How often we hear these words. Earnest reporters shake their heads. Worried commentators give us their advice. They say we must speak to one another. Listen to each other. Understand the other. The person who disagrees is not your enemy.
Well-meaning platitudes, bland and insufficiently thought out. They are almost always from ‘liberals’, but liberals and all their forms of pleading are despised as weak, laughably weak, by the illiberal. “Pablum-puking liberals” --- that about sums it up.
The question is, How did these ’polarized’ constituencies come to be formed? I shall call them the ‘nice’ and the ‘nasty.’ Let us just go ahead and admit it. The ‘nice’ came to be so through a lifetime of ‘putting themselves in the other person’s shoes.’ Through ‘listening’. Through ‘feeling’. Through ‘empathy’. These are the very traits that are mocked every day on conservative talk radio. So now, telling the nice to have ‘empathy’ for the person who despises them, and says so loudly, is like asking an exhausted bird to keep flying. It may be out over the ocean, and have no other choice but to fly, and flying is what a bird does anyway, but it does become tiring.
The ‘nice’ exercises a moral watchfulness over the self; he or she guards against pride, most especially against moral pride, against the ‘we're better than them’ type of thinking. The nice know that moral pride leads to moral ruin. They have a horror of being closed off in a small room of sterile self-regard, an airless room where blind pride replaces ‘empathy’, their most valued touchstone. So they find ways to listen to and pity and understand the people who despise them, and to counsel themselves against their own valid instinct to flee --- or fight. They stifle their own animal instincts. They are nice and cannot help but be so. In life they help people to the point of doing damage to the self. They refuse to see malice when it prowls around like a diseased dog waiting for an opportunity to bite. In public affairs they search for ways not to fall into ‘better than them’ paradigms.
The ‘nasty’ despise weakness, and do not want to listen to another side of the story, because this only weakens them and robs them of the case-hardened steel firmness that enables them to bludgeon their way through life, ignoring all others, shutting out doubt, and they cannot do this if they are not ALWAYS RIGHT. Pride is their armor, and the moral sneer is their go-to stance, especially regarding any of the weird groups the sloppy love-slobbering liberal seeks to defend. Listen to Michael Savage. Listen to Mark Levin.
The ‘nasty’ constituency has been built over the years by its dependence on talk radio. Talk radio is an everyday unrelenting bludgeon; a blowtorch using ridicule to burn away all compassion except for self. Here’s a new image: I think of termites building their tunnels from one nest or food-source to another. They chew and disgorge wood and by mixing it with their saliva build a raised tunnel, a covered passageway, that takes them across the face of bare stone from one feeding-place to another. Each day the radio talkmeister cements a new non-fact into place, building on yesterday’s non-fact about liberal treachery, or gun confiscation, or the Clinton murder empire. Soon the listeners will trickle down this tunnel to the destination he has selected. Always, in foreign affairs, military intervention is urged. Always, the ‘liberal’ is despised for his reluctance to use the big guns. ‘Treason monkeys’, remember? Remember how excited they were, calling for war in the Mideast? When the apes were beating the war drums, the ‘liberals’ were scorned and insulted, and they could not match the savage energy of the war-whoopers, so they ceded the popular discourse to them. But the suicidally well-intentioned tell us now to listen to them. We have listened to them. They have no judgment. And their very identity is built on not listening to us.
The ‘nice’ --- of the more tough-minded sort --- see real problems and try to devise real solutions. The ‘nasty’ do not see any of these as actual problems. For forty-five years the ‘nice’, using charts and stack-graphs and percentages, have been decrying the widening income and wealth gaps in the United States. A smaller and smaller percentage of the population owns more and more. The nasty do not see this as a problem. Instead they tell us that the nice are trying to take away the well-earned rewards from the hard-working multi-billionaires. They point to the insidious communism that is creeping up on us if we tax the gigantic incomes any differently from the tiny incomes. The problem, to them, is creeping communism --- the doctrine that the energetic ‘producers’ must be called upon to support the lazy cancer-ridden waitresses and deliverymen and the BUMS ON WELFARE. If they had wanted to make something of themselves, they would have, by now. They are no good, always asking for alms.
