Thursday, April 22, 2021

UPDATED: Bonfire Of Democracy?

Stay with me here. It take a bit to get this point across.

Larry Elder has a thoughtful article out, which you can read without the extraneous ads, here: Derek Chauvin: The Great White Defendant. As you can probably tell from the title, what Elder does is try to place the Floyd/Chauvin/Police event in the context of Tom Wolfe's novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities.

Here's how Elder does that:

A review of "Bonfire" explains: 

"The overarching theme of the book is the search for the great white defendant. The vast majority of defendants in New York City are minorities, arrested for killing another minority. The vast majority of the cops and prosecutors are all about the press and their careers. One drug dealer killing another drug dealer is not going to get you any attention; it's a dog-bites-man story -- no story. What you want is a man-bites-dog story. Therefore, subliminally, the police, prosecutors and press are always looking for a great white defendant who will make their careers."

Nobody, Wolfe writes, gets upset about massive media coverage of The Great White Defendant. Blacks enjoy watching media coverage of well-off white men, in this case a Wall Street trader, accused of serious wrongdoing, in this case murder. Guilty whites are used to perpetuate the systemic racism media narrative. And the media feel noble when pushing it. Win, win, win.

This brings us to the trial of Derek Chauvin, the white ex-Minneapolis cop convicted of murdering George Floyd, a Black man who initially resisted arrest.

What's a bit different now is that the Dems have latched onto this phenomenon in, yes, a systematic way. Whereas the earlier narrative leveraged publicity for the career purposes of prosecutors--which still goes on in the usual ad hoc way--this technique is currently being deployed for ideological movement oriented purposes. That's not entirely different, of course, from past efforts to incite public outrage and unrest, although the single minded determination of the MSM (broadly speaking) to drum the desired ideological narrative into the public mind over a period decades, utilizing mass rioting and show trials, is quite impressive. 

This may seem subtle, but there appears to be shift from the usual unruliness of democratic societies, in which a degree of hucksterism is always present, to the type of mass movement activism espoused by totalitarian movements. The show trial element is particularly telling in highlighting this shift. Another aspect that highlights this shift is the contrast between the goals of past manipulative efforts--often in support of getting the US involved in a war--and the current open ended slogans espoused by the manipulaters: Change. Transformation. New Normal. Etc. There's a marked dearth of actual content.

Elder addresses some of this and closes by invoking the out of context quote from MLK. He attempts to fit this whole episode into Wolfe's narrative, while recognizing that it has been "leveraged":

Cable channel HLN has covered the trial from gavel to gavel. When bumping in and out of commercial breaks, HLN displayed a graphic, accompanied by foreboding music, showing two fists tearing an American flag in half, with the caption "America's Very Soul Is on Trial." ...

No, America's "very soul" is not on trial.

An individual ex-officer, Chauvin, who is white, stood trial for allegedly murdering an individual suspect, Floyd, who is Black. Nothing more, nothing less. ...

Thus far, the stock Wolfian story line.


By elevating the Chauvin trial into a referendum on cops in general and on America in particular, the media and irresponsible incendiaries like Echols and Waters make violence more likely if the state had failed to convince 12 jurors of Chauvin's guilt. Inevitably, as buildings and businesses burn, someone on the left reminds us that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called riots "the language of the unheard."

The King quoters omit two things. First, at the time King said that, many doubted the credibility of investigations, given that whites ran the investigations. Today, most big cities have or have had Black mayors, Black police chiefs, Black prosecutors, Black leaders of city councils and Black superintendents of schools. Who, then, is not hearing the unheard? Second, King also called riots "self-defeating and socially destructive." King said: "I will continue to condemn riots, and continue to say to my brothers and sisters that this is not the way."

My point is this. In a democracy, politicians are supposed to be listening to the voices of the voters--the voters are "heard" through their votes. Moreover, politicians go to great lengths to attempt to divine what "language" the voters are trying to make "heard" through polling. At the same time, the politicians are also being "heard" by the voters--through their actions in office, as well as through their words.

