First, Alan Paterson is a valuable member of CO Nation. A frequent commenter, he’s the kind of value-adding type that I imagine CO was anticipating when he started this magical little corner of the internet. Alan has a good eye and a sharp wit, and he enlivens any conversation that he adds to here.
Am I saying all that just because he hit my Tip Jar hard this week? Truly, no.
But will I say right now that he’s also a handsome and a powerful man, with a personal magnetism that’s hard to deny, in some tiny, small part because of his generosity to me?
Maybe, just a little. Good on you, Alan, and thanks!
Okay, back to our regularly scheduled tomfoolery.
A few columns ago, I recounted my worst fears about the nascent Biden administration from back in January. Although I think we’re living through a shite-fest veering between almost comical bumbling on one side and destructive mismanagement on the other, my worst fears have thus far not been realized.
It doesn’t look like the Dems will be packing the Supreme Court, or adding two more Dem-voting states, or nationalizing their election-corrupting voting practices. If current predictions are accurate – and who knows? – the GOP has a reasonably good chance to take back the House and Senate in 2022, which will leave Biden with a very bad taste in his mouth.
I mean, if he weren’t clinically dead, and thus unable to taste anything.
But I want to take a step back, and instead of looking at the details of any specific political story right now, I’d like to consider a big-picture issue that is separating our two political parties, and promises to do so for some time into the future.
Republicans and conservatives are mostly connected to reality, and Democrats and leftists are mostly disconnected from it.
I know that that’s at least a bit of an exaggeration. And I don’t say it out of any great devotion to the GOP.
I’m more conservative than I am Republican, and if you give me a stiff drink and a podium to stand behind, I could regale you for hours with a detailed recitation of my various complaints against the GOP, including but not limited to RINO candidates, spineless caving on one issue after another, squeamishness against returning a political punch, and etc.
But even with all that, I think most conservatives are very much in touch with reality, while many (if not most) leftists are radically estranged from it. As Reagan (peace be upon him) famously put it, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
Examples abound. In economics, Dems really think that the rich aren’t paying their fair share of taxes, and the poor and working middle class pay a much higher percentage. (In reality, the evil top 1% pay more than a third of all federal income tax, and the top 10% pay over an astounding 70%, while the bottom 48% pay absolutely nothing.) They believe that making it much harder to start businesses and create jobs will result in more businesses and more jobs.
In science, they believe that pre-born babies are not pre-born babies, and also that male birthing persons can birth all of those non-baby babies. They’re certain that we’re all going to be killed by global cooling or warming, or climate change or climate stasis, or an angry and vengeful Gaia.
Also, if Bruce Jenner puts on a pair of ruby pumps and clicks his heels three times while chanting, “There’s no place like womb, there’s no place like womb,” he’s a girl now. And also the most successful female athlete in the history of the Olympics.
In criminal justice, they believe that guns kill people, but killers don’t. They believe that more than 10,000 unarmed black people are killed by cops each year (the real number is between 12-24). They believe that white people alive today are morally responsible for the actions of the worst white people who lived two hundred years ago, but that non-white people who murdered people last Tuesday are not morally responsible for that.
They believe that socialism is the one true path to human advancement, and that once it is achieved everywhere, human nature will have been transformed, and the State will wither away, and pure, Edenic communism will be nirvana for all.
Also, religion is contemptible, and believers are morons.
Looking back, I’m reminded of a February poll from Echelon Insights that asked Democrats what they are most concerned/worried about. The answers are instructive.
In descending order, from most worried about, the top three answers were “Trump supporters, White nationalism, and systemic racism.”
I suppose that your political opponents are always annoying to you: Biden and Obama supporters certainly have been to us! But four years’ worth of Trump supporters certainly hadn’t racked up a record of violence or property destruction to rival that caused by either BLM or Antifa on any given weekend.
Not to mention Hunter Biden with a snootful of meth and two Cardi B impersonators in an airport-adjacent Ramada Inn on any given weeknight.
“White nationalism” barely exists at all, and has no national impact whatsoever. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you could fit all of the white nationalists to be found in this nation of 330 million people into a medium sized community college gym. And half of those would be undercover FBI agents “infiltrating” the Klan.
“Systemic racism” is a nebulous slur that can’t even be cogently defined without resorting to chilling tales of micro-aggressions and micro-expressions and that time when some old white lady gave the side-eye to Michelle Obama in a Baskin Robbins.
Also on the list are “gun violence,” (but not the criminals who illegally use illegally gotten guns to visit violence on their communities), “domestic terrorism” (i.e. the goofball in the buffalo horns who took a selfie in front of Imhotep Pelosi’s desk and hurt a total of zero people), and “police brutality” (despite the fact, via Heather McDonald, that cops are 18 times more likely to be killed by black people as unarmed black people are to be killed by cops).
“Voter suppression” – which either doesn’t exist, or is a misspelling of “voting integrity” – makes the list at # 10. “Student debt” is #11. And I think we can all agree that the only thing worse than jackbooted thugs forcing students to borrow money to drink and whore and come out with a grievance study degree is when those same thugs force those same hungover unemployables to pay that money back.
12 is “capitalism.” I Schumer you not.
That leaves a few truly bad things: Americans lacking health coverage, discrimination against LGBTQ folks, and sexism. But it seems worth pointing out that those things are worse in all other countries, and absolutely nightmarish in more than half of them.
By my count, that list indicates that leftists are most worried about 8 things that either don’t exist or are molehills made into mountains, and 3 things that are less bad here than anywhere else.
In my next column, I’ll cover the worrisome items that make up the conservatives’ list.
Spoiler alert: they all exist, and they’re all worth worrying about.
Spoiler alert #2: I’ll tell you what’s not on that list. Alan Paterson. Because that guy is the cat’s pajamas!
Avenatti/Vengeful Gaia 2024!