This week I learned two things about American politics — as improbable, at this late date, as that may be. Some among us can study things quite awhile and still miss fairly obvious things. Anyway, the two things I learned are 1) All, or nearly all, of the disagreements have to do with which direction to go; and 2) the electorate is being subjected to one lie after another about this.
Over and over I’ve been seeing disputes about direction, falsely represented to the people as disputes about extent. A great example of this was CNBC moderator Carl Quintanilla’s question that set off Sen. Ted Cruz on his rant-heard-’round-the-world:
Congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House are about to strike a compromise that would raise the debt limit, prevent a government shutdown, and calm financial markets of the fear that a Washington crisis is on the way. Does your opposition to it show you’re not the kind of problem-solver that American voters want?
And, depending on who summarizes what follows, for your benefit, you’re going to get a story about a brave Senator speaking truth to left-wing biased media power — or a story about how Republicans can’t handle tough and honest questions. As usual, everyone’s got an opinion. But how many remember the actual question?
It has the appropriate punctuation at the end, but I don’t really see a question there.
The premise is shaky. Is a resolution to raise the debt limit really about where a debt limit should be? Or is it about…just getting it raised? “…prevent a government shutdown…calm financial markets…”
One of the most wrong-headed people I know, is fond of saying “It’s true to a certain extent.” She says this when something is undeniably true, but to acknowledge the undeniable truth would be to concede defeat about something she wants. And I don’t think she’s ever been compelled to go without something she wants, so she goes after this “certain extent” thing. She doesn’t really have any such certain-extent in mind, she’s just avoiding things. The same is true of liberals when they argue with you on the Internet.
Them: Tax cuts hurt the economy, raising taxes would help the economy.
Me: A tax, by the very definition of the word, places a burden on whatever it is taxing. Therefore, that is just the sheerest nonsense.
Them: Well look here now, taxes hurt when they’re too high OR when they’re too low, what we have to do is find the optimum level.
Which is really just more nonsense. I reply with the analogy about the drag being imposed on an engine by the fan belt, the alternator, the power steering pump, fuel pump, oil pump, water pump. These devices help the car, true enough, but the drag isn’t what makes the car go. If science could provide some way of achieving the same functionality while cutting the drag in half, you’d go for it right? And it has, and we did.
Furthermore, progressives are — progressive. If the application of the word contains a shred of honesty to it at all, it is because they don’t believe in standing still. There’s no “certain extent” or optimal level of anything. We all know it. Liberals argue as if we could achieve this optimal level, and they’d go away happy. The ensuing years would not bring any of them back to say something like “It’s a problem that the rich aren’t paying their fair share” — they wouldn’t say that, because everyone would be paying their fair share already. Does anyone believe that? If you do, you’re just wrong. Progressives progress.
Why do they lie about it, and pretend to be struggling with the fine location of some midpoint? Simple. If people knew what The Left really does want, very few among us would ever support them.
I suspect most guys understand the problem here. Not all of us, just the ones who ever said: “She thinks I’m invisible even though I treat her like gold, she’s lavishing all her attention on that guy who’s an asshole and a jerk.” Any guy who’s been in that situation. Which is most of us. But, eventually we do solve the problem. How did we get that done?
Turns out, there’s always one reason why women don’t make any damn sense, it’s because women are people and people don’t make much sense. Young dudes, you want to write that one down and keep copies of it? You’re going to find in the upcoming years there’s a lot of wisdom in it. Chicks don’t make sense, because chicks are people and whoever said people make sense? You think dudes make more sense than chicks? To solve the problem: Discriminate. Start discriminating, and don’t ever stop. There are two kinds of chicks, because chicks are people and there are two kinds of people.
Some are assholes to people who are nice to them, and nice to people who are assholes to them. Others — including you, without a doubt, if you’ve ever been inclined toward this business of “She’ll spend more time with me when I treat her well” — at least have the polarity hooked up properly. You may be learning some things right now you’ve been needing to learn, but it does take a certain level of maturity to do that: Be nice to people who do good things for you, and when people are assholes, just leave them be. Oh yes, that’s a maturity thing, a growing-up-right thing. So now the next thing is: She’s broken, you’re not, you want to try and fix her? Be careful. Don’t waste your time on others who have yet to get this basic wiring diagram hooked up right, those who have the polarity reversed. This will suck the life right out of you. You’re running through this thing called “life” just one time, and it isn’t a dress rehearsal. The future is not guaranteed.
The point is, everything is like that. All the disagreements, anyway. “Oh no, we don’t want to get rid of the debt limit entirely,” they might say. “We just want to up it to nineteen or twenty trillion dollars or something.” Nope. That’s not an honest expression of the disagreement. The disagreement is about whether there should be a ceiling at all. It’s about whether debt matters. It is, like everything else, a dispute between broken-people and not-broken-people.
There are disagreements about Caitlyn Jenner being a female or a male. Again, an honest presentation of that disagreement wouldn’t involve that particular individual at all. The disagrement is not about whether s/he is a man. It’s about gender itself. And again, it’s about directions and not increments. One direction says gender is natural, irreversible, and maybe disguisable but nevertheless undeniable. The other direction says gender is nothing but a social construct.