The ‘nice’ see an increasingly broken-down class of lower-income workers, whose health problems go unattended because they cannot afford to have them treated, or --- worse --- whose problems result from toxic emissions in the zones where they have to live. Some health problems come from their working conditions. Some come from heredity, and some result from culpable lifestyle choices. So for the first three the nice try to devise real-world solutions. These solutions involve regulation of the workplace and the environment. But “regulation’ is a word that sets the alarm bells ringing among the nasty. Regulation is just a name for government takeover and not letting us do what we want to do --- not letting the carcinogens build up in the mud-puddles, not letting the toxic fumes permeate the factory. Not letting us dump what we want where we want to dump it. Not letting us make America great. Not letting us maximize our income and minimize our responsibility.
“A NATION DIVIDED”
Always the successful are praised and the less successful are scorned. The ‘makers’ and the ‘takers’. 47% of Americans are ‘takers’: they feed on the hard work of the ‘makers’. ‘Free stuff’, remember? The Democrats promise the takers ‘free stuff’, says the talk-radio host, downloading the Bill O’Reilly theme, and the listener pictures free audio equipment and lawn furniture and video games and athletic shoes. The arrow of rage shoots up his spine. Free stuff! Consciously, in a vague way, he knows that the Democrats are not and cannot be promising ‘free stuff’. But the image is so delightful he basks in it like a seal in an upwelling current, because it kisses his ass and promises him that he is one of the worthy while the others are leeches and cheaters.
The ‘nasty’ constituency has undergone a process, an unrelenting propaganda bombardment, over the last thirty years, which the ‘nice’ have not. This process involves leading them down those termite-tunnels to a dark nest. It involves pandering to what the uninformed listener wants to believe. The listener learns to take non-fact for fact because the non-fact brings up such an eruption of belly-rage that it floods the head with righteousness. Slowly the listener has learned to take the flood to the brain, the intoxicating disorienting gush of anger and self-praise, as proof that the statement is true. Their world-view is built not on fact but on what makes them feel a certain way. They have been pandered to.
As more and more non-facts are pandered into the talk-radio listener’s brain, he begins to live in an alternate world. He is convinced that he alone, and those others who agree with him wholeheartedly, are the Righteous and that the liberals are the destroyers, the dark force. He builds his identity on this feeling, this proposition. He is the righteous man with the clenched fists who must sit at his table and take it while the liberals dish it out. But he will take it no more! He is Clint Eastwood, with anger trembling that one little muscle in his cheek.
He is impervious to facts, because non-facts are cemented above and around him and these constitute the walls of his world.
I am one of the ‘nice’. But don’t tell me to listen to the ‘nasty’, and understand their point of view, because I listen to them every day and understand their point of view very well. They express themselves so forcefully, and with such colorful neologisms. I am a libtard and a sheeple and a moonbat, an enemy of decency and hard work, and a professional victim. They have found a pathway to a dark place. They have found how to make a powerful engine turn over in their belly and a rank energy shoot up to and possess the brain. These two things are the center of their identity. They will not give them up. They are these things, and guard against anything that would diminish these, and yield gleefully to anything that augments them. What is accepted as fact is not the real world; it is whatever augments the sensation they’ve learned to thrive on. That’s what I mean when I say their souls have been degraded; morsel by poisoned morsel, they’ve been taught to rely on and relish a form of discourse that sounds more like a half-drunk lynch mob working itself up for the big push. The word ‘Clinton’ brings out their ropes and torches. It is purely Pavlovian.
The ‘nice’ are victims of their upbringing. They had families that were sustained by someone’s love. As a result they have an implicit humane regard for others. It makes sense to look at problems --- mass starvation, war, cruelty, extinctions --- and think of how to do something about them. It’s just the way we roll. We really do feel the other’s pain --- a fact that the ‘nasty’ mock ad infinitum. The ‘nice’ feel bound together with the larger society and the rest of humanity. If there is a problem in their larger family --- humanity --- it makes sense not only to hope for its resolution but to think of ways it might be resolved and work toward these ways. That is what always astonishes us about the ‘nasty’. They do not feel empathy for the rest of humanity. Empathy is superseded by a cheap religion in which free enterprise/capitalism/business is the god and the United States of America is the chief idol. Therefore all they can see is: you want to take away our freedom to invest and reap profits. They’ve had ‘liberal treachery’ bolted to their undercarriage and connected to their drive train and ‘redistribution’ programmed into their nervous system in the place where ‘carnivore with teeth’ used to be. They cannot live without these motivators. Like a cyborg in the movies, they have had part of their humanity taken out and replaced by catch-phrases.
