Idiots on the left and idiots on the right have formed a symbiotic relationship. Such is the argument of an author with the unlikely name of Mytheos Holt
, writing for The Federalist
. Holt argues that the left's "speech totalitarianism" has energized the crazies.
I don't agree with everything this guy has to say -- and for that matter, The Federalist is not the kind of publication I usually read -- but this
passage, my friends, is a pretty damned brilliant piece of wordsmithing.
The idea that egalitarian principles require us to legally sanction gay marriage might be persuasive, but the idea the same principles should allow gay-rights proponents to trample religious freedom is a much harder sell. Therefore, prudence requires not overextending that argument for it to maintain its effectiveness
But the Left, high on their own success, has not just overextended this argument: it has strapped it to the rack and dislocated its limbs. The idea that certain sentiments can’t be expressed without branding you as an artifact of a dark and unenlightened past has entered the realm of self-parody. It’s all well and good when your unenlightened feminist bogeyman is Todd Akin using cocktail napkin math to pretend rape babies don’t exist; it’s another thing entirely when it’s Laura Kipnis questioning whether grad students dating professors is really such a monstrous imbalance of power. Yet, especially in its natural habitat—the faculty lounge—the Left just bulls right on, trying to write anything and everything to the right of Karl Marx and bell hooks out of existence, until even Bernie Sanders is getting booed for “whitesplaining.”
The avalanche of stories and think pieces about trigger warnings, mattress-carrying bluestockings, and freakouts over “misgendering” someone who as of only a month ago was still a man have painted a very unflattering picture of our national culture. America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, appears to be in danger of becoming the land of the fragile and the home of the breakable. Everyone, both Left and Right, is getting fed up with treating their fellow citizens like overpriced glassware.
Into this great American China shop steps Donald Trump, aka the bull.
I've been thinking similar thoughts for a while. Frankly, too many liberals and lefties have been acting like dipshits lately, and it's always the dipshittiest of the bunch who get the most news coverage.
Worse, these people refuse to acknowledge that their ostentatious dipshittery might injure their brand. When you try to explain that danger to them, they will use their formidable powers of rationalization to convince themselves of their rightness in all things. Their sheer fucking arrogance matches that of any GOP plutocrat.
Your average lefty, like your average Trump, would rather eat glass than apologize. For anything. They cannot even admit to the theoretical
possibility of being in the wrong.
Thus, for example, we have the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement who have made a target of Bernie Sanders -- as though he
is the villain. Not Trump, not Rush, not the Tea Partiers, not the Fox crowd, not the cops in Baltimore, not any of the right-wing creeps who reflexively support every hideous thing that the cops have done. No, those
guys aren't the problem. Bernie fucking Sanders
is the problem.
Cut to: 1941.
"General Eisenhower, what's the first step in our crusade to defeat Nazi Germany?"
"Obviously, we must BOMB LONDON!"
Back to 2015.
Now, I'm sure that if pressed, the activists who have targeted Sanders will get all huffy and puffy as they insist, with a truly Trumpish arrogance, that they were perfectly right to target Sanders. All such huffing and puffing is, of course, pure bullshit
. And everyone knows it. I refuse to listen to their bullshit explanations because if I want that kind of bullshit I'll find a pasture with a bull in it.
(Actually, I suspect that the activists who said "Let's target Sanders" were FBI infiltrators. But that's a post for another occasion.)
My larger point is this: Lefties have been acting like preening, proud, smug, self-satisfied assholes for far too long. They have no concept of how annoying they are. They cannot believe how totally fucking stupid
they often sound to others. They don't understand that speech and ideas and behaviors which may make sense within their own narrow circle of friends may seem really obnoxious outside of that circle.
Remember this post about "trigger warnings"?
That nonsense remains with us.
There are still liberals who insist that a "trigger warning" must precede any discussion of (say) violence against women -- because, it seems, liberal women are wilting daffodils who might get the vapors if informed that there are unpleasant things in this world. Not long ago, there was a feminist conference in which the audience was told not to applaud because traditional clapping is too intimidating. Instead, audience members were supposed wave hands in the air -- gently, to and fro.
Who came up with that ridiculous idea? I don't know. But, from previous experience, I do
know this: Whoever came up with that idea would rather drink pure ammonia than ever say the words "Maybe I came up with a bad
Lefties, liberals, feminists and the leaders of Black Lives Matter are just like John Wayne's character in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
: "Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness." Actually, John Wayne's character in that movie is more tolerable: He isn't so goddamned smug all the time.
Across the political spectrum, left and right, this country has become addicted to smug.
The smug will get mugged -- politically. Democracy is all about making your viewpoint seem attractive to large numbers of people. If you are trying to make your viewpoint seem attractive to large numbers of people, wipe that haughty better-than-you expression off your face. Smug works against your interests.