One of the ongoing nuisances of the Left is their propensity to manufacture issues in places where there were none. This is evident in the latest “controversy” over transgenderism, instigated by President Obama in the waning days of his administration, when he oh-so-boldly mandated that high schools across the entire country allow transgendered students to use the bathrooms of their sexual identity. There is nothing especially offensive about this in and of itself. What is intolerable is the administration’s attempting to dictate this, threatening to withhold funds from states and school districts that don’t comply with the Edict of Trans; never mind that these clowns have totally ignored the really serious violations of “sanctuary cities” openly defying federal law with impunity and facing no consequences.
Republican legislatures predictably took the bait and started passing state laws mandating the opposite; i.e. that students must use the lavatories designated for their sexual identity at birth. Meanwhile I’m not aware of reporters finding a single transgendered high school student in the entire country suffering from lavatory discrimination; they are simply too young to have crossed over in any significant numbers. But liberals have never met a minority they don’t like, so the transgendered are the latest cause, never mind that they are but a fraction of 1% of the American population, yet have become the focus of attention of no less than the President of the United States, who has made a fool of himself as a result. One has to wonder what is left for progressives to minoritize now. Are fetishes next?
The absurdity of all of this is brought home by a simple question: what were they doing before this “controversy” erupted? Transgendered people have been around for as long as sex-change operations have been viable and presumably were getting by without much controversy until liberals discovered and minted their “minority” status. The result is that we now have restrooms with all sorts of screwy sexual symbols that essentially mean the same thing as a bathroom with no gender identity, which have typically been found all along. What is the point of the stupid symbols if it is simply a bathroom anyone can use? There is none; it is an ideological statement to assuage the emotions of the left. That is the reason it ought to be opposed. We’ve had enough of this loony ideological assault on common sense.
Even more annoying is the trend of corporations quickly adapting or caving to left-wing pressure, based on say, all of twenty emails, in order to maintain their “progressive” self-image. The notion that corporations are still associated with the right these days is quaint, given their behavior, as many have gone out of their way to impose Obama-like mandates on their companies, or have even gone so far as to threaten moving facilities from states that don’t comply. Sooner or later there is going to be a reckoning on this, because the left is simply vastly outnumbered by the right. Either the right will neutralize this or start making their own demands, boycott threats, etc. to pressure companies in their direction. The truth is corporations have no business responding to political pressure of any kind; their business ought to be business, period.
As for the transgendered, those having sex changes are mostly men, so the reality is whether a person formally a man now identifying as a woman, and so attired, ought to be able to use the ladies room. I really don’t see the problem. Ladies rooms consist of private stalls, so how they do their actual business is private. If someone is dressed as a woman, conveys themselves in that fashion, and wishes to be so identified, so be it. It would be more absurd to force someone with the appearance of a woman to walk into the mens room. There were no issues her before. But what this idiotic President has done is to open a can of worms since it provides the basis for anyone to claim they are whatever they want, and for non-transgendered men to enter the ladies room. It may even have the opposite effect of that intended, by increasing hostility to transgendered people. It is further pointless since they presumably were adapting to conditions and getting by well enough before all this erupted, to no good end.
Throughout the last century the US was steadfast in its opposition to socialism. It was an ideology that never gained a foothold in America, even under the most dire economic circumstances like the Great Depression. Moreover sometimes this came at great cost in lives and treasure in the struggle against its most virulent communist form. Yet today we find that at least a plurality if not a majority of that generation referred to as “milennials” has a favorable view of socialism. How is this possible after all we endured to be rid of this noxious notion? University faculties occupied by tenured radicals from the sixties may play a role, but above all else it is a degenerate historical ignorance (not even historical amnesia, as that would imply once knowing something and forgetting it); an abysmal lack of knowledge of history and the human experience that has brought us to where we are today.
But those of us who lived through it can never forget. Over 100 million people were killed over the course of the last century as a result of attempts to force this idea upon them. It was a titanic struggle for the fate of humanity, and there were times when our prospects seemed bleak and the triumph of freedom was by no means certain. More than one hundred thousand Americans gave their lives resisting the spread of communism, and we must now wonder whether all the sacrifice and struggle has been in vain. What terrible irony that the country that was the bulwark against socialism should now have a generation infatuated with it.
