Monday, November 21, 2016
It is the major historical irony of our new American century, but it is one that I’ve seen nowhere remarked. The legacies of both this century’s first “conservative” president, George W. Bush, and of his “left liberal” successor Barack Obama were already in tatters as their tenures ended. The striking irony is that both administrations undid themselves through policies only made possible by the heavy sway certain key liberal myths wield in our political life. I would call the culprit simply liberal blindness--a blindness deeply ingrained among us and one seen, as I hope to show, most clearly in the fatal tendency of liberal thought to disconnect itself from rigorous analysis of culture. Philosophically induced, this liberal refusal to look squarely at culture destroyed both the Bush and Obama legacies.
How did it fall out in the two cases? You’ll have to bear with me.
For the Bush administration, liberal thought induced a fatal naivety as regards political possibilities in a foreign land: Iraq. This naivety, its dire weight, can’t be overstated. As the apologists of regime change and nation building kept saying: “We will be welcomed as liberators” and “All people desire freedom.” Only a deep self-induced ignorance of the cultural and religious makeup of Iraq made it possible to assert that the Iraqi population, once free of Baathist rule, would transform itself into a stable democracy. We know how it ended: millions dead (including scores of our own citizens), civil war, the rise of ISIS. Had it not been for the entrenched liberal myth that all cultures are somehow naturally “on the way” to western-style democracy, the nation-building argument could never have been made relative the Iraqi context. Blinded by our liberal myth, we proceeded to shoot ourselves in the foot in Mesopotamia, and both we and the Iraqis are still bleeding from our wounds. Unaccountably, even the lessons that could have been learned from the recent fall of communist Yugoslavia and the bloodbath of ethnicities that ensued carried no weight in our political debates going in. A smart high schooler could have seen that lesson (i.e. the fall of an authoritarian state in an ethnically and religiously divided territory is a sure-fire recipe for civil war) but our pundits and leaders could not. The liberal myth of “All peoples are on the way to democracy” prevailed, and any analysis of the actual cultures that made up Iraq carried little weight when put on a scale with that myth.
The second area in which the Bush legacy was undone thanks to liberal myth relates to the management of the US economy. Free-market fundamentalism, a liberal myth tradition according to which markets are somehow natural, self-regulating organisms, had during the Clinton years led to the repeal of Glass-Steagall. Of course Bush and his appointees were fine with this massive deregulatory move, as they all shared in the liberal free-market thinking that made it possible. The poison poppies of Wall Street excess burst in Bush’s second term, and on the back of his liberally-induced pipe-dream venture in Iraq, this second liberally-induced disaster ensured Bush’s legacy would be one of massive bungling naivety. Just as the liberal consensus had failed to consider the cultures of Iraq, so they failed to consider the culture of Wall Street--i.e. what would really happen when the foxes were left to guard the henhouse.
In this way two forms of specifically liberal blindness made a mess of the Bush years. And Obama’s legacy was similarly undone by liberal blindness. The liberal myth that ultimately undid what could have been the Obama-Clinton years relates to liberal notions of “progress"--specifically that ingrained liberal belief that progress is something that must always occur, being somehow built into the very movement of history.
The Obama administration, deeply corrupted by corporate cronyism, wasn’t about to actually crack down on Wall Street (none of the banksters were jailed; Dodd-Frank was weak medicine compared to the previous Glass-Steagall) and so Obama had to show he was progressing on other fronts. Thus we have the Affordable Care Act. But more importantly, I think, in terms of Obama's progressive cred, we have same-sex marriage, followed by the now raging trans craze--in short, the whole LGBT assault on the culture, which was clearly Obama’s attempt to reenact the Civil Rights Movement in sexual terms. It was liberal myth that made this project plausible. Since “progress” must always be happening, and since we know as a culture what “progress” looks like (namely: previously oppressed groups are given equal rights) this attempt to remake America’s thinking on marriage and gender was rendered passable as an exciting new arena for History. Never mind that the actual Civil Rights Movement sought to undo injustices grounded in specifically modern forms of racism rooted in modern pseudo-scientific theories of race, whereas, quite differently, this new sexual project sought to undo a much more fundamental human reality: the culture's thinking on sexual difference and marriage, with a traceable history stretching back into ancient times.
