The Dogs Don’t Like It

I once heard a story, probably apocryphal, about a pet food company that unrolled a new brand of dog food to great excitement. After the initial burst of interest, sales of the new brand dropped rapidly. Week after week fewer boxes of the new brand sold. Finally, the CEO of the pet food company called a meeting of all the chief executives of the company to determine why the new brand wasn’t selling. One executive after another proposed ever more elaborate theories about the declining sale. Maybe the advertising campaign needed to be changed, they said, or maybe the boxes were the wrong size or color. Perhaps the company needed to change the price. None of these theories seemed satisfactory to the CEO until finally, he turned to a lowly lab technician who had helped develop the new brand. “I think” the technician stammered nervously, “the problem might be that the dogs don’t like it.”

Last week the Democrats suffered some stunning losses in the off-year elections, elections they would normally have won easily. In Virginia, Glenn Youngkin narrowly defended former governor Terry McAuliffe in a race the Democrat was widely expected to win. The Republicans swept the state, winning the governorship and the elections for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General as gaining a majority in the lower house of the Virginia legislature. In New Jersey, one of the bluest states, Republican Jack Ciattarelli almost defeated Phil Murphy in the governor’s race. All over the country, the Republicans have won odd elections and ballot initiatives, which does not bode well for the Democrats’ chances in next year’s midterm elections.

Naturally, the Democrats are trying to discover the reason for their unexpected losses. Perhaps they were too moderate. Maybe if Terry McAuliffe had run more to the left he would have won. Maybe the voters are frustrated because Congress has not passed an infrastructure bill or done more to enact Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Maybe Republican voter suppression tipped the scale in their favor. Probably Republican fear-mongering about trumped-up culture wars encouraged conservative Deplorables to vote while discouraging decent people. Then, there is the old standby; it was racism. The people of Virginia and elsewhere are racist, and the unfortunate losses were the result of a whitelash. Never mind that Virginians just elected their first Black, woman Lieutenant Governor, this was White supremacy at work.

An obvious white supremacist

So far, what had been missing in these post-election analyses is the obvious fact that the Democrats lost because the people do not like the woke, extreme leftist policies they have been pushing. People do not want their children to be taught race hatred, even in the name of fighting against racism. White parents do not want their children taught that they are evil oppressors because of their skin color. Black parents do not want their children taught that they are helpless victims because of their skin color. No one wants their children to be taught to hate themselves and their own country.

Parents do not want their daughters raped by skirt-wearing boys who claim to be gender fluid. They do not want their children to be exposed to pornographic materials allegedly t0 promote gay acceptance but which seems suspiciously like grooming by pedophiles. People want their children educated, not indoctrinated. They are growing weary of schools shut down for COVID while they go out to work, somehow ensuring that remote education is working.

People are also tired of the vaccine mandates, the mask mandates, and the whole idea that someone in some office in Washington, or Richmond, should have the power to control or destroy their lives, based not on any consistent scientific principles but seemingly on random whims. People are exasperated by higher prices and empty shelves in stores. They are angered by a border in chaos, increasing crime rates, and their country being humiliated abroad.

Most of all, people are upset with a ruling elite that refuses to take their problems seriously. Parents who take issue with their children being taught Critical Race Theory are racists and domestic terrorists. Americans complaining about the economy are spoiled and need to lower expectations. We are deplorable for wanting leaders that put America and Americans first. Instead of coming up with solutions, they laugh at us.

If the Democrats want to win elections they need to start paying more attention to what the people out there really want and less attention to Twitter activists ideologues. If they do this, the Democratic Party might become a truly American political party again and not a continuing menace to our freedom and way of life.

Charlottesville

Since everyone else has an opinion on the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, I might as well share my thoughts on the subject.

In books and movies and such, there is generally one side that is portrayed as the heroes or good guys, the side the reader or audience is expected to root for. The other side, the side that opposes the good guys are the villains or bad guys. In real life, there is not often such a clear-cut distinction between good and evil as there is in fiction. In most conflicts both sides believe that they are in the right and are trying to do what they believe is best. All too often, the conflict is not between good and evil , but evil and evil.

World War II is usually considered the “good war” because the Allies were fighting against one of the most evil regimes in history, Nazi Germany. If ever there was a clear-cut conflict between good and evil, surely the fight about Nazism was it. Yet, the Nazis didn’t see themselves as evil. They believed that they were saving the world from the menace of the Jews. More to the point I’m making, one of the Allies, the Soviet Union was actually even more evil than Nazi Germany, in terms of total number of people murdered and disregard of the most basic human rights.Stalin was more cruel than Hitler, and potentially more dangerous, since he didn’t make the kind of impulsive mistakes that cost Hitler the war. The two nations were even allied at the beginning of the war, dividing Eastern Europe between them, until Hitler double-crossed Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union. As far as the Eastern front of the European Theater of World War II went, it was truly a struggle of foul against vile. The fact that Stalin fought against Hitler and that the Russians were instrumental in defeating the great evil of Nazism did not make Stalin a good guy.

Which brings us to the recent events in Charlottesville. As I understand it, there was a rally of various groups belonging to the so-called “Alt-right”, reportedly members of the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, racists, and White supremacists to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. I do not know how many of the people there actually belonged to racist groups. It is possible that many were simply against the  removal of the statue. Whatever the case, the racists are unquestionably vile people who hated others because of their race and are willing to use violence against the people they hate. They are the bad guys. There were also counter-protesters. Perhaps many of them were peaceful protesters against the hate groups, but many were members of the “Antifa”, the gang of left-wing thugs who have been shouting down conservative speakers on college campuses, rioting, and assaulting supporters of President Donald Trump. Naturally the event turned violent.

