The convenient “whitelash” thesis

From Mark Lilla in the New York Times:

Finally, the whitelash thesis is convenient because it absolves liberals of not recognizing how their own obsession with diversity has encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored. Such people are not actually reacting against the reality of our diverse America (they tend, after all, to live in homogeneous areas of the country). But they are reacting against the omnipresent rhetoric of identity, which is what they mean by “political correctness.” Liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists. Those who play the identity game should be prepared to lose it.

George Mason: Get a grip

In today’s Washington Post, regarding my school and implicit prejudice:

To project onto a person a preconceived opinion that is not based on actual experience or personal knowledge is manifestly wrong — so wrong, in fact, that it has a special name: prejudice. Yes, that’s right: To know only that a person is conservative, white, straight, Christian, cisgender and male but nonetheless draw a broad conclusion regarding that person’s overall position in life is to harbor a prejudice. There are millions of ways a person may be disadvantaged, many of which are immeasurable and difficult to detect but still tragic. The proverbial (or contemptuous, depending on whom you ask) white male may also be blind, illiterate, intellectually disabled, autistic, chronically depressed, mentally ill, physically disabled, suicidal, non-English speaking, prone to addiction, socioeconomically disadvantaged and so on.

To say that one demographic based on one personal trait has a greater moral claim over another demographic to favorable treatment by a state actor is nothing more than advocating the execution of a prejudice through government compulsion. That, too, has a name: fascism. And by selectively providing “resources” for one group over another, George Mason is flirting with it.

Trump is the change voters wanted

Virginia Postrel hits the nail on the head at BloombergView:

Trump’s coalition certainly includes an element who are tired of being told that they’re worthless and awful — Won’t it be great when stupid white men are put in their place! — and are punching back, sometimes in deplorable ways. For them, voting for Trump is a way of combating political correctness. But it’s also a positive vote for someone they believe is proud of them and proud of their country.

Liberals want to turn Trump’s victory into an endorsement of racism and misogyny. That’s a dumb strategy if you’re against those things. The liberal belief that half the country is made up of horrible people is a big reason Trump got elected, and the more Democrats keep repeating it, the more likely their worst fears are to come true.

It is possible to support Donald Trump and not be a bigot

It is possible to support Donald Trump and not be a bigot.

The widest political divide in America right now is between those who believe this is true and those who do not.

What’s worse – what makes this divide wider – is that those who believe it is true and support Trump and are not bigots are hesitant to publicly support him. I was, until now. Why? Because I was once called a bigot for merely hinting that the fact of his appeal.

I’m not a bigot. The above statement is true. People who support Trump aren’t merely seeking a bigot to put in the White House to enact bigoted policies that reflect their bigoted views. Instead, let a man far wiser than me, who adamantly opposes Trump and almost everything he stands for, explain their reasoning:

These folks are not monsters. They are not all racists, sexists, and xenophobes. They are your neighbors and friends. They go to your house of worship. They are the cashiers you exchange pleasantries with at the grocery store.

What many of them are, I suspect, is tired of being told that they are racists etc because they do not completely buy into the (liberal) elite agenda. They are tired of being called backward because of their religiosity or their gun ownership. They are tired of being told others know better how to raise their kids than they do. They are tired of working hard, raising their kids, participating in their communities, and then being told they are the problem. And they tired of empty promises that they could keep their plan and see their costs go down.”

WikiLeaks spreads truth

This piece was published in The Collegian (Grove City College) on December 10, 2010. I was 19 years old when I wrote it. I’m 25 now, and it has once again become relevant.

WikiLeaks.org, media organization of journalist Julian Assange, came under harsh criticism last week for its recent and ongoing release of sensitive United States diplomatic cables. Firmly condemned by several prominent politicians, some called for Assange’s arrest, as secrets of American foreign policy are being made available to every Internet user in the world.

At first glance, it is easy to condemn the methods WikiLeaks employed as it exposed sensitive government material. Echoing the world’s most powerful political figures has always been the easy way out when faced with this sort of moral dilemma.

But the mark of the exceptional man has always been to look beyond first impressions to the underlying truth. In this case, even the most basic investigation of the WikiLeaks’ vision should be enough to convince the strongest critic of the vital importance of preserving and encouraging this new species of journalism.

A healthy free press has historically been the common man’s most powerful defense against the abuses of oppressive government. Indeed, the unique liberty enjoyed by the modern journalist has brought the poorest of people a medium of expression unparalleled in all world history. The dignity of the individual, human rights, and a vicious hate of injustice have no roots in despotic government or powerful regimes, but in the pens of sincere and concerned activists.

Julian Assange recognized this when he formed WikiLeaks in 2006. “The aim of WikiLeaks” he said, “is to achieve just reform around the world and do it through the mechanism of transparency.”

In this he has been very successful. WikiLeaks has received praise from such organizations as the Index on Censorship and Amnesty International for its work in exposing underground human rights violations. It has also served as a blueprint for other journalists seeking to use the Internet to breach the confidentiality of fraudulent establishments to protect human life and dignity.