The problem, again, was the Obama administration’s insufficient analysis of actual American culture. Namely, millions upon millions of Americans did not in fact agree that redefining marriage in this way was “progress”. Neither did religious Americans appreciate the heavy-handed way the new definition of marriage was being forced on them. Further, and more obviously, the elevation of a psychological disorder (gender dysphoria) to the status of normal--as if a boy deciding at age ten that he is a girl is somehow a previously undiscovered natural development--led millions of Americans, those whose brains had not yet been dried up by Hollywood and the music industry, to react in justified disgust. Yes, they may not have voiced their disgust openly, given the thought police standing on every corner, but they saw clearly where this was all leading. I believe many of these Americans, many who might otherwise have voted Democrat, decided early on to give the whole sick tribe of Obama-Clinton the boot. Had it not been for the serious offenses against religious liberty (again in the name of “progress”) and the rise of the trans craze, I’m not so sure Clinton would have lost. The economic fury at Obama and the Washington elites was certainly crucial, but this cultural blindness of the Democratic leadership might have been the final thing to tip many voters into the Trump camp.
Thus again, in the case of Obama, the shattered legacy can be chalked up to a blind indifference to specifically cultural realities: a liberal refusal to look at actual communities and how they hold together; a dogmatic belief in liberal myth as decisive.
All of this, if my reading is right, should suggest a chastened return to anthropology for anyone who claims to be a political thinker. I do believe there is much to cherish in our liberal order, but that its mythical excesses may prove fatal. Liberal consensus is fraying across the Western world. One of the central reasons, in my view, is precisely this ingrained liberal disrespect for cultural traditions. Anyone who values the liberal tradition needs to rediscover a respect for the cultures of real nations, and adjust liberal prescriptions accordingly.
Check out my book Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Both major candidates are unacceptable, everyone knows it, but the constant refrain from the Clinton-backers is that we need to support her because Trump is “dangerous”.
The argument isn’t bad on certain levels. I think Trump’s character is a major major issue, no doubt about it. But in other and maybe more fundamental respects (in concrete policy stances for instance) there are reasons to see Clinton as potentially the more dangerous of the two. And that’s really saying something.
Why do I think she is possibly more dangerous?
Forget pay-to-play, the Wall Street corruption, the glaring attempts to obstruct public oversight of her State Department tenure, etc. All that is bad enough, and should have disqualified her. It maybe would have disqualified her if our FBI director had stuck to the text of the relevant laws in July. But forget all this. The real problem is Hillary’s militarism, which comes out glaringly in her current policy positions.
Soon enough a Clinton administration might very well bring us into open conflict with Russia over Syria, which could end a lot worse for us than anything we’ve ever experienced as a nation. And it’s not a stretch to imagine such a conflict either.
In the third debate, Hillary proposed we establish no-fly zones in Syria. As many have pointed out, this would be a very dangerous move, one that might quickly lead to us shooting Russian fighter jets from the sky. And how would we prevent things from escalating, especially given the thin ice on which we currently stand vis a vis Russia in Ukraine and the Baltic states?
Hillary’s willingness to “go into Syria” is in my mind on a par for stupidity with the Bush administration’s eagerness to take out Saddam. No, it is probably even stupider, given Russia already has a major stake in the Syrian conflict. What would prevent Hillary from pursuing her preferred course?
If corporate finance could convince these people that Glass-Steagall should be repealed (cf. Bill Clinton) and that the financial WMD called “derivatives” are acceptable instruments of trade, then corporate military could convince Hillary that being able to impose our will on Syria is worth risking war with Russia. To listen to her, she is already convinced. Never mind actual WMD this time in the form of Russia’s nuclear capability.
