Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Is the "United States" no longer an accurate description of America?

Donald Sensing, a pastor and former military officer, writes:

American politics have become only contests of power. No one on either side even attempts to appeal to transcendent authority or principle. As the Left's recent unbridled fury over the hapless Covington Kids proved, social media is leading the political and media decline of the country deeper and deeper into The Abyss of Hate Versus Hate.

I will turn 64 this year. I hope that this country can hold together for the maybe 30 years I have left and for the 10 years or so my wife has beyond that. But my three children? For what they will endure, I have only nightmares.

There's more at the link.  I strongly recommend reading it in full, particularly the essays he links.

It's interesting that Rev. Sensing, no liberal, links to Andrew Sullivan, decidedly a liberal, in making his point.  Sullivan, writing about the Covington incident, notes:

It just beggars belief that the same liberals who fret about “micro-aggressions” for 20-somethings were able to see 16-year-olds absorbing the worst racist garbage from religious bigots … and then express the desire to punch the kids in the face.

How did this grotesque inversion of the truth become the central narrative for what seemed to be the entire class of elite journalists on Twitter? That’s the somewhat terrifying question.

. . .

Across most of the national media, led by the New York Times and the Washington Post, the narrative had been set ... This is the orthodoxy of elite media, and it is increasingly the job of journalists to fit the facts to the narrative and to avoid any facts that undermine it.

There’s a reason why, in the crucial battle for the legitimacy of a free press, Trump is still on the offensive. Our mainstream press has been poisoned by tribalism. My own trust in it is eroding. I’m far from the only one.

. . .

I can understand this impulse emotionally ... But I fear it morally or politically. It’s a vortex that can lead to nothing but the raw imposition of power by one tribe over another. There can be no dialogue here, no debate ... And none of us is immune.

What was so depressing to me about the Covington incident was how so many liberals felt comfortable taking a random teenager and, purely because of his race and gender, projected onto him all their resentments and hatred of “white men” in general.

. . .

This is the abyss of hate versus hate, tribe versus tribe. This is a moment when we can look at ourselves in the mirror of social media and see what we have become. Liberal democracy is being dismantled before our eyes — by all of us. This process is greater than one president. It is bottom-up as well as top-down. Tyranny, as Damon Linker reminded us this week, is not just political but psychological, and the tyrannical impulse, ratcheted up by social media, is in all of us. It infects the soul of the entire body politic. It destroys good people. It slowly strangles liberal democracy. This is the ongoing extinction level event.

Again, more at the link.

I'm hearing more and more rational voices, on both the left and the right of US politics, making this same point.  Have we reached the stage where we can no longer engage in dialog at all?  Have we reached the stage where politics is nothing more than a militant battle between tribes, cultures or viewpoints, with the winner trying to take all and deny even the dregs to the loser?  That's not democracy.  That's tyranny.

This is Gramsci's dream come true.

Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) ... talked of “becoming State”. That is, the Marxist vanguard -- on behalf of the working class (of course) -- would become the state. Alternatively they would “take over the institutions” of the state (the police, the law, political parties, the civil service, councils, etc.) and even the institutions which are not ordinarily deemed to be directly part of the state (e.g., the churches, charities, regional/national newspapers, the universities, schools, etc.). (Rudi Dutschke called this the “Long March through the Institutions”.)

This new Leftist hegemony was to be imposed upon the working class via the schools, universities, local councils, the law, etc. (in exactly the same was as Marxists believe that the “capitalist-state hegemony” was imposed on the working class).

More at the link.

The liberal/progressive left wing of US politics has, indeed, taken over many (if not most) of the institutions that form and shape our society.  It's eager to take over those it doesn't yet dominate.  That's why the vitriolic outbursts against the nomination of SCOTUS Justice Kavanaugh were so incredibly vicious.  He was attacked, slandered, libeled, and then when none of that worked, smeared with blatantly false, unprovable accusations.  He managed to survive all of them, and has been appointed - but the left is still threatening to "investigate" his "lies" during the process.  I imagine that if President Trump has the opportunity to appoint another Supreme Court justice, the outbursts from the left will be even worse - because SCOTUS is an institution of ultimate power, the third arm of the separated powers (executive, legislative and judicial branches) that together govern the USA.  They're desperate to dominate it, because it can rule against their activities in many other areas if those contravene the Constitution.  Appointing judges with the "wrong" view of the Constitution (i.e. that it's an objective standard, rather than a fluid "living document") is a direct and immediate threat to the left's dominance overall - and President Trump knows it.

