Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Left Sacrifices Actual Greatness for the Illusion of Perfection

In 1776 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence and thus began a war with Britain.  When the war was concluded in 1783 American casualties would number 25,000 dead and 25,000 wounded.  Those 50,000 casualties paid the price so that a new nation, founded on the ideas of freedom and liberty, could take its place among the nations of the world. 

Eighty five years later the United States was at war with itself and eventually 360,000 Union soldiers gave their lives to extend that promise of freedom and end slavery.  Seventy five years later 405,000 Americans would die in an effort to save freedom from tyranny on two continents. 

Over the course of almost 250 years approximately 1 million American men gave their lives in defense of freedom, the vast majority of which were volunteers.  While their individual reasons for enlisting were likely as varied as their life stories, all made the decision that the nation was worth fighting for and indeed dying for if necessary.

Over the lifespan of our nation those million men sacrificed their lives and tens of millions of others put theirs on the line to defend the ideals set out in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution.  And despite the current crop of leftist brass leading the Pentagon, most servicemen and veterans are and have been extraordinary patriots.  But here’s the thing, America has been so incredibly successful in fostering peace around the world, been so extraordinarily successful in crafting the prosperity at home that relatively few modern day Americans ever have to bother putting on the uniform in the first place, nevermind actually fighting in a war in which they are asked to risk their lives. 

Most of those on the left who tell us that America is a fundamentally racist nation have never had to serve in a military environment, one of the most colorblind elements of American society.  No, most of them are pampered college educated agitators with very little skin in the game in terms of doing anything productive at all, not protecting the nation, not building the nation, not improving the nation. Others are minorities who have listened for years to grifters selling the fiction of serial victimization.  They attack the United States for not being the nirvana that Marx wrote about or the racial paradise Nikole Hannah-Jones pretends Cuba is.  (Ironically, Marx, a chronically unemployed writer who was perpetually supported by Engles, scion of a wealthy family with textile interests, spent his time theorizing and critiquing capitalists… including textile manufacturers… Similarly absurd, the nirvana we are told is Cuba is is today wracked with civil unrest as the poverty stricken population revolts against 70 years of communist oppression.)

Few on the left have life experiences that would enable them to understand the United States for what it really is… an imperfect nation with extraordinary goals where citizens have enjoyed unprecedented freedoms and achieved unparalleled prosperity.  Most of them have been indoctrinated into the mindset that defines the United States by its worst failures, never to be mitigated by its overwhelmingly more common successes.  Slavery and Jim Crow were indeed dark marks on America’s history, but a civil war to end the former and more than half a century of laws, programs and expenditures to overcome the latter count for nothing to redeem the nation. 

That is a hallmark of the left, like Marx… little experience but lots of ideas. How many modern leftists risked their lives for their country?  Probably not a lot.  How many of them risked every penny they had (or more) to start a business and find themselves forced to walk on the tightrope between paying the landlord, suppliers, and making payroll, all while trying to market their product, fight off competition and jump through a leviathan of regulatory hurdles?  Again, woefully few.  How many of them worked on a factory floor or an oil rig or were plumbers or welders or janitors, as they sacrificed much to try and give their kids opportunities they didn’t have? Certainly not many.  As America has became more white collar, more information centric and more focused on cheap imports over the last quarter century or so, many parents pampered and spoiled their children, creating an army of adult adolescents with few real responsibilities, rarely risking much of anything and even more rarely encountering opposition of any sort.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. One of the reasons Donald Trump was such a great president was that he was an actual businessman – granted, one who inherited much from his father.  But despite his father’s success, Trump was a successful businessman operating a real estate business in shark infested New York City, one of the most difficult cities in the country to navigate.  He dealt with New York’s kleptocratic regulatory boards, corrupt unions, and predatory banks all while focusing on making payroll, hitting deadlines and producing a product consumers would exchange their hard earned money for.  Donald Trump is not some Wall Street genius making billions by selling obscure financial products to giant retirement funds, nor is he a Silicon Valley prodigy who sold some selfie app to Facebook or Google. He’s a businessman who builds actual things.  At the same time he’s not some academic savant living in an ivory tower with no communication with the real world, a “journalist” with tunnel vision nor a Hollywood puppet speaking someone else’s words for a living, while flying around on private jets and living in mansions protected by ex Mossad agents. 

