Divorce: Lying Starts at Home

Image result for henry viii
At least he didn’t kill his own children. But the divorces did – how do you say ? negatively impact a whole lot of people. (BTW – doesn’t his face look like a code monkey’s? The beady eyes and beard?)  

Divorce is like having both your legs amputated. It might be necessary in some extreme cases, but only a madman would make it anything other than a desperate last resort. And, afterwards, you can never walk unaided again.

Via some Twitter feed or other, I was made aware of this testament to our culture’s love affair with comforting self-deception and willingness, almost eagerness, to make someone else suffer for our sins, a currently popular song called When You Love SomeoneContinue reading “Divorce: Lying Starts at Home”

New Year Predictions

TOF has posted his list of predictions for the upcoming year here. Check it out, and add yours.

Mine? Glad you asked:

1. The fundamental basis of physics will need to be reevaluated as Trump’s mere existence causes the same heads to explode *multiple times*.

2. As the next 4 years play out, Trump supporters will increasingly fall back on the position: at least he’s not Hillary. They will find this position strangely satisfying.

3. After Canadians take over management of US national healthcare [riffing on one of TOF’s predictions – ed.], they will discover many people who, if only they were in their right minds, would wish themselves dead, and attempt to ‘offer’ them ‘assisted suicide’ after the manner of the people-scoopers in Soylent Green. Some people will object.

4. It will occur to some people that if you do any business at all with Russia, China, Saudi Arabia or the City of Chicago, you will unavoidably have thugs and mafiosi as business partners. This thought will be hunted down and killed in its larval form.

5. While it took 8 years of constant maneuvering to get the Cubs the World Series win, a little noticed rule change at the MLB winter meetings, whereby only current and deceased members of the Roti family are permitted to act as umpires and scorekeepers, locks up title for the next decade.

6. either a) American capitalists will continue to fiendishly make Venezuelans starve to death by selling crap to Americans, or b) all of the sudden, Venzuelans and Cubans discover that, wow, if they all really go with this from each according to his ability/to each according to his needs thing, they have the ability to get rid of some people who need getting rid of!

7. All across Europe, young Muslim men suddenly realize that, by letting them into their countries, Westerners are trying to stop all the oppression that has lead to 1,400 years of violence, and decide to stop with the murder, burning and raping. After another 10 or so years, just to be safe.

8. While researching a paper on how much cooler Europeans are than us, a 10th grade student inadvertently notices that things were really much worse under Weimar Germany, let alone under the Nazis, than they are now. He is promptly expelled.


Chesterton & Family

You all would be much better served if you spent the time you’re spending here reading or rereading Chesterton. But since you are here, I’ll just have to throw some Chesterton at you.

Our Chesterton Reading Group is working its way through In Defense of Sanity, a ‘best of’ collection of Chesterton’s essays.  I’ve read through it a couple of times now, and one consistent theme, especially of the essays written more toward the end of his life, is Family. On the one hand, when a really smart guy says what you have been trying to say (however infinitely better he says it), what’s not to like? On the other, being Chesterton and all, he goes much deeper and sees things better than I ever could, so it’s not just a better echo chamber. Here are some bits from an essay we read last night, On the Instability of the State (about 3/4 of the way down). Of course, you’d be better off following the link and reading the whole thing, or, better, getting and reading In Defense of Sanity.

There are certain sayings which for the last hundred years or so have not been considered quite respectable, because they were religious; or perhaps connected with the sort of religion that was not quite respectable. One of those statements is this: “The Family comes first; it comes before the State; its authority and necessity are anterior to those of the State.” This always sounded perfectly horrid to rows and rows of earnest young people, learning statistics for Fabian Socialism at the London School of Economics. To that type, to that generation, the State was everything; that great official machine, which managed the traffic and took over the telephone system, was the very cosmos in which these people lived. For them, The Family was a stuffy thing somewhere in the suburbs which only existed to be the subject of Problem Plays and Problem Novels. The only question about it was whether its gloom should be brightened up by suicide; or its selfishness exalted by self-indulgence. But the whole of this view, though it is a view very nearly universal in the big modern towns, only exists because the big modern town is an entirely artificial society. Those inside it know no more about the normal life of humanity than the equally select society inside Colney Hatch or inside Portland Gaol. In some ways a lunatic asylum or a convict settlement are much better organized, are certainly much more elaborately organized, than the hugger-mugger of human beings doing as they like outside. But it is the human beings outside who are human; and it is their life that is the life of humanity.