The news media no longer even try to hide their bias, their left-wing orientation, and their determination to destroy anything and anyone that stands in the way of their preferences.  In doing so, they've damaged themselves, perhaps beyond repair.

Conforming perfectly to Trump’s description of them as an “opposition party,” journalists have shed any semblance of objectivity and now simply wallow in anti-Trump politics. The frenzy over the bogus BuzzFeed story fed off the media’s conviction that Trump is an inveterate liar; the fraudulent story about the Covington students fed off the media’s conviction that the Trump hat is an inherent symbol of racism. The same journalists who scoffed at Baker’s counsel of restraint embraced the call of CNN’s Christiane Amanpour to be “truthful,” not “neutral.” Such conceits have simply given the media a license to lie in the name of a supposedly superior politics. Neither truthful nor neutral, the media in the age of Trump is purely propagandistic and attitudinal: if something feels “true,” which is to say, if it furthers an anti-Trump narrative, they report it as true.

. . .

Out of spite for Trump, journalists gave themselves permission to ignore rigorous rules of skepticism and destroy what little remained of the wall between straight reporting and liberal opinion. They set out to torch Trump’s credibility but ended up obliterating their own.

The tragedy, of course, is that Newton's Third Law of Motion ("To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction") applies as much to politics as it does to the natural world.  To provide just one example out of many I could cite, here's Kurt Schlichter's response to Covington.

The Dems are spooning with socialism, and the goal of socialism is written in blood on the pages of history. The unapproved must be liquidated, and they are making no secret that you are unapproved.

I know it’s hard. It goes against everything you’ve been taught to believe to acknowledge that that a significant and influential group of other Americans – not that they identify that way – want you dead or enslaved. But they do.

. . .

You want to reject this reality, to dismiss it, to wave it off as crazy talk. But listen to what they say. Watch what they do. Have the strength to accept the harsh truth that is punching you in the face.

They hate you for not submitting, for being an obstacle to their rule.

The problem is that you are nice, and you project your niceness. Projection is human nature. So while leftist spittle-spewing sociopaths project their own shriveled morality when they shriek about how we’re all racist fascists of fascist racism when racist fascism is actually their jam, we Normals tend to project our decency when we assume that our opponents are just confused friends who are in the throes of a grievous misunderstanding about us that we can remedy with facts and evidence.

That’s 100 percent wrong. Facts and evidence don’t matter because the trial is already over and you’ve already been condemned because of who you are. You can’t ever clear yourself with the left because they don’t hate you for what you did or will do, but for who you are. That’s where the babble about “white privilege” comes from – if you’re white and conservative you’re wrong, and if you’re not white and conservative, you’re even... wronger.

It’s not about race or gender or orientation, but about power – they want to take yours, to strip you of your sovereignty and make you kneel. Their SJW posturing is all a lie and a scam. They don’t care about ending racism, sexism, homophobia, or any of the myriad other -isms and -phobias they blather about. Those poses are just weapons to be used to capture what they really want – total power over you. They seek to shame you into submission, and if that won’t work, then they’ll do whatever it takes.

. . .

Do you think that a leftist Supreme Court majority won’t construe the First Amendment to exclude protection for “hate speech,” by which I mean any thoughts you might wish to express that they object to?

Do you think they won’t turn the federal bureaucracy – including law enforcement – against their political enemies a thousand times harder than before, having been rewarded for the last decade of doing so?

Do you think they won’t start tossing dissenters into prison? They do in England. You can go to jail for a tweet there – and do you think the left thinks that’s a bad thing, or a creative European innovation that needs to be imported?

How about the Second Amendment? Are you kidding? The idea that our citizenry maintains the ultimate veto over tyranny drives them bonkers.

Do you think they won’t use violence to make you conform? Hell, Democrat presidential candidate Eric Swalwell is willing to nuke you for not giving up your guns. We know that because he said so.

