We heard an awful lot about how hateful the white pride movement is this past weekend. And have been hearing it for at least a year, probably longer. I tend to tune it out because in my experience the people most likely to shout about the evils of white pride are the same ones extolling some other form of identity-based pride.
And that confuses me. Has for at least a decade and a half. Probably longer.
I have never understood the concept of having actionable pride in things you have nothing to do with. Not being ashamed, yes, that is a good thing, and to be encouraged across the board. But pride?
I did nothing to be born white, male, straight, brown haired, etc. And no one else did either. You have nothing to do with your gender, race, nationality, skin tone, whatever. Nothing. At. All.
You didn’t achieve anything, sacrifice anything, or overcome anything to be born whatever you were born. Your parents may have. You may overcome things later in life, but the action of overcoming, of succeeding, of achieving…that is something to be proud of.
Not the genetics your parents brought into play.
I long believed that people who fostered this absurd pride in things they had nothing to do with were at least a little defective. Either they were prone to claim achievements they had nothing to do with, or raised by ignorant people who did the same. Of late, that has had another factor added to it.
They have nothing else to be proud of.
It may be judgmental, but there it is. If I get violently upset because of some moronic ‘racial pride’, I must not have anything else to feel proud of. Alternately, it also seems that a lot of the people manifesting this mental defect expect to be treated as somehow superior because of the incidence of their birth. As if that makes them, well, anything special.
Pro Tip: It Doesn’t.
If you want to be treated as exceptional, be exceptional. Be better at a thing. Be creative, be innovative, be a success. This modern conceit that says someone can claim superiority solely because genetics made them black, white, Hispanic, Asian, male, or female, is damaging to both the individual and the society as a whole. It is the root of eugenics, which was evil, twisted, and wrong the first time around.
Which, yes, means it doesn’t. But this is simple, and we can’t seem to pull it together enough to get the simple stuff like this right. It makes me worry. I see so many examples of the kind of things that make this list feel needed every day. It is, in fact, the main reason I would have dropped all social media, if I didn’t need it for work. Yes, it’s that bad. I can’t seem to grasp how this is so easy to ignore – and how many people insist on acting against the simple ‘duh’ level reality I am talking about.
So, here is my list of things it’s past time to realize:
If the other side does it, and you think it’s wrong, it’s wrong when your side does it too.
If your side does it, and you think it’s good, it’s good when the other side does it too.
Your side is not all saints.
The other side is not all sinners.
It is good, right, and just to call out those on your side who are bad actors.
No one is all of anything. Hitler was a decently talented artist, and loved his dogs.
You aren’t all of any one thing either…
Objective truths exist – wrong is wrong, regardless of who did it or why. Or to whom.
Speech is not violence. Violence is not speech.
Hold law enforcement to a strict standard, the same laws they hold us to.
Politicians are not heroes. Or stars. They are, at best, ineffective middle managers who have delusions of superiority. Stop lionizing them.
If you define everyone on one side as evil, expect some of them to become evil. If you make it clear your side thinks an entire demographic is stupid / uneducated / worthless / second class (or lower), you can expect them to hate you in return.
We used to at least try to get along, we should look at that again.
Give it a try…you might be shocked what happens.
While I think that the Obama presidency will be judged a failure, for several reasons (and one huge one), I also know no person is wholly one thing or another.
So, to that end, here are some things that I believe Mr. Obama got right.
Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’’ – Look, anyone who thinks that only straight men serve in the military is deluded. Flat Earthers + Reptilian Overlords from Alpha Draconis + Packers fans deluded. Removing a rule that forced people into hiding is always a good thing. To that end, this was long overdue, and good riddance to a bad rule.
Supported Federal Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages – Repeat after me: “Marriage Is A Religious Institution Not A Government One”. So, while the government should not be in the marriage business (their interest should only extend to the civil and civic sides of a union – thus, civil union), that isn’t the way it is. The government shouldn’t be dictating how or whom one chooses to enter into a partnership with. At any level. So while the fight to get the government out of marriage continues, the legal recognition of a same-sex civil partnership is good. Now, to get the government to stop limiting those partnerships between consenting adults in any way…
Well, two things. I am sure there are others. Some lines from speeches were good too, but that is way too much time and effort to read them all. (more…)
So this week, President-Elect Trump secured a deal with Carrier to keep about a thousand jobs in Indiana. At a cost of more than seven million dollars over several years.
