The Incredible Shrinking Left

Middlebury College students showcase their talents during Charles Murray's recent attempt to address the College.

Middlebury College students showcase their talents during Charles Murray’s recent attempt to address the College.

Liberals mystified by the election of Donald Trump might look to the Middlebury assault—in which Charles Murray was shouted down and physically pursued as he left campus while the professor escorting him was attacked and put in a neck brace—for a slice of the explanation. The answer may lie less in the grotesque conduct of college students awash in—wait for it, wait for it—privilege than in what the impassioned youth never said.

What they did say was the requisite chant on such occasions: “Racist, sexist, anti-gay— [fill in the blank] go away!” Never mind that the blank they filled in on this occasion, Murray, supports gay marriage, believes abortion should be left to “moral suasion” and has been a relentless voice against Donald Trump, or that the claim of his supposed racism is an old canard.

What is striking is the student protesters’ failure to connect what they were doing with any of the traditional and noble concerns of liberalism. Ditching the banner of free speech, of course, makes sense given that waving it would oblige them to listen to Murray. But what about such issues as poverty and the struggles of the working class?

Murray has written provocatively on them all, supplying ample ground for thoughtful intellectual combat, provided the Left has any gas left in the tank on such concerns. It seems rather that  the Left’s energies are mostly consumed now with issues of identity. The smaller the sexual, racial, or ethnic minority, the more intense the claims of oppression seem to be, hence the more respect it commands.

Consider transgender ideology. The prevalence of gender dysphoria is, scientific estimates say—and the academic Left all but worships science in other contexts—between .005 and .14 percent in men and between .002 and .003 percent in women. One assumes that the prevalence of self-consciousness about sharing intimate facilities with people of the opposite anatomical sex is considerably higher.

Yet the issue has now been asserted as one of rights, so it is being litigated in the federal courts. One is now expected to specify the pronouns by which one wishes to be identified. CNN host Chris Cuomo offered that the problem with a 12-year-old girl who preferred not to see male genitalia in a locker room was her “overprotective and intolerant dad.” There are few dads who would not cop to the first of those adjectives.

There is a perverse Hegelianism at work here. In his much misunderstood article questioning whether the end of Soviet communism meant the “end of history,” Francis Fukuyama suggested that liberal democracy, arising from the Hegelian quest for recognition, was the final form of government to which humanity would aspire. The result would be the emergence of Nietzsche’s “last man,” whose energies would be channeled to progressively less meaningful objects. “The end of history,” he wrote, “will be a very sad time.”

Fukuyama was wrong about much, but he was mischaracterized about a great deal more. He did not mean liberal democracy had been everywhere achieved, only that it was a final aspiration. Similarly, civil rights have not been everywhere achieved, but the Left—at this point running out of aspirations when it comes to identity—is having to invent grievances that occupy smaller and smaller ground.

Perhaps that is so because the middle-class leftists doing the inventing lack the imagination to gaze beyond their own navels. The traditional causes of liberalism are certainly not vanquished, as any reader of J.D. Vance can attest. Liberalism may not have the answers, of course, but it used to espouse the concern.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the foremost intellect of late 20th century liberalism and a respectful antagonist of Murray, noted that the 1962 Port Huron Statement of campus liberals contained scant reference to problems like poverty. “It is addressed,” Moynihan noted, “exclusively to middle class intellectuals and college students.”

The Greeks were right: History runs in cycles. The triumph of identity politics, which has consumed the Left and endangers mainstream liberalism, has ceded issues like poverty and the fate of the working class entirely to Trumpism. It does not matter that his protectionism has little to offer but an emotional outlet. No one else is offering even that much.

At a political science conference in Chicago this time last year, an elderly hotel porter on break was talking with two young interlocutors at a Starbucks. Each made their pitch to the older man—one by name-checking groups for the Left, the other by talking law and order for Trump. The porter listened unto frustration and then said, “Let me tell you what Franklin and Lyndon told me. They said vote for me and you’ll have a job.”

That is not to say Franklin and Lyndon were right. It is to say they spoke his language. They provided grounds for substantive, meaningful dispute with conservatism. They spoke of concerns beyond the immediate appetite for recognition. The contemporary Left, instead, is reduced to calling a roll from which growing swaths of the electorate are excluded except to the extent they identify as supporting the claims of these groups. (At a forum for candidates to head the Democratic National Committee , one hopeful said that she, as  a white woman,  admittedly  “didn’t get it.” She explained, “We have to teach [people] how to communicate, how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white.” Goodbye, Scranton.)

This self-loathing is particularly a phenomenon of middle- to upper-class youth (annual tuition, board and fees at Middlebury: $63,332) who can afford not to have other concerns. Their “anomie,” Moynihan said of the 1960s college Left, was driven by an “educated elite” whose rationalism caused “the wellsprings of emotion [to] dry up, and in particular the primal sense of community [to begin] to fade.”

What is especially ironic is that this politics of identity, which accrues entitlements to groups, provides a veneer of community but actually arises from an intense individualism. It is the isolated individual’s demand to be recognized not for any meritorious quality or act but for who that individual is. Youth always feel entitled, of course, but there is an especially acute sense of privilege in the prima facie demand for respect and recognition from others.

That is particularly so when the demand is made without any concern for the others from whom respect is demanded. Murray’s research and writing address the predicament of those others. They are the people to whom Trump made his appeal. The campus Left notices them only to clamor for their respect and, if it is not voluntarily given, to extract it (on the fantasy that such is possible) with violence. That the inflicting of violence from behind masks on a female professor might seem—if the term is still permissible—ungentlemanly to the very people they need to persuade probably exceeds the youths’ imagination.

Consequently, they look on the Trump phenomenon in a stupor of confusion. They might look to themselves or, barring that, to Moynihan. He wrote in 1969: “If a populist, illiberal conservatism began swelling to ominous proportions in the late 1960s, the middle-class advocates of expressive violence and creative turmoil had something to answer for.” They do again.

Greg Weiner

Greg Weiner is a contributing editor of Law and Liberty.

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  1. gabe says

    A Russian Legislator recently proposed legalizing soccer “hooliganism” ( fan violence), a not uncommon occurrence in his homeland.

    Who says we cannot still beat the ole Russkies? Here in the USA, we have apparently legalized “academic hooliganism” – now who is keeping score and what is the prize?

    Anyway, nice essay. Interesting take on “Hegelian recognition” . I suppose for the Left, it is imperative that they be recognized, Ha!

  2. R Richard Schweitzer says

    “Left” is a term often so loosely used that its meaning becomes lost. But here, in this context, it is the ” New Totalitarianism,” a quest for social monism through fascism. Fascism is a doctrine of conduct for social and political domination through intimidation, including violence, up to and through mayhem and murder.

    Other than for the militarization of a society, the monistic objective of totalitarianism is the constraint or elimination of individuality and of the pluralism individuality produces. This is basically the “anti-individual” reaction to individuality and its effects referred to by Oakeshott. (“The masses in representative democracy” in “Rationalism in Politics” [Liberty Fund 1991])

    Greg Weiner notes:

    “What is especially ironic is that this politics of identity, which accrues entitlements to groups, provides a veneer of community but actually **arises from an intense individualism.** It is the isolated individual’s demand to be recognized not for any meritorious quality or act but for **who that individual is.** Youth always feel entitled, of course, but there is an especially acute sense of privilege in the prima facie demand for respect and recognition from others. ” [** supplied]

    If we consider “individuality” as the distinct capacities, limitations and characteristics of an individual (i.e. “who that individual is”) and “individual-ism” as the expression of individuality in a social context, we may now observe the “submergence” of individuality into collective matrixes due to what has become a loss of the sense of relation to others **as** individuals, changing how individuals regard one another in our society. ” How do we look upon one another; and, what shapes that vision?”

    Perhaps there is a clue to an answer to that question in that part of Greg Weiner’s last sentence quoted above:

    ” Youth always feel entitled, of course, but there is an especially acute sense of privilege in the prima facie demand for respect and recognition from others. ”

    All “entitlements” (in fact, all “rights”) of some are dependent upon the existence of concomitant OBLIGATIONS on the part of others. (Hohfeld, 23 Yale L.J 28-59 [1913]) Those obligations may require positive conduct or constraints of conduct. It is certainly obvious in our current society that the sense of entitlements is not limited to youth and has expanded consistently (and been fostered politically and socially) over the past 100 years. This is the sense that “others are obligated to me.” The doubts of individuality lead to “others are obligated to US.” Some will point to the probability that those senses have derived from the observations that there are some (the poor, the disadvantaged, the disabled, children) to whom “we” or “society” are (but less and less “I” am) obligated.

