This latest opus by Steve-O-in NJ probably qualifies as a rant; I picture him furiously scribbling on paper in a trance, as in “automatic writing” when a medium is channeling Jean Dixon from the beyond. But it’s very good and thoughtful rant. I hope I edited it properly. Oh…I should mention that the tweets above echoing the meme Steve mentions at the start surprised me. I really didn’t think those celebrities could possibly be that stupid.
This is Steve-O-in NJ’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Well What Do You Know! Andrew Sullivan Finally Sees Clearly That The News Media Is Completely Corrupt And Untrustworthy.”
I saw a meme yesterday that kind of says everything about where the mainstream media and the left (but I repeat myself) are coming from now. It had no picture, it simply said “I want to live in a country where Colin Kaepernick is regarded as a hero and Kyle Rittenhouse is regarded as a terrorist.” I bit my tongue and didn’t say what I was thinking: that ostentatious disloyalty doesn’t make you even close to a hero and let’s let a jury decide what Rittenhouse is, because 1. I wasn’t changing the poster’s mind; and 2. The problem was bigger than those specific examples. Anyone who writes or reposts something like that is in effect saying “I want everyone to think like me and agree with me.” The left and the media have been thinking like that since probably the Clinton days. There’s a reason CNN was then called “the Clinton News Network.”
I have to ask, though, why is Andrew Sullivan just getting this now? Oh, that’s right, the right was opposed to a sudden and seismic cultural shift involving one of the basic building blocks of society, and nothing else mattered, it was all about the belief that heterosexual and homosexual couples were exactly the same and should be treated exactly the same. Single-issue voting is short-sighted, single-issue partisanship is just stupid. Like any other bias, it makes the objective inobjective, the wise foolish, the smart stupid, and the truthful liars.
Dutch missionary Andrew van der Bilj, aka “Brother Andrew” and “God’s Smuggler” used to pray “God, you have made blind eyes see, please make seeing eyes blind,” when he crossed the borders into Communist countries, carrying Bibles and other religious literature that would be considered contraband. Bias seems to do a far better job than God ever did blinding people to a lot more than a few Bibles being brought into an atheistic country.
I wrote three years ago,
George W. Bush said recently that “Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions.” He was absolutely right, but I’d take it a step farther. Too often we assume everything those we agree with say and do is true and comes from the best of intentions, while assuming that everything those we don’t agree with say and do is a lie and comes from the worst of intentions. Too often we are willing to believe that our own side’s mistakes or errors are just mistakes or errors or due to circumstances our side couldn’t prevent, while believing that the other side’s mistakes or errors are either deliberate wrongs or clear proof of incompetence. Too often we build up the heroes of our own side as unassailable while tearing down the other side’s heroes as wrong, incompetent, or simply not that important. There are no eyes so blind as those who refuse to see, no ears so deaf as those that refuse to hear, and no minds so foolish as those who refuse to understand.
The question that should be weighing on everyone’s mind is: do we really want to put those who will not see, hear or understand anything that doesn’t agree with their view of how things should be in charge of this country? It’s just that approach that toppled the Temple of Diana, consigned the Library of Alexandria to the flames (a little bit at a time), saw Simon de Montfort’s knights slaughter their own people to make sure they got the others, let the Turks erase the Armenian nation from Asia, led Russia, Italy, Germany and Japan to somewhere we don’t need to talk about, and got bin Laden to the place from where he persuaded 19 men from decent lives who were not desperate that they should plow airliners into buildings….
Too often also, we are all too willing to forgive our own side things maybe we shouldn’t, and not willing to forgive the other side anything, even things we probably should. I don’t know what it is, but I think it’s a mix of moral certitude, unwillingness to look at one’s heroes or leaders too closely, desire to be accepted by a group, and eagerness to criticize those we don’t agree with. It leads to a pro-wrestling mentality where it’s all about insults and threats and the biblical tendency to see the speck in someone else’s eye while missing the plank in one’s own.
As far as a lot of Democrats are concerned, the GOP forfeited most of its merit when Herbert Hoover oversaw the Great Depression and proved not up to the task of handling it, then forfeited the rest with Watergate. Since then they’ve been trying to stop them when they get elected, but Ronald Reagan was too slippery and too well insulated, George Bush the elder was voted out of office before they could close in, and George Bush the younger, who should never have been elected, had too much of Congress on his side for too long and the political boost of 9/11 was too great. Then they had Trump, who should also have never been elected, dead in their sights, hoping that enough Republicans would see enough of the light and “get on the right side of history” to remove him. It’s the right thing to do, after all, since they fervently believe that there’s not a single Democrat since FDR and maybe before, from the least significant councilman in a small village in New England all the way up to the Clintons and Obamas, who has done anything other than work tirelessly and serve selflessly to make the town, county, state, country and world better, fairer, more inclusive, more peaceful places and leave them all better than when they got there, where the rivers and air will be clean, the schools will be adequately funded, those who’ve been fortunate in life will pay their fair share to lift up those who haven’t been, no person who comes here for any reason will be turned away, church and state will be far apart, love will be love, and every child will be a wanted child.
