Tuesday 27 October 2020

The latest from Kunstler

Last Round-up at the 

Wokester Corral

James Howard Kunstler


October, 2020

I have some questions for former friends who have dumped me on account of my support for Mr. Trump’s re-election — which is mostly a vote to prevent the Democratic Party and its fellow travelers from running the government. On the whole, these former friends are college-educated, mature in experience, and cultured. Some of them are well-acquainted with history, which is to say, they ought to know better than to support the obviously illiberal motives of the political Left.

Are you against the principle of free speech? The Democratic Party is. They used to be champions of the First Amendment; now they want to make it conditional on ideas and sentiments they support. Contrary ideas are to be labeled “hate speech,” and suppressed, along with anything that might hurt somebody’s feelings. How did you come to such a complete misunderstanding of what free speech means? Namely, that a free society is obliged to tolerate the expression of disagreeable ideas up to the limit, as the Supreme Court put it, of “crying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.”

I will answer my own question partially by saying: you have been programmed against free speech by what used to be the very vehicles of it, the newspapers and TV News channels, which have, amazingly, come out against freedom of the press and turned into propaganda outlets for Woke Progressivism and its illiberal agenda — thereby inadvertently committing suicide of the entire profession. We’ve seen this acted-out most vividly just the past week in the social media companies’ efforts to suppress all news of the Biden family’s global business operations, along with The New York TimesThe Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and other leading news organizations that Americans used to depend on to know what was happening in the nation. This is especially unforgivable during a national election.

Did you support the movement on campus in recent years to shut down events featuring speakers such as Charles Murray (The Bell Curve), Heather Mac Donald of City Journal, Dinesh D’Souza, and many others who represented not-so-Woke ideas that “offended” you? Since when are your feelings so special that they negate the open exchange of ideas in the places that used to be dedicated to it, the universities? Should higher education only entertain ideas that you and your cohorts approve of? What if, in some future, a different cohort gains control of higher education and seeks to exclude your ideas on the grounds that they’re “offensive” (i.e. they just don’t like them)?

Are you in favor of a politicized Department of Justice and CIA? That is what the Democratic Party’s Resistance League deliberately brought about during the 2016 election, and they continue to promote it. Is it okay for bureaucrats to break the law to disable their political adversaries? That was the essence of the RussiaGate ruse. Former employees of those agencies, such as ex-CIA chief John Brennan and Andrew Weissmann, who ran the Mueller investigation, to this day still hype “Russian collusion” falsehoods to deflect attention from their own misdeeds. You let them get away with that.

Is it okay for these government agencies to spy on US citizens without any legal predicate, except their being political adversaries? Would it be okay if that were used against you in some future disposition of things? Is it okay for the FBI to withhold exculpatory evidence in federal court proceedings, thereby obstructing justice? Is it okay for the FBI and CIA to “leak” falsehoods to news reporters for political advantage? Do you not understand how by failing to oppose these actions you undermine the basis of political rectitude in a republic — bearing in mind the literal meaning of the word republic, from the Latin, res publica, the public thing, where civilization lives?

Are you against reason itself? For all your talk about the primacy of science, your agenda militates furiously against it: Math is “racist,” there’s no biological basis for understanding sex, all science is a “white colonial way-of-knowing,” masculinity is “toxic,” women can have penises and men can menstruate. Do you really believe these absurd fantasies manufactured in the graduate schools in the service of academic careerism at all costs — or do you just go along with them for the sake of protecting your own careers and perquisites?

Are you in favor of Antifa riots and the BLM hustle? They are staunchly supported by elected Democratic mayors and governors. These organizations looted and burned down shopping districts in many cities, and Democratic leaders did nothing to stop them. In Portland, Oregon, the nightly riots have continued for over 120 days under Mayor Ted Wheeler and Governor Kate Brown. The nightly riots have ceased to have any genuine political purpose or meaning; rather they’ve degenerated into a party space for energetic young people who can’t otherwise go to clubs, parties, concerts, cafes, or raves during the Covid-19 shut-down. So, rather, they’re enjoying a long-running game of “Cops-and-Robbers” out in the streets, busting things up, setting fires, getting chased around, and waking people up in their homes late at night with bullhorns and heavy metal music. They’re obviously having fun. The police have been forbidden to effectively disperse them, and the Multnomah County DA refuses to prosecute any of them — all of which just inspires the Antifas and BLMs to keep the game going. They have no real stake in the public interest. The net effect is terrible destruction of the city as a functioning civic organism. The Democratic Party has made it all possible. Wait until it comes to your town or city.

Are you in favor of cancel culture? The Democratic Party is addicted to it. Should livelihoods and reputations be destroyed for expressing an opinion, or telling a joke? Is asking someone for a date in the office a firing offense? Were Christine Blasey Ford and Michael Avenatti unimpeachable witnesses during the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS hearings? Or was that just an instance of anything goes and nothing matters? How much sadistic pleasure do you suppose has been involved in the professional ruination of men in the media, the arts, and politics? How much of cancel culture and the Me-Too movement have been based on simple coercion, the wish to push other people around, and on vengeance for personal losses and slights?

By the way, did you notice that Jeffrey Toobin has not been fired from his positions at The New Yorker magazine and CNN for jerking-off on-screen during a Zoom meeting of his professional colleagues last week? None of them have even publicly criticized him. Why do you suppose that is? I suppose it’s because he is a favored member of the Woke Journalists club and enjoys special protection from professional ruin — though the truth is he’s thrown away his credibility as a legal commentator, whether the Wokerati like it or not, especially on matters of public conduct. But that’s just one example of the hypocrisy that Wokesterism is full of, and reveals its chronic disingenuous insincerity.

The Democratic Party supports all this pernicious mendacity and bad faith, and more. Joe Biden is the current figurehead of the Party. Mr. Biden pretty clearly has insurmountable defects of his own, first as an international grifter while holding national office, as well as the misfortune of his cognitive decline, which is not his fault, but disqualifies him for high office. As for everybody else in the party, I don’t want such a reliably dishonest gang to be in charge of running the American government. So, I’m voting for Mr. Trump. He’s far from my idea of an ideal candidate, but despite his defects, he’s managed to hold the country together during the greatest disruption of normal life since World War Two. I’ve also come to admire his resilience and, yes, his bravery, in the face of an opposition that has spared no effort of foul play to destroy him.

I’m under no illusions that Donald Trump will Make America Great Again in the way that many of his supporters understand that slogan. The USA is headed into a terrible ordeal of economic disorder that I call the long emergency. Mr. Trump won’t stop it, and it may yet make a fool out of him. But the Democratic Party’s agenda would add an extra layer of tyrannical and sadistic insanity to the process that will only bring more suffering to more people, and I don’t want that to happen. I believe that Mr. Trump will probably win the election, but we’ll have to see what kind of nefarious dodges his opponents will employ to prevent any resolution of that outcome.

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