    Depending upon how one interprets the sense of “privilege” or being “privileged” Greg Weiner refers to, we can probably find its source in the initiation and development of motivations.

    If we were to go to the parents and families in which those motivations were originally initiated and their development begun and ask the question, “Have you made clear to your children and do they understand their rights?” The answers would no doubt be firm and affirmative. But would we get the same response if we asked, “Have you made clear to your children and do they understand their obligations, including those to others?”

    If we were to ask those Middlebury students who were in Charles Murray’s audience (as a sample), “What are your obligations to others; and, what are the obligations of others to you?” What kinds of responses should we expect and what forms of privileges would be expressed. Instead our conversations turn so much more readily to the contrasting of “relative rights” rather than the more vital “relative obligations.”

    We could understand the * application* of our Declaration of Independence better as a recognition that we are all equally obligated to one another, in accordance with the individual capacities and limitations with which we come into existence.

  3. nobody.really says

    [T]he inflicting of violence from behind masks on a female professor might seem—if the term is still permissible—ungentlemanly….

    HEY! You don’t know the gender of the person who attacked that professor!

    Then again, under contemporary circumstances, we would wouldn’t have been able to tell the gender of the person attacking the professor, with or without the mask. So maybe “ungentlemanly” is no worse than any other word here….

    [A] phenomenon of middle- to upper-class youth (annual tuition, board and fees at Middlebury: $63,332) who can afford not to have other concerns.

    To be sure, I expect that Middlebury students tend to share the perspectives of middle- to upper-class people. But that’s because middle- the upper-class parents tend to raise the kids who score well enough on the ACT and SAT to get into schools like Middlebury.

    That said, the school’s list price is not much of an indicator, since the majority of Middlebury students don’t pay it. It’s just a benchmark for purposes of calculating financial aid.

    The answer may lie less in the grotesque conduct of college students awash in—wait for it, wait for it—privilege than in what the impassioned youth never said.

    Yes, this was an exhibition of privilege–although, given the battery, assault, and suppression of free speech, privilege would seem to be the least of the social transgressions.

    And yes, such bad behavior might influence some voters—although I have to wonder how many undecided voter there are among those who spend their free time following the antics of students at elite liberal arts colleges. This seems like the kind of story that will truly enrage the already enraged.

    The result would be the emergence of Nietzsche’s “last man,” whose energies would be channeled to progressively less meaningful objects. “The end of history,” he wrote, “will be a very sad time.”

    [T]he Left—at this point running out of aspirations when it comes to identity—is having to invent grievances that occupy smaller and smaller ground.

    And we would prefer that men pursue less meaningful objects first, delaying work on the more meaningful objects? We’d prefer that the Left pursue remedies for small grievances first, deferring the pursuit of remedies for larger grievances until later?

    This simply describes the phenomenon of diminishing marginal returns—generally regarded as a marker of rational behavior.

    Consider transgender ideology. The prevalence of gender dysphoria is, scientific estimates say—and the academic Left all but worships science in other contexts—between .005 and .14 percent in men and between .002 and .003 percent in women….

    The traditional causes of liberalism are certainly not vanquished, as any reader of J.D. Vance can attest. Liberalism may not have the answers, of course, but it used to espouse the concern.

    The triumph of identity politics, which has consumed the Left and endangers mainstream liberalism, has ceded issues like poverty and the fate of the working class entirely to Trumpism. It does not matter that his protectionism has little to offer but an emotional outlet. No one else is offering even that much.

    So let’s review: Given changes in the labor market, there really isn’t a viable way to restore demand for unskilled labor in the labor market. The Left, rather than engaging in selling false hope to the many, chooses to invest its energies seeking real, practical redress for an oppressed few. And for doing so, the Left earns Weiner’s scorn.

    On the other hand, Trump has no real remedy to offer the working class, but is happy to offer “an emotional outlet.” And for this, he wins Weiner’s (grudging) praise: at least he’s “offering … that much.”

    Hey, I don’t mean to denigrate the value of hope. I’ve previously questioned the Legal Crits’ efforts to demystify government and the law in order to strip people of their false hopes, thereby emboldening them to pursue political recourse. But people who have been stripped of hope don’t look like a gaggle of law professors; they look like the Intifada—or Ferguson, Missouri.

    So maybe Weiner is right, and we should praise Trump for offering false hope, thereby staving off a new round of riots, drug abuse, and suicide. But ideally we could offer more than just false hope.

    At a political science conference in Chicago this time last year, an elderly hotel porter on break was talking with two young interlocutors at a Starbucks. Each made their pitch to the older man—one by name-checking groups for the Left, the other by talking law and order for Trump. The porter listened unto frustration and then said, “Let me tell you what Franklin and Lyndon told me. They said vote for me and you’ll have a job.”

    That is not to say Franklin and Lyndon were right. It is to say they spoke his language. They provided grounds for substantive, meaningful dispute with conservatism. They spoke of concerns beyond the immediate appetite for recognition.

    First, I’m not so sure that the winning strategy in the last election favored those who sought practical remedies rather than those who merely sought to recognize people in pain. “I feel your pain” can be a viable political message, and it’s ironic that the Clinton in the race was not the one given it.

    But more to the point: Yes, perhaps Franklin and Lyndon could persuasively seek to get this man a job. And perhaps that’s because they lived in the days of machine politics with a big patronage process. Or perhaps it’s because this porter was black, and the principle impediment for black people getting employment was undue discrimination—something public policy can address. But in an era in which the demand for unskilled labor is swamped by the supply, it’s less clear that politicians should be encouraging people to think that government can solve this problem.

    Instead, we should be encouraging people to support an expanded safety net. No, it’s not as desirable as a job—much like chemotherapy is not as appealing as wearing a copper bracelet. The only advantage this policy has is that it offers a real prospect for relief.

    • R Richard Schweitzer says

      From Middlebury:

      Middlebury College’s average financial aid package for incoming freshmen is $44,904. Approximately 45.0% of incoming students receive some form of financial assistance, the majority of which is in the form of scholarships and grants

      In fact, 282 incoming freshmen were awarded scholarships at Middlebury College, averaging $36,477. This ranks in the top 20th percentile of all colleges nationwide.

      Income Level Percent of Freshman Students Average Assistance
      Income 0-30k 4.6% $54,566
      Income 30k-48k 3.4% $52,000
      Income 48k-75k 6.7% $47,129
      Income 75k-110k 4.8% $42,022
      Income 110k + 14.7% $22,605

      • nobody.really says

        Thanks for those stats. Not quite what I had expected.

        [T]he school’s list price is not much of an indicator, since the majority of Middlebury students don’t pay it. It’s just a benchmark for purposes of calculating financial aid.

        Approximately 45.0% of incoming students receive some form of financial assistance….

        So if 45% receive some form of financial assistance, then 55% do not? According to this, my claim that the majority of Middlebury students don’t pay the list price appears to be inaccurate.

        282 incoming freshmen were awarded scholarships at Middlebury College, averaging $36,477. This ranks in the top 20th percentile of all colleges nationwide.

        Thanks again–but to clarify, what specifically ranks in the top 20th percentile: The number of freshmen receiving scholarships? The percentage of freshmen? The dollar value of the scholarship?

        • R Richard Schweitzer says

          surely you can read more closely:

          The average amount and number of awarded scholarships is the subject in that sentence.

      • Blue says

        Talk about missing the lede.

        8 percent of the college come from families with an income below 52K. Less than 20 percent from families with an average income of under 110K.

    • gabe says

      Two statements by nobody:

      1) “Or perhaps it’s because this porter was black…”
      2) “HEY! You don’t know the [race] of the[porter] who [got the job]!

      Gee, what does that say?

      “chooses to invest its energies seeking real, practical redress for an oppressed few”

      Debatable, of course, as to whether ANY redress is possible for, or even desired by, this horribly oppressed few.
      No, as R. Richard implies, the willful failure (or ignorance) by this oppressed few, and their “privileged supporters in the ranks of academia, to recognize that there are concomitant obligations would indicate that no submission will ever suffice to satisfy their (I love this) Hegelian need for recognition. It is no longer a matter of demanding tolerance, as a tolerant attitude by the mainstream would presumably, and in the past did, mollify the *aggrieved*, but it is now an unstated, yet nevertheless clear demand that the mainstream “celebrate” their non-normative behavior and preferences. My goodness, it is almost a categorical imperative as framed by the Leftist loonies.