This has been widely panned as showing companies how to blackmail the President into giving them tax incentives and so forth in order to keep them from going off shore. It has been treated like a bad deal, and used as another club against Trump.
Ignoring the obvious fact that the same deal from President Obama would be receiving praise, there are two points not being made that show some unpleasant sides of the press.
First, that this is not a political move, but a CEO move. Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, breaks this down far better than I can. His article sums up like so:
I’ll say this again because it’s important. We’re all watching closely to see if President Elect Trump has the skill to be president. And while you watch, Trump and Pence are pulling off one of the most skillfully executed new CEO plays you will ever see. Remember what I taught you in the past year: Facts don’t matter. What matters is how you feel. And when you watch Trump and Pence fight and scratch to keep jobs in this country, it changes how you will feel about them for their entire term. This is a big win for Trump/Pence disguised as a small win.
So there is that.
Second, is the arrogance to dismiss this as ‘ineffective’. I have heard claims that even if this pace continues, it will restore but 4% of the lost manufacturing jobs. And the media wonders why they are so dismissed, distrusted, and disregarded. Yes, you morons, it is a small drop. But it is a drop. It is effort on behalf of those who have been denigrated and ignored.
It’s like the annoyingly sentimental thing you see on Facebook every so often. Where the kid is throwing starfish back into the ocean, and says ‘it matters to that one’.
In other words, it matters to them. It matters to those 1000 workers who get to keep their jobs. And the next 1000. And so on. These are the same people Obama dismissed as ‘bitter clingers’, Clinton as ‘deplorable’. And that supported Trump because he at least paid lip service to believing in them. Even if this is the only 1000 jobs saved, he managed this before coming into office.
So think on that. And remember that the day when people had to turn to self-proclaimed elites is over. The truth will out, and in this case, the truth is, for 1000 families, Christmas came early, and has bad hair.
So, I saw this posted, and decided it was too good to not fisk a bit. My comments in <<brackets>>. I cannot verify, and do not suggest, that this represents all supporters of Black Lives Matter (I know it does not), but it does claim to speak for the leaders. Make of that what you will…
Lessons from Fidel: Black Lives Matter and the Transition of El Comandante
<<Transition? Thought he was dead, not trans…>> We are feeling many things as we awaken to a world without Fidel Castro. <<Relief that one more Communist dictator is gone?>> There is an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety. <<Why? For what possible reason?>> Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante. <<Defend forced reeducation of gays! Defend restrictions of speech and art! Defend oppression! Defend totalitarianism!>> And there are lessons that we must revisit and heed as we pick up the mantle in changing our world <<If you assholes are ‘picking up the mantle’ from Castro, you really don’t care about black lives – like I have suspected all along.>>, as we aspire to build a world rooted in a vision of freedom and the peace that only comes with justice <<Therefore the struggle in Cuba is different. There cannot be a civil rights movement. You will have instantly 10,000 black people dead. 1>>. It is the lessons that we take from Fidel. <<I know this one! Kill all who oppose you, set up forced labor camps, discriminate against blacks…oops>> (more…)
Well, didn’t see that coming. Like a lot of people, I simply underestimated Trump, and it looks like that was a mistake.
But honestly, people. You’d think you woke up to hell on earth or something. Let me clue you in – this ‘how could this happen’ feeling? Yeah, it is how conservatives felt in 2008. And 2012. And we didn’t riot. Unlike leftists in Oakland. So, well played. Check your post history, and reread any ‘cope and move on’ posts you or others might have directed at us, and apply to yourselves. This not some end of history moment. It is a message. A loud one.
Hillary Clinton ran as the establishment candidate. Honestly, she couldn’t do otherwise, regardless of her desires. She has been in the inner halls of power since 1992. She has been #3 in line for the White House. She was the first overtly consulted First Lady. She was presented as the heir to Obama, and the guardian of his legacy.
And that is why she failed. Seriously. How do the Democrats not get this? Did they not see the kinds of focus Sanders received? Did they not need their rigged system to ensure the establishment candidate won the nomination in the face of the most anti-establishment electorate in US history? And yes, the superdelegate system is rigged for the insider candidate – just because Sanders chose to play in that system does not make it less rigged. Trump is the most outsider candidate ever – having never held any elected office before. This was the year of the outsider, which we should have seen in the massive rallies and crowds Trump and Sanders drew. Especially in comparison to the anemic crowds Clinton drew (especially in the primaries).
Despite the usual 20/20 hindsight, I figured that his support would not overcome the leftist fear-mongering about him. I was wrong.