Written in the 1930s. Things have not improved.

Now the sweeping social revolutions that have swept backwards and forwards across Europe of late, the stroke of the Bolshevists, the counter-stroke of the Fascists, the imitation of it in Hitlerite Germany, the recovery of the secret societies in Spain, the new creation in Ireland, all these great governmental changes may serve to bring men’s minds back to that big fundamental fact which the big cities have fancied to be a paradox. The big cities had this notion for a perfectly simple reason: that in the modern moment in which they lived, and especially in an industrial country like ours, the framework of the State did really look stronger than the framework of The Family. The modern industrial mob was accustomed to the endless and tragic trail of broken families; of tenants failing to pay their rents; of slums being condemned and their inhabitants scattered; of husband or wife wandering in search of work or swept apart by separation or divorce. In those conditions, The Family seemed the frailest thing in the world; and the State the strongest thing in the world. But it is not really so. It is not so, when we take the life of a man over large areas of time or space. It is not so, when we pass from the static nineteenth century to the staggering twentieth century. It is not so when we pass out of peaceful England to riotous Germany or gun-governed America. Over all the world tremendous transformations are passing over the State, so that a man may go to bed in one State and get up in another. The very name of his nation, the very nature of his common law, the very definition of his citizenship, the uniform and meaning of the policeman at the corner of his street, may be totally transformed tomorrow, as in a fairy-tale. He cannot really refer the daily domestic problems of his life to a State that may be turned upside-down every twenty-four hours. He must, in fact, fall back on that primal and prehistoric institution; the fact that he has a mate and they have a child; and the three must get on together somehow, under whatever law or lawlessness they are supposed to be living.

This is why I’ve said, for example, here, that it’s not just wrong, not just evil, not just insane, but impossible for the state to presume it can redefine the family. The death of a state is given; not if, but when, no less certain than the death of a man. When it dies, if it doesn’t immediately fall back on family relationships, such that the dead king’s son, or some favorite of the strongest families, or Napoleon’s nephew is handed the throne, then culture and society, however much they may have to hide and no matter how attenuated, will be fostered and handed on by families.

States don’t live long enough to handle the task of creating and developing cultures. States can’t even create states.(1)  At best, as is clearly the case in just about anywhere any remotely civilized person would want to live, the state is a product of families. Sometimes, it’s the Medici (and, it should be pointed out, the dozens of other families the Medici married into or had deals with – the web of ‘family’ can extend far) who were at least a little benevolent once in a while; sometimes, it’s the house of Saud, which hasn’t worked out as well, to say the least. Once, it was Washington, Adams and their buddies, all of whom were family men, or at least respecters of families.

The destroyers of families who have tried to found states include the Bolsheviks, who founded a state-sized gulag, and others who didn’t do even that well.(2)  China is the last one standing of that crowd, and that state may not be long for this world, since it has presumed to manage families, and so is starting to run out of cannon- or factory-fodder.


In the break-up of the modern world, The Family will stand out stark and strong as it did before the beginning of history; the only thing that can really remain a loyalty, because it is also a liberty.

  1. Look at Europe after WWI, when Wilson, Clemenceau and George (but mostly Wilson, a self-righteous elitist pig if ever there were one, the very personification of C. S. Lewis’s warning about moral busybodies) decided to divvy up Europe and the Middle East into ‘nations’ more to their liking. The old practice of merely plundering the defeated would have done less damage, if afterwards they’d have let them be. The next 40 years, indeed, the next 100 down to us, have their piles of dead to show how well this sort of thing works out.
  2. I’d laugh to see Castro’s brother ruling, Hugo Chavez daughter living on ill-gotten billions  and North Korea run by the funny-looking son of the dictator. Communism: a family business! I’d laugh, except for the millions murdered or suffering under these hellspawn.