      No amount of proselytizing / obfuscation, even if deftly enunciated, will obscure the fact that there is a steadfast unwillingness on the part of the “newly” oppressed to recognize that they, in fact, have obligations to others. This failure is clearly evident in their violent rhetoric and behavior towards any and all who have not sipped from the effervescent springs of social justice dogma. The inability / unwillingness to hear, consider and incorporate (if only to refute) countering opinions is a clear indication that the demand for “recognition” as currently expressed bespeaks not recognition but denigration and denial of the “other.” How can there be a sense of obligation when one denies in others the very recognition the oppressed purports to value so highly.

      As for “feeling your pain” comment: I suspect that you are partially correct here. Clearly there was an element of that in the message, both by the conveyor and on the part of the receiver. However, limiting the Trumpster’s message to a Clintonian style false and packaged empathy, is dismissive of The Trumpster’s overall message. He identified certain failures in the rule by elites, proffered certain solutions and, albeit not in the style that R.Richard and I would have offered, implied that he understood that we, as citizens DO have obligations to each other. And yes, the audience may not have been capable of voicing / defending the notion of obligations – but clearly they it resonated with them. Granted, the tasks ahead may be quite difficult, if not impossible to complete BUT THEY ARE NOT in “pursuit of small remedies.”

      Are you missing the point here, my friend, re: small remedies (or perhaps I miss a humorous allusion). It is not that the pursuit of small remedies is inherently bad (heck, I’d never get along with my grandkids if that were the case) but rather that given the plethora of problems currently upon us, the pursuit of small remedies, whether by choice, by the Left’s ideological exhaustion or confusion, or by a marked inability to observe, grasp and develop remedies on larger issues, it may not be justly argued that the “small remedy” approach is appropriate. It is indeed diminishing marginal returns – but whose fault is that? After having completely marginalized the “greater overarching community,” while assiduously creating and cultivating innumerable sub-segments of the whole, it may be argued that any and all future attempts to pursue remedies will, of necessity, consist of “small remedies” for “small minorities.”
      The again, I do not doubt the ingenuity / cleverness of our friends on the Left. Surely, there are many more possible sub-categories of oppressed that may be recruited (commandeered) into the battalions of those seeking their historically due recognition. what next? Are we to break down LGBT victims into sub-categories by race, weight, shoe preference?

      Me, I am happy just hanging out in The Shire and being able to get “Second Breakfast” when I desire. Oops, now that is privilege, Bilbo!!!!

        • nobody.really says

          That quote has never resonated with me, and the source (Sand and Foam) doesn’t provide much context.

          I prefer MLK:

          [T]he law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.

          (I thought he had said it at Middlebury, but it was actually in the WSJ—but he said something similar at Oberlin, so I was close!)

          In short, gabe expresses anxiety that someone, somewhere, is trying to force him to love transsexual people. I think he’s nuts, but I absolutely defend his God-given, American right to hate whomever he pleases. That’s freedom of religion in a nutshell.

          Yet, while he is free to hate, he isn’t free to lynch. That’s toleration in a nutshell. And, like MLK, I think that’s pretty important.

          Of course, gabe is free to refrain from lynching trans people out of a love sick with the sickness of haughtiness. Or out of an agape love of compassion. Or erotic love. Or familial love. Or a white-hot hatred that thinks that death is too good for ‘em. Or fear of consequences. Or laziness. Or indifference. Whatever.

          The point is, tolerance is entirely consistent with any number of emotional states and motivations—so I don’t really get the Gibran quote.

      • nobody.really says

        [T]he willful failure (or ignorance) by this oppressed few … to recognize that there are concomitant obligations would indicate that no submission will ever suffice to satisfy their (I love this) Hegelian need for recognition. [I] is now an unstated, yet nevertheless clear demand that the mainstream “celebrate” their non-normative behavior and preferences….

        No amount of proselytizing / obfuscation, even if deftly enunciated, will obscure the fact that there is a steadfast unwillingness on the part of the “newly” oppressed to recognize that they, in fact, have obligations to others. This failure is clearly evident in their violent rhetoric and behavior towards any and all who have not sipped from the effervescent springs of social justice dogma. The inability / unwillingness to hear, consider and incorporate (if only to refute) countering opinions is a clear indication that the demand for “recognition” as currently expressed bespeaks not recognition but denigration and denial of the “other.” How can there be a sense of obligation when one denies in others the very recognition the oppressed purports to value so highly.

        As for “feeling your pain” comment: I suspect that you are partially correct here. Clearly there was an element of that in the message, both by the conveyor and on the part of the receiver. However, limiting the Trumpster’s message to a Clintonian style false and packaged empathy, is dismissive of The Trumpster’s overall message. He identified certain failures in the rule by elites, proffered certain solutions and, albeit not in the style that R.Richard and I would have offered, implied that he understood that we, as citizens DO have obligations to each other. And yes, the audience may not have been capable of voicing / defending the notion of obligations – but clearly it resonated with them. Granted, the tasks ahead may be quite difficult, if not impossible to complete BUT THEY ARE NOT in “pursuit of small remedies.”

        What a fascinating juxtaposition of arguments.

        If you think that I’m going to oppose the idea that individualism can go too far, or that we should exhibit greater social concerns, you apparently have not been reading my arguments in favor of wealth redistribution. You had me at hello.

        Similarly, if you think I favor violence or repression of free speech, you’re in for a surprise. “How can there be a sense of obligation when one denies in others the very recognition the oppressed purports to value so highly?” Couldn’t agree more. Thus I utterly condemn the actions of the violent Middlebury students.

        Now it’s well documented that the people who are most prone to use violence in support of their causes are Right-Wingers, not Lefties. The Dept. of Homeland Security found that the greatest active threat of terrorism in the US arises not from Musilms—indeed, on the list of all the deaths due to terrorism in the US since 9/11, there have been none by immigrants or refugees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen–but rather from the Right-Wing “sovereign citizen” movement. So I’m delighted to know that you share my condemnation of violence to promote political objectives.

        Now, the “oppressed few” that we had been discussing are transgendered people. So if we Google the words “transgender” and “violence,” what do we find?

        Oh my! What a deplorable situation!

        Indeed, if anyone had the slightest inclination to educate him- or herself about these circumstances, they might even come to the conclusion that the fight to defend the rights of transgendered people is not just a petty exercise in ego gratification. Rather, it is an effort to keep transgendered people from having to draw needless attention to their “otherness.” We fight for these rights for the same reason we fight for the right of Jews to avoid having to wear yellow Stars of David on their attire: We’re trying to keep a despised minority from becoming an easy target of abuse and, yes, death.

        Now, you may share my concerns about these violent attacks—as, indeed, your remarks suggest you would. Or you may dismiss them. But I’d hate to see you expend fruitless effort trying to persuade me that these concerns are petty exercises by silly people simply seeking recognition for the sake of ego gratification. It ain’t happenin’.

        [W]hat next? Are we to break down LGBT victims into sub-categories by race, weight, shoe preference?

        Me, I am happy just hanging out in The Shire and being able to get “Second Breakfast” when I desire. Oops, now that is privilege, Bilbo!!!!

        Fine. But when you hobbits go to a restaurant for Second Breakfasts and get turned away because of their “no shoes, no shirt, no service” rules, then you’ll wish you had defended the rights of people to exercise their shoe preferences. “First they came for the Crocs, and I did not speak out….”

        • somebody.actually says

          When you start showing some concern for the 1% we can talk. The fact that you can’t or won’t recognize the implicit and explicit violence required to enforce your redistribution fantasy really tells me nearly all I need to know. The only remaining question is what thin tissue you use to justify it. Are you in the camp that believes that “they didn’t build that (but their tax dollars did…).” Or perhaps you prefer the “they can afford it” argument which is little more than the redistributionist version of “she was asking for it.” Or maybe you are the extortionist who says pay me now or pay them more later.

          And since you site such reputable hate groups like the SPLC and engage in semantic game playing (no deaths caused by somali born terrorists-but not for lack of trying in Minnesota and Ohio) perhaps I should cite the 500k+ deaths caused by the left-wing Planned Parenthood in response. Don’t like that definition? Well it’s as accurate as Slate and the SPLC.

          You have no compunction against using the state to steal from your fellow citizens and compel association, so no, I have no reason to believe that you would support their right to free speech. Your fellow travellers sure don’t.