To those who see this as the beginning of the inevitable revocation of whatever civil issue you hold dear, please, for the sake of everyone, take a civics course. That isn’t how this works. Never has been. Look to FDR – insane popularity, and when he tried to ram things through to do what he thought would help the most, he was blocked. Trump? Even his notional party doesn’t like him. Do you honestly think that he will somehow break Democrat resistance, GOP dislike, and popular opinion to magically deport everyone who isn’t white? Revoke every equality law in every state? End abortion?
- Most of those are state laws, and the federal authority does not extend to state laws. See literally every state that has legalized marijuana. It is still illegal at the federal level, but holy crap, states can write their own laws! So if your state has passed any kind of equality law, nothing Trump does can change that.
- If the President could handwavium laws away, don’t you think Obama would have done so? He hasn’t. As much as I think he was at best a sub-par President, even at his most arrogant (and he is absurdly arrogant “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” -New Yorker, 11/17/08) never managed that. It isn’t how the system works.
- Pence may have religious objections to gay rights (ok, flat out does as far as I can tell). Trump has been accused of that, but a search of WikiQuote doesn’t show a single quote indicating any animosity. Not one. No use of the common slurs. A few about defending the LGBT community from Islamic terrorists / Islamists (where being gay is a death sentence – and that sentence is enforced in the modern world). But no slurs. So, again, relax. Your rights won’t be stripped away by a Trump administration. Also, see above on state laws.
- No one is coming for your daughters, for Muslims, for illegal immigrants. Maybe we will finally join the rest of the world in enforcing our own border laws. But even that is doubtful – again, states like California simply don’t have the will to do so, and will continue to ignore border laws. But don’t expect any changes there.
- And if you are upset about Trump’s comments about women (and wow, even a hostile media dropped those assault claims like they were made against Bill Clinton or something), remember who you supported as VP for eight years…‘Gropin’ Joe Biden.
Basically, it will be a challenge for four years, yes. So this is the left’s chance to show that they actually believe all the stuff they keep saying – I don’t think they do for a second. Leftists in my experience are more bigoted, hateful, spiteful, racist, and generally nasty than anyone else. So prove me, and millions of other conservatives, wrong. Act like you believe all that shit you keep saying. Work together, work across the party lines, be kind, be helpful, don’t hate.
I honestly don’t see it happening. The political left1 is founded on hate, built with spite, and rife with unrestrained bigotry. But the rules changed last night. So anything might happen…
As a whole – I know may liberals who are not like this, but the movement writ large…very much so.
And now, some content.
In this election, I have seen a lot of things I never expected to – and I think we all need to remember one core fact.
We are all Americans.
Let that sink in. Regardless of who wins tomorrow, regardless of the bluster, remember we are all Americans.
I have seen people I respected devolve into raw assholes, I have seen what it looks like when someone is being mocked and attacked for simply disagreeing. I have seen people be their worst. All over the election.
All of you, and I suspect none of you actually read this stuff, need to grow the ever-loving fuck up. You have lost much of my respect, which may or may not have value to you. And that will be hard to regain. I have seen people I thought of as friends be petty, cruel, vicious, and hateful. I can’t unsee that. You can’t un-say it. Can’t undo the hurt you’ve caused. All over what? An election.
In a way, I hope you follow through on the threats to leave if your side loses. I know you won’t, that threat is infantile, and considering the side that makes it, as honest as the rest of their lies. But this time, go. Leave. If you have to act like this, we will not miss you. At. All.
I have friends on all sides of the spectrum, and have managed to have civil conversations about politics with them, without devolving into insult and bullying. I know it is possible. But it isn’t happening. Not this time. Really, not since sewers like Facebook and Twitter took over our interactions. In those echo chambers, the more hate and bile one spews, the more attention you get. And it feeds on itself like a demented ouroboros. I suggest that if you feel you need that kind of validation, you do need therapy. And to be urged to remove yourself from the platforms.
Politicians are, by the very job they seek, malignant narcissists, and among the worst of humanity. In no other avocation, vocation, or profession do we see the sole defining factor being a child-like need for approval from total strangers. Even actors don’t seek approval this desperately. Our enabling of this is why we are where we are – shit floats to the top, and as we have enabled these individuals over the centuries, well, shit floated.
So, I urge you to vote. For someone. For a ballot initiative only. For the least worst. But vote.
And then, once it is done, apologise to the people you have hurt. It won’t undo it, but they deserve it, and you damn sure need to.