Or, why the tribe left me
I’ve considered myself a liberal for as long as I’ve been politically aware, which probably goes back to voting for Jimmy Carter in our second grade mock election, maybe earlier, given my parents were politically active hippies.
Since then, I drifted around the map, briefly flirting with socialism and anarchism, but eventually settling on a fairly typical left-of-center libertarianish democrat. I worked at ACORN, campaigned for Kathleen Brown, and voted for Obama. (Twice.)
It’s been an increasingly rough ride. Over the last decade, the creeping cringe has given way to sheer stupidity, which has snowballed. The last two years have been a tsunami of irrationality. The following is just a fraction of the horrors. I can’t take any more.
Identity politics and the Privilege Religion.
Growing up, the left was where you ended up if you cared about freedom of conscience, if you didn’t want to practice civic Christianity, if you opposed theocratic dictat on principle. Also, Republicans were smelly and mean and hated poor people.
On that theory, we banished school prayer. Then, we replaced it with something worse: identity politics. IP began as something of an exercise in universities, a sort of harmless “what if” scenario wherein one was asked to ponder whether one had gotten father in life for being white, or middle class, etc. A Maoist struggle session without the followup executions, if you will.
Today, it’s devolved into a fully fleshed religion with a gospel (guilt), original sin (whiteness), and expiation of sins (continued penitence and the fervent prayer your kind will be removed from the earth.)
Nowadays, it’s not enough to favor anti-discrimination rules, minority scholarships or even affirmative action. It’s not enough to simply mind your manner and not be racist or sexist twat. (Although they will tell you that’s all it is.) One must actively embrace a hierarchy of oppression, and if one is in the class of those born with privilege (original sin), you are expected to self-flagellate, publicly decry your existence, and shun non-compliers. You are born a sinner, and you must repent! Repent!
Now, even grade schoolers aren’t exempt. No white people need apply, either. If you’re white and this bothers you, you’re practicing white identity politics, which is evil. (see original sin) But don’t despair! If you shake your family tree really hard, you never know what minute minority ancestry might allow you to become genuinely aggrieved!
Which brings me to the next non-starter.
The Embrace of Theocratic Religion in the name of Diversity
Or, Everyone is an Islamophobe.
The enemy of my enemy principle is alive and well in politics, and often leads to strange alliances (the religious right and fringe feminists uniting against porn in the 80s, for instance) The post 9/11 embrace of American Muslims as an oppressed class even made some sense, at the time, especially in the context of unlawful surveillance and other bias-motivated rights violations.
Then, common sense met IP and IP won. Now, Muslims are a protected class in the privilege religion. Left feminists wrap themselves with the same hijabs (you’re a big jerk if you won’t wear one) they once decried as symbols of female oppression, and turn a deliberately blind eye to horrendous human rights abuses carried out in the name of Islam, all for fear of being chased out of the fold as dreaded Islamophobes.
What’s an Islamophobe? Previously, a person who believes even rational, middle class Muslims were potential terrorists, and acted on that belief. Today, it’s anyone who criticizes Islam for any reason, even if they are themselves Muslim.
Whereas an ordinary republican who admits discomfort with gay marriage is excoriated, a Muslim who believes in the execution of gays is acceptable as long as he’s not too loud about it. So enamored is the left that this year’s feminist women’s march was sponsored in part by CAIR, a terror-affiliated, anti-gay, anti-choice organization.
Muslim speakers are so prized at events they are forgiven dalliances with religious extremism, ties with terror groups, anti-Semitic beliefs. This PC disease has gotten so bad that liberal Muslim reformers are treated as barbaric successors to the KKK for suggesting Islam has problems with violence, or that making women cover their faces is bad. But actual terrorists who have killed real people? Nah.
This nonsense has gotten so bad that the immediate Left position after every terror event — usually before the blood has dried- is to express immediate concern for Muslims who may be harmed in “Islamophobic” attacks, even though these are exceedingly rare.
Terrorism? What Terrorism?
Then there’s that constant refrain that Islamist terrorism is actually not a thing. The same left that eviscerates the right for their distrust of media have decided that there’s definitely some conspiracy to not report “Right Wing” terrorism.
