Author Archives: illuvitus

Fired for Love

There’s a billboard that’s been popping up with the words “Imagine being fired because of who you love”. It’s put together by a radical LGBT organization that can’t tolerate merely having their wills imposed on the entire country by a few lawyers, but needs everyone to affirm their decisions and enthusiastically support them. There’s nothing new about this totalitarian impulse at the heart of the LGBT movement. I’ve long viewed it as a sort of intellectual defense mechanism against the Holy Spirit and conscience; when condemned so profoundly and comprehensively, the reaction is to look for affirmation elsewhere, and if that affirmation isn’t easily found, it must be forced.

But this post isn’t about the totalitarian impulse. It’s about the billboard.

I immediately thought of two problems with using the bumper sticker slogan on the sign as some sort of profound insight.

First, I can imagine a pedophile, or a couple engaged in incest, or a rapist, all using this as a defense. After all, if it is wrong to be fired because of who you love full stop, then surely it would be wrong to be fired for raping a woman you “love”, or a child you “love”, or a sibling you “love”. An LGBT zealot might respond that in the case of rape, there is no consent, and “consent makes right”, but this is just another opportunity to remind the zealot that their own incoherent worldview undermines this. “Love is love”, they say, and who are we to judge how that is conveyed? Surely, people with healthy consciences would find it appropriate for a company to fire a pedophile who stalks children. But following the logic of the billboard, that would be wrong.

Second, there is no reason to think that “love” needs to be identified as marriage or sex. This has been another consistent problem for LGBT advocacy. In trying to justify same-sex acts, the zealots undermine any other form of love that isn’t sexual in nature. But why do this? Parents love their children. Best friends may love each other more deeply than any sexual relationship even if sexual acts would never cross either of their minds and there is no sexual attraction whatsoever. The fact is, the “discrimination” implicitly condemned by the billboard is not of love or even the object of that love. It’s the sexual acts and demand to be considered “married” (a term with virtually no meaning to most anymore) that are in question. It’s telling that euphemisms like “who you love” are employed. Even the organization that threw together the sign knows, deep down, that they can’t get away with being clear and precise. Their ideas are too bad and shallow for that, and they need all the cover they can get.

No one is getting fired for “who they love”, but it’s probably true that some religious organizations and small businesses run by Christians have policies that don’t allow overtly evil behaviors like same-sex acts to be thrust into the faces of those they serve. This organization, deeply dishonest as is typical of LGBT advocacy and liberalism in general, must craft emotional pleas, because their real message is totally unpalatable. Their true message is: “Our right to sexual pleasure trumps all other rights, and if you don’t celebrate us, we want you to suffer painful death.”

Always, always remember that.

Victimhood Privilege

I’ve found that one of the best ways to defeat bad ideas is to ask simple but important questions to those who hold them. For example, when dealing with someone who believes a woman can be trapped in a man’s body, I like to ask: “What is a man?” No transgender advocate can answer this without undermining their position, because their position is delicately balanced on the ambiguity of words.

What I call “victimhood privilege” is similar. Victimhood privilege is the set of benefits one receives from being a member of a culturally designated victim group. Same-sex attracted individuals, transgender people, darker skinned people, women, etc all qualify to varying degrees as members of victim groups because at some point in the real or imagined past, each group had members who, we are told, were victims because of their membership in those groups. We can go ahead for now and accept this reasoning for the sake of argument.

If you ask a liberal progressive “what makes someone a victim?” or “what does it mean to be oppressed?”, you won’t get clear answers. If you don’t obviously lead with the question, the best you can hope for is something ambiguous like “victims are people who are mistreated” or “oppression is when ‘the system’ works against you”. But ask them to be more specific, and the fun can really start.

For example, I’ve heard people offer the example that oppression might include being arrested for expressing yourself. But you can remind them that a Christian pastor was recently arrested for doing just this in a library where “drag queen story hour” was being performed at taxpayer expense, and they’ll quickly retract their example.

Or, you might hear that a form of oppression is when a college won’t let your student group meet. If you remind the person that the only groups that colleges prohibit these days are Christian or politically conservative groups, they’ll again retreat.

