Understanding the Progressive View

You might recall I mentioned I am part of a Facebook group which discusses race, religion and politics and that I had kind of pulled away from it – partially because I’m writing the novel and have less time, but also because I felt there was not much to actually discuss: I was one guy of the off opinion and everyone else was pretty much on the other side. In the aftermath of Charlottesville, I was tagged in a post and so I kind of had to respond – I did, and I gained a great deal of insight, I think, into Progressive thinking on this matter.

When you see Progressives talk about the violence, always remember that in their view the “first punch” was thrown a long time ago – by the KKK, by the Confederacy, by Jim Crow, by the United States of America. In their mind, they are simply defending themselves against people who want them exterminated and they think that everyone who disagrees with their views are in the enemy camp. That is a very key point to remember: if you in any way, shape or form dissent from their Narrative, you are either an open or closet supporter of White Supremacy and thus are the enemy and a legitimate target for violence and intimidation. This is why Trump’s “all sides” comments enraged them so much – as well as his “there were fine people on both sides” comment. To the Progressives, their side was acting in self defense and all on their side are good, all on the other side are evil. To say otherwise means you are of the other side and thus are evil.

This makes it rather pointless to argue further with them. Any attempt to argue them out of their view just makes you, in their mind, a part of the enemy coalition out to destroy them. This is why – though I suspect they don’t fully realize it – people like Mitt Romney and Arnold Schwarzenegger are engaged in a suicidal action. They are glorying in the plaudits of the left at the moment because they have attacked the prime target of leftwing ire: Donald Trump. But the bottom line is that once Trump is gone – removed or completes 8 years, makes no matter – then these people of the non-left who “stood up” to Trump will find themselves once again cast in the role of enemy unless they completely subscribe to the Progressive viewpoint.

We’re dealing in the Progressives with people who simply do not live in a mental world created by the facts of what has happened – either today, recently or in the distant past. They have created a world view which is a compendium of a few facts out of context and fleshed out with a series of completely false assertions. They can’t surrender even one part of it or the entire edifice will collapse and one thing I know from studying history is that the most difficult thing in the world is to convince a person they are wrong. Most people will simply dig in their heels and get ever more agitated in their defense of falsehood rather than simply admit they got it wrong. A very few can switch over, but even then it usually happens not as a result of argument, but because they, themselves, found out that the world view they held was false. It comes down to what Solzhenitsyn said – “you won’t believe it until they hiss at you, ‘you’re under arrest!'”. In other words, only events happening to a person will really change their minds (it is also that old joke: a Conservative is a Liberal who got mugged).

What our Progressive friends don’t know – but all of them other than those who climb to the top of the heap will eventually know – is that everyone is an enemy. This is because Progressives require an enemy – an enemy to shriek at and get agitated about and fight: there has to be, because if there isn’t, then calm reflection starts to kick in and the Progressive world view dissipates like a sour fog. I saw a comment a couple days ago where some parts of the Progressive movement were wondering if light skinned people of color should defer to dark skinned people of color. This is the logical progression…of course the mixed-race will eventually become the enemy, just as gay people who just want to be gay and mind their own business are now turning into Progressive enemies because they refuse to join in the “bake the cake, bigot” ideology.

The fate of our nation now turns on whether or not the Progressive ideology prevails or is pushed back to the margins. If the people in their majority are stampeded into agreeing with the Progressive world view, then our nation is done. It will turn into a Progressive tyranny where one enemy after another will be pitched on to the bonfire until all is ruined. If the people see through the Progressive con, then they will stand firm and slowly remove Progressives from their positions of power. Time will tell. I don’t know how it will go.

How to Cure Illiberalism

This is a very good article about the modern rise of illiberalism we’ve seen over the past few years. It has some great analysis of why it has happened, but this bit really caught my eye:

…Liberal civilization has in the past proved resilient when threatened by anti-liberal forces, and its institutions retain a remarkable capacity to adapt. (Again, I am not speaking of “liberalism” as shorthand for positions aligned with the Democratic Party, but in the broader philosophical sense.) As a set of legal norms and economic principles—and, more important, as a cultural force—liberalism remains overwhelmingly dominant. Classically liberal ideas about the limited power of the state and the inherent rights of citizens have expanded into nearly every corner of the globe since 1776. Liberalism has vanquished every significant rival that has stood against it since then, and a succession of liberal powers has presided over world order…

Indeed, it has presided over the world – and has given us this newest version of illiberalism. Just as it gave us, in turns, Napoleon (the 1st and 3rd of that name), Bismarck, Imperialism, World War One, Communism, Nazism, World War Two and the Cold War – not to mention things like the break up of the family, the destruction of the working poor, the rise of the super-rich and governments which are so absurd that they propose to tell us how much salt to put on our food. I hate to break it to Sohrab Ahmari – the author of the piece – but if Liberalism triumphs again over it’s Illiberal opponents, it will simply go on to new and more spectacular disasters. Built in to the very concept of Liberalism is all the harmful things seen today, and witnessed over the disastrous 20th and 19th centuries.

