It’s been three days since Trump’s inauguration and I haven’t lost it and bitchslapped anyone in public, but it’s a difficult thing, I’m always ten seconds from a righteous bitchslapping, and I must take it a day at a time.
It’s not his fervent supporters who are driving me to the screaming mimmies. Sure, a lot of the more fervent ones are absolutely convinced he sits astride a white horse (with a golden saddle) and is coming to cure the world all their ills, but frankly, they don’t bother me, the same way that Obama’s supporters who thought he was the Light Bringer and sort of like a G-d, standing above the world and fixing all its problems. (Oh, child of the morning, how art thou fallen.) It is a common human failing, and even our form of government isn’t going to erase that. I deal with that the way I dealt with Obama supporters — by staying out of their drum circles — and roll my eyes so hard they almost fall off (but I’ve had little clips installed, so they can’t fall off.) So, I’m cool.
Rather it’s his unhinged opponents.
I’ll level — and you don’t need to go very far to find out — and say I was scared when Obama was elected. I’d seen other college room Marxists, and I knew the havoc they could wreak. But I didn’t get seriously alarmed, or get involved in politics, or even speak out, until they passed Health Care Screwing Up Act with a procedural trick, until not only did we learn of Fast and Furious but the media swept it under the rug, until Benghazi happened, the administration lied in public and progressives were satisfied with the explanation that it “wasn’t a thing.”
I must say however that even in my extreme of losing my cool, I never even THOUGHT of marching on Washington wearing knit representations of genitalia on my head. I considered running for regional office, something that’s still on the books, if writing stops paying or doesn’t pay enough to justify the effort, only I’d make a very bad politician because “Are you out of your frickin’ minds” is a terrible campaign slogan.
I certainly didn’t start demonstrating against Obama the day he was elected. In fact, even in 2012, I talked back from the ledge friends who thought his election would destroy the future they had planned. You can’t live through several revolutions or in a seriously corrupt country without knowing “there is always a way around the rules” and “Most political changes are undone. Some just take longer than others.” (Yes, even Venezuela shall be free-er and prosperous again, but that’s a different case as their culture really lends itself to Caudillo regimes.)
But I confess that the behavior of the left, since November, has me breathless.
Remember this is me talking. I lived briefly (I think six months, but I could be wrong? I try not to think of that time and the ages between 11 and 18 sort of run together in my mind) under a Maoist regime run by rich boys whose hobbies included painting exquisite socialist realism murals and shooting their AK47s randomly at people they thought were insufficiently enthusiastic supporters. I’ve been in situations (weirdly not during that time) when machine guns were pointed at me by both amateurs and professionals. I’ve been in public assemblies in which people were randomly shot from above, and it was luck of the draw it wasn’t me. I’ve seen cars set on fire. I’ve had to live with the awareness of what was going on nationally at any moment, because it might impinge on my little world. And yes, I did things that got other people “disappeared” (though no one knew that for years, and the assumption was that they’d run abroad) and because I was an idiot teen who was going to live forever, got in the face of very dangerous people. It wasn’t till years later, that I realized why my parents and brother were scared for me, and why my brother thought my parents should control me. (Keep in mind that he didn’t know HOW they could do that, and the response was exactly that. “You tell us how.”)
And now I’m more scared than I’ve ever been. It started out as funny, but I’m now terrified.
It’s not just that I’m older. It’s not that I have children and (for now) adopted grandchildren, and I’ve always been more scared for others than for myself. (Some of those “Student Leaders” I outraged could even have got my lip service if they’d threatened my brother. But they were stupid and threatened me.)
It’s more that I do not know if the country, as a representative republic, governed by the people can survive when substantial numbers of its people — and a vast number of them in positions of power in industry and culture — know so many things that just ain’t so and are willing to act on them without thinking. In fact, it could be said that they’ve been trained not to think. And that, particularly for people in intellectual professions, is a terrifying thing to behold.
My adopted brother, Charlie Martin, says his problem is that Trump has opened the bag of idiots. My real problem is that any republican winning would have done so — yes, even Romney. Even Kasich — the only difference being that instead of pussy hats, the women-against-objectification would have worn whole body vulva suits. With Trump it’s genitalia head gear, because he used the word “pussy.” This is so much worse than Clinton being a serial rapist and his wife enabling him for… reasons. Don’t ask them the reasons, because that would force them to think, and they’ll just scream things at you like “my body my choice” and “you are afraid of vaginas.” I demonstrably am not, as I haven’t done anything drastic to mine, but those are the things they say to avoid thinking. Mantras.
Which brings us to cults.
I should have known something was up as I started reading about cults and cults deprogramming, and what happens to cults when disconfirmation of their beliefs happens.
My subconscious is the smart part of me. When I start reading about something, it’s either for a book, or there’s a reason.
Cults are a fascinating thing. Most of the people who join don’t join for the beliefs, which is what you’d think (right?) but for the sense of community, for belonging, or even for the benefits of it (house, food, money, a job.)
