Let’s Talk Turkey: Free Speech in an Autocratic Era
A. The Alternate Universe of the Europeans and the Domestic Academies
In increasingly lawless Europe they are criminalizing objections to the Western-Civilization-destroying, really homicidal immigration policies and intellectually bankrupt economic policies adopted by an incompetent class of political leaders. They are tearing their hair and shredding their alliances in response to Trump’s victory and the triumph of common sense.
In the less overwrought responses from Europe we see signs of a patronizing Big Brother, to which JMHanes responds online:
The Euro version of the "Trump needs guidance" meme was already taking on some water this weekend:
Britain and France on Sunday night snubbed a contentious EU emergency meeting to align the bloc’s approach to Donald Trump’s election, exposing rifts in Europe over the US vote. Hailed by diplomats as a chance to “send a signal of what the EU expects” from Mr. Trump, the plan fell into disarray after foreign ministers from the bloc’s two main military powers declined to attend the gathering demanded by Berlin and Brussels." LOL! Are the Brits & the French finally telling Germany enough is enough?
"The German foreign minister had wanted to demonstrate that the EU was capable of rapid response when it came to foreign policy. Instead the disarray highlighted a familiar problem for Berlin, according to diplomats. “When the EU’s most powerful country wants to lead, other member states don’t necessarily follow,” said one EU diplomat." Can't imagine why, can you? "But the German foreign ministry put a brave face on events, saying on Sunday: “It’s good that the EU meets… to look into the consequences of the election of Donald Trump for Europe.” Other European leaders have openly criticised the incoming president. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker last week accused Mr Trump of ignorance. “We must teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works. I believe we’ll have two years of wasted time while Mr Trump tours a world he doesn’t know.”
Can we really fault Juncker for thinking that, given the abiding ignorance of Trump's predecessor?
When I heard that Theresa May had apparently sent Trump one of the more gracious congratulatory messages, I suddenly found myself imagining Reagan-Thatcher redux. Wouldn't that be nice?
Here, we’re subtler because constitutional restraints imposed by the First Amendment still survive. With the media and universities almost entirely in the hands of the left, the punishment of dissenters is left to neurotic pedants and their immature students, paid thugs, and illegal immigrants and minorities revved up by false narratives about the president-elect and his inner circle.
In the academic monoculture of the left, dissenting speakers are banned from campus, shouted down and mobbed on stage if allowed in. Their tormentors are given Play-doh, coloring books, and safe spaces to shield them from any other point of view. Even elementary students are not exempt from such tyranny and propaganda. Teachers are urging kids to skip class to protest elections they aren’t old enough to vote in. San Francisco teachers have fashioned an alternate curriculum which attacks the president-elect, and suggests that those who follow it might not even alert their students to the fact that Hillary lost the election.
It’s quite obvious that many protestors are paid to do so and a good many -- perhaps more than half -- never voted or even registered to do so.
If you bound and crippled your children and forever weakened them you’d be guilty of child abuse. Yet parents spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to allow their children to be emotionally and intellectually handicapped. It’s paradoxical, to be sure.
Most Americans no longer trust the press, but Thomas Lipscomb offers up a couple of suggestions how they could regain that trust, including this one:
WHO IS PAYING FOR THE DEMONSTRATIONS THAT ARE BREAKING OUT ALL OVER THE US BLUE CITIES?
Journalists used to love infiltrating and finding out. It makes a great story and we know they are not spontaneous, but we need some hard information and some "follow the money" tracking through what look like intentionally confusing nonprofit accounts.
THE FACT THAT THE PRESS REFUSES TO DO THIS SHOWS THEY ARE STILL MAINTAINING A NARRATIVE, NOT REPORTING THE NEWS AMERICANS WANT
AND NOT ONE REPORTER AT THE PRESS CONF TODAY ASKED OBAMA WHY HE WOULDN'T ASK FOR A STOP TO THE DEMONSTRATIONS? (Though they ALL had asked Trump about the same issue as if his supporters were doing this)
B. The Democrats
The Democrats are, in Tom Maguire’s view vivisectioning themselves. He offers them a clue:
What conclusions might the Dems draw from a strategic re-assessment of their "Emerging Majority" theory that has left them without the White House, Congress, Supreme Court, and many governorships and statehouses? Who knows?
But they do have two conceptual problems. First, they claim to have as an endgame a post-racial society, yet they will need roughly 90% of an energized black turnout to remain competitive. Will post-racial blacks really be so monolithic? Time May Tell!