In service to this dopey idea are dozens of silly, circularly-linked articles proclaiming you’re “seven times more likely” to be killed by a “right wing” terrorist, or promoting “studies” that count “incidents” over casualties (thus an arson is on par with 9/11). Most deliberately exclude 9/11, the worst excludes both the San Bernardino and Orlando attacks, labeling them as “unconfirmed.” The “studies” behind them are usually politically motivated, producing inaccurate or dishonest results. Left pundits are continually promoting these nonsensical articles, even when they are aware they are false. (When they aren’t reminding you of the inherent danger of furniture)
Despite the majority of domestic counter-terrorism efforts concentrating on Islamist activity, and Muslims comprising less than 1% of the US population (compared to 40% for American conservatives), you are still more than twice as likely to be a victim of Islamic extremism than the right wing variety- more if you travel overseas.
Regulations Good! More regulations better! (But Policemen Suck)
There is nothing on the left so persistent as the belief that regulations are the only thing separating mankind from instant, painful death or poverty. Every aspect of modern life is subjected to regulation, meddling, and policing. if you object, you’re in favor of dirty water, poison food, and murdering old people. Plus you probably kill puppies.
Everything, even bad regulations, can be fixed with more regulations. Even horrific, badly executed rules with disastrous side effects are shrugged off as “better than nothing!”
Then came the Community Reinvestment Act and the ensuing housing bubble.
From the same idiots, we got Dodd-Frank, which is supposed to prevent another banking crisis, but was in reality a gift to Big Banking that is eviscerating community banks.
Martin Shkreli is evil incarnate for overcharging for drugs, but nobody questions the onerous approval process that makes this possible.
And so on.
The last big Left cause du jour, the Black Lives Matter movement, before it too drowned in a sea of identity politics, focused (in part) on the increasing militarization of police and the subsequent terrorizing of poor communities. While this is a pretty universal problem, this race-oriented movement was the only one to receive national attention.
What is left unspoken is that all the constant new rules must be enforced. While this usually just leads to more and bloated bureaucracy, it also leads to more unnecessary policing. By way of example, this is indeed a man being viciously mauled and disfigured for not having a light on his bicycle. This is not unique- recall Eric Garner was arrested in liberal New York City for selling cigarettes without a tax stamp.
More rules means more penalty for breaking rules, more cost for enforcement, and ruination for the people on the bottom.
The Constitution was Written by old White Men!
I recall feeling a bit smug one day in High School, explaining why it was important the ACLU would stoop to defend pedophiles, the KKK and other degenerates. First they came for the assholes, I said, then you and me.
Today’s left is unrecognizable when it comes to its support of the Constitution. It needs rewriting, they say. It was written by old privileged dudes who don’t understand modern life.
Hate speech isn’t free speech. Hate speech makes un-privileged people die and needs to be banned. Also religion can be hate speech. They are fully confident that speech bans won’t affect them, only the bad people.
These are the same people who insist we’re witnessing the rise of the New Fascism, which will apparently be stopped by Facebook posts in all caps (if we aren’t rescued by the CIA.)
Mass surveillance is OK, too, because safety.
The March to War
Remember way back in the olden days of 2008, when Americans, all fatigued from constant, expensive war, voted for the guy that promised we wouldn’t do that any more?
Remember when he ran again, and we all made fun of the other guy for silly Russia panic?
Then remember how Russians totally hacked the election and gave us Donald Trump?
One of those things didn’t happen.
What DID happen was several years of increasingly aggressive language toward Russia, and a hard push for outright war in Syria after years of costly meddling. These plans were clearly dashed with the election of Trump.
Did Putin hack the DNC to help Trump? Probably not. (But 17 agencies! Who all offered…no evidence.) But this flimsy pretense has been used by the press and by our own intelligence orgs (who were the very same that picked this fight, but that’s a coincidence) to undermine our duly elected government. Which is weird…and creepy.
Also, fuck this guy.
Everyone is a Nazi! (Don’t believe me? You’re a Nazi, too!)
For the moment, let’s set aside the hyperventilating idiocy that Donald Trump is the next Hitler. I’m not sure there will ever be enough coffee to address this one, or the notion that CIA-led anonymous coup attempts are patriotic.
