Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Red wave or blue swamp?

It’s a good thing I don’t have the job of predicting what’s going to happen come November, because I’d have to fire myself. It all depends on which tea leaves I’ve been reading most recently.

This time the totalitarian left has shot itself in the foot. The naked power grabs by blue-state governors have got the attention of a lot of people who, being arguably saner than I am and having better things to do, are not political junkies. People who would really prefer not to waste their time squinting at tea leaves. They just want to do their jobs, and not be constantly interfered with, and vote the same way they have all their lives. Except now – well, they may not be interested in politics, but they’re discovering that politics is interested in them. Anybody whose business has been destroyed, or whose job has disappeared, or whose life has been wrecked not by the coronavirus but by one of the thousands of wannabe dictators who are seizing this opportunity to seize power and trample on the Constitution… surely will not vote for more of the same come November!

Except if they really don’t want to pay attention, the media can keep leading them down the garden path. For anyone who doesn’t want to be bothered looking at the messy details, the media offer a convenient alternative. If the only news you encounter is what your Facebook friend just copied and pasted from CNN, maybe you think you know that everything you’ve suffered since the declaration of the Coronavirus crisis is the fault of a racist, incompetent President and a racist, murderous political party that just wants people to die. ! (Funny how that “explanation” never gets leveled at anybody with a “D” attached to his name, not even NY Governor Cuomo who, by all accounts, has been remarkably successful at arranging for people in his state to die.) With the media creating a virtual shield wall between their chosen narrative and actual facts, what are the chances that enough people will see through their shenanigans? Maybe even those whose lives have been ruined will accept the narrative that our only hope is to give the petty dictators even more power! After all, that’s what the media tells them, and they’re too busy trying to survive to spend any time looking behind the headlines.

A lot of people are really steamed. I know; I’ve talked to them. Even in deep-blue Austin, even in a state which hasn’t gone nearly as lockdown crazy as some places, there are people who are fed up with being told to sit down and shut up and do what their moral and intellectual superiors tell them.

But a lot of people should be upset and aren’t. I don’t have much of a social life these days, but I do have a handful of friends from college days with whom I keep in contact. And they terrify me. They grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance; their American History classes predated the Howard Zinn “America Sucks” attitude that took over colleges and universities and deliberately mis-educated generations of students; they are old enough to remember when people of good will could disagree on policy issues without being declared unpersons. And yet, and yet… they are complacent about the erosion of our civil liberties. They grew up free and now they’re happily enslaving themselves. How does a person get that way?

And you know what’s really scary? They are all perfectly willing to vote for Joe Biden, no matter how many times he forgets what he’s trying to say or how much word mush he produces.

Oh well. The way things are going, I’ll probably lose the last of these old friends for the crime of using “Joe Biden” and “cognitive decline” in the same sentence, and then at least I won’t be depressed by talking to them. But in the meanwhile – what do your tea leaves look like?


VAHelot said...

Here’s a tea leaf for you. It’s hard to lose when your base is motivated, see 2016. I have a feeling Northram may have overreached in Virginia.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Tea leaves? I’ve been using pre-bagged for a long time, but I still have the old bathyscaphe somewhere. Ah, here it is! Let’s brew up a pot of Earl Grey and see what they have to say for themselves.

Hmmm...on the Wuhan virus front, not much, except for some additional hardening of the political polarization that had already become apparent some time back. Those who lean Left tend to remain faithful to the Left, with the encouragement of our Legacy Media. Those who lean Right have bought a lot more ammo. Invoke the Persistence Theory of Political Prediction: Present conditions will continue for a while longer. (Works in weather forecasting, too!)

In other news, the national mood is cool toward the blue states’ demands that the federal government bail them out of their budget woes. Despite the rationale provided by the pandemic, there seems no inclination on Capitol Hill to open the Treasury to California, Illinois, or New York...thank God.

Speaking of Capitol Hill, a couple of GOP invertebrates might be developing spines. At least, McConnell and Graham have been saying good things recently. But the proof of the pudding and all that.

Before Joe Biden started to evince cognitive decline, he was a major practitioner of wishful fabrication. And I’m not saying I’d want the old version back. Better to rid our public life of both...assuming we can get him to go away and stay away. Lately superannuated politicians have demonstrated a distressing degree of “staying power.”

Considering how little exposure Biden has been allowed these past few months, I’m ever more of the opinion that he's a “sacrificial lamb” candidate, as was Walter Mondale in 1984. The Democrats don't expect him to defeat President Trump, only to function as a “placeholder” of sorts, so they can work on developing a candidate for 2024.

(Good to see you back, Margaret! I hope all is well with you and yours.)


"Considering how little exposure Biden has been allowed these past few months, I’m ever more of the opinion that he's a “sacrificial lamb” candidate, as was Walter Mondale in 1984. The Democrats don't expect him to defeat President Trump, only to function as a “placeholder” of sorts, so they can work on developing a candidate for 2024."

From your keyboard to Hashem's inbox.

I am not so confident of Trump's victory though. NinetyMiles has a video interview of a woman in TX highlighting significant vote fraud.

Linda Fox said...

I, too, am befuddled about the persistence of family, friends, and acquaintances in supporting those who flat-out ignore the Constitution (when they aren't insisting - 1984-style - that the document says the opposite of what it actually does). How is it possible that they just cannot use logical reasoning?

Well, they can't. The logical part of their brain is not functional. Whether that is organic (too many drugs in their youth), genetic (just no functional part of the brain in the location that handles that type of processing), or whether - consciously or unconsciously - they just do not put any input through that logical reasoning process.

I think it's the latter. Too many have this sort of hazy memory of reading 1984, but somehow think it's the Evil Right (trademark pending) that is behind that oppression. Man, if they just put the Good People in charge, everything would be groovy!

I can excuse those who were educated in the latter 60's and after - their so-called education was, generally, crap. More about how they FELT about things than actual content.

For them, 1984 was SO long ago. A book? What are you talking about? Who reads?

Maybe it's time for a remake of the tale, using The Authority to modify reality in the visual news.

Oops. Already have that in real life. It's called the Mainstream Media.


A very good friend of mine, also Jewish, has observed on multiple occasions that liberals "are not fully-formed individuals". I have a slightly different take (essay in slow progress on this).

To wit: nobody likes being uncomfortable, and everyone likes being liked. Somewhere in the formation of being an adult is the recognition that there are things that are uncomfortable, in this case ideas, and that not everyone is going to like you. That circuit remains unclosed in people on the Left.

I can't count the number of times I've engaged with people, whether in person or online, where I've been respectful, polite, but brought up a counterargument to theirs. WHAM! Instant shutdown (and sometimes shoutdown) of my argument. Why? Because to acknowledge my datum's validity would mean being mentally uncomfortable.

Reality, though, has a way of sneaking in by means of what I call "cognitive splinters" - small shards of truth that the person doesn't even have to see consciously, but they irritate. This is why liberals tend to be so short-tempered - their minds are constantly irritated by small shards of cognitive dissonance and thus are on a short fuse.

As to 1984? Brave New World? And grimmer reality? Why, don't you know Linda that "that can't happen here"?