As far as most Republicans are concerned, the Democratic party forfeited a chunk of its own merit when LBJ couldn’t govern at home and led us into Vietnam without a clear way out, a good bit more when Carter proved to be a total incompetent who let hostages languish in Iraq for over a year, most of it when Clinton had sex in the Oval Office and then perjured himself, and whatever was left with the disaster that was Obama, hiding behind his color. They’ve been constantly trying to stop their hare-brained schemes, but LBJ decided not to run again, Carter was voted out by a landslide, Clinton could talk his way out of anything, and everyone was afraid of being labeled a racist if they challenged Obama. They’ve never forgiven the Democrats for hounding Richard Nixon from office and pulling the rug out from under South Vietnam, and now they think they are up to their old tricks, trying to force a duly elected president from office on an even thinner record. Unfortunately, this time they hold the Senate, and they’re holding firm on acquittal, while letting the Democrats make fools of themselves. It’s the right thing to do, after all, since there’s not a single Republican, from the smallest small-town mayor in rural Missouri all the way up to Trump, the Bushes, and Reagan, who has done anything other than struggle and fight without rest or self-interest, to make the town, county, state, country and world freer, safer, stronger, happier, more prosperous places where government takes only the taxes it absolutely must, does not interfere in business or personal affairs any more than is necessary to keep society safe, concentrates on protecting people rather than running their lives, enforces the laws already in existence rather than trying to come up with new ones as a remedy for every problem, makes sure good fences…and good borders…make good neighbors, makes sure there is a place for faith in society, that no one is forced to violate his conscience, and people take responsibility for their actions rather than avoiding it or passing it to someone else.
With this state of affairs it should come as no surprise that those on one side just can’t see it the other side’s way, or even admit that there is any merit to the other side’s position. This is a recipe for what I’ll call brain dissolver, meaning an issue or situation that makes people’s brains liquefy and trickle out their ears, leaving them unable to have a real conversation or discussion and instead resorting to shouts, insults, threats, lawsuits, and sometimes violence. There have always been brain dissolving issues.
Homosexuality for a long time was one, where one mention of same-sex attraction would send those opposed into paroxysms of insults and often talk about wanting to walk through Provincetown with a club or go to the Village and bust a few heads. Ireland is another, where the slightest whiff of the idea that maybe it doesn’t boil down to Irish=good, British=bad can get you screamed at and called all kinds of hateful names at best, beaten up at worst. Columbus Day is quickly becoming a third, where any kind of discussion will send the liberals into fits of how-dare-yous and the conservatives and Italians into fighting mode.”
Well, I guess we have our answer to my question about whether we want to put those who are blind and deaf to other thoughts in charge – the answer, at least from the Left, is a resounding “YES, if we possibly can.” We also can add the name “Trump” to the list of brain-dissolving topics.
Both the media and scholarship have been weaponized to fit the Left’s latest agenda, although Howard Zinn, the first influential lefty polemicist historian, has been dead 11 years. One small-time thug dies at the hands of a bullying, but not provably racist, police officer, and suddenly everyone is banging out articles on how every fucking thing and every fucking figure in American history is based on racism, and adding articles on how Lee was really a nasty man and a rotten general and how Columbus is really insignificant to boot. Is that scholarship, or is it propaganda with a veneer of scholarship?
The facts in the Rittenhouse trial are what they are. Video doesn’t lie. If he hadn’t opened fire he’d be either dead or as badly injured as Adam Haner, whom coward Markquise Love tried a field goal on without ever letting him see it coming. Whether Rittenhouse should have gotten involved or not is almost a moot point, for the time to stop armed vigilantes from getting involved in civil unrest was six years ago when Tea Party gun owners in tac vests and baseball caps started protecting businesses in Baltimore to give the already strained BPD some relief. Authorities elsewhere might have considered clamping down on leftist armed thugs like the John Brown Gun Club before Seattle and Portland got out of hand. Whether Kyle was or wasn’t a white supremacist is irrelevant; his beliefs do not bear on the question of his guilt or innocence of the crimes he is actually charged with.
Know what else doesn’t lie? The market doesn’t lie, consumer prices don’t lie, and business activity doesn’t lie. The fact is that the economy is drowning and the administration wants to add more water by spending more money that this nation doesn’t have.
If we keep going this way, we are going to be perilously close to the same practices we once decried in an enemy nation that no longer exists, where every broadcast or publication was propaganda, every prosecution was political, and everyone who dared disagree with the administration was in very serious danger. In Wisconsin we already saw the next possible step with “John Doe” prosecutions of political enemies by a highly partisan Democratic DA egged on by his teacher union wife under a law that then-governor Scott Walker and the GOP legislature killed. Strangely you don’t hear about those gross abuses anymore, because the media never really covered them.
It wouldn’t be too far of a step from that to abusing the various mental hygiene laws against firebrand political conservatives or activists. I know for a fact that here in NJ the police are immune from suit for taking action to get someone mentally evaluated or treated if necessary. I know because I used that law to get a case by a crackpot lawyer who was told to “get in the ambulance or we’ll throw you in” by police who thought he had gone off the deep end dismissed. It’s not too big of a stretch to imagine someone who posted harsh criticism of an authoritarian mayor or governor being picked up for mental evaluation, then placed on a “psychiatric hold” that just keeps getting extended, then the paperwork gets lost, etc., and next thing you know, it’s 90 days before the person gets released, with no one needing to say “STFU, or next time you go back to restraints and Thorazine for a much longer time.”