Confessions of a Counter-Revolutionary
“Counter-revolutionary” is an apt term for these days: President Obama has promised to make a fundamental transformation, a veritable revolution in American society and culture. Those who oppose such an ongoing agenda are suspected of all sorts of racism, nativism, misogyny, homophobia, and general counter-revolutionary activity.
So -- here are some thoughtcrimes:
The latest news on "climate change" was not good for global-warming, cap-and-trade zealots. The planet did not heat up in the last decade and a half, despite substantial increases in carbon emissions. The much ballyhooed “Marcott paper” (supposedly millennia of conclusive climate data!) has been largely discredited, and shares the company of the East Anglia email trove (e.g., "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. ... Our observing system is inadequate").
Why the counter-revolutionary suspicion of global warming? I know that the forces of market capitalism are potent, but they certainly lack the powers of the sun and solar system to alter the earth. I have also spent too much time in academia and met too many professors not to know that politicization has infected campus teaching and research -- especially the doctrine that the noble ends always justify the occasionally suspect means.
Global warming is a cult belief of the elite: the latter conveniently opposed fracking and horizontal drilling, while subsidizing costly wind and solar that hurt the poor (the lines of cars of poor Latinos at the rural filling station near my house -- which offers gas at 10 cents a gallon cheaper than in town -- forms about 6:00 a.m.). Such facts -- like the cost of air conditioning in Fresno on an August 105 Fahrenheit afternoon -- are of no interest to the Palo Alto or Berkeley utopian.
It is the penance that instead counts -- an Al Gore lecturing upscale students on polar bear populations so he can use his carbon-offsetted private jet to save them. There is the matter of "cool" too: Worrying about global warming is like drinking Starbucks as you enter Whole Foods; in contrast, worrying about cheap natural gas to help the poor have warm homes is like drinking a McDonald’s latte as you are greeted at the door of Walmart.
Cool -- for upscale, would-be revolutionaries -- is everything.
I have met very few academics, politicians, or journalists who knew much about guns. Few of them hunt. Most do not live in bad neighborhoods or drive long distances, sometimes through or into rough areas. I suspect few work alone at night. Few are plagued by woodpeckers destroying an eve on the barn, varmints digging under the shed pavement, or a rabid coyote too close to the doghouse.
So when I hear a liberal expert propose yet another round of Second Amendment infringement, I expect confusion about magazines, clips, calibers, rifles, shotguns, pistols, "automatic" and "semi-automatic," and “assault weapons.” (Four hours, black spray paint, a sheet of aluminum, cardboard, tin snips, solder, and super glue, and you perhaps could make my ancient semi-automatic .22 resemble a scary “assault rifle.”)
So far I have heard of no proposed legislation that would have stopped Sandy Hook or Columbine, tragically so. To have prevented another unhinged loser from shooting children and teens would have required a police state to have confiscated millions of previously sold legal weapons and ammunition, or to have had armed guards in the schools. There is no legal support for the former or political support for the latter.
The Sandy Hook shooter’s sick fascination with violent video games and his aberrant psychological state (or was it an autistic-like impairment?) were the stronger catalysts of his mayhem. Yet I know that the Obama administration has no desire to go after Hollywood moguls regarding gratuitous gun violence on the big screen, much less take on the ACLU and the psychiatry industry about either psychotropic drugs or the ability of the clearly unhinged to avoid incarceration.
There is a predictability in the liberal mindset: it prefers the iconic to the substantial in matters of controversy. Address the misdemeanor, ignore the felony.
To stop most gun-related deaths in general in the U.S., we would have to focus on inner-city youths (cf. both the success and controversy of stop-and-frisk in New York). We would have to target young minority males in advertising to make the illicit use of the gun comparable to the social unattractiveness of ... well, smoking.
I cannot see any of that happening. So we go after the demonic gun that causes less than 1% of annual gun-related deaths, feel good about doing something "for the children," and derive an added psychic uplift that such a superfluous something also enrages the lower-middle class -- especially the slightly rural, mostly white male Sarah Palin constituent. The First Amendment is sacrosanct and must be expanded; the Second is suspect and must be deflated.