The New McCarthyism

December 30, 2015

“You’re not going to use the story, Mr. Scott? [Maxwell Scott:] No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

America’s political dialogue has ceased to be about facts; it is only the narrative that matters now. Grand and petite juries speak, but when their evaluation of facts fails to support the narrative legend, the legend prevails and is what is discussed by a somnambulant press seeking to cater to the ideological fervor.  Computer models, whose predictions are regularly wrong and are thus recalibrated, are accepted as fact instead of recognized as fallible theories conflating coincidence with causation in their obeisance to the Ptolemaic narrative of man-made global warming. Those who disagree are ridiculed as believing in a flat earth and are shouted down with hosannas of “the subject is settled science.”

The narrative of Barak Obama’s presidency was set early in his first term. When a white, Cambridge, Massachusetts, police officer, responding to a citizen’s call that someone was trying to break into a black man’s home, arrested an arrogant, effete Harvard professor who happened to be black and a crony of the president, Mr Obama turned this minor incident into a national debate on racism in America because the professor was his buddy. Holding a press conference on the incident, the president began by conceding that he did not have all the facts, and then proceeded to express his judgment. Why proclaim judgment in advance of examining all the facts? Because the facts did not matter. It was all about the narrative.

I have little doubt that Mr Obama suffered some painful and repulsive discrimination because of his skin color when he was a youth. I, too, suffered and continue to suffer similar abuse due to my religion. So what? Must this nation repeatedly rend its garments and beat its breast because of the president’s childhood trauma? We cannot answer for the actions of others in the past; we can only answer for ourselves and for what we do today. We overwhelmingly elected a black president. Does that not speak volumes as to how we have changed as a nation? Is Mr Obama ridiculed by his opponents? Of course. That is what is done irrespective of skin color. The ridicule directed at Mr Obama is, frankly, tame compared to that experienced by past presidents such as Lincoln, Cleveland, and Bush Junior.

For Mr Obama, however, racism is everywhere and is the root cause behind all actions and positions with which he disagrees. It is the New McCarthyism. Ad hominem illogic has become the guiding principle. Jury decisions cannot be correct when they fail to support the major premise of this twenty-first century witch hunt. They are decisions based in racism and thus may justly be ignored. Of course there is not the slightest shred of evidence of racial motivation, but the narrative does not require this because we all know that we are a racist society at its core. Yet if one thinks about it, charges of racism only work against people who are not racist. Real racists, like the KKK, revel in the name.

The truth is that racism is as dead in this country as it will ever be. My generation did that job in the 1960’s. It is not gone, of course, but that is because there will always be envious, mean-spirited people and because we revere freedom of speech. Like the teachings in the ancient Nordic myths, we ought to make it disappear by turning our backs on it and forgetting those on both sides of the subject who seek to prolong its prevalence. We all know that publicity feeds evil.

For the young, progressive radicals, they are rebels in search of a cause and, in their inability to find a just cause that comports with their narrative – G-d forbid they condemn Islam’s violence against and abuse of women – they rend our society by resurrecting and railing against an apparition that exists in prevalence only in their own minds. Note that their narrative prescribes that it is currently racist to say that all lives – black, white, police – matter. One is only permitted to say that black lives matter.

George Santayana observed that “In every generation we face a barbarian threat in our own children.” Note that he said not “to” our children. Sadly, as a consequence of the neurosis caused by trauma in his youth, a lust for power, or both, our president’s narrative seeks to foment discord, urging the country to abandon the pursuit of reasoned debate in favor of a commitment to a futile ideology, dedicated, figuratively, to the building of a bridge in a place where there is no river.

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© Richard L Wise and RLWise.wordpress.com 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Richard L Wise and RLWise.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lost in the histrionics surrounding yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing on same sex marriages was a silly, politically correct underpinning in a hypothetical posed by Justice Kagan to Charles Cooper, the lawyer defending Proposition 8.

Mr Cooper offered the risible argument that the “that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historic traditional procreative purposes.”  This prompted Justice Kagan to ask the following:

“Well, suppose a State said, Mr. Cooper, . . . that, because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55.  Would that be constitutional?”

Mr Cooper had no comprehensible answer to this question, although that may have been merely attributable to his not having thought through the issue sufficiently to prepare a response.

The offensive part of the Justice’s hypothetical, however, was in its supposition that both parties be over 55.  Such a statute would constitute invidious discrimination against men, because whereas women are infertile after age 55 (Abraham’s wife Sarah, who allegedly conceived at age 80 notwithstanding), a man can sire a child at any age so long as he can rise to the occasion.

Justice Kagan’s postulating a statute that treats both sexes as the same probably derives from an ideological political correctness.  Yet it is premised upon distinctions that are clearly unconstitutional for reasons wholly unrelated to the issues involved in California’s gay marriage ban.  As noted by James Taranto in the March 27, 2013 Wall Street Journal,

“A law treating 55-year-old men and women as if both were equally infertile would be based on an obviously false premise and hence would lack a rational basis. But a law distinguishing between them would amount to discrimination on the basis of sex.”

While I believe that the good justice intended no slight and was focused on other considerations, her ideology, and the foolish barring of any considerations admitting of differences based on sex requires her to operate within a reality that does not exist.  The resultant will be the creation of rules that deny the extraordinary and different talents, proclivities and needs that each sex possesses.

But perhaps worse was that such ideology obscures a far more profound challenge that could have been posed to Mr Cooper:  Where is it written that marriage primarily addresses procreation?  I thought that it was about building dedicated, cohesive a family unit and, among other things, to foster the security and growth of the next generation.  With respect to this latter purpose, would not any child be better off being raised within a strong family environment, irrespective of the sexual preferences of the parents?  With respect to the former purpose, procreation is not even an issue.

I find myself troubled that the Newthink of political correctness that is becoming more and more entrenched in our political debates is now infecting judicial thinking as well.  But I suppose that I should not be surprised.
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© Richard L Wise and RLWise.wordpress.com 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Richard L Wise and RLWise.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.