Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"Republicans are Racists"

Mark Shea thinks that if you are a Republican, you are probably a racist. Here is how he just phrased it on his Facebook page:

Mark Shea: "Know what you call a Republican who says 'Not every Republican is a racist' and who stays mum about all the racist Republicans in his party and does not rebuke or attack them on a daily basis? A racist."

"On a daily basis", people. Let's go! You have your marching orders, just try not to goose-step.

So what is being asserted is that registering as a Republican obligates one to be an activist of sorts who, not only "rebukes" and "attacks" Republican racists, but does so on a daily basis. The assertion also assumes either that every Republican knows a Republican racist, or that we really need to dredge up this guy's name all the time. Letting alone the fact that historically the Democrats have been the slave-holders and comprise the majority of the white southern Jim Crow/segregation mafia, this is simply crazy talk. Surely there are many weaknesses which characterize the Democrats, but I would laugh at anyone who made this assertion about them or any political party.

I don't know any racist Republicans personally, but under Mark Shea's definition, every Republican I know is racist. Because the only people I know going around telling the faults of others on a daily basis are liberal Democrats. Q.E.D.

Looking at something else in the news currently, no one expects Democrats to call out #MeToo offenders like Bill Clinton for their sins on a daily basis, or they too should be considered philanderers. No serious person would say that actors and other Hollywood personnel must call out sex offenders like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey or Bill Cosby on a daily basis or else then they too are sex offenders. That would be a mixture of moral equivalency and guilt by association that any honest partisan would have to admit was unfair.

I'm not sure why Mark Shea has gone so crazy in his political beliefs over the last two or three years. Perhaps he has breathed too long the illogic of what people are calling the New Pro-life Movement, but is really just a reheat of the "seamless garment" left-overs from the nineties. This theory states that for a person to be truly pro-life he or she is compelled to accept and promote a number of other policy positions commonly associated with the left. You must be opposed to the death penalty, object to strong border security, and favor a so-called "single-payer" health-care system among other socialistic causes to be part of the New, True, Blue Pro-life belief system, otherwise you are just a "cafeteria pro-lifer" of sorts in the mind of these New Puritans.

Where did this absurd idea come from? Many believe is was mainly constructed to give Catholics an excuse to vote Democrat. You could basically answer the people who said "Don't vote for Democrats; they're not pro-life," with "Basically no one is pro-life, because, you know, the death penalty and health-care and torture and stuff." Don't snort; it works. But wherever it came from, what it leads to is the sort of of totalistic necessitarian thinking that the left loves to impose on the other side, but never on itself. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.... You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules," wrote Saul Alinsky. Yes, he wrote "enemy" and "kill" not "opponent" and "defeat". Thinking on the left is fundamentalist and apocalyptic with language to match.

Shea's preferred word for pro-lifers and others who don't buy into his left-leaning politics is Christianist, a term coined by the extremely paranoid Andrew Sullivan who was preaching back in 2009 that because gays were being persecuted in Uganda they would soon be herded into gas chambers by religious zealots in America. Now we have gay marriage. So... that didn't happen.

Another possibility for the decline in his reasoning ability and increased shrillness is that less people are listening to him than previously used to. He might feel like he has been left behind in the sphere of wordsmith intellectualism and has not become as successful as others. Recently he penned a piece attacking Catholic think-tanker Austin Ruse accusing him of all manner of things, justly or unjustly—I'm not really interested. But he threw in what Ruse's annual salary is along with the accusations. That seems to me to be telling of what ails the run-of-the-mill Patheos blogger.

And really it is well that he is criticizing successful Catholics and using the Sullivaneque word Christianist in his writings, because they have become so wild-eyed, so self-righteous and so bombastic with regard to his co-religionists that it only seems like a matter of time before he hires a private priest and retreats to a Catholic bunker. That would seem to be the prescription if things are really as bad as he says. Yet I often ask myself if he really believes his own allegations. Whatever the reason that Mr. Shea is so unhinged toward conservatives, his vitriol— in which one can detect the resounding echo of the pronounced verdict "deplorable"—is one of the reasons why people voted for Trump and why Jordan Peterson is so popular right now. We've had enough of the "repent and roll-over" rhetoric. If you are going to criticize me, I want to hear something solid.