The Perverts Have Spoken

Similarly to the Onion, the Babylon Bee’s satire is a little too true to be funny sometimes.

Sexual Revolution Working Out Great, Reports Nation Full Of Perverts

U.S.—The aftermath of the sexual revolution is working out just splendidly, reported a nation filled with perverts, pedophiles, and sexual predators Friday afternoon.

The country currently reaping the consequences of decades of declining sexual morals reported it would do it all over again in a heartbeat, further stating that it was “really proud” of the progress it had made over the past fifty years. When asked about the numerous scandals, controversies, and painful repercussions of the sexual revolution coming to light in recent months, nearly every person in the nation confirmed it was “feeling great” about the sexual revolution and its insidious consequences.

“This is fine—totally fine,” one political commentator on NBC filling in for Matt Lauer said. “I think the sexual revolution is working out just great, and I’m proud to live in the US where we’re uninhibited by outdated ideas about human relationships, like monogamy and faithfulness.”

According to the country with dozens of famous celebrities, television pundits, and politicians currently embroiled in sexual scandals, the sexual revolution was a necessary period that allowed the nation to throw off the outdated, restricted shackles of religion and biblical morality.

“I really pity all those backward parts of the world that haven’t had the privilege of experiencing their own sexual revolution,” one politician said as he checked Twitter to see if his own personal indiscretions had been revealed yet. “One day, they’ll be enlightened too.”

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Identity Politics = children who are crying out to belong?

I’ve wondered about the connection between identity politics and un-met needs to belong and to be part of a “tribe,” a community, but I hadn’t yet followed that train of thought far enough back.

In The Primal Scream of Identity Politics, Mary Eberstadt provides as assessment of  identity politics and our culture that takes us back to the foundation: the family.  She examines several other authors’ analyses of identity politics (and our cultural climate) and concludes that while some have noticed important factors, no one has gone deep enough in their questions and conclusions.  The whole thing is worth a read.

“Mine! Mine! It’s mine!” The manifest panic behind cries of “cultural appropriation” is real—as real as the tantrum of a toddler. It’s as real as the developmental regression seen in the retreat to campus “safe spaces,” those tiny non-treehouses stuffed with candy, coloring books, and Care Bears. In social science, the toddler’s developmental “mine!” is called the “endowment effect”—the notion that humans ascribe extra value to possessions simply because they’re theirs. Some theorists consider it a subset of another human proclivity: loss aversion.

Maybe that cultural scream of “mine!” is issuing from souls who did have something taken from them—only something more elemental than the totemic objects now functioning as figurative blankies for lost and angry former children. As of today, less than 65 percent of American children live with both biological parents, even as other familial boughs have broken via external forces like the opioid crisis, criminality and incarceration, and globalization. Maybe depression and anxiety have been rising steadily among children and teenagers for a reason. Maybe the furor over “appropriation” unveils the true foundation of identity politics, which is pathos.

Did anyone really think things would turn out otherwise—that the massive kinship dislocations of the past 60 years wouldn’t produce increasingly visible, transformative effects not only in individual lives and households, but on politics and culture, too?

After all, it defies common sense to believe that the human surroundings during one’s formative years have no effect on the life to come. There’s also a library of social science, now over half a century in the making, tracing the links between fatherless homes and higher risks of truancy, criminality, psychiatric trouble, and the rest of the ledger suggesting that ripping up primordial ties hasn’t done society any favors. It’s all there, no matter how many of us have deep reasons for wishing otherwise.

One irony is certain. While identity politics has become an object of conversation in the left-leaning circles of Anglo-American and European political thought, deliverance from today’s disfigurations cannot come from the same quarter. The reason is simple. Not only identitarians but also liberals and progressives who are now anti-identitarian or identitarian-skeptical all agree on one big thing: The sexual revolution is off-limits for revision anywhere, anytime. It is their moral bedrock.

No-fault divorce, out-of-wedlock births, paid surrogacy, absolutism about erotic freedom, disdain for traditional moral codes: The very policies and practices that chip away at the family and drive the subsequent flight to identity politics are those that liberals and progressives embrace.

Then there are related family-unfriendly social realities that they also deem benign. Pornography, which once upon a time some feminists objected to, is now the stuff of their full-throated enthusiasm. Prostitution has been re-defined as the more anodyne “sex work.” And, of course, abortion is—in the unnervingly theological modifier applied to it by Hillary Clinton and many others on the left—“sacrosanct.” In the end, asking liberals and progressives to solve the problem of identity politics is like asking the proverbial orphan with chutzpah who murdered his parents.

