puppy-kickers even made this into a t-shirt. This argument was recently resurrected on Twitter by Talib Kweli Greene where he explained that if you marry an Indian woman, you’re still a racist, you just like Indian pussy.
So your friends, family, and relationships are dismissed. The accusation still stands. And remember, you are guilty unless proven innocent. And to prove your innocence, you must embrace leftist politics. That is the only accepted coin. And even by doing that, you would still have to abase yourself thoroughly and completely. Meanwhile, a woman who murdered her own 4 year old son applied to Harvard, and was denied. Naturally, this had something to do with racism, according to Vox.com. Of course it has little or nothing to do with being a convicted murderer of a child.
Ultimately, the choice is this: convert to leftism, or risk being tarred as a racist with no possible way to prove otherwise, because you are guilty until proven innocent, and all evidence except leftist political sentiments will be summarily dismissed as insufficient.
Meanwhile, a reasonable man might be inclined to ask the price of buying this weapon off the left. What would it take for them to put it away?
Their rants and raves on this matter are difficult to parse. Ta-Nehisi Coates penned a long piece in support of reparations, and when I first read it I expected a concrete answer to the question “what do you want?” Instead, we were treated to a historical lecture on the plight of blacks in America. We already knew this. Everybody knows about slavery, Jim Crow, and discrimination against blacks. How can anyone not know? The media has been bombarding us with these things for as long as I’ve been alive. And if the media wasn’t, BLM sure has been making a rather more raw effort at doing so. We get it. These things happened, and blacks got a raw deal.
What I want is a price. What are the demands? What do they really want?
I suspect the reason the demands aren’t named is that the sticker shock is likely to be quite mighty. I recall reading some time ago (and I can’t remember where presently, but if any of my readers know, please reply in the comments) that one black leader suggested a one-time payoff of $1 million to each black citizen. That bill would come out to approximately $36 trillion, approximately double the GDP of the United States, and likely an impossible sum. But to be honest, I suspect the left’s real demands would be much more expensive, and involve something much more Marxist than a massive one-time payment. The left would probably want to ensure the racist right-wingers never got to express their racism again, and would need to be actively suppressed. Somebody has to be the kulaks when things go bad, after all.
In the end, it’s just like Barack Obama’s campaign of hope and change. What change? How much will it cost? Hopeful for whom? These are questions the left leaves unanswered. There are never any (accurate) price tags on their merchandise. And so, I’ve no interest in buying.
This case sickened me beyond belief, because Nicki is right. The bureaucracy decided that the parents had no rights in this case. They had raised the money to seek experimental treatment in the United States, and the British courts decided that, even though there was no cost to the British taxpayer, the parents had no rights. They couldn’t even take their child home to die in peace with his family. I’m sure the experimental treatment was a long shot. It probably wouldn’t have worked anyway. But God knows, if this were my child, I’d fight to the last, to the most extreme chance possible. The public largely agreed with them, that’s how they were able to raise the donation money in the first place.
But the primacy of the State cannot be questioned by us mere peasants.
It’s disgusting. It’s sick and twisted. And from now on, whenever some Leftist insinuates that I am immoral for opposing state-run healthcare, I’m going to point to this incident and tell them that their sacred moral high ground is complete bullshit. Giving the State the power over medical treatment decisions is not morally superior in any way whatsoever.
I feel terrible for these parents. Not just because their child is going to die, but because they aren’t even permitted to fight for him.
The right wing has a serious problem culturally and socially, and it goes beyond the fact that Marxists have claimed education, media, and entertainment. Consider the reasons why the Marxists wrangled control of them. Every organization they infiltrate either falls to them in short order, or survives only by becoming incredibly intolerant and explicitly rightist. Even a few of those organizations eventually fall, too.
Yet once Marxists claim an organization, their dreadful mismanagement of it soon results in the organization either failing completely, or requiring subsidy and support from the outside for its now implicitly Marxist mission.
