06 Oct Mark Steyn – The Shadow of Your Stall
Mark Steyn is unparalleled as a powerfully insightful writer and observer of America and western civilization…
The Shadow of Your Stall
Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing:
~If you go to a small-town school-board meeting to protest an already crap and globally embarrassing eduction system devolving into toxic anti-white, anti-American propaganda, you are liable to investigation by a dirty, stinking, rotten, corrupt federal “justice” system and its specially appointed “task force”;
~If you are an acclaimed glass-ceiling shatterer, the first “openly bisexual” and “openly non-theist” female senator in the history of the republic, you cannot enter a bathroom stall without being stalked, yelled at and filmed by a law-breaking alien who shouldn’t even be in your country, never mind your toilet;
~If you have contracted Covid-19, survived, and are now possessed of antibodies that provide an immunity all the science (and the chaps at Pfizer) shows to be more effective and longer lasting than the vaccine, you will nevertheless be fired from your job at the local hospital;
~If you are a respected geophysicist, you cannot give a lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about life on other planets because, with respect to the American corner of this particular planet, you have expressed views insufficiently supportive of identity-group “diversity” quotas that your expertise in extraterrestrial diversity cannot overcome;
~If you’re thinking of buying a Chinese-made refrigerator or dining table, that transaction will now be reported to the United States Government;
~If you’re worried about access to all human knowledge falling under the exclusive control of a handful of woke billionaires, you’ll be glad to know that the new media darling is a Facebook “whistle-blower” blowing the whistle on Facebook for not doing more to suppress views antithetical to ruling-class orthodoxy.
I could go on: there are so many trees, but not a lot of agreement on the precise nature of the forest. The biggest-selling book with American conservatives right now argues that the answer to all of the above is “constitutionalism“. On the other hand, the radio host Jesse Kelly says:
We’re not a serious country and we’re not a country that will be around much longer.
I incline to the latter view myself. At this point, conservative complaceniks tend to trot out Adam Smith: “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” But not this much – not Covid lockdowns and open borders, Afghan “translators” and Haitian “refugees”, Big Tech and Big Trans, BLM and CRT, ID for the IHOP but not for the voting booth, China as America’s manufacturer and America’s loan shark…
Do you know Aladdin? No, not the ancient folk tale about the penniless Chinese boy who gets given a golden lamp by the US Chamber of Commerce that grants his every wish and makes him rich beyond his wildest dreams. No, I mean the Broadway musical thereof: It came back for one night, and then closed down again because of a bad case of the Covid. One step forward, seventeen back, and so it goes. If you seek alternative entertainment, there’s always the leaden dinner theatre in Washington where they’re arguing about whether to pass an unread bill authorizing the spending of $6 trillion or an unread bill authorizing the spending of $47 trillion, neither of which number has any meaning over in the real world, where the Government of the United States has to pay $30 trillion just to get back to having nothing at all. Nonetheless, Republicans are yet again going through the motions of pretending to be possibly considering mulling over the option of musing on not raising the debt ceiling and thereby putting America at risk of default – in the same way that you not raising your overdraft limit with the First National Bank of Dead Horse Junction from 700 bucks to four mil could put your family at risk of default…
Is the United States Constitution going to save you from the above? No, the Constitution enabled it – or, to put it at its mildest, failed to prevent it. James Kirkpatrick:
‘Constitutionalism’ is flawed because legalism can’t restrain power. Power shapes law. If ‘constitutionalism’ worked, we wouldn’t be here, especially when it comes to immigration. If the ‘rule of law’ meant anything, we wouldn’t have millions of illegals. Adherence to largely symbolic ornaments doesn’t prevent a country from being utterly remade.
Once you abolish the principle of equality before the law, any law – from the Constitution down – is irrelevant. Almost all the examples above are about the replacement of a land of laws with a land of men: antifa are privileged above “insurrectionists” for the purposes of mostly peaceful protests; the vaccinated are privileged above the naturally immune for the purposes of dining in a New York restaurant; illegal aliens are privileged above US citizens for the purposes of the paperwork necessary to enter the country; subscribers to the official narrative are privileged above contrarians for the purposes of access to the monopoly social-media platforms…
If you are willing (as is this country’s constitutional court) to torture language into making constitutional the lack of equality before the law for the purposes of university admission, why would the abandonment of principle not spread? If you fall off the gable dormer patching a couple of shingles because the supply chain from Wuhan Roofing has broken down, why would you be surprised to get to the hospital and find that the chief public health officer of New York City is in favor of prioritizing medical care for black and “Latinx” patients?
To go back to that Jesse Kelly line, “we’re not a serious country”: A nation where a pasty privileged pajama boy can demand the ruination of his professor because he traumatized the class by making them watch a Laurence Olivier performance is too unserious to survive, and doesn’t deserve to.
If the Constitution is the bulwark against madness, then it has already failed; if “capitalism” is the bulwark against express-elevator descent into full-blown madness, the only thing holding that up is the chimera of the US dollar’s status as global currency.
All the innovations come from the left – open borders, multiple genders, Critical Race Theory. The right responds with rear-guard “constitutionalism” – in a nation where they have won the popular vote in presidential elections just once this century (2004).
