Making Real Sacrifices
"The Call To Unite", a streaming 24-hour long compendium concert is transparently duplicitous and insensitive to many Americans. Why? It is, after all, Hollywood's way of rallying the population to do good things for each other during the stressful Covid19 pandemic lockdown. They say, please join us as we celebrate and support each other!!
As long as you are part of the approved population, that is.
The Call To Unite will talk about the sacrifices many Americans are making to help each other endure these trying times, but there is one sacrifice no limousine liberal will mention: putting aside their petty animosity for Donald Trump for just a few months while the world undergoes one of the most challenging periods in recorded history. They have not stopped slandering and impugning the nation's President for 40 consecutive months, and though I doubt we will have to endure any political speeches during the weekend event, I am just as certain you won't see the President participating in it either.
That would be a bridge too far. In fact, Hollywood elites see this pandemic as a rallying point to further condemn a man who has been sacrificing his family, his business interests, his personal time, and even his salary, for the express purpose of serving his country. That is a fact and is not recognized by any of these self-righteous Progressives (my apologies to Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman and Azealia Banks and a few other stars that have expressed their desire to work with the President).
Has any one of the high-profile celebrity Trump-haters given up an ounce of their time, their livelihood or their wealth (yes they raise awareness and donations, but rarely write enormous checks themselves) to get up every morning and dedicate themselves to the service of their country? Ever? The answer is no but that doesn't stop them from routinely pronouncing their hatred for Trump with vicious Tweets, TV appearances and public rants every chance they get.
They refer to the May Day Weekend live streaming program as a celebration of "some acts of humanity". It is designed to be inspirational and supportive. All very noble and appreciated. But overcoming the dangers of the Covid19 contagion requires a massive effort on the level of a war. It is battle to the death of us or the disease, whichever comes first. It is a battle to control infection, restore our livelihoods and protect our constitutional rights. Many world leaders have said they are assuming a "wartime footing".
During wartime, military leaders can't always make friends with their troops, but when it is time to confront the enemy, soldiers know they need to fall in line behind their leaders. They know it is for their own good. It requires 100% commitment to win the fight, and ask questions later. If you win, and that is always a big if, there will be time to question tactics, to hold people accountable and to replace leaders if necessary.
But you have to defeat the enemy of your species first.
Will the Hollywood Stars invite the duly-elected President of the United States of America, and the millions of Americans that voted for him, to join The Call To Unite? He is not on the announced list of contributors. If a reporter should ask about that, I am sure the answer would be, "Trump's presence would be too divisive."
It never occurs to them that not inviting him would be equally divisive.
Trump haters maintain a delusional idea that he stands alone. That he is an outlander, a mistake and a dictator who rules with no popular support. They purposely, and in my view, ignorantly, dismiss those that support Trump's Presidency. They see us as victims of an injustice. So The Call To Unite is a rally for all of those Americans that, in their mind, are suffering not just from a worldwide pandemic, but from the injustices of the Trump 'regime'.
When my son was playing organized youth baseball, I would sit in the stands and fume at the way his coaches verbally abused the kids. I disagreed with their style of coaching. But I also recognized how much time and personal sacrifice they made to work with the kids. I decided I should just root for the kids and skip the bitching. I could, after all, become a coach myself. It is easy to stand on the sidelines and complain, but it is quite another thing to put in the time and effort.
I really wish The Call To Unite would reach across the isle and make our President a part of the appeal. That sacrifice alone would make the claim "We are all in this together" sound a lot more genuine.
The God Complex
Today I want to talk about how we humans can look at something, and have completely opposite reactions. I think we all want to figure out why our culture is divided right down the middle about everything. We live in paradise but we are acting like we are confined to an insane asylum.
I know I have trouble understanding people who want to tell me
I find it inexplicable that those same people think
Just watch nighttime talk shows and the hosts, people like Bill Maher, Jimmy Kimmel or Trevor Noah will say something derogatory about the intelligence of conservatives every single night!