Yes, conservatives have missed something major about identity politics: its authenticity. But the liberal-progressive side has missed something bigger. Identity politics is not so much politics as a primal scream. It’s the result of what might be called the Great Scattering—the Western world’s unprecedented familial dispersion.

Anyone who’s ever heard a coyote in the desert, separated at night from the pack, knows the sound. Maybe the otherwise-unexplained hysteria of today’s identity politics is just that: the collective human howl of our time, sent up by inescapably communal creatures who can no longer identify their own.

My very simplified conclusion after reading all of The Primal Scream of Identity Politics is this: maybe all the immature, hysterical acting out going on in this country really can be traced back to the destruction of the family or put more personally, mommy and daddy weren’t there to provide a stable, loving childhood.  Today’s adults were yesterday’s children who were spoiled rotten in many ways, but not given what they really needed to be able to grow-up into mature human beings.

Is Trump a master of persuasion?

Dilbert creator Scott Adams has come out with a new book, Win Bigly; Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter.  Already a best-seller on Amazon, its described as “an unflinching look at the strategies Donald Trump used to persuade voters to elect the most unconventional candidate in the history of the presidency, and how anyone can learn his methods for succeeding against long odds.”  Sounds like we’re talking about rhetoric.

The Amazon description continues, “Scott Adams …was one of the earliest public figures to predict Trump’s win… The mainstream media regarded Trump as a novelty and a sideshow. But Adams recognized in Trump a level of persuasion you only see once in a generation.  Trump triggered massive cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias on both the left and the right. We’re hardwired to respond to emotion, not reason.”

Adams recently came out with an interesting article talking about Trump’s tweets in the Wall Street Journal (you can read the whole thing here): The Power of the Presidential Tweet; Trump’s online missives make his supporters laugh and even his opponents think past the sale.

As a trained hypnotist and a lifelong student of persuasion, I’m often impressed by how much “work” President Trump gets out of his tweets. Most of them are harmless retweets about whatever is going right, and they tend to be forgettable. The good ones are something entirely different, and many are gems of persuasion.

Consider this one: “With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked,’ in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!”

When Mr. Trump smack-tweets a notable public critic—Ms. Hill has called the president a “white supremacist”—it violates our expectations of his office. That’s what makes it both entertaining and memorable. He often injects into his tweets what memory expert Carmen Simon calls a “little bit of wrongness” to make it hard to look away. If the wrongness alarms you, consider that for years he has adroitly operated within a narrow range of useful wrongness on Twitter without going too far. That suggests technique. In the Twitter environment, strategic wrongness is jet fuel.

Watch for Mr. Trump’s tweets to make you think past the sale, a well-known technique of persuasion. In the Jemele Hill tweet, he makes you wonder if ESPN’s ratings really are the “talk of the industry.” And in order even to consider that question, you must imagine a world in which the primary claim—that Ms. Hill is bad for the network—is true. Even if it isn’t.

***

When Candidate Trump said he would make Mexico pay for the wall, he was making us think past the sale. If you’re thinking about who is paying for the wall, you’ve already imagined the wall existing. And that makes it easier to convince you it should exist.

I also see the president as employing a modern version of humor. When he goes after one of his high-profile critics, his supporters laugh and reach for the popcorn. This is gonna be good! Voters who preferred Hillary Clinton are not laughing, of course. But they aren’t the audience for his tweet humor. And that makes it even funnier for his supporters. His base is in on the joke, whereas his detractors don’t even know humor is happening.

In the 1940s, humor was mostly about corny jokes with punch lines, and loads of slapstick. By the ’70s, humor evolved to be whatever the public found most inappropriate and shocking. Half the fun of watching “Saturday Night Live” in those days was waiting for the naughty parts. By the late ’90s, humor evolved into more of a reality-focused art. When you watch your favorite reality TV show, you’re probably laughing. When you read comics, you laugh hardest at the ones that speak to your personal experience.

Reality and humor have effectively merged. President Trump came to us through the reality TV world, and apparently he has a good grasp of modern humor. His critics will wince at my suggestion that his tweets are intentionally humorous, or even funny. But ask one of his followers about them. Notice the reflexive smile when you bring up the topic. They see it as weaponized humor. Likewise, they recognize Mr. Trump’s sticky nicknames, such as “Low Energy Jeb” and “Rocket Man,” as both intentionally humorous and effective.

Humor is an extraordinary tool of persuasion. Things that are funny are easier to remember, and humor creates a bond with anyone who shares the laugh. In my opinion as a professional humorist, Donald Trump is the funniest president in the history of the republic. Perhaps Abe Lincoln was second.