Now, someone can answer back at me that the United States is a liberal democratic republic – and that is, indeed, correct. But the United States is different – or, more accurately, was different. I still stand in awe at what the Founders did – and wonder, at times, if Divinity moved them as they worked out how to govern the United States. You see, the United States worked as a Liberal entity because built in to our Constitution were various mechanisms which, for quite a long time, prevented Liberalism from being broadly imposed upon the American people in their day to day lives. From 1787 to 1913, with the temporary exception of the Civil War, most Americans never interacted with Federal power except via the Post Office. There was no one in DC who could tell a local community how to educate their children, how to build and maintain their roads, how to manage economic activity – let alone how to decide what is to be on the school lunch menu, or what bathrooms people are to use. Grasp that – we went from a people who only got involved with the Federal government when we purchased a stamp to a people who have to ask the Federal government for leave to turn around.

And that is why Trump has risen – because when government is that overwhelmingly powerful, people feel powerless…and people who feel powerless get fearful and angry and lash out. Some times in irrational ways – but underneath even the most irrational examples of anti-government/anti-establishment feeling is the rational understanding that the people are being cheated by a government which proposes to do all, but can really do no more than payoff those who have bribed the government, and oppress those who haven’t got the scratch to offer a bribe.

The problem with Liberalism is Liberalism. That is, it is fundamentally flawed. It proposes that we can create a great society if we just put smart people in charge to manage things. It doesn’t acknowledge tradition; it rejects the concept of Original Sin; it doesn’t understand that people just want to be left alone – and what I mean here is that people want to be left alone to manage their own affairs. Even if some liberal sage in a faraway city can prove with mathematical certainty that the yokels in Nowheresville are just a bunch of ignorant, hate-filled, bigoted morons…those morons still insist upon living how they want to live. And if someone comes along and proposes to tell them how to live, they are going to get mighty upset about it. And when they get upset, they will cast about for something to fight against what they perceive as unjust interference in their lives. And, all too often (as we can see), they’ll fall for someone who is actually just an outgrowth of Liberalism…someone who takes some particular point of Liberalism and carries it out to its logical (though rather insane) conclusion. They fall for this because at least there is an acknowledgement of righteous anger – an understanding that all is not well. But we can’t cure iliberalism with a more hearty dose of the Liberalism which caused illiberalism to rise up.

The cure for what ails Liberalism is Conservatism. Conservatism is not about just hankering for the past – it is about refurbishing what has decayed. It is reform in its truest sense: a restoration, and thus a revolution. To put it in a nutshell – until a day comes when an American citizen does not risk a federal government fine for collecting rain water in a barrel, Liberalism will continue to create illiberalism. The key to a safe, rational and just society is in people being able to decide for themselves, on the local level, what is to be done. Yes, I understand that the Constitution does provide for some rather intense federal interference in local matters – but properly understood, this interference is only to be used in making sure that individuals, small groups and local communities are free to choose their own way of living. It is most emphatically not an instrument which will usurp the ability of local communities to work out their own destiny.

We become Conservative and restore what we’ve lost, or we fall under tyranny – Liberal or illiberal is immaterial…what benefit to any free person that Target Group A is punished under Liberalism while it is Target Group B which gets it in the shorts under illiberalism? A Conservative society is one where no one is targeted unless their individual actions merit such a thing. Take your pick of what you want – but if you pick is to defend Liberalism (as the author noted, not in the sense of Democrat Party dogma, but the broad, underlying dogma of Liberalism), then all you’ll get is one form of disaster, or another.

Ain’t No Trump Gonna Get Me Down

I just refuse that office – that is, the Office of Being Hysterical About Trump and the Mortal Absolute Danger He Poses to All That is Good and True. Trump is what Trump is. Yes, he’s clownish. Yes, he’s vulgar. Yes, he is bringing out some bad elements. But it is not like Trump created the overall situation – that has been created, rather relentlessly, by others over a 50 year or more period. Trump is the result of our national infirmity, not the cause of it.

