Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Political Tirade that Has Nothing to Do with Films

I know that you have probably had more than your share of political discussion on Facebook lately.  Believe me, I have had more than my share, too.  I rarely go on Facebook these days because the political posts have gotten so out of control.  I wouldn't mind seeing socially conscious people engage in civil, erudite discussions.  But that's not what this is.  I'm not sure what this is exactly.  It is anger.  It is stupidity.  It is, mostly, insanity.  But, although you don't need me giving you more political commentary, I am so fed up with the political posts that I have to vent about it somewhere or else my head will explode.

I would recommend that these sweet folk try something different in their social media postings.  Take a break from the political rancor.  Post a recipe.  Or a baby picture would be nice.  Best of all would be a funny pet video.  This is a favorite of mine.

But I wonder if I am asking the impossible.  The level of savagery that I have seen in these posts suggests that the authors live on a strict diet of raw meat.  I wouldn't be surprised if they dined on the entrails of their offspring, which would preclude them from posting a baby picture, and it just might be that they torture small animals, which would make it unlikely they have a funny pet video to post.

John Lennon encouraged me to imagine.  I feel inspired to try that today.  Okay, here I go.  Imagine there were no political activists.  A wave of relief washed over me as I typed those words.  It serves society to have citizens who are righteous, resolute and vigorous. . . except when it doesn't.  Citizens must also be reasonable, respectful and lawful.  We admire men of thought and will except when thought and will produces chaos, stridency and oppression.  I don't want to be dragged along in the wake of radical thought.  I do not want to see my country destroyed because a radical mob has forced it to undergo a massive, unwarranted and unwanted transformation of values.

The worst that I can say about the activist is that the activist is divisive.  Recently, an activist journalist suggested that a presidential candidate could not win in the primary in Florida unless they supported "Latino interests."  What are Latino interests as defined by the journalist?  The journalist started out by saying that Latinos are concerned with the economy.  Who isn't concerned with the economy?  The journalist said that Latinos are concerned with education.  Who isn't concerned with education?  Latino voters are being told that they are different than white voters, which is a lie.  

On Facebook, a man who had protested the Vietnam War in his college days ardently supported the militant actions of Bernie Sanders' rally-busting Chicago activists.  He insisted that the group was simply exercising their free speech rights.  It is not free speech to trespass on private property and shout down somebody who thousands of people want to hear speak.  This is an absurd idea of free speech.  Two people shouting into each other's faces is not free speech because nothing either person has to say can be heard.  Two people shouting into each other's faces is, at best, free noise.  Two people shouting into each other's faces is anarchy, which is the true goal of the political activist.

Stephen Stromberg of the Washington Post condemned Bernie Sanders for his "red-in-the-face diatribes."  Stromberg concluded, "[Sanders'] campaign is not about governing in the real world of trade-offs and constraints.  Which is to say, it is not about governing at all."

Political activism, which seeks to fundamentally change the dominant system, is anti-law and anti-government.  It is the role of the activist to create social unrest.  It is the role of the activist to create anarchy.  Political activists pressure, threaten, and ridicule.  Their plan is to create fear, confusion and retreat.  They seek no dialogue or compromise.  They are warriors who seek to destroy the opposition, which is often everyone in mainstream America.

Society must be wary of the agitators.  They bring no joy to the world.  They create dissatisfaction and discord whether it is justified or not.  Protest and agitation is its own form of government.  Take a look at Saul Alinsky's instructional manual "Rules for Radicals."  The radical's tactics are designed to agitate and aggravate.  According to Alinsky, the main job of the radical is to bait an opponent into reacting.  Alinsky wrote, "The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength."  That is really what is going on at these protests.  It's agitation, nothing more and nothing less.

The election booth is where we, as Americans, exercise our greatest power.  An election should be a fair and orderly process.  The political rally is an important part of the election process.  It is true that, by shutting down a political rally, you prevent free speech and free assembly.  But, even more important, you are shutting down the most vital step that voters take on their way to a free election. 

