Evil losers, bureaucrats facing job insecurity, the anger that drives some cities, and why the Left loves transgenderism — my friends and I cover it all.
The advantage of living in a blue bastion is that your conservative friends are burnished in a type of crucible. It takes an affirmative intellectual effort to maintain and defend ones conservativism and that, in turn, makes for people who have thought deeply about issues and have quite impressive insights.
Last night, I had a marvelous dinner with four conservative friends, one of whom is the brilliant Michael Phillips, who blogs (too infrequently) at Pro Commerce. As I’ve said about him before, I’ve seldom met a person with more joy in and lust for life. Hanging around Michael is like hanging around a blazing incandescent light bulb. My other dinner companions are the same.
Since I’m still on deadline this morning with a legal project (an interesting one, for a change), I’ll just summarize quickly the insights my friends offered, all of which I greatly appreciated:
Evil Losers. We were trying to figure out what specifically Trump said that unleashed those Americans who voted for him. We concluded, as many have before, that Trump abandoned decades of euphemism and lies and, instead, spoke in old-fashioned, unmediated terms about real concerns: illegal aliens pouring across an uncontrolled border, Muslim terrorists taking aim at the West, unequal trade agreements, a hostile government bureaucracy, etc.
“He tells the truth” we concluded.
And then of course, we had to laugh, because one of the Lefts’ major tropes is that Trump is a liar. The reality is that Trump is a liar but he’s a liar about fundamentally inconsequential things, such as a crowd size, or he’s a puffer about consequential things, such as the number of illegal aliens who routinely vote in elections. The former is a sign of his undoubted ego; the latter is a clever way to force political debate about matters important to Americans.
But where Trump never lies is about the things that truly matter. Regarding yesterday’s Muslim attack against teenage girls in Manchester, England, Trump eschewed all the usual pabulum about “cowardly” behavior and “Islam is a religion of peace,” and how we’re “mourning with Britain.” Instead, he spoke an important truth:
On Tuesday, President Trump, speaking from Judea and Samaria while standing next to master terrorist supporter Palestinian dictator Mahmoud Abbas, tore into the Islamic terrorists responsible for the bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday evening. “So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life,” Trump stated. “I won’t call them monsters, because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. I will call them from now on losers, because that’s what they are. They’re losers, and we’ll have more of them, but they’re losers. Just remember that.”
Here’s the truth: they haven’t been wronged. They are, as President Trump says, merely evil losers. They deserve no answer, no sympathy. They require no explanation from us. Those who would murder children at a pop concert ought to be killed at the earliest available opportunity — and we shouldn’t bother trying to decrypt “how” the “monsters” were created. That’s because they’re not “monsters” at all. They’re human beings who believe evil things, and they are losers who aren’t winning any battles in heaven or on earth. Their names will disappear from history, their souls burn in eternity.
Trump is also right that we must stop using the language of strength to describe those who act out of weakness. If you have to blow up 13-year-old girls listening to teeny pop material, you’re not a powerful “monster.” You’re a worm, a feeble piece of human refuse. We should describe terrorists with contempt, not build them up in their own minds. Islamic terrorists feed off the notion that the West lives in fear of them. We live in fear of the things they will do, obviously, but we don’t live in fear of them — because they’re ridiculous and puny human beings. Ridiculous and puny human beings can harm innocent people, too. But handing them an unearned moniker like “monster” — scary by nature — is counterproductive, and boosts egos where no boost is necessary.
Unsurprisingly, Scot Adams raves that Trump made the perfect persuasive word choice when he landed on evil losers as his new terrorist designation:
If you think that’s no big deal, you’re wrong. It’s a big deal. This is – literally – weapons-grade persuasion from the most powerful Master Persuader of our time.
Quickly, name one other way you could label/insult the Losers that would be as powerful as the word Loser. You can’t do it with any other name or insult that is also repeatable in polite company.
What kinds of people join the Losers? Mostly young males. And you know what brand young males do not want on them? Right: Losers.
If you call them monsters, they like it. If you call them ISIS or ISIL they put it on a flag and wave it around. If you call them non-Muslim, it just rolls off their backs because they have Korans and stuff. Almost any other “brand” you can imagine is either inert or beneficial to Loser recruitment.
Loser is different. No one joins the Loser movement. Try at home, with your family or friends, to concoct a more effective brand poisoning than Loser. You probably can’t. Remember, your brand has to fit with future confirmation evidence. The Losers on the battlefield will continue to be losing, so the brand is engineered to get stickier over time. Your alternative idea for a brand solution has to have that quality of future confirmation too. Good luck finding a better persuasion brand.
No wonder Adams wishes that the rest of America, having had the President usefully encapsulate Muslim terrorists in that single phrase derisive phrase — evil losers — would get on board with the phrasing. From now on, Muslim terrorists aren’t freedom fighters; they’re Adam Lanza, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold — evil losers who need to be stopped and stamped out.