The media would like to spin a narrative of the good anti-racists versus the evil racists, and when Donald Trump condemned the violence on both sides, the media excoriated him for giving aid and comfort to right-wing extremist. But, President Trump was right. There was violence and extremism on both sides and political violence needs to be condemns no matter who is committing it, even if it is against Nazis. The media and the Democrats are the ones giving aid and comfort to both sides. They are covering up and excusing violent actions taken by Antifa, giving them encouragement. But by taking sides and all but approving of violence and censorship, they are giving the Klansmen and Nazis reason to believe themselves to be persecuted. Part of the belief system of the extreme right these days is that they are bravely speaking truth to power against the Jews or whoever. Also, by lumping together mainstream conservatives with these louts and calling everyone who dissents from politically correct orthodoxy racist, helps to mainstream the real racists out there. A fight between Fascist ans Antifa is a fight between evils and decent people shouldn’t favor either side.

One thing has to be made completely clear. If you are in favor of political violence for any reason, even against despicable people, you are not one of the good guys. If you think that punching a Nazi, or someone you think is a Nazi is acceptable behavior, you are not one of the good guys. If you believe that people who hold certain beliefs should not be allowed to speak out, if you believe that such people should be fired from their jobs, if you believe that it is acceptable to harass over over the internet, you are not one of the good guys. You may detest the Nazis and the racists, but you do not understand what makes them detestable. You only oppose them because they are the opposing team. You would feel just as comfortable among the Nazi as among the anarchists.

As a Northerner, I have absolutely no sympathy for the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. I do not think it is a heritage to be proud of. Not only was the South fighting for the worst cause imaginable, the right to hold their fellow human beings in bondage, but I think that most of the men who led the South before and during the Civil War were idiots. They succeeded from the Union knowing that it would start a war that they had only a slim chance of winning and they bungled any chance they had to win. Worst of all, the whole war was unnecessary. President Lincoln did not have the power to free a single slave, as he himself admitted, and by secession, the people who wanted to preserve slavery took the only course of action that would have ended the peculiar institution. As far as I am concerned, the whole Lost Cause mythology of brave Southern struggle against the overwhelming forces of the North was devised by the former Confederates to cover up and excuse their incompetence and bad judgement. These men don’t deserve to have statues raised in their honor.

Having said that, I am still opposed to this business of taking down the statues. It has too much of an Orwellian, Soviet feel to it. It is too reminiscent of Mao’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution for my comfort. The effort seems at best a distraction from the real problems of this country and of African-Americans and seems to be too much like an effort to erase history, to go back to the Year Zero. How long before they start attacking other periods of American history? Hardly any body in history could measure up to the strict standards of political correctness that they seek to apply.

It’s better to learn from the past than to erase it and to try to make a better future than to endlessly revisit old grievances and we would be a lot better off trying to find things to unite us all as Americans, rather seek new causes of division.

2013 Election

I ought to have written this earlier this week but I have been busy and more than a little tired. 2013 was an off year election so there wasn’t much to really talk about except for a couple of interesting elections. First there was the New Jersey gubernatorial election. Chris Christie won re-election easily with 60.4% of the vote against his opponent Barbara Buono who had only 38.1%. This was expected. Christie seems to have been an effective governor and has remained popular in New Jersey.The Democrats did not spend much money  in New Jersey, believing her candidacy to be a lost cause.

In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe barely won the gubernatorial election with 47.7% of the vote verses Republican Ken Cuccinelli with 45.3%. This contest has been seen as a sign that the Tea Party has peaked and that only moderate Republicans have a chance to win in 2014 and 2016. I am not so sure. McAuliffe won, but by only a narrow margin. Obviously a large number of Virginians did not think that Cuccinelli was too conservative or extreme. Mark Levin believes that Cuccinelli could have won the race if he had gotten more support from the Republican Party at the national level. He could be right. It is increasingly obvious that the Republican establishment would prefer a Democrat to win rather than a Tea Party Republican. Conservatives who actually mean what they say about a small, limited government might disturb the cozy relationship they have with the Democrats.

I would also note that the Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis got 6.5% of the vote. If just half of the people who voted Libertarian voted for Cuccinelli, then he would have won. No doubt those Libertarians are congratulating themselves on not compromising by voting for the Republican, but the big government Democrat will be the next governor of Virginia. This is why a vote for the Libertarian Party is not just a wasted vote but is actually a vote for the Democrats. American politics is simply not set up for a third party and any vote for a third party turns out to be a vote for your ideological opponent.

I do not believe that the key to a Republican victory in the next elections is running “moderate” candidates. The problem here is that “moderate” candidates are usually the wishy-washy candidates who either don’t believe in anything, except getting elected, or are too cowardly to stand up for what they believe. Christie is not, in fact, all that moderate, except on social issues. Many conservatives suspect him because he has said nice things about Obama, but on fiscal matters, he seems to be quite conservative. More importantly, he does not shy away from confrontations. A Republican candidate for any office who is honest about his beliefs and willing to stand up for them, regardless of the inevitable hostility from the media, can and will win. Its these candidates who feel they need to apologize for being conservative that lose.

Finally, in New York City, Democrat Bill de Blasio won a landslide 73.3% vote to become the next mayor. This is unfortunate. de Blasio seems to be very liberal, even verging on Marxist judging from his support for the Nicaraguan Sandinistas back in the 1980s. His election may result in the undoing of all the work his two immediate predecessors have done in turning New York into a livable city. At the very least the class warfare rhetoric will encourage business to locate elsewhere and it seems likely that he will hobble the NYPD. Well, the New Yorkers wanted him. They will get what they deserve.

 

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