It’s time to stop pretending that people who hate our guts don’t hate our guts, and that given the chance they won’t act exactly like people who hate our guts would act.

More at the link.

I wish I could say that Mr. Schlichter was wrong . . . but I can't.  The words actually used by those on the liberal/progressive extreme of US politics demonstrate the reality he writes about.

I fear we are no longer the "United" States of America so much as the "Riven By Differences" States of America.  Can we repair that in time to avoid a second civil war?  I hope and pray so . . . but I'm no longer sure.  Many have already made up their minds that we cannot.

Only time will tell which opinion is correct.  Unfortunately, I suspect time is running out.



McChuck said...

This isn't new. It's been obvious since, well, 1933. The battles in the streets began in the 1960's. The battles in the living rooms began in the 1970's. What's different today is that the Left is now a majority. Or at least they think they are.

When your avowed enemies say they intend to kill you, believe them.

The Left drove a poisoned knife into America's heart in 1965, from which she cannot recover. Whatever follows must and will be different.

Unknown said...

15 years, more or less, if things continue the way they have been. For myself, I see no way of stopping it. Are you in a good spot to survive the end of the Republic, Peter? I'm not, hopefully will be in a better place soon.

Orvan Taurus said...

The words actually used by those on the liberal/progressive extreme of US politics demonstrate the reality

And it is reminding me far, far too much of the stuff that went into the Why We Fight series' Prelude to War. Make stuff up? No need! Here, have a look at their own newsreels/speeches/coverage...

HMS Defiant said...

The backlash will be profound. They went too far and the current generation is on to their game. You could say the backlash already started. Nobody goes to churches anymore and almost nobody buys a newspaper and few watch the news shows. One tack might say that that is because they're powerfully willfully ignorant and another would say, they hate both the message and the messenger and the www is alive and well.

Aesop said...

The day is coming, very soon, where the only correct response to the incendiary rhetoric of the leftards will be to start shooting them in the face in batches.

I'm not getting on the boxcar, and anyone who thinks to load it had best make out his last will & testament, and set his affairs in order.
He won't be coming home at the end of that shift.

And as God is my witness, I'll write "Now I have a machinegun, Ho Ho Ho!" on his t-shirt in red Sharpie, afterwards.

Margaret Ball said...

"Have we reached the stage where we can no longer engage in dialogue at all?"

I hate to say this, but my experience suggests that is the case.

The thing is -- my friends, neighbors and children are not militant leftists. They're useful idiots who like to think of themselves as good people, and they've allowed the Left to define "good" as "unquestioning support for Truth As We See It (Today)." (The time stamp is necessary because, as we've all seen, the Left's "Truth" changes from day to day.)

But... I can't discuss anything remotely political even with these mild, non-activist, I'm-a-good-person types. The slightest hint of an objection to any part of their Revealed Truth causes a panicky retreat. "We can't talk about that; it will ruin our friendship!"

The Left has convinced them that even hearing a dissenting opinion is dangerous to their health, mental well-being, and purity. And, of course, I am not allowed to question that belief either, because they're so afraid of being contaminated by my dissent.

I have no idea how our society can climb back out of this pit.

Beans said...

This started a few years earlier than 1933. It really started with Woodrow Wilson's administration.

And I know lots of Christians who don't go to church because of the lack of Christianity found in many of them.

But, yeah. I don't want it to become a 'Yippi-Ki-Yay' moment, but I fear it will. Too many old dudes with no reason to continue hiding their feelings and too tired to hold back their emotions, who have too many skills and too many grudges, will be an ugly surprise to the leftists.

Bob said...

I've been calling it "the Balkanized States of America" for a while now. "The Tribalized States of America" would fit, too.

The Lab Manager said...

I realized years ago few of my fellow Americans have a life or property I would give a damn about defending. I would be more than happy to round up leftist and good number neo con and other statist and physically remove from society. Concentration camps? Why not? They willfully support evil all of the time anyway.

Chris Nelson said...

It's sad because I'm arguing with my spouse whether we should take one last vacation to see some national parks or spend the money on stocking up.

Will said...

preps first. Memories feed the soul, but not the body.

eldiabloloco said...

I blame Lincoln. While they were busy freeing the enslaved, the end result was the enslavement of the states to the Union.