Here’s what my life looked at 7:30 on Thanksgiving morning:


It doesn’t get much more civilized than that! I’d say fine coffee, a tasty pastry and a good book – and a nice hat (1)- represent an apex of culture just below a Latin High Mass in a great cathedral.

Well, maybe not that good, but pretty good.

Son-back-from-college signed up to run in a 5K that started at 8:00 a.m. Thanksgiving day morning; I went with to drop him off early to register. Had some time to kill, Peet’s was open, and thus I found myself in the geek Nirvana pictured above.

Thank you, Lord, for my children, who are finer human beings than I had any right to hope for;

for my beloved wife;

for life in a land of plenty in a time of peace;

for life, health, and an abundant sufficiency of all material things;

for my Czech ancestors, who brought the faith from Moravia to East Texas to California and to me.

Accept our thanks, O Lord, and have mercy on our many failings.


  1. Nearly had the Full Briggs going: I’d put on a tie, grabbed a jacket and a hat, because the next thing I’d be doing after the race was gathering up the rest of the family and heading off to Mass, and I need the hat to keep my bald head warm. The Full Briggs, as I understand it (and, being a Californian, I may be incapable of truly appreciating it) is for grown men to wear a suit, tie and hat as default clothing, only deigning to dress otherwise for specific purposes, such as if one were a professional wrestler or  astronaut or something. As a native Californian who grew up amidst surfers and welders, my reaction to this could be summed as: Whoa. Dude. Those noir shamuses do look pretty natty, I must confess.

Where are the casualties?

Please read The Real War on Science by John Tierney, of whom I knew nothing before reading the article linked (name was vaguely familiar). Writer for the NYT, which is supposed to confer non-fake status (non-fake if one has forgotten Walter Duranty, among others. I haven’t.)  However, since he says a lot of what I’m trying to say, in my own humble way, on this blog, we’ll set that aside for now.  

He begins thus:

My liberal friends sometimes ask me why I don’t devote more of my science journalism to the sins of the Right. It’s fine to expose pseudoscience on the left, they say, but why aren’t you an equal-opportunity debunker? Why not write about conservatives’ threat to science?

My friends don’t like my answer: because there isn’t much to write about. Conservatives just don’t have that much impact on science. I know that sounds strange to Democrats who decry Republican creationists and call themselves the “party of science.” But I’ve done my homework. I’ve read the Left’s indictments, including Chris Mooney’s bestseller, The Republican War on Science. I finished it with the same question about this war that I had at the outset: Where are the casualties?

Where are the scientists who lost their jobs or their funding? What vital research has been corrupted or suppressed? What scientific debate has been silenced? Yes, the book reveals that Republican creationists exist, but they don’t affect the biologists or anthropologists studying evolution. Yes, George W. Bush refused federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, but that hardly put a stop to it (and not much changed after Barack Obama reversed the policy). Mooney rails at scientists and politicians who oppose government policies favored by progressives like himself, but if you’re looking for serious damage to the enterprise of science, he offers only three examples.

All three are in his first chapter, during Mooney’s brief acknowledgment that leftists “here and there” have been guilty of “science abuse.” First, there’s the Left’s opposition to genetically modified foods, which stifled research into what could have been a second Green Revolution to feed Africa. Second, there’s the campaign by animal-rights activists against medical researchers, whose work has already been hampered and would be devastated if the activists succeeded in banning animal experimentation. Third, there’s the resistance in academia to studying the genetic underpinnings of human behavior, which has cut off many social scientists from the recent revolutions in genetics and neuroscience. Each of these abuses is far more significant than anything done by conservatives, and there are plenty of others. The only successful war on science is the one waged by the Left. (emphasis mine)

Mostly good stuff, but with a few important gaps/omissions/dissemblings. From the first paragraph, check out:

Conservatives just don’t have that much impact on science.

Now, in context, a generous person would read that to say: When it comes to pseudoscience disrupting real science, Conservatives don’t have much of an effect. But that’s not what it says. What it says is rather more – dismissive?

