Memo For File CXIX

This comes to you without so much as a trace of novelty, if you’ve been living anywhere apart from another planet, or at the bottom of the Gulf, for the last ten years. But the people in the United States — indeed, all of the civilized countries across the globe — have been bitterly fractured among three broad groups. They are right-wingers, left-wingers and the folks who don’t care.

Some will protest, with legitimacy, that this fails to capture their outlook. For sake of figuring out what’s going on around us, let us throw an ornamental nod their way, since they do possess some significance, but then cast them aside so that we may more closely inspect the Big Three.

The situation has remained trapped in stasis for a full decade or more. The reason this is so, is that the moderates have the final vote. Their fatigue with the conflict arouses the greatest symapthy, they feel it most keenly, and they announce it most bumptiously. A myth has arisen that the other two entities see nothing wrong with the inflammation, in fact that the closer one migrates to the two extreme end-points, the more he comes to thrive on it.

In spite of a popular acquiescence to this bit of mythos, there is little evidence to sustain it and an abundance of evidence available to refute it. Generally speaking, as an individual intensifies his or her beliefs, in the cases where the beliefs become ideologically crystalized there is some reason for this to take place. When you “know” you’re right about something you don’t want other people you know to be wrong; and so there emerges a natural human instinct to want to proselytize. The heat and the noise interfere with the proselytizing. And so the extremists don’t really cotton to it. They don’t like it. They generally would like a more orderly environment in which they could get their word out.

I would argue that, if anything, it’s the moderates who enjoy the dissention. It helps to display their indecision in a light of false maturity. It makes the political environment look like a child’s playground, and lends credibility to the idea that only a mental juvenile could make up his mind about anything in such a hotbed of chaos.

Besides, this instinct of promulgating one’s own beliefs among others — it extends to the moderates as well. Most people don’t realize this, but it’s true. When you can’t make up your mind about something you tend to recoil at the idea of anyone else coming out of the woodwork and making that decision. Can’t look cool with that going on.

Another falsehood has bubbled up from this swamp of confusion and despair: The myth of symmetry. When a democrat is caught lying, somewhere a Republican is doing the same thing. When a democrat politician sleeps around on his wife, somewhere there has to be a Republican doing the same thing. Republicans and democrats are equally “closed-minded” about the issues…

This one, I believe, is being kept alive by the left wing. It always seems to be helping them. Notice up above I said “When a democrat [does X]…a Republican does the same thing.” It always seems to drift in that direction; it rarely to never comes back the other way. I have yet to read any chronicling of the Watergate scandal that signed off with an undertone of “and somewhere a democrat did exactly the same thing.”

But if it were bi-directional, it would remain untrue. Larry Elder once said “Conservatives consider liberals well-intentioned, but misguided. Liberals consider conservatives not only wrong, but really, really bad people..” That is an accurate summation of the situation in which we find ourselves. Yes, conservatives think liberals are wrong and liberals think conservatives are wrong — but not in the same way. Not by a damn sight.

And so in this society in which it is thought unkind, slanderous and inaccurate to contradict the supposed wisdom and maturity of the moderates, it is unthinkable to articulate the following in any public venue, anywhere louder than a whisper:

People who do the best job of defeating the raw hatred, generally, are conservatives.

We have a lot of moderates who say otherwise. I’m expected to place great trust in them, and there is a lot of protest waiting for me if I so much as hesitate. But such moderates rarely turn out to be real moderates. Over the last ten years we’ve seen an unnamed, and uncomfortable, genre emerge on television and in the movies. “Desperate Housewives” on the small screen, “American Beauty” on the big one. There are others. The message in this genre is that people who live in nice houses are monsters, living corrupted lives filled with deception and betrayal.

These are liberals pretending to be moderates, who make shows like this. Supposedly it’s just Hollywood chasing the next buck. But the message is one of disbelief in humanity. Man is not redeemable; he is flawed, but not as a result of any great fall; he was created as you see him today, writhing around in the muck, stabbing his friends in the back.

This is where the hatred comes from. It’s a perverted worldview, one that is built to provide a friendly environment for the next new dictator. It says none of us may trust anyone else. We are worthless. We are as civilized now as we ever have been, since we’re in a state of upward evolution — but we cannot ascend to the next level until someone wonderful, some super-mortal, comes along and carries us there.

