The Least Threatening Threat
Politics become much clearer when viewed in context of the personal. Because that’s largely what politics are: interrelationships writ large. So it’s remarkable how effective a more intimate perspective can be in revealing the absurdity of a scene. For example, no one expects you to replace your family with strangers; but everyone expects you to replace your countrymen with foreigners. That jarring juxtaposition could lead many people to reconsider their liberal notions of nation and state. And that’s why my tactic for achieving political clarity rarely makes the Times editorials.
Though that’s not to say it isn’t still useful. Consider how sincere you’d gauge the following monologue I’ll paraphrase below.
That’s it. I’ve had it. I’m leaving. Do you hear me? Wait, you can’t hear me when you’re putting on headphones. I’m so done with you. I’m walking out, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. See my feet? They’re moving right now, one after the other. And Holy Gaia are you going to be sorry. Do you realize how sorry you’re going to be? You don’t really look sorry. Which is crazy, because you’d be totally miserable without me. Look over there, I bought you that cuisinart. Can you even spell cuisinart? See how happy I make you? But you don’t seem appreciative. That’s why I’m leaving. Stop changing the TV channels. I’m being totally serious here. Your future is on the line. I don’t think you deserve me. So I’m just going to pack up my wiffle-ball bat and go have a super awesome life and you’re not invited unless you have something you’d like to say to me right now. Who are you texting?
That was essentially this hysterical false break-up threat from some pristinely unselfconscious writer named Kevin Baker at the New Republic. I won’t quote much since it was quite lengthy and uniformly ludicrous. I’m actually surprised something so embarrassingly indulgent escaped editorial discretion. That’s what blogs are for, numbnuts. But perhaps TNR is now foraging for Salon cast-offs.
The piece was a relentless run-on about how grubby semi-humanoid conservatives should be made to suffer the loss of secession-minded liberals, without whom the right could barely shovel beet purée into its slack-jawed mouth. That’s a bluff I’m inclined to call, while hoping it’s not a bluff.
But overall I was struck not by the abundant preening self-praise, which is no more noteworthy in such venues than sirens in the ghetto. But rather because it was such a high-definition display of left-wing loathsomeness framed comically as a threat of divorce. I struggled to comprehend the strategy. Substantially bolstering a counterparty’s contempt for you seems an ineffective means to secure their sorrow at prospects of your parting. A man who truly has the goods slips out the door quietly; histrionics are a liar’s appeal. Which should lead a reader to the conclusion that this particular lib is trying to convince himself more than anyone else.
Of course no contemporary liberal can even tuck their children into bed without an obligatory racial denunciation.Goodnight sweetie, daddy loves you very much except for your WHITE SUPREMACY. The writer knew the requirement.
For more than 80 years now, we—the residents of what some people like to call Blue America, but which I prefer to think of as the United States of We Pay Our Own Damn Way—have shelled out far more in federal tax monies than we took in. We have funded massive infrastructure projects in your rural counties, subsidized your schools and your power plants and your nursing homes, sent you entire industries, and simultaneously absorbed the most destitute, unskilled, and oppressed portions of your populations, white and black alike.
All of which, it turns out, only left you more bitter, white, and alt-right than ever.
I always wonder which element of the progressive revenue or welfare structure liberals are suggesting should be scrapped when they note this “blue-states pay more” problem. I’ve never actually heard them advance legislation for dramatic tax, EBT, and Medicaid cuts that would offer relief from this abominable payments disparity. For what are they waiting? Demand Maxine Waters sponsor massive cuts to welfare payments now. But in the meantime I’ll try to unravel the enigma of why Minnesota is a net payer while Mississippi is a taker. Maybe demographics play a role. But for now we should just assume the difference is mooching Republicans.
Despite how effortless libs like Kevin Baker make ridicule, I really have no qualms with the end-state he pretends to covet. In his absence, I could be left to live in a traditional America, while in mine he finally has an open avenue to Kinshasa. There are no losers.
Whatever the left wants to make of their world, just make it without us. Stop talking and start walking.