Shortcuts & Delusions
I’m kind of glad that there are so many liberals/Democrats/Lefties who are still protesting and resisting the imminent Trump Presidency. It gives me hope that someday those marching and chanting “Not my president!” will evolve into advocates of limited government, and dare I say it, *gasp* freedom?!
I think it is an almost intrinsic human characteristic to complain the rules should be changed when your team doesn’t win. I don’t believe that those who have initiated the recounts or who claim the election was hacked by Russia and/or rigged by fake news sites, or that the Electoral College is an example of oppressive white patriarchy, have done so because they really believe the election’s result is illegitimate; they just can’t abide the fact that their team lost. Cheerleaders don’t switch allegiances and boost for the opposition after their side loses the Big Game, even though they play the same sport.
We libertarians spend an awful lot of time saying it doesn’t matter if a person plays for Team R or Team D, that a statist is a statist. The implication is that a person from either major political party is an advocate of authoritarianism, and it’s one-size-fits-all. But in reality, authoritarianism has a vanilla and a chocolate. What would be absolutely horrid is if Hillary voters, rather than throw tempter tantrums, accepted the outcome of the election. Because if they didn’t protest and instead shrugged their shoulders and respected the new regime, it would mean they value government for government’s sake, and that there is no guiding principle to their flavor of statism.
No sooner has Aleppo been overrun, by whoever it is that has overrun it this time, than websites are publishing articles about how we should ignore reports from other websites about what is going on in Aleppo. As soon as reports of genocide have been relayed to the generally-interested public, there are reports calling into question the reports of genocide. The denials of genocide came so quickly this holiday season, Cenk Uygur’s small heart grew three sizes, and when the true meaning of Aleppo came through, the Cenk found the strength of ten Cenks, plus two!
All seriousness aside, I long for the good old days of war reporting, when you could trust what you were being told by some talking heads on CNN about a war not taking place in our backyard. I’m a fan of that generation of journalists who made their bones reporting from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Perhaps I’m remembering black and white footage of Walter Cronkite and Morley Safer through rose-colored glasses, but they at least seemed trustworthy. My grandparents had Ed Murrow, my parents had Ed Bradley; my generation is stuck with Brian Williams.
Speaking of CNN, on Wednesday, they posted an article titled “White Males Dominate Trump’s Top Cabinet Posts.” It wasn’t an opinion piece, it was just a news article listing the ethnicities and sexes of Trump’s, Obama’s, and Bush’s top cabinet picks. Nothing about their qualifications for the posts they are nominated for, just what collective they are part of. In the three tiers of newsworthiness, in descending order, we now have 1. Man Bites Dog, 2. Dog Bites Man, and 3. Man Is White. Maybe CNN is angling to corner the market of fake news. The same Wednesday, Being Libertarian published a news article about what some of Trump’s Cabinet picks might mean, rather than just what demographic they hail from.
A funny passage from Kevin D. Williamson’s recent article about the Right and Ayn Rand:
“Where you don’t meet a lot of Randians is in the conservative world. They’re out there if you go looking: A fellow from one of the Rand groups (the factions divide and subdivide, being essentially Protestant in spite of their atheism) once approached me at a gathering and began haranguing me about Whittaker Chambers’s 1957 review of Atlas Shrugged in National Review. (That sort of thing is what professional libertarians substitute for sexual intercourse.)”
Williamson’s wit notwithstanding, differing sexual proclivities probably explains a lot about why you find nary an Objectivist amongst conservatives: the typical Christian conservative has sex for procreative purposes, whereas the typical Objectivist has sex to somehow simultaneously express self-loathing and self-aggrandizement.
Slate.com reports the important news YOU want to read! Slate Headline Watch 12/14/16:
“Trump Is Trying to Claim the Phrase Merry Christmas for Himself”
“President Obama’s Daily Show Interview Is a Sobering Reminder of What We’re About to Lose”
“Thank God Major League Baseball Is Ending Its Stupid Ritual of Dressing Up Rookies Like Women”
And that’s the way it is, as far as you know.