Trump may have the planes and the mansions and the security, but his words are his own and he is very much a man of the people.  In what was possibly the single most accurate tweet of all time, Trump said:  “In reality they’re not after me. They’re after you, I’m just in the way.” And that’s the key to all of what’s going on in America today.  The digital revolution, social media and government handouts have fundamentally transformed America from a hardscrabble place where people rolled up their sleeves and built tangible things, grew or extracted an income from the ground and signed up to defend their nation to one with overindulged snowflakes where virtually everything is digital, business is little more than delivering things built somewhere else by someone else and government largesse that makes actual work seem like a sucker’s game.

America today is allowing itself to be destroyed by groups of people who neither share its values nor its understanding of what’s necessary to build or defend a successful nation in the real world.  They, much like their gods, Marx, Sanders and Hannah-Jones, live in ivory tower worlds where virtually everything is theoretical because none of their ideas actually work in the real world.  They never concern themselves with building anything, improving anything or designing anything that actually survives an encounter with the real world. When you operate in the universe of ideas, everything is perfect because it’s never subjected to reality.  Much as the French learned at the end of the end of the 18th century, such theoretical perfection rarely survives exposure to the kilns of actual life, and giving the reins of society to simpletons who invoke such perfection is the fastest road to abject failure.        

Monday, July 19, 2021

Democrats and the Tyranny of the Mob

Forty years ago there was a great show on NBC called Hill Street Blues.  It was an early player in the gritty police drama genre, a-la The Wire or Bosch. The ensemble show was led by Daniel J. Travanti playing Capt. Frank Furillo and his love interest, the stunning Veronica Hamel as public defender Joyce Davenport.

In one episode the police had arrested a suspect for a particularly heinous crime and Davenport was his attorney.  There was a giant mob in front of the jail demanding the suspect’s head.  Furillo knew the suspect was guilty but the man refused to confess. 

In order to “encourage” the suspect to confess, Furillo told Davenport that her client was being released.  The suspect, knowing that if he walked out that door he would be set upon by the frothing crowd, decided to confess.  Davenport was furious so we expect Furillo might have been sleeping on the couch that night…

That episode was an example of mob rule, albeit one orchestrated by government.  The more common form or mob rule is what happened down in North Carolina some weeks ago when the University of North Carolina gave in to the literal mob outside their doors and offered Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure.  The university had previously offered the writer of the insidious 1619 Project a five year contract – sans tenure, and she had accepted.  Soon however Hannah-Jones decided that such a contract demonstrated UNC’s racism and soon the university was overrun by a mob demanding she be granted tenure.  And as the cowards that university administrators typically are, they complied and offered her tenure.  Something happened on the way to their final capitulation however… after the offer of tenure that Hannah-Jones had demanded came through, she decided she she’d rather not. 

That is episode is a microcosm of exactly what is going on in America today:  Somebody feels aggrieved, social media engages and enrages an army of supporters to protest against the racist in question and they eventually apologize and acquiesce to whatever is demanded of them. 

That’s not quite how a civil society is supposed to operate.  That’s particularly true as it relates to government action.  If Target or Facebook or Coke or Nike or Disney want to beclown themselves by genuflecting at the altar of wokeness that’s their business and citizens have the option of shunning their products or services.  With government however, there is no such freedom.  Government, by its very nature applies to all citizens equally, or at least that’s the theory.  As such, when government bows to the mob and acquiesces to its demands, the rule of law suffers. 

The last few years have been a virtual tour de force of government acquiescence to the mob.  One of the early examples of this was Baltimore and its previous mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.  As the chaos erupted across the city, the mayor not only acquiesced to the mob, she literally gave them permission to wreak havoc: “We also gave those wished to destroy space as well.”  That is the definition of mob rule, and the mayor of a major American city let it happen.  As is usual with Democrat treachery, little thought was given to the rights of innocent citizens whose property was destroyed, whose lives were put in jeopardy or whose freedoms were quashed as they hunkered down in their homes hoping to survive the chaos and violence.

Not to be outdone by the vacuous Baltimore mayor, in the summer of 2020, in the midst of telling Americans that they needed to essentially live like hermits to battle Covid, mayors across the country not only allowed mobs to rampage via “mostly peaceful” demonstrations, they took up the mob demands of “Defund the Police”.  The result has predictably been a skyrocketing of violent crime across the country with cities like Portland, Chicago and New York leading the way.