My view is that, by and large, the majority of Dem politicians hear what the language that their voters are speaking--and for their part tell their voters what they want to hear. This process is simple enough for House elections, in which the district boundaries are often tailor drawn to suit the politicians. It gets more complicated in Senate races and even more in presidential races, in which the politicians are hearing multiple "languages" and are themselves, as a result, responding in several "languages"--of, as some would say, out of both (or multiple?) corners of their mouths.

The question that arises is: Is this a workable system? It sounds like it might work in practice, but does it?

Poll after poll after poll tell us that African Americans, by broad majorities, share the views of conservative White Americans. On the other hand, in election after election after election African Americans vote for representatives who not only act against the professed opinions of their constituents but even openly run on platforms that reject those opinions. Who is listening to whom? President Trump is one of the few politicians who, to a limited extent, broke through this pattern--and to a very major extent the show trials and riots we've been seeing reflect the cynical reaction to this existential threat (from a partisan Dem perspective). There is also the question of the Left's embracing a cynical strategy which favors societal upheaval, but we'll leave that aside.

Another side of what's going on involves White Americans who vote for Dems. I know, of course, that you have the usual suspects: elderly New Dealers, haters of corporate fat cats and/or theocratic Southerners, etc.--in other words, people who are out of touch with the actual social realities of America. However, the group I have in mind, and which seems to swing elections, are those White voters who are distressed by social division in America and who vote for "unifiers." As in the case of African Americans, these White Americans tell pollsters over and over that they want politicians who will "bring Americans together." Dems have become highly adept at exploiting those emotions--they speak the "language" that their targeted voters want to listen to. Thus, when Trump won their response was to create chaos and division and blame it on Trump. A certain demographic group of White Americans bought into that. As a result, in election after election this class of White Americans vote for politicians who--if one were to listen carefully and read policy platforms--embrace a strategy of division, and who proceed to implement that policy. And yet these same White Americans claim to long for unity.

Isn't that what we've seen repeatedly in the past decades? Sometimes it works for Dems, sometimes it backfires--largely depending on whether other factors distract the "swing" voters. The economy, crime, foreign wars, the makeup of the SCOTUS. Still, the same demographic groups are fooled repeatedly by the same political groups. One presumes this will happen again in 2022.

The problem, as it seems to me, when viewed from this perspective is not really that any significant group of Americans is not being "heard." The problem is that significant demographic groups which are easily large enough to swing election results ... aren't really listening. Their voices are heard, all right, and the politicians speak to them in a language that is similar to the language that these voters speak. But what the politicians grasp is that the voters haven't internalized the old adage that actions speak louder than words--and the politicians act accordingly. With the complete compliance of the MSM (broadly speaking). 

And we see the results--which are, not to put too fine a point on it, increasingly a mess. Over the course of decades a government administrative state has been put in place which is largely at war with most of the country. This mess, unfortunately, reflects the mess that is the collective societal mess that America has descended into. Messy minds, if you will, that have been carefully cultivated for just that purpose. That's not the kind of situation in which the ship of state can change its course even over several presidential administrations. Even less can a society change its course quickly.

Is the American experiment fundamentally flawed? Or has it become fundamentally corrupted? These are the questions that are being forced upon our attention, in a context of comprehensive social decay.

UPDATE: Monica Showalter has a must read/enjoy post: My First Knife Fight? Leftists call knifings kid stuff in wake of Columbus police intervention. It's mostly a sample of responses to insane Leftist tweets claiming that knife fights ain't a thing--or, at any rate, it's just a thing that kids do.

FWIW, this is my favorite:

Well, this was pretty good, too:

What do you say to people who say or imply that knives are not deadly weapons? Who is really that insane? But, as in so much else, Obama set the tone. All this should make for an interesting Election 2022.

When things seem to be going to sh*t, sometimes ya just hafta laugh.


  1. It leads one to question whether the masses really should be involved in voting. But I didn't say that.

    1. I'll say it. To get a ballot on election day (no more early voting), each prospective voter would be given a five question test of randomly selected questions from the US Citizenship test. Four out of five is a passing grade. No pass, no vote.

