The Bullied and the Rescuer–Why Trump Gets so Much Support

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Suppose you are in third grade and a much bigger kid beats you up regularly, steals your lunch money, and otherwise makes your life miserable. This happens every school day and gets to the point that you dread going to school. One day another kid comes to you and says, “I’m tired of that big kid beating up on you. Next time I see him I’m going to beat him up.” You find that hard to believe; the boy has never helped you before and never seemed to care for anybody but himself. But the next time the bully attacks you, the other boy jumps in and beats the bully up. You trust the boy who helped you, and now you will do anything to help him. A year later, when he runs for homeroom president, you are his biggest supporter.

Today many people in the United States feel bullied. Some feel bullied by the bankers and investment firm CEOs that helped create the 2008 crash that left millions of people without jobs. Others are Evangelical Christians who feel beaten down and silenced by politically correct bullying by both the Left and Right. Others who may not be Evangelical Christians are still tired of so many people getting offended at anything a person says and using that offense to bully someone out of a job, often ruining the person’s career. It seems that speaking itself will become a crime one day.

Then Donald Trump walks into the room. He is crude, he is crass, and he has no regard for what he says nor how much he offends others. He is definitely not politically correct, something protesters at his rallies understand, which is one reason they hate him. For the non-elites, the common people who feel bullied, Trump comes across as a savior. “If Trump were in, he wouldn’t let any of these jerks intimidate him. He’d just tell political correctness to go to hell.” Trump comes across to many people as the rescuer, just like the rescuer of the bullied boy in the story. Thus Trump’s supporters will be loyal to him and are willing to do anything they can to help him get elected.

I voted for Ted Cruz because I am not sure Mr. Trump is stating his true convictions–he seems to be saying what people want to hear in order to get elected. However, “I’m mad as hell” with political correctness myself, and understand the appeal of Mr. Trump. If he gets the Republican nomination, I will probably vote for him in the general election. It is risky, and I would vote with trepidation, but like many people, I am sick and tired of being intimidated by elites who try to silence speech with which they disagree. If Mr. Trump can put a dent in that trend, that, at least, would be a good thing.

 

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I No Longer Say “Chair” – Crisis Magazine

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A boxer who strikes a painful blow knows quite well to keep pounding the delicate spot. He knows when his opponent is hurt and he strikes the same spot over and over again. If there is a tiny cut above the eye, he keeps pounding the cut so that the bloody trickle becomes a torrent. …

Source: I No Longer Say “Chair” – Crisis Magazine

Taking Offense and the Adolescent Whine

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So many Americans are so easily offended these days, especially by positions opposed to their own. Some such Americans call those who disagree with them “haters.” I have been called worse things online–a “f..ing a..hole,” “a worthless piece of s..t,” and other colorful terms. Many colleges and universities have “free speech zones,” so that students who might be offended by a speaker can stay clear. At least one local college (not the university where I teach) has a policy that classrooms are “stress free zones.” Some sexual harassment policies assert that asking someone on a date can be sexual harassment because it might offend someone. I wonder about people offended that no one asks them on dates. Too many people believe they have a “right not to be offended.” Being offended means, to such individuals, that the person doing the offending is guilty of a serious moral–and even legal–action that warrants actions ranging from reprimands to termination from a job to fines to prison time.

Parents of teenagers are familiar with the “adolescent whine,” the denial of personal responsibility, the demands that parents go along with whatever the teen wants to do. Denial of desires means the parents are full of hate. Anything parents say that offends them is a sign of serious moral failure by the parents–or at least some teens want their parents to think that way. The phenomena of people thinking they have a right not to be offended reveals a fundamental lack of maturity on their part. It is a denial of the responsibility we have to take account of our own emotions. Too many Americans (and Europeans) believe that other people are responsible for their emotions. This is like the teenager who is angry and tells his parents, “You made me feel this way.”

We see evidence of the adolescent whine in political correctness in colleges and universities, businesses, and other societal institutions. We see it when well-known people are demonized because they say something that offends some approved minority (make no mistake–the Left, which is control of most American cultural institutions, has its list of approved minorities–they are not concerned, for example, whether a Fundamentalist Christian is offended by someone’s speech or writing). Too many generally decent people have had their lives and careers ruined because of spoiled Leftists who may have adult bodies but whose minds are often pre-adolescent in their maturity level–sometimes they have the emotional maturity of a two-year old throwing a temper tantrum. In a society run by children, offense must be avoided at all costs. That viewpoint is especially destructive of education, in which one’s views, right or left, will be challenged (or should be). The idea of a “no stress zone” for classrooms is madness; students will stress about finishing assignments, being called on to answer a question in class, and so forth. They will stress when their pet positions are challenged. That is the way it should be. The professor should not be censored because students are offended by the content of the class. Nor should professors be censored if they are politically, morally, and/or socially conservative and speak their minds on controversial issues. Too many Leftists have become like the teen who says, “I’m going to talk about that anymore, and neither are you and then holds his hands to his ears when his parents try to talk to him.

