At War Against the Flat Moral Universe

When somebody’s grand explanation of everything is that everyone who opposes them is evil, stupid, or ignorant, or that they are members of an oppressing group whose every action is evil by nature (and these are not mutually exclusive: ignorant, bigoted white men, for example is a double dose of both), their moral universe is very flat. All issues boil down to Them versus Us. There is no ‘We’. Since the opponent is evil simply by dint of being the opponent, we can trust nothing they do or say and there is nothing out of bounds for what we may legitimately do to them.

Steal elections? Of course – because they would do it, or worse! Riot? Sure, if it works. Wanton destruction of the property of people who just happen to be there? They deserve it, and worse. Physical assault? Totally OK.

And the lying. Total, non-stop lying, in word and deed.

First point: the reasons Hillary lost include:

  • Poor turnout of Democrats versus previous elections
  • Failure to carry the people Obama carried to the same degree
  • She’s an embarrassingly terrible candidate

Bigotry? Racism? Um, didn’t this same electorate just elect Obama – twice! – in the last 12 years? (1) Sooo – now they’re racists? Sexist? A smaller number of women voted Hillary than voted Obama. (1) Maybe women aren’t totally defined by sex organs, but might have thinking organs as well? Wherein they pondered what it means to them personally to be totally defined by somebody else’s idea of how a real woman should vote?

Clinton did not do as well as Obama did with women and minorities. From a marketing perspective, that’s nobody’s problem but Clinton’s team’s.

A flat moral universe does not admit of such fine distinctions, however. Only class-level distinctions carry any moral weight. Therefore, we are to ignore the facts on the ground and look instead to some oppressor/oppressed dynamic to explain everything. It can’t be that a huge percentage of the voters in this country resents being labeled racist or sexist simply because they voted against or even merely considered not voting for the ‘correct’ candidate? That any reasons they might offer for their concerns were labeled bigotry or hate? That everyone they personally knew who might support the wrong candidate was a racist/sexist/homophobic bigot no matter what their personal actions might indicate?

So, today, judging by what’s on the news, we have a battle going on: between those who are trying to apply their flat moral universe to the world – I include here any who do not condemn the mostly manufactured riots – by fomenting race and class warfare, and those who, in the words of Martin Luther King, judge people “…not … by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Be clear: this is the flat moral universe in which it is OK to slaughter 6 million Jews, 20 million Kulaks, 60 million Chinese peasants, 25% of the population of Cambodia – not because of anything particular those unarmed and defenseless people did,  but because of the groups they were presumed to belong to.  In this universe, Marxist hitmen get to round up and assassinate Spanish nuns and monks and Mexican boys who won’t play along; and French Carmelites who never hurt a fly get guillotined in the name of equality, liberty and brotherhood. These incidents are, if somehow allowed past the mental barriers set up over 16 or more years of education, summarily dismissed, or at least trivialized. A huge percentage of people will look the other way, just as today they look the other way when a shopkeeper’s shop is burned down or a cop is shot – it is conclusively presumed they either had it coming or it’s not important in the big picture.

So, we can’t let accusations of racism, sexism and bigotry against entire classes of people stand. That’s the battle today, for most of us. Pray God it may go no further.

  1. Usual caveats: exit polls are, if anything, even less likely to reflect reality than pre-election polls; the gray area – people who didn’t answer – is big enough in most cases to easily swallow the reported changes; and people are often not at all motivated to tell the truth, either about who they are or how they voted. That said: The NYT exit poll chart shows that Hillary picked up a percentage point worth of female voters, but since she got only 92% of the vote Obama did, the actual number of women who voted for her was about a million fewer than voted for Obama in 2012. 2016-exit-1
  2. The same chart says 8% of blacks voted for Trump, up from 1% who voted for Romney. Huge swing.  Now, given various videos making the rounds today, how good an idea do you think it would be for a black man or woman to own up publicly to voting for Trump? So this may be understated in the same way the pre-election polls were. I personally know one black pastor from Oakland who has spent the last decade or so trying to get his flock and blacks in general to see how they are being used by the Democratic Party, and specifically how abortion is used to keep blacks in line. He has suffered enormously – economically & personally – for his stance. But I know guys like him are out there – this election is the first time I think it has shown.

Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

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