So what is to be done?
Let us think realistically. The ‘hard core’ nasty constitute one-quarter to one-third of the white population. Other populations have their own hard-core nasty, but they are not attached to these particular issues. Hard-core blacks create ideologies of innate white evil, white treachery holding us down, slippery white planning clouding our minds, white teachers low-grading black students etc --- but these ideologies do not impinge on the major issues of the day that demand our attention. They are silly paranoid distractions. It is the white nasties that that have the voting power. But they are only one-third to one-fourth of the white voting population. The rest of the ‘nasty’ voting block is soft-core. They are influenced by the daily propaganda barrage from talk radio and its video equivalents. These set the terms of their thinking. But they are not irrevocably committed. They might be subject to deprogramming. They might be led to see more than they now see. They might feel shame. They might soak up new info and rediscover their humanity. There is a way to talk to them.
Now we will leave this topic.
No we won’t; I will give two more examples. Back a few years ago when Obama was going to go on TV to address high-school students, there was great panic in the land. Talk-radio listeners stumbled over themselves in their rush to shield the ears of their children, because Obama was going to go on TV to INDOCTRINATE THEM WITH SOCIALISM. Exemptions were granted to students, permissions not-to-listen were given to the children of the vigilant. So there he goes on TV and gives them a bunch of study-hard stay-in-school advice. Where was the Red brainwash? Do these people ever feel silly? No, they don’t. They figure that they had raised enough of a stink so that he altered his message.
Next came the teleprompter brouhaha. He read his speeches off a teleprompter. To the people who found this insidious, it meant he was GETTING HIS MESSAGE FROM ELSEWHERE. It was being written by his unknown masters and revealed to him as he read it. His unknown masters were the shadowy people who control our world through left-wing media, left-wing entertainment, left-wing politicians. The alarmists plainly didn’t know that Obama wrote his own speeches, or previewed them in advance, and had them loaded into a teleprompter for ease in delivery. To believe in the hidden-masters theory of the teleprompter, you had to be seriously defective.
Now: to ‘listen to’ these people and compromise because ‘the truth lies somewhere in-between’ their view and ours, is comical. We listen to them only to try and understand their derangement; we listen to them the way the sane listen to the mad. They are like cultists who have driven themselves so deeply into crazy there is no way out. Who do they listen to? Other crazies. They know no shame. Their brains are like magpies’; peck at a bright shiny object here, discard it, peck at another there, then discard it. The only continuity between one bright-shiny and the next is the assumption that dark forces are out there, that these dark forces are liberal/socialist/ destroyers-of-America, and dozens of the most horrendous plots are continually set in motion and then fail --- disappear --- evaporate, probably due to the vigilance of talk-radio hosts and their excited audiences. These are people who have jobs and own cars and raise children.
Now we will leave this topic.
All this raises two interesting theoretical questions; how the ‘self’ is formed, and what the ‘mind’ is good for. Because it is plain that the nices and the nasties experience the self very differently --- they go through a different process of ‘self’ formation --- and they use the ‘mind’ very differently. And this opens up great vistas of spiritual and evolutionary thought. Because I’m pretty much a spiritual guy. And I’m pretty contemptuous of all ‘psychological’ thought as it is now taught. Without certain essentials, it’s just spinning its wheels in a mudhole. I know, for instance, that good and evil are real. And I know evolution has its successes, and has its accidents --- its collateral damage --- as well. Trade-offs, you know --- advantage is the final decider. And I know that much pop evolutionary thought is just cheap crap --- both shallow and self-congratulatory. But, you know, those arguments are to be made way on down the road.
And just for the record, a shaky edge of the ‘nice’ has softened, dropped off, and become the ‘sillies’. And they are dangerous in their own way, if only because they embarrass the rest of us. But I will comment on them another day.