Another common example offered are bullying victims. People who have been pushed around with slurs or threats of violence. But again, all you need to do is remind the liberal progressive who offers this example that the clearest examples of bullying are LGBT activists who threaten Christian business owners with violence and fines and who slander them on social media.

Victimhood privilege, then, is not about being a victim at all. It’s about being a member of a group which is immune to criticism, getting all the benefits a true victim deserves while actually creating victims with extreme hatred. This should be obvious enough from the fact that so many people actively desire to be seen as victims. Real victims get sympathy to compensate for their situation, and people would rather not have the situation altogether, even if they lost the sympathy. But there are some real benefits to victimhood privilege that being a real victim doesn’t entail. And the clearest example is when these faux “victims”, like aggressive LGBT activists try to get people fired and ostracized (that is, made victims) simply for not being enthusiastic enough about the bizarre sexual proclivities of other people.

The Libertarian Impulse

Libertarianism always struck me as a sort of stop-gap, allowing the children of old-style conservatives to say “I really do support liberty!” to their parents while fully embracing the most radically liberal beliefs that their far-left college friends already held.

In that theme, here’s an article that appeared in The Libertarian Republic today. Matt Walsh, a popular conservative speaker and blogger, has been very hard on the pornography industry lately and many of his supporters have pushed back. Here, we see a “libertarian Christian” defending the “freedom” to watch pornography and engage in sexual debauchery:

I would remind those who agree with Walsh that even if their motives are pure, to advocate for the government to pass laws regulating the sexual behavior of consenting adults is both an assault on individual liberty and, yes, I would even say not supported biblically.

The first part of the article boils down to this:

Christians who desire to use the government as a political weapon to enforce what they see as moral on everybody else, whether they like it or not.

This is the most common position I see regarding morality and government today. “You can’t legislate morality”. It works as a bumper sticker, but it has a severe flaw.

Every single law is moral in nature. Every law presumes a certain ethical worldview. The question is not “should we impose our morality on other people?” but “whose morality will win”? The author does not see this. Likely, he has never even considered this. He seems to think there is such a thing as a neutral government, as if a government which permits an enormous pornography industry that pressures the rest of society with huge sums of money is “neutral”.

A laughably naive view of ethics and politics aside, the really bizarre stuff comes later, when this “libertarian Christian” tries to use the Bible to argue that we ought to have tons of pornography:

However, to suggest that government must regulate pornographic films would be antithetical to the biblical teaching on free will, which is foundational to the Christian faith. Need I remind Christians in Genesis, according to the creation story, God told Adam and Eve “not to eat of the fruit of the tree, or they would die.” He didn’t build a wall around the tree with angels to guard it. Without free will, that would make God nothing more than an eternal tyrant.

If this “libertarian Christian” had continued reading, he’d find, a few books later, this same God whom he claims would be an “eternal tyrant” for establishing moral prescriptions… establishing moral prescriptions. And lots of them. Here is just part of  Leviticus 18:

“‘No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.

“‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonor you.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.

“‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

“‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

“‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.

“‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

Given the author’s view on the opening chapters of Genesis, God is indeed an eternal tyrant. But we really didn’t even need to leave Genesis 1-3 to see the profoundly poor quality of his interpretation. God may not have “put up a wall”, but He did condemn mankind for the act. If this isn’t a perfect example of a law being broken, I don’t know what would qualify.

The author of the article goes on:

I am inclined to agree with Austin Petersen’s comment on the subject when he tweeted, “Calls by conservatives to ban pornography is a tacit admission that their churches have failed.” I will tell you from first-hand experience that too many churches in America today don’t talk about sex in a healthy manner – if they even talk about it at all. They don’t teach a truly biblical view of sex, that it is a beautiful thing created by God to be shared between a husband and wife. You will likely hear a list of commands about why premarital sex is sinful, and that’s as far as it goes.

