Our betters on the left can’t seem to distinguish between reading 1984 as dystopia or guidebook. That doesn’t mean they didn’t learn something, though more probably from the communism that so rightly disturbed Orwell.
Hannity can be irritating, but today his response to the impeachment seemed correct – that he (and the right in general) were not invested, interested in the impeachment. It seemed little different from every other political subversion of Trump’s presidency. And with only days left, it also seems silly. The left’s apparent motives are, nonetheless, maddening.
Clyburn said what many appear to be thinking, that impeachment would mean Trump couldn’t run again. I resent that. After last week, I muttered about not wanting to vote for him again. Later, hearing more of his speech and seeing it printed, I realized (as so often, as in the Charlottesville remarks that began his term) it was more sensible than the media implied. Of course, it did mislead in important ways: his argument that Pence could overturn an election was just wrong. For someone whose policies had consistently devolved power by sending it to the states, even to families, this was not all that characteristic (though given his repeated slips into braggadocio not unsurprising). This speech presented an easy target (though given its timing versus that of those storming the Capitol, it is hard to see its effect as central as the left claimed.)
But who gave the Democrats in Congress the right to limit my choices in future elections? This reminds me of my constant directions to my husband (ones I will probably not know if he followed through): don’t keep me alive if I descend into what our family sometimes jokes (and sometimes doesn’t) as the “Edmondson syndrome.” (This is a hereditary tendency toward dementia – or at least appeared so in a small town where we knew connections to our third and fourth and probably fifth cousins, as well as those closer. And it wasn’t always pretty). Still, I don’t want him to let the government decide. I trust my husband’s often too kind heart but I don’t Ezekiel Emanuel’s. Of course, Republican nominations and how we die are only two of many decisions that the left seems to consider itself capable of making with more expertise and wisdom than we. However, wisdom hardly characterizes attempts to “unify” the country by insulting a good half.
This whole impeachment farce seems motivated by many memes – offering a crisis far too juicy to waste. It is used to justify dehumanizing Trump and his voters, rendering them friendless, jobless, wandering in the pale. (Re. David Foster’s post – if half the country becomes serfs overnight, instituting feudalism will be relatively easy.) It will damage the Republican party: how many of the ten will be primaried? How fraught will be appointments to committees, positions on party policy? It defines protest and even reasoned argument as treason (a high crime in any sensible society) then proceeds by using this definition to take away rights, “othering” the right. I couldn’t understand the uniform use of the word “insurrection”. However, it was purposeful as it provided a better cudgel than descriptor: establishing Biden’s legitimacy and undercutting Trump’s.
But isn’t a motive also a refusal to accept any statement from Trump – and the senators who objected on that day and Trump spokesman and, well, everyone – that notes the flawed nature of the election. Democrats objected to the election of every one of the last Republican presidents, but after this messy, certainly unusual and certainly curious election, the left want no modifiers to a full throated embrace of the results. At that demand many reasonably balked. There are two realities – Biden won, the system that elected him was flawed.
Up to some point the requested statements seemed reasonable – that Biden had won the election, that the recounts had confirmed the totals, that there was no way to effectively challenge the results. But in the next step, the media/left expected doubts to disappear. The only sane, “real” conclusion was theirs: the election stood pristine before us. They would brook no “deniers” and noting discrepancies was “sedition” and “insurrection.” But we haven’t all reached that degree of short term memory loss.
Nor is Trump likely to agree. His obsession with his own success and his apparent belief he won in a landslide are truths to him; this characterizes his unattractive and quite personal pride and bombast. However, while we sometimes believed an apology would have been appropriate, we also appreciated that he wasn’t bull shitting us – he said what he thought and he wasn’t going to say 2 + 2 = 5, not if he thought it didn’t.
He won’t bend. And it is the bending they want. For one thing, they don’t really want to fix the flaws in the election process. That requires much work in each state. Some general “best practices” might be suggested by a national committee, but as each state develops a system that satisfies its needs, they must acknowledge vulnerabilities to fraud; they must also assume an overvote is as much theft as voter suppression. Any “best practices” would reject the bill Pelosi unsuccessfully pushed before the Covid crisis, but which was swept in, shielded from critics by pandemic fears. The resulting sloppy, easily gamed elections put us where we are today. Politicians have less taste for such undertakings than one would assume from the jobs they chose. If nothing is done, an upside for the left, Republicans will need to reconcile themselves to decades of losses.
But bending has another goal. We see it in this case but in many other pressures from the left. The goal is submission: to publicly define any rejection of the left’s bold, unmodified statements as denying truth. And then to assert the left’s truth as our own. The carrot is membership in this community of “right thinkers”, the whip black listing, at its worst a mob milling around your house and at its best social “othering”, at its best being overlooked for promotions, at its worst being banned from work. Fearing the cudgel, many become hesitant to offer opinions until the left’s “truth” of the day has been clearly repeated by others, quickly adjusting to the vagaries of the left. Pelosi tore up Trump’s speech: this was senseless and vulgar, prompted by her desire to exterminate him and his followers.
Trump may have his own way of looking at the world, but the left chooses to make any other “truth” than theirs disappear, not just extinct but its mention extinguished. (Preparing the way for a one-party system, of course). But we know Antifa is not just an idea, traditional pronouns communicate facts of gender and number, this country is not systematically racist. We know that the just past election was, well, sketchy. We also know equality comes from respect for the individual and the worth of every human being – from natural law, recognizing a spiritual and legal equality. We know that an “equity” that attempts to level and reach into every aspect of our lives is untrue and detrimental. In the end, the left wants to define as lie, to exterminate, the rich heritage and powerful example of freedom (and liberty) in our history and our heroes. They begin by attempting to submerge the basic rights of speech and publication, to guns and to property, religion and press. Their offer is a certain warm belonging, but it is truly the embrace of quick sand which buries our rights, including to a fairly counted vote.