Blowing up the world economy so Wall Street could play blackjack 24/7 with our savings was bad enough. How about blowing up North American and half of Asia?
Our Washington hawks simply can’t seem to let the Middle East fall into a sane balance of power. And Hillary has always been on the hawkish side of the hawk camp. Many of us are getting damned tired of hearing about Russia from these people. That we screwed up massively in Iraq, creating ISIS and giving Baghdad to the Shia--this is not Vladimir Putin’s fault. It’s the fault of our own political class, who can’t seem to say No to a war if the corporate/military lobby wants one.
With all that’s happened since 2003, that the Hillary team can’t simply let Putin protect his ally Assad shows a Washington elite just itching to commit another crime against sanity. Overreach seems the default position for these people. Guess it pays the bills, huh?
As against this, we hear constantly that Trump is dangerous because of . . . racism, bigotry, his attitudes to women. These personal faults, to the extent they exist, don’t stand up to war with Russia in terms of a threat. In any case, I don’t believe Trump could establish American fascism, as some have been screaming. He simply doesn’t have a coherent enough ideology. Trump is no Mussolini, though he may well be an American Berlusconi.
On Syria, Trump is basically right. If Assad falls, it is jihadists who will take over, whether they call themselves ISIS or not. Trump recognizes that the best thing for American interests (to the extent those interests are not identical with corporate interests) is to let Russia continue to protect Assad, and let Russia and Assad knock themselves out bombing the ragtag horde of jihadists now fighting the Syrian state. Hillary, meanwhile, sounds literally nuts on this issue. And it’s a nuttiness we cannot afford--not any more, and certainly not this time, not with Russia deeply involved.
Trump is a loose cannon and narcissist of the first order. He is, however, not nearly as likely to continue trying to remake every state in the Middle East through American firepower. His positions are more trade oriented, isolationist, ultimately pragmatic and domestic in scope. The corporations don’t want pragmatic, or domestic, and so they hate him. But what represents the real danger for us at present--the unfettered military/corporate power Hillary shills for, the ongoing march of aggressive globalization, or the politically incorrect behavior of a Donald Trump?
At the very least, Trump and Clinton both represent serious dangers. The assumption that we must vote Clinton to “protect us” from Trump, however, seems to me a case of willful blindness.
Check out my book Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Eric Mader, The Disassociated Press, Washington, D.C.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an FBI source with access to the emails on Anthony Weiner’s seized laptop has informed the Disassociated Press that one email contains a list of Hillary Clinton’s likely cabinet picks. The email in question was written by Clinton aide Huma Abedin to John Podesta on October 4th. The Disassociated Press is unable to verify the authenticity of the email, but has decided to publish the contents as received.
The email indicates both uncertainties on Clinton’s part and, in some cases, unprecedented double appointments. The full text reads as follows:
HRC wanted me to share this list with you and get input. We should have an amended list within ten days.
Attorney General: Loretta Lynch
Federal Reserve Chairman: Lloyd Blankfein?
Securities and Exchange Commission: Lloyd Blankfein? (could Lloyd do both?)
Surgeon General: Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Secretary of State: Chelsea Clinton
Secretary of Defense: George W. Bush
Secretary of Education: Beyonce and Jay-Z (can we do double appointments?)
Health and Human Services: Cecile Richards
Agriculture: Hugh Grant (not the actor; never liked the actor--snooty)
CIA Director: Matt Damon
Secretary of Family and Childhood Development: Caitlyn Jenner
Homeland Security Head: We’ll just use my own server
Press Secretary: Anderson Cooper? Richard Quest? (Either would be great. How many will CNN let us take altogether? Call them)
Secretary of the Interior: Huma
Secretary of Religious Freedom: Rachel Maddow
Secretary of Secretaries: Debbie Wassermann Schultz
Secretary of Bill’s Entertainment: Jeffrey Epstein
Secretary of Pantsuits: Captain Kangaroo
Check out my book Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Happens all the time these days. I post something on Facebook indicating I don’t support Hillary and immediately get this from Jane, a friend of a friend: “So your thought is to elect Trump? And that would be better?”