          • nobody.really says

            When you start showing some concern for the 1% we can talk.

            Then let me reassure you, I want the 1% to have safety; health care; freedom of speech, religion, and association; clean air, water, and food; the loving embrace of family and friends—all to the same extent as anyone else. If I suggested otherwise, let me apologize.

            The fact that you can’t or won’t recognize the implicit and explicit violence required to enforce your redistribution fantasy really tells me nearly all I need to know. The only remaining question is what thin tissue you use to justify it.

            Who says I don’t recognize the violence required for taxation? George Washington recognized it when he ordered the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion, so it’s not as if this was some kind of big secret.
            And the rationale for taxation hasn’t really changed much over the years, either. I characterize it as so:

            The US decides what it want to spend money on, prints money, and spends it.

            Now, that’s all well and good, but this strategy may become inflationary after a while. So to limit the dilution of the dollar, the government contracts the outstanding supply of dollars. And one method it uses to do this is taxation.

            As I’ve previously said, I embrace the idea of diminishing marginal returns—include returns on consumption. As a result, I favor progressive taxation.

            I understand that plenty of people disagree with all of this. But the US has engaged in taxation—and specifically progressive taxation—for quite a while now, so I’d expect that most people would have become at least a little familiar with the concepts.

            [M]aybe you are the extortionist who says pay me now or pay them more later.

            Rest assured, I have no power to promote my views other than my words. I have no threats to implement.

            That said, if someone warns me about skating on thin ice, I can’t really fault the person who gave the warning when I break through.

            As I’ve previously said, I interpret the Trump election as, in part, an expression of populist frustration with their economic circumstances. I perceive that they would like to impose protectionist measures, which may have some effect on constricting the supply of unskilled labor—but will also have the effect of retarding trade and growth, which I expect to fall most heavily on the upper classes. In aggregate, I expect this will incur greater harm on the top than it will benefit the bottom.

            I’d prefer to implement more efficient reforms that would leave all segments of society better off than under a protectionist regime. If we don’t, I expect we’ll get more protectionism—with all of its attendant costs.

            Does this amount to populists extorting benefits out of the rich? Yeah—as they always have. We’re a nation that lives on popular assent. ALL our liberties and freedoms ultimately rest on people being willing to support the system. Today, ever fewer people are willing to assent to the status quo. When imperial France and Russia could no longer command the assent of their countrymen, we saw what happened.

            I’m not asking anyone to like these facts. (Remember, I’m speaking on behalf of transgendered people, a tiny, despised minority that must rely on the stability of the social order for their very survival.) I’m just acknowledging these facts: A society that cannot meet the demands of a large number of its own members—no matter how much you may disagree with those demands—is a society in dissolution.

            [P]erhaps I should cite the 500k+ deaths caused by the left-wing Planned Parenthood in response.

            Feel free. Indeed, lots of people express your deep sense of grievance that progressive taxation wrongfully intrudes upon the autonomy of the rich—but see no problem with government telling women what do to with their bodies, autonomy interests be damned.

            The world is full of all kinds of curious people. Viva la difference.

          • gabe says

            nobody:

            “A society that cannot meet the demands of a large number of its own members—no matter how much you may disagree with those demands—is a society in dissolution.”

            AND

            “Viva la difference.”

            somewhat contradictory statements, wouldn’t you say?
            Given the Left’s insistence upon breaking the polity down into the “tiny, despised minorit[ies} which are then used to foster / sustain the perception of the Left as the vanguard / defenders of the oppressed, how can it be said that such a prescription could ever result in a condition where the demands of the majority of its members would be met?

            Yet, this is precisely what you continue to propose. Does it not ever strike you that so long as you *segregate* Americans, into “victim” groups, that you will never manage to provide a compelling and unifying narrative capable of sustaining a cohesive society AND consequently, will continue to “shrink” both your ideology and influence, not to mention the sphere of operations.

            Also we end up with “concerns” over such earth shattering problems as was to be found in todays local rag sheet, Seattle Times: “My gay son’s transgender partner is *pregnant* and my family is upset.”

            Geez, I wonder why? So there is your shrinking field of operations. Contrary to your assertion that you are engaged in world shaping activities, the likes of which were only previously attempted by a bevy of Saints. it would appear that you are now, like the crows of the field, reduced to scavenging for mere droppings – all in a futile attempt to feed your dialogue.

          • nobody.really says

            “A society that cannot meet the demands of a large number of its own members—no matter how much you may disagree with those demands—is a society in dissolution.”

            AND

            “Viva la difference.”

            somewhat contradictory statements, wouldn’t you say?

            Thank you for quoting the text you’re asking me to respond to. That’s very helpful for focusing the discussion.

            That said: No, I see no contradiction in the sentences. They don’t even address the same topics.
            The second sentence is a statement of my values: I value tolerance for diverse opinions.
            In contrast, the first statement reflects my understanding of how the world works. It is explicitly NOT a statement of my values, as you might see from context:

            I’m not asking anyone to like these facts. (Remember, I’m speaking on behalf of transgendered people, a tiny, despised minority that must rely on the stability of the social order for their very survival.) I’m just acknowledging these facts: A society that cannot meet the demands of a large number of its own members—no matter how much you may disagree with those demands—is a society in dissolution.

            Regarding the rest of gabe’s remarks:

            Given the Left’s insistence upon breaking the polity down into the “tiny, despised minorit[ies] which are then used to foster / sustain the perception of the Left as the vanguard / defenders of the oppressed, how can it be said that such a prescription could ever result in a condition where the demands of the majority of its members would be met?

            Yet, this is precisely what you continue to propose. Does it not ever strike you that so long as you *segregate* Americans, into “victim” groups, that you will never manage to provide a compelling and unifying narrative capable of sustaining a cohesive society AND consequently, will continue to “shrink” both your ideology and influence, not to mention the sphere of operations.

            Gabe identifies one of the great dynamics of democracy since Ancient Greece: To what extent should politicians pander to minorities, and to what extent should politicians subordinate the interests of minorities in order to pander to majorities?

            Sure, society needs cohesion, so it helps to promote a sense of commonality, common citizenship, common values. And people who draw attention to the fact that we DON’T all live a common lifestyle undermine that cohesion. Oh, why were those colonists constantly calling attention to their subordinated status in Parliament, yapping on about taxation without representation? Why couldn’t they just embrace their identities as Englishmen united under the authority of the Crown? Goddamn Adams, Jefferson, and Washington!

            What was wrong with those uppity slaves, constantly calling attention to their subordinated status? Why couldn’t they just embrace their identities as Southerners, just like their owners did? Goddam Fredrick Douglass!

            What was wrong with women during the suffragist movement, or blacks during the Civil Rights movement, constantly calling attention to their subordinated status? Why couldn’t they embrace their common identities as Americans? Goddam Susan B. Anthony and MLK!

            Etc., etc.

            As should be obvious by now, here’s what’s wrong: If you never draw attention to the problems, the problems never get fixed. Now, it may not be surprising that people who are already members of the group at the top of the social hierarchy don’t see the need to fix these problems. But pretty much everyone else does.

            Yet I again acknowledge the need for social cohesion. Thus, democracies have long developed the tradition of the “loyal opposition,” the idea that we can disagree without threatening social cohesion. And in support of this crucial democratic value, we have developed a number of institutions designed to place checks on those in power. These include free speech, religion, and assembly; broad franchise with secret ballots; a free press, a respectful relationship between the press and the administration, and even a modicum of tolerance for leaks; restraint in seeking retribution by political winners against political losers; etc.

            Admittedly, these are weird traditions. Because they exist to constrain those in power, those in power have always had an incentive to undermine or discard them. That’s not surprising; we all have an incentive to cheat, even as we recognize the value of rules that keep other people from cheating us.

            Increasingly, we’re abandoning these traditions.

            True, ever more groups seek public recognition. In the past year I’ve observed campaigns trying to de-stigmatize mental illness. Campaigns trying to de-stigmatize autism. Campaigns trying to restore voting rights for ex-convicts. Each campaign seeks to draw my attention to the fact that not everyone lives the same way that I do, and that I might want to bear this fact in mind as I live and vote. I don’t regard such campaigns as threatening group cohesion—even if they may sometimes make me uncomfortably self-conscious about facts I had previously neglected, and false assumptions I previously had made.

            Rather, I think the treat to social cohesion comes from the erosion of norms for recognizing and respecting the “loyal opposition.”

          • gabe says

            nobody:

            You are a wonderful polemicist, I must say.

