"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, October 11, 2021

Far Worse Than COVID–A Pandemic Of Viral Righteousness

Brighton Park is a leafy, upscale neighborhood of Washington, DC – good schools, low crime, easy parking, and most of all political solidarity.  Brighton Park is Democrat, progressive, and unashamedly liberal.  It is the kind of place where rainbow signs for inclusivity, Black Lives Matter and Hate Has No Home Here banners are everywhere, and where neighborly chit chat is about the hateful Trump era, the welcome compassion and good will of Joe Biden, and the importance of doing the right thing.  It is a community proud of its political solidarity and graceful uniformity.

All well and good, except for its nasty undertones – a politically perfect and uniform community cannot brook dissent or disagreement, and anyone doing so is quickly called out, dunned, and marginalized.  

Uniformity and singularity of purpose not only strengthen political commitment and assure electoral victory, they also reduce the hostility, anger, and hypertension found in more politically diverse neighborhoods.  There is no question of speaking openly and loudly about one’s political beliefs whether about the President, climate change, racial injustice, sexual bigotry, the brutality of Israeli occupiers, or unhinged capitalism.  

There is no confessional or conspiratorial nature to the beliefs in Brighton Park, nothing to be kept quiet, no concerns about keeping one’s own counsel.  One expects no opposition and by and large gets none.

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“What is this?”, said a neighbor bringing figs next door to the family she assumed was of her opinions but seeing an American flag flying over the porch.  To her an American flag was a symbol of reactionary patriotism and right-wing subversion.  For her it had lost any historical meaning and was flown only to disrupt sacred spaces and her own politically anointed ground. It could only be a symbol of reactionary protest flown as a disingenuous but unassailable icon of American patriotism.  

One could only intimate the real meaning behind the flag, for it was still, after all, a hallowed symbol of America; and there was always the possibility, however slight, that flying the colors signified a belief in a progressive, ideal American future.

The neighbor was expecting this reaction from a woman who had spoken to her about the absurdity of the Fourth of July celebrating as it did the creation of a racist, exploitive, greedy, capitalist demon.  How could anyone raise the flag on this day and cheer the robber barons, slave owners, Native American killers and environmental predators of the past and present? The day was an anathema, and she and her friends ignored it, were outspoken about their indifference, and snidely referred to the fireworks on the Mall as ‘white, elitist, regressive, and offensive’.

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The shades had been drawn on intellectual inquiry, objectivity, and rational discourse. 

This arrogant presumptuousness had a more insidious side.  It was viral, infectious, and mutated rapidly as it spread through the community.  Righteous assumptions spread like sexual innuendo, picked up and spread with embellishment and distortion.  Every exaggerated claim, every inflated proposition, and every deformed fact was taken as gospel; and before long the entire community was a nest of unfounded, hysterical belief.

Lawyers, professors, senior bureaucrats and foundation executives, all of whom prided themselves on rationality, good judgement, propriety, and above all intellectual patience, were no different; and in fact they were among the most outspoken.  Worse, their professional stature gave additional credibility to their words – the same words repeated again and again through cycles of idealistic distortion in the larger community.

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There can be no two sides to current arguments of race, gender, ethnicity, climate, and economics in Brighton Park, nor can there ever be; and all efforts must be made and all resources mobilized to assure that such doctrinal purity be preserved, promoted, and protected. 

Free speech is a false, misleading, and outdated notion, say progressives.  The goal of creating a world without racism, sexism, and ethnic prejudice; one of equal distribution of wealth; and one of respectful diversity and universal inclusivity is too important to have to confront ignorant, senseless, and self-serving opposition. 

Social media, the social environment, and all public spaces must be purged. Speech suggesting any interpretation of persistent black poverty and social dysfunction other than systemic racism will be disallowed.  No accommodating measures to global warming – the creation of urban canals, peripheral wetlands, or elevated structures; no adaptation of agribusiness through genetic modification, crop selection, and variable production zones – will be tolerated. 

This arrogant righteousness has gone viral and pandemic.  It is everywhere. Public apologies for events that took place decades earlier in a totally different cultural and socio-economic environment have become de rigeur even though they were not considered wrong or objectionable in the day.  Wrong is wrong, shout progressive utopians.  The sins of the past are the sins of the present.  Surprisingly, those accused take to the microphone to condemn their actions, beg forgiveness, and promise contrition and reform.

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History itself is subjected to the same narrow, ignorant critique.  Slavery is an absolute wrong whether now, in the Old South, Africa, or in Ancient Rome, Greece, and Persia.  There can be no mitigating circumstances, no understanding of society, culture, or history.  Anyone with any association with slavery must be condemned regardless of anything else.  Kings, emperors, courtiers, statesmen, artists responsible for the creation of civilization’s best expression must be universally condemned for their slaveholding.

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Historical revisionism, once the refuge of the ignorant and deluded has now become a celebrated principle.  The toppling of statues, the renaming of streets, schools, and institutions, the reflexive condemnation of any and all scurrilous, retrograde predators, must continue until the scourge of racism is expunged and the nation is clean.

Those very progressives who put the restoration of social justice at the top of their list routinely applaud the abrogation of civil rights in cases of alleged sexual abuse.  Men at universities throughout the country are assumed guilty, denied the right to face their accusers  and refused a fair trial.  Men are ipso facto sexual apes, abusers of women, and social outliers who deserve none of these supposed God-given rights.

Humor is dead in America, lamented by comedians everywhere who have been reduced to gross ‘non-offensive’ sexual or bathroom humor.  The likes of the young Eddie Murphy, the Borscht Belt Jews, or the present D.L. Hughley – outrageously funny, irreverent, and politically incorrect – are forbidden.  No offense can be suggested, all potential victims must be protected.

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We are a nation of victimhood, identity, and thin skin.  The old meme, ‘We are all adults here’, no longer applies.  We cannot be counted on to decide for ourselves.  We must be corralled, tethered, cinched, and ridden by our superiors.  The elitism so vilified by the Left has been created by them with a vengeance.  Only a select group of purified overlords can be in power.  The people – ignorant, backward, gun-toting, bass-fishing, trailer trash – must be reformed, re-educated, and cleansed.

There are no quick-fixes for this virus, no COVID-like jabs; and so it is likely to spread until it peters out or is finally stopped by more principled, historically and philosophically-grounded political leaders.  This is inevitable, but will be a long time coming.

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