“It just so happens that almost every talk show host is liberal and that’s because it requires a level of intelligence...” - Jimmy Kimmel
I think Jimmy Kimmel proves my point about liberal arrogance...
In America we have more choices than anywhere else in the world. But that sometimes results in disagreements too..
I call that Free Dumb, with a B. Because consensus is essentially Mob Rule. Just because everybody agrees on a course of action doesn't make it the right choice.
We have been so fortunate to live in an era of enormous abundance, so in many cases the impact of making poor choices is small.
For that half of the population, being involved means tracking celebrities, sports teams, or running in a marathon. This is, after all, their choice. They find community affairs annoying and a waste of time.
We have lowered our expectations of students. By that I mean modern public schools almost universally incorporate the pedogocical template of progressive outcome based student-centered teaching promoted by John Dewey and John Rousseau in the early part of the 20th century.
The idea that teachers should not just transfer information, they should facilitate thinking. It had noble goals of producing critical thinkers that could solve problems and also collaborate with others to find solutions.
A reasonable and objective goal. But over nearly a century, the concept has morphed.
Where the noble educational experiment went wrong was:
The concept was called Progressive Educational Theory.
A perfect example of this happened recently when NY Senator Chuck Shumer speaking about two conservative justices potential rulings against abortion legislation, Schumer said "You will not know what hit you, if you go forward with these awful decisions." Chief Justice Roberts called the comment a threat.
When Trump previously criticized Justice Sotomayor for a "terrible and inappropriate statement" about him, Democrats screamed bloody murder. Trump definitely used strong language but it was criticism.
Schumer clearly threatened Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. Democrats can't differentiate between threatening language and critical language.
This is another byproduct of Progressive thinking, and years of Progressive teaching techniques. That is something academics call "existentialism". Existentialism asserts that people actually make decisions based on subjective meaning rather than pure rationality.
"It places the primary emphasis on students’ directing their own learning. Students search for their own meaning and direction in life as well as define what is true and what is false, what is pleasant and satisfying, what is unpleasant and dissatisfying, and what is right or wrong. The goal of an existentialist education is to train students to develop their own unique understanding of life."
And to develop their own definitions of words,
Take Marriage for example.
We are suffering from an epidemic of indifference and apathy, and dare I say IGNORANCE. How can that be after 100 years of existential progressive advanced social engineering?
Since recorded history, humans have fought over one primary conflicting value:
We sometimes confuse the forces behind the conflict with religion, politics, tribal or family wars, but the real reasons are always the underlying issue of which ideology will rule our daily lives. Like all conflict, the battle is always over CONTROL.
This is equally important in personal relationships as it is community operations.
So here we are, living in the Golden Age of Earth's existence.
And we are all undecided about Capitalism or Communism. Which system works the best?
And you and I want to know how some people still think Communism is a good thing?
I proposed a theory in my most recent book...The Illusion of Knowledge: Why So Many Educated Americans Embrace Marxism.
It didn't take long for Social Justice Warriors to pick up the mantra that Covid19 is affecting people of color in higher numbers than whites. And that we should all be ashamed that more white people aren't dying.
When I read these headlines I can't help but think, when will these people get over themselves? Oh, I forgot, they are supreme narcissists, so I should dismiss that stupid notion. We are hearing these complaints from the same people that complain about voting access, suggesting that minorities would turn out in larger numbers if they weren't intimidated by registration forms, by voter ID requirements, and by Republicans who demand they enter voting booths alone. These are the same people telling us that invading outlaws are more industrious than spoiled white Americans. The same ones that demand gender neutral bathrooms and restrictions on Christmas music in department stores.
These are the same people that demand we recognize the "accepted science" that the world is in a terminal free-fall unless we eliminate the combustion engine. Now they are ignoring the "accepted science" that viruses don't discriminate by skin color or race.