Again, there are no jokes of the old-fashioned punch-line variety in the president’s tweets. The humor comes from our shared reality, their inappropriateness and—for his supporters—the fun of watching their shared critics take pies in their faces.

Mr. Trump also has a knack for getting into his critics’ heads. Consider this tweet: “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!” The odds of a tax law change targeted at the NFL are low. But are they zero? Once that risk is in your head, you reflexively treat it as real even if your rational brain says it isn’t.

See a similar technique in the next tweet: “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!” It is deeply unlikely any major network will lose its station licenses, but now the idea is in their heads. Everything I know about persuasion tells me it will nudge the networks toward friendlier coverage out of self-preservation.

If you think Mr. Trump’s tweets are nothing but thin-skinned reflex, you’re missing a great show. Historians and trained persuaders will be analyzing his extraordinary Twitter game for hundreds of years, wondering how much of it was based on training and how much was pure instinct.

Did you catch me making you think past the sale just then?

If Cars were regulated like guns

If guns were as regulated as cars

Aren’t you cute?  Looks like someone hasn’t ever bought a gun before.  They might not have bought a car either.  What health requirements are there?  They made me look into an eye test thing last time I renewed my license but no one asked if I was seeing a psychiatrist.  Drivers’ ed was an absolute joke to anyone young enough to remember doing it.  You don’t need liability insurance on your car; you might have to pay a fine but that’s not the same thing.  You can buy cars without titles or tags, use them for demolition derbies or farm use or let them rot in your front yard.

Here’s what it would be like if cars were regulated like guns are:

  • Requires passing a federal background check if bought from a dealer (or anybody if you live in a stupid state)
  • Cannot buy a car for someone else and have them pay you back
  • Can’t be under indictment for a felony, doesn’t matter what kind
  • Can’t buy a car if you use drugs even if the drug is legal in your state
  • Can’t buy a car if you’ve been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces
  • Can’t buy a car if you’ve got any kind of restraining order against you
  • Can’t buy a car if you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge
  • If you’ve ever been charged with the above crime regardless of whether the charge was dropped or not, a dealer can refuse to sell you the car
  • If the dealer doesn’t like how you look, he can refuse to sell you the car
  • Can’t buy a car from a different state without having it transferred to a local dealer
  • Can’t buy a car online except by having it transferred to a local dealer
  • Can’t buy a car if you’re an “undocumented immigrant”
  • Can’t buy a car if you’ve been committed in a mental institution even voluntarily
  • Can only drive your car on private property; in public you have to have special training and a specific license to do so
  • Can’t drive your car to or through certain states (Maryland, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, etc.)
  • Can’t drive your car to federally owned facilities (Post Office, National Park visitor centers, etc.)
  • In some states you can’t lend your car to anyone, not even friends or family
  • In some states, you can’t fill your car’s gas tank up all the way and your car is mechanically restricted from going over a certain speed
  • Can’t put on a muffler on your car without paying a $200 tax stamp, going through additional background checks, waiting six months to a year, and then being unable to cross state lines without permission from the DMV

Aren’t you glad cars aren’t regulated like guns?

 

The Contagion of SJW Mental Illness

Perhaps what’s wrong with the so-called conservatives in this country is that they’ve been infected by the SJW’s disease.  The alternative explanations are no more flattering: they are stupid and blind, or they are (and perhaps always have been) self-serving wolves in sheep’s clothing (Leftists in disguise).

The Self-Consuming Madness of the Social Justice Warriors:

 

The narrative spun out post-Charlottesville is that there must be one, giant universal condemnation of something called the “Alt-Right,” that is, a vaguely perceived assortment of the KKK, neo-Nazis, and “white nationalists.” And when President Trump not only condemned those folks in clear and unmistakable terms, but also suggested that the violence came from both a few of the legal Unite the Right demonstrators, but also, perhaps even more so, from the illegal, club-bearing, mace-can-holding “antifa,” Black Lives Matter, “Resist,” and other violent Marxists, bused into Charlottesville (with assistance of funds funneled into their accounts by globalist George Soros), well, you would have thought the Eschaton had arrived!

And, then, most recently, this past weekend [August 26-27] an attempted peaceful march by folks, mostly College Republicans from the University of California-Berkeley and members of the Patriot Prayer group, urging dialogue and the civil exchange of ideas, was thwarted and those who dared to show up were set upon, again by hooded, “antifa,” BLM, “resist Trump” Marxists and anarchists, armed with clubs and bats, cans of mace, cattle prods, and other such instruments of social justice and peace. And all the while holding signs denouncing “hate” and “racism” and, of course, the president.