Instead of writing another editorial, I’ll just give you our ensuing dialogue.
Eric Mader: No. My thought is not "to elect Trump”. My thought is rather: A vote is a vote FOR someone, not merely a vote against someone else. Hillary does not deserve the votes of honest citizens, and I refuse to swell her numbers (and thus the illusion of her legitimacy) by giving her my vote. I will no longer join in the Democrat vs. Republican race to the bottom, but will vote third party. The mainstream Democrats deserve to lose, and I'm willing to take the risk of Trump in office if it will help delegitimize these utter fakes.
Jane Doe: Wow. If Trump wins, our world will be pretty scary, and if you supported the tenets of Bernie you will be in for a rude awakening. Unfortunately, at this time a vote for third party is a vote for Trump.
Eric Mader: You’re just being patronizing, Jane. I'm well aware of what rude awakenings there may be. And no: A vote for a third party is emphatically NOT a vote for Trump. A vote for a third party is a vote for a third party. That's why it's called "a vote for a third party".
Jane Doe: Call it what you will, but a Trump presidency certainly would not "delegitimize these utter fakes". He appears to be the biggest fake of them all. And because you are a US citizen you can express your opinions freely and vote for who you want. Good luck.
Eric Mader: Your response is characteristic. Realizing that I will not be voting Hillary, you immediately change the subject to Trump and how he's a bigger fake than Hillary--"the biggest fake of them all". I think which of these two is the bigger fake is arguable, because they are fakes in such different ways, but ultimately the argument is beside the point.
If a place offered you lunch with the choice of shit in a bowl or shit on a stick, your logic would have to be that the shit on the stick is the only wise choice because, look, the amount of shit in the bowl is larger. My choice is to not eat lunch. Who is wiser? Which is the course of action more likely to put that shit restaurant out of business, yours or mine?
I am not voting for Trump, so I'm not sure why you even mention him. The only way to delegitimize fakes in a democracy is not to vote for them. I'm not going to vote for them. You, however, are in the camp that keeps saying: "Mm, this shit on a stick, it really isn't that bad. Creamy actually. Mm, everyone should eat here."
I worked hard to elect Obama twice, the first time enthusiastically, the second time not so much. For me, this election is not between Trump and Hillary, it's between the possibility of democracy and the reality of corporate control over our whole political process. Whether you can see this or not, it is Hillary who is the consummate corporate candidate, which is why, surprise surprise, so many Republican establishment figures are now coming out in her favor. They're doing so because their Republican commitments, all along, have not been to maintaining a democratic republic but rather to furthering the smooth corporate takeover of our republic--ensuring, in short, that government continues to sell out the population to corporate interests. They know--which is bizarre, isn't it?--that the GOP candidate, this time, is actually a less reliable corporate rubber stamp than the Democratic candidate.
Anyhow, good luck to you. I'm fifty now, and I won't be supporting these people any more. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours in politics, going back to my undergrad years, and am no longer giving the benefit of the doubt to anyone who's spent as much time sucking Wall Street and the corporate elites as Hillary has.
Check out my book Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
First, go read philosopher Michael Hanby’s brilliant remarks on the widespread sense among people great and small that our political order (the liberalism ushered in by the Enlightenment) is “exhausted” and somehow can’t respond to the crisis we’re in.
Then consider my following comments on how left and right function in our political thinking and day-to-day wrangling--or rather, how they fail to function. I see this dichotomy of left vs. right as one of the subsidiary blinders making our liberal horizon much more difficult to see past.
How might we overcome this impasse and begin to forge a more workable politics of hope?
