Saturday, September 19, 2020

 Week 12: Conformity


In an interview with Lenard Larry McKelvey, known on his syndicated radio show as “Charlamagne tha God,” former Vice President Joe Biden stated, “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.” As it happens, Mr. McKelvey is Black. Mr. Biden was forced to walk back his comments and to offer a pseudo-apology for his statement. It leaves one wondering which remark was sincere: the statement or the apology.


As a cynic, not only about Mr. Biden but about almost all politicians, I suspect his true belief was made known in his statement on Mr. McKelvey’s show, as opposed to his apology.


For any faults Mr. Trump has, a lack of candor is not among them.


Let us return, then to Mr. Biden’s statement, because it bespeaks of the conformity that politicians, specifically those who embrace socialism, be it in the guise of “the greater good” or full-on communism, promote and desperately need to advance their agenda.


Racial conformity just happens to be a perennial favorite for the socialist, which for all intents and purposes may be a term appropriately ascribed to today’s Democrat party. Gender is a close second in terms of the characteristics that are used to slice and dice the populace. I would suggest that the use of these means to differentiate and discriminate is insidious and deceitful, but it is not. It is not, because the socialist, be he or she mild or extreme, makes no secret of the fact that they view people of one skin color, one race, one gender, etc. as common in their respective thoughts and beliefs.


If, as Mr. Biden suggests, you are not of the collective mind of that group, you lack legitimacy within that group. In the example above, all Black people must be committed to voting for Mr. Biden. If you happen to have black skin but prefer another candidate (i.e., Mr. Trump), you are not Black, thereby disenfranchising you from your lived experience as a Black person.


This approach to characteristic-based conformity comes in many forms, providing, of course, those forms are based on characteristics that are easy to see but otherwise have no meaning. Does the one’s race, color or gender actually dictate what one thinks and believes? In other words, is there a causal relationship? If your answer is “yes,” I would be intrigued to hear your argument and evidence. Keep in mind the important difference between causation and correlation. 


The notion that a conformity of belief is causal in terms of certain characteristics is an evil notion, as it diminishes the value of the individual and his or her moral worth and unique value. It is a notion, as evil as it may be, that is essential for collectivism, which is to say socialism, and if an individual human being elects to break from that conformity of thought, he or she is cast out and, in the parlance of our day, canceled.


Pray tell, what might be more dangerous in a republic than to have an elected representative, especially the head of state, “canceling” individual citizens based on their beliefs.


As suggested above, these differences must be easy to discern in order to stir up others in the frenzy of hatred and distrust. As a white man, the socialist wants it to be easy for me to discriminate against someone else. What better way for them to achieve their end than to endeavor to make me believe that a Black person, or better yet a Black woman, might be my political, economic or social opponent. Their wicked chore would be much more difficult if they sought to divide me from my fellow human beings by what we thought – something I cannot deduce by looking at another person. If they sought to sow the seeds of disharmony based on thoughts and beliefs, their end would require as its means discussion and thoughtful exchange among individuals, which is most assuredly the best way to foster harmony and peace, both of which are death knells to their political aims, which ultimately converge in power and control over you and me, the good citizens of this republic.


Evgenii Zamiatin wrote about the dangers of conformity in the early days of the Soviet Union. His 1921 essay entitled “I Am Afraid” was prescient indeed, as he foresaw the Bolshevik stifling of non-conformist thinking, be it expressed verbally, in the written word, in music or in art. A couple years later, his novel “We” foretold of a time in which people lived according to preordained constructs, called tables, and conformity to these was paramount for the functioning of the collective.


In Record Nine of “We,” Zamiatin writes, “Да, это была торжественная литургия Единому Государству, воспоминание о крестных днях-годах Двухсотлетней Войны, величественный праздник победы всех над одним, суммы над единицей...” As translated, “Yes, it was a solemn liturgy for the United State, a reminiscence of the great days, years, of the Two Hundred Years’ War – a magnificent celebration of the victory of all over one, of the sum over the individual…”


Statements, like Biden’s and others of the establishment ilk, lay bare their belief that we neither can nor will think for ourselves or lay claim to our individual Liberty, another concept that is anathema to the socialist agenda of today’s Democrat party and to some Republicans, too.