After Charlottesville there went up the hue and cry from Republican Senators Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Orrin Hatch, Bob Corker, and others, plus House Speaker Paul Ryan and most of those irrepressible Neoconservative pundits on Fox, that the president had committed a grievous moral fault by somehow equating those “anti-hate” demonstrators with the thoroughly “hate-filled” Alt-Right folks. How could he be so obtuse and so tone-deaf, they asked in puffed-up moral indignation?

But, let me ask: how many of these self-professed Republican arbiters of “moral virtue” have taken a deeper look at what really occurred in Charlottesville and its implications? Even Nancy Pelosi has now been compelled to denounce the very blatant and unrestrained violence of “antifa” in Berkeley. But how many GOP leaders understand that the message of the radical Marxist mob in Berkeley is the same that they brought to Charlottesville?

How many see what is actually happening and has happened to this nation?

From these Republican supposed defenders of the traditional beliefs of Americans we get silence, and, as such, they stand accused before history and before the basic standards of human decency and morality of crass and despicable blindness and ideological legerdemain. They have, essentially, bought into the powerful Deep State and Leftist template and mindset that now dogmatically seeks to define right and wrong, good and evil, and silence all dissent. Again, I use the phrase coined a century ago by French politician, Rene Renoult, “pas d’ennemis a gauche!” “There are no enemies on the Left!” This is the narrative and the benchmark they implicitly, if not explicitly, accept.

Although it can be argued that perhaps the Ryans and the Flakes (no pun intended!) did not have “all the facts” about Charlottesville, there are just too many instances where the same commentary, the same response, has come from them as from those brazen militants on the Left. Although they zealously protest that they are “conservatives,” that they oppose “big government” and “defend liberty,” and so on, their actions belie their words. No; their essential philosophical outlook, like the committed Deep State Democrats, has been largely shaped…polluted and subverted…by the dominant culturally Marxist environment in which they live and their innate understanding that it is the Potomac River Establishment “swamp” and Wall Street, not to mention such internationalist financial ogres as George Soros, that eventually call the shots and provide the goodies.

They have fatally compromised whatever “moral” authority they may ever have had, and, as such, they no longer have any moral authority left.

It is, then, up to grass roots traditionalists and “deplorables” to call them out, loudly and boldly: “Have you no shame, Senator?” “Have you no moral standards, Congressman?” “How dare you speak as you have and claim to represent me, much less, the heritage and traditional beliefs of the American citizenry?”

“Come November 2018 and in succeeding years, we shall buy you a one-way bus ticket on Trailways back home!”

That should be our unalterable commitment and promise…not only to ourselves, but to our children and for the future of this country.

What Charlottesville, Berkeley, Durham, the “antifa”—Black Lives Matter—“Resist” mobs, and both the explicit and implicit support they garner from the Establishment, have demonstrated is that we confront an irresistible, impending crisis like none seen in this nation for over a century. We stare into the faces of our fellow citizens who have literally fallen into a state of madness, a mental “sickness” which now exhibits all the symptoms of an intellectual rabies pandemic. By far it is worse and more dangerous than the challenge of an old-fashioned stodgy Soviet Communism, for its essentially religious fervor is marked by an unquenchable fanaticism and destructiveness that can perhaps only be compared to the zealotry of the fiercest ISIS militant. But, at least the ISIS terrorists believe in an eventual reward in the afterlife. Our homegrown Marxist “social justice warriors” have no such hope; their very existence is wrapped up completely in the continuing and all-consuming fire of the never-ending struggle. It is the definition of Hell, itself.

Dishonoring the South’s History

A decade ago the push to remove all vestiges of the South’s past was beginning.  It’s really picking up speed these days.

 

Prof. Paul Gottfried gave this speech at Confederate Flag Day, in Raleigh, N.C. on March 3, 2007: Why Do They Hate the South and Its Symbols?

Those Southern secessionists whose national flag we are now celebrating have become identified not only with a lost cause but with a now publicly condemned one. Confederate flags have been removed from government and educational buildings throughout the South, while Confederate dignitaries whose names and statues once adorned monuments and boulevards are no longer deemed as fit for public mention.

The ostensible reason for this obliteration or dishonoring of Southern history, save for those civil rights victories that came in the second half of the twentieth century, has been the announced rejection of a racist society, a development we are persistently urged to welcome. During the past two generations or so, the South, we have been taught, was a viciously insensitive region, and the Southern cause in 1861 was nothing so much as the attempt to perpetuate the degradation of blacks through a system based on racial slavery. We are being told that we should therefore rejoice at the reconstructing of Southern society and culture in a way that excludes, and indeed extirpates from our minds, except as an incentive to further white atonement, the pre-civil rights past, also known as “the burden of Southern history.”

