The Power of Perversity

Last week I heard a young woman speak to Rush Limbaugh about the paradigm under which the younger generations operate. Her thesis was that the young have been so trained to feel bad about being white, about being well-fed, about being American, about being “oppressors,” that they make both their personal and political decisions from a stance of abject repentance. Whenever they have to make a decision -– a buying choice, a voting choice -– they choose that which would present the least benefit for themselves. They vote and buy penitently, painfully. They seek primarily self-flagellation. They seek that which they know will be bad -- for them and for the country, which they think is the fount of all misery and unfairness.

I really tuned into this call because I’ve been aware for quite some time of the perverse nature of most liberal positions. Any behavior, purchase, or political decision that we would traditionally consider either morally good or monetarily beneficial, the younger generations categorically reject. Until I heard this young Alaskan I could not figure it out, nor could I understand the power of that stubborn perversity.

If a large enough number of Americans habitually make negative choices, feeling that by doing so they are making atonement for the imagined sins of their ancestors, we are all negatively affected. We elect incompetent people to high office -- and this isn’t just a stab at the president -- we can find evidence of this phenomenon in all levels of government, and these incompetent people appoint even more incompetent people to positions of huge responsibility. Witness the White House security breaches and the mess that is ObamaCare. Here in Oregon I can cite the fiasco of Cover Oregon, our state’s exchange -- not one person has been able to sign–up, yet it cost the state $200,000,000.

Nor will we close our borders because we have so “oppressed” Latinos that we must compensate by allowing South and Central American illegals into our country where we can continue to oppress them by hiring them at substandard wages. What? That’s the other half of the equation -- cheap labor. Some of our ancestors were guilty of slavery, so we will get redemption by continuing that process with a different race of people. Oh, the irony.

We can’t restrict travel from Africa, not just over a mere epidemic, after all some of our states once purchased slaves from that continent and therefore it is our duty to gird our loins, grit our teeth, and leave that door wide open, too. To say nothing about our penchant for promoting the ineffectual -- how else do we understand the inadequate response to the presence of an Ebola patient who spent several days making contact with at least 100 people?

We invite people like Mumia Abu-Jamal, an ex-Black Panther and cop-killer, to speak at our colleges. We hire people like Bill Ayers, who spent years blowing up buildings for anti-American causes, to teach our teachers. Our universities bloat their curricula with aberrant majors like Queer Studies, EcoGastronomy, or Cannabis Cultivation. In spite of all that we could learn from history (and obviously don’t), we instruct our children in the art of public fit-throwing and the evils of the moral standards that have shaped human civilization. Do we rush off this dangerous cliff subconsciously assuming that we deserve the exploding dysfunction that will result?

We glorify homosexuality and gay marriage as if such a deviant life-style is a necessary albatross hanging about our necks. We are not worthy to judge. Now we find ourselves in the uncomfortable place of having to discriminate unfairly against pedophiles and those who prefer animals. Soon, no doubt, we’ll have to take a deep breath, intensify our penance, and join NAMBLA.

This blinding guilt leaves us unusually willing to believe outrageous lies -- almost like we’re duty-bound to swallow the ridiculous and smile while we do it. “ISIS is not Islamic,” said our president the other day and the guiltiest around us bought that. “If you like your doctor, blah, blah, blah,” and intelligent, knowledgeable people believed him -- was it because they felt so uncomfortable about being able to afford health insurance when others couldn’t that they closed their eyes to the obvious economic reality -- i.e. if we insure everyone for everything both the costs and the regulation will have to go up. People know that if you buy two carts of groceries it will cost more than if you buy one. They know that if you buy groceries for two additional families you’ll spend more. But Obama told them they could do that with healthcare and still save $2500 and though their common sense might have choked on it, they swallowed.

We honor, officially and otherwise, the darnedest people. Jane Fonda is about to receive a “life-time” achievement award -- her treasonous behavior during the Vietnam War notwithstanding. The president treated Bowe Bergdahl like a hero returning from battle, when in reality he deserted his post. How does that happen? Are we awarding glory to the wrong people because we feel we don’t deserve the right ones? Quite possible.

We have doggedly elected the most corrupt, dishonest, secretive government in U.S. history. Why did people vote for this? Is it perhaps because Obama seemed to be just the right cat-of-nine-tails that we nationally needed to absolve our sins? Yes, he also promised free stuff and “fairness,” whatever that means, and that no doubt appealed to those with no conscience, but I can’t believe that half the country is made up of self-serving sociopaths.

I suspect a great many of these last elections have been heavily affected by voter fraud, but how many of us are willing to face that fact? Are Democrats able to keep straight faces while they deny voter ID regulations because they know that many of us are sure we don’t deserve an honest election?

We refuse to see the dangers right in front of us. Iran is only months away from having nuclear weapons, but we can’t do anything to pre-empt this disaster because we can’t be that pushy with other nations; we have no right to tell them not to build those centrifuges. Flog, flog, flog. We can’t really go after ISIS because not all Muslims are bad and we shouldn’t overstep our bounds. Flog, flog. We really shouldn’t call a spade a spade because it’s only work place violence, and we all know how nefarious work places are. Flog.

How long can a nation survive if it is ashamed of itself? How long can we close our eyes to the dangers that surround us?  We happily wax frantic about chemtrails and GMOs, but pay attention to clear and present dangers? No, we no longer deserve common sense. Our willingness to allow government to control what our children learn has produced several generations saddled with this perverse desire to wallow in self-imposed and undeserved punishment, and it is likely to be our undoing.

Deana Chadwell is an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing, logic, and literature. She can be contacted at


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