Let us vote in a way that allows for a magnificent celebration of individual Liberty over repression of the sum.

Friday, September 18, 2020

 Week 13: Focus on the policies


While character should count in the officials we elect, let’s face it, it doesn’t.


In an article today, a woman has come forward to say that, in 1997, Donald Trump forced his tongue down her throat. In the last election there were also reports of his disparaging remarks about women and their genitalia. Is this type of behavior beneath the Office of the President of the United States? Certainly, it is.


But it certainly is not a tally in the Joe Biden column of the score sheet.


Recall not too long ago the woman, a former Biden staffer, who came forward and recounted Biden’s sexual fondling, not to mention his publicly displayed groping and kissing and sniffing of women on a regular basis.


OK, so they may both be creeps. Let’s here no more arguments on this topic. If you want a non-creep candidate, go with Jo Jorgensen.


On an almost daily basis, people decry Trump’s childish name-calling and his inflammatory Tweets. Are these becoming of the leader of the free world? Of course not, but neither is Biden’s confrontational behavior and name-calling of citizens who dare question his record in town hall forums, not to mention his challenging people to go outside and fight. At least Trump’s taunts are directed at those in the political establishment, as opposed to everyday citizens.


OK, so they are both bullies. Let’s have no more arguments on this topic. If you want a candidate who doesn’t bully colleagues and who respects you and me – We the People – go with Jo Jorgensen.


People suspect Trump of violating the emoluments clause, abusing his power to enrich himself and his family. Some may point to his desire to hold a political meeting at one of his resorts, a decision he reversed in light of unfavorable public opinion. Disregard the fact he was fabulously wealthy prior to his election and that he divested management of his companies to his son. Nevertheless, he’s cast as a greedy, power-abusing fiend. But Biden’s hands are not clean in this respect. He used his power, when he was Vice President, to stop an investigation of a foreign company on the board of which his son was a member, going so far as to pressure the head of state of that country to fire the public prosecutor who was investigating his son’s company, using U.S. government aid as blackmail in that transaction. Biden even boasted of the incident on television! Biden, himself, has grown wealthy in his role as a public servant, as has many of his relations, some of whom acknowledge that their good fortune is a result of Biden’s political positions.


OK, so they are both greedy bastards. Let’s have no more arguments on this topic. If you want a candidate whose financial house is well ordered and ground in ethical behavior, go with Jo Jorgensen.


However, if you, kind reader, are still determined to vote for one of the two major parties’ candidates, disregard the issues of character. As discussed above, neither candidate will win at that game in the public square.


Focus, instead, on their policies. Focus solely on their policies.


Reflect on which candidate’s policies best conform with the founding principles of our republic. Reflect on which candidate’s policies will truly enrich the lives of all Americans: with sound education that empowers parents to choose the best schools for their children, with healthcare that restores the relationship between patients and doctors, with an economy that grows industry and provides opportunities for employment, with a national security strategy that keeps us safe without losing yet one more generation to the battlefields of foreign lands.


After your reflection, good citizen, examine the record of each candidate. Who has demonstrated success? Who lacks demonstrable success? For example, who has implemented policies that provided historic gains in employment to our long-suffering, underrepresented communities? Who has fought to expand the welfare state and to keep those communities as vassals of the state? Who has sponsored crime legislation that disproportionately incarcerated people of those same communities (which is among the reasons so many cry out for justice today)? Who has signed legislation to fix that injustice?


To paraphrase Charles Dickens, a man’s deeds foreshadow certain ends. What do Trump’s deeds (i.e., policies) foreshadow? What do Biden’s deeds (i.e., policies) foreshadow?


