A Civics Lesson In Civility

It’s Election Night 2016 in America. By the end of this evening we will know whether our country stood #WithHer, wanted to #MAGA, or did something crazy and sent this race to the House. While others offer you their insight on the close of this campaign, I offer you the following civics lesson on civility.

The spiral into the hole that currently surrounds our divisive political climate began approximately twenty years ago.  It’s a sickness that permeates our current political climate in the form of words like “diversity,” “inclusivism,” “tolerance,” and “equality.”  The great joke to all is that none of these ideals are attainable goals, nor should we expect them to be.

Each successive measure of change is always influenced by one of the above words.  They’re powerful methods of persuasion for those who don’t want to be on “the wrong side of history.” There’s another strong phrase most won’t give credit, as no one wants to be on “the wrong side of history.”  Those who are get labeled as “behind the times,” “archaic,” or worse still, one of the big terms: “racist,” “sexist,” “bigot,” or otherwise.  So every successive step towards normalizing deviant behaviors becomes something a little more “inclusive” or a push towards “equality.”

Those who understand the realities of the world understand “equality” is a delusion as we know it and see it.  “Equality” is a feel good term, an ideal that can never be achieved.  Men and women will never be “equal.”  That doesn’t constitute a negative.  It’s a moment of life to be celebrated.

I will never know what it’s like to bring a living, breathing human being into this world through a complex biological process designed to create human life.  I won’t know what it’s like to carry a child for nine straight months inside my body.  That doesn’t make my self-worth less than a woman’s.  It’s just an area where we are genetically unequal.

Most people won’t know what it’s like to try a case before a judge or jury.  Most people won’t know what it’s like to stay up late hours the night before trial, sweating the details.  Most people won’t know the pangs of unease that come when a judge proclaims a client “guilty,” or the adrenaline rush that comes when you win one and get the “NG” your clients want to hear.  That doesn’t make most people any less deserving of self-worth than me.  It’s just a difference.

This holds true for so many different areas of life.  Our experiences during our lives shape us into unique, different individuals.  We are never meant to be equal, and we shouldn’t strive for equality.  Rather, celebrate the differences that make us all interesting and worthy of merit on our own terms.  Equality is just a vanilla word designed to make everyone the same, and sameness is boring.  When we are all the same, no one strives for greatness.

But we want to be equal, and no one wants to be seen as intolerant.  Those who wish to push a certain agenda, regardless of its merit, simply needed to use the terms “diversity,” “inclusion,” or “equality” to make their point.  If someone disagreed, or tried to push a more nuanced view of the situation, then they just needed to throw out the big labels no one wants to be called.  That was the easiest way for a person or group to get their way: advance a point and say “if you disagree with me you’re [insert nasty name of choice].”

Civility was considered a value during the early days of the downward spiral for our discourse, so the other side would quietly capitulate and give the offended party that which he or she desired.  Capitulation didn’t always come with the greatest set of rewards.  Those who weren’t able to articulate their own position felt as though they were being silenced.  They didn’t get the chance to present their own views or even have them examined as valid.  That form of discrediting a person’s ideas inevitably leads to one scary spot, and that’s called anger.

Those who won the day with their ideas didn’t choose to say “thank you” and move on, or even acknowledge the other side’s graciousness in defeat.  Rather, the temptation to laugh at the defeated became too much for some to bear.  This horrendous attitude developed into an unbearable smugness many of the defeated couldn’t tolerate.  The smug, self-righteous attitudes developed by the “elites” were seen as unbearable by those whose values weren’t seen as worthy, or their ideas considered meritorious.  It was always “stupid,” “uneducated,” or people “on the wrong side of history.”

Meanwhile, people were silenced. And the anger intensified.