This is a tired slogan that ought to be left behind. It may have been applicable 50-100 years ago, but not today. American churches go far, far, far beyond teaching a “truly Biblical view of sex”. American churches are rampant with sexual sin, with divorce and extra or pre-marital sex being very common. But not only is his description of the scenario perfectly incorrect, he also doesn’t seem to understand that finding two related phenomenon (the cultural decline into rampant pornography use and the church’s sexual sin that he doesn’t even acknowledge) does not allow the discoverer to assign causation in any way he wants. I suspect it is more likely that the culture is deeply infecting the church, not that the church has “failed” to teach a truly Biblical view of sex. Considering feminism and the sexual revolution both have polluted our churches and seminaries for decades (even those labelled “conservative”), this seems to be the correct explanation.

Instead of trying to ban everything that Scripture teaches is sinful, why not be the Church of Jesus Christ? Why not try to walk out the faith He demonstrated instead of trying to turn our Constitutional Republic into a theocracy?

Another common slogan. “Why do you Christians want to turn our country into a theocracy?” I see it from Christians as often as from secularists, but both seem to totally misunderstand what a theocracy is. England and many other European countries have national churches. None of them (save the Vatican) is a theocracy. A theocracy does not mean that the overwhelming moral view of a religious population is used to help determine the laws of a country. It means a country run by clergy. There is no country on earth that exists without some moral framework guiding its legislation and jurisprudence. But in the radically secular post-Christian West, only post-Christian morality gets to claim the sacred label of neutral, even if it is a false one.

If we have learned anything from Prohibition, it’s that banning porn would do nothing except effectively serve to make the problem worse.

This is a common libertarian retort to any ban on anything whatsoever. There was a falsehood behind prohibition that does not apply here. Drinking alcohol is not intrinsically evil. But pornographic material and its consumption is. In the same way adultery is evil intrinsically. In the same way that murder is evil intrinsically.

Banning intrinsically evil behaviors, whether the behavior totally disappears or not, is the duty of good government.

It’s here that the true nature of libertarianism as just another variant of radical secular liberalism becomes apparent. Traditionally (that is, going all the way from Socrates through the start of the French Revolution), good government was considered to be a government which made it easy for citizens to be good. Even the American founders understood this. They did not establish a Republic so that the naturally good citizens could do naturally good things. They established a Republic to minimize the damage that the naturally evil citizens would do when running the country.

Starting with the French Revolution and its proto-Progressive radicals, this view shifted. Libertarians inherit this same rotten foundation. They presume that good government is good when run by citizens because citizens are good. Best to let citizens have as much influence as possible because that means more goodness can be flexed. This is perfectly backwards. And it helps explain why a professed Christian is defending rampant sexual sin that makes Romans 1 look like a prophecy about America.

I fight for freedom for all people. Even the individuals whose decisions I disagree with most. Because that is the only time it truly matters or requires any courage.

One last presumption here worth noting. The author seems to think, in the tradition of the radical left, that “freedom” means “getting to do what I want”. The American founders, to whom libertarians pretend to swear allegiance, did not see freedom this way. Freedom, and rights in particular, are fundamentally related to what is Right (hence the overlapping terminology). Right implies a standard. An ethical standard in this case. Rights, therefore, are those privileges, values, and duties that we have by virtue of being human which enable us to live Rightly. To do good.

To say that the mass creation and use of pornography is a “right” is no more or less obviously false than saying that abortion is a “right” or that child abuse is a “right”. The “libertarian Christian” author should set down his false libertarian view that a man cannot commit a crime if he himself is the victim and adopt a Christian view. But he won’t, because his primary commitment is not to Christian ethics, but to secularism. And he cannot serve two masters.

Let people be free. Remember, the same government that can tell people who they can’t and can’t engage in consensual sex with could also control every other area of our personal lives. I assure you, legal porn will not plunge America into hell, but a tyrannical government will.

The New Testament never once suggests that a tyrannical government will plunge any nation into hell. The early Christians dealt with tyrannical governments often, but knew they could not last. But the New Testament makes it very clear that rampant sexual sin sends nations straight to hell. I referenced Romans 1 earlier. It’s worth reading in its entirety if you doubt this.

This “libertarian Christian” defends rampant pornography, adultery, sodomy, and every other “consensual” sexual act as fundamental human rights, and considers any restriction on them to be far worse than the acts themselves. I suspect many “conservative Christians” hold the same views.

