Racism

Who Are the Midwestern Voters Who Supported Trump?

At The Catholic Herald, I write about how Donald Trump won by appealing to middle-class voters in the Midwest:

Many are of these voters are registered Democrats. They tend to be moderate – usually left of centre on economics but often socially and culturally conservative. There’s no room for them in the modish party of 2016. Journalists and politicians acquire no social status by writing about their troubles. These men and women are openly mocked and ridiculed by the centres of cultural power in America: the media, the universities, and the entertainment industry. They’re milked for votes and tax dollars and then told they’re too “privileged” to have any legitimate grievances.

In the past, they rallied around Ronald Reagan – the famous “Reagan Democrats.” Later many coalesced around insurgent candidates like Ross Perot or Pat Buchanan. Now many simply stay home and don’t vote. But many also voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 – one of the perplexing details for journalists who believe racial animus explains everything.

How The Need for Validation Took Over Our Culture

A month or so ago, Ace at Ace of Spades HQ drew attention to this Reddit comment in which a former “social-justice warrior” (SJW) describes how he fled from the lunacy of identity politics.

One of this young man’s thoughts — his description of how he initially fell into the SJW mindset — jumped out at me:

I was depressed at the time, and being applauded for being progressive definitely was an ego boost. Fighting people I perceived as bigoted made me feel better about myself. My SJW tendencies were based mostly out of self loathing — I felt weird, like an outcast, had never had a girlfriend, hated myself, and thought that I was fixing myself by jumping deep into feminism.

What struck me was this young man’s need to be applauded by his peers. Of course, in itself, this is not surprising: it is not a new thing to crave validation from other people, especially from one’s peer group. It wasn’t just that he was seeking approval from others, however; it was that he absolutely needed this approval to survive. He needed it in two respects. First, he would feel miserable and alienated without it. Second, since his social circle was defined solely by groupthink, there was no way to be a part of that culture without the constant approval of others within the culture. (more…)

Are We “Hypocrites” If We Mourn Victims In Paris More Than Those In Beirut?

In my first piece for Quadrant, the great Australian journal, I mount a brief offensive against this notion:

Owing to the shared history and values between the United States, where I live, and the United Kingdom, I would be much more profoundly enraged by a terror attack on British soil than by one in, say, Botswana. Seeing an attack on France, a pillar of Western civilisation and both America’s oldest ally and a NATO partner, affects me in a way that thinking about attacks in Lebanon or Yemen simply does not. One might as well approach a widow at her husband’s funeral and ask indignantly why she never wore black for the millions of other men who went before her dear departed.

Since it is impossible to be equally outraged by every single atrocity in human history, it is, by the “progressive” standard, impossible to be outraged by any atrocity. To the anti-Western left, there is always an infinite cornucopia of reasons why we shouldn’t be too upset about the latest mass slaughter of our friends abroad — or, indeed, of our own fellow citizens at home.

I am proud to contribute to Quadrant, which fought the good fight during the Cold War. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Will We Start Rejecting Technology?

At PJ Media, I write more about how the Internet ruins lives and is doing so more frequently. I consider two conceivable reactions in the future: either people will reject digital technology to some degree (though not completely) or they will push for more stringent privacy legislation for the web, such as that in Europe.

Here’s a taste:

Though the Internet has been an important feature of our civilization for years, we are all still figuring out how to cope with its effect on our society, personal lives, and livelihoods. As technology improves, it presents us with new social and ethical problems, which we can never resolve before the new set of problems arrives. The backlog is now evident. At every level of our existence we are thinking about, and often despairing of, technology’s encroachment. You can, if you wish, dismiss this as the hand-wringing of Luddites, but we are still not any closer to answering these valid questions. Each week, for instance, a different writer warns about what automation will eventually do to the global economy, offering dark Victorian scenarios of mass unemployment. Entire industries are dying. Media companies still really don’t know how to make money in the Internet age, despite years of trying different models.

At a more personal level, people are now genuinely frightened of what social media could do to their lives. There is little room for error. An unfashionable view, a careless phrase, an interaction with the “wrong” person, a tasteless joke, a slip-up in politically correct terminology—all could mean consignment to the pile of the unemployed and unemployable. Do you think that Alberto Iber, the (former) principal of a high school in Miami, thought he’d lose his job simply for saying that a white police officer acted appropriately in a recent confrontation with a black teenager?