I think it was during my exchange student year that I first heard the American joke about how you had to vote for one of the lizards, because otherwise the other lizard would win.
I believe the joke originates in either a book or a science fiction story, in which a human finds himself in a country where all the humans are governed by lizards. Every so often there’s an election, and humans will vote for a faction of lizards, even though the lizards are horrible (and eat them or something.) When asked why they vote for a faction the answer is “otherwise the other faction will win!”
This joke both charmed me and horrified me, and in a way encompassed everything I then — remember for all my love of America and Americans I was still mostly European — loved and dreaded about America.
What charmed me was the irreverence towards politicians. To understand why, you’d have to understand Europe as I’d guess few of you do. I mean, really understand it, bone deep.
In Europe the revolutions against the aristocracy ended up being skin deep. Yes, I know what happened in France, but what they really wanted was the ability for the bourgeois to more easily penetrate the noble ranks. I’m not sure it was even that deep in Portugal. My father informs me that one of my ancestresses was a devout constitutional-monarchist, which honestly I think — sorry guys from Portugal who read this — is where the Portuguese soul still is. Being mostly a country of oppositional defiant loons (I actually say this with love) Portuguese mostly ignore authority unless there is reason to believe these people deserve some kind of respect. And the truth is, none of them is ever fully convinced birth isn’t as good a reason as any to to respect people. Possibly a better reason, as all other achievements can be cut down to size with sarcasm, irony and sheer defiance.
The convulsion of the Republican revolution, while violent was brief. And the crazy idealists (probably Marxists, or at least proto-Marxists. I have no idea. Portuguese history is notoriously hard to study INSIDE Portugal. When I lived there, works of history were rare and mostly one collected what one could from the memories of living people, inference from contemporary sources and that was about it. In the US I’ve found actual works of Portuguese history, but most of it is notoriously unreliable and full of errors even I can spot) who took over rapidly proved themselves worse than the nobility.
What they have now is well… “rule by good families” which aren’t so different than noble families. Oh, and the bluer the blood the redder the politics.
Conversations with friends all over Europe have led me to believe the same. All the sons and daughters of “good families” are very very leftist, intuiting in their heart of hearts this is the only way they’ll have their feudal rule back. It is definitely, due to the positional good that leftism has become (partly due to the propaganda efforts of the erstwhile Soviet Union and perhaps the present Russians) the way to power and wealth, both of which those with long blood lines of power want and desperately need, really. It is their family culture.
Anyway, the point is you don’t make jokes about the elite, those who know the corridors of power and how to get their way. That Americans do is one of my greatest inducements for having fallen in love with America.
What horrified me, and to an extent still does, was that Americans born and bred — you’ll forgive me, my friends? — have absolutely not a blathering clue about world politics, or how much power governments not fettered by the constitution have, or the havoc they can wreak on a peaceable nation.
Recall when I first heard this it was during the cold war. Having heard Jimmy Carter talk and pontificate I was very well aware of how the Soviet Union viewed him, and how he’d roll before them. What was at stake was in fact whether the world at large would become a farm for the Soviets to harvest to disguise the fact their vaunted empire couldn’t even support itself, and a future reminiscent of 1984.
Also, whatever else one said, and honestly he was a man, like others — and we shall not see his like again — Ronald Reagan LOVED America. Meanwhile Jimmy Carter could barely tolerate our stench on him, as he toured European capitals. (Yes, he didn’t despise us as openly as Obama, but it was there.)
It seemed to me only a fool would continue putting himself in the power of one who hated him, when one who loved him was available.
Lizards, yes, surely, but not equivalent. One lizard is more likely to kill you than the other.
Well, we know how that went.
We know how I went too. And as one of you I must say, I don’t like politicians. I don’t trust them. I know even the best of them are not only human, but likely to make the sort of compromise I wouldn’t make, or to have quaint notions that the other side can be negotiated with. And even those notions I agree with are likely to founder on a morass of dealing and deal-breaking.
Bah. They’re all lizards.