Reply to Hanby:
One of our problems, along with the conceptual horizons imposed by liberalism, is the obsolete language of “left” and “right” that we continue to apply when weighing our options. This too is part of why we can’t construct a politics of hope, and in my reading this outworn dichotomy helps explain the decline of the left into identity politics and of the right into free-market fundamentalism/free trade or Trumpian nationalism.
Classical liberalism presents itself not as a tentative theory of how society might be organized but as a theory of nature. It claims to lay out the forces of nature and to make these a model for social order. Thus free-market fundamentalism, letting the market function “as nature intended”. It’s an absurd position when applied dogmatically, and no more “natural” than other economic arrangements humans might develop.
The only truly rock solid aspect of classical liberalism in my mind is its theory of individual dignity, the permanent and nonnegotiable value of each individual in essence and before the law. The left has taken this and run with it and turned it into identity politics, which has morphed into a virtual divination of individual desire and self-definition. This is of course something quite different from the classical liberal understanding of the nonnegotiable value of the individual. The capitalist right, on the other hand, has taken liberal individual rights and turned them into a theory of individual responsibility for one’s economic fate, which is helpful in ways, but not decisive or even fully explanatory as to why people end up where they are. Free trade enthusiasts have put a lot of people in dire economic straits, but when you listen to these enthusiasts they speak as if their economics somehow represents nature, as opposed to what such economics really is: a shallow apologetics for the practices of international corporations.
Further, as I suggest, our two camps left and right are no longer even distinctly left and right in any traditional sense. The market forces and self-marketing that lead to the fetishization of identity by the left are the same market forces championed by the capitalist right. In America today, both left and right are merely different bourgeois cults of Self. The right’s cult of Self is the old one of the self-made man, whereas the left’s, an utter betrayal of any real left politics, echoes the thrust of market forces in a different way, playing off the myriad little marketable differences between individuals or demographics. The “left” has thus morphed into just another version of the vast capitalist marketing cult that America itself has become: iPhone, myWorld, iChat, iVictim, SelfieLove, iBornThisWay, iPride, iDentity.
It should be no surprise that the inalienable dignity of the individual, that rock solid core of liberal thinking, grew directly from the Christian soil of Paul’s assertion of the equality of all--men, women, Greek, Jew, freed, slave--in Christ. (Galatians 3:28) The now internationalized Western concept of human rights is merely a universalized version of Paul’s thought, hatched in a Christian Europe by philosophes who didn’t recognize just how Christian they were.
After all the utopian dusts settle, whether the dust of Adam Smith or the dust of PC Non-Discrimination, we must see that the one thing holding us together is this recognition that the political order must respect human rights. The core issue at present, the most fundamental way of respecting human rights, is thus that we legislate in ways that reflect a realistic understanding of these rights. In short, we must wisely theorize these rights if we are to preserve them. As for the right’s free-market fundamentalism/free trade or the left’s PC progressivism, they each are proving to be pipe dreams that don’t address the economic or legal challenges in coherent ways. They each sacrifice true rights at one altar or another in the vast temple of the Market.
The obsolete language of “left” and “right” keeps us blinded to the real human challenges. It keeps us unwilling to grapple with our concrete economic and legal problems, if only because we’re too busy cheerleading either one version of the capitalist cult or the other.
I’m looking forward to Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option (to be published in 2017) mainly as providing some answers as to how the remnant of faithful Christians in this mayhem might both hold their faith intact while perhaps simultaneously developing less utopian modes of thinking about community. For us Christians, the current political order may very well be shaping up to be something like the pagan Roman Empire was to the early church. We finally have to face that, politically speaking, we are in the world but not of it. At least as regards any hope we might have of swaying the forces that capitalism has unleashed via its largely bogus “left” and “right” branches. I do not think left and right are completely useless as political concepts, but that they are less and less helpful in America, as the two sides are coming ever more to resemble each other.
