American Elephants

Why The Left Behaves The Way They Do


John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address spoke of “a new American generation “tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace” that would pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”After a long bloody war, he was a pragmatist, recognizing that life is unfair and there is always inequity. After he was assassinated, his younger brothers devoted the rest of their lives to the cause of making empathy paramount over pragmatism.

By 2009, George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at U.C.Berkeley wrote that “Empathy is at the heart of progressive thought. It is the capacity to put oneself in the shoes of others—not just individuals, but whole categories of people: one’s countrymen, those in other countries, other living beings, especially those who are in some way oppressed, threatened, or harmed. Empathy is the capacity to care, to feel what others feel, to understand what others feel, to understand what others are facing and what their lives are like. …Empathy is at the heart of real rationality, because it goes to the heart of our values, which are the basis of our sense of justice. (here, refer to the post on the meaning of justice)

The previous paragraphs come from William Voegeli’s The Pity Party  which has the delightful sub-head “A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion” which I heartily recommend. All those times you wonder at some excrescence the Left has come up with, or the times you think “don’t they understand?” it is important to recognize that they look at the world through very different eyes. We are not speaking the same language.

Shelby Steele put it slightly differently, but with the same understanding. America suffered from the shame of its past of racism, and conquest and sexism. That became the new moral imperative and the left would redeem the nation.

The genius of the left in the ’60s was simply to perceive the new moral imperative, and then to identify itself with it. Thus the labor of redeeming the nation from its immoral past would fall on the left. This is how the left put itself in charge of America’s moral legitimacy. The left, not the right—not conservatism—would set the terms of this legitimacy and deliver America from shame to decency.

This bestowed enormous political and cultural power on the American left, and led to the greatest array of government-sponsored social programs in history—at an expense, by some estimates, of more than $22 trillion. But for the left to wield this power, there had to be a great menace to fight against—a tenacious menace that kept America uncertain of its legitimacy, afraid for its good name. …

Today’s left lacks worthy menaces to fight. It is driven to find a replacement for racism, some sweeping historical wrongdoing that morally empowers those who oppose it.

That’s the source of all the “social justice” and “affirmative action” and vast expensive programs to fix everything, and in the process make Democrats feel good about themselves. And of course give them a vast array of verbal and physical weapons to use against their opposition. In the present case, President Trump and all his minions. That’s why the Left is superior (because they care and you don’t). And why they feel free to call you racist and fascists. Steele’s essay can be found at the Hoover Institution’s ‘Defining Ideas’ if you don’t have a WSJ subscription.

We talk and write about the Constitution, our history, economics, the way that Capitalism has lifted millions out of poverty — they don’t care about that. They have the assigned task of redeeming Americans from their shameful past, and they don’t want any interference with their goal.


Tucker Carlson on “Imaginary Left-Wing Mobs”

In case you missed this episode of the Tucker Carlson show, here it is. It seemed appropriate. This is a very strange time we are living in.

There Is a Caravan Of Migrants Trekking Northward for Our Southern Border.

There is a Caravan of migrants coming up from Central America aimed at the southern border of the United States. The media are having a bit of trouble describing it, or even understanding what is happening. They are a growing bunch that is reaching nearly 1,000 people, 2,000 people, and 4,000 people depending on the page you find. They are variously walking, marching, driving, hiking, or riding a train, whatever, making their way across Central America and up through Mexico. President Trump has announced that  if this group is not stopped by the Central American countries, the United States will promptly end the financial assistance extended to these countries. It is a 2,000 mile trek.

President Trump has announced that if the caravan is not stopped, he will call out the military to man the southern border. Fox reports that the U.S. and Mexico have agreed on a plan to handle the caravan from Central America.

Reuters says the San Ysidro port of entry has allowed eight women and children from a caravan of Central American migrants, who have sought asylum in the United States  after officials allowed them entry from Mexico, fueling hope among their companions who remain camped outside the border crossing. Are you properly confused? Welcome to the club.

I turned to The Daily Signal at the Heritage Foundation, which solves much of the confusion.  Ana Quintana is a senior policy analyst for Latin America and the Western Hemisphere in The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. She said the caravan started of as a few hundreds and has grown to around 4,000 people.