Is it any wonder that the Left wins so many battles? Their opposition considers opposition to genuine evil to be far worse than the evil itself.

The Most Controversial Thing

Today, something short.

I used to be pretty prolific on social websites and would, several times a day, break the modern taboo and write scathing and inflammatory things about politics and religion. However, I reflected a while today and realized none of that stuff was anywhere near as controversial as The Most Controversial Thing.

What would that be? It’s the thing that cost me friendships. It ruined relationships with family members. It got me condemned by people I love and respect. It got me uninvited from all sorts of events.

The Most Controversial Thing? It’s simple: any genuinely good advice for women in their 20’s.

Suggest, for example, that young women find ways to be stay-at-home mom’s and prepare for that. Suggest that working in an office doing mundane office tasks is nowhere near as important as mothering children. Suggest that young women don’t sleep around and instead work hard at being the kind of woman that the sort of man they wish to marry would want to marry. Suggest that young women prepare for marriage and not life-long careers, because few women really want that. Suggest that women don’t travel abroad and take out a quarter-million in student loan debt. Suggest women avoid worthless degrees and 4 years of being indoctrinated to hate their church and their parents.

Make any of those suggestions and prepare to feel the wrath of everyone – “conservative”, “independent”, and liberal alike.

Conserving Feminism

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition.  – GK Chesterton

The headline and captions caught me off-guard, and it took me a moment to realize I was reading Ben Shapiro and Matt Walsh. From Shapiro’s Daily Wire:

Joe Biden: It’s Okay To Hit A Woman If It’s In Self-Defense

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden suggested during Wednesday night’s presidential debate on MSNBC that it was okay to hit a woman as long as it was in self-defense.

“Yes, and by the way, it’s one of the reasons the first thing I would do is make sure we pass the Violence Against Women Act re-authorization,” Biden responded. “The fact is, what happens now is we in fact have to fundamentally change the culture, the culture of how women are treated. That’s why as Vice President, I asked the president if I could start the movement on the college campuses to say it’s on us, it’s everyone’s responsibility.”

“No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger other than in self-defense,” Biden said, adding, “and that rarely ever occurs.”

The conservative response to Joe Biden wasn’t to point out the contradiction between a feminist lie (i.e. “Women are equal to men.”) and sex-specific laws (i.e. “Women need special treatment”). My more naive self many years ago would have suspected that this was the point of the headline.

Sadly, but not so unexpectedly, it was not the point. Biden is wrong on the data (more men than women suffer physical abuse from their wives and girlfriends), but even that was not the point.

Shapiro and company were condemning Biden not for going too far in his endorsement of feminism, but for not going far enough. Far from pointing out that it would indeed be appropriate to respond to force with a countering force, the conservative position is now that any mention of men physically harming women – even in self-defense – is worthy of ridicule. The Facebook comments on the story were exceptionally revealing, with the occasional “What’s the story here?” drowned out in a sea of mockery toward Biden’s “antiquated” approach. It seems Biden, in suggesting it is appropriate for a man to defend himself against a physically violent women, is too conservative for the conservatives.

I once resisted Chesterton’s assessment of the conservative project, but he was dead on.

Diversity, Inclusion, Tolerance – Part 1

Contemporary culture may reject classical virtues that were nearly universal until last century, but it would be a mistake to think it rejects virtue and morality altogether. What’s happened instead is a replacement of real virtue with hollow substitutes. Faith, Hope, and Love are now Diversity, Inclusion, and Tolerance.

Importantly, whereas the classical virtues are truly Good (that is, they reflect transcendent Goodness, which is the Nature of God), the new virtues are totalitarian are are not, when understood to mean what they do to modern people, good in any meaningful sense. Lets consider each of them on their own, starting with Diversity.

The old definition for diversity is philosophical, and is the opposite of unity. It just means a collection of distinct things. Diversity in its historic sense is a description of the world, not a virtue.

Contrast this with the modern definition, taken here from a community college:

All of our human differences.

Here is the more full definition from the same site (emphasis mine):

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

Diversity is a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences. It is extremely important to support and protect diversity because by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, and by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic.