Over Friday night I watched as Twitter became ever more absurd – to the point where Conservative posters were lauding the likes of Rachel Maddow and MoveOn!. I admit I was shocked by all that – if there’s anything a Conservative should know it is that it is very risky to ally with the left. They’ll take our help in destroying part of us…and then when that is done, they’ll just turn around and destroy the non-left which just helped them out. What I’m waiting for now is for some of my fellow righties – those who, say, hold that “social issues” are bad for Conservatism to emphasize – to simply join up with the left. I’ll be watching and waiting, because I know it will eventually happen. They’ll join, they’ll be lauded by all their swell, new friends…but then the Leftwing Party Line will require EVERYONE to assert a certain false thing as true, and they’ll be caught in a vise…they’ll have to assert what they know is false, or lose all their nice, new friends. My bet is that those who ditch the right over Trump will be found to be willing pawns of the left – if you can’t see who your opponents are, then your opponents will eventually take you over.

This is not to say that all the Trumpsters are with the right – in fact, a very large portion of them are distinctly non-right. They are, in just a slightly different way, as much authortarian Statists as the avowed left. In the end, it matters not to me if you’ve identified foreigners or devout Christians as your “other” that has to be suppressed…that line of thinking always ends badly and I’m absolutely, foursquare against it. Those who want to get the foreigners out or get the Christians out are, in my view, just arguing for different forms of tyranny.

And that brings me back to the vitriol emanating from Trump/Trumpsters and flowing back towards same. This isn’t new, guys. The only thing new about it is that someone is pouring out vitriol and it is being reported on – and it is being reported on because the person doing it has put an “R” after his name. If Trump were running in the Democrat primary you simply wouldn’t be hearing about it (unless it was temporarily needed to ensure that Hillary gets the nomination). What, after all, is the slogan “no justice, no peace” but a threat of violence unless the protesters chanting it get their way, law be damned? And that is one of the more calm and reasonable slogans of the left. “Get in their face”. “Bring a gun to a knife fight”. “The police acted stupidly”. “If I had a son…”. These are rancorous, inflammatory words just as bad as anything Trump has said…and they have encouraged other people on the left to get more and more extreme in their actions and demands over the past 8 years…and all of them are from President Obama…and he’s just repeating what has been said on the left since the 1960’s.

You can’t give those who are anti-freedom so much as an inch. And I was happy to see some people do the right thing on Friday – that is, defend Trump’s right to speak whatever he wants to say. As I’ve said before, I don’t care what a person says – if it ever comes to pass that some words are considered out of bounds, then it is certain that eventually merely stating Catholic dogma will also be out of bounds. I defend everyone’s right to speak for my own sake – and so should everyone else who has the least understanding of what human liberty actually is. And you who read here know that I also condemn asinine speech…while the world as all “je suis Charlie” after the Paris massacre I was saying that it was wrong for Charlie Hebdo to print pictures disrespectful of Muslim beliefs…and also wrong for them to print pictures disrespectful of Christian beliefs (which now they will keep doing – but have decided, out of an abundance of understandable caution, not to print any more anti-Muslim pictures). You should never write, say, print, paint, sculpt or sing anything which is insulting – fine and dandy to launch valid, informed criticism of the beliefs of others, but crude insults are a negation of liberty…but we must allow them because the entirety of the human race is incapable, individually and in toto, of deciding just where the line is between criticism and insult. Once try to do that, and all you’ll do is set up a situation where those who are most easily offended will have a veto over all speech. Nothing doing. Everyone gets to say what they want. Period. End of story.

But on Friday, plenty on the right – including, no doubt, many who were “je suis Charlie” a short while before – were out there applauding the shut down of Trump’s speech. This isn’t about whether or not people should protest Trump – heck, if you want to protest Trump I might even show up for your demonstration. But if you want to shut down Trump, you’re opposed to freedom. Once again: period. End of story. I understand a deep, visceral dislike of Trump – but now that some on the right have joined in the effort to shut down Trump, all the anti-freedom left (which is, these days, most on the left) has to do (and they’ll do it, endlessly, for the next 20 years) is claim that any non-left speech is Trumpism and thus illegitimate. The cure for Trump is to talk about Trump – not to shut him up. Even if you happily then get rid of Trump, you’ll just find yourself in a position where certain speech has been deemed (with your joyful cooperation) entirely illegitimate and where is you defense when your erstwhile allies turn on you and call your speech illegitimate? You have none – you’re naked, and probably alone. Good luck with that.