If this post offends some Leftists, I’m pleased. Grow up. Stop being spoiled children who have to get your way or else. That road only leads to “might makes right”–and God forbid–perhaps worse.

Why I Avoid Standard Academic Terminology for Dates in History

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In my latest book, Aerobics for the Mind: Practical Exercises in Philosophy that Anybody Can Do, I chose to use the old-fashioned B.C./A.D. system of dating rather than the usual academic B.C.E./C.E. system. Why go against the vast majority of academia who prefers “Before the Common Era” and “Common Era” to “Before Christ” and “Anno Domini”? It’s simple–I’ve had it with the oversensitivity of many academics. Even using the newer terminology, dates in the West are measured from the birth of Christ (miscalculated by about four years, give or take two). If I were in a Moslem country that used dates from an event in Mohammad’s life, I would not be offended. If a Buddhist country were to measure dates from an event in The Buddha’s life, I would not be offended, even if I had to use that system in an academic paper. Others should not be offended either. Many are offended, but for many academics in their sheltered little corner of the world, Christianity, at least in its traditional forms, is an offense so they want to wipe out any trace of its doctrines from the calendar and from academic speech in general.

The culture of offense in academia becomes worse year by year with some Evangelical Christians and some fairly traditional Roman Catholics caving in to the insanity of the crowd.  Most academic journals require the newer dating system, and I will use it if I have to–but when I do not have to use it, I refuse to so so. If a scholar doesn’t believe that Jesus is Lord, he is free to understand the “Domini” of A.D. as a fiction. So far scholars have continued to use “Jesus Christ” to refer to Jesus even though “Christ” means “Messiah.” I continue to use “The Buddha” for Siddhartha Gautama, though “The Buddha” means “The Enlightened One.” If academics were consistent, they would force other academics to say “Jesus of Nazareth” instead of “Jesus Christ” and “Siddhartha Gautauma” instead of “The Buddha.” If they do something along those lines, my prediction is that they would only make the change for Jesus Christ and not for The Buddha. If people are offended by my use of the old system, that is something with which they need to deal.

Suspension from School and Possible Jail Time for Wearing an NRA Shirt!?

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National_Rifle_Association

National_Rifle_Association (Photo credit: ChrisWaldeck)

At the link, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/17/west-virginia-teen-arrested-for-nra-shirt-officially-charged/, is the story of a fourteen-year-old boy suspended from school for wearing a pro-NRA t-shirt. Not only was he suspended, but he was arrested and faces up to a year in jail for “obstructing an officer,” apparently because of something he said that offended the officer. Freedom of expression is dead in the United States except for the politically correct. A student would probably get away with wearing a pro-abortion t-shirt or a shirt promoting every kind of moral perversity, but God forbid the student wear a shirt defending gun rights. The officer claimed that the student’s “refusal to talk” kept him from doing his job as an officer. Now silence is punishable by arrest and a prison sentence.

Now I know many police officers personally–the vast majority are not like the arresting officer in this case. However, none of them appreciate having their authority questioned. To some extent that is understandable, but this does not justify abuse of police power. School officials also lacked common sense in calling the police in the first place.

The situation reminds me of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, when the dictatorial pig who rules over the animals says that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” In the United States, we are rapidly getting to the point, and are most likely already to that point, that “We have freedom of speech, but some speech is freer than other speech.”

Like many Americans, I feel a sense of anomie watching my country turn into a totalitarian state. This incident in West Virginia, the constant surveillance, the rising power and  increasing militarization of federal law enforcement agencies, and the United States military engaging in judicial executions without trial of American citizens through drone strikes–these are just the beginning of what promises to be the end of what little remains of the American republic. Sometimes I could sit down and cry. There seem no realistic options to escape a totalitarian state other than to leave the country, but Europe is moving the same direction. As a Christian, I trust in God that all will be well in the end. In the meantime, we can all love God, love our families, work with dignity, and do what little we can to slow the inextricable destruction of liberty in what used to be the land of the free.

“Diversity” and “Multiculturalism” Divide People from One Another

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Multiculturalism-blurred-people

Multiculturalism-blurred-people (Photo credit: openDemocracy)

Recently I heard of an incident at an American university. A student walked into a library conference room. A group of black women were in the room, and they began to stare at this student. Then the student noticed the sign that said, “Do not enter. African-American Women’s Group.” The student apologized, stating that she was sorry she interrupted their meeting. Silence. Stares. The student could not say anything else given the situation, so the student walked out of the conference room and found another room in which to study.