“Diversity” means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating difference. Diversity is a set of conscious practices that involve:

  • Understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity, cultures, and the natural environment.
  • Practicing mutual respect for qualities and experiences that are different from our own.
  • Understanding that diversity includes not only ways of being but also ways of knowing;
  • Recognizing that personal, cultural and institutionalized discrimination creates and sustains privileges for some while creating and sustaining disadvantages for others;
  • Building alliances across differences so that we can work together to eradicate all forms of discrimination.

Diversity includes, therefore, knowing how to relate to those qualities and conditions that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet are present in other individuals and groups. These include but are not limited to age, ethnicity, class, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, as well as religious status, gender expression, educational background, geographical location, income, marital status, parental status, and work experiences. Finally, we acknowledge that categories of difference are not always fixed but also can be fluid, we respect individual rights to self-identification, and we recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another.

That’s a lot of content for a simple term, and interestingly enough, there’s no clear definition offered. In fact, the definition reads rather like an apologetic of “diversity” as a social imperative.

According to this definition, diversity entails acceptance, appreciation, recognition that some people have “privilege”, and the abolition of discrimination of all kinds. This makes diversity not a description of the world, but a modern virtue which must be actively pursued, and which compels total acceptance and appreciation of, presumably, all “ages, ethnicities … work experiences …” as well as other things not listed.

The definition is rife with self-referentially incoherent statements.

For example, we are to “recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another”. Really? According to this definition, the modern Western “diversity” culture is vastly superior to the “discriminatory” culture it condemns.

Another example: Diversity includes knowing how to relate to members of groups we are not members of ourselves. But we must also recognize and respect the “right” to self-identification, which means group membership is fluid and essentially meaningless. All it takes to be a member of another group is to self-identify as such. If the boundaries of groups are meaningless, what does it even mean to relate to members of other groups?

Yet another example: We must eradicate all forms of discrimination. But we are also told that we must acknowledge institutionalized privilege and discrimination, which requires us to discriminate between people who have privilege and people who do not. But if we can only oppose discrimination by engaging in it, we have committed a logical fallacy.

A final example: We are told to move beyond tolerance and into embracing and celebrating people who are different than ourselves. But most people in most of the world do not hold that diversity is a virtue. In order to embrace and celebrate them and their culture, we must embrace and celebrate the idea that embracing and celebrating other opposing cultures is wrong. Another logical contradiction.

This statement was clearly not produced by a competent philosopher of ethics or religion given the multitude of contradictory demands, but by a bureaucrat or administrator at a local university. It reads like the incoherent drivel these sorts of people often write, as further evidence.

Even further than the incoherence of the modern view of diversity, though, is the fact that diversity is simply not always good. It is not good to have diverse views on adultery or murder. It is not good to have a diverse amount of competency among professionals. It is not good to have a diverse grasp of the English language when trying to write English. In these and many other areas, we should prefer merit and genuine virtue over diversity.

Consider the short definition above, that diversity is “all of our human differences”. Do we really want to celebrate, accept, and embrace all of our human differences? Like our criminal behavior? Our mental and physical illnesses? Our hatred for people?

But still further than this, diversity is rarely good in the first place. Other than among the most ardent adherents of diversity, diverse metaphysical, ethical, political, epistemological, and religious views do not lead to harmony, but disharmony. Unity on essential and important things is to be preferred. This is rarely possible to achieve perfectly, and so diversity may well describe many real scenarios where people of different belief systems and backgrounds live together. In such cases, though, there is still a requirement that everyone believe in the basic value of human life and the respect of other people. Diverse views of the value of other people or whether we ought to respect other people is not going to produce harmony.

For all these reasons, I think the modern definition of diversity can be safely rejected. You’ll notice, if you go back to the college definition, that the merits of diversity (that is, what good things naturally come about from it) is not mentioned at all. While diversity is defended in its own definition, instead of merely defined, the benefits are not listed. There are simply breathless threats that we must do this or that. The closest attempt to do so is this grammatically invalid sentence:

It is extremely important to support and protect diversity because by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, and by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic.