As I said in the title, I’m not going to allow myself to get worked up over Trump – in the United States in 2016 after 50 years of our political life being poisoned by anti-freedom fanatics, Trump is just a ripple is a rather noisome ditch. I’d like to drain the ditch – but the plumbing contractor necessary for the job can’t include those who filled the ditch and made it nasty. I had a little debate last night with a very dear friend who is pretty darned liberal – but we’re friends and it’s all ok. After all, if Justices Scalia and Ginsburg can be friends, anyone can be friends across the political aisle. I will, actually, accept help in restoring freedom from anyone interested in the project – but it has to be an all-in sort of thing. Not even the slightest dissent from liberty. I don’t care if you are in favor of a completely socialist society – if you are also bound and determined that everyone shall be free to say and think what they want, then I’m on your side as far as that goes. But if you are in favor of the most Conservative policies imaginable but harbor even the least trace of a desire to suppress “bad” speech, then you are no ally of mine. Freedom first – because if I have that, then eventually (I believe) my views will prevail…but even if they don’t, then at least I’ll be able to safely be entirely out of step with everyone, and that is ok, too.

“Gender Equality” In The United States

It’s amazing how so much that is just plain dumb can spread like wildfire on Facebook. The latest absurdity being presented as some objective assessment of just how evil the United States is comes from (believe it or not) The Huffington Post, in a piece titled “The U.N. Sent 3 Foreign Women To The U.S. To Assess Gender Equality. They Were Horrified.”

I know! The United Nations! The same outfit that puts the worst human rights violators on their Human Right Council, has three of their own judging America on “gender equality.”

Maybe they were addressing the fact that it America, a man can be named Woman of the Year? That, at least, truly was horrifying. But, no… that wasn’t it.

While it’s easy to just dismiss the premise of the article on its stupidity alone, let’s actually address the key points made by these arbiters of gender equality.

According to the article, the U.N. women (or womyn?)  found the United States “lagging far behind international human rights standards in a number of areas,” including the gender pay gap. That’s right, the first issue mentioned in the article is the gender pay gap, which literally, doesn’t even exist. Let’s start with the fact that there’s this thing called the Equal Pay Act of 1963. It makes paying women less money based on their sex illegal. If that wasn’t an existing law, the U.N. Womyn would maybe have a point on this issue… except that the gender pay gap still doesn’t exist. There are plenty of studies and sources that back this up, including from the Department of Labor, as Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation explains:

In fact, a 2009 Labor Department study found that, when we control for work experience and education, the gap is only about 5 percent. And when we account for the fact that men are more likely to be injured or suffer an accident on the job, and do riskier work and often more unpleasant jobs than women, the gap virtually disappears

The next big gripe was paid maternity leave. The United States has no government mandated paid maternity leave. Well, isn’t that interesting… Other developed countries have this, but not us? Why not? We must hate women! Chinese gendercide ain’t nothing compared to paid maternity leave! But, there’s just one problem… these policies in other countries, while they sound just so super-duper-awesome, don’t exactly work to the advantage of women in the work place:

In Chile, a law requires employers to provide working mothers with child care. One result? Women are paid less.

In Spain, a policy to give parents of young children the right to work part-time has led to a decline in full-time, stable jobs available to all women — even those who are not mothers.

Elsewhere in Europe, generous maternity leaves have meant that women are much less likely than men to become managers or achieve other high-powered positions at work.

Wow, we want that shit in the United States? That’s like saying “We want a gender pay gap!” Did I mention that this information came from the New York Times? Just thought I’d mention that. Anyway, there’s more. According to the analysis, these policies “can end up discouraging employers from hiring women in the first place, because they fear women will leave for long periods or use expensive benefits.”

You think?

Perhaps my favorite part of The Huffington Post piece was the following:

The most telling moment of the trip, the women told reporters on Friday, was when they visited an abortion clinic in Alabama and experienced the hostile political climate around women’s reproductive rights.

“We were harassed. There were two vigilante men waiting to insult us,” said Frances Raday, the delegate from the U.K. The men repeatedly shouted, “You’re murdering children!” at them as soon as they neared the clinic, even though Raday said they are clearly past childbearing age.