And there is no symmetry here. Once again, we see conservatives are not different from liberals quite the same way that liberals are different from conservatives. Think back, long and hard: Who are the liberal superstars, going back to the Clinton era? Sure they draw much adulation. I’m thinking of Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama, Al Gore, et al. Lots of cheering wherever they go. But is there any genuine trust? Would the liberals who cheer these demigods, rate them highly on a list that includes their own personal acquaintances as trustworthy people?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Given a choice of having Sarah Palin or Ted Kennedy watch his own kids for a whole week, a conservative would pick Palin — and a liberal would place his kids in her care as well. Oh, yes. Yes he would. As long as they were his kids. Being a liberal is all about demanding others place trust in someone whom you, yourself, don’t find to be all that wholesome or trustworthy.

It’s about hate, too. How many conservatives do you know who would like to put Barack Obama and Joe Biden in a big iron pot, fill it with oil, light a fire under it and watch ’em cook? Heard a lot of that kind of hate lately? Me neither.

But walk into a room filled with liberals and drop the name “Dick Cheney.” Then get out. Fast.

Liberal comedians generally aren’t that funny; not unless you’re a committed liberal. Jon Stewart is an exception to this. He’ll stay liberal as long as it is comfortable and easy to get suckered into being one. Once the situation gets silly, he has the proper tough questions ready and give the man credit, he has drawn the boos and jeers over it. But when David Letterman cracks a joke about Sarah Palin’s daughter being molested by a baseball player, it just isn’t that funny. There is a palpable veneer of anger underneath. Such jokes are based on a wish that it’ll really happen. And don’t even get me started on that walking seething bubbling cauldron that goes by the name of Bill Maher.

When a liberal policy presents itself as being good for “us,” it’s good for “all of us.” We have to keep the earth livable, plug the damn hole…all of that. But what about policies that are good for some of us, and bad for others of us? What about policies that end the existence of some among us? Liberals love those policies just as much, provided it’s the right people being sent to oblivion. When a mother decides to slaughter her unborn baby, they don’t care. They define the baby out of existence so they can give her that right.

It has to do with that vision I described up above. As individuals, we don’t really have any rights, and nothing about our continuing survival is sacred except for the continuation of the species. We’ve always been as deplorable as we are now, but we’re as glorious now as we ever have been. It’s all about evolution; we’re waiting in limbo for the next remarkable demigod superhuman to carry us to the next step. And so if a few of the less desirable are whittled off, that’s just a pruning. Survival of the fittest. You have to break few eggs to make an omelette. That’s the liberal view.

You doubt me?

Think back on the last two, or four, or more arguments you’ve had with liberals. These need not be confrontational and they need not even be unfriendly. Perhaps you had a “meeting of the minds” during a holiday meal. Just think of the exchanges you have had that fit what I have in mind. Which means something like this:

LIBERAL: This is your final warning. Forsake that which is sensible and swear fidelity to my nonsense, or I shall denounce you as an uncool person and make sure you cannot ever be part of my little club.

YOU: Yeah, okay. But anyhow… (fact) (fact) (fact)

LIBERAL: Ah yes, but there is more to it than that. Too bad you’re such a simpleton you cannot see the nuance. Everybody else can. (SMUG SMIRK).

I’m talking about the confrontations with liberals that degenerate into that layer, the layer that fits that mini-dialogue. You really shouldn’t have to do too much recollecting. Nearly all of them dovetail into this. The last example I saw was over here, just the other night:

I’m probably giving both you and Cassy a much more thoughtful answer than you deserve or could value, but hey that’s me.

Follow the link if you want context. But it is the outcome I wish to inspect, for the pattern is a constant. Smug liberal is in the circle. Cassy and I are outside of it. She counts. We don’t.

Now, you remember that instinct to which I alluded above? To proselytize. If you really do see things a certain way, whatever way that might be, it is human nature to want to correct the flaws of others and to motivate them to see things your way. Here, there is a curious drop-off in that instinct. You are wrong, as wrong as wrong can possibly be. But that’s quite alright because you are stupid and expected to be wrong. You are detritus. There is no further satisfaction to be realized through some vision of teaching you the error of your ways. We’re already at Nirvana, because the Man-God-King is in the White House, everybody who counts can see what is good and decent and true — you just don’t count. It doesn’t matter if you’re married to the liberal’s favorite daughter. There is an impenetrable crystaline bubble, from the inside of which the liberal gazes down upon you with the smug smirk. In Xanadu did Kublai Kahn in his stately pleasure dome decree…

This is chilling, when you start to comprehend what is really happening here.

