Friday, July 17, 2015
Goldstein-ing the American Right
Two paragraphs from a recent article entitled "The New Totalitarians Are Here" by U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols should be required reading for those on the Right who believe accommodating the American Left's sensibilities has an endpoint.
Nichols refers to the recent attack on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas by has-been actor George Takei. Takei called Thomas a "clown in blackface" because Thomas cast a dissenting vote against the Court's decision to "discover" yet another previously unknown part of the Constitution, legalizing gay marriage - and trampling states' rights in the process. Nichols also takes on Quartz.com journalist Meredith Bennett-Smith, who insisted that a Washington Post column by Cathy Young, challenging the bogus feminist definition of campus rape, was written by a "horrendous rape apologist" who should never be printed in that paper again. To wit:
"I grant that overall, American political debate on all sides has become nastier and less tolerant. What makes these kinds of attacks, however, smack of totalitarianism - and I could reel off dozens more examples, but your computer would run out of pixels - is that people like Takei and Bennett-Smith are lighting their torches and demanding rough justice even on issues where they've already won. In other words, it isn't enough that Thomas was in the Court's minority, or that no college in America is bothering to listen to Young. They want Thomas and Young silenced, stripped of their status in their peer group, and to recant - even after being defeated in public on the issue at hand.
"That's terrifying, because it means that for a fair number of people in what's supposed to be a democracy, `winning' in any normal political sense simply isn't enough. They are not really trying to capture something as pedestrian as political equality, nor are they satisfied if they get it. They are not really seeking a win in the courts, or a legal solution, or a negotiated settlement. Those are all just merit badges to be collected along the way to a more important goal: what they really want, and what they in fact demand, is that you agree with them. They want you to believe."
And yet the Right continues to offer up merit badges such as the Confederate flag. So what does the Left do? On July 7, the Memphis city council voted unanimously to dig up the body of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from its 110-year-old gravesite and move it to another location. An idiot columnist at the New York Post is insisting the "undeniably racist artifact" more familiarly known as the epic masterwork "Gone with the Wind" should be relegated to a museum, presumably never to grace TV or movie screens again. Several stores, sensitive to liberal orthodoxy, but apparently immune to its potential ramifications, ban the sale of Confederate flags, even as Nazi and Communist paraphernalia remain readily available.
At least until the left decides what other historical items are "more equal" than others. As if on cue in that regard, Salon columnist Nick Bromell is ginning up a campaign to make flying the Confederate flag anywhere a "hate crime."
Where's that Ministry of Truth when you really need it, right Nick?
Moving on to other unbelievers, it was apparently insufficient that the state of Oregon fine Sweetcakes bakery owners $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple in violation of their religious principles regarding marriage. The state's Bureau of Labor and Industries commissioner Brad Avakian also ordered the couple to "cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, issued, circulated or displayed, any communication, advertisement or notice of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against any person on account of sexual orientation."
In other words, bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein are not just "wrong." They must be silenced, lest other people be influenced by that "wrongness."
Even established law gets no immunity from the leftist onslaught. Despite last year's Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, striking down the ObamaCare mandate requiring all businesses to supply birth control to their employees in violation of an owner's religious beliefs, the administration has once again crafted rules attempting to sidestep that decision. It insists that, as long as a business's healthcare plan provide such contraceptives for free, religious objections - and the principles from which they emanate - are rendered irrelevant.
This is exactly how the Left has proceeded with regard to voter ID. Despite a SCOTUS ruling affirming Indiana's right to require voter ID, and another decision eliminating the requirement that states "pre clear" any changes to their voting laws with the DOJ, that agency still filed lawsuits against Texas and North Carolina. That would be the same DOJ that has steadfastly refused to file a single lawsuit requiring states to clean up their voter rolls - when it's not actively seeking to prevent states from doing so.
In short, as far as the Left is concerned, there is no such thing as settled law if they disagree with it.
In fact, they've tried to criminalize it. Despite SCOTUS's Citizen's United decision tossing out the corporate and union ban on making independent expenditures and financing election-related communications, new documents released by the ever-reliable Judicial Watch (JW) reveal "the Obama DOJ initiated outreach to the IRS about prosecuting tax-exempt entities." The IRS also transmitted 1.25 million pages of confidential taxpayer information to the FBI. JW president Tom Fitton illuminates the implications. "The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama's opponents in jail before his reelection," he explains. "And this abuse resulted in the FBI's illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information. How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?"
They can't. Moreover, the bet here is most American don't have a clue about this latest revelation, because our overwhelmingly leftist and utterly corrupt mainstream media have apparently been satisfied by President Obama's assertion that there's not "even a smidgeon of corruption" associated with this atrocity. That's because the mainstream media has virtually abandoned its role as government watchdogs that once defined their reason for being. Why the metamorphosis? Only useful idiots get the kind of access these pseudo-journalists crave, even if it means being roped off like cattle in the process.
And of course, in true keeping with the emergence of the New Totalitarians, yet another aspect of Orwell's prophesies has been realized. The American Left, and a number of conservatives whose own elitist tendencies have blinded them to the fool's errand of handing the Left ever more merit badges, have embraced "1984's" Two Minutes Hate. Their modern-day Emmanuel Goldstein?
Why the unmitigated rancor? To obscure Democrat/Republican collaboration on illegal immigration. Again, one might think that those who purport to represent conservative values would understand that aiding and abetting their own irrelevance is a politically suicidal agenda. But political suicide, along with the apparently anachronistic notion that American politicians should serve American interests, pales in comparison to campaign dollars, courtesy of transnationalist-minded contributors whose contempt for average Americans is palpable. Hence, GOP Judases are more than willing to join Democrat efforts to deconstruct this nation.