The extraordinary thing about this acquiescence to the leftist mobs is that it runs contrary to the wishes of a majority of Americans, by a wide margin… and of virtually every demographic.  But that is the modern Democrat party, which sits somewhere to the left of Stalin. Their goal is not to make the country a better place for their constituents, nevermind all citizens, it’s not to empower Americans to find success and pursue happiness, it’s not even to reduce crime or improve schools.  No, Democrats, like most politicians, seek one thing:  Power.  And they’ve found the most base element of human nature to gain it and hold it: violence of mob.

Which brings us back to the beginning. Our Republic was crafted specifically to protect citizens against mob rule.  The United States has never been a democracy because the Founding Fathers understood that mob rule was a recipe for tyranny and thus crafted the mechanism of our Constitution specifically to protect the nation from such. The staggered terms of office, the states appointing Senators, the recognition of individual rights in the Bill of Rights and more, all of those things were intended to limit government power and restrain the unbridled passions of mobs seeking to wield the levers of power. James Madison wrote in the very first line of Federalist #10:  Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.

Madison was talking about majority factions taking control of the government and using that position to trample on the rights of the minority.  But today the mob doesn’t even have to go through the process of convincing a sufficient number of citizens of the benefits of their positions to get voted into office.  Why bother trying to debate ideas or convince voters when you can accomplish your goals by utilizing violence or the threat of such to get the government – or private sector to do your bidding?  The reality is, violence is an extraordinarily efficient means for accomplishing one’s goals, and it’s made that much easier when the government officials charged with enforcing the laws are sympathetic to your cause, or worse complicit in the threats of said violence. 

The tyranny of the mob we are seeing spread out across the country would no doubt have saddened the Founding Fathers, but it likely would not have surprised them.  Ben Franklin, when asked about the kind of government that emerged from the Constitutional Convention responded “A Republic if you can keep it” while Alexander Hamilton observed “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” There’s something sadly ironic that a nation founded by such intellectual giants should be felled by imbeciles like Joe Biden, Nikole Hannah-Jones, AOC and Bill de Blasio who have the luxury of attacking it only because it created sufficient prosperity in the first place that they never had to actually do anything productive in their lives. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Arguing with Leftists is an Exercise in Futility...

Last week Dan Bongino talked about the pointlessness of arguing with the left. He said something like “We think the left are simply people with bad ideas while the left thinks we are simply bad people…” He went on to say that while pointless in terms of trying to convince the person with whom you’re “arguing”, it’s worthwhile because others, who may be open minded and paying attention, might be persuaded.

This was driven home to me via a Facebook discussion that started out with a friend’s cartoon suggesting CRT is an innocuous addition to the teaching of American history that shows some of the darker chapters.

My response was: “No one opposes teaching history, warts and all. I studied slavery, Jim Crow, the Trail of Tears, Chinese workers basically in servitude to build the RR and more. You keep mischaracterizing CRT as just teaching the negative side of American history. It’s not. The heart of CRT is that the US is systematically racist and minorities can’t succeed. That’s fiction and you know it.”

Which started a firestorm from a friend of my friend, from which I’ve excerpted:

It’s apparent that you gained little insight from your studies. If they didn’t touch on the racist systems that led to those events occurring, you obviously got the sanitized, white washed version where the savagery and downright inhumanity to any non-white man BY white men was totally excluded. Just like your fellow GOP white Supremacists, there is NO reality that y’all can’t bend to save your false sense of identity that you’re superior to all non- whites and European genius and goodness is the only reality there is.

American Slavery was different and worse than any other slavery in the History of the World. It’s the only slavery where the slaves were dehumanized. No other slavery treated the slaves like a horse or a chicken.

To which I responded:

It’s true slaves were treated as property, but in fact, slaves in the American south were largely treated better than slaves in South America and the Caribbean. One major reason for that was the Constitution’s ban on the importation of slaves after 1808. Slaves therefore became far more valuable than they were in the rest of the Americas and it was to nobody’s benefit to work them to death. That is, very unlike Brazil, the Caribbean and elsewhere where slaves were cheaply imported and therefore expendable. The truth of this can be seen in the fact that 94% of the slaves brought to the New World went somewhere other than the United States, but by 1860 2/3 of the slaves in the New World were in the American south.