Liberals are religious. They have a concept of a heavenly kingdom — and dissenters are not to be part of it. They believe in that next wave of evolution. Darwin’s pencil is going to be everlastingly sharpened, and once you’re drummed out of the cool-club, you’re nothing more than a shaving. Oh, they prattle on about I.Q., and big brains and little brains and xenophobia and clinging to God and guns. But they aren’t really talking about any of that, they’re talking about Elect and Damned, just like a seventeenth-century religious order that preaches predestination. It is not the brain matter inside your head, it is the sign that has been engraved upon the crown of that head.

This is a constant. There are people who belong, and there are people who do not. All liberal arguments boil down to this. Actually, the only difference I see between liberalism and Calvinism is that Calvinists have balls. They’re willing to say a Supreme Being and His Divine Will handed out this status to as-yet-unborn souls…you’re going to heaven, you’re going to hell. Liberalism won’t tolerate any belief in a Higher Power, so in their view we’re all separated in exactly the same way but nobody’s responsible for it. It just happened.

In this way, we see liberalism and conservatism have actually exchanged places. It’s been a very slow process, unfolding across a couple hundred years or more. But there is no symmetry here. When a liberal says we “all” have a right to a livelihood and a comfortable standard of living, they don’t really mean “all.” Go on, ask a left-winger if Karl Rove has a right to these things. Ask him if Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin can have these things. That’s a negatori…

When conservatives say hey — even if BP has messed it up with that oil spill something fierce, there’s still something wrong with a sitting President giving them instructions about how much money they should put in escrow to be managed by a bunch of lawyers — they do not say this because they think BP is wonderful, soft cute & cuddly and they just want to take it home and feed it a bowl of milk. The conservatives I know who agree with this, agree with only this. They mean what they say: It’s just wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s BP or the guy who cut you off on the freeway this morning and flipped you the bird. It doesn’t matter who. This is a concept that has escaped liberals. In their world, there really is no such thing as a universal human right. They aren’t quite sure what kind of rights you have, until they can first figure out your level of wonderfulness. Then they’ll let you know what your rights are.

I said before that the moderates decide elections. This has been proven over and over again, so the name of the game becomes one of liberals trying to get moderates to vote liberal, and conservatives trying to get them to vote conservative. But the moderates have no passion; they just want the fighting to end. As long as the liberals can portray themselves as leading the way toward harmony, moderates will vote liberal and liberals will win elections. Even in years like 2010 conservatives have to keep this in mind, and be wary of it. Disappointment is not part of the equation, because moderates demonstrate precious little capacity for long-term memory, or interest in developing it. So liberals can start as many fights as they want to, and over the long term they’ll still look like Mahatma Ghandi himself if they mouth the right buzz words. At least, they’ll look that way to the moderates, which is what counts.

But the funny thing is, in the things that really matter in life, moderates stand with conservatives.

When two boys get in a fight on the playground, moderates are united with conservatives in their desire to take a chunk out of the hide of whichever boy threw the first punch. Liberals stand alone in demanding a pound of flesh from whoever threw the last one. Moderates want to avoid making enemies, save for the enemies that are powerless and costless as enemies. They want to have the right friends, to enjoy the defense of whoever is strong. Liberals want to abolish strength. You see, that is a different goal. And it is not a mainstream desire. Most people understand we cannot have a world without strength, and if we try to build one, strength will be monopolized by whoever is energetic and unscrupulous. Even moderates can see that.

So for the liberals to win the moderates over, they have to dissuade people from thinking about such things. Rich get richer and poor get poorer. Global warming. Arugula.

Never let a crisis go to waste.

You see, it isn’t that conservatives abjure hate from their systems because they’re wonderful people or something. Some conservatives are stinkers. The asymmetry is that the conservatives simply don’t care that much. They are evaluators of ideas. The first time you see a rotten guy coming up with a good idea, and a decent wonderful person coming up with a stupid idea, the lesson is crystal-clear: Arguing about who’s a super-genius and who’s leaving the “g” sound off the end of her words, is an abject stupid waste of time.

When you get overly hung up on personal attributes and start looking for that next wonderful mortal demigod to haul all of humanity to the next level of evolution, you start getting hoodwinked into stupid ideas. Like for example…when we have this oil leak in the Gulf, what we need to do is passively stand by and allow the oil company that caused the spill to clean it up, and while they’re cleaning it up, extort billions of dollars out of them. And pass cap-and-trade.

Moderates, when they manage their own affairs, are conservatives. So are some liberals. They wouldn’t make decisions this way about their own personal issues. And they’d rather have Sarah Palin watch their kids than the average liberal politician. See, different rules.

Also, in their world, there’s never any such thing as reaching “a certain point” where “you’ve made enough money.” That’s just another rule for you and me, but not for them.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.
Cross-posted at Cassy’s place.

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