The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lost in the Noise

In Washington, DC, it's likely that both Democrats and Republican members of Congress are equally guilty of trading their power positions for sex. For the most part, the transaction is consensual. Angelo Codevilla explains:
During my eight years on the Senate staff, sex was a currency for renting rungs on ladders to power. Uninvolved and with a hygroscopic shoulder, I listened to accounts of the trade, in which some one-third of senators, male senior staff, and corresponding numbers of females seemed to be involved. I write “trade,” because not once did I hear of anyone forcing his attention. Given what seemed an endless supply of the willing, anyone who might feel compelled to do that would have been a loser otherwise unfit for survival in that demanding environment.

This, I wager, is not so different from others’ experiences in Washington. Senior female staffers were far more open than secretaries in describing their conquests of places up the ladder, especially of senators. There was some reticence only in talking about “relationships” with such as John Tower (R-Texas) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) because they were the easiest, and had so many. The prize, of course, was Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)—rooster over a veritable hen house that was, almost literally, a “chick magnet.” Access to power, or status, or the appearance thereof was on one side, sex on the other. Innocence was the one quality entirely absent on all sides.

In the basic bargain, the female proposes. The power holder has the prerogative to say “no,” or just to do nothing. By a lesser token, wealthy men need not offer cash to have female attention showered on them. Money is silver currency. Power is gold. A few, occasionally, get impatient and grab. But taking egregious behavior as the norm of the relationship between power and sex willfully disregards reality. Banish the grabbing, and the fundamental reality remains unchanged.
With that reality as a backdrop, let's examine the sexual pogrom that is currently being conducted in DC. There's absolutely no doubt that the easy availability of willing women (and men) for those men (and women) in power, distorts far too many politicians' perceptions and their behavioral control. The same holds for many within the Hollywood glitterati. The powerful expect compliance to their every whim and want, never considering that their actions (grabs and gropes, or worse) may not be wanted. Hence the continuous stream of accusations.

And yet, there's something oddly off about all of this. Codevilla dissects the current sexual pogrom effectively:
What, then, are our powerful rulers’ claims of zero tolerance for sexual harassment or sexual commerce about? First, they do not involve the ruling class giving up any of their [sexual] privileges, never mind what are effectively their harems. They are confessions—not of their own sins, but of the sins of others. The others whose sins they confess are not the friends of those doing the confessing—at least, not their current friends. Yet again, they implicitly validate their own behavior by signaling their own virtue vis à vis others.

The Clintons and the Weinsteins, yesterday’s ruling class paragons, are useful foils. When, inadvertently, photos implicate a member of the current ruling class leadership, such as Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) in beastly behavior, ruling class colleagues and media give him a pass (“he apologized!”) and use his case unfavorably to contrast the real enemies—always on the Right: President Donald Trump and Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. “They are disqualified from office because they haven’t even admitted their guilt!”

In short, penalties for breaches of any item of political correctness are and will remain what they have been in the past, without exception: thinly veiled excuses to harm whoever stands in the way of the ruling class’s members.

This fact ceased to be a secret some time ago and explains the difficulty of having to maintain the authority of P.C.’s strictures. Thus we have the elaborate edifice of kangaroo courts and sensitivity training that governments and corporations have imposed on their fellow Americans more or less discredited in the eyes of just about everyone. Given that, something was needed to show that the whole P.C. montage is something other than what it is—and that America should stand with the ruling class in defense of basic decency. We needed a good panic. So here it is.
Here's part of the problem. Much of the catechism of political correctness runs counter to human nature, conflicts with common sense, and expects humans to act in ways that simply aren't sustainable. Whether it's judging historical events that happened 200 or 300 years ago using modern-day PC thought or condemning today's public figures for behavior that may be crass, but is not violent or significantly damaging to the victim, social justice warriors (the guardians of PC thought) alienate a growing majority of the public. Today, even many progressives roll their eyes at the mock outrage over Al Franken's crass behavior. He was a jerk, but nothing more.

The PC thought-police have become "the boy who cried wolf." SJWs have elevated crass and obnoxious behavior into actions worthy of resignation or indictment. The problem is that truly criminal sexual behavior (e.g., Harvey Weinstein's actions) can be lost in the noise.