Greater minds than mine have determined how this happens, how SJWs and their ilk manage to subvert and dominate organizations. The question I want answered is why we continually allow them to do this.
A large portion of my writing on The Declination has been devoted to discovering the underlying problem and defeating it. Weaponized Empathy is one such concept, and yet it seemed somehow incomplete. Correct, but insufficient.
Marxists live and breathe power politics. This is the whole of their existence, their singular purpose: to seize the property of others and redistribute it, setting themselves up as the fulcrum by which society is measured and weighed. I know better, says the Marxist, you must obey me.
I am smarter than you, says the Marxist, thus I know better how to utilize your property, you must therefore relinquish it to me.
Of course, if they said it outright this way, nobody would support them, for the tyranny would be obvious. Yet, despite the many failures of Marxism in the last century, support for it continues to claim moral superiority in every visible way.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Communism still retains the moral high ground in the minds of men, even in the minds of many conservatives, who struggle with accusations of racism, sexism, hating the poor, etc… People know Marxism doesn’t work. They know it is wrong. But it doesn’t matter, because as soon as the accusations are slung their way, they feel guilty.
When Trump opposed Obamacare, the rhetoric was that poor people were going to die if the program was cancelled or modified (toward the right) in any way. Of course, this was not quantified in any real way.
But it didn’t have to be quantified, or even true, because the rightist now faced a choice: defend himself and look guilty, because as you know, if you are defensive, you are seen as guilty. What are you hiding, they ask, that you would be so defensive about it? Or you could ignore the charge, and let yourself be blasted in perpetuity for it. Without mounting a defense, you may be left wide open for rhetorical attack.
That is the real challenge here.
An analogy is possible. Go back to high school, when “burning” other students was considered the norm. If someone called you a name, or insulted you, you did not defend yourself. If, for instance, someone called you stupid, you did not rattle off your IQ and GPA to prove the person wrong. You would be laughed at for doing that. “Lol, did you see that kid? John called him a pinhead, and he said he has a 140 IQ. What a lameass tool.” Being defensive is a fast death in the high school world.
Furthermore, while ignoring the insult was somewhat preferable to getting defensive about it, that didn’t always work either. You could keep ignoring it, and others would keep saying shit about you, chipping away at your reputation without fear of suffering any damage themselves. This was a slower death, in that the damage did not immediately destroy you, but enough attacks would eventually do you in.
The sole method for victory was to immediately burn the other kid back. And if he, in turn, had a response, you had to do it again. This would go on until one or the other would win. But even a loss in the burn contest imposed a price upon the winner. He had to consider that next time he might lose.
This may be the biggest problem with how the right wing addresses politics. We tend to think of it as serious business (because, in truth, it is). Economics, foreign policy, poverty, freedom… these are all real world issues to us, things that, though we may disagree on, we genuinely want to solve. We’re adults, trying to fix a problem.
Marxists, meanwhile, are high school kids. Nobody really cares about your GPA, your beauty, your wealth, your IQ, or even how much you can bench. Popularity is all that really matters. It is the coin of the realm. And while some stats can be of assistance in this regard (you don’t want to be the poor kid at a rich school, for instance, or the reverse), it’s really an amorphous blob of power politics that truly sets one apart from another.
Many rightists were probably pretty good at the burn game in high school. But they also left this behavior behind and grew up. Marxists never did. If anything, they regressed. They continued down that trajectory while we became out of shape, lame, and stodgy, in their eyes.
The only reason Marxists haven’t obtained victory, for they have completely dominated the burn game, as only Donald Trump has really given them a run for their money in this, is that rightists control the weapons. We’ve become dorky, lame, and are the butt of all jokes. But at the same time, we are still stronger and are much better in a fight.
And that was the one great equalizer in the high school world. If you lost the burn game, escalation was on the table. Instead of insulting him back, you might just punch him in the face instead. The Marxists fear this. This is why they always pull back just short of the point at which the right wing would revolt and beat the stuffing out of them.