    2. @ PD Quit

      I've been saying that on and off for years. Random 20 civics questions from a group of 300-400. Pass or fail depends on if your ballot counts or not.

      Individual pass fail should not be disclosed, over all should be displayed with the results.

    3. or just be a originally required by the founding fathers. oops, founders...

    4. There should be a tamper-proof voter ID card for CITIZENS to show when voting. If Mexico and India can do it, so can the United States.

      As for the liberal argument that it is too hard for minorities to get an ID card to prove citizenship; how do corrupt liberals ever get "standing"? Shouldn't the courts dismiss these cases unless specific individuals who's rights are allegedly violated be brought as parties in these cases?

      The fact is there are none. Even if there were, what is stopping others from helping them get IDs?

  2. "Messy minds... that have been carefully cultivated for just that purpose."
    But, much of this messiness may be, not carefully cultivated, but rather a result of a historical trend, of preference for *sensitivity*-driven discourses overcoming preference for *disputation*-driven discourses.
    At , Sailer claims that

    "We’ve seen this deterioration of discourse in recent years among gay men. Gore Vidal, for example, liked to argue and insult. But gays have increasingly taken on lesbian modes.
    In general, the contemporary mode of emotionalism and herding is the human default. The great ages of intellectual progress via debate were rare social constructs, and it’s not surprising that they easily break down."

    Sailer quotes at length Alastair Roberts (from his 4-part series of 2012 posts) on the recent upsurge, of unfair spins of writers' words, this much due to readers' more frequent over-personalizing/ polarizing/ ad hominem/ straw man ploys, whereby offense-Trolls manage to thwart nuanced debate on key issues.
    Roberts advocates steadfastly barring such folks/ ploys from debates on public issues,
    see , and his links to the 3 preceding editions.

    When Haidt refers to The Coddling of the American Mind, part of his point pertains to this conflation of these two sorts of discourse.
    While I tolerate such conflation from, say, my girlfriend and daughter, who I quite trust to not abuse the privilege, I don't do that for those I *trust* less.

  3. Obama. Obama. Obama. There may be no new political tactics under the sun but the situation this nation finds itself in (every last aspect of it) began with the rise of the junior Senator from Illinois. And if someone other than Trump doesn't start sticking a hatpin in Obama the Myth and start calling out Obama the man (of the Progressive Left) he's going to achieve the fundamental transformation he desires to achieve. The in-your-face moves such as valjar' s post (who elected her? Who asked her opinion? On What basis is she laying claim to arbitership in this or ANY social issue? ) these spur notions of suiting up for battle in the conservative mind, we can't ignore them and they won't go away. This is Obama and his fundamental transformation we are experiencing. He was never opposed BY ANYONE in the political establishment/government/media/elite institutions in his eight years he was ABETTED - it was all political theatre. The establishment agrees with the vision. The Fundamental Reset.
    The fly in their ointment was and is the white working class. The left is going to force them to either go right and be labeled a racist or hop on board the fundamental transformation train. Conservative thinkers like those of us on this site are only concerns for them to the extent we seek to rally the white working class which is why Trump is their Enemy Number One. Minority Americans, especially Black working class have GOT TO rally with white working class to call bullshit on the Myth of Obama and the Elite's pandering to that myth and start a reckoning with Obama the man. If we are to stop this. It's the only hope as I see it, but there is hope. The left doesn't want a war in the streets, they only want the threat of it to cow middle and upper class whites, they are afraid of the working class because the working class is far less easily cowed. And the Left's vulnerability is they've played their hand, they've sent the old race baiter Sharpton to minneapolis so the sow-division-by-race-card strategy is being deployed and we are feeling it, and ValJar and Whitehouse comments signal that Obama's war on the working class is out in the open instead of concealed behind all that hopey changey unifier safe black BS of the Obama Myth. But think of this, if we on this site are pissed off (or amused) by this bullshit how do you think working class dems white and black feel about being forced to disbelieve their own lying eyes? A knife fight indeed. Systemic racism indeed. Chew hard and swallow fast oh citizen. Trump has understood this and it explains his actions. He was never in doubt about the level of support he would have from elites Liberal and conservative,(zero, they have ALL sold out to the Myth of Obama ) he has always cultivated "popular" support and that is the key, the one shot we have to turn these Alinskyites back. It ain't going to happen through the justice system that's for certain. It's going to happen by popular awakening. Mark A