The silencing, shouting down of ideas with which others disagreed, and continued ignorance of areas without a Macy’s or H&M coalesced into a group larger than most thought. These would later be called “deplorables” by someone with a preference for pantsuits and no concern for the welfare of others beyond herself, and lumped in with white supremacists, real racists, bigots, and people who were truly unwilling to listen to the other side’s ideas. They just needed a voice, and a reality TV star businessman turned out to be that voice.

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States, many laughed it off as a publicity stunt. I remember listening that night to the winner of the first “Apprentice” season on the Herman Cain Show discussing the move. Cain asked if it was a publicity stunt.  Bill Rancic said “I don’t think people realize just how serious he is about this.” At that point, I knew this was no joke. Trump was in this, and was ready for the battle that comes with Presidential elections.

No one save a select few, like Mike Cernovich or Scott Adams, could predict Trump’s ability to manipulate outrage culture into free press. Few thought he’d win the primary and become the Republican nominee. Yet these predictions proved true, and now those who were “deplorable,” “poorly educated,” and silenced had their voice in a New York businessman who pulled no punches, attacked, never apologized, and kept energizing those who felt disaffected from the elites who abandoned them.

This scared the hell out of those with the power to shout others down. They worked hard to push Donald Trump into categories no one would ever accept or even condone. They called him a misogynist first. That didn’t work, even after the Billy Bush audio leaked. Then they tried to make him a racist. That didn’t work either. When Peter Thiel cast his lot with Trump, the homophobic card dropped, so the last resort was to paint the Donald as Hitler.

Not even that worked. People saw the bullshit for what it was, and cast it aside.

If the Donald reaches the presidency, does that mean our discourse returns to civility? I argue yes. I say that identity politics implode. I say we see a cultural push back of epic proportions if he wins. If the nation goes #WithHer, it’s more of the same, and we lose our ability to actually speak honestly about any issue.

When we look back at this nationally historic event, we will know whether we favored the ability to say and do as we please, or whether we want to continue policing our language and seeing the world silenced.

But it all started with the opposition discarding civility.

The Tale Of Election Year 2016

I’m a big fan of the Hallerin Hilton Hill show on Newstalk 98.7, the local talk radio station in town. Yesterday, Hallerin gave listeners a homework assignment for today’s show. You can talk the election, your candidate, or anything related to politics, but it must be in poetic form. As he’s slammed with calls in the afternoon, I thought I’d post my contribution here for the world to see: “The Tale of Election Year 2016.”

Listen, dear children, as today I bring

The tale of Election Year 2016

A year so divisive, ugly and raw

It resembled a pro wrestling free for all

 

Democrats had it easy. Pick one from this list

A crook in a pantsuit or Vermont’s Socialist

Some felt the Bern, their feelings were nixed

When word got out their Primary was fixed

 

Republicans lined up, seventeen in all

Our country’s future at stake, they’d answer the call

When a Bush tried to run, most thought it a dump

Few saw the rise of The Man They Called Trump

 

He took down his challengers, left and right

Verbal jabs like punches in a Mike Tyson Fight

“Low Energy,” “Little Marco,” and of course “Lying Ted”

The fallen slunk back, careers left for dead

 

Conventions arrived, as did media spin

As each party crowned their pick for the win

Cleveland was peaceful, calm and clean

News outlets dubbed it “White Rage 2016”

 

No riots, few protests, mostly just peace

That drama’s in Philly, where protestors clogged streets

An ironic twist, most absurd of all

Hillary accepts the nomination behind a large wall

 

Then we’re off to the race, with scandals and scams

Pay for Play, assault claims, email problems, Twitter bans

Their faults on display, each accepted their fate

With rampant name calling at every debate

 

Now voting’s begun, it’s the people’s choice

A four year commitment to America’s Voice

Early voting began and the crook thought she’d won

Until the FBI’s Comey said “investigation begun”

 

Who wins is uncertain as the outcome draws near

CNN is With Her, so their feelings are clear

Fox says Trump will make America Great

Neither side can manage to rise above hate

 

On the Eighth of November, a winner’s declared

One side victorious, the other sad and scared

Hug your family and friends come November 9

As no matter the outcome we’re all going to be fine.

