I began this post more than a week ago, but found it too dry and boring to publish. Ah, said I, let’s wait for something juicy to come along to gobsmack my readers with real world relevancy. I didn’t have long to wait, because the usual suspects, the perfectionist progressive outrage makers uncovered no less than two scandals of the sort that used to be called tempests in a teapot, but these days are fodder for the outrage machine, that huge mental illness diagnosis of being outraged all the time, of which Trump Derangement Syndrome–TDS–is a symptom. Who’s outraged? The elites of the Mediated Reality Establishment: CNN, MSNBC, N.Y. Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, them. What about them? What is their endgame?
Manufactured outrage of the week: Some public demonstrations in D.C. going on simultaneously, the March For Life, and Indigenous Peoples March, January 18, 2019. Google the latter, and what pops up are videos of outrage from, in order, MSNBC, CNN, NBC news, MSN, purportedly showing a “confrontation” between Nathan Phillips, a “Omaha Tribe elder” and Vietnam veteran (I am also a Vietnam veteran, and the only time the Mediated Reality Establishment-MRE-brings that up or pretends to care is to enhance the outrage against their shibboleths), and a “smirking” teenager from Covington Catholic High School, an all male–gasp!–prep school in Park Hills, Kentucky (“backwoods baboon” alert) near Cincinnati. The narrative, of course, was the students, wearing MAGA hats–double gasp!!–started the confrontation by surrounding and mocking Phillips, as a screen shot from a partial clip of a video seemed to show, generating an orgasm of outrage from the national MRE. Turns out that Phillips lied, the whole video shows the opposite of the narrative.
Second major manufactured outrage of the week: Karen Pence, wife of vice president Mike Pence, teaches art at a Christian Private Elementary School and agrees to abide by the school’s code of conduct, which includes a clause that the school will have no LGBTQ+ faculty or students–triple gasp!!! I was on the board for years of a similar school, and there are actually thousands of them around the country, which uphold biblical principles and teachings. So what is the outrage about? CNN is outraged by the “hypocrisy” of her husband being the Vice President under the immoral you know who, while she works for a school which upholds a moral code of the type that CNN hates….I know, I’m having trouble following the “logic” too, but don’t quibble, it’s the outrage generated that counts!
“The elites who have helped fray the social fabric, who have argued that self-expression) is more important than self-discipline, that religion is for suckers, that morality is situational but judgmentalism is immoral, that instant personal authenticity is the only ethical lodestar….” says Jonah Goldberg in National Review? “By their outrage you shall know them.” I am quoting….myself!
Fraying Social Fabric is more than just a sentence in an opinion piece by a conservative contributor to the major conservative National publication. Perhaps it is more accurate to call it this “social fabric” a consensus, or a foundation for long held beliefs and understandings, or perhaps the idea that such a consensus ever existed is just wishful thinking. Except the physical existence of the founding documents of this nation called the United States–the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution–is evidence there was once enough of a consensus to found a nation unlike any other in history. Refugees from tyranny and seekers of opportunity who made the often perilous journey here came waving the Stars and Stripes, not the flags of where they left. Assimilation–becoming American–was a goal for most of them, aside from the desire for freedom and a better life.
And now? The refugees and seekers often wave the flags of the places they are escaping from rather than escaping to. Al Gore, failed presidential candidate, justified this reversal of gratitude in famously interpreting E Pluribus Unum as “from the one, many”. What is that phrase? It’s on our currency, it’s the closest thing to a national motto. What it really means is “from the many, one”. “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We haven’t often lived up to that ideal. As an ideal, something to strive for, most of us would still want to. Or would we? Doesn’t that sound too much like Make America Great Again? We can’t have that, that’s Trump’s slogan. Outrageous! Is the election of Donald Trump a consequence of the desire of many to M.A.G.A., an acknowledgement that we have become less great over time, or a reaction to the elites’ endless stream of criticism of our traditional values, or antagonism towards the MRE and their lies, distortions and omissions in pursuit of controversy, or all of these?
Cancer starts with a single rebellious cell, and by the time any symptoms manifest, that single cell has been joined by thousands more. What about cancer of the body politic, the society in which we are invested, what are the rebellious cells? When I say rebellious, I am not talking about rebellion against the laws of the land, no, something much worse: Rebellion against the whole truth, as demonstrated by the mad, pell-mell rush to judge based on a screen shot of a clip of video WHICH VALIDATED THE NARRATIVE OF THE OUTRAGED.
Courtesy of the BabylonBee, the following flowchart.