"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


One of Salem Oregon's Unofficial Top 1000 Conservative Political Bloggers!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jeneane Garofalo and the Left Reinvent 16th Century Tyranny

After the Left's unmitigated vitriol that emerged in the wake Sarah Palin's crib notes and the non-issue of Palin's black bracelet (that sort of steaming hatred is hardly a first for the Left regarding Palin), I've decided to re-post an older essay. I wrote this back in early March following the offensive and racist depictions of Michael Steele (not my favorite politician then or now) as Sambo/Step'n'Fetchit (no idea on the spelling) by Leftist bloggers.

I contended that the narrative currently used by the Left is essentially a dressing up of Renaissance (and earlier) Europe's Divine Chain of Being-- an elitist construct that allows for unmitigated hatred when people step away from their place. I do not believe that some leaders sat down and decided to copy the Divine Chain of Being's , but that similar "modes" (modes stressing identity, "taking good care" of people, an elitist mentality, etc.) of thinking led to very similar conclusions.

So here you go:

Somewhat recently Janeane Garofalo was a guest of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. During the interview they both claimed that RNC chairman Richard Steele is a "self-loathing" black man, thus explaining away the inconvenience of his political views. Garofalo also claimed that "any female or person of color in the Republican party is struggling with Stockholm Syndrome." Sort of funny how she can insult and belittle a person and still keep herself politically correct... any person of color-- African American if you will... Sheesh.

This zealous intolerance is nothing new for Garofalo, a former host of Air America. Earlier, in an interview in the celebrity blog Ecorazzi (NewsBusters.org story here), she claimed that Republicans are essentially brain-damaged during a profanity-laced rant. Nor is it new for the left to attack right-leaning minorities. As Newsbusters.org has reported, white left-wing bloggers have regularly portrayed Richard Steele as Sambo and Michelle Malkin claims to be understandably bored at self-loathing smears directed toward her. And we all know of the fervent assaults levelled against personages such as Clarence Thomas (he's a sellout, etc.), and Sarah Palin (she's not really a woman-- just a vapid "milf" blah... blah... blah....).

While it's certainly best to simply write off these shabby attacks as sophomoric, and it's correct (although pointless) to observe and report the obvious double-standard at work, the blatant racism and its elitist implications are, nevertheless, both telling and disturbing. And that should not be ignored. The ferocity of these attacks, from some on the left, far exceeds normal political bickering. This viciousness is not simply due to the breaking of "established" ranks, nor merely the childish novelty of suddenly having the chance, or indeed the "obligation," to indulge in racist or sexist attacks.

On the surface these intolerant charges and arguments make little sense. After all, do these remarks not come from the self-celebrated, "progressive" side of the political spectrum? Would these people not say with great pride and smugness that they are feminists and racial progressives? These attacks seem to be borne from the childish and simple-minded musings of angry, arrogant minds. It's sticking out the tongue at the evil opposition, giving The Man and his minions the finger, revelling in the (mis)use of big and important sounding words and phrases. And it is that. But if this reflected only childish behavior and simple hypocrisy, then I wouldn't waste my time with a post about it. Whether the perpetrators of this behavior realize it or not (and in my personal experience they almost always do not) they are ascribing their beliefs to an elitist chain, an ideological and eugenic hierarchy. To keep themselves free of hypocrisy they have constructed their own version of the horribly dehumanizing Divine Chain of Being. This is different from the more normal liberal racism of placing white in the privileged position of gifting minorities with their benevolence (more on that in a different post).

In a previous post, I talked about the Divine Chain of Being. I'm afraid you'll have to forgive me if I restate a fair amount of that once again (ah... the wonders of cut & paste) in an oversimplified, but still relevant way. The Divine Chain of Being was an established (at the time of the Renaissance although its roots go much further back) theological and philosophical concept that all things in the universe are ranked in a hierarchy accordance to God's wishes. The bottom consisted of rocks and such and as one goes higher up the chain, things became better and more complex. Human beings were separated into several levels within the chain, the lower class being viewed as fundamentally inferior to the upper classes, the monarch superior to the aristocracy. In fact, the separation was believed to be so great that there was debate among the European nobility as to whether or not the lower-classes felt pain in the same way that the aristocracy did. Oftentimes the answer was ridiculously "no," the belief being that the lower classes were a lower order of human beings and naturally less sensitive to the physical sensation of pain.

If we were to substitute race for class, replace the theology with ideologically informed social science, then we could have a fair model of Garofalo and like-minded leftists' peculiar world view. We see it is both stratified and elitist, and has little to do with political opinion and philosophical argument. The contrast between left and right is no longer a difference of political theory or opinion, but a fundamental and qualitative (i.e. elitist) distinction between different "types" of humans.