If the disrespectful puke insulting you took a hook to the jaw, he instantly lost, regardless of who had the better insults. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
What our side needs to understand about politics is that when the leftist says “you’re a racist” this isn’t any more likely to be true than a high school kid saying “you’re stupid.” If a kid calls you a pinhead, the answer isn’t to pull out a tape measure and declare that your cranium has normal size characteristics. That is what we have done on the right for far too long.
“You’re sexist,” says the Marxist.
Your reply should be something on the order of “you’re an economic illiterate.” Don’t reply with how your policies are actually good for women, even though this is probably true. You can articulate that elsewhere. Write a blog post, or build a website to discuss the truth of the issue. But don’t respond directly to the Marxist with this, it won’t work.
The Marxist may then reply with a counter of his own, and so on and so forth. If a Communist calls you “fat” reply with “yeah? At least us capitalists have food.” If the Marxist calls you greedy, reply in turn that he is jealous because he is poor. If he’s a rich Marxist, ask him when he plans to donate his billions to the NAACP, because he’s just another white liberal racist trying to put poor black folks on a Democrat-run voting plantation.
And if the Marxists ever wind up winning the burn battle anyway, and fully takeover the country and want to come for us… Well, then escalation is on the table. Believe me, they fear it. Deep down in their bones, they are afraid of us. Because that is the instant reset button. They immediately lose the second it comes to that.
With Marxists, it is perpetual high school politics. View them through this lens, and a lot starts to make sense. Their tactics, their methods… it’s all straight out of school. Moral high ground, in their world, is straight-up popularity, and nothing more. You wonder why mountains of bodies surround every major Marxist regime? Imagine if you gave a bunch of catty valley girl teenagers absolute power over life and death. What would happen? How many would die?
Weaponized Empathy? Almost every teenager knows how to use this weapon. It is merely that we’ve forgotten because we grew up and moved on. They are stuck perpetually in a world that is a cross between Lord of the Flies and Mean Girls. Where everything is about a false idol of fairness, and personal popularity. Where sick burns outweigh anything right or true. If Karl Marx was a prophet, he must have had visions of American high schools. And as for the Marxists themselves, one might rightly suspect they just want revenge for all those wedgies and swirlies they got as kids. They never forgot. They never let go, or grew up.
Too many rightists fear losing their principles and their maturity by falling into that cesspit to do battle with them. Why? Marxists are immature idiots. Crush them and put them in timeout. And if they get too far out of line, spank them. We can play their own game better than they can if we ever bothered to try.
And perhaps that gives us the best burn to deploy against them: “shut up, the adults are talking.”
Passive-aggression is among the most irksome of all human behaviors. Most individuals I’ve conversed with about the issue agree that it is both profoundly insulting and utterly cowardly. But why is that, exactly? What about this behavior makes it so reprehensible?
The laws of war are instructive on the matter. Generally, it is understood that wearing the uniform of the enemy, or clothing a combatant in civilian dress, is a violation of the laws of war, and the perpetrator may thus be treated as a spy. Passive-aggression operates under a similar principle. Somebody intends to do you harm, or may even be in the process of doing you harm. He is your enemy. And yet he disguises his actions as a sort of non-combatant so as to avoid retaliation. He may even pretend to be your friend.
Naturally, this is a favored tactic of the Political Left, at least when it possesses insufficient power to work its will more directly. Leftists are able to wear your uniform as a good, concerned, moral citizen, and do you harm in this disguise. A Progressive might say that he is merely concerned with accessibility of healthcare for the poor, downtrodden folks of wherever. In truth, his main concern is personal power. As the arbiter of wealth redistribution, he may decide who to rob, and who to pay, and how much he might take for himself.