This latest migrant caravan is another example of leftist groups grandstanding off of desperation and poverty. The Northern Triangle region of Central America where El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are located is one of the most violent areas of the world. Transnational organized criminal groups and violent street gangs destabilize these impoverished countries. This leaves massive parts of the population vulnerable and with little means to survive.

Just like the migrant caravan earlier this March, organizers of this march are weaponizing poor Central Americans. This caravan was organized by Bartolo Fuentes, a former Honduran legislator and member of the radical leftist Libre party. He was detained by Guatemalan authorities on Tuesday for illegally entering the country.

Libre is not a political party but a destabilizing movement. It was founded in 2011 by former President Manuel (Mel) Zelaya. In 2009, Zelaya was removed from power after repeated attempts to undermine the constitutional order and rule of law. Zelaya is an ally of socialist governments in Latin America like the Castro and Maduro regimes in Cuba and Venezuela.

Following Libre’s losses in the 2013 and 2017 presidential elections, Libre’s turned to a public campaign of generating turmoil and instability.

Ana Quintano has travelled to Honduras many times. She adds that the U.S. must take action to secure its borders and faithfully enforce its law. Loopholes are a problem.Security can be done in a humane manner while protecting those who truly qualify for asylum.

I include a map in case you are as confused by Central American geography as I am. Democrats claim to be the party of compassion and want open borders as we are a “nation of immigrants,”which is nonsense. The California DHS is automatically registering every applicant for a driver’s license as a voter. That’s why there is a drive to require a citizenship question on the census and require that voters show identification and proof of citizenship in order to vote. Democrats swear that there is no vote fraud. They are wrong.

ADDENDUM: Breitbart has a Mexican video of the caravan breaking through the fence at Mexico’s southern border, and they will be updating.

Christine Blasey Ford is Done. She wants no prosecution, no investigation, no impeachment

Christine Blasey Ford is done. She wants no prosecution, no investigation no impeachment. She just wants to go home and get on with her life. I suspect that she didn’t intend to testify in the first place, that she thought she could get Kavanaugh blamed with just the letter, and it grew out of control. Feinstein chose to sit on the letter and put Ford in the difficult position of having to present her testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee under the full media spotlight. The ‘Resistance’ expected a lot of her and she could not deliver. The persons she claimed as witnesses could not substantiate her claims, her story didn’t hold up. She had apparently remembered that it was Judge Kavanaugh who groped her (Not raped for all you women screeching about being ‘survivors”)) in high school, only when he was nominated to the Supreme Court. When did it take place? She couldn’t recall the  year, or the date, or the place, or the house. Didn’t know how she got there or how she got home. She named four people who were there, but none of them substantiated her claim.

She tried hard to get out of testifying. She was afraid of flying. Nobody told her of Senator Grassley’s offer to come to California to take her testimony. She had flown all over the world and many times to Hawaii, so that was a lie. Ford’s lawyers have publicly stated that she does not wish to see Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh impeached, nor does she want further investigation into her claims.

I suspect that she is terrified that there will be further investigation into her claims, and that she was badly frightened when the lie about the two doors  was exposed, and the lie about the illegal rental was exposed, and the lie about fear of flying was exposed. And the expert in sexual abuse witnesses didn’t believe her, and the body language expert didn’t believe her and explained why. And the screaming mob at the Supreme Court door, and the women all over the country basing their cries of “#Me Too” and “I was a survivor” on the phony testimony of Christine Blasey Ford. Did she not testify under oath? And is not lying to the committee a felony?

Democrats are going to great lengths to get enough votes in the midterms to take over the House or the Senate or something so they can impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for lying under oath. Because he was clearly guilty, because they desperately want him to be guilty — of something, anything. Because they must be in power. They want to get rid of the Constitution and it’s hateful amendments. And get rid of Trump’s tax cuts that only went to the rich anyway.  And get rid of Capitalism and end the threat to ObamaCare and to abortion,”women’s health care.”

The Democratic Party Is a Crazed, Howling Mob!

I was just mulling over my first sentence, when John Hinderaker at the Powerline Blog wrote it for me. “The Democratic Party has turned into a crazed, howling mob. It is degrading our public life to a degree that has not been seen since they seceded in 1861.”

