Monday, November 21, 2016

So What?

One more post on the mysteries of racism / sexism / blah bah blah. Sorry if this is getting monotonous, but I'm trying to step back and understand this. In today's episode, we wonder just what the point of it all is.

Here's a paragraph from Charles Blow's latest screed.
Increasingly, as he picks his cabinet from among his fawning loyalists, it is becoming clear that by “Make America Great Again,” he actually meant some version of “Make America a White, Racist, Misogynistic Patriarchy Again.” It would be hard to send a clearer message to women and minorities that this administration will be hostile to their interests than the cabinet he is assembling.
OK, I guess. What if it's all true? What if we had elected Hillary Clinton and ridden a wave of racial comity to the sunny uplands of freedom and diversity?
  • We'd still owe $20T and my kids would still have this gorilla on their backs
  • The Middle East would still be in flames
  • Iran and Russia would still be trying to form a regional hegemony
  • Iran would still get nukes while it shouts "Death to America"
  • Dittos for regional hegemony in Asia with China
  • Illegitimacy would still be at civilization-destroying levels in almost all, err, diversity groups 
  • Cities like Los Angeles and Chicago would still be facing fiscal meltdowns over insolvent pension plans
  • As would states like California and Illinois
  • And so on
Driving around Savannah last week, I saw some morbidly obese people of all races*. The primary problem in their lives wasn't racism, it was their weight. Similarly, the people that lived in run-down houses with beer cans in the yard had major problems with the way they spent their disposable income. The safest space in the world isn't going to help students who don't learn the material before a test.

In short, what's the big deal? Whether or not the US is a White, Racist, Misogynistic Patriarchy or an Eden of Equality, when the pension crises hit, racism isn't going to overcome the math. If Iran decides to nuke someone, having an Eskimo, Tolerant Matriarchy isn't going to stop the place from being incinerated.

I've read several people claim that screaming "Racism!" is a substitute for cogent argument and I quite agree. I'd add that obsessing over it is simply intellectual chaff. It has no value. I don't care if you have a Black Panthers flag or a Confederate flag in your yard. Whatever your bent, it's not going to change the fact that we all owe $60K per person on the national debt and once you remove those who can't pay, it's more like $240K per person. That's a recipe for disaster.

Thought experiment: Go through a day's worth of political tweets and editorials from progressives and remove all references to diversity and see what you get. My bet is that it's pretty thin stuff.

* - On our Savannah trip, deep in Dixie, we didn't see any evidence of racism. We all seemed to be getting along pretty well. Maybe the average American is actually a pretty decent sort.


Jedi Master Ivyan said...

I think you'd be left with global warming tweets. And not all of those would make the cut, because climate change is disproportionately impacting minorities.

K T Cat said...

I hadn't thought of that. On the plus side, at least that's something that deserves conversation.

Foxfier said...

It would be hard to send a clearer message to women and minorities that this administration will be hostile to their interests than the cabinet he is assembling.

I should HOPE he's going to be hostile to those! Part of why I didn't support Trump and am still worried about him is that I'm not sure he will be "hostile" to either one-- *I* sure am!
Last decent survey I heard of, women were less than 50% even passively supporting "women's issues" (ie, abortion on demand at any age of mother or child and probably paid for by federal funds) and with minorities you've got to do a lot of special definition to get the "right" outcome.