The biggest Baby Boomer myth is that political activism shapes and energizes a democracy.  The truth is that political activism distorts and depletes a democracy.  Political activists hate the democratic process and seek to undermine it at every opportunity.  Political activists are quick to dismiss elections as foolish and impractical.  Jenny Marsh wrote in her article "How to be a Political Activist," "Political activism is much more than turning out on voting day and ticking a ballot sheet.  That is far too passive and ineffective, and will NEVER be enough. . ."  The alternative to elections, if you believe this, is to take power and bring about change through force.  This is not something that I could ever support. 

Elections are won by a majority vote and political activists are abhorred by the idea of majority rule.  So, they seek political power from bullying, manipulation, propaganda and, above all else, caterwauling.  They follow the crude principle that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  Imagine a family going out for dinner.  Everyone wants to eat at Outback Steakhouse except for little Timmy, who wants to go to McDonalds so that he can get a Minion toy with his Happy Meal.  Dad suggests the family takes a vote.  As expected, Timmy is outvoted by the rest of the family.  But Timmy's response is to scream and cry so much that his weak-willed parents and siblings give in and go to McDonalds.  Academy members voted for the Oscar nominees, but the big babies cried like it was the end of the world because the votes didn't go their way.  Clamor politics is, in the end, an appallingly childish form of politics.  It is no way to run a civilized society.

Let me take a moment to defend majority rule.  It is logical and practical to serve the needs of the majority.  If 75 percent of the population benefits from a law, it is in all likelihood a good law.  A lot of citizens will now, in some way, enjoy a better life.  The public interest is served by policies that help many people.  But political activists see it as the role of the government to serve minorities and leave the majority to take care of themselves. 

It is important to understand that minority interests do not always relate to skin color.  A homeowner who doesn't have children receives no direct benefit from having his property taxes raised to increase revenue for schools.  But most of his neighbors have school-age children and they support having their property taxes raised to give their children a better education.  This places our childless homeowner in the minority.  So, should the man chain himself to a school flagpole and scream about his rights being violated?  I, myself, have never had a secure place in the mainstream.  I have found myself being in the minority on many occasions.  Still, I am fine with the majority interests.  I do not expect the world to revolve around me.  I am glad if my neighbors' children are going to get a better education.  Just respect my basic rights and I will be fine with you.

It is true that the power of majority rule can potentially lead to the abuse of minorities, but this is the reason that our founders enacted the Constitution.  Of course, this does not mean that the protection of minorities is everything.  It also does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that majority rule is evil and must never be tolerated.  It is by no means a great social injustice for every law to fail to benefit every citizen.  It would only be bad if every law benefited the same group of people every time.  Activists, who are utterly selfish and short-sighted, only want laws to benefit themselves and they can tolerate no laws that leave them out.  They will attack any proposed law that does not directly benefit them.  It is the "Wah! Veto."  Contrary to what they say, they are not looking to bring about benevolent social change.  The changes they propose are hostile to everyone but themselves.

Back in 2002 and 2003, I was involved in a political activist group.  The experience allowed me to come to an understanding of how political activist groups operate and become familiar with the sort of people that are drawn into these groups.  I saw the dark way that most of these groups operate.  I saw the angry, dysfunctional misfits who found in an activist group far more than a cause.  Men and women who devote themselves to actively promoting political causes are antisocial jerks.  The whole reason for their existence is to provide an oppositional stance against the mainstream public.  These groups provide a haven for a misfit.  It is place where a misfit could find a family, a circle of friends and a hallowed fellowship, all of which eluded them in the wider world.  This brings about a minority of oddball fanatics who unjustly drive political action.