In the privileged position we would have racial minorities and women, a position earned by virtue of their oppression at the hands of the white male. They are the substitute for the aristocracy inside this "new" Divine Chain of Being-- fundamentally different and better than the white patriarchy that oppresses them. This view partially led to an interesting showdown during the Democratic Primary where the African-American male faced off against the white female in the "Olympics of Suffering." Amidst the normal mud-slinging, back-handed political tactics and cheap shots (traits shared by both political parties), was the uniquely leftist contest over who was the most oppressed and thus most deserving of the nomination.The oppressors, white males, are the equivalent to the lower-class of the Divine Chain of Being. They are not merely people who hold a different opinion or have different values. They are fundamentally different and inferior. As Garofalo has put it: "The reason a person is a conservative republican is because something is wrong with them. Again, that’s science – that’s neuroscience. You cannot be well adjusted, open-minded, pluralistic, enlightened and be a republican. It’s counter-intuitive. And they revel in their anti-intellectualism. They revel in their cruelty."

But this "something wrong" must only be inherent in the white male. After all, white males seem to have the option to be conservative. While they may be greedy expletives, they have the freedom to value liberty and individual achievement without the claim of being self-hating. Apparently the white male is assumed to be a conservative unless he "elevates" himself to the more enlightened level of a Bill Clinton or Keith Olbermann.

By placing the comments of people like Garofalo in this context we can better understand where these sorts of remarks are coming from and what they actually mean. We can also see that these are not merely differences of opinions upon issues, but a wholly different perception of political and even metaphysical reality. Much of the venom and anger that is hurled at a Sarah Palin, a Clarence Thomas, a Michelle Malkin, a Codaleeza Rice, a Richard Steele, is due to their audacity to demean themselves down to the level of the white male oppressor. They have not just broken rank, they have consciously chosen to forsake their inherently superior position. They have upset this world view and thus are deserving of the heaps of racial and sexist bigotry that is flung at them. They have made the cardinal sin to no longer be the better sort.

Arguing against this world view is largely pointless. It would be like arguing with Tolkien over different aspects of Middle-Earth or George Lucas over various artistic liberties in Star Wars. In a fantasy construction, one only has to be consistent within what the fantasy establishes. Sound can't be heard in a vacuum, but Star Wars establishes that it can. To argue against it within the context of the film is pointless. You either accept the concept or reject it. There are no other real options.

This dehumanizing viewpoint is unacceptable. Racism, in any form, is intolerable. But to subject others to this intolerant and stereotyped fantasyland is unconscionable. To subject women and racial minorities (notice how the bigoted and oppressive white male still possesses the greatest freedom in this terrible model) to narrow definitions, to assign their worth and restrict their freedom to choose their own values, actions, and even thoughts is beyond arrogant and wrong-headed. It is tyrannical and malignant. When the Declaration of Independence stated "All men are created equal" it was striking down similar elitist and racist concepts of human worth and value. To dehumanize any opposition, in this case to make conservatives defective and essentially sub-human, is to set the US down the path toward totalitarianism. It is wrong and should not be ignored.

While one can write off this elitist, left viewpoint as being fringe-dwelling and unrealistic (it is both), it does affect real and important political decision within the both the Democratic Party and the United States. The "Olympics of Suffering" showdown between Hilary Clinton and Obama is one of the most obvious and direct examples, but there are others. This elitist viewpoint gives passes to people like representatives Clyburn and Waters to freely describe racist fantasies and expect no rebuttal. It gives Al Sharpton further credibility, allows Farrakhan to continue to spread hate with impunity.

Whether Garofalo, Olbermann, or other people who likewise casually spread elitist and eugenic venom know it or not, their "progress" leads only backward to oppression and tyranny for all.

1 comment:

  1. "We can also see that these are not merely differences of opinions upon issues, but a wholly different perception of political and even metaphysical reality. Much of the venom and anger that is hurled at a Sarah Palin, a Clarence Thomas, a Michelle Malkin, a Codaleeza Rice, a Richard Steele, is due to their audacity to demean themselves down to the level of the white male oppressor. They have not just broken rank, they have consciously chosen to forsake their inherently superior position. They have upset this world view and thus are deserving of the heaps of racial and sexist bigotry that is flung at them. They have made the cardinal sin to no longer be the better sort."

    A brilliant analysis, Yukio! (I missed this first time around, maybe because I was new to the blogosphere.)

    This is one of the puzzle pieces for which I have been searching. Thanks very much!

    ReplyDelete