More Americans are realizing that it tends to be the case that whatever the “Left” accuses the “Right” of doing, it is the “Left” actually doing it. Examples are everywhere, from the #MeToo movement to the more recent ‘quid pro quo’ business with Biden and Burisma, and political violence–especially left-wing advocacy and normalization of it (you can do anything to fascists, understand)–which we saw manifest in the Nicholas Sandmann incident, as illustrated by the tweet by Aslan, which is just the tip of the iceberg.
I’m not the only one who remembers the heaping piles of scorn and outrage shoveled onto this boy and his friends at the national level (even their own administrators piled on), with no hint at all that he should get some deference for his young age, and yet everyone is supposed to give complete deference Greta Thunburg, as the meme to the left highlights. (I did not make the meme.)
More Americans are realizing that you really can’t take anything a ‘leftist’ says on its face. They posture as proceeding from principled positions, when in fact its just all tactics. Bullying, berating, shaming, etc, etc, is all on the table in order to pursue their ideological agenda. You see, it is perfectly fine to engage in such behavior–any behavior, actually–if you are a humanitarian like them, want to save the earth, etc, etc. Look no further than ‘black face’ Trudeau and ‘black face’ Northam for another illustration. YOU, on the other hand…
The problem heretofore is that the ‘left’ is have had to pay no personal price for their Machiavellian machinations. You can well imagine that such behavior can be expected to escalate just as it has when such toxic behavior is not checked. On a more public level, there have been prices paid: the election of Trump is itself a consequence of such behavior (combined with the anger at spineless Republicans), as well as Brexit, Boris Johnson, and the massive thumping given to the ‘Remoaners.’ Unfortunately, none of these large scale revolts against the ‘leftist’ narrative (read: the mainstream narrative, thanks to leftist domination of the media, education, etc) has had the effect of driving ‘leftists’ to introspect.
Might they have been wrong? Could there be something with their own ideology that is false? Malignant? If not the ideology (their intentions are as pure as the wind driven snow, you know), no second thoughts on the tactics? No? Let’s just keep calling all dissenters racists, bigots, and FASCISTS, right? And what can you do to such a person, legitimately? Anything you want, because they deserve worse than you personally might be willing to dish out.
Clearly the ‘public’ check has not been effective. However, there are some promising signs that perhaps public opinion is shifting enough that finally people might start paying a price, personally. The case of Nicholas Sandmann, then, is encouraging. The narrative heaped on to him was so outrageously wrong and so blatantly obvious once the facts came out that even the most entrenched ‘leftist’ saw that the Baghdad Bob fallacy could not be sustained.
CNN had argued that they were perfectly justified in calling Sandmann a racist, even though he demonstrably was not one (or, in progressive drivel: “it could not be established that he was a racist, but he was not exonerated”), seeking to have Sandmann’s case dismissed.
But now news has emerged that CNN has settled with Sandmann. While I have not seen details of the settlement, the mere fact that there was one at all suggests that CNN did not believe it would win in a court of law, and the mere fact that CNN did not think it would win in a court of law means that CNN understands that public opinion has shifted against them.
Anyone who thinks that our courts of laws are not answerable to public opinion apparently is unaware of the conservative Chief Justice John Robert’s strange distortions re: Obamacare, or even cases like Roe vs. Wade.
Which is, by the by, another example of my “we are on our own motif” in that it reveals that you can’t count on anyone, least of all our institutions, and not even the politicians and jurists that are “on our side.”
I have a lot more to say about that motif, probably because I did not feel that my last attempt on it really captured what I was going for. For now, though, let’s acknowledge that the Sandmann settlement suggests that individuals and corporations may start feeling the consequences of their malevolent tactics and may begin engaging in some self-moderation… and remember that just at this very moment, when the tide seems perhaps to be changing, Chick-Fil-A, one of the few large corporations left that has not bowed low before the God of Woke, bowed its head oh-so-low.