To be sure, America has the most dysfunctional election system in the freeish world, so who really knows? But that again is part of the assault on law and the law-abiding. Illegal aliens are furnished with drivers’ licenses and social-security numbers to assist them “living in the shadows” of Kyrsten Sinema’s bathroom stall. Every other statistical indicator has skyrocketed – US population, US federal debt, the number of genders, the percentage of Afghans working as US translators – but the number of Undocumented-Americans remains perfectly steady at “eleven million” year in, decade out. I would be surprised if the real figure were no more than three times that. Yet the same government that presumes to know your every $600 purchase at Wuhan Furniture Superstore chooses to avert its gaze.
We are a nation so immune to absurdity that we are on official Homeland Security Orange Alert but with open borders. If the rap on Australia is that it’s returned to a penal colony, America’s fruited plains and purple mountains are now a Manifest Destiny for everyone but Americans.
In such a world, school board meetings are a hill to die on: The dirty stinking rotten corrupt US Department of Justice and its dirty stinking rotten corrupt FBI get that, which is why Merrick Garland (hailed by at least four Republican Solicitors-General as a “superbly qualified” moderate!) is happy to pull the G-men from their usual activities (agents provocateurs for gubernatorial kidnapping plots, peddlers of garage-door fake noose, frontmen for Christopher Steele’s golden-showers fantasies, turners of blind eyes to the serial sexual assault of female gymnastics competitors, etc) and sic ’em on the PTA moms. Ol’ Moderate Merrick huffs about “the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel” but alleges not even a scintilla of evidence of any criminality. Absent such evidence, we have a regime so touchy that it cannot permit the slightest protest against the new state ideology even at the lowest level. As I said on Fox News Primetime a few months back, every red state is full of very blue school districts – and Moderate Merrick’s G-men intend to keep it that way.
While I’m in self-quoting mode, as I said on Tucker around the same time, all three of this century’s popular revolts against the abolition of America – the Tea Party, 2015 Trumpism, the current school board protests – arose far from Conservatism Inc, which sucks up all the money and conserves bugger all. Constitutional pom-pom girls rah-rah-ing about American exceptionalism aren’t going to do anything to save your country. The entire western world is headed off the cliff, but America’s leading the charge and, assuming that there’s anybody around to write The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, those historians will be merciless: it’s the US that has incubated and exported the ideological poison that’s killing us all, to the point where Continental government ministers talk more sense about American craziness than does, say, the Cato Institute or CEI.
As I said (okay, last time, I promise) to my friends at the IPA Down Under just last year, in civilized countries arguments about liberty tend to be fairly abstract and thus a minority interest. At the time I ran afoul of the Canadian “Human Rights” Commissions, a well-meaning ally wanted to organize a mass protest on Parliament Hill: We gently dissuaded him on the grounds that you could have put all the likely attendees into a 1984 Honda Civic and still had room for a couple of child seats – because the average citizen’s reaction to my particular predicament was “Well, I have no desire to be rude about imams. So this has nothing to do with me and my life.”
Yet, for the last year and a half, arguments about liberty have not been abstract; they’re about every aspect of normal existence: the right to get a haircut, the right to eat a cheeseburger, the right to go to church, the right to have Gran’ma over for Thanksgiving, the right to spend 623 bucks without having to report it to the government, the right to object to both the brainwashing and all-day masking of your child, the right not to be shoved into the path of an oncoming train at Times Square because a crazy black woman has picked up the idea from even crazier white wokesters that you and your fellow strap-hangers are the very acme of white privilege…
I think more and more about an aside from my late radio mentor Rush Limbaugh. It was one of Rush’s last shows, during that stupid three-month interregnum between Election Day and the start of the new Administration, and he wasn’t sure whether he was up for the full three hours. So I was on stand-by and sitting in my little radio studio at the Golden EIB Microphone in case I had to take over in a hurry. And Rush took a call from someone urging a mass protest in Washington. And he asked the caller, well, are there going to be two million people on the streets? Because that’s the bottom-line number.
I think too of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Schelling, who has just been released from the brig for being critical of Thoroughly Modern Milley and the rest of the world’s most arseholian chiefs of staff. Colonel Schelling is an honorable man: he chose to forego a two-million-dollar pension because he didn’t want to wear a uniform with the stink of Milley on it.
But why is there only one Stuart Schelling? Why did the gutless pansies who led him to the brig not draw the line? Why did not one or two of them say, “Er, y’know, the US military is the biggest laughingstock on the planet and this is the only guy who gets punished for it?”
And where are those upstanding straight-shooting G-men the talk-radio fellows assure us they all know? After prima facie subversion of the 2016 election and all the rest, why cannot the FBI produce a single Stuart Schelling willing to forgo his pension?
Where are the schoolma’ams objecting to being ordered to teach Critical Race Theory to grade-schoolers? Where are the Harvard geophysicists taking a stand against MIT’s ever more shrunken definition of permissible discourse? Where are the rock-ribbed Republicans in a deep red southern state objecting to their governor signing on to mandatory child bodily mutilation as brutal as any Sudanese clitoridectomist’s?
Rush is right: Two million is the minimum – and the remaining 330 million Americans wouldn’t need to get off their recliners.
“Land of the free and the home of the brave”? Both are conspicuous by their absence.