It’s kind of up in the air whether they believe in the tenets of the cult AT ANY TIME in the traditional sense. Instead, they build blocks in their heads so they can’t think or do or even hear anything that challenges the cult.
The cult’s revelations usually include “and we’ll conquer the world” or some great event will happen that will give them control of the Earth. When those are “disconfirmed” they scare the members because it makes the entire structure totter. What they actually joined for: money or prestige, or even community, is at risk, but more importantly, the things going on around them threaten the careful habits of not thinking that they’ve built up.
And it’s much, much worse for the children raised in the cult. It often takes them decades to escape the habits of non-thought or the vague paranoid fear that they’re going to be punished for doing what the cult disapproved of.
It is even worse if the cult (as most do) demonized everyone not of the cult. Because then the kids can spend decades mired in the idea everyone is out to get them.
Which brings us to what is going on about us.
Some have compared the American progressivism implosion to how the Soviet Union fell, and they’re more right than not.
Yes, the Soviet union had secret police and a state apparatus, and yes, people were afraid of being arrested and thrown in jail, at least if they were people who had any sort of political awareness.
But most of the people didn’t. Most of the people (talk to people who grew up there) just wanted to survive another day and get more food, and live a little better. And for that they needed to mouth the beliefs of the Soviet cult, even if their lying eyes told them otherwise. So, as in a cult you taught yourself not to think.
The interesting thing, when the Soviet Union fell, was the reaction of the cult members in the Soviet union, and the converts abroad. (And before you tell me that the progressives abroad were not Soviet converts, yes, I’ll explain.)
There was a brief period when everyone who could walk, crawl, or even drive a crappy soviet car away, did so. But it didn’t empty the country. And the ones who stayed behind eventually crawled back into the womb of authoritarian government. Because it was the only way they could function. (This too, as with Venezuela, might be their culture. At least it’s what I told myself.)
The ones abroad, many of whom aren’t even aware of being Marxist converts — despite their belief that people are widgets inside their group (aka soviet) and that characteristics such as skin color, or genitalia, or profession dictate your thoughts; despite using terms like “consciousness raising”; despite not only narratives of victimhood, but the great and insane stealing of the Garden of Eden myth with the narrative of a primitive feminist paradise which not only left no archeological traces but also makes no sense with the realities of humans and life; despite their increased support for a centralized government that controls every facet of life — had a few wobbles, before they convinced themselves that the Soviet union wasn’t REALLY socialist (despite name) or communist, and that with the right people in charge, we could do it right.
This is typical cult behavior. The “progressive” narrative has a myth of the past (oh, that great communitarian past that also never existed) and a myth of the future, where the state they’ve been feeding magically withers away and we all sing in perfect harmony (but don’t drink coke, which is a capitalist invention.) It comes through even when they’re not aware of it in their belief in the arrow of history; in their belief that you can be a race or gender traitor if you don’t believe in them; in their belief that the only reason you could disagree with them is that you’re evil.
If you posit they’re a cult, it all falls in place. They’re just a very large cult who has done what cults have done throughout history and got control of the structures of power. (I said that Heinlein was right about the First Prophet, he just didn’t realize what the “religion” would be.)
Having control of the structures of power, they could at least force people to PRETEND to believe in their nonsense. They’ve managed this rather effectively across the media, entertainment, education, and a lot of other professions.
This week a young fan who works in music found out his beliefs and his blog cost him a lucrative career opportunity. Us, old veterans of this war, could do nothing but nod and go “We know” and give instances in which we know the same happened to us. It’s everywhere. Even in technical professions, the corporate culture, to appease the controlling cult, has enforced rigid adherence to things that contradict your lying eyes.
Having seized that control, the leaders of the cult could now proclaim anything they wanted, no matter how absurd, and be sure people would echo. Some of them because they want to avoid loss of position and power; some because they were raised this way and have to believe, because otherwise they lose everything they’d been taught.
And then the fact that everyone, particularly anyone with any power (even though getting power is a function of mouthing the cult’s platitudes) “agrees” with them is brought out against dissidents, to call them stupid or mentally ill (they’re not that different from the soviet union, no.)
My younger son, shortly after the election, told me his colleagues were losing their minds. I asked — sarcastically. I am STILL me — why the election of the most socially liberal Republican in decades was scaring them so much, and why they thought immigrants, women or gays would be sent to camps, and he said it wasn’t even that “they were taught, and believed it, that no Republican, ever would win again.”
Which is why they wanted to accrue ever more power to the government. Because they thought it would always be their instrument.
They had reason to think so, not just because of the massive machinery of fraud (Dear hearts, only ONE party disapproves of measures to make our elections secure, and also your president lied to you. Voter ID is NOT a function of America’s “racist past” EVERY COUNTRY THAT’S not a dictatorship has some for of assuring that the person voting is entitled to. EVERY COUNTRY. Even tiny, unorganized Portugal which is by and large mono-racial save for immigrants.) No, they had reason to think this, because in every field they conquer the “enemy” disappears and never gets control again. (More on this later.) Look to the media, or publishing, or the arts. They had a reason to believe their narrative of eternal victory.