This little bit of editorial oversight might seem like nit-picking, but I think not. Further on, he opines:

The danger from the Left does not arise from stupidity or dishonesty; those failings are bipartisan. Some surveys show that Republicans, particularly libertarians, are more scientifically literate than Democrats, but there’s plenty of ignorance all around. Both sides cherry-pick research and misrepresent evidence to support their agendas. Whoever’s in power, the White House plays politics in appointing advisory commissions and editing the executive summaries of their reports. Scientists of all ideologies exaggerate the importance of their own research and seek results that will bring them more attention and funding.

This, I think, is the flat moral universe I rail about just peeking out from behind the curtains. Those who do no damage to science despite their ideological opposition to some of science’s findings are just the same, morally, as those who, as the rest of the essay makes clear, foment ideologically-driven hysteria that results in real people really suffering harm and, in the case of Africans dying of malaria and Chinese women undergoing forced abortions, dying. Only where one accepts a weirdly flat world, where the difference between Stalin and Buffalo Bill(1) is *this* tiny can the difference between hurting people’s feeling and killing them be insignificant enough to casually dismiss.

Thus, the Left and the Right are equally guilty – except, as the essay clearly lays out, in the real world, anti-science is a distracting and ineffective hobby when engaged in by the Right, but a central structural element of the Left. How else to understand the wild disparity in academia? Only someone chugging cool-aide could believe that college faculty in all fields where reality doesn’t trump theory are overwhelmingly leftists as a result of some sort of meritocracy.

Scientists try to avoid confirmation bias by exposing their work to peer review by critics with different views, but it’s increasingly difficult for liberals to find such critics. Academics have traditionally leaned left politically, and many fields have essentially become monocultures, especially in the social sciences, where Democrats now outnumber Republicans by at least 8 to 1. (In sociology, where the ratio is 44 to 1, a student is much likelier to be taught by a Marxist than by a Republican.) The lopsided ratio has led to another well-documented phenomenon: people’s beliefs become more extreme when they’re surrounded by like-minded colleagues. They come to assume that their opinions are not only the norm but also the truth.

Some sage said that tradition is the solution to problems we’ve forgotten. So, academics ‘traditionally’ lean left? For some mysterious reasons that might have to do with the modern research university (the Prussian Model university) being designed from the ground up as a tool for reshaping society and culture to better suit those in charge (2), almost all the faculty are leftists. This fact might *be* the problem itself; everything else under discussion in the essay is just the fallout from this one fact.

The narrative that Republicans are antiscience has been fed by well-publicized studies reporting that conservatives are more close-minded and dogmatic than liberals are. But these conclusions have been based on questions asking people how strongly they cling to traditional morality and religion—dogmas that matter a lot more to conservatives than to liberals. A few other studies—not well-publicized—have shown that liberals can be just as close-minded when their own beliefs, such as their feelings about the environment or Barack Obama, are challenged.

It means something different to a leftist than to a normal person to say science should not be political – a normal person can conceive of science outside both left and right pieties, while a leftists thinks his pieties ARE where science lives. That’s the whole religious aspect to Marxism and Progressivism in general, why we are asked ad nauseam  to pronounce ‘Shibboleth’ – to say if we *believe* in science or progress or evolution or global warming or some such. Science can only be discussed using the language of faith. This religious aspect is both blindingly obvious and completely denied and ignored.

Anyway, read the essay. The points raised good, even if Mr Tierney writes as if he hopes to continue getting published by the NYT – a hope certain to be dashed if he displayed any more honesty than he displayed here.

  1. Buffalo Bill was a scout during the Indian Wars, so, oppressor.
  2. From the Oracle Wikipedia: “For the reformers, the reform of the Prussian education system (Bildung) was a key reform. All the other reforms relied on creating a new type of citizen who had to be capable of proving themselves responsible and the reformers were convinced that the nation had to be educated and made to grow up. …In place of a wide variety of religious, private, municipal and corporative educational institutions, he (Humboldt) suggested setting up a school system divided into Volksschule (people’s schools), Gymnasiums and universities.” He ‘suggested’ in such a way that school-age kids were marched off into the new state schools at bayonet point. In case the goal here is not clear, Humboldt appointed Fichte head of the new University of Berlin – the Fichte who said: “Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished.” See how that works? The only competition, then, is in deciding who will be the school masters otherwise than which properly schooled children cannot think.