I was struck yesterday by the fact that some of you are so attached to this that — more on Facebook than here — you must protest one should not under any circumstances defend Trump. That he was whateverist or merely — who knows? — crazy or stupid, and that Tom spoke with forked tongue when he defended him.
I’ll be honest with you and say that I don’t even know who Tom voted for. He’s never volunteered the information. We were both very skeptical of both lizards, and honestly, I don’t know if he ever chose.
I eventually chose the lizard who didn’t hate America and who, for all his many many faults was the least likely to shoot me in the back of the head given the totality of who I am and what I believe.
Was he defending Trump? I don’t know. What I got from both his post and his rambling phone call was “I don’t like that lizard. But he’s saying something that needs to be said.”
Which honestly is what I believe too.
Did he say it in the best way possible? I don’t know. Maybe his calling everyone immigrants was his way of directing the discussion to the horrors of mass immigrants who form enclaves.
I’ll be honest: Trump is not Reagan. Trump is honestly a democrat. (In fact in one of my last conversations with Tom before the election in 2016 his comment on Trump was “I can’t vote for him. I don’t vote for democrats.”) But he’s a democrat his party has left behind.
Which brings us to the lizards again. See above, where I said in Europe the choice is between socialists? Given that I often voted for the socialists who at least seemed to love their country. Because they were less likely to deliver me and mine bound and gagged to our foes.
And it brings us to a choice of lizards.
Trump is… odd at best. For all his oddness, he’s not served us badly. He’s failed to stanch the invasion down south (Immigration without assimilation is an invasion- Jerry Pournelle) and he’s failed to clean up our voter roles, through which our representative government is bleeding. But honestly, given where we are and what we are, I don’t know if anyone could have done THAT.
There are other problems, yes, but I’ll tell you the honest truth, as opposed to tariffs as I am, I’m not doctrinaire, and we are at a unique techno-historical moment. If we don’t have some sort of cushion to bolster us while the rest of the world comes up to us in standards and cost of living (or close enough) we’ll go the way of Portugal shortly after the discoveries, where nothing is made in country, and the people sink into a culture of indolence and pride. Which you could say is already happening and already destroying us. And I don’t know the answer to bringing back manufacturing, jobs and preserving the American spirit. And neither do you. I’d like the answer to be my ideologically favored one, of course. I just don’t know if it is.
And I’m starting to suspect the internationalism of the 20th century was not just a very bad idea, but poison too, at least to any culture worth its name. Open the borders, or send out a casting call for the most afflicted in the world and what you’ll get in is the most dysfunctional cultural elements. All of them. Which in turn will undermine and destroy your culture.
We don’t need to make this experiment. The Scandinavian countries, Germany and France stand as awful examples.
But beyond that, international leaders don’t give a flying fig for how the population in their countries live. Go ask the Yellow Jackets.
It seems to me if you’re electing lizards, it’s a good idea to elect the ones who don’t hate you. It’s not enough but it’s a good start.
Which brings me to both what Trump said — and we all know exactly what he meant, which was that if people came here to complain about the country, they should go back (Californians taking over Colorado, I’m looking at you too) and show us how it was done. Note that he said they could come back afterwards — however badly expressed, and what the other side says.
We won’t even go into the sad spectacle of the Queen Bee Squad being unable to say that Al Qaeda are bad actors. I mean Ilhan Omar seemed to think that a request to separate herself from the enemies of America was a trick question.
And we’ll leave aside Lizard Occasional Cortex’s grasping ambition which is inversely proportional to her IQ.
Let’s look at the clown car of Democrat candidates:
All of whom embrace open borders, seemingly incapable of realizing that the land will eventually belong to those who defend them, and that those people might not be willing to be ruled by THEM.
All of whom view Emma Lazarus’ blather on the statue of Liberty as the writ of law and completely ignoring “Yearning to breathe free” think America is a sort of charity, which SHOULD by rights turn all its wealth and generational capital over to the wretched of the Earth. (Most of them think America stole it from the wretched of the Earth, because never having run anything not even a lemonade stand, they think wealth is closed pie.)