Some might say that I am confusing communism with socialism, but that is not true. They are the same, with the fundamental operating principle being that the state should control the resources of society, directly or indirectly and manage them accordingly for the benefit of humanity, leaving little to private life. No matter that the idea has failed miserably wherever it has been tried, from eastern Europe through Asia, while in western Europe what socialist parties there are exist in name only, as they have steadily moved away from any dalliance with socialism. The opposite is threatening the American way of life today as an avowed socialist has gained a considerable amount of support in the Democratic party, leading one to wonder where that party is headed, at least on the national level. Bernie Sanders speaks of “democratic socialism” but this is a man so steeped in ideology that he honeymooned in the Soviet Union at a time when that worker’s paradise was an implacable foe of the United States and the western world, which was little short of treason in sentiment if not practice.
Ignorance of historical experience allows some younger people to view socialism as something new and appealing, never mind that it is a 19th century idea that has been discarded almost everywhere else in the world. But there is not even a rudimentary ideology in this current incarnation, for it is all about selfishness rather than altruism. They want free stuff. Moreover they feel entitled to it, having been indulged with an abundance of “self-esteem” all their lives, despite lacking any underlying foundation for it. They have grown up with things that are free, i.e. on the Internet via free sites, free information, and corporate models that give away free stuff for other returns, and when that doesn’t do it, outright piracy. There is thus a sense of entitlement for things that are disconnected from work.
In childhood many of us have wondered why everything can’t be free, but we usually outgrow such naive notions. Perhaps the provision of free stuff in this economy has delayed the realization of the basic economic facts of life, for it is true that many of these nascent socialists quickly discard these beliefs once they go to work for a living. They come to see that the trouble with socialism, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, is that “sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”
Americans now appear to be heading towards the awful task of having to choose between a man who is abysmally ignorant regarding the constitution and government of the US, and who thinks that judges “sign bills,” and on the other side a candidate who will receive her party’s nomination….unless she is indicted. In the face of that the Republican leaders are starting to rally around a man that none of them can stand, but now Ted Cruz has improbably become the white knight for the Republican establishment, which is understandable given the alternatives of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Trump does not appear to have any brain trust, but since there is little evidence he possesses any kind of political philosophy, that becomes important because it will provide some indication of where he is likely to go.
How have we come to this, especially when this long campaign season began with such a promising field of potential Republican candidates? The blame must fall on a seriously flawed modern electoral system which inherently yields flawed results, as we have seen with the past few presidents. It rewards people who can endure the marathon election cycle, and who are good at running for office, but not so much at governing. I’ve written on this in the past, and now more than ever believe that true reform of the political system can only occur by overhauling the way people are nominated, especially at the presidential level. My proposal is essentially this: that presidential candidates should be nominated by the elected officials of the respective parties. Who, after all, constitutes the party more than those who have been elected to office? Who better to judge the character and capabilities of potential candidates than colleagues who are familiar with them? In the present environment this notion may finally gain more traction in congress.
Against this it could be argued that “the people” ought to choose the candidates, reflecting the popular will. The trouble is “the people” as such don’t really make that choice. Only a small percentage of the population actually votes in primary elections, and they usually tend to be those who are both politically active and ideologically motivated. But the result is that extreme candidates tend to win these contests, which inevitably results in political polarization. It was not always this way. Primaries have only become decisive in modern times. Although primaries began as a progressive reform early in the last century they did not lead to the party nomination until 1960, with the election of John F. Kennedy.
It is worth noting that Kennedy didn’t even announce his candidacy until January of 1960 for the election held in November that year. Today candidates start running the day after the last election, and in earnest at least two years before the actual election. The result is all politics all the time, and a virtually permanent campaign. To sustain such a campaign over so long a period requires vast resources, which means endless fundraising as well. Under these circumstances it is futile to try and reform campaign financing because it is not the fundamental cause of the problem. It is rather the length of the campaigns that requires the resources. Thus what we really need to do is limit the amount of time a campaign can take place in, as they do in the U.K.
If elected officials nominated the presidential candidates and the campaign period was limited we would get better candidates, and an end to the ceaseless cacaphony of the permanent campaign. It is true that there are interests that might have a lot to lose under these conditions, such as campaign consultants, fundraisers, party hacks, but above all the media, which is primarily responsible for turning the whole thing into a circus. They anointed Obama and have now given us Trump. It is true that this proposal would cause huge amounts of advertising revenue to be lost and it might bring an end to coverage of the campaign as though it were a sporting event. Then they might be compelled to provide more real news for a change. The political temperature would be lowered and as we have hit bottom with the current election campaign, this might lead to a restoration of faith in our institutions at long last.