Dinesh D’Souza explains:
The relevant quote is this: “…[Obama] holds a gun to your head and says ‘Michael, turn your sandwich over to Dinesh’. And so you do. And then he puts his gun back and rides away. Now, the outcome is the same, I have the sandwich. But the moral content of that transaction is completely different. You deserve no moral credit, you didn’t give willingly. I don’t even feel a sense of gratitude, I feel a sense of entitlement. I feel that you actually owe me seven sandwiches, but you only gave me one.”
The thing to note about this transaction, is that the guy with the gun gets to take all the credit. He gets to say “if I didn’t do this, he would have starved.” And yet the guy with gun didn’t give up his sandwich. Me merely stole it from another man. So how is it that he gets any moral credit either?
So a “concerned citizen” might point out that one person has a sandwich, and somebody else needs it, then appoints himself to be the arbiter of sandwiches. The “concerned citizen” aspect is a ruse. It is a lie. He put on your uniform, and then uses a form of passive-aggression to bully you into nominating him for power. The implication being, of course, that if you disagree with his redistribution of sandwiches, you are a bad person and you want everybody to starve.
Unfortunately, unlike spies caught in time of war, we are not permitted to hang these cowardly cretins.
It goes further, however. Selective statistics are another favored weapon. During the Obama years, many of us on the Right mentioned that the reported numbers on unemployment and the economy didn’t add up. Obama claimed to add millions of jobs, and claimed a massive reduction in unemployment, and yet individuals would look around their communities, and still see the effects of terrible recession. They weren’t getting jobs. Their friends weren’t getting jobs. So who was getting all these jobs?
Of course, the unemployment rate figures have been bogus for as long as I’ve been alive. It’s a manipulated statistic. Aside from not including those who are no longer seeking work, it fails to account for underemployment. So it is easy for the government to move numbers around, change the definitions of those seeking work, and otherwise manipulate the figure. In terms of jobs added, one might fail to mention the jobs lost in the same period. “I added 1 million new jobs!” Well, great, how good is that if, in the same period, 2 million people lost their jobs?
It’s absurdly easy to do this with any statistic. You can find statistics telling us that Soviet economy was just fine. This article cites many. You can find the same telling us that Cuban health care is great. Yet my father-in-law, who escaped from Cuba, explains that if you get a cut, you need to bring your own needle and thread to the doctor to stitch you up, because you are lucky enough if the doctor even bothers to help you. He certainly won’t supply you with anything.
Now, the Leftist might claim something like “well, that’s anecdotal evidence, and anecdotal evidence is the weakest form of evidence.” Perhaps that is so in a formal debate, where the objective is to convince others. But in truth, it is among the strongest forms of evidence for you, personally. It is precisely how you can avoid someone telling you that 2+2 = 5, even if that person is more educated or intelligent. It is how you avoid being gullible.
It is telling that the Leftist essentially tells you to ignore the evidence of your own eyes, and trust him, because he is the expert.
Like the man who wishes to be the arbiter of sandwiches, these sorts of people want to be arbiters of knowledge, and decide what is true, and what is false, by fiat. They are a collective Xerxes, whipping the sea for disobedience.
Again, the objective is control. These people want power for its own sake, and merely dress themselves up in the uniform of reasonable intellectuals so as to avoid triggering resistance.
Marxism has always operated this way. It is the ideology of cowards and spies. It is passive-aggressive behavior turned into a code of political conduct. And were the full power of Western civilization ever deployed against it, it could be wiped out entirely with relative ease. So the objective of the Marxist is always to clothe himself as your friend, as a concerned citizen, as a reasonable intellectual, as anything but what he actually is, so as to avoid retribution. Never let the Marxist fool you into believing otherwise.
I'm a DJ, developer, amateur historian, would-be pundit, and general pain in the ass. I still cannot decide on the wisdom of the Oxford Comma. These are my observations on a civilization in decline, a political system on the verge of collapse, and a people asleep at the wheel as the car turns toward the jersey barrier.