Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Doug Wilson on the Election Aftermath

I did not vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and thus I have no real dog in this fight. That is to say, I am not interested in defending "my candidate." Regardless, the civil unrest in progressive safe spaces is precisely why Trump is the President-elect.

In a recent piece, Doug Wilson explores both the election and its aftermath and what it says about political correctness and the progressive left. Here are two key portions:
Now it is not irrational to be concerned about possible unrest and rioting after an election, and it is not irrational to be concerned about that kind of thing after this election. What is irrational is to expect it from small town Republicans. There were riots in fact, there were smashed windows, there were cars set on fire, but they were all in progressive monkey houses like California.

And herein lies one of the central lessons of the election, for those willing to read it. Political correctness has been a device for the empowerment of crybullies, a gas-lighting trick that enables persecutors to wear the camo-gear of anointed victims. Given the fact that all public dissent on certain issues is routinely and savagely shut down, and this is done by tarring the dissenter as “racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.” it was not surprising that progressives, having created by means of overreach their very own cultural echo chamber, were then persuaded by it. They clubbed everyone into silence and then pretended to themselves that such silence must indicate agreement.

Now I don’t want to ignore the other issues at play in this election—of course there were other issues, big ones. There was the disaster on stilts that is Obamacare. There was an out-of-control immigration system. There were the EPA enviro-crats using climate lies in order to club baby coal miners. But a player in its own right, as well as a player in all these other issues, was political correctness.
Think of it this way. If you don’t want to shut down the coal mines, you are not someone who is opposed to closing the mines, you are a climate-denier. What is a denier? Why, that rhymes with Holocaust denier. If you point out, however mildly, that Obamacare can’t work Because Math, you hate the uninsured, and you clearly hate the black man who has proposed helping the uninsured. It is plain racism to think that goods and services cannot be delivered at a cost lower than the cost of producing those goods and services. And so on.

When everything is racist, I hope you can now see how nothing is. If racial micro-aggressions are to be treated as the equivalent of overt racism, I trust that you can see how overt racism has just been made the equivalent of acting like everyday folks. If everything is sexist, then nothing is. If simply being male is the equivalent of being a rapist, then I would encourage you to contemplate how you have just made rapists into ordinary, decent people. If you skew the scales of justice, which is precisely what political correctness has done, at some point you will break the scales. We are well past that point now. And when you are the one who busted the scales, don’t come complaining when you have to weigh something important.
Brilliant. On the one hand, as Wilson argues above, the left has decried bullying and fought tooth and nail against aggression and what we used to call masculinity yet when one of the most corrupt politicians loses the presidency there is violence and rioting in the streets. Such behavior is exactly what bullying and intimidation looks like.

Furthermore, those who enthusiastically voted for Trump largely did so for two reasons. First, Trump was not Hillary who embodies everything wrong with Washington, the elite establishment, and the left. Secondly, such supporters are tired of making a substantive argument only for it to be decried as being motivated by hate - racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.

CS Lewis wrote an essay in this regard entitled "Bulverism" which explored this very tendency. You can watch a presentation of it below.

In a nutshell, Lewis criticizes the habits of some (now common on the left) of criticizing the motivation of an argument rather than the substance of the argument. After all, only racist white men voted for Trump right? Don't bother looking at the facts, their motivated by hatred as well.

The problem with such Bulverism, a term Lewis coined himself, is that it does not take seriously genuine examples of hate or, as Wilson articulates it, "When everything is racist, I hope you can now see how nothing is." Likewise, "If everything is sexist, then nothing is."

Wilson goes on to add:
Keep in mind that heartland evangelicals have jobs, and those jobs include things like coal mining, farming, logging, and so on—vocations that their fathers once thought honorable. Usher in the global managerial elites who want to impose their version of free trade, and who follow that devastation up by mocking and abusing the heartland folks who are now a lot poorer than they were a couple decades ago—making fun of their music, religion, guns, politics, loyalties, heritage, and so on. What could go wrong? The shot was that progressives transformed America into a seething cauldron of identity politics, and the chaser was taunting white middle America into behaving like an identity group. Yes, you, you out-of-work coal miner. We want you to go back to your two-bedroom clapboard house and contemplate something edifying, like your white privilege. 

And if you were offended by that illustration, or by the picture of the three coal miners above, I want to be the first to congratulate you on your successful campaign for Donald J. Trump.

Political correctness has been a toxin in our political discourse, and this has affected everything because discourse is how we talk about anything we need to talk about. Meanwhile the progressive calls for a “national conversation about ________” and you say “okay,” and so then he says “shut up.”

Not only is all this the case, but the behavior of progressives in the aftermath of this particular electoral slap down reminds me of Tallyrand’s comment about the Bourbons. “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

In the wreckage of progressive hopes for this election, the law school at the University of Michigan scheduled a therapeutic session where traumatized students could come and work out their post-election anxieties by working with Play-Doh. “And what are you working on, cupcake?” “I am not sure yet, but I am thinking of calling it ‘Trump’s second term.’”
It is unlikely that the progressive left will repent, but rather double down. They succeed by dividing Americans as opposed to uniting them. I, for one, can think of nearly three hundred million Americans who might be better qualified to be president than Mr. Trump, but Trump's ascension to the Oval Office is not largely due to turn out or his vision for America; it is the result of overreach from the American left. Those who win with identity politics will lose by it all the while your own cities burn.

So deep down inside I do hope that someone, almost anyone, will be sworn in as the next President. Misogyny just is not my thing. The sexual harassment drama of the nineties from the White House was enough for me. Yet, in the end, Trump is as much Berkley's Frankenstein as he is NASCAR's.

Read the rest of Wilson's article here.
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