He continued: The effects are still being felt today when George Floyd’s murderer gets 22.5 years for killing a black human being but a black man killing a Police DOG recently was sentenced to 45 years. That just shows that the dehumanization of black folks specifically males is baked in to American society. The ONLY ones who are treated like human beings are the exceptional negroes who make it through systemic racism baked into every institution in America or those who entertain white folks in music, TV or sports. And even they can’t say anything bad about America or their lives could get turned upside down.

Wouldn’t it be nice if American Europeans tried to dismantle this system and rectify the damage? The boost to our economy through reparations alone and the good will gained worldwide as America denounces its past and pledges to make amends would truly place this nation at the top as it stones for its sins. But, white America collectively isn’t interested in any of that. It’s only interested in the maintenance of white supremacy for various reasons, not the least of which is white genetic survival, power and greed.

After more futile back and forth, I decided to take a different tact:

Let’s try a thought experiment... Imagine everything you said is true about programs being stacked against minorities. What do you do to fix them? Reverse discrimination? How about reparations? Who pays? Who gets what? Who decides? Does Obama pay or does he get money? Do recent African or Caribbean immigrants get money too or only people who can trace their lineage back to slavery or even Jim Crow? What about black families who owned slaves? Do the million or so black millionaires get money too? When are things as they should be? What's the measure? Will every company or classroom or board have to reflect the pigment hue of the country as a whole? Will it apply to everything from police to janitors to ditch diggers to the NBA and the NFL? Will all of this change the unwed birth rate in black America? Is murder still to be considered a crime as half of the offenders in the US are black males despite the fact that they make up only 6% of the population? Since reparations will make everything even do we do away with welfare programs that disproportionately benefit minorities?

Or, maybe all of us could be grateful for the fact that today virtually every one of us is extraordinarily lucky to live in a country that allows so much freedom and opportunity that millions of people literally risk their lives to come here every year and probably half or more of the rest of the world would happily change places with almost any American.

He responded: In other words, you’re just another psychotic white Supremacist and it makes NO sense trying to REASON with a psychotic.

To seek to evade all responsibility or accountability for the greatest crimes against Black humanity in history is the mindset of a Savage…PRETENDING to be civilized. Someone who cares nothing about Honor, truth, civility, fair-play OR in obeying their OWN laws, let alone those of God.

White Supremacy has made most white folks, LIKE YOU, spiritual MONSTERS to be able to say stuff like that with a straight face and sleep like a baby at night. There lies the entire problem of Racism in America which is a power dynamic that only WHITE AMERICANS have. Blacks can’t be racist towards you because we haven’t set up systems of power that can destroy the lives of you or your family. White folks do that to blacks ALL the time.

It was clear he was not really interested in ideas focused on making life better for black Americans,  but rather extracting revenge in the form of reparations from the whites who by definition are racists and guilty.

This is why Biden is in the White House, other than the fraud, obviously. Democrats have become the party of grievance, the party of victimization. If they can convince a group they’re victims, they never have to actually accomplish anything. The focus is always on past failures or some other strawman that rational policies simply cannot be allowed to address. It’s the ultimate in maintaining a grip on power. Why ever address policy failures or “unintended” consequences, when it’s so much easier to simply craft a grievance that can simply never be addressed. For Democrats that’s a recipe for success. For America it’s a recipe for disaster.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Oh Beautiful, For Racist Skies... Forever We Are Doomed...

America’s racist!!! One would think, if America is to considered a racist country, we’d want to know the definition of the word. And who better to get that definition from but a giant of the anti-racist movement, Ibram X. Kendi, the author of How to Be an Antiracist. Here’s Mr. Kendi’s definition of racism: "I would define it as a collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity that are substantiated by racist ideas…" Apparently Dr. Kendi missed that day in kindergarten where the teacher said “You cannot use the word you’re trying to define in the definition of that same word.”

In an effort to help Mr. Kendi and others understand the words they’re using, below is a slightly more coherent definition of racism:

Racist: One who believes that one “race” (in this context, members of the human race differentiated by the color of their skin) is genetically superior to another. Often the holder of this opinion believes themselves to be amongst the superior race. (For a bit more on this, click here to read my first ever blogpost:  Racism: America's Original Sin.) 

The point of the above is that if one seeks to use a word to describe something, it helps to use the language properly, something Mr. Kendi apparently has trouble doing.