The Left, as we know it today, pulls this crap pretty often. “Oh but it’s not one or the other, there are shades of gray in between.” They have yet to define how that matters. Increments show that a measurement is relative; when we observe that a point on the Earth’s surface is East of one thing but West of another, this proves the relativity. It does not, however, show that East is West, or vice-versa. And the same is true of relative measurements that deal with abundance and absence, like heat & cold, light & darkness. So, no. Even if you can define your increments of something like gender, which would really just be more nonsense, this still wouldn’t show that men are women, or women are men. These are two different things.
This has been invading our culture for a long time now. You see it in our movies. One of the things kids today don’t understand about Star Wars, for example, is that when it first came out back in the 1970’s it was commonly called a “Space Western.” What does that mean? It means, right up until Darth Vader turned out to be Luke Skywalker’s father, it was about good and evil. The Grand Moff Tarkin, and then the Emperor, were Rufus Ryker; Darth Vader was Jack Wilson; Luke and Obi-Wan shared the role of Shane. Today they’ve gotten rid of that, and it’s lost to history that the franchise held an appeal to us because it was a tale of good versus evil. Bad guys, nowadays, can be bad just by wanting to hang on to their stuff. Good guys are “good” in the sense that they have good excuses for stealing stuff. All sorts of crimes are ultimately redeemable, as the bad guy becomes a good guy. Nothing’s off-limits, not even slaughtering unarmed “younglings” in a Jedi temple. It’s heartbreaking to see, but today’s kids are lost in the same desert that surrounded us, back in the day, within which the first two Star Wars movies were a welcome oasis. But it isn’t just Star Wars. Good and evil are just relative terms, all over the place, with the result that the characters are uninteresting and nobody wants to see the movies a second time. But Hollywood just keeps doing it.
You see sanity taking an extended holiday with the “isms,” too. Racism, I think, is when you are picking winners and losers based on race. Silly me! Nowadays, you’re a racist if you don’t discriminate against white people. And if you do discriminate this way, it shows what a wonderful not-racist you are. It’s just one more example, we’re not debating increments, we’re debating directions. It’s a conflict between people who do, and do not, have their directional bearings in order. It’s about the direction in which you’re marching, not about how far you go before you stop. And, about half of us have our wiring throughly screwballed.
All lives matter, or black lives matter? Supposedly, there’s something wrong with “all lives matter.” But what?
Liberals, being twiddlers, are continuing to twiddle and twiddle away, twiddling to find the perfect set of laws that will make us all perfectly free. Laws, of course, don’t do that. They prohibit, by their very nature, things that otherwise would be allowable. This makes us less free. In response to this, their counterargument is the same as it is with all of the above — well, yes, but what we have to do is find this perfect balance. More nonsense. If liberals ever did find the perfect concoction of laws in Year N, they’d be right back in our faces in Year N+1 to say “there ought to be a law.” The progressives have to keep moving. So again, this is about directions and not about increments. And their direction — that we need to outlaw more things, in order to make ourselves more free — is not reasonable, rational or sane.
Directional sanity eludes us yet again, when we go to a mandated “sexual harassment course” in the workplace. These courses, I have discovered, offer very little by way of helpful instructions about how to sexually harass. What they’re about, is a whole new set of rules that are put into effect whenever someone has decided harassment has taken place. In short: She gets an itch between her ears, and everybody’s guilty. Does “she” have good judgment about such things? A sense of fair play? Is the bitch even sane? None of it matters. And why do we have these rules? Drum roll, please: to foster a workplace environment that is non-hostile, non-threatening, and fair to everyone. Yes, they say that with a straight face. Being forced to work one cubicle away from a crazy cat lady who’s spoiling for a legal fight, and being guilty until you can prove your innocence, means you’re in a “non threatening workplace” somehow. Again, we’re not arguing about incremental stops within the spectrum, we’re arguing about the endpoints and about nothing else. When it comes to sexual harassment, the endpoint that’s won the argument for the time being is the nutty, nonsense-universe one.
Part of that is because the concept of “everyone” is being teased and tortured through endless, nonsensical debate, as well. The workplace that is “non-threatening to everyone” is only non-threatening to some. The others don’t count.
And then there is one of my personal favorites: If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. This was a jump the shark moment for President Obama, because for a brief moment the whole country could see that liberalism is based on falsehood. It is a sick game of make believe. Lots of liberals have come out since then, to protest that what President Obama really MEANT to say was that the business couldn’t exist without these roads and bridges and what-not. Indeed, this was all part of His remarks when He said that silly thing. The problem is: None of that provides any justification, not even in the slightest, for saying “you didn’t build that.” This is just further evidence that we’re not really arguing about increments, we’re arguing about directions. And President Obama’s direction, as He accidentally revealed, is: That business is not yours. Property is not yours. I’m a popular dictator, so that means the entire country is going to engage in this game of make-believe, that you didn’t really build anything. He was quite explicit, after all.
I suppose from the above, it might look like I’m saying with some more years of living, more years of accumulating experience, some more clear-headed thinking about what people really want other people to do — the increments start to lose relevance entirely. That life, ultimately, with this greater experience, eventually is reduced down to just the compass points. That as the airplane of this experience gains more altitude, the bearing becomes more critical. That people who say “Oh we don’t want to go all the way, we just want a little bit” are to be ignored, because their supposedly intended stopping-points are mythical. Which would have to mean, as we learn more about the true motives, the disagreements become much simpler, not more complicated. And that when all’s said and done, everyone doesn’t necessarily share the same ultimate goals, after all.
Why, yes. That is exactly what I mean.