Crucially, we must give up cheering for either of our two national parties, which have grown into one Corporate Oligarchical Party. We must focus our energies elsewhere, in building more solid local communities. When or whether these communities might offer alternative political parties is a different and less pressing question.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
“Basket of Deplorables”?
That’s what Hillary Clinton called tens of millions of Americans yesterday, claiming that those opposed to her were racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic.
I know the current liberal PC definition of terms like racist or homophobic, and it's likely I'd be called these things by many an unhinged activist. So I'm with the deplorables myself. And I feel solidarity with them.
We see through you, Hillary. Play your PC “-phobic” card all you want. We’re not buying it. Over the past dozen years, liberals have thrown around the word "bigot" so much that the word has lost its meaning. It is debased. All one has to do is disagree with the robots of political correctness on any small point and one is a bigot. I disagree with them on many many points.
We Americans who see what's going on aren't afraid of your smear words because we see the illegitimate way you define these words. And the way you, Hillary, use them to distract people from their real problems. Namely: Corporate control of our government. Namely: You yourself and everything you stand for.
No. Just because we think Black America needs to officially condemn its gangsta rap culture and take more responsibility for its communities doesn’t make us racist. It makes us awake to what is happening.
Just because we think LGBT activists don’t have the right to dictate sex and gender norms for our whole culture doesn’t make us homophobic. It makes us, uh, sane.
Just because we call radical Islamic terrorism by its real name doesn’t make us Islamophobic.
Just because we don’t of approve our elected leaders (your party, Hillary) exporting our jobs to foreign countries doesn’t make us xenophobic.
We see through you, Hillary. We’ve watched official Washington, your party included, sell us down the river for two decades now. Everything we know about you tells us you’ll do nothing but sell the last bit of us left to be sold.
We see that you have nothing but scorn for our values and traditions. Your former boss, Barack Obama, has shown this scorn time and again. We know you are full of such scorn too. Your words yesterday prove it.
In our minds, Hillary, the real deplorables are those who imagine you will stand for working Americans. We know very well you will not. You will stand for your PC special interest groups on the one hand, and Wall Street and the corporate boards on the other.
We see through you. We don’t accept your insulting labels. We are not "racist", "homophobic", etc., etc. We are Americans with our own vision of what our country should be. And we aren’t going to give you our vote in November. Count on it.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
We LGBT Americans have had enough. Progress has been made in recent years, and it is welcome, but it is still but a pale shadow of the full rights we demand. It is time, finally, for the heteronormative majority to recognize our full rights. It is time that federal and state governments put in place and enforced laws to crush once and for all the rampant homo- and transphobia that continues to guide this deeply sick culture.
What are these full rights we demand?
First and foremost, it is necessary that all Americans recognize our right to police public discourse about sex. We LGBT citizens represent a massive 3.8% of the US population, yet there remain people out there who are allowed to live and hold steady jobs while refusing to bow to our wisdom on all matters related to gender, marriage and child rearing.
This has to stop. It is a clear breach of our rights. These holdouts against the ultimate triumph of our ideology must be silenced, and if they will not shut up and learn to think and speak as we tell them--if our demands continue to be ignored, we can only respond by enacting yet stricter laws to threaten their employment and their hateful religious institutions.
Because enough is enough. Who do these people think they are claiming that "boys are boys and girls are girls", that humanity is divided into two sexes? Who brazenly continue teaching this sick ideology in their homes and churches (which will be closed if they aren’t careful)--who ARE these people anyway and why don’t they just SHUT UP?
The disconnect in some people's heads is impossible to credit. Don’t you even understand where you live? You live in the United States of America. Don’t you realize that we LGBT activists have a constitutionally protected right to force you to parrot our every pronouncement?
The existence of these backsliders underlines a sobering truth about the hurdles and roadblocks that remain. Yes, thanks to the wisdom of the Obama Administration, and after many many years (almost three) of bitter struggle, we now control all discussion of sex and gender in American public schools. Any public school districts out of sync with our ideology will lose federal funding. Any teacher who doesn’t employ our psychojargon in the classroom will be publicly shamed and hounded out of a job. Which is as it should be.
