Not too many years ago, politics was a relatively civil place. There was mud being slung, but not in heaps by the citizenry.
Then came the internet, a place of ever-increasing vitriol, courtesy of anonymous attacks. Want to call someone a name? Use the ugliest word possible. Want to berate an idea you dislike? Employ the most extreme terms; there are no consequences.
In 2000, George W. Bush ascended to the presidency, ushering in Democrats’ rising rhetoric of insanity, reflecting the new world of words-don’t-actually-matter. “W” was Hitler.
So many bumper stickers said so.
Nevermind that Hitler was a leftist. He indeed endorsed a strong military; he was, of course, a nationalist. But he was also a socialist, believing the federal government should overwhelmingly control the populace.
And nevermind that Hitler was a mass murderer, though Bush bore no resemblance to that evil.
“Republican” didn’t seem nearly as sinister, so “Hitler” it was.
Then stepped onto the stage Obama. The left side of the aisle went berserk with their allegiance, portraying him as a caricatured saint of a more extreme nature than the evil cartoon of George W.
And the rhetoric ramped up: in 2012, Barack challenger Mitt Romney was framed as a man who literally wanted women to die.
Now, here we are in the age of Trump and Kavanaugh — Trump, partly thanks to the Left. The eccentric billionaire’s election was somewhat of an “Up your nose with a rubber hose” to their escalating ridiculousness and hatefulness, accompanied by a complicit and dishonest media.
Politically and culturally, today — October 8th, 2018 — what is the simplest description of our modern malady? I believe it’s one word: immaturity. Aided, that is, by ignorance.
For two years, the Left has been screaming with outrage over every moment’s passing, incensed by every presidential move. Add to this an embrace of abject lies, the likes of which we have never seen across the citizenry, and you’ve got yourself a real problem.
I saw a post circulating today on social media. It’s a shaming of all who support Trump. It goes something like, “Donald Trump ridiculed a mentally handicapped man, and you applauded. He bragged to the world that he sexually assaulted women, and you said it was good.” The diatribe contains maybe fifteen different acts of Trumpness. And every single point is a lie. Literally nothing is true. Yet, to many, many identifying as Democrat across America, it’s the gospel. How can the U.S. support a man like that? The answer is easy: it doesn’t. Because that man does not exist. He never has. He’s the Boogie Man, created by the party that wants to beat him (including its press wing) and believed in by the faithfully ignorant.
But there is something more profound — the lack of scale. The lack of stakes. An entire generation’s missing morality, which, as morality must, operates on degree. The Left have lost all notion of measure. Everything Republicans do is reason for a coup. Every legislation, every policy position is justification for chaos in the streets. Kavanaugh is somewhat conservative? This is the end of the world!
It used to not be so.
In 1941, America was attacked by Japan. Men and women aligned with the military in order to fight for and serve the country they loved. The stakes were high. Life and death were real currency.
Today, people are literally crying over pronouns. Life has no meaning, because there are no real threats to it. At least, so far as those with tears in their eyes are aware. We’ve become a nation filled with petulant children who have no sense of scale. Everything is devastating, everything deserves a picket sign. That’s how they assign meaning to the meaninglessness.
I believe there’s no better illustration of the sad state of a generation than 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. That movie saddened me, because it so accurately portrayed a mode of the American audience, via an unbelievably immature character: Rose.
In the film, Rose is a voluntary part of The Resistance — the galaxy’s only opposition to the sinister, murderous, multiple-planet-obliterating First Order. The Order is the intergalactic version of the Third Reich, and Rose and her compadres must save all worlds from its clutches.
In a completely dumbfounding turn, Rose and a fellow soldier journey to a strange planet. Their mission’s success will determine life or death for untold billions. Though they fail, Rose sets free a few boarded animals, who will no doubt be immediately re-caught. She pauses to virtue-signal: “Now [the mission] was worth it.”
I sat in the theater, realizing I’d just watched the Left ruin outer space. Rose was such a stupid person, or a stupid idea: We were to believe that a girl who could’ve stayed on her home planet, gotten married, had children, and built a life for herself had decided the threat of imminent death to the universe by an evil force was so terrible that she would give up her future, join a band of rebels, and very possibly sacrifice her life trying to save existence. She had chosen to gamble her life — the only one she had. She’d willfully chosen to be killed — to be made dead, buried in the dirt for eternity — for the chance of saving billions of people and the future of all creation.
Or, to just release some animals for a sec. Whichever.
That was supposed to make sense to a contemporary audience. And to many, it no doubt did. Momentarily liberating a few animals? Of course that’s the same as saving billions of lives.
That is the Left. That was the group, rioting over Kavanaugh. In reality, at best, they were briefly freeing a few animals. Yet, according to their signs and emotional breakdowns, it was the same as saving the galaxy. The same stakes.
They were saving the world. By hardly affecting it.
This is one instance, to me, where political victory is unenjoyable — the other side’s preposterousness over the last few weeks is likely to benefit the GOP, come November. And yet, I wish that horde of the unperceptive wasn’t spreading their virus of foolishness.
Call them what you want, but a Rose is still a Rose, by any other name — including The Immature and Ignorant. And I wish they were something different, something better, in a world where the stakes matter. Because, despite the Left’s absurdity, they really do. And the fate of a nation crippled by immaturity, it seems to me, is one of the highest.
Thank you for reading!
Find all my RedState work here.