When we dined, we didn’t know about the terror attack or Trump’s brilliant response. What we did know, though, is that when it matters, Trump is always honest. And by contrast, when it mattered, Obama never was.
Bureaucratic job insecurity. No one can miss that The Swamp is reacting furiously to Trump’s presidency because he’s directly threatened Swamp members’ jobs by promising to shrink the bureaucracy. I’ve commented before, in connection with FBI agents refusing to take a stand, that middle class people will go to great lengths to maintain their middle class status (something I perfectly understand). One of my friends at dinner had an added insight which hadn’t occurred to me:
Those of us in the private sector have traditionally carried around with us at all times a legitimate concern about possible job loss. That is, we all know that bad performance or a bad economy can result in unemployment. That’s how the real world works.
For those in The Swamp, though, neither bad job performance or a bad economy have ever been a threat. As the VA and IRS problems show, it’s virtually impossible to fire a federal employee for malfeasance. Moreover, the federal budget has never contracted enough to fire people. The most that the government does is slow hiring. Job security is serious business in the federal government.
Trump, however, has shattered that sense of security. People who were assured of lifelong employment, no matter how poorly they or the economy performed, are contemplating getting fired for the first time in their lives. Job loss is scary for anyone, but must be super scary for someone for whom firing was never a possibility. No wonder, then, that the swamp is willing to risk destroying America entirely. As far as they’re concerned, with Trump’s election, the end of the world is already here.
An angry city. My friends and I spoke of the character of cities. In this context, one of my dining companions commented that San Francisco is a very angry city. I think that’s true and has been true since the 1970s.
I know correlation is not causation, but I’ll point out here that, per Gallup:
The San Francisco metropolitan area has the highest percentage of the adult population who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) of any of the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas, followed by Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas.
That is, an angry San Francisco coincides with its growing LGBTQ etc. population.
While a small-ish percentage of the total city, gays are a large presence because they’re affluent, educated, and outspoken. Moreover, many of the gays and lesbians occupying the fattest part of the bell curve seem to combine in themselves the worst traits for male and female anger: male aggression plus unleashed female emotion.
And yes, I know what I just said about the twin gender anger one sees in gays and lesbians, is a stereotype and an ugly one at that, but it’s also been something I’ve experienced myself living and working in a world filled with angry Leftist LGBTQers. And of course because it’s a stereotype, this twinned anger does not apply to all, or perhaps even most, LGBTQ people.
However, what I’ve also noticed is that those gays who don’t fit that stereotype seem to end up conservative. Take for example, the wonderful bloggers at Gay Patriot or the brilliant and intellectually honest Bruce Bawer.
It’s simply worth considering whether angry LGBTQers perhaps equal an angry city.
The uses of transgenderism. Years ago, I wrote one of my favorite American Thinker articles: Sex and State Power. In it, I put forward the theory that the Lefts’ push for youthful promiscuity was intended to seize from children their control over their own identity. In writing that, I was riffing off a comment left at my blog:
Once a child individuates, he becomes aware of being his own self. … The most basic thing one can own is one’s own self, and not letting others touch that self in ways you don’t like is an exercise in self-ownership. (Emphasis mine.)
If the child is encouraged to give that inviolate self away to every comer, he or she is no longer an individual; instead, the child becomes common property and sees him- or herself as part of a collective.
One of my dinner companions sees the transgender push as part of the same totalitarian impulse; indeed, it’s the newest and worst part. The Left is no longer pushing just behavior (promiscuity) as a way to deny children a sense of their physical inviolability and control. Instead, it is going to their very core identity.
In this brave new world, children can no longer look down the length of their bodies, observe secondary sexual characteristics, and reach an objective conclusion about their sex: “I have a penis, so I must be a boy.” “I need a bra! I’m a girl.”
Instead, children are aggressively pushed to deny the evidence of their own senses. Without that anchor, they will look outward to authority figures who will tell them what to think and what to feel.
Make no mistake, either, about how hard the Leftist powers that be are making this press to divorce children from their own senses. Our schools have become living embodiments of that old joke. You know, the one where a wife catches her husband with a secretary cuddled in his lap, and the husband jumps up to self-righteously demand, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?”
My friends have young children who are being taught in middle school that there are more than 60 available genders from which they can choose. Who are those kids going to believe? The all-powerful school or their lying eyes.
It’s one thing to have unhappy, body dysmorphic people who look down their bodies and think “I have a a penis, which means I’m a boy, and I hate being a boy,” or “I need a bra, and I don’t want to grow up to be a woman.” Those thoughts still recognize biologic sex. It’s another thing entirely to have our education and media systems inculcate children into being so disconnected from their own bodies that they need a chart, which the state helpfully provides, so that they can pick from a buffet menu to identify what they are. Talk about being dependent on the state.
As I said, an interesting dinner with interesting people is a wonderful thing.