            How you slip in a gentle little “stilleto” blade even as you would appear to be smiling:

            “sometimes make me uncomfortably self-conscious about facts I had previously neglected, and false assumptions I previously had made. ”

            I must say that “I feel your Pain” as it must be difficult to realize that YOU suffer from this affliction – it is perhaps, the *booger* on the end of your nose that compels you to once again (albeit, slyly, with the stealth of a night interloper) attribute the uncomfort, neglect and false assumptions to the “loyal opposition.”

            Wonderfully executed – but still within the same false bubble into which you have happily immersed yourself.

            Writing Skills: A+
            Rhetoric: A
            Argument: C-
            Logic: Un -gradeable
            False Equivalencies: A++++

        • gabe says

          “Now it’s well documented that the people who are most prone to use violence in support of their causes are Right-Wingers, not Lefties. The Dept. of Homeland Security found that the greatest active threat of terrorism in the US arises not from Musilms—indeed, on the list of all the deaths due to terrorism in the US since 9/11, there have been none by immigrants or refugees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen–but rather from the Right-Wing “sovereign citizen” movement. So I’m delighted to know that you share my condemnation of violence to promote political objectives. ”

          NEWSFLASH FOR NOBODY;

          That report has been debunked. I should also point out that said report emanated from an Agency that also characterized our Founders as violent extremists. You can do better than that. Perhaps, that booger is distorting your view again. To have you present it, we would think that Middlebury, Ferguson, etc were all perpetrated by “right-wing” lunatics.

          “Rather, it is an effort to keep transgendered people from having to draw needless attention to their “otherness.”

          Oh My, we are now in the realm of pyschobabble – The Precious “Otherness”.

          Who may be said to be drawing attention to the tranny’s otherness. Clearly, it is not the average citizen who simply wishes to avoid exposure to this “otherness”; rather, it would seem that it is the tranny’s themselves who would appear to have a pathological need to draw attention to themselves (and their sacred *otherness) by promenading down our thoroughfares in all manner of unseemly garb. Me, I simply sit on my cobbled together little hobbit wall and observe the parade of odd characters passing by.

          And no, I am not fearful of having to “love” these individuals – but I am concerned about not being able to ignore them and their demands that such a small, miniscule segment of the population must control the behaviors, but more importantly THE ATTITUDES of the majority.

          Live their lives as they want – just don’t expect me to celebrate YOUR unique choice(s).
          And no, violence is simply not appropriate – but neither is the unending hate attributing rhetoric of the Leftist supporters of LGBT (see Justice Kennedy) directed at those who chose a more normative lifestyle.

          The truth is that there has always been violence in human affairs directed at alternating groups; none of this is to be condoned – and it has always been perpetrated by a small minority (wars, Nazism not included) of persons. It is offensive to attribute such behavior to the mass of men / women. Sadly, it (violence) will continue and nothing you do or propose will end it, especially stirring up the hornets nest.

          Now to Second Breakfast!!!

        • df82 says

          “Now it’s well documented that the people who are most prone to use violence in support of their causes are Right-Wingers, not Lefties.” – Cites slate.com, which magically ascribes more than two decades of individual criminal murders to ‘right wing politics;’ still only adds up to a few dozen.

          HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

          Battle of Seattle and the WTO riots. Baltimore. Ferguson. Washington inaugural riot. Family Research Council Shooting. Berkeley. Middlebury. Assorted attacks on Trump voters throughout most of 2016. Dallas police assassinations, as well as a number of other police assassinations all over the country. Firebombing of Republican offices. Berkeley *again* this week. A number of leftist professors physically assaulting conservative students *on camera.* This happened several times in California.

          There are more, but these come to mind immediately. And except for the Seattle thing (included only because I remembered it first), this is all from just the last couple of years. And, unlike your BS citation, these were all explicitly political.

          Now, I challenge you to not merely match, but outstrip (since you said the right wing is *more* violent) this list in citations of right-wing political violence. Please. Show me the riots, the murders, the shootings. Show me the firebombing of leftist offices. Show me crowds of conservative students attacking and beating leftist professors or assassinating law enforcement officers. I can’t wait to be enlightened.

          But you won’t, because you can’t. You’re a liar. And you know you’re a liar, tossing out pathetic claims from partisan hacks (and I include the Obama administration’s focus on ‘right wing militias,’ et al) because neither raw data nor common sense support you. If you had better sources, you’d use them.

          And you people wonder why your political party is in ruin at all levels of government.

          Protip, mate. When the American right finally organizes and turns to retaliatory political violence, you’ll know it. Because they’re better at it than you. The average rightwing Texas veteran has at least one tactical rifle and 500+ rounds of ammunition in his closet, enough to eradicate an entire battalion of your stupid ‘black bloc’ stormtroopers. There are millions of such people in that state, and tens of millions in the US.

          Keep provoking them–beating, shooting, and burning–and ascribing your own savage violence to them. Really. The eventual backlash will be overdue, but glorious in its terrible justice.

        • gabe says

          Oh AND as for doing violence to someone, there is this:

          “In November, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implemented a dangerous mandate, also last May, that required doctors to “perform gender transition procedures on children even when those procedures may be physically and emotionally harmful to the child.”

          How is that for simply looking to protect your otherness? Or is it all simply to advance a warped agenda where we will a) encourage this type of non-normative behavior in schools, the media etc and b) then compel a doctor to violate the hippocratic oath in service to an ideology.

          Yep, they don’t want to project their *otherness*, now do they. Hey how else can you assure a steady supply of recruits to the cause.

          As for “small remedies, my critique still stands. Really want to do something about violence then why not protest against the Islamists who in Saudia Arabia today executed two transgender men (or women, who knows how they *identified).
          The again, I suppose that even the LGBT cohorts do not yet feel strong enough to challenge the overall *narrative* of the Left which requires us to remain silent about the wretched behavior / attitudes and abuses of the Islamists.

          So it is “small remedies” for a small segment of the citizenry.

          • nobody.really says

            1. Gabe, do you recall ever having read anything like this:

            (And while you’re at it, could you provide citations/links to support your claims? It’s kind of burdensome to ask others to disprove your claims, rather than to ask you to support your assertions in the first place. I appreciate it.)

            Apparently not. But never mind; I’d hate to inconvenience you.

            Oh AND as for doing violence to someone, there is this:

            “In November, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implemented a dangerous mandate, also last May, that required doctors to “perform gender transition procedures on children even when those procedures may be physically and emotionally harmful to the child.”

            Despite my best efforts, I could find no evidence of such an event occurring last November.

            Now, I was able to hunt down an assertion stating As The Federalist reported in November</b, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implemented a dangerous mandate, also last May, that required doctors to “perform gender transition procedures on children even when those procedures may be physically and emotionally harmful to the child.” A simple citation would have helped me find that. But again, I’m sure you were busy or something.

            But don’t feel too bad about your lack of skills with citations; you have a lot of company. In support of its claim, The Federalist include a link. The link did not provide the text of any regulation purporting to compel doctors to “perform gender transition procedures on children even when those procedures may be physically and emotionally harmful to the child.” Nor did it provide the text of any regulation at all. Nor to any document containing the quoted text.

            Instead, it provided a lengthy brief filed in opposition to the regulation.

            And if you Google the quoted text, you find that the author of the brief made a statement to the press asserting the quoted text.

            In short, the quoted text reflects the opinion of some guy involved in litigation opposed to a rule. Yippie.

            2. So, as a matter of form, I find your comment … unhelpful. In my brief overview, here’s as much as I’ve gathered as a matter of substance:

            The HHS apparently issued a rule forbidding healthcare providers that take federal dollars from refusing to perform certain procedures at the instruction of a child’s parent or guardian. Now, who knows, maybe that’s a dumb rule. Likewise, maybe healthcare providers should get to reject parental instructions to perform circumcisions, to separate conjoined twins, to perform abortions, or any number of other matters.

            But for better or worse, our society generally defers to the parent/guardian’s judgment in such matters. Now, you may think the state should order that other parties get make these judgments instead. Plenty of people have made such arguments. I’m open to considering them.

            The only thing I’m not open to is characterizing this as violence. That’s not helping the discussion; that’s obscuring the discussion.

            Yep, they don’t want to project their *otherness*, now do they. Hey how else can you assure a steady supply of recruits to the cause.

            Gabe, take a step back here. As even Weiner notes, transgendered people are the tiniest sliver of the population. The idea that there’s some conspiracy to create a transgendered army is wingnuttery at its loopiest. You surely don’t want to go there.