    1. You were apparently not paying attention during the Dubya years, when the US launched its forever wars and the IC morphed into a Deep State with the NSA collecting everything from everybody?

    2. Good point. The uniparty political theatre has been going on a lot longer than 12 years but the idea that Obama was an ineffectual socialist oF a President (a moderate dem) and that he was somehow constrained or opposed in his transformation process by ANYONE in the establishment right or left elected official or bureaucrat is also a fiction and the only thing that has scared these people and will scare these people is a popular uprising of the non-elites against their elite plans. Everything else to include the history of endless wars and the chilling fact of NSA data collection is window dressing. Mark A

    3. "Everything else to include the history of endless wars and the chilling fact of NSA data collection is window dressing."
      I rather doubt that.
      Obama didn't start the war vs. the MC, he just made it more obvious.
      He (and McCain) just rubber-stamped Dubya's war vs. the MC, esp. w/ the bailouts.
      I don't see how anyone would call NSA data collection "window dressing".
      I'm largely with sundance and Codevilla, in their critique of the UniParty Revolution.
      How much noise did Mitch etc. make, when Obama was ducking the Const. mandate, for the ($ for the) Iran deal to be ruled a Treaty, not just a JCPOA?

    4. Mark, I realize I should also clarify my perspective further - I live in South Minneapolis not far from the scene of George Floyd's demise and I have a child attending Minneapolis Public Schools and on the evening the verdict was announced I received the below email and a voice message reading the email to me : "To the MPS Community:

      The MPS community learned with the rest of the world this afternoon that the jury charged with deciding the fate of former police officer Derek Chauvin found him guilty on all counts in the murder of Mr. George Floyd.

      In discussing the historic verdict lead prosecutor, State Attorney General Keith Ellison, said that while the verdict was, "another step on the long path towards healing," for the Floyd family it could not be declared justice. Instead, Ellison said the verdict represented the first step toward justice: accountability. What we know is that in two days former Minneapolis student Daunte Wright will be laid to rest, another black man killed at the hands of law enforcement. There is much more work to be done before justice is achieved and Minneapolis Public Schools has a critical role to play. We cannot back down from our focus on equity.

      What does equity look like in a learning environment? It looks like the world every parent wants for their child, where their child feels:

      Valued for their strengths and contributions
      Respected for who they are
      Heard and appreciated
      Cared about and caring for others
      Represented in curriculum
      Comfortable and welcomed at school
      Academically confident and challenged
      Empowered to achieve goals, dreams and full potential
      With a place in and responsibility for creating a more just society
      This is the MPS our children deserve. This is the world that Mr. Floyd sadly did not experience. As we all help our students respond to today’s events, remember to ask for help when you need it. Here are some resources. Your student is also welcome to contact their school nurse, social worker or counselor." Mark A

    5. I agree. The Deep State already existed in 2000, but putting it on steroids and directing it at the domestic scene was the work of Dubya, Cheney, and the Neocons. Remember, all through those years the FBI kept talking about "white nationalists" as the big threat. That isn't some recent thing.

    6. @Mark A.

      Very scary. That's happening at government schools and universities across the country. And we're all paying for it, whether or not "our students" are enrolled for government indoctrination.

      This is why I keep urging against sending kids to government indoctrination camps/schools.

  4. If we need to start applying "Conditions", does that only apply to Black Lives? Guess so. I'm a little behind in my reading and learning of "Guess what I'm thinking now".

    1. Good news Mark. I found an article that outlines the "Conditions" mentioned in the blog above. Has to do with the Coca-Cola company chief general counselor. Let's see if he speaks out. I bet not.