Post Election Schooling Rant

Winston S. Churchill(Should I wait a full week? Nah.)

“My education was interrupted only by my schooling.” – Churchill

It doesn’t have to be this way. Plato and Aristotle didn’t go to graded classroom schools for 16 years; Hypatia and Hildegard of Bingen didn’t sit in desks with 50 kids the same age getting lectured. Even today, on the off chance you find truly educated adults, there’s no chance they got that way via a standard k-12 education. Like Churchill above, at best, they got that way despite it.

Based on the available evidence, the typical department head at our major universities isn’t nearly as well educated as, say, David Farragut or Abigail Adams, a couple of American heroes who, as we might put it today, were educated via some combination of homeschooling, independent study and tutoring. Back then, pretty much everybody who was educated was educated in such a manner. Based, again, on the available evidence, there was a far larger percentage of truly well-educated people back then than there is today.(1)  This predates the insane herd-everybody-together-by-age model imposed on us by our self-appointed betters over the last 150 years.

Throughout all of history down to this day, no well-educated people got that way by sitting in a desk and learning to regurgitate answers from a textbook. The very idea is only 200 years old; it wasn’t tried in America until well into the 19th century, and didn’t come to completely dominate education here until about 75 years ago. Up until maybe 40 years ago, one could even come across teachers who, whatever the designs of the system, were intent on educating their charges, and sometimes even succeeded. Now? Such an one will have the entire weight of established practice brought to bear on him, to bring him in line.

Image result for school of athens
Plato and Aristotle walk and talk as friends. Not a desk in sight.

So, what is it that we are supposed to learn, that we had to throw out thousands of years of educational experience and success and replace it with a rigid, insulting and compulsory model?

The questions are at the end of the chapter. The answers are in the teacher’s book. 

In a way, that’s it. That’s all there is to it. Materials are presented; the allowed or insisted upon questions are asked; the correct answers are given. Rinse. Repeat.

For 12 to 16 years.

You think it’s about reading? If it were, the first day of school children would be asked to show how well or not they can read, and then those that could already read would be excused while those who needed (and wanted?) some help would get it. Is that what happens? Why not?  Math? People who want their kids to learn math send them to the Russian School of Mathematics or Khan academy or use some other non-school approach. If your goal was to make kids loath math, on the other hand, you could hardly do better than the current practices found in our schools.

And so on. A successful school kid’s ignorance of reading and math, not to mention science, history, literature, ‘civics’ and so on is profound, such that around half of the super-elite students who attend the University of California – the kids with 4.0+ GPAs, numerous Advanced Placement classes, and high SAT scores – have to take remedial classes in math and writing in order to succeed in college-level classes. This, by the way, after decades during which college has been dumbed down.

So, what exactly did they *do* K-12? Less time and effort devoted to ‘education’ in the past resulted in a good number of multi-lingual (Greek and Latin) kids who could do calculus, play musical instruments, draw convincingly, knew their history, geography, how our government was supposed to work, and so on. Now? What is the time spent doing?

Have you witnessed, inside school or out, the ritual whereby the authority figure asks some version of “Who can tell me X?” with the expectation that kids (of all ages) will raise their hands and shout out answers? The telling part is that no matter how much the question is couched in ‘there is no wrong answer’ or ‘there is more than one right answer’ or ‘I want to know your opinion’ language, the authority figure is just asking in order to receive *one* answer – his answer.

We know he has received his right answer when he moves on to his next point. (2)  He asks the question not out of interest in hearing what the people think, but rather to test how well they can regurgitate what it is they have been told or how quickly they can get in line with the group behind the right answer. (3) He may think he’s asking in order to get their attention – that’s the usual thought, mixing it up a bit so that it’s not just the speaker droning on and on – but he could get it by asking a legitimate question where he does not know the answer. That virtually never happens.