But this is not the endgame. We must keep moving forward. America’s schools are only part of the picture. In homes and “religious” settings across the country, offensive ideas about sex and gender continue to be foisted off on innocent children. It is a scandal that cannot be allowed to go on.
Everyone now recognizes that being LGBT brings with it a better understanding of human sexuality and family than that held by merely heterosexual citizens. The science is clearly on our side. We LGBT activists are naturally the best people to be directing education policy, and we largely do direct it, but the important issue of how children are taught the facts of life in other settings remains far too open. The status quo is intolerable and we will not let it continue.
Those who persist in naysaying our plans will soon come to regret it. Parents of heterosexual orientation, and particularly parents with "Christian" leanings, had better get their priorities queered within the next few years or we are going to have to take the gloves off. Let me tell you: That day will not be a pleasant one for those on the wrong side of history.
History is moving forward, and our vanguard role is clear. We are leading the revolution. As part of this revolution, the trans movement has a crucial role to play. In fact the trans movement is key in the proper LGBT authority spectrum that we are bringing about. It is here that the holdouts are most starkly revealed. If is here that they will be unmasked. Our invention of new pronouns for new genders is largely a matter of unmasking resisters. Ingenious, isn't it?
Incredibly, there are still parents out there who do not accept that their son, at age 4 or 5, has the wisdom and knowledge of sex to decide if he is a boy or a girl. There are still parents out there who think it is their right (rather than the right of LGBT-vetted school administrators) to decide what’s best for their children. It is hard to stomach, but these people do still exist.
And we’re now finding that some of these “parents” even get upset when they learn that schools have been instructed not to inform them of their child’s declared gender identity. Which is amazing. I mean DUHHH!--the schools are only doing it to protect your child, who may want to begin hormone therapy and live according to his or her or their or zir new identity.
Think about it. Our school administrators are trying to protect your children from any undue or backward influence you might have on them, and all you offer in gratitude is complaints and threats.
Don’t you understand who you are threatening? We are the “Love wins” people. We are the people who lit up the White House in rainbow colors. When we say “Love wins”, it means love as we define it. Anything you might have called love previously, anything that doesn’t fit our definition, is actually hate. Haven’t you figured this out yet?
The truth is we LGBT folks are getting fed up with this ongoing parental interference. Your child has rights. If your daughter decides she wants to be a boy during some months of her childhood, then she simply IS a boy. Why don’t you people understand this? She has a right to allow us to declare her a boy. And once declared, she must remain a boy--that’s what she IS--and we demand that you recognize our right to administer hormone blocking treatments and, eventually, breast removal.
Likewise if your son is seen at some point playing with a Barbie doll--quick, change his name from Dan to Demi and start the hormone therapy before his stubble starts to grow in. Later we'll remove the offending male parts, government paid. Sure, he’ll be in and out of psyche wards now and then, the hormones will lead to secondary health complications, but so what? The main thing is he will grow up to join our Rainbow Voting Block, which is crucial to the ultimate success of our movement.
In Britain claims of gender nonconformity among young people have surged more than 900% in the past few years. In short, things are going as planned. See?
By interfering in the sacred process called Transition that only LGBT-approved doctors and administrators can guide, you only threaten your child’s well-being. Do you want to do that? Of course not. Do you want our laws to get even more invasive and punitive? No? Then why not just go along? Why not be a smart little rainbow butterfly and float with the hot air we blow? It is only going to get hotter from here on out.
Among that perverse demographic called "Christians", many people are waking up and choosing prudence over self-destruction. Like David Gushee, who has wisely abandoned Christian teachings on sexuality and embraced our rainbow revolution:
It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.
Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject. Hide as you might, the issue will come and find you.