But that won't stop them from using the epidemic as a rallying point to conscript new believers in the New Green Deal and Globalism. The Progressive complainers note that minorities are disproportionately exposed to environmental decay like freeway exhaust fumes, high energy power transmission lines, and industrial air pollution because they more commonly live in lower income neighborhoods where those kinds of conditions are more prevalent. Therefore, presumably, they suffer underlying lung damage that makes them more susceptible to the upper respiratory disease.
But they show no compassion for the millions of poor white people across the nation or around the world who also live in poverty. I guess they deserve to get sick because they are guilty of being genetically linked to Civil War Era slave owners.
The idea that society has been negligent in preparing for a virulent epidemic is a reasonable assessment. That we could and should do more to be prepared and to help people be more healthy by developing public access to basic healthcare for the poor is fine. I think we have, in general, been moving in that direction. Increasing life expectancy worldwide is proof.
But the facts are clear, that even in countries with huge social safety nets, free society can't force people to be more active, to eat better, or to stop weakening their own immune systems with poor food and lifestyle choices. People have to want to make the right choices that will help them stay healthier and live longer.
Health is like education: Despite what politicians say, you can't just give people an education or good health. They have to earn it. Access is a different issue. Giving people access to healthcare is a noble goal, but if people over-indulge in poor food choices, destroy their immune systems with alcohol or drugs, and sit in front of a computer game instead of getting exercise, all the healthcare in the world is going to be wasted on them. Sending a kid to a great college will not provide them with wisdom if they are not motivated to learn.
Unfortunately Progressives have little regard for freedom precisely because it allows people to be, well, people. Instead they would prefer a society where everyone lives under a strict collectivist formula, where the good of the majority is determined by an elite group of intellectuals that act as critical parents to a population of subdued children.
Why don't those people move to China where that social construct exists right now? They would be able to get cheaper housing, full healthcare and free education as well as full government provided employment.
Look at how poorly Michelle Obama's school food program was received. The students were given healthier food selections which meant less food and more fruits and vegetables to fight obesity and diabetes. But this didn't meet the needs of many kids who got fewer choices and sometimes food that was culturally strange. A lot of food went uneaten and the administrators realized they were losing money. We can discuss the cultural reasons, but skin color had nothing to do with it. The kids didn't want airline-style box lunches made up of dry, flavorless and unsatisfying items they weren't used to. Since Michelle Obama was driving the initiative, when parents and administrators pushed back, that too became a race issue.
Catching an airborne contagion is about as indiscriminate as being bitten by a mosquito. Scientists think mosquitoes choose who to bite based mostly on the microbiota that populates the human skin, not the skin's color or odor. Likewise, Covid19 seems to prefer those with underlying immune system deficiencies, not the race of its victims. Can we say people who live in less healthy environs are more vulnerable? Yes, but that is not a function of institutional racism, it is a function of social stratification and lifestyles.
They would have a better argument if data showed that hospitals refused to treat Covid19 victims because they had dark skin. But that is not happening which proves the race card is nothing more than another attempt to blame social instability on white people.
The complainers never offer solutions other than forced redistribution of wealth. No matter what the problem is, collectivists believe more money will solve it. So before another pandemic, if we did things their way, we should simply confiscate wealth that is concentrated and spread it around more equally. Then all suffering will be equal. Then dying from contagious diseases would just be a lottery, with a much wider distribution of winners ( i.e., losers). The misery would be miles wide and only a quarter inch deep.
What made me think a pandemic that threatens all of us equally would not be used to advance the racism narrative? Maybe wishful thinking or maybe I am coming down with something...
"Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news.
And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters."
-- Official Twitter account for CNN Communications
That statement is itself a lie. Why would anyone trust a news source that has had so many instances of documented mistakes, misquotes, omissions, moral and ethical violations and blatant lies? Unless, of course, they like what they are hearing...
But the list of journalistic incompetency is undeniable:
How can you trust a media organization to be truthful when they employ so many proven liars?
CNN is not alone in the race to the bottom of journalistic credibility.