***

It underscores the fact that the Old South has been defeated twice—and the second time at the level of historical memory even more disastrously than in a shooting war that it lost in the 1860s.

The American white South has fallen victim to the “politics of guilt,” a dreary subject, albeit one on which I have written widely. The Yankee victors of the 1860s, who overwhelmed the Southerners by virtue of their numbers and superior industrial power, did considerable wartime damage. They also subsequently occupied the land of those whom they had vanquished militarily, but then did something that was equally important. They went home, and permitted their devastated opponents to rebuild without an occupying army. What I mean to say is that the first occupation was morally and psychologically less destructive than the ever deepening humiliation that is going on now.

The first victors were mostly Yankee Protestants, who in some ways were similar to those they had invaded and occupied. Once the passions of fratricidal war had cooled, these Yankees were able to view their former enemies as kindred spirits. Although they were establishing a bourgeois commercial regime, one that differed from the prevalent Southern way of life, the winning side had also recruited farmers and those whose culture did not diverge significantly from that of those who had fought on the Southern side. In a certain sense Socrates’ observation about Greeks once applied to Americans as well. While they could fight brutally with each other, they were still brothers, and so some form of “reconciliation” was eventually possible for the former enemies. And both North and South came up with a narrative about their past differences which bestowed honor to the heroes on both sides. This was possible with the Yankee Unionists, who wished to draw Southerners back into their community, even after a terrible war had been fought to keep the Southerners in a Union that they had tried to leave.

But the second civil war seeks the utter humiliation of those who are seen as opponents of a society that is still being imposed. The Southern traditionalists from this perspective are particularly obnoxious inasmuch as they are a full two-steps behind the project in question. Those who insist on these changes are no longer Victorian capitalists or Methodist and Congregationalist villagers from the North. They are post-bourgeois social engineers and despisers of Western civilization, a stage of development that these revolutionaries identify with discrimination and exclusion.

In Southern traditionalists they see those who are still celebrating a pre-bourgeois, agrarian, and communally structured world. That world appealed to hierarchy, place, and family, and its members displayed no special interest in reaching out to alien cultures. Such ideals and attitudes and the landed, manorial society out of which they came point back to a nineteenth-century conservative configuration. For our post-bourgeois leftist intelligentsia, this point of reference and model of behavior cannot be allowed to persist. It clashes with feminism and the current civil rights movement, and hinders the acceptance of a multicultural ambience.

The fact that people like your selves are still around and still honoring the national flag of nineteenth-century landed warriors from the American South might have the effect, or so it is thought, of making others equally insensitive. Even worse, those who engage in these celebratory rites do not express the now fashionable “guilt” about members of their race and tribe. Those being remembered had owned slaves, and they would have denied women, whom in any case they treated as inherently different from men, equal access to jobs. Needless to say, non-Westerners are not required to dwell on similar improprieties among their ancestors or contemporaries, and so they may celebrate their collective pasts without disclaimers or reservations. The hairshirt to be worn only fits Western bodies, and in particular impenitent Southern ones.

It is against this background that one might try to understand the loathing that the political, journalistic, and educational establishment reserves for the unreconstructed white inhabitants of the South. You seem to bother that establishment to a degree that Louis Farrakhan and those unmistakable anti-white racists, who are often found in our elite universities, could never hope to equal. You exemplify what the late Sam Francis called the “chief victimizers” in our victimologically revamped society, an experimental society that fits well with our increasingly rootless country. But your enemies are also the enemies of historic Western civilization, or of the West that existed in centuries past. You may take pride in those whom you honor as your linear ancestors but equally in the anger of those who would begrudge you the right to honor them. What your critics find inexcusable is that you are celebrating your people’s past, which was a profoundly conservative one based on family and community, and those who created and defended it. For your conspicuous indiscretions, I salute you; and I trust that generations to come will take note of your willingness to defy the spirit of what is both a cowardly and tyrannical age.

Amazingly Confederate Memorial Day is still observed in seven southern states in 2017:

Confederate Memorial Day is a state holiday in some states in the United States. It gives people a chance to honor and remember the Confederate soldiers who died or were wounded during the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Confederate Memorial Day 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017 (Texas)
Monday, April 24, 2017 (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi)
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 (Florida)
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 (North Carolina, South Carolina).

If you are a white southerner, honoring your dead ancestors will probably not be permitted for much longer and is considered shameful even now.  What the left’s revisionists fail to grasp (or more likely deliberately refuse to see or acknowledge) is that if one is required to disavow one’s ancestors based on whether they lived up to current politically correct standards of belief, speech, and conduct, no one’s ancestors are safe from disavowal and dishonoring.