Secondly, if the Dems hope to reclaim their mantle as champions of the working class, they will have to (regrettably) appeal to the deplorable working class whites. However, the current intellectual framework embraced by the Dem intelligentsia is all about "white privilege". A proper progressive could surely explain it more cogently, but as I understand it a middle-aged white guy who lost his $30/hour union job when the factory was moved to Mexico and is now stacking boxes at WalMart for $10/hour is "privileged", so screw him.
Can Dems move (back) towards a class-based framework and away from that race-based intellectual framework while retaining the enthusiasm of the college-educated wing of their coalition? Particularly when these troglodytic working-class whites are often regular church-goers who have not fully embraced other aspects of the current progressive catechism? Again, Time May Tell!
I have another idea for Democrats: Avoid closed loops. Wikileaks exposed what reading carefully has already alerted voters to. The formerly dominant media were colluding like crazy with the DNC and Hillary camp -- printing what they wanted published, and hiding what they didn’t want readers and viewers to know. Then, those who originated the nonsense the media and their pollsters published, credited, and believed it themselves!
I think they should end the looping. Evaluate the incestuous relationships between the press and the Democrats. Hire more conservatives -- and not just loony ones from a 20-year-old Rolodex -- try Victor Davis Hanson, David Goldman, Richard Fernandez, or Walter Russell Mead, for example. The incestuous relationship is not helping you or the consumers of your work.
My online friend Stephen B. Waters, editor of an upstate New York newspaper, must regularly edit what he receives from the AP and often writes them (in vain) to describe where they are failing readers:
1) Please drop “billionaire” from the AP Trump lexicon. For variety, try “President elect” instead.
2) Gayness is not a relevant attribute that needs to be attached to articles when considering appointments.
3) Your clauses claiming inexperience do you no credit. You do not provide evidence about what experience matters,
4) Please point to the evidence about [Steve] Bannon. NPR ran some scurrilous rumors in August, but Jewish co-workers have adequately countered the anti-Semitic hokum. [Incidentally, I have gotten pointers to more legitimate news from Breitbart.com than from NPR and been led astray more by CNN than by Breitbart.]
I look forward to seeing your Breitbart evidence.
I see that the post election period will be as difficult for corporate journalists -- a group that includes AP -- as before the election.
C. What We Can Expect
In my view Victor Davis Hanson nails what we can expect in the coming weeks and months.
Of the personal sort, expect more “investigative” reporting and “speaking truth to power” op-eds about his tax returns, his supposed theft of the election, his purported instigation of turbulence and mayhem, his locker-room talks about women, his business conflicts of interests in office, Trump University, and so on -- perhaps written from the high moral ground by the WikiLeaks journalists of the Mark Leibovich, Dana Milbank, Glenn Thrush, Wolf Blitzer, or Donna Brazile sort. The nexus of attack will not be a dramatic scandalous revelation -- it will be intended to induce bleeding from a thousand tiny nicks and cuts, all designed to reduce his moral authority and thus his ability to ratchet back the progressive decade. Another trope, as we are now witnessing, will be of the hysterical policy brand: Trump will cook the planet, put y’all back in chains, conduct war on women, traumatize students, destroy dreamers -- all the boilerplate extremism designed to put Trump on the defensive so that he will settle for half an agenda and “reach out” to cement his respectability as a “listener” before the court of D.C. fixtures, the campuses, the foundations, the think tanks, the media, the social circles of Silicon Valley and Wall Street. The Siren strategy of the Left will also be to point out that his future is already destabilizing America -- Trump must therefore reach out right now to the “disaffected” in the streets who are “hurting.” Thereby, he will “heal” the nation, if only he backs off from “right-wing” and “extremist” ideas of selling coal overseas or building a wall and taxing billions of dollars in remittance from illegal aliens to pay for it.]
bgates, commenting at Ann Althouse’s blog, documents some media misfires:
(that’s from Sept 28)
(not sure if they copied from TNR or vice versa, or if both were fed word from Clinton campaign)
Given all this evidence of disarray, I don't see how he can even win the nomination, never mind beat Hillary or become a successful President.
And right on target Hanson is, not only did they smear his first pick Bannon with ridiculous lies, but as well, keep reporting that the people are suffering unless President-elect Trump adopts their views. My favorite is this treacle from the Washington Post style section about a truly nebbishy woman in agony because her candidate lost.
I wanted to respond by quoting Oscar Wilde’s “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing” and to bemoan the passing of Florence King, the great essayist, who could better deal with such vapid writing, but the online article stated,
“Comments are now closed. We turn off the comments on stories dealing with personal loss, tragedies or other sensitive topics.”