Of course, each American must vote his or her conscience, but let each person’s conscience be informed and guided by intellect, by principle, and by proof from this historical record. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

 Week 14: The rich and the poor


Trump and the “Right” love the rich and hate the poor. Biden and the “Left” hate the rich and love the poor. This is the common narrative pushed from almost all corners of the political playing field. With all due respect, it seems that neither is an accurate perception.


Prior to our discussion of preceding statements, permit me to share my utter disdain for the terms “Right” and “Left,” as applied in a political context. They are lazy constructs to divide us, to pit us against one another, and to establish an either-or worldview in which there is no middle ground, no room for deep analysis nor for complex and nuanced beliefs.


Nevertheless, the political class seems comfortable with the either-or worldview. The establishment politicians, who promote this worldview, prostitute themselves (i.e., sacrificing any principles they may have had for the sake of political expediency) for its advancement and perpetuation. Consequently, I will employ these simplistic terms in a narrow manner to refer to the political elite. I will play the game as they have defined it.


Regarding the so-called “Right,” it is true that they love the rich. Generally, those on the “Right” fall into the economic camp of capitalists, some of whom advocate free-market capitalism. They want to establish conditions that make it possible for the machinery of industry to run smoothly and efficiently. They understand that private sector success results in employment and raises people out grinding poverty in a way that government handouts cannot. They also understand that well-being, be it economic or otherwise, is not a fixed pie. Success by one does not come at the expense or failure of another. In fact, in a free-market society, success only comes by way of voluntary exchange and agreement. There is no coercion. 


In this sense, not only do they not hate the poor, their policies are designed to benefit the poor, as well as the rich. Another example is education. As we’ve discussed before, those in most need of help to improve their lot in life are the same people who are forced into failing schools and subject to inefficient healthcare systems. The “Right” seeks to introduce choice and competition into these and similar systems. In areas in which such competition and choice has been made available to people, results have been favorable.


Regarding the so-called “Left,” it is true that they hate the rich. The exception to this general hatred is the rich of the political elite. Often the people who denounce the private sector’s rich have themselves become rich over the course of a long career in office, a topic we recently discussed. Notwithstanding that exception, the “Left” look at the rich as greedy opportunists, who, rather than create value, exploit the worker and take his share of wealth, believing that economic well-being is a fixed pie. To the “Left,” the rich serve as a source of funding for their social engineering experiments, which interestingly fail time and time again. Look at California, Illinois and New York, for example. Companies are fleeing those states’ socialist economies for states that provide a favorable environment for businesses to thrive. Who is hurt in this situation? The people of California, Illinois and New York. They are left with fewer options for employment and are consequently damned to poverty. The political “Left” blames the companies and their greed for this situation rather than their redistributive policies, which effectively – quite effectively – kills the goose that lays the golden egg.


This is where the disingenuous assertion that the “Left” love the poor is shown for what it is: a lie. If the “Left” loved the poor, they would seek ways to lift them out of the terrible poverty that destroys their lives and smothers their hope, such as a quality education, which enriches the mind and spirit, and a robust job market, which provides employment and builds self-esteem. Instead, they offer schools that bear greater resemblance to prisons than to academies, and they offer welfare programs that decimate skills and foster dependency. To the “Left,” the poor are little more than political pawns for tearing down political opponents and for buttressing their own power. There is no love; there is only a twisted form of political utilitarianism.


Again, we’re looking at the gross generalities of the either-or worldview of the political establishment. This is not my worldview, but it is the game that the political class has set up, so some analysis of that game is necessary. 


The problem is that this is not a game! This is your life and mine – we, the citizens, whose lives are not protected by Secret Service bodyguards nor by loopholes, like those used by politicians to exempt themselves from the very laws they impose on us.


Insomuch as we can, I hope each of us will consider the candidates before us and will choose those most likely to mitigate or eliminate the sick, twisted, seditious worldview that we must accept either “Right” or “Left.”

  Day 1: Vote your conscience   Over the past month, social media posts, tweets, chats, etc. have been replete with “vote as if…” admonition...