“It’s a kind of terrorism,” added Eleonora Zielinska, the delegate from Poland. “To us, it was shocking.”

Oh really? Freedom of speech is kind of terrorism? These are the brainiacs the United-Freakin-Nations sent to assess just how anti-women the United States is? Access to abortion, which kills more women than not having paid maternity leave ever has or ever will, is apparently more important to women’s rights then that outmoded First Amendment.

I could keep going, but let’s face it… these women were never going to say anything positive about America in the first place. America wasn’t about to get a fair assessment, and that’s really the point I’m trying to make here. It just a bunch of b.s. left-wing talking points being bundled together to shit on America because it’s a lot easier to shit on America with crap than facts.

As for any American, particularly American woman, who shared this article with a nod and a warm fuzzy feeling because you thought “yes, finally, someone said what I’ve known for so long!”, I encourage you to visit some Muslim country where girls can’t go to school, or are subject to FGM (look it up), or what about countries that practice gendercide? How does that compare to not getting paid to not do your job? A little perspective and a little research would be good for you.

The Gun Debate – Open Thread

Obama and Progressives are calling for “sensible gun laws” as if that is the problem. They continue to demonize the NRA as if that is the problem. They continue to conflate radical Islamists with the isolated deranged American criminal, as if that is a moral equivalency. And they dare not speak one word of condemnation toward inner city gang violence, nor judge those who perpetrate those crimes for fear of constituency backlash. In summary, Obama and Progressives are not at all addressing the actual problem, which is typical, hence the absolute mess we find ourselves in. In short, we have to stop listening to Progressives.

The problems we face in this country and in this world are due to the absence of well armed, law abiding, decent people, not the presence of them. On the world stage, the problem is that the Radical Islamic Jihadists are better armed, more focused, and more brutal than those who want a peaceful existence. The Kurds need more weapons, the peaceful Sunni’s and Shiite’s need more weapons, and countries like Jordan and the UAE need more forceful support. We need more weapons to confront and defeat the Islamists, not less. And we need to be more brutal. This is not a war where you take prisoners. This is a war where you kill as many of them as you possibly can until they realize that they can not win. You want to close Gitmo? Fine. Put a bullet in the head of the remaining prisoners and burn the place to the ground. Case closed.

Domestically, we need more weapons in the hands of law abiding Americans so that they can protect themselves from the deranged gun man, or from the increasing threat of radicalized Muslims. And we need to clean out the cesspools of our inner cities and give those people hope of a better future. Make sure that children have a stable home with two parents, make sure they have school choice and a good education, make sure they have clean and decent housing, make sure they are not living in a drug and gang infested neighborhood, and make sure they have the opportunity for a good paying job and the opportunity to lift themselves up. And these are conservative ideals, not progressive ideals, and that is why Governorships and State Legislatures have increasingly gone conservative in the last 8 years, and that is why the White House will be conservative in January 2017.

The Closed Liberal Mind

Liberal atheist Camille Paglia has some interesting things to say:

…I’m speaking here as an atheist. I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system. They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny. Politics applies only to society. There is a huge metaphysical realm out there that involves the eternal principles of life and death. The great tragic texts, including the plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles, no longer have the central status they once had in education, because we have steadily moved away from the heritage of western civilization.

The real problem is a lack of knowledge of religion as well as a lack of respect for religion. I find it completely hypocritical for people in academe or the media to demand understanding of Muslim beliefs and yet be so derisive and dismissive of the devout Christian beliefs of Southern conservatives…

Ah, but they don’t demand an understanding of Muslim beliefs. Liberals aren’t asking us to look at the theological basis of Islam. They don’t want us to get an in-depth view of Islamic civilization. They don’t want to discuss the morals and manners of Islam. Islam, to liberals, is just yet another handy club with which to beat the Judeo-Christian West. Muslims have been assigned victim status and thus provide a prop in the liberal morality play. Who Muslims are, what they believe and what the various types of Muslims may want are irrelevant – indeed, it would be dangerous to know, because knowing might wreck the assigned victim status and thus wreck a perfectly good prop. Kudos to Paglia for understanding that her fellow liberals are sitting in the dark condemning the light – but she still fails to fully understand how obscuritanist the left really is. C.S. Lewis, who started out as an atheist, once stated that an atheist cannot be too careful in what he reads – if he’s not careful, he’ll eventually run across something which questions the premise of atheism, and then he’s cooked.

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