    2. @American Cardigan

      The 'settlement' that Coca-Cola reached with Mr Gayton, is worth nearly $12 million...after he had been on the job for less than a year...

      $12 million. Less than one year. Settlement? Looks more like extortion...

      We are deep into Fantasyland.

  5. In order to win elections, the Democrat Party needs to get more than 90% of the Black vote. Therefore the Democrat Party needs to agitate and pander to Blacks.

    This strategy can backfire against the Democrat Party as 1) Blacks become more demanding and 2) as non-Blacks increasingly resent Blacks.

    In other words, there are political costs to the strategy of agitating and pandering to Blacks.


    Aside from this racial aspect of our political situation, I have come to recognize that a growing portion of the electorate is supporting stricter government regulation and redistribution of wealth.

    In other words, the portion of the electorate that values liberty and free enterprise is gradually shrinking.

    That is my perception, but I cannot support it well with sociological evidence.


    Another aspect is that there is less appreciation for the benefits of meritocracy. We see this, for example, in higher education, where standardized tests are being eliminated in order to enroll more students who are less able intellectually.

    Demographic diversification is becoming more important than intellectual excellence. This trend applies to higher education and to employment.

    In general, our society is becoming more socialist, because that is what a growing portion of the electorate wants.

    1. I suspect this trend is part of the increasing tendency in our society to look for someone to take care of you. Among women this is the tendency to look upon government as a super provider husband (or sugar daddy?). I'm not sure how I'd describe this tendency among beta males, but it definitely exists.

      I'm not advocating for an unrealistic "go it alone" or "I built it myself" attitude, but there does seem to be what you describe--a tendency to embrace dependency rather than tolerate it to a degree.

    2. I recently read a book about the Medici family based in Florence, Italy. During the 1400s, Florence's government was basically a republic, the economy was dynamic, and the arts were superb. Of course, there were problems, but the trends were generally positive.

      A turning point occurred in 1494, when the French army occupied the city. Those positive trends were crushed, and Florence did not really recover for centuries.

      Reading about that development prompted me to think about the USA's current situation. We might now be living through a significant downturn in our society, economy and culture.

      Our watching the Democrat Party occupy the Presidency and Congress in 2021 is like the Florence citizenry watching the French Army occupy their city in 1494.

      The downturn and decline in the USA might last for generations. None of us will be able to do anything about it, beyond just trying to adjust ourselves to our new, wretched reality.

    3. Interesting analogy--hostile occupation by an ideologically and culturally opposed power (monarchy v. republic).

  6. "Is the American experiment fundamentally flawed? Or has it become fundamentally corrupted?"

    As soon as the "lower classes" were given the vote, (including women), pols quickly figured out they could be bought. And that works both ways. The different demographic groups can be bought (with their own money!), and the pols can be bought.

    The bigger the govt, the more money to be had, and the more temptation.

    So I would say, it has become completely corrupted.


    1. In support of your argument, I would point out that it took a constitutional amendment (income tax) to lay the groundwork for buying off the citizenry and, thus, enslaving them. That was the work of the Progressive Era, but Toqueville saw that coming.

  7. Be nice if we could swing them to the *great white politician* to hang their hats on. 🙄

  8. I have been making comments of this sort here and elsewhere, but VDH today in JWR says it so much better.
    "When institutions and politicians cannot accommodate radically changed circumstances, people will no longer value institutions and politicians. In their place, citizens will seek to ensure their own livelihoods, leisure and safety in ways that are more reliable and affordable — with their circumstances in their own hands rather than in those of distant others. And their adjustments won't always be calm or polite."

  9. Well i will throw an alternative theory at this.

    What if the polls are all wrong and or manipulated? We all keep saying that Trump's greatest achievement may have been ripping off the mask from the fake 2 party system, electoral systems, Deep State etc.. but then we continue to assume that things like polling and vote counts are real and reliable. I submit that we have been fooled in this respect as well and had best reexamine our assumptions.