We may see in the future that Chick-Fil-A capitulated just at the moment it was safe finally to be a conservative without (overtly) being maligned as a fascist, but it is enough for now to note that, once again, an organization/entity/person we thought had our back… didn’t.
These “on our own” motif posts are highlighting incidents which I would perceive as being very much favorable to conservatives, at least on their face. While I know there are many conservatives who are worried about an escalation in Iran, even as Trump had said he would avoid such a thing, almost all that I’ve seen or read are glad to see that it is finally the case that our government will not turn a blind eye to the deaths of Americans. Those of us who had the silly idea that our elected officials are meant primarily to represent US are glad to see it finally happen in a meaningful way. The Sandmann settlement might likewise signal a genuine change in the public mood.
In other words, it would be easy to let our guard down and begin thinking that maybe, just maybe, its safe and good policy to put our trust in “princes” again. It is not.
Thus, while I have been pretty happy with Trump, there are still reasons to worry: the anti-vaping thing and the ban on bump stock and the continuation of deficit spending to the tune of trillions of dollars are hints that he is not above removing individual liberties to satiate rabid voices (which never works, by the by), and is not doing anything to stem whatever future nightmare our national debt leads to.
When I say “we are on our own” I am issuing a warning that there is ample evidence that our own ‘side’ will let us down, and, in the final analysis, we really have no idea what could be coming down the pike. It could be something which no one could predict, and which no one is prepared for. No one, perhaps, except you, if you heed my warnings.
For example: our military stands as a mighty bulwark against foreign enemies, and yet nonetheless, terrorists can get through and still inflict great harm on our country. Our first responders are magnificent, really, if you think about what they do every day. If you are in a car accident and lodged into the crumpled remains of your car, you may be ‘on your own’ for a little while, but the odds are very good that in a relatively short amount of time, help will arrive. We cannot lend ourselves the emergency care we can get at the ER, or get medicine that can only be administered and applied by trained doctors and nurses, and thankfully (in America at least), the are fairly accessible.
But why should we think that things will always be this way?
It is also the case that it does still take time for first responders to arrive, and if someone has broken into your home–or school–you can pretty much assume that there will be about five minutes before help arrives. In an incident that is chilling in this respect, consider what happened to Jayme Closs and her family. “The police arrived four minutes after the 911 call.”
The incident was already in progress when this call was made. By the time the police arrived, Jayme was gone and her mother had only been dead for about two minutes.
I consider a four minute response time to a rural location to be a near miracle. That’s impressive, if you ask me. But it was not enough. “When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away” goes the saying.
Now, we might say that Closs’s father could not have prevented what was going to happen, as even if he was armed, it appears that Patterson got the drop on him. But Closs’s mother had time to gather Jayme up and get into the bathroom and lock the door (PS, to school administrators: locks are not bullet proof; for more, ask Sandy Hook). She had time to get out her phone and call 9-11. She had time, if it had been available, to pull out her own weapon and engage Patterson. A decent 9mm semi-auto would have held up fine to Patterson’s shotgun, and it could have turned out much, much differently.
This is a microcosm. There are numerous other examples in different categories, and this is what I’m getting at with my “on our own” motif. Yes, there are the threats to life and limb–armed assailants, terrorists, but also tornadoes, earthquakes, Yellowstone going boom, and heck, why not, a giant meteor slamming into Kansas.
There are also threats to liberty, to our own economic well being, etc, etc, and yes, even to our own immortal soul.
Have you got yourself a good job with a good pension plan, so that when you retire you’ll be able to do so comfortably?
Many Americans have already realized that you cannot rely on any of that. The job might go away and the company might go bankrupt (Kodak), taking your money with them. (In that vein, there is also cases like Madoff, who got 65 BILLION from people… most of whom were 2-3 steps removed from the people managing the money who gave Madoff the money to begin with). It seems doubtful that the State of Illinois will be able to pay its retirees in a few years. I hope they all have a Plan B and even a Plan C.
So on, and so forth. My point is that we ALL should have Plan B’s and Plan C’s, and not just when it comes to our physical safety or economic security.