Until then, they have to deal with Trump, because this particular Emmanuel Goldstein has gained an uncomfortable traction with the public. And while the messenger may be flawed, the message itself resonates with millions of Americans. Americans sick to death of the bipartisan, wholesale lawlessness needed to maintain the bankrupt notion that millions of people here illegally are entitled to special consideration - again. Maybe the ruling class has forgotten the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act that attended the outright amnesty of 2.7 million illegals - for the last time - but the public has not.
And the illegal immigration issue further highlights the reality that there is no better example of the American Left's determination to ignore laws it doesn't like than their establishment of sanctuary cities that openly flaunt federal immigration law. And don't be fooled: While there is sudden and fashionable outrage against this totally despicable concept, the GOP will ultimately be as willing as the Left to drop the issue entirely once it recedes from the national consciousness.
And the word "fashionable" is spot-on accurate: Los Angeles became the first sanctuary city in the nation - in 1979.
Moreover, despite the national outrage elicited by the alleged murder of Kathryn Steinle by Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a man with seven felony convictions who had been deported five times, the Left remains steadfast in defending the policy. In other words, the interests of illegal aliens and their enablers take precedence over those of American citizens and legal immigrants. And if you don't like it, you're a bigoted, nativist, xenophobic Neanderthal who "must accept that you've sinned," explains Nichols. "You must discard your own values and accept the ideas of your betters. You must denounce yourself for undermining the construction of a better world. You, too, must love Big Brother."
Or be vilified as another Emmanuel Goldstein.
Is the Civil War Over?
By Thomas Sowell
In the wake of the recent murders in a South Carolina church, the killer's hope of igniting a race war produced the opposite effect. Blacks and whites in South Carolina came together to condemn his act and the race hate behind it.
Some saw in the decision to remove the Confederate flag from in front of the state house a symbolic repudiation of the old South's racial past - and the end of the Civil War. But, unfortunately, wars do not end until both sides decide that it is over.
The black parishioners who expressed forgiveness toward the killer did more than most of us could do, and the whites who responded with solidarity did their part. Note how quickly this was done, by ordinary people of good will - black and white - without the "help" of racial activists like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.
Professional race hustlers have no incentive to see our current civil war end. They see in this shooting only an opportunity to escalate their demands.
Now there are rumblings of demands that statues of Robert E. Lee and other Southern leaders be destroyed - and if that is done, it will only lead to new demands, perhaps to destroy the Jefferson Memorial because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. And if that is done, no doubt there will be demands that the city of Washington be renamed, for the same reason.
In short, there is no stopping point, just unending strife as far out as the eye can see. And just what will that accomplish? It could ultimately accomplish the killer's dream of racial polarization and violence.
Neither blacks nor whites will be better off if that happens. With all the very real problems in this society, can we really spare the time and the wasted energy of trying to refight a Civil War that ended before our great-grandparents were born?
The past is irrevocable. We cannot change the smallest detail of what some people did to other people after both have gone to their graves.
Meanwhile, the old South has already changed. There is no way that the South of the mid-twentieth century would have elected a woman of Indian ancestry to be governor of South Carolina or a man of Indian ancestry to be governor of Louisiana, much less have Southern states that voted for a black President of the United States.
Perhaps the strongest evidence of the changes is that the black migrations out of the South a hundred years ago have now reversed - with younger and better educated blacks leading the new migrations from the North to the South. When people vote with their feet, that tells us a lot more than any polls.
If the past is out of our hands, what is in our hands today are the present and the future - and both have big challenges. Whatever policies or practices we consider need to be judged by their actual consequences, not by their rhetoric.
"Hate crime" laws are on some people's agenda. But what will such laws actually accomplish? A murderer deserves the death penalty, whether he killed someone of a different race or killed his own twin brother. All that "hate crime" laws can do is provide the murderer's lawyer with another ground on which to appeal the conviction or the sentence.
Trying to make up for the past with present-day benefits has a track record that shows many counterproductive consequences.
The federal government's pressures against schools to not discipline so many black males is another "benefit" for blacks that is far from beneficial. It means that a handful of hoodlums in a classroom can prevent all the other black children from getting a decent education, which may be their only chance for a decent life.
Another "benefit" for blacks that turns out not to be beneficial is giving the police orders to back off during ghetto riots. Whether in Baltimore recently or in Detroit back in the 1960s, the net result has been more people killed, most of them black, and a whole community put on the downward path of physical and social deterioration.
We need a lot more serious thinking about the present and the future, and a lot less time and energy spent on the past.
Another Leftist ignoramus
Whenever conservatives are in power the Left regularly fling out accusations that conservatives are Nazis. That the actual Nazis were socialists they ignore.
One particularly amusing example comes from Britain recently. A prominent Leftist politician, Stephen Kinnock, described the British Conservative government's proposal to limit child tax credits to the first two children only as reminiscent of Nazi-style `eugenics'. The aim of the policy is to prevent mothers having big families so they can live on the resultant welfare payments.
As Tim Worstall points out, Kinnock got it precisely ass-backward. The Nazis paid bonuses for extra children and awarded a gold medal for 7 of them. And it was the Fabians more than anyone else who were into eugenics in the UK.
History always is awkward for the Left
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Posted by JR at 12:34 AM