America is racist! That statement is fundamentally illogical. A country cannot be racist. It can be landlocked, beautiful or on the equator, but it can’t be racist. Its people can be however. Indeed, Americans can be racist, and no doubt there are some among us who are. But how many Americans actually are racists? It’s impossible to know, but we do know that there are whites who are racists and believe in white superiority just as there are blacks who are racists and believe in black superiority. But in the context of the “America is racist” trope, it’s only the white racists who count. So how many are there? Are they increasing in numbers?

It’s hard to tell, but to the degree that Americans are part of the KKK, which is historically a group that counts racist anti-black ideas as one of its bedrock principles, perhaps not quite as many as the left would like us to think.

In the 1920’s at its apogee, the KKK had anywhere from 3 to 8 million members. At the time the American population was approximately 110 million. That would mean that somewhere in the ballpark of 5% of the American population would have been members of the Klan. Included in that group were doctors, lawyers, politicians and even a future Supreme Court Justice.

Today however, the number of Americans who are part of the Klan is estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000. With our larger population that works out to be .000015% of our population as members of the Klan. Were the number 5% as in 1920 there would be 15 million Klan members in the US today. But there’s not. In fact there’s been a reduction of 99.99% of members of the premier racist organization in American history.

Another way of looking at potential racists in America is people who actually commit “hate crimes” where racism is their probable motivation. According to the FBI data states that in 2019 there were 6,406 “hate crimes” in the US where the offender is known – and approximately 2,000 more where they don’t know the offender. These crimes include Murder – 19 offenders and 51 victims, Aggravated Assault – 1,094 / 1,158, Simple Assault – 2,030 / 2,023, Intimidation – 1,640/ 2,206, Burglary – 64 / 129 and various other crimes. Of those “hate crimes” the number of white perpetrators was 3,365 or 52% of the total while the number of black perpetrators was 1,532 or 24% of the total. Whites make up 62% of the American population but only 52% of the “hate crime” offenders while blacks make up 12.6% of the American population but 24% of the “hate crime” offenders…

Finally, one would expect that racists believe that their race (color) is very important to their image of themselves as that’s necessary in order to think of someone of a different color is somehow below them. Pew Research did a survey asking that very question and the results were: 5% of whites thought whiteness was very important and an additional 10% thought it was somewhat important for a total of 15% of whites thinking that their whiteness was important to their image of themselves. For blacks the corresponding numbers about how important blackness was to their self image were 52% & 22% for a total of 74% of blacks thinking that their blackness is important to their image of themselves.

It’s certain that none of these measures is a perfect correlation with the number of racist white people in the United States, but it’s clear that if white Americans were the racist bigots Democrats keep suggesting they are, proof of that would likely show up in one of these datasets. But they don’t.

Nonetheless, we’re told by Democrats, BLM, Antifa and college professors like Dr. Kendi that America is a racist country. What they really mean is that white Americans are racists, and that they have built a systemically racist nation in which black Americans are subjugated and lack opportunities.

Clearly the former is simply not accurate, nor is the latter. If America was a nation of racism incarnate we’d likely not have had a black president, we’d likely not pour billions of dollars a year into the pockets of black entertainers nor put them on the pedestals or jerseys or wall posters. It’s unlikely that 8% of American millionaires would be black nor that the last two federal holidays created would have been centered on black history.

If you’d really like to know what is going on, Google “How many racists are there in the United States”. It’s unlikely you’ll get an even a remotely accurate answer – or logical attempt to come up with one – within the first half dozen pages. What you will get however are countless studies and articles and statistics demonstrating that America is “systemically racist”, rife with “structural racism”, that race relations are getting worse and polls proving that Donald Trump caused a rise in “white nationalism” and “hate groups”. Virtually everything you find will be support for the left’s lie that America is a racist country: disparity, unequal, disadvantage, etc.

Despite the dearth of data demonstrating that America is made up of actual racists, and indeed extraordinary proof to the contrary, the left persists. The president of the United States stated that white supremacists are the “most lethal threat” to the country, the Attorney General claims white supremacists are the biggest domestic terror threat and the Pentagon is teaching soldiers about Critical Race Theory. This is the equivalent of standing in the middle of a desert and pretending you’re drowning. You’re not, and engaging your fellow lost souls to fight that battle will only make them more vulnerable to real threats like scorpions, snakes and dying of thirst. By proffering the fiction that America is racist Kendi, the Democrats and their comrades are leading the country into an inferno from which escape, in one piece and as one people is highly unlikely.