I suppose in the twilight of Western civilization, you can’t expect college-educated college educators to be able to put a subordinate clause after “because” in a sentence.

But even though no good reasons are given for this worshipful attitude toward the total acceptance of everything other people do and are, it is extremely important to support and protect the concept anyway. I strongly suspect this is because there are many people who are paid to promote this material, and without protection and support, they’d need to get real jobs.

An Experiment in DNC Supremacy

A couple of stories regarding California’s wildfires and blackouts point to some broader truths.

First, this one on the Had Enough Therapy? blog (emphasis mine):

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blames it on climate change. For someone of such limited grasp of the facts, everything is climate change. As noted here and elsewhere California’s current fires seem to have been produced by bad government policy. Especially, by bad environmentalist policy. After all, California is deep blue. There aren’t any more Republicans left to blame. Thus, blame it on the climate.

In 2016, then-Governor Jerry Brown actually vetoed a bill that unanimously passed the state legislature to promote the clearing of trees dangerously close to power lines.

Because California accounts for less than 1% of global emissions, nothing it does will make a difference to climate, but its ratepayers shell out billions for wind and solar that might be better spent on fireproofing. A generation of ill-judged environmental activism has all but ended forest management in favor of letting dead trees and underbrush build up because it’s more “natural.”

Second, this one by the Federalist (emphasis mine):

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his political allies claim climate change is driving California’s increasingly intense and deadly wildfires.

That’s nearly true. Climate change assumptions drive the state’s energy and environmental policies. This has resulted in people being killed in terrible wildfires, electrical blackouts to millions of people causing $5 billion so far in lost economic activity, all while diverting limited resources to a fool’s errand.

For instance, California’s large and heavily regulated public utilities—PG&E, SDG&E, and SCE—prioritize wind and solar power, leaving little for powerline maintenance and upgrades. Simply put, the utilities are doing exactly what the regulators tell them to do. They make money for their investors on wind and solar; they don’t on powerline maintenance.

Largely because of the urban heat island effect, weather stations in California and Nevada were particularly affected. In California and Nevada, the temperature increase per decade from 1979 to 2008 was 0.04 degrees centigrade when using unperturbed sites, versus the official record increase of 0.24 degrees, a six-fold difference.

Back to the blackouts. To deflect blame from his administration, Newsom continues to point to climate change—along with capitalism, saying last Friday, “It’s more than just climate change. It’s about the failure of capitalism to address climate change.” Vox’s Ezra Klein picked up on this theme, tweeting in a pre-apocalyptic funk about the smoke and blackouts.

Both are worth reading in full, but I’m interested in the moment those “broader truths” I mentioned earlier.

California is a one-party state. Democrats possess super-majorities in both houses and even when Republicans win major elections (e.g. Arnold Schwarzenegger), they are far to the left of Republicans in other states. This situation provides a laboratory setting in which to judge the effects of a Democrat-dominated polity.

Among its myriad other problems (homelessness, illegal immigration, regulation, etc) are the two highlighted in these articles: a need for rolling blackouts, and a massive risk of forest fire. Democrats have been in complete control of the state for decades.

So what can we learn from this?

Modern liberalism, perfectly embodied in the Democrat Party, has two traits which separate are dangerous and together are catastrophic. The first is the uniform inability of modern liberals to take responsibility for their own actions. The second is an unmitigated lust for power. The first is dangerous because it prevents modern liberals from ever truly being held accountable because they will never acknowledge their own roles in whatever bad things happen. The second is dangerous because power is best wielded by those who don’t want it.

For Democrats, the operating procedure is something like this:

  1. If a bad thing happens and there are Republicans, blame Republicans. Demand more power.
  2. If a bad thing happens and there are no Republicans, blame something else. Demand more power.

This works so long as there are perks to hand out to people for votes. But eventually, probably even in California, that option will no longer compare to the sum of bad effects the Democrats have produced.

What’s striking about all of this is that it doesn’t even matter what the substance of Democrat party policy is. The party could have mostly good ideas about the world, and the traits mentioned above would still undermine all of it. But the Democrats don’t even have mostly good ideas to begin with.