What is hate speech? Formerly, it was more or less defined as racist, overtly discriminatory language, especially when it advocated violence against protected classes. Today, it is anything that violates the IP religion, including mere criticism of the IP religion. Or defense of those who criticize IP religion. And so on, ad infinitum.
So while everyone spent the better part of February debating whether or not it was ok to “punch a Nazi,” few words were wasted defining a Nazi. Hint: it’s not being an actual fascist dedicated to the eradication of Jewish or non-white people. Today, it’s a gay Jew who trolls the left and thinks we’ve gotten a little too pc.
Meanwhile, Linda Sarsour remains a paragon of the left.
Who else is a Nazi? Steve Bannon, Gavin McInnes, Pewdiepie, and Libertarians- that’s just February’s list. (None of these people are actually white supremacists or anti-Semites)
Not all women have vaginas, but those that do should shut up.
Lastly, the Trans borg. The newest, strangest, smallest new addition to the IP religion. Having run out of privilege categories, the PC faithful have had to invent a few.
Enter the transgender movement. Lest you think this is something to do with Transsexual people (ie, people who wish to live as the opposite sex) and the discrimination they face, it’s not. Ten years ago, transsexuals were a small, nearly invisible segment of the population. They wanted to dress as they liked, have the legal right to live and work, etc. Perfectly reasonable, if you’re libertarian minded. (Note: I have a number of transsexual friends and I am committed to respecting their wish to live the role they feel comfortable in. This isn’t about them.)
Then the Identity faithful discovered gender. Jealous of a fellow warrior’s lower rung on the oppression ladder? Getting a leg up is as easy as becoming another gender. Or even just being indecisive. And thus, a new social contagion is born.
It was very quickly cemented gospel that gender was just a social construct. And also unrelated to sex. But sex is how you feel about gender. And you are born with an innate gender that has to be expressed with gender-specific mannerisms and dress. And it’s dress and physicality that makes a gender, except genitals. Also, one can have a penis and be a woman, but also to be a woman, one needs a sex change. It is not an illness but one must be diagnosed in order to be treated. It sounds confusing because there isn’t any settled belief to be found anywhere, except that anyone who expresses any skepticism is bad and must repent. And maybe get fired.
You’ll also be told that even a smidge of skepticism fosters hate that gets huge numbers of transgender people murdered. In reality, virtually all transgender homicide victims are poor minorities; most are victims of domestic violence or engaged in the sex trade or other high risk lifestyles. When talking actual numbers, the risk to transwomen is lower than the average murder rate for everyone and much lower than that of say, black males.
So, out went the more-or-less accepted ideas about Transsexualism, and enter a whole three ring circus performance of gender-related identity wars. Munchhausen-by-proxy sufferers and PC narcissists had a whole new means of hoovering up attention, parading their kids on the talk show circuit. Despite much evidence that most kids outgrow gender confusion, children as young as three are going to school dressed in gender-costume. Kids as young as ten are being fed dangerous puberty blockers, and surgeons will perform gender operations on kids as young as twelve. Got a boy who likes skirts, or a girl who like trucks? Welcome to the trans borg! (Just ignore that terrifying suicide rate) It’s nothing short of cheerleading child abuse.
All of this would be a big whatever if it hadn’t become the darling issue of the left. Economic disparities, race reality, child hunger, all took a backseat to the new insanity. The sexual modesty and privacy of girls and women are nothing compared to the urgent need to allow a penis-owner into the locker-room dictated by the gender “she” feels, all based on discredited pseudoscience. (and vice versa)
The insanity doesn’t end here. Feminist groups are now pressured to curtail talk about menstruation and childbirth. Lesbians are pressured into PIV-sex because only “genital fetishists” would reject a woman with a penis. Violent offenders, even rapists, now demand to be housed with female inmates. Penises are female but vaginas are triggering. Crimes committed by Trans women are now absurdly counted as female violence.
& who could leave out the proliferation of gender variants and the pronoun battles? Her, him, xir, ze, shklee. There are more ‘genders’ than pronouns, depending how much one likes attention. And failing to learn and use them all is violence. You can’t even have a conversation about biological reealities without some damn fool comparing people to clownfish or seahorses.
And so it goes. The emperor is racing downhill with his balls flapping in the wind and you’re a hateful, hateful bigot for suggesting anything is amiss.