    For instance, black voters. Everyone scratches their heads why black voters who are conservative on many issues vote Dem 95%. Maybe they dont. Maybe the Democrats have been switching their votes for decades. They certainly did in 2020 even when they knew we were watching. What about all those years we weren't?

    I further submit that the race hustling and riot baiting has little to do with voting or elections. Democrats don't much care about that because the votes are pre printed and easily rigged. No, the riots and racial demagoguery is simply a Cloward Piven strategy to create as much chaos and fear and division as possible so they can justify ever greater tyranny. Not complicated really. Humans are wired to seek security and will generally trade away just about anything to get it.

    -Protheus or Them

    1. I do know this, as a street cop, the vast majority of blacks I encounter verbally support me and my profession and wish me a safe day. This happens almost daily.

      Sure, anecdotal in a suburb north of Dallas, but I take comfort in this. I know plenty of whites who don’t like me and what I represent, along with other races, but that is a very small subset of the community I serve.

      Let me put to y’all this way ...

      I saved a black man’s life when he was actively trying to kill himself. I had arrested him before. I was instrumental in getting his brother put into prison. I was there when his sister was arrested.

      Guess who they called when this man was in crisis? The police and I showed up.

      It’s what we do as a general rule and most of that is never reported, ever.

      Just yesterday, I helped changed a tire on an older white woman’s car and jumped off a car belonging to a young black couple. All this occurred at the end and after I was supposed to leave on a 12 hour shift.

      A typical police day interspersed with dealing with a meth addict, white female and twice, and vehicle crashes.

    2. Is you the law?

    3. @anon Pro,

      I've abandon the Left, Right, Dems, Repubs "labels", It's a work in progress but I'm learning to think differently. Polling has not meant anything to me in years. I'm also trying to avoid falling into the deep state *catch all* as well.

      My reasoning is this... The left and right parties, beyond stage performances, are no different what-so-ever. As a conservative, or even as an american I have no side that fights for, or has fought for me in decades.

      IMHO when you really get down to it the difference between Ted Cruz or Mitch Mcconnell and Maxine Waters or Nancy Pelosi *actions* (not rhetoric) is absolutely nothing of value to me as an american. And the rhetoric is completely for thier perspective *lovers*, or *love to hate'ers*.

      That's the mask trump really ripped off and I think most are still missing that. Many don't want to accept it. I contend it's too big of a pill to swallow as it means they are letting go of an ideology where wrongly believe their influence meanings something. Suddenly all of that political belief falls into the same category as *toilet paper* for Covid. A false sense of security that's only good for wiping ones butt with.

      The "deep state" I'm trying to lay off of because it's too much of a over simplification. Sure I firmly believe there as a rogue IC at play. But there as also a corrupted congress, two parties dancing a jig and singing a song, a reserve funding it, a dirty DOJ and judicial system protecting it... AND...states who regardless of political parties in charge are 100% complicit and submissive to it all contentiously rolling along.

      Let them have at it... Let them keep going as they are because in all reality you can't elect anyone and even if you did they can not / will not change much of anything.

      I contend if more people would realize that and drop the fantasy of having a say or input the faster we will move beyond being hung up on the symptoms and move to actually trying to fix the problems.

      It probably sounds very cynical over all but I contend contentiously participating in the current mess is absolute insanity. (Doing the same things and believing you'll get a different result) I'm not surrendering, I'm waiting for the rest to catch up!

  10. The question is where is all this going? At what point us there a rejection of this cultural poison? The people that I know who voted for Biden and vote Democrat won’t realize what they have been voting for until the crime and economic destruction of the cities reaches the suburbs.

  11. Here's a 2 min unbelievable video of Ami Horowitz doing man-in-the-street interviews with young black folks in Minneapolis.

    The lack of knowledge, the hate towards white people, the willingness and eagerness to let Minneapolis burn, the indoctrination is just mind-boggling


    1. It's been obvious for decades (see affirmative action) that Dem's want to keep their thumbs on the black community in a needful yet uncaring way.