But when WikiLeaks turned its sights toward the U.S. last week, revealing dishonesty at the federal level, its credibility as a media agency went down the drain. Almost unanimously, Western politicians condemned WikiLeaks, some even going so far as to call for Assange’s assassination. They argue that his efforts endangered innocent lives. Sarah Palin, for example, named him “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands,” and she was joined by others calling for his eventual execution.

But what is the press worth if its operation is subject to government regulation? If government is allowed to silence the press with the force of law, accountability is lost and the government becomes their own interpreter.

Many will argue, however, that secrecy in diplomacy is necessary to ensure an efficient international system. This is a reasonable argument in the modern context; the status quo rests on an intricate network of secrets and political back-dealing.

But as reformers, these journalists’ vision transcends boundaries, seeking a society free from dependence on fragile confidentiality. “It shouldn’t really be ‘should something be kept secret?’” Assange said. “I would rather it be thought, ‘who has a responsibility to keep certain things secret, and who has a responsibility to bring matters to the public?’ Those responsibilities fall on different players. And it is our responsibility to bring matters to the public.”

Just as international politics evolves, so must investigative journalism. WikiLeaks represents the next step in the evolution of the press to maintain its role as the guardian of truth in a world of increasingly intricate politics. If the national interest overrides the role of truth in the world, we are very hopeless indeed – the common man most of all. In this age when the plight of the individual can appear exceedingly insignificant amidst the web of excessive political activity, the free press is desperately needed.

It is only to be expected that the world’s most powerful regimes would condemn the revelation of truth. But it is up to us whether we will consider the facts as they exist, or refuse to accept all who might expose our faults. If we cannot compete with the truth, are we to kill its messenger? Truth is worthless if accepted selectively.

Congressman Ron Paul put it this way: “In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble.”

This is Hillary’s Waterloo

Isn’t Hillary the most capable person on the planet of “putting it all out on the table,” as she’s demanding of Comey and the FBI with regard to the renewed investigation into her emails? These emails are either hers or her personal aide’s. Why wait for the FBI to couch the situation in their terms, scandalous or not, versus get ahead of the announcement and anticipate what the FBI will find?
 
I would bet money that the reason is she knows there is damning evidence lying around, but she doesn’t know for sure if the FBI has found it. She cannot say, like any sensible public relations pro would advise, that she’s confident the FBI will find nothing seriously wrong – that there is nothing to worry about or, at the very least, that Huma is on leave until this matter is settled, and that she will be fired if she is found to be in violation of the law. There is, frankly, no way Huma doesn’t know what’s on the devices she failed to turn over. If I’m wrong, then it simply shows gross negligence on her part – yet another Hillary operative who will be forced to resign.
 
There is a lot going on with regard to this investigation, if only you are willing to consider that possibility. I’m talking to my liberal friends who openly support Hillary on Facebook daily yet have made almost no mention of this scandal whatsoever, or have spun it up to be a political move on behalf of Obama-appointed Comey. Consider that House Republicans have yet to move in response to several concerning emails revealed by Wikileaks or several FEC violations exposed by James O’Keefe. You may not like those sources, but their documents and video are real, and they’ve led to resignations. The reason Republicans have yet to move on these is because they are waiting – if Trump wins, they drop it; if Hillary wins, investigations commence immediately. This is such an obviously advantageous course of action for them – I think any intelligent person can understand that.
 
Consider Comey’s letter in light of that. If you really believe he was politically motivated and working with DC Republicans, then why would he do this now, when House Republicans and the DOJ obviously are not interested in investigating Hillary? Why not wait until after she wins (unless you believe he wants Donald Trump to be the President – a fair enough position)?
 
I don’t believe Comey was politically motivated. In fact, I’m more inclined to believe he was influenced not by Republicans, but by Democrats who are concerned about what will happen after Hillary wins – what new rigorous investigations into the plethora of new evidence that has yet to be brought up will reveal about Hillary and how she won. This would be devastating for Democrats in 2018 and beyond.
 
The biggest issue here, though, is that I think those with real influence believe Hillary is done. I think Obama, Biden, Senate Democrats, Comey, etc. believes she’s done, win or not. She’s become a joke, and her supporters are not enthusiastic. Of course, some of her supporters love her, but the fact is that her rallies are tiny. Her running mate is canceling rallies because of low attendance. She is generally disliked, even by a large portion of those who plan to vote for her. This is indisputable. And she has unfortunately shown no ability to refresh her connection with the American people – her speeches have become very stale, she rarely takes questions, she appears sickly. She will enter office as one of the most disliked people in America, and if history is any guide, her approval rating will go only south from there. She’s called half the country “deplorable” – millions of people she expects to govern. She has made some big mistakes that, whether she wins the vote or not, have irreparably damaged her ability to govern effectively. And this new email scandal, about which her campaign is so obviously worried, is the final blow.