All of whom want to control the economy, and beyond that the thoughts, feelings and everyday interactions of normal Americans in their lawful pursuits. And I mean, control. These are all totalitarian larvae.
And then look at those who follow them. Yesterday I was treated to a farrago of nonsense on my Facebook page. This included being called a “monster” whose words (yes, that post here yesterday) made one’s “blood run cold.” I was also called racist and accused of white privilege. Oh, and a host of other equally daft attacks that boiled down to “if you hate socialism you must be a white supremacist.”
The last is the truly depressing thing, because you can’t fail to realize that these poor indoctrinated bunnies, while possibly incapable of expressing it (because they’re incapable of expressing most things) have been indoctrinated to believe that all races but whites are naturally socialist, and therefore to oppose socialism is to be racist.
They’ve also been indoctrinated to believe America OWES the world. Which means that you get blather about “children in cages.” And yeah, they refuse to believe those photos are from under Obama, but let’s leave that aside for a moment: NEVER in my entire life have I seen so much malignant altruism deployed on behalf of people coming into a country with neither invitation nor a desire to belong.
These people, who have no clue how other countries operate, have been made ashamed that America HAS borders, and feel vaguely embarrassed by those of us who approve of borders, in the same way a nobleman feels embarrassed by commoners farting in the king’s court.
We are at a very perilous moment. I’ll tell you right now — I’ve told you before — that I don’t think it will pass without serious civil unrest.
If we’re lucky, we’ll escape without the sort of serious civil unrest that persists for generations and destroys the land and the people. I believe there is just a chance we’ll get lucky.
But the thing is unless these misguided notions of the followers of the lunatic open-borders socialist lizards are countered, and hit hard on the face with rebar (the notions, not the followers or the lizards) repeatedly, while they can’t win, we’ll also lose.
To the generation raised on racial nonsense and accused at every turn of being “white supremacist” white supremacy will become the norm. They are as innocent of cultural differences as a cow is of a palace. All they’ll see is the superficial difference. And what they’ll do is turn the idiocy they’ve been taught on its head.
The result will be much what the European right wing is. It will also be, if not impossible, very uncomfortable for myself and my descendants.
And it will not be America.
Which is why I put Tom’s post up. And why I think we need to stop quibbling over “If only Trump were perfect.”
Great idea. Let’s arrange for a perfect politician who never misspeaks as soon as possible. Hell, I’d settle for human and not a lizard.
However, since the other lizards are for destroying us through a combination of open borders and complete control economy… How about we, for now, stop declaring the sky is falling because the lizard we have misspoke, maybe? Or maybe created a cunning trap for the other lizards?
Yeah, sure. They’re all lizards. But if one set of lizards wants to annihilate you no less absolutely than during the years of the soviet union, and the other lizard is MERELY an embarrassment to those of us who love words, and frankly not to be trusted further than I can throw him, I know which side I’m on.
Let me add I don’t think the left CAN create Venezuelization here. I think none of them even understands how diverse, varied and resourceful Americans are, much less the vastness of the land.
But I do know if they get hold of the levers of power, even once, in the next ten years, or until their love affair with communism and internationalism is purged, and a new generation raised, they will so far corrupt the voting that they will never be dislodged. And when the worm does turn — and it will — another totalitarian regime will take the place of theirs.
So. It is important to change the culture. It is important to debate things like “immigration to what end?” and “If the purpose is welfare why not assist them in their own lands?” and “Shouldn’t Americans love their own country?” (Note this is not the same as not wishing to change anything about it. But if you want to change EVERYTHING about it, including the principles on which it was founded, why not leave? There are bound to be countries you like better, no?) and “what do we actually owe the wretched of the world?” and “What does culture contribute to prosperity and/or wretchedness?” And also “How does one change culture?” (Because en masse we don’t actually know how. Yes, Japan, kind of but what actually has resulted is the disease of conquered people, who fail to reproduce.)
We must debate these questions, or they will be “decided” by the indoctrinated who have been taught not to think at all.
Lizards? Sure. They’re lizards. But one set of lizards hates America, the west, and in fact all humans.
Do you want to deliver yourselves into their power?