Watch for more similar tales of Victorian type ladies and fainting couches often by the same people who think the most vulgar women -- Chelsea Handler, the yentas of "The View" and Lena Dunham come to mind -- are dandy role models.
Even one writer at Slate could no longer take it:
“Stop making people suicidal. Stop telling people they’re going to be killed. Stop terrifying children. Stop giving racism free advertising. Stop trying to convince Americans that all the other Americans hate them. Stop. Stop. Stop.”
The left has no shame, actually. At the same time that they smeared Breitbart and Bannon they said nothing about the apparent ascent of Keith Ellison to head the DNC. Ellison a former member of the Nation of Islam, an anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, demagogue of the first order whose record is manifest.
Nor have they mentioned the various vicious attacks on Trump supporters by people we are told are easily distressed snowflakes.
While touting claims like Hillary lost because we are “inherently misogynistic,” the press did everything it could to burnish her thin credentials and hide her criminality. Nor did they make such a ridiculous claim when Obama beat her in the primaries.
When the Washington Post deigned to ask readers why they voted for Trump, they got some answers they surely didn’t anticipate, like these:
21 years old • Gilbert, Ariz.
I am a gay millennial woman and I voted for Donald Trump because I oppose the political correctness movement, which has become a fascist ideology of silence and ignorance. After months of going back and forth, I decided to listen to him directly and not through minced and filtered quotes from the mainstream media.
39 years old • Sacramento, CA
I voted for Donald Trump because he will deport illegal immigrants more than Clinton. As a legal immigrant who had to wait 13 years for an immigration visa approval and pass two health screens and an English language proficiency exam prior to entering the United States, I consider it an insult to cater to criminals who disobeyed immigration laws and cut in front of all law-abiding immigration applicants waiting patiently to be approved. I have never received any government assistance, nor is it my goal to do so. My dignity disallows such a thought. To witness some illegal immigrants gaming the welfare system boils my blood.
Well, the holiday that always keeps advice columnists working overtime is likely to be the scene of even more angst this year. The New York Times did a feature about this, which was unintentionally hilarious.
Tom Maguire couldn’t resist:
Many Democrats harbor their own feelings of being under siege.
“It felt like a rejection of everyone who looks like me,” said Ms. Dorancy, 29, a naturalized American who immigrated from Ghana about a decade ago. “It was a message to me that ‘You are not equal in our eyes. You do not deserve a place in our country.’”
Well, let me try to understand -- the woman is here legally and is naturalized, but Trump's denunciation of illegal immigration makes her feel unwelcome? Sometimes, if the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it. But of course, progressives are elated and elevated by victimhood status, so here we are.
The Times notes a couple of Republicans, but no Democrats, who are able to look past partisan politics in making their holiday decisions. And the whole "party of tolerance and inclusion" theme gets more subtle mockery with this family vignette:
Her daughter, Ms. Sundin, the social worker who voted for Mrs. Clinton, said the election had left her feeling alienated from her family and her country. She said her liberal arts education and her life as a social worker, which began in 1998, had taught her tolerance and the value of being flexible, something she has passed on to her children.
She said she had recently asked her mother to stop talking to her children about politics, after an episode in which she said her mother was discussing Mr. Trump’s immigration ideas.
“I just need her to not have those conversations in front of my kids,” she said.
Ms. Adams says her daughter is just as stubborn when it comes to politics. “Nancy puts up a wall,” she said. “If you don’t vote the way she does, you’re voting wrong.” She added: “Democrats are always trying to talk you out of your ideas.”
On the day after the election, Ms. Sundin asked her brother, a firefighter who voted for Mr. Trump, to stop texting her.
“I told him I was trying to explain to my children ‘why hate wins,’” she said. “His response back was, ‘I get to explain to my children why their opinion matters.’” She has not talked to him since.
“I think I’ll give that one some time,” she said.
Her mother is taking it in stride.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “I love her to pieces. I don’t want to change anything with my Nancy. I want her to be just the way she is.”
Love trumps hate indeed.
I’m tempted to do a Martha Stewart type page of holiday suggestions, I like topping the pumpkin pie for the NeverTrumps with crow figurines, and removing the messages in the fortune cookies and replacing them with these:
Iowahawk: “College: an oasis of totalitarianism in a desert of freedom.”
Mark Steyn: ”Just a thought, but, if you keep on insisting that your fellow citizens are haters, maybe you’re the hater.”
But as I’m traveling far to be with my family -- some of whom were crushed by Hillary’s drubbing and all of whom I love -- I’ll just comfort myself with this Media Doomsday video and follow my husband’s advice for family harmony at Thanksgiving. No matter what, take a bite of the turkey and announce loudly that it’s really moist.