Front Page Magazine, David Horowitz’s website, wrote about how they had updated their “Discover the Networks” site, so to investigate, I went there and entered “Antifa” because of all the riots in Portland. The same bunch comes to Seattle when the possibility of a good riot seems imminent, probably adding on some locals.  Antifa is pronounced ón–tee–fah, emphasis on the ón.  It’s a shortened form of antifacist, but they’re more correctly identified as anarchist. They simply want to permanently wipe the United States off the face of the earth.

Thus those designed to protect and defend the nation’s civil society are illegitimate as well, so they’re against the police, ICE, federal state and local governments and want to make the United States “ungovernable” by engaging in mass insurrection, and mass resistance and all manner of physical violence against supporters of President Trump in order to advance social justice and crush “fascism.” Nice bunch.

It’s a long and thorough article, and very interesting. Lots of druggies among them, and perhaps even more people who get a high or rush from physical violence. I came away with the feeling that it’s all the high from physical violence, for their understanding of politics, political systems, social justice, or fascism is severely lacking. Made me think that we desperately need to imbue our educational system from the very start with a deep understanding of what it means to be human. Any vision of a serene society where we all just get along and we all help each other and share our stuff, and food, and shelter, is simply bonkers. There is no such thing as “social justice.” Socialism is not a system for sharing and equality, but a system for coercive control by greedy leaders. Doesn’t work, cannot work, has never worked, as would-be socialists assume.

Our “social media,” supposedly designed to bring people together, does no such thing. Families don’t get along. Siblings fight or detest each other. You lose friends. Some people are deeply ignorant. Some are mean. Some get a high from violence. We are each solitary individuals in a complicated world in which we have to learn how to make our way. And our journey will be filled with hope and misery. We will lose friends and family, we will be fired from jobs, get into accidents and be cheated. So revel in the good days and appreciate them as a triumph over adversity which is always waiting just around the corner. Add Discover the Networks to your list of useful websites. They explain just who the organizations are, and who the players are, and what they are all up to.

How extremely odd this is when we are just discovering again what a blessing we enjoy to live in one of the freest societies in the world, with a free economy that is growing and prospering.  And the opposing party can only demand that we shut all the prosperity down. A strange world indeed.

It Wasn’t About Kavanaugh, They Want to Get Rid of The Constitution

I have long been addicted to collecting quotations, or rather – things that someone said exceptionally well, and bear repeating because they are so well said. This is one of them:

Masterpieces created by a committee are notably few in number, but the United States Constitution is certainly one of them. Amended only twenty-seven times in 215 years, it came into being just as the world was about to undergo the most profound – and continuing – period of economic change the human race has known. The locus of power in the American economy has shifted from sector to sector as that economy has developed. Whole sections of the country have risen and fallen in economic importance. New methods of doing business and economic institutions undreamed of by the Founding Fathers have come into existence in that time – while others have vanished. Fortunes beyond the imagination of anyone living in the pre-industrial world have been built and been destroyed. And yet the Constitution endures and the country continues to flourish under it.

From An Empire of Wealth by John Steele Gordon

For the first time since the 2008 recession, the U.S. once again sits atop the rankings of the World Economic Forum’s most “Ideal” economies. What the organization refers to as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is well underway, and the WEF has developed some innovative criteria to rank the economies of nations.

Under the new framework for competitiveness, released Tuesday, the U.S. achieved the closest to the “competitiveness frontier,” or “ideal state,” with a score of 85.6.

How Jack Became Black

This goes well with the Heather MacDonald post. We have long considered Race to be both a big deal and in some way defining, but if you give it a little serious thought, it is our bureaucracies at all levels that demand that we give race importance in places where it shouldn’t matter.  When my health insurance demanded to know what my race was, I got my back up, and refused. The bureaucracies demand to know, because they have to put it down on a list which will go on to higher levels of bureaucracy until it reaches the level where some senator can use the statistic in a speech.

This is a trailer for a film about which I know nothing more than this trailer. May be preachy and obnoxious, or may be good, but I thought the trailer was interesting. Do we add Elizabeth Warren to the discussion?

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