The Left's last big idea was Communism. When Lenin turned out to be the god who failed, the Left undertook wide exploration for another grand unifying idea: environmentalism, multiculturalism, economic inequality, atheism, feminism, etc. What it ended up with was an enemies' list.
That and a taste for brute force.
The enthusiasm for coercion and the substitution of enemies for ideas - Christians, white men, Israel, "the 1 percent," the Koch brothers, take your pick - together form the basis for understanding the Left's current convulsions. The call to imprison people with unapproved ideas about global warming, the Senate Democrats' vote to repeal the First Amendment, the Ferguson-inspired riots, the picayune political correctness and thought-policing that annoys Jonathan Chait, the IRS's persecution of conservative political groups, Barack Obama's White House enemies' list, the casual violence against conservatives on college campuses and the Left's instinctive defense of that violence - these are not separate phenomena but part of a single phenomenon.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Victor Davis Hanson describes Obama as a snarky adolescent:
Obama is supposedly friends with basketball legend Michael Jordan. But the latter made a terrible mistake when he chided the golf-obsessive Obama as in fact a "hack" and a "sh***y" golfer. Obama quickly fired back that Jordan "was not well informed." He then went after Jordan himself as the less than successful basketball-team owner: "He might want to spend more time thinking about the Bobcats - or the Hornets." Snark is now exemplified by the president of the United States stooping to engage in a kindergarten tit-for-tat over relative golf skills with an ex-NBA player: "But there is no doubt that Michael is a better golfer than I am. Of course if I was playing twice a day for the last 15 years, then that might not be the case." Note the "He might want" and "If I was playing twice a day..." [ ... snip ... ]
Critics used to say they opposed Obama's redistributionist programs, but conceded that he must be a pleasant guy. Supporters lamented Obama's frequent inattention to detail but reminded everyone how charismatic the president was. Both diagnoses are probably mistaken. Snarkery is a character flaw of thin-skinned insecurity and juvenile mean-spiritedness - and embarrassing in a president.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
(The University of Vermont) was the first school in the country to allow students to select which pronoun they preferred in its system. The system also allows them to select "name only," which means the student is opposed to pronouns in general and wants to be addressed only by name - something more than 200 transgender students have selected since 2009, according to the Times.
Of course, even before the software update, transgender students who did use another name could already inform the school about it and have it changed in the system - but this required an in-person visit to the dean's office and filling out some paperwork, and advocates said this was too much to ask.
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
The piece defines "singlism" as "the stereotyping, stigmatizing and discrimination against people who are not married" and "marital privilege" as "the unearned advantages that benefit those who are married," an "emotional privilege" where "other people express happiness for people who marry but pity for those who stay single." [ . . . ]If only there was some way to study this grand societal ill. And that's a problem too!
The original piece is here. The much deserved mockery in the comments section is the most compelling part.
Some points are particularly laughable, such as the claim that it's so terrible that "universities have women's studies, Black studies, and queer studies programs" but "there is no singles studies program in any university, anywhere."
And unsurprisingly, many of the other examples are based on their brilliant and oh-so-culturally-aware recognition of even more of our common, seemingly innocuous phrases being actually very offensive and harmful forms of discrimination - including single people having to endure seeing things such as "ticket prices . . . quoted as '$100 per couple'" and greeting cards that "express 'our' sympathy." (Oh the horror!)