This is the kind of Christian we can work with. Prof. Gushee, president of the Society of Christian Ethics, knows that in order to avoid our wrath, it is best to just submit. Unfortunately, there are many others out there who are not good Christians like Gushee, and who continue to put their hopes in a Jewish peasant from two-thousand years ago, who managed to get himself crucified, rather than in the leaders of our movement or prominent cultural figures like Lady Gaga.
I have already said a few things about the importance of the trans movement. But I want to mention another issue that continues to put speed bumps in the path of our turbocharged steamroller. I hesitate to even raise it because it’s now so passé, but there’s no telling what dinosaurs lurk out there. The issue is marriage.
We LGBT activists know what marriage is, as we should, since we rewrote the book on it. We rewrote it together with the Supreme Court last year. So it’s really mind-boggling that some people continue to think of marriage in terms of what their religious tradition or the history of the world (which stretches back a mere handful of millennia) tells them it is. To stick so stubbornly to such outmoded ideas when already same-sex marriage has been accepted by a small fragment of the world’s population and for almost five years--it’s really a bit much to swallow.
Don’t you people know that one way of determining what is true or false is to look at the calendar? It is now 2016. Think. Things accepted by a percentage of people in 2016 must be truer than things accepted by all humanity since the beginning of recorded history. That’s just progress. It’s obvious. You look at the year and the simple truth will hit you: If it’s past the year 2000, that must mean SERIOUS PROGRESS is happening. And progress being ultimate truth, and LGBT people having a UNIQUE ACCESS to truth . . . hmm, it all points in the same direction. Therefore: LGBT people are the VEHICLE OF TRUTH AND PROGRESS!
This is what is called a calendar syllogism. It’s both logically valid and perfectly true. We are the Vehicle. If you don’t want to become part of the pavement, watch your step as you cross the street.
It’s a lofty calling, being the Vehicle, but nobody should be surprised it fell to us. Being gay, trans or queer, we simply KNOW. We know the real meaning of sex and gender, the essence of marriage, how to raise and educate children, etc. Which is why, again, we’re now insisting on our full rights. For us who simply know, full rights means the right to be right about whatever we claim and the right of anyone who disagrees with our claims to be called a bigot and suffer legal consequences.
That is another syllogism. Equally valid and true.
A bit of cultural history: We came into our full rights to perfect rightness about everything thanks to a seismic shift in the understanding of liberal society, which we were sure to push along when we first discovered it. Yes, there are throwbacks and dead-enders in the America population who still believe in the old idea of "pluralism"--i.e. that groups with different faiths or ideas about fundamentals might still recognize each other’s rights to peace and prosperity and might still live side by side in the same republic. We were sharp enough early on to reject this outdated "pluralist" idea of America when we discovered the new concept of diversity.
What diversity means is this: Any ideas of whatever cultural or ideological background can be respected and given space if they match our own ideas. And: Those who show thinking that diverges from ours are not to be considered diverse enough and must be silenced.
This diversity we’ve championed is now the real meaning of America, as you will see by visiting any university campus. It replaces the old defunct practice of pluralism which allowed for far too much diversity in public speech and thinking and led to LGBT people feeling offended when other citizens didn’t show sufficient cognitive meekness.
Given the triumph of diversity over pluralism, Americans who hope to continue holding down a job must demonstrate their diversity by affirming us in our various LGBT identities. If you are not ready to affirm us in our diverse and full right to rightness, you are not a true American. You are just a bigot, and bigots are worse than the lowest criminals, some of whom might be LGBT people and thus have redeeming qualities.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. The sacred truths that those alone possess who can claim an alphabetically-designated sexual identity will continue to march forward until the Rainbow Flag shall be all in all. You who do not bow to this flag while there’s still time, where will you stand on that day? You will become part of the pavement of the new Parking Lot we’re paving over human sexuality. Be wise and just bow down today.
David Joseph Stern
Philadelphia LGBTQIA Human Rights Commission