            The issue isn’t about recruiting. The issue is that some kids, before they reach the age of maturity, articulate a desire to conform their physical bodies to their sense of identity. This is a major life-altering decision for the children and their families. No one would ever undertake it lightly—if for no other reason than that it’s fantastically burdensome and expensive.

            Now, if you and I were the parents of these kids, we might reach some different conclusion about how to proceed. But the point is, we aren’t. And, I humbly suggest, we’re not really in the best position to evaluate the situation. Whatever knowledge and preferences we have, they pale in comparison to the knowledge and preferences held by the people involved. And you are I simply aren’t.

            (Now, the physicians ARE involved, and so may have an interest in refusing to perform a surgery. But presumably we would not grant them the authority to veto some other physician’s choice to perform the surgery.)

            In short, let’s leave this whole “recruiting” thing aside.

            [W]hy not protest against the Islamists who in Saudia Arabia today executed two transgender men?

            Great; I have no objection to anyone protesting that.

            That said, my ability to influence events in Saudi Arabia is small. My ability to influence events in my neighborhood is larger. And, rightly or not, my knowledge about the needs of my own kids, friends, and neighbors is greater than my knowledge about people on the other side of the world.

            Then again, I suppose that even the LGBT cohorts do not yet feel strong enough to challenge the overall *narrative* of the Left which requires us to remain silent about the wretched behavior / attitudes and abuses of the Islamists.

            ???

            If you have a citation to people saying we should not oppose religious executions in Saudi Arabia—AN ACTUAL CITATION—please share. In any event, I cannot fathom how you would think that the Saudi religious edicts for execution are somehow related to the Left.

          • gabe says

            nobody:

            Now don’t go overboard and attribute a “conspiratorial” mindset to me.

            The recruiting thing was a joke and i suspect that you know that.

            However, when one considers the following, one may wonder whether there is not a determined effort on the part of our Proggie friends to, if not directly encourage, but at least ease the transition for some confused young people enduring puberty, onto a path that was heretofore not sanctioned.

            Consider: It is often remarked that approximately 10% of humans have had a gay episode. I would not dispute that – it may be higher. BUT, we must then factor in the number of such episodes which occurred during ones formative / *experimenting* phase during puberty when hormones appear to “run wild.” How many young men / women have had such an encounter. How many such encounters occurred because the young person was unable to find a suitable partner of the opposite sex; or in the case of a young girl, she simply felt safer with another female AND she wanted to know what sex was like (same for young boys). I know from experiences that friends and family had that this is a not uncommon occurrence. Several friends related such instances, only one of them was actually gay.

            But here is the problem: Whereas, in the past, societal mores / influences were such that the “gay life” was deemed non-normative. there was an inducement, if you will, to grow out of one’s experimentation, and proceed with normal sexual relations (normal = normative in this application). You may object to this practice, I suspect, by naming it “shaming”, etc. but it did work and the overwhelming preponderance of people had satisfactory outcomes.
            Contrast that with the current situation wherein school teachers “encourage” sexual diversity” AND they provide this *service* to students in their charge (loco parentis, and all that) at rather tender young ages.
            Ages, that I would submit, are far too young to be making such life altering choices.
            So here is a suggestion:

            Teachers (and Disney. etc) refrain from any and all sexual diversity / gender choice *instruction* until children have at least passed through puberty (and / or at least have had some experience,HA~!). We do not let children drive at 13 years of age (much less pre-schoolers) nor do we provide them such instruction. Given the profound effects / implications of “sexual / gender identity” choices, ought we not defer such instruction until their immature nervous (and hormonl) systems have developed sufficiently such that they make a true choice, one informed both by their culture, their education AND their now somewhat more mature (practiced) HORMONAL system?

            As for SAUDI ARABIA – The proof is in the ABSENCE of Leftist protests against these abominable regimes AND in their adamant refusal to recognize the right of this nation to keep out of our country 7th century tribesmen / women who employ such disgusting practices. I could have included the practice of female circumcision – another outrage that the Left has not registered dissatisfaction with.
            As I said, the PROOF is in the absence of any concrete action against these barbaric practices.

            And yes, Health Agencies have encouraged doctors to override their own medical judgment as to gender reassignment surgery. Here is another example where children experiencing puberty ought not to be allowed to reassign their gender. However, Doctors are required, as are insurers, to support this.

            Get a grip on actuall physical realities confronting per- and pubescent children. They may not have a grip on things just yet.

          • nobody.really says

            [A]pproximately 10% of humans have had a gay episode…. Several friends related such instances, only one of them was actually gay.

            First, let’s acknowledge that we had been discussion trangendered people; now we’re talking gay people. No problem with that, but let’s bear in mind that these are not the same categories.

            That said, you make an interesting distinction between gay behavior and being gay–just as the US Directorate for Industrial Security Review did. DISCR rules on people’s applications for security clearances. (Today you can find their decisions here online, but back in the day you had to go to a windowless, airless office outside DC.) You can read decision of people who were denied a security clearance for being gay–along side decisions of people who were granted a security clearance even though they engaged in gay sex. Was there any actual basis for the distinction? None that was obvious in the decisions. Alas, the decisions are all anonymous, so there is no obvious way to identify and interview the parties in question.

            [I]n the past, societal mores / influences were such that the “gay life” was deemed non-normative. There was an inducement, if you will, to grow out of one’s experimentation, and proceed with normal sexual relations (normal = normative in this application). [I]t did work and the overwhelming preponderance of people had satisfactory outcomes.

            Contrast that with the current situation wherein school teachers “encourage” sexual diversity” AND they provide this *service* to students in their charge (loco parentis, and all that) at rather tender young ages.

            Really? Teachers encourage sexual diversity–as in, encouraging students to have sex? School has changed a lot since my day! Now, I attend a lot of parent/teacher conferences, and they’re pretty damn boring; I think I’d have noticed if sex came up in discussion….

            No, I expect you mean that teachers encourage tolerance of diversity—including diversity of sexual orientation. And? If teachers get to encourage students to be tolerant of people of different races and different sexes, I’m not seeing the problem here.

            Moreover, think about it: If teachers really had the power to alter a student’s sexuality, then there would be basically no gay people, right? And certainly there’s be no gay priests?

            Yes, young people experiment with their sexuality. Yes, most people are heterosexual. Thus it follows that most people, following whatever period of experimentation they engage in, will find themselves sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex. What does NOT follow is the idea that societal mores/ influences drove this outcome. Rather, it sounds like a population simply conforming to a normal distribution. (normal = a statistical concept about expected outcomes arising from unbiased chance).

            Think about it again: How much social pressure would it have taken to get you to switch your sexual orientation? At most, you could (and people did) get gays to hide their sexual orientation. And if they hide it well enough, I guess some people would call this a “satisfactory outcome.” But some wouldn’t.

            [T]eachers “encourage” sexual diversity” AND they provide this *service* to students in their charge (loco parentis, and all that) at rather tender young ages.

            Ages, that I would submit, are far too young to be making such life altering choices.

            WHAT life-altering choices? The choice to behave in a tolerant fashion toward people who differ from themselves? That’s really not so life-altering; people reverse that decision all the time—unfortunately.

            So here is a suggestion:

            Teachers (and Disney. etc) refrain from any and all sexual diversity / gender choice *instruction* until children have at least passed through puberty (and / or at least have had some experience, HA~!)…. Given the profound effects / implications of “sexual / gender identity” choices, ought we not defer such instruction until their immature nervous (and hormonal) systems have developed sufficiently such that they make a true choice, one informed both by their culture, their education AND their now somewhat more mature (practiced) HORMONAL system?

            Maybe there’s be some merit to this. But I’m not going to spend a lot of time pondering it, since it’s impossible.

            Recall the words of Indian-American comedian Aziz Ansari:

            I was doing an interview once, and this guy goes, “So you must be pretty psyched about all this ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ stuff?”

            And I was like, “Um, yeah, I am.” I have no idea why though. I had nothing to do with that movie. It’s just some people that kind of look like me are in this movie that everyone loves and winning Oscars and stuff.”

            But then I was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa—are white people just psyched ALL. THE. TIME?” It’s, like:
            • ‘Back to the Future’? THAT’s US!
            • ‘Godfather’? THAT’s US!
            • ‘Godfather Part II’? THAT’s US!
            • ‘Departed’? THAT’s US!
            • ‘Sunset Boulevard’? THAT’s US!
            • ‘Citizen Kane’? THAT’s US!
            • ‘Jaws’? THAT’s US!
            EVERY FUCKING MOVIE but ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Boyz n the Hood’ is US!

