Monday, September 25, 2017

Blank Checks

     Dystopic continues to dazzle:

     Usually, when you encounter an item with no definitive price tag, it is because the item is absurdly expensive. When a potential customer is forced to ask for the price, the salesman might gauge his wealth, his gullibility, his willingness to part with his money, and a myriad of other things before settling on what he believes he can get. It also provides an opportunity to sell the customer on the object, rather than merely counting on the item and its price to convince the potential buyer.

     In simple terms, forcing another to be open about his wants, and being closed off on your own, gives a man a decided bargaining advantage.

     Indeed. How often have you, Gentle Reader, been asked by a car salesman, florist, or pimp “How much were you thinking of spending?” But Dystopic isn’t concerned with those minor excrescences on the marketplace:

     Lately, we’ve seen this at work with Antifa, BLM, #TheResistance, and other assorted left-wing groups. Grievances are produced, from slavery, to the plight of Native Americans, to American foreign adventures in the Middle East. Being honest with ourselves, some of these grievances have at least a historical merit to them. But for such leftist groups, the price for burying the grievance is obfuscated behind buzzwords and jargon. We must dismantle the cisheteropatriarchy, we must check our privilege, we must become a positive advocate for change. Everything from microaggressions to cultural appropriation are cited as examples of these things.

     But I ask, what change?

     The question is seldom asked by anyone with a popular platform. However, once asked, it answers itself.

     They want us to give in, to stop resisting them. If that means voting their way, they want that. If it means ceasing to defend ourselves and our property against their depredations, they want that. If it means never again criticizing or questioning them, they want that, most definitely. They want everything, including our approval for their entire agenda and any tactics they might deploy.

They want a sociopolitical blank check.

     But Americans don’t write blank checks. And it’s driving the Left utterly BLEEP!ing nuts.

     One advantage to coming of age in a market-oriented society is that it compels one to cultivate the ability to recognize a fraud in progress. This is especially important in politics and public policy.

     Yes, we’ve seen our share of political snake oil salesmen. Occasionally the electorate has failed to detect one in time to obstruct his schemes. Yet more often than not we sniff them out, tell them “Thanks but no thanks,” and wish them pleasant reincarnations. We deflected one from the presidency less than a year ago, and she’s really ticked off about it. (“It was my turn!”)

     Just now, the Left is steaming over having been rejected soundly at the federal and state levels. Of course, like Tolkien’s Shadow, it will “take another shape and grow again”– there’s nothing more predictable than the persistence of evil – but the question of greatest import to your humble Curmudgeon Emeritus is whether it will learn from its defeats. Defeat is education, as Louis Nizer has told us. At any rate, he who doesn’t learn from his losses has no upward path and therefore no future.

     The central lesson of the Left’s most recent electoral setbacks is not to ask for a blank check.

     What, after all, was the major difference between the Trump and Clinton II campaigns? Trump had a specific agenda that he talked up, in relatively good detail, at every opportunity. It consisted of items and policy directions the electorate approved. Mrs. Clinton mainly promoted herself, and as has been said innumerable times to this date, the more of her the voters saw, the less they liked her. On those occasions when she was contextually compelled to address specific aspects of public policy, she did her best to keep her positions vague, albeit qualified by the need she felt to defend the outgoing Obama Administration of which she’d been a part.

     Mrs. Clinton wanted a blank check. “Elect me,” she might as well have cried, “because of me, not because of what you want or what you think I might do with the power of the presidency.” But that permitted voters to conjecture Clinton II policies they disapproved, based on what they remembered of the Clinton I years plus Mrs. Clinton’s lukewarm defenses of various Obamunist policies. It killed her campaign, especially among the voters whom her campaign didn’t bother to address.

     It didn’t help Mrs. Clinton that her allegiants were busy harassing conservatives and Trump supporters and doing all they could to suppress their gatherings and the public statements of their luminaries. Neither did it help when the hijinks of such as Robert Creamer were exposed to the nation.

     It’s all of a single, unbroken weave. The Left wants a blank check simply because that’s what it wants. Specific policies? They don’t really matter. What does matter to them is absolute, unbounded power and complete indemnification for whatever they might choose to do with it. But Americans won’t write blank checks to politicians. At least, we won’t once we become aware that that’s what they’re demanding.

     The nation foolishly elected Barack Hussein Obama because he succeeded, with the help of an enthusiastically complicit media, in disguising himself and his intentions. It might have been a lesson we needed. Whether we rejected Mrs. Clinton because we learned from the Obamunist debacle or because unlike her husband she’s a lousy politician, we did manage to dodge the bullet she represents. But there are more rounds in the clip.

     A great many Republican legislators are regularly returned to their seats on Capitol Hill despite never having kept even one promise, party-platform or personal, to their constituents. Their re-election campaigns reduce to this: “Put me back in because I’m your guy. Anyway, you can’t afford not to.” The blankness of that check is becoming ever more apparent. Whether Americans will rally at last to replace those time-servers in 2018 and 2020, we shall soon see.

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