Besides being another lesson in today’s rudeness, is it really coincidental that the group meeting in the room was sponsored by the university’s diversity office? The office is committed to “identity” as the main factor influencing one’s behavior. “Identity” is a code word for “culture,” and usually it is a code word that means “black.” Such offices, influenced by Neo-Marxist thought and identity politics, may begin by sponsoring meetings with students from outside the United States. Later, however, they tend to degenerate into offices that divide black students from white students, and if there are sufficient numbers of Hispanic students, Hispanic students from the rest of students. Western culture is the enemy. “Eurocentrism” is the enemy. Grievances are magnified with people of European descent being labeled as cruel oppressors. No wonder the students were silent in the conference room and did not respond to a sincere apology. They were facing their mortal enemy.

Diversity training” and multiculturalism are not about uniting people. They divide groups from one another. Instead of recognizing the universal human propensity for evil, they focus only on the sins of Europeans and people of European descent. The special groups who are, by definition, oppressed, can do no wrong since anything they do that seems to be wrong is only due to the oppression of others. Special groups do not have to take responsibility for their actions. They do not have to repent of their sins. They have no sin.

Only in academia could such a worldview survive. Students trained under this model will alienate potential friends and potential employers. If they do not make friends of another race or culture, they will not blame themselves—it is the oppressing “other” that is at fault. If they are not hired or are fired because of a negative and hostile attitude toward their boss and co-workers, the failure to hire or firing is due to the oppressing class acting wrongly against them. Nothing is ever the responsibility of the Holy Ones; it is all the evil Eurocentric Devil that is at fault.

Given the cesspool of contemporary “diversity training,” the federal government should stop forcing schools to focus on so-called “diversity.” Schools should have the courage to fight setting up a multicultural office or a diversity office. The only things that will result from such an office will be increased racial tension, increased isolation of groups, setting up “special studies programs” with low academic standards for the Holy Ones to take, and a breakdown of civic discourse. Multiculturalism, based on flawed Marxist ideology, cannot support true diversity—it can only push its own elitism on those who do not fit into its special groups. Liberal university administrations are not doing their students a favor when they set up a diversity or multicultural program, however well-meaning they will be. It will only end in disaster and pain.

Richard Land and the Censoring of Discourse about Race in America

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English: Vectorized Southern Baptist Conventio...

English: Vectorized Southern Baptist Convention logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard Land‘s radio show has been canceled by the Southern Baptist Convention. Although Mr. Land was cited for plagiarism, which he apparently did commit, this was not the focus of the SBC’s statement. The SBC was concerned about Mr. Land’s allegedly inflammatory remarks concerning the Trayvon Martin case.

What did Mr. Land say that was so horrible? He said that Mr. Obama was taking political advantage of the situation. One can make a good case for this claim–Mr. Obama said that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin–this could be construed as an attempt to shore up support among his base. Political charges similar to Mr. Land’s claims have been made quite frequently in conservative circles, though perhaps with more tact than Mr. Land used. Mr. Land also referred to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as race baiters. An even more solid case can be made for that claim–are Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton beyond criticism? Should they escape the inevitable criticism that those in the public eye routinely face? Surely not except in a liberal fantasy world. Does anyone remember the Tawana Brawley case or the Duke Lacrosse case and how Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton stirred emotions to a dangerous level in cases that turned out to be other than Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton claimed?

Discourse about race has become so emotionally charged that the range of politically correct things to say has narrowed to the point that one cannot say anything outside the liberal party line without being labeled a racist. Now I don’t know if Mr. Zimmerman is guilty of manslaughter or not–I will wait until the facts of the case come out. Pointing out the fact that some individuals are using the case to agitate others and to stir up dangerous emotions is not irresponsible or wrong. The more the left and the pseudo-right shut off discourse, the more frustrated those silenced become. If those silenced already had wrong attitudes, they will only be hardened in them. If they did not have wrong attitudes, they are far more likely to gain them after being silenced. Cutting off discussion of race will most likely lead to an increase, not to a decrease, in racism.

I have noticed a leftward trend in conservative Evangelical churches over the last few years, fueled by liberals in their academic institutions. These colleges, universities, and seminaries train ministers and other church officials. They may be technically “conservative,” but they buy into much of the left’s beliefs, including supporting politically correct speech on race. If Mr. Land had used an obscenity to refer to another race, he should have been fired and disciplined by the church. If he had claimed that one race was intrinsically superior to another, then he should have been disciplined. He said neither of those things. Yet he lost his radio show and was forced to apologize–I do not doubt the sincerity of his apology. What I doubt (without defending everything Mr. Land said and not justifying his plagiarism)  is the apparent belief of Southern Baptist officials that any criticism of Mr. Obama, Mr. Jackson, or Mr. Sharpton is tantamount to racism, which is an absurd position.

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