This is why the election of someone who doesn’t agree with them, and who is not wholly committed to moving us towards the utopian future they envision is making them come unglued.
Women are protesting in the streets against a man whose wives and daughters are business women, with careers and independent lives. They’re screaming about losing their right to abortion (and having been sold on this as a right is something else) when in fact he rather approves of abortion. Like most men who sleep around, he likes not having to support any accidental products. (What? Did I say he wasn’t an asshole?)
Immigrants are convinced they’ll be deported tomorrow, even if he’s only talked of deporting ILLEGAL or CRIMINAL immigrants.
Gays are convinced they’ll be put in camps, because “he held the rainbow flag upside down and it was a dog whistle” even though my gay friends tell me there REALLY isn’t a formal up or down to the flag, it being a sort of ersatz symbol. OTOH I’m becoming convinced a lot of gay people have fantasies about being put in camps with hot guards, or something, and feel guilty about it and must turn it into “fear” of being put in camps. To my knowledge leftist gays have feared this since Reagan and it reached a peak under Bush who, also to my knowledge, never even mentioned anything about gays and whose vice president has a gay daughter whom he doesn’t shun. (And for the one of you reading this who has my phone, yes, yes, I KNOW exactly the texts you’re going to send me about brawny camp guards in snazzy uniforms. Just not in the middle of the night, okay, no matter how funny they are. I love you like a brother. I don’t want to kill you.)
Keep in mind these same women said absolutely nothing when Clinton was credibly accused of multiple RAPES and in fact went all out to support his wife, who aided and abetted this behavior.
Keep in mind that gay students didn’t force the university to stop the speech of Iran’s Imamadjihad at universities, even though he’s known to hang gays or force them into sex change operations.
This is not rational behavior. This is a cult.
I avoided most of the insanity this weekend, by being at a con (yes, think about that) and yes, I have con crud mostly because our room had no heating for over 24 hours. (So much for getting a room and writing.)
While at the con, I found myself in the obligatory fairytale and myth panel which obligatorily attempted to go in the direction of “telling the old myths for the new society” — only it’s never for the real “new society” it’s rather to conform to this narrative where a character has to be feminist, one has to be gay, etc.
I confess to playing chaotic neutral in that panel. Everytime the ball started towards the gutter of feminism, I punted it in another direction.
I did it not because it was offensive (though it annoys me) but because it would be boring. I’ve been in these panels dozens of times, and could mutter the responses in my sleep. I get bored with the services of my own religion (more and more rarely. I must be getting old) much less the rites of a cult.
Then there was the panel where three people averred with perfect seriousness that we’re halfway through killing the planet. Even if you get all your news from the mass media, how can you think that? Unless of course you have no idea how big the planet is, or weren’t educated in science (which some of them were.) And if you think that, why aren’t you putting every push possible towards space colonization? And why do the measures you want to take to prevent global warming default to “mo’e socialism and less industry” just as it did to stop global cooling in the seventies? And why are all of them profoundly unserious? Years ago Greg Benford outlined ways you could cool the planet, if you really thing that’s needed, by positive change, like dumping iron fillings in the North sea.
The fact people like this never even consider such measures means that they’re not thinking about this; they don’t believe what they mouth. They’re just mouthing it to stay on top, in good positions with the cult. To the extent they “believe” in this bs, it’s as mantras to stop thinking.
At the same time, while I was at the con, a colleague of mine (probably between bouts of tears) posted that the way to avert any Republican getting elected ever again was to move to the benighted small towns and “educate” the locals. This too is cult behavior. “If only they saw the light. We’ll go and preach.”
What do we do with this? Civilizations have lost cults who controlled them, and reorganized, but I’m at a loss to think of any in which this happened peacefully.
I don’t think there’s that many of them, but they control the media and use it to inflate their numbers and their power.
They can’t hold on to us. The people who called the demonstrators the Trump 2020 dancers are right. Most of the country is looking at them like they looked at the insanity at the DNC (in sixty eight? I was a kid) and going “Oh, hell no.” And it’s clear from the polls that their suppression of people’s speech has simply insulated them from how mad people are at them.
They think their display of fervent belief will somehow scare us or convince us. It does scare us, but not the way they expect.
What I don’t know is how to deprogram so many people who grew up in the progressivist cult. I don’t know how to stop them from p*ssing off the people they demonize so much that they end up killed.
It’s not Trump they should be afraid of. He’s in the end a rather conventional soft-left man.
But they should be wary of pushing the rest of us. And instead they’re blissfully unaware that we exist as anything but what their cult leaders told them: backward, uneducated and evil people, who want to destroy everything they hold sacred. Even when we were for some of those things, on principle, long before the darlings of the left were.
I’m sitting here wondering how we get the cult members to think. It must be done, for the sake of our sanity, for the sake of our polity, for the sake of western civilization.
But I don’t know how to reach them. I particularly don’t know how to reach them before people of less principle and more anger take the matter in their own hands.
And I’m scared.
Who ARE all these zombies?