James Strikes Back, People Forced To Listen

I recently discussed Twitter’s suspension of Project Veritas Action’s James O’Keefe. At the time of that post, I questioned whether the videos O’Keefe and his undercover reporters were the cause of the ban. As O’Keefe pointed out, Twitter’s rationale was a tweet naming Wylie Mao, the Clinton campaign staffer, in a link to the Project Veritas Action video itself.

At the same time, I also wondered if any of this stuff would make a difference.  Would people previously blind to exposed rank and file corruption see the light of day through O’Keefe’s videos? They were great evidence low-level people didn’t care, but could they directly implicate any of the higher-ups in the Clinton organization? In short, would any of this have an effect on the public? Finally, why didn’t the mainstream media discuss any of these videos?

Over the last forty-eight hours, Project Veritas Action has released two videos detailing even more damning evidence of corruption in the Clinton campaign. O’Keefe claims new videos will be released each day until November 8, Election Day. Part one of the expose involves how Democratic PACs deliberately organized incidents to “incite violence” at Trump rallies and events.

After this video’s release, Scott Foval was fired from Americans United For Change. According to O’Keefe, this video sparked request after request for comment from Project Veritas Action and requests for interviews and appearances on television. Each, James said, was spiked at the last minute due to fears of retaliation from a Hillary Clinton administration.

Yesterday’s release was even more damning. Here, Bob Creamer of Democracy Partners and Scott Foval discuss ways to commit voter fraud on a massive scale with Project Veritas Action reporters. They also talk with Cesar Vargas, founder of the Dream Action Coalition, about ways to influence the Latino vote. In a time when claims of this election being “rigged” are ringing in conservative circles, and dismissed at the highest levels of establishment power, this video was too much to ignore.

After the release of this video, people cried out en masse. They demanded the videos and their footage get coverage in mainstream circles. They not only got their wish, Project Veritas claimed another scalp as Robert Creamer, the “dark hat” Scott Foval expresses such adulation for “resigned” from Democracy Partners.

Click the link above. Go to the CNN story. Watch the video. It’s important that you see the way mainstream media frames the stories they want you to hear.

Video produced by discredited conservative activist James O’Keefe…

Both the Clinton Campaign and the DNC denounce any role in any sort of violence…

They insist it was “bar room talk” and none of what was discussed actually happened…

Project Veritas has been known to offer misleading video out of context…

James O’Keefe, they add, is a convicted criminal, with a history of doctoring video to advance his ideological agenda…

CNN, finally forced to cover O’Keefe’s work, also noted in their video the DNC plans to “investigate” O’Keefe to see if he did anything illegal in obtaining the video footage that makes up his videos. This says several things about the DNC, the Clinton campaign, and this election cycle.

  1. The mainstream press is afraid to cover anything negative about Hillary Clinton, because they want to be on her good side if and when she assumes the office of President of the United States.
  2. If they are forced to discuss something negative about Clinton or her campaign, they will resort to the lowest tactics possible in an attempt to discredit the source or tell their audience “move along, nothing to see here.”
  3. Any “investigation” into O’Keefe’s videos gives Project Veritas Action more credibility with each release. If there’s truly nothing going wrong, they wouldn’t feel a need to address the video content.
  4. Discussing any criminal record James O’Keefe is a tired cliche the media uses every time they want to discredit a person or source. It’s the same as “He had priors” when discussing a victim of a police shooting or “negative interaction.” This time they’re using it for political reasons.

Go to Project Veritas Action’s YouTube page. Subscribe so you get the updates as they come out. They’ve shaken the establishment badly enough to where they’re forced to respond, and now the lying mainstream media has no choice but to comment on that which they feared the most: truth.

In the meantime, let’s see where James O’Keefe leads us next.