This lie – it is a lie to claim to be asking for opinions or views when in fact you are hunting for one ‘correct’ answer(4) – has been practiced on us so often and from such a young age that we’ve incorporated it into our intellectual and social background. This is a fancy way of saying we’ve been inured to how outrageous, petty and manipulative it is.

I mention this as a relatively trivial example of what we’ve become as a nation. We are a nation of parrots, of perpetual children.

Of slaves.

Elections have become a giant game of ‘who can tell me the answer I want to hear?’.  Over that decade and a half of intense (and getting more intense) training, we are made to identify with what the schools tell us we are. We are the smart kids, we got the grades – that’s who we are! We name the resulting group-think ‘critical thinking’ – an Orwellian phrase for an activity that involves neither criticism nor thought.

Weepy hysteria results when other people refuse to give the right answer, the answer all right-thinking people insist on – because the wrong answer flies in the face of all that training, all those gold stars and pats on the head and acceptance letters to colleges and good grades and degrees, all the material and especially psychological goodies one gets for telling the teacher the answers the teacher wants to hear, class after class, day after day, year after year, for a decade and a half.  This is not about losing an election – it is about having a world view crushed. We got a buffoon instead of a felonious traitor. This result requires burning the cars of strangers?

This observation is not, at its roots, partisan, although in the just passed elections it played out that way, more or less. Both parties support the schools, arguing, rather, just over how many and in what pattern the deck chairs should be rearranged. No iceberg is ever sighted. The problem for me, even as I take some comfort in watching so many of the correct heads explode, is that the enemy is playing the long game, and has been for a century or more. We can already see how many young people, deluded into thinking they are the brightest, best educated and most moral people the world has ever known (thus being immunized against self-reflection and ever learning anything) are convinced that this election was a DISASTER! And it was, for the regurgitate on demand world of schooling. But unless these kids can break this illusion, realize that they are just as ignorant, stupid and prone to immoral acts as anyone else now or ever, they will, with righteous zeal, be right back at it like the perfect little clone army they have trained to be.

  1. Chesterton, on the advantages of being educated as the Puritans were educated versus modern education: “Nobody could read the Bible without gaining a glorious mass of information about fighting, about faith, about religions true and false, about mystical or magical or mysterious beings such as hover round man in all the legends and literature of the world. The little boys who grew up in the dark Calvinistic houses of our great-grandfathers did, in actual fact, grow up with their heads full of a noble noise of conflict and crisis; valiant and vigorous action described in the grandest English that our national history has known; the noise of the captains and the shouting; the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof; and he that drew a bow at a venture and smote the king between the joints of the harness; and he whose driving was known from afar off, for he drove furiously. That, under all its other disadvantages, is what I call being educated; certainly it is being much better educated than a miserable little prig who must not be told that Joan of Arc carried a battle-banner, but must be assured that she only carried an umbrella.” On the New Prudery, 1935
  2. Who has not experienced the hilarity of watching some teacher or speaker play this game, yet having the audience not promptly supply the right answer? How they will sputter and plead and shame. This is the sign of an amatuer. Pros recognize that this game is a variation on the rule of Sun Tzu (or maybe it’s Machiavelli? Both?): never give an order you are not sure will be obeyed.
  3. A side benefit: courtiers and sycophants sometimes find themselves in situations where they have not been given specific instructions on what responses and behaviors their lords and masters expect. Here we practice the only logical process required of such followers: inferring from what is known to what must be – in their god’s head. That this also provides an opportunity for delightful torture of said courtiers and sycophants is a bonus – for the lords and masters. Handy for picking out who’s not fully with the program and making examples of people. It’s a superset including the “Don’t be the first one to stop clapping” thing. (pp 69-70) 
  4. Even when it’s clear that the speaker is asking for the one correct answer, the public nature of the interaction – someone will be praised, others risk being shamed – makes this a dubious practice at best. It is using group pressure to make people get in line with whatever the group seems to think.


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.