            In short, the interviewer remarked on the fact that US had become so race-conscious that it would have an Indian-American movie. Ansari remarked that the US had always been race-conscious—so conscious that, until now, it has insisted on white movies almost exclusively. But all movies have been about race—typically, the white race.

            Likewise, gabe seems concerned that schools introduce kids to the concept of sexuality. But what he misses is that schools (and society) are constantly subjecting kids to concepts of sexuality—but it’s almost exclusively heterosexuality. Hell, pretty much every Disney movie culminates in boy united with girl. And some movies—Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Tangled (Rapunzel)—are absolutely steeped in heterosexual metaphor.

            If it were possible to keep kids shielded from any messages about sexuality, then we might have something to talk about. But since it isn’t, gabe’s remark devolves into: “Let’s expose kids to messages about heterosexuality to the exclusion of other sexualities!” And no, I’m not seeing the merits of that—even though we’re already doing that.

            Consider: What did you learn about homosexual in school? Did you read 2 Samuel 1:26, where King David said of his fallen comrade, “Thy love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love for women”? Did you learn that Socrates, Plato, Alexander the Great, Donatello, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Montaigne, Bacon, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Frederick the Great, Humboldt, Byron, Whitman, Dickinson, Tchaikovsky, James, Rhodes, Wilde, Proust, Stein, Foster, Woolf, Keynes, Lawrence, Wittgenstein, Porter, Coward, Copland, Mead, Dietrich, Hughes, Gielgud, Garbo, Auden, Williams, Turing, Bernstein, Baldwin, Foucault, and Lorde were/are/are deemed to have been gay? I didn’t. This was kind of glossed over.

            In short, I see very little threat that school children are being unduly exposed to homosexuality; I rather expect that they remain as steeped in heterosexuality as ever, with a mention of homosexuality there and there for variety.

            But if people have knowledge that teachers are encouraging sexual diversity and providing such services to kids—do tell! I have another parent/teacher conference coming up, and I’ll need something to ponder to keep me from falling asleep.

            As for SAUDI ARABIA – The proof is in the ABSENCE of Leftist protests against these abominable regimes AND in their adamant refusal to recognize the right of this nation to keep out of our country 7th century tribesmen / women who employ such disgusting practices. I could have included the practice of female circumcision – another outrage that the Left has not registered dissatisfaction with.

            As I said, the PROOF is in the absence of any concrete action against these barbaric practices.

            Gabe, plenty of organization oppose female genital mutilation (although I understand some people now prefer some different term to refer to this practice.) According to Wikipedia:

            In 1996 the Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act made it illegal to perform FGM on minors for non-medical reasons, and in 2013 the Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act prohibited transporting a minor out of the country for the purpose of FGM. In addition, 24 states have legislation banning FGM. The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes all forms of the practice. The first FGM conviction in the US was in 2006….

            In addition, I’m not aware of any prohibition on barring dangerous people from any country from coming to the US. But 31 million+ people live in Saudi Arabia; the odds that any given Saudi practices FGM is akin to the odds that a random US citizen engages in circumcision. In short, nationality is not a very good predictor of criminality. This would be akin to Canada deciding to exclude ALL US citizens because the US has a reputation for gun violence.

            (Moreover, if you have to goal of reducing the incidence of FGM, then you should realize that excluding someone who practices FGM from entering the US would do nothing to stop the practicing FGM. What might stop that person is granting them the opportunity to come to the US—where the practice of FGM on minors is outlawed.)

  4. R Richard Schweitzer says

    Sorry, I typed in columns carefully but wordpress is non-compliant;

    Do this:
    Income Level/Percent of Freshman Students/ Average Assistance
    Income 0-30k/ 4.6% /$54,566 etc.

    • gabe says

      BTW, Richard:

      It ain’t just the Middle Class who is infected with this mindset. Goodness gracious, you should see / hear some of the “bright lights’ at the local Community Colleges.

      • R Richard Schweitzer says

        Never implied it was “just the MC.”

        The loss of sense of obligations throughout the social structure may well be the, or a principal, cause of loss of cohesion, resulting in the ongoing fragmentation.

  5. R Richard Schweitzer says

    The aggregate student body at Middlebury, may not match the picture of the economically quote privileged.”

    Over some 70+ years of adulthood, some of the most literate individuals encountered have had their *initial* advanced literate learning experiences at Middlebury. Together with many other such “Liberal Arts” facilities, Middlebury may have moved in its recruitments and emphasis or priorities from the benefits of literacy to the benefits of exposures to social “diversity” in the composition of the academic community. It is probably still a privilege to attend-and learn-in Middlebury College.

  6. nobody.really says

    Ok, let’s take it from the top.

    1. Weiner:

    Liberals mystified by the election of Donald Trump might look to the Middlebury assault—in which Charles Murray was shouted down and physically pursued as he left campus while the professor escorting him was attacked and put in a neck brace—for a slice of the explanation.
    * * *
    Consequently, [liberals] look on the Trump phenomenon in a stupor of confusion. They might look to themselves or, barring that, to Moynihan. He wrote in 1969: “If a populist, illiberal conservatism began swelling to ominous proportions in the late 1960s, the middle-class advocates of expressive violence and creative turmoil had something to answer for.” They do again.

    I share Weiner’s revulsion at the behavior of the Middlebury students. But, gosh, where could these kids have learned to use violence to suppress speech they disapprove of? If only they had had some kind of adult role model. Maybe, say, Donald Trump?

    Trump has been only too happy to espouse violence against people who espouse views different than his own. He exhorted his followers to—

    knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell— I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise.

    This went along with his remarks that “I’d like to punch him in the face.” “Throw him the hell out of here.” “We had four guys, and they’d jump up there, and they were swinging, swinging” (while making punching gestures), and “maybe he should have been roughed up.”

    Trump’s staff got the message, punching protesters on a public sidewalk and taking their signs.

    And Trump’s followers were only too happy to oblige, punching their rivals left and right, throwning them to the floor and kicking them, and doucing them with pepper spray. Trump’s reaction? “This is what we should have been doing to the other side for the last seven years!”

    Alas, I fear we’ve entered a period when triumphalist exercise of violence has become a form of speech. And a few Middlebury students appear to have learned this lesson very well, at the hands of a very able teacher.

    So ultimately, Weiner’s complaint amounts to this: We have higher expectations for a bunch of college kids than we do for our president–because we expect college kids at this institution of higher learning to exhibit the norms of the upper class, while we’ve abandoned such expectations for our man-of-the-people president. It’s an entirely elitist attitude–and one I embrace, But I’m having an ever harder time explaining why.

    • gabe says

      Alright, nobody:

      Just so that you don’t think I have no support on my contention that current Progressive indoctrination is harmful to children, i.e., does violence to them, there is this from the American College of Pediatricians:

      http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/03/american_college_of_pediatricians_doubles_down_on_common_sense.html

      The bottom line is this: Our opponents advocate a new scientifically baseless standard of care for children with a psychological condition (GD) that would otherwise resolve after puberty for the vast majority of patients concerned. Specifically, they advise: affirmation of children’s thoughts which are contrary to physical reality; the chemical castration of these children prior to puberty with GnRH agonists (puberty blockers which cause infertility, stunted growth, low bone density, and an unknown impact upon their brain development), and, finally, the permanent sterilization of these children prior to age 18 via cross-sex hormones. There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging young GD children to impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression. If a boy who questions whether or not he is a boy (who is meant to grow into a man) is treated as a girl, then has his natural pubertal progression to manhood suppressed, have we not set in motion an inevitable outcome? All of his same sex peers develop into young men, his opposite sex friends develop into young women, but he remains a pre-pubertal boy. He will be left psychosocially isolated and alone. He will be left with the psychological impression that something is wrong. He will be less able to identify with his same sex peers and being male, and thus be more likely to self identify as “non-male” or female. Moreover, neuroscience reveals that the pre-frontal cortex of the brain which is responsible for judgment and risk assessment is not mature until the mid-twenties. Never has it been more scientifically clear that children and adolescents are incapable of making informed decisions regarding permanent, irreversible and life-altering medical interventions. For this reason, the College maintains it is abusive to promote this ideology, first and foremost for the well-being of the gender dysphoric children themselves, and secondly, for all of their non-gender-discordant peers, many of whom will subsequently question their own gender identity, and face violations of their right to bodily privacy and safety.