CNN has a Sunday program ironically called 'Reliable Sources' hosted by Brian Stelter who is a vociferous critic of Trump. He let Duke Professor of Psychiatry Allen Frances go unchallenged when he claimed:
"Trump is as destructive a person in this century, as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century, he may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were."
Of course we know those megalomaniac Communist dictators murdered at least 100 million people. When supposedly credible news journalists accept without challenge hate speech, such as that by Dr. Frances, as a substitute for informed commentary by experts in their fields of study, they no longer deserve to be called journalists. CNN and other media operations that allow their employees to ignore industry standards are social justice advocates, not credible news sources.
Rebuilding the Franchise
Anyone that has read my op-eds or any of my books knows I often use the "Team America " analogy to illustrate why I think Americans have more in common than we give ourselves credit for. And if we think in terms of working as a franchise, we should be able to minimize our social divisiveness.
For example, during the 'Kneeling for the National Anthem' controversy, I suggested football players, of all people, ought to understand how important it is to respect each player's role, skill set and psychological makeup. To recognize that the success of the team depends on the combined efforts of everybody pulling the boat in the same direction. That everyone from one end of the bench to other has something to bring to the team. That in order to win, selfishness cannot be tolerated.
That disrespecting the flag that stands for our Team America was not helpful.
Like it or not, if you want to succeed, there must be a hierarchy and a sense of respect for the organization. That means not everyone can have their play called every time the ball is snapped. Putting personal issues before the interests of the team is a sure formula for destroying team chemistry.
Going to war against any foe, whether it's another football team or a mutant virus, requires unity of purpose and a well disciplined team effort.
I admit, getting a team of 330 million players to coordinate their efforts against an invisible enemy such as a contagious disease, is a massive undertaking. But when the chips are down (and I think we can all agree, in the shadow of the CoronaVirus pandemic, they are), we have a common goal: to survive in a hostile environment.
The CoronaVirus has created a sense of unity between Americans. It has brought into focus just how vulnerable the human species can be. It has reorganized our priorities.The planet has been around some 4 billion years, but human beings have occupied the globe for only an infinitesimal amount of time. From that perspective, Team Humanity, let alone Team America, is a longshot to survive.
As we find ourselves sequestered, the advertising industry has jumped on the Team America bandwagon. A growing number of 30 and 60 second TV spots feature unity and collaboration themes. Budweiser has a new ad, "This season, we're all One Team." The NBA has an ad that says "We're all part of the same team." Most of the networks are running public service announcements along the lines of "We can get through this together."
It is a wonderful thing to see Americans come together in a time of need. But the question has to be asked, "Why now?"
Why do we have to wait until there is a massive threat to the survival of mankind to recognize how much we have in common? How unity of purpose is not only critical, it is fun?
Some will say, " Isn't that what the Climate Change movement is all about?"
Climate Change, Global Warming, or whatever you want to call it is a housekeeping issue. It has to do with lifestyle and conservation practices. We can debate the terms of our stadium maintenance agreement during contract negotiations. The CoronaVirus is an attack on our very existence! If we don't win this game, the stadium we play in will forever be empty.
There is no question our nation is divided. No matter what the issue is, polls show we break 48% to 52% or something close to that. Is it any wonder advertisers think appealing to our unity at this moment in time is a good idea?
The "Same Team" theme is wonderful but it seems exploitive to invoke that kind of patriotism only when the country is suffering from an existential threat to our existence. As part of our economic ecology, commercial interests need us as much as we need them. Major advertisers are vital to our economic health. Their employees are customers and their customers are employees. We are all part of a symbiotic brotherhood. Wouldn't cultivating a healthy sense of cultural unity all of the time be inherently good for business? What have they been waiting for?
Wouldn't it be nice to see Budweiser-style Christmas and 4th of July ads all year long? The kind that makes you laugh and cry with pride. Why don't major advertisers point out our unity of purpose, our family traditions and the selfless sense of sacrifice so many Americans make for our communities and our country in all of their ad campaigns?
I can only hope the silver lining in this pandemic cloud will be the reunification and fortification of our Team America Franchise.