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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

THE SUBSTITUTE ETHOS

"Limbaugh talks about politics on his radio show. Maher talks about politics on his TV show. What’s the difference again?"

If you reject all historical, traditional, and religious foundations for right and wrong, how do you determine your morality? If you reject any absolute ethical basis how do you determine good and evil?

Well the left in western culture tries to do so with a different structure. A recent rant by John Stewart on the Daily Show helps explain this. Various right-leaning blogs and pundits have pointed out the double standard and rank hypocrisy on the left at being completely outraged by Rush Limbaugh's comments on Ms Fluke, but shrugging at Bill Maher's significantly more insulting, offensive, and shocking statements about conservative women. In fact, President Obama took a million-dollar campaign donation check from Maher and the left applauded (and go to be on Maher's show) but called for Limbaugh to be taken off the air, for advertisers to boycott, and worse.

Well Fox News is the only news station reporting on this and discussing it. The rest would rather just not pay any attention to Maher's vile statements or indeed any hypocrisy on the left. So John Stewart gets on his show and works the spin as hard as he can. Frances Martel at Mediaite reports:
While noting that the right had given an homage to Limbaugh on the House floor shortly after 9/11, he noted the worst Maher had used for Republican women– words with Cs and Ts in them. He agreed that they were offensive, but joked to Fox News commentators bringing them up: “let’s get back to what really matters in America: whether Obama is a Sunni or a Shi’ite.” He then played a montage of Fox News commentators complaining that comedians hide under their “clown noses” and “helmets” and are immune to criticism. That, Stewart attested, was just false. “When you’re doing it in a club, there are repercussions– ask Michael Richards and Tracy Morgan. When you do it on television, there are repercussions– ask me,” he argued, playing a clip of Fox News calling him racist.

But it wasn’t just Fox News, he explained, it was the hate mail, “envelopes, some of them handwritten, some of them with white powder.” He remarked that “when I got into comedy, I didn’t think the white powder I’d be getting was anthrax,” and warned the audience to please not snort anthrax. A fairly argumentative rather than joke-filled anti-Fox segment on the Daily Show wouldn’t be complete without some profanity, however, so Stewart concluded: “Fox: shut the f**k up about how victimized you and you alone are. Nobody cares.”
Yes, he's defending Maher by attacking Fox News, yes he told Fox News to shut the F up for daring to bring up the double standard, but look at how he put it. He's telling them to shut up about how victimized they are.

Long time readers know I don't care for Fox News because it is a lousy news source and focuses too much on sensation, missing little white girls, and celebrity trials and rumors. Its just a tabloid. But this attack makes no sense.

Where on earth did this snark come from? At no point has Fox News or anyone else whined that they're being picked on or are victims in this discussion. That isn't even a category the right tends to think in, and Fox News is just reporting what is happening.

One place it comes from is a desperate need to spin this so it stops hurting the left. They opened up this bag and want it to just go away now that its hurting them. So Jon Stewart cracked open his Rules For Radicals and busted off a standard tactic: accuse the enemy of doing what you are; in this case whining about being a victim. Clearly that's what Fluke and leftist women have been doing, but to make this an attack, Stewart is aiming it at Fox News to make them seem pathetic and whiney.

But when it comes down to their worldview and ideology, here's where it comes from: this is the left's substitute moral structure. There is no right or wrong in their ideology, because they tend to be relativists, and the concepts of "right and wrong" smack of religion and judgmentalism. They've "progressed beyond" that and have a new set of categories.

Now you're either a victim or an oppressor. There isn't any room for anything in between there, there isn't any "just regular folks" you're either the victim of oppression or the source of it. That's where the whole Critical Race Theory of Obama mentor Professor Bell comes in; blacks are perpetually victims of racism in this system, so that no amount of change in culture, no erasure of old laws, no ending of institutionalized racism is ever enough.

This structure is convenient, because it avoids tough calls based on fairness and wisdom and instead inserts categories: if you are in category A, you're a victim, if you are in category B, you're an oppressor. Its neat and easy and doesn't take any thought. You can instantly throw people into the appropriate box based on their category and treat them as such without even bothering to listen to them.

Their arguments, their logic, the facts, history, and reality are irrelevant here. If you're an oppressed other, you get sympathy and support. If you're not, you're an oppressor and get none. It doesn't matter what you say or do, you're the oppressor. It doesn't matter what they say or do, they're the victim.

So white Americans are the oppressor regardless of their behavior or action. And after 9/11, in an insane reversal of reason and experience, the left decided that Muslims were the victims, so now they're supported, sympathized with, and defended. Yes, they do bad things but only because they're being oppressed, and ultimately its America's fault they do it.

So for Jon Stewart, Fox News pointing out a wrong thing and criticizing a double standard is whining about being the victim, because those are the only moral categories he knows of. He doesn't even attempt to make an argument about right and wrong here, he bases his entire point on showing how his tribe (comedians) are more oppressed, and thus the true victims.

And in his statement, you get a vision into their worldview and moral structure.

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