Even in matters of knowledge, education, and ideology, you have to realize that in the final analysis, you can’t really count on our ‘society,’ even the respectable parts of it, to do you right. In many cases, believing something that is in fact not true does not have consequences, but it often does, sometimes severely, and often delayed by generation or more. (The Falling Baby; scroll down.)
I have felt this acutely, as I have a child born with a disability. We still do not know what causes it. I have often wondered… was it genetic? Or, was it environmental? Something we ate, we drank, a place we lived, something in our water, in our walls, etc., etc.. When I went down that rabbit trail, I discovered (to my horror) that are many things which the ‘smart people’ insist are completely safe and have no downsides at all, but actually do. In a frighteningly high number of cases, I discovered that the ‘smart people’ are ACTUALLY LIARS. But more generously, but still disturbingly, I came to discover that the ‘smart people’ turn out not to be nearly as smart as they make themselves out to be.
And yet, if I followed the counsel of some of these ‘smart’ people at some point and this resulted (perhaps) in my child having a birth defect, perhaps making it so that a generation later, SHE can’t have children, who is to blame? Certainly, I am not letting the ‘smart’ people off the hook here, but let’s be real: I’m the one that made those decisions. I’m the captain of my own ship. It was my fault for deferring to people I should not have deferred to.
Is my daughter’s condition the result of their policies or my decisions? There is no way of knowing, but that doesn’t mean they, or I, am “exonerated” as it is an open question.
In point of fact, a sober look at all of human experience shows that we must be very careful, very, very careful, about who and what we put our trust in, and that, in point of fact, in the final analysis, a great deal of what happens in our lives is in OUR realm of control (or at least, influence). Blaming others (eg, society, our institutions, our president, Republicans, or the ‘left’) when in fact you have an opportunity to ‘arm’ yourself is not just unwise, it is irresponsible.
From this perspective, we must acknowledge what our commentator said in response to my last post “We are or need to be with God or else we are doomed in every which way.” For, if it is in fact the case that we are immortal rather than mortal, then it is very much in our own best interests to find out the details. This raises an epistemological challenge, to be sure, but my point is that we each have a responsibility, which cannot be delegated to another. Or, we delegate at our own peril.
Let us suppose for a moment that Christianity is the true account of things. If that is the case, then as far as our eternal salvation goes, there turns out to be nothing that we can do. We are in the frigid waters surrounding the Titanic; we can accept the strong arms that reach down to pull us into the lifeboat, or we can fight against our Savior and choose to take our chances with the icy depths. If that is the actual case, what do we do with things that discredit that truth? Eg, does the fact that Christians do not live up to their own values mean what they believe is FALSE?
I have heard many people say that the Catholic Church’s pedophilia crisis in the priesthood has driven them not just away from the Catholic Church, but away from belief in God altogether. Do we apply this principle honestly? If pedophilia among supposed Christians somehow means there is no God, is pedophilia among amoral materialist atheists like Jeffrey Epstein mean there is a God? What an argument! People go crazy about the supposed implications of moral failures in Christianity (ie, “Christianity is not true”) and yet no one suggests that the #metoo movement has implications on liberalism (ie, “Liberalism is not true.”)
My point here, is that what matters is WHAT IS TRUE.
We are at the mercy of many others in all the matters that I have discussed in this post, and there is no question that they will bear responsibility–just as I bear responsibility for the welfare of my family, and my daughter, and perhaps am responsible for her condition–even as, perhaps, my decisions were based on flawed assertions by ‘experts’ who were wrong, perhaps criminally. And yet… and yet… we are nonetheless responsible for our own actions, our own beliefs, our own values, our own decisions, our own threat analysis, etc., etc. (If Christianity is true, we are not strictly speaking responsible for our own salvation, but we are responsible for rejecting it.)
In that vein, I come back around to the good news which is the Sandmann settlement, following the good news of a murderer being droned attacked, when so many other presidents would have let him live to murder another day. These and other developments are good news and perhaps mean good changes are coming.
But we would be foolish to assume those changes are inevitable and/or irreversible.