      In other words, manipulators of the education system should not promote sexual confusion at an early age. Educators should let the boys and girls develop naturally and not seize on adolescent searching by telling the kids that they are mature enough to decide these things. It is “abusive” to manipulate. It makes them face “violations of their right to bodily privacy and safety.”

      The college even has the courage to call it, appropriately, “gender dysphoria.” Any word with the prefix dys- attached to it in today’s politically correct culture is bound to attract an onslaught.

      Are there any conservative radio and TV hosts out there who would like to invite one of the authors of the college’s post on their shows to support them? Would anyone who reads this blog send them an email to tell them to stand strong for science and common sense?

      The college deserves all the support it can get.

      It would appear that the mediacl professionals, who may be said to have a somewhat better understanding of pubescent psychology than do you believes that the Progressive’s “inculcatory” educational agenda DOES HARM to our young.

      I am DROPPING THE MIKE now. Case Closed. For all of your paeans to choice, you fail to recognize that choice ought to be an “informed” one. made by individuals not subject to the hormonal hurricane of puberty.

      • nobody.really says

        For all of your paeans to choice, you fail to recognize that choice ought to be an “informed” one. made by individuals not subject to the hormonal hurricane of puberty.

        Uh … great. I’m all in favor of informed choice.

        Maybe the parent/guardians should make the choice. Presumably it would also involve the consent of the child. Perhaps a legislature or agency would set up safeguards. And perhaps a physician or health system would have the discretion to refuse to participate. What I’m not in favor of is you or I or some group of third-party bystanders making the choice.

        If I’ve suggested that I favor uninformed choices, could you please quote that language to me? An actual quote, if you please. Thanks.

  7. nobody.really says

    2. Anyway, my comments provoked gabe:

    [T]here is a steadfast unwillingness on the part of the “newly” oppressed to recognize that they, in fact, have obligations to others. This failure is clearly evident in their violent rhetoric and behavior towards any and all who have not sipped from the effervescent springs of social justice dogma.

    Now, I’m not aware of instances when Clinton invited her supporters to knock the crap out of Trump supporters, or offered to pay legal fees for assaulting people who expressed views different than her own, so I find this thesis linking violence solely with the left as far-fetched.

    And I cited sources reporting that political violence seems to be more common among the right wing than the left.

    3. Anyway, THESE comments provoked both df82 and gabe. Let’s take df82 first.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Battle of Seattle and the WTO riots. Baltimore. Ferguson. Washington inaugural riot. Family Research Council Shooting. Berkeley. Middlebury. Assorted attacks on Trump voters throughout most of 2016. Dallas police assassinations, as well as a number of other police assassinations all over the country. Firebombing of Republican offices. Berkeley *again* this week. A number of leftist professors physically assaulting conservative students *on camera.* This happened several times in California.

    There are more, but these come to mind immediately. And except for the Seattle thing (included only because I remembered it first), this is all from just the last couple of years. And, unlike your BS citation, these were all explicitly political.

    Now, I challenge you to not merely match, but outstrip (since you said the right wing is *more* violent) this list in citations of right-wing political violence. Please.

    Sure. I already provided a link to document 32 deadly attacks since Oklahoma City—comprising a total of 70 victims—carried out or believed to have been carried out by white extremists. It lists, for example, Benjamin Nathaniel Smith, an avowed White supremacist who went on a three-day spree shooting Jews, Asians and African-Americans. Now, it’s true, he never made any statement that this specific behavior was motivated by malice toward minority groups—but it seems a bit odd that, In all that time, the only white non-Jew he managed to kill was himself. So if you want to dispute the motivations for these killings, you’re free.

    If you’d prefer to focus specifically on abortion-related murders, Wikipedia documents 11 in the US alone (along with myriad attempted murders, assaults, kidnappings, arsons, bombings, anthrax scares, and property crimes).

    Maybe you like honor killings? Wikipedia again obliges:

    In 1989, in St. Louis, Missouri, 16-year-old Palestina “Tina” Isa was murdered by her Palestinian father with the aid of his wife. Her parents were dissatisfied with her “westernized” lifestyle. In 2008, in Georgia, 25-year-old Sandeela Kanwal was killed by her Pakistani father for refusing an arranged marriage. Amina and Sarah Said, two teenage sisters from Texas were killed, allegedly by their Egyptian father, Yaser Abdel Said, who is still at large…. Aasiya Zubair was … killed by her husband in 2009. In 2009, in Arizona, Noor Almaleki, aged 20, was killed by her father, an Iraqi immigrant, because she had refused an arranged marriage and was living with her boyfriend.

    [Citations omitted.]

    How ‘bout good, ‘ol fashioned killing Jews?? For example, in 2014 a former Klansman murdered three people at a Kansas City Jewish center and, upon capture, said “Heil Hitler!” But if homicidal antisemitism is too pedestrian for your tastes, maybe I could interest you in the massacre of six Sikhs in their Wisconsin temple in 2012?

    Maybe you’re more of a violence against the LGBT kind of guy?

    Or just flat-out racism? Last August a Tulsa man laid siege to an entire family of “filthy Arabs.” He failed to run down the mother with his car, so instead he simply shot the son dead on his porch.

    I have provided a list of homicides with citations. You’ve provided … word salad. For example, you cite the altercation at Middlebury. Deplorable–but kindly remind us, what was the body count?

    4. Then, alas, there’s gabe:

    Now, the “oppressed few” that we had been discussing are transgendered people. So if we Google the words “transgender” and “violence,” what do we find?

    Oh my! What a deplorable situation!

    Indeed, if anyone had the slightest inclination to educate him- or herself about these circumstances, they might even come to the conclusion that the fight to defend the rights of transgendered people is not just a petty exercise in ego gratification. Rather, it is an effort to keep transgendered people from having to draw needless attention to their “otherness.” We fight for these rights for the same reason we fight for the right of Jews to avoid having to wear yellow Stars of David on their attire: We’re trying to keep a despised minority from becoming an easy target of abuse and, yes, death.

    Oh My, we are now in the realm of pyschobabble – The Precious “Otherness”.

    Who may be said to be drawing attention to the tranny’s otherness. Clearly, it is not the average citizen who simply wishes to avoid exposure to this “otherness”; rather, it would seem that it is the tranny’s themselves who would appear to have a pathological need to draw attention to themselves (and their sacred *otherness) by promenading down our thoroughfares in all manner of unseemly garb.

    Oh, those precious Jews, always yapping on about how oppressed they feel. But the problem isn’t with the yellow stars; it’s with their own pathology, and there’s really no final solution for that. Or is there…?

    Suffice it to say, we’re not likely to find common ground here. I’ll take the blame. I’m biased; I have friends who are transgendered, and friends who are Jews, so I really cannot pretend to be indifferent to these matters. Gabe is clearly not so encumbered. So let’s just move on.

    • gabe says

      nobody:

      this is getting tiresome;

      Yes, you provided a link – to someething that has as much credibility as do your current over the top Wikipedia inspired rantings about the horrible deplorables inhabiting the right side of the political spectrum. Yet, that report is bogus and almost most of its claims were based on initial press reporting, which of course immediately sought to presnt the offenders as right wing nutjobs. Give it a break.

      And quiote frankly, I am getting tired of your attempts at a subtle insertion of the stilleto with comments such as “gabe is clearly not so encumbered” by Jews or gays or trannies (to complete the insertion of the stilleto.

      What do you want me to engage in the practice common to 1960’s liberals, resurgent now amongst the Social Justice Warriors, such as yourself, and one that I deplore: “Oh, yes, (said the hip liberal) he is one of MY BLACK FRIENDS” – or even better, “I HAVE Black friends” wherein we see both the tokenism and possessiveness of the liberal mindset while at the same time they signal their virtue to all within earshot.

      So:
      1) You know absolutely nothing about my social circle
      2) You know nothing of the race or ethnicity of my own family
      3) You know nothing of my own personal dealings with people of any and ALL stripes.

      SO;

      Cut the freaking virtue signalling. We “windmills” are inured to it – plus the noise from the spinning blades makes it hard to hear your plaintive cries. Reign in your stallion, turn about and proceed down the road where I am certain you will find many substantial problems that you can eradicate.

      Enough already!!!!!

      We, in the Shire, being shoeless and having hairy feet are pretty much tolerant of everybody PROVIDED they don;t invite themselves uninvited into our little dwellings and consume all of our goodies or POOP on our carpet.

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