Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Is It 1942 Yet on the Culture War Front?

If you are President Obama the Trump presidency is a product of "resentment," as he said in his recent speech: "resentment and paranoia." He lamented, according to Allie Stuckey,
the destruction of the Republican Party and the ensuing demise of America because of the divisiveness and bigotry propagated by the president and those who support him.
But, if you look at it from another angle, the left has been running a secular-religious movement, especially successful during the Obama administration, that has resulted in huge changes in popular opinion, as measuring by the polls. Approval of gay marriage has gone from 31% in 2009 to 62% in 2017. Racism as a "big problem?" It was 26% in 2009. Now 58% percent of Americans agree.

Well, of course. Liberals in the media, in the schools, in the entertainment complex, in fashionable corporations are banging the drum every day for progressive issues like "sexuality, gender, race, immigration and welfare." And you better not express a contrary opinion or you could lose your job and get kicked off social media.

Actually, this is not so much a secular-religious movement as the lefty Secular Office of the Inquisition, enforcing its secular-religious orthodoxy everywhere. And when they show you the instruments of torture, why would you decide to experience the full experience the Inquisition has in mind rather than confess your heresy?

Now, in the face of a religious movement determined to enforce its vision of the anointed upon the deplorables, the question becomes: Is "resentment and paranoia" warranted? Or is it just pure bigotry? And how would you tell?

Let me explain. I have been reading Hitler's Mein Kampf on the internet, and the first couple of chapters explain the whole thing: Hitler's "resentment and paranoia" that he turned into a massive political movement that turned Europe upside down for twelve years.

As a young ethnic German man in Vienna before World War I Hitler experienced the situation of ethnic Germans in that multi-ethnic Hapsburg empire. They were a minority, and were being totally outmaneuvered in Vienna politics, because the non-Germans -- Czechs, Hungarians, Jews, etc. -- were obviously interested in diluting the influence of the ethnic Germans that had ruled the Austrian empire for centuries, and the Hapsburg rulers were trying to keep their whole rickety empire together. Hitler could look down the road and see that things were not going to be too good for ethnic Germans in the Austrian Empire, not when ethnic German votes were split between a nationalist party and a Catholic center party.

Solution? Put all the ethnic Germans together in a Greater Germany. Then no Germans would be a minority subject to the power plays of non-German ethnic groups.

Unfortunately Hitler also believed that this Greater Germany would need more land, because, as everybody knew, a nation couldn't survive on mere manufacturing and trading. A people needed to live on its own land growing its own food, etc.

Now, of course, in the event, the disaster of World War I detached the ethnic Germans of Austria into their own ethnic state. So that was all right, but too late, because Hitler had already made up his mind about what the German people needed. And the economic turmoil of the 1920s, the hyperinflation that was worse in Austria than in Germany, discredited the rulers and created space for troublemakers like Hitler.

In the event, Hitler got to execute on his plan for a Greater Germany and an even bigger Lebensraum for the Germans to get their food and natural resources, right up until 1942 when Germany overextended itself strategically on the plains of the Ukraine and the gates of Moscow.

Note that today Germany is an ethnic German state sitting in the middle of Europe as the primary manufacturing and trading nation in Europe and it doesn't matter that it doesn't have a hinterland for food-growing and resources extraction. So it didn't need Hitler at all to get where it is today.

But, the point is that when you have a multi-ethnic state then the obvious thing for politically ambitious people to do is to appeal to people on the basis of their religion and ethnic identity. Cue Lee Kwan Yew, first Prime Minister of Singapore, that in "multiracial societies... you vote in accordance with race and religion."

We know that our liberal friends think that, given another 30 years, America will be a majority-minority country and that white people will no longer dominate US politics.

There are, of course a number of assumptions that liberals are making.

Liberals are assuming that their coalition of the minorities will still obtain down the road. Will it? Will Asians and Latinos and blacks all still vote the same ticket? Perhaps all the non-black minorities expel the blacks from the minority coalition, because anti-black racism, and the Democratic Party becomes a rainbow coalition and the Republican Party a white-black party.

Or will East Asians join the Republican Party, as a party that respects East Asian family values and business success?

Perhaps Latinos and blacks will finally get up into the middle class and become deplorables and champion the traditional family and turn against lefty gender rainbow politics.

The risk, of course, is that liberals court the disaster that happened to Germany in 1945. And everything was going so well, as late as the spring of 1942!

When you listen to President Obama and the lefty progressives it all sounds as if we are just a couple of elections away from progressive triumph. Maybe they are right. Or maybe they are just as delusional as Adolf Hitler, who got a couple of things right, and a lot of other things completely wrong.

And anyway, to complain about the other side's "resentment and paranoia" is a little rich. Isn't the game of every politician to pump up the resentment and paranoia of his own partisans? Isn't that what Democrats did when they ran the Solid South? Isn't that what Democrats did when they championed the working class against the "malefactors of great wealth?" Isn't that what Democrats do when they appeal to the racial identity of African Americans and the gender identity of feminists and gays and transgenders, and the atheist identity of post-Christian educated liberals?

Look, all politics is about "us" and "them." Liberals do a politics of "us" as the educated elite and the marginalized races and genders and the "them" of deplorables.

President Trump is doing an "us" of America the nation, as in Make America Great Again. His "them" is unfair foreign trading nations, illegal immigrants. So his "us" is basically the whole of America except for the illegals.

Frankly, I'd say that Trump's idea of America is higher and nobler and more diverse and more inclusive than the liberal version. As Hillary Clinton so ably said, her division of America puts an irredeemable 25% of "them" beyond the Pale, because "you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables."

So what would Hillary Clinton say to Salena Zito's middle-aged woman in Grand Junction, Colorado, that has worked all her life at a candy factory, rising in 20 years from seasonal work as a contract worker to full-time work to supervisor to product manager?

What does Barack Obama have to say to her?

There is an old saying: live by the sword, die by the sword. I dare say it applies to a lot of other things, as in: "live by identity politics, die by identity politics."

Just saying.

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