In one way or another, these people thrive on social unrest.  It makes them feel exhilarated and self-satisfied.  In truth, political activism allows dysfunctional people to preoccupy themselves with exciting activities, which is preferable to such people remaining still and looking inside the depressing hollowness of their own existence.  A prankster finds it empowering and exciting to explode a firecracker under someone's chair, but the prankster must accept that he is an idiot if this is the only way he can find to bring purpose and pleasure to his worthless life.

The number one rule of the political activist group is "The end justifies the means." These people are willing to operate in the most immoral way possible to get what they want.  They do not petition lawmakers for change in the same manner as the honest, loyal and respectable citizen.  They pressure, manipulate and deceive in the most lawless and perverse ways imaginable.

Their new favorite phrase is "shut down."  This means stopping people from saying things that disagree with their views or disrupting opponents' assemblies.  Recently, political activists have shamelessly shut down a political rally, an Easter church service at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and a memorial service for terrorist victims.

The sane man wants security, stability and tranquility.  He wants to establish a life for himself and live that life as best as he can.  A civilized society highly values public peace.  That is the reason that comprehensive laws address disorderly conduct, public nuisance, desecration, harassment, riot, incitement to riot, and giving false alarm.  Political radicals never allow the public a moment of peace, or satisfaction, or pride.  Activists want society to be in a constant state of upheaval.  Constant upheaval, from their perspective, brings constant progress.  So, they wield a giant sledge hammer to destroy everything in their path.  Conservation is for conservatives, who the activists somehow see as bad people.

The world will never be a perfect place, but we have a right to live in our imperfect world with at least a modest degree of peace and harmony.  The agitators want life to be a non-stop stream of ugly words and vicious protests.  They want and need perpetual war.  It takes little to set them off.  Every day, they find something new that they can rage about.  You cannot satisfy the activist by meeting his demands because it is not about the politics of the activist.  It is about the psychology of the activist.  It is about their need to rage and destroy.  The last thing that the rageaholic wants is to work together in a civil and productive manner to address society's problems.  In their wildness, they are unable to focus their attention on truly pressing problems.  I see too much rabble-rousing over nothing.  The fact that Idris Elba was not nominated for an Oscar is not a genuine problem. 

The radical activist sees themselves as a hero.  It is his objective, he says, to provide deliverance to the downtrodden masses.  He wants us to believe that, through his protests, he champions the pursuit of universal justice.  He is, he says, a hardened fighter of oppression.  But all that he is, if you get past the bluster, is a self-righteous twit.

No system of government will make a country into a paradise.  It wouldn't matter if Christ came out of Heaven and presented us with a blueprint for the perfect society.  Capitalism started out as a great idea.  It served the public good in many ways.  But the human race exploited that idea at every opportunity to serve their own self-interest.  It was only a matter of time before we corrupted capitalism beyond all recognition.

Still, I believe that the best that we can do is to live under our current government.  No matter what you want to call it - a democratic republic, or a constitutional democracy, or a representative democracy.  Whatever it is, it works for me.  It works best for everyone regardless if everyone can see that or not.

Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest, views a political movement as a complex coalition of human organizations all working to improve the world.  He wrote, "Part of what I learned concerns an older quiescent history that is remerging, what poet Gary Snyder calls the great underground, a current of humanity that dates back to the Palaeolithic.  Its lineage can be traced back to healers, priestesses, philosophers, monks, rabbis, poets and artists who speak for the planet, and other species, for interdependence, a life that courses under and through and around empires." 

It is the height of arrogance for these people to present themselves as a special "current of humanity" that has the right to tell the rest of us the way to live.  I remember a writer (I think it was Melvin Konner) saying that the political activists are the "conscience of society."  Hollywood actor Peter Coyote has used the Snyder quote in his book "Sleeping Where I Fall: A Chronicle."  It is a problem when so many Hollywood actors see themselves as the poet and artists of Snyder's "great underground."   It makes them think that they are right to appoint themselves as our moral leaders.  This hammy oligarchy is the ultimate minority rule.  I prefer a simple old-fashioned election to speak for the public.

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