Is Reality Racist?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When Rahm Emanuel is the "conservative" candidate in an election, as he will be in Chicago's mayoral run-off in April, one is tempted to say, "that says it all", but one should resist the urge. It is instructive to understand how that state of affairs could arise. For that, I refer my readers to a snippy, insulting Salon column by a leftist about "Why the Left Hates This Man". Here's an aliquot of the poison:

Garcia, on the other hand, is a local pol with a ton of experience in the trenches who is promising to do crazy things like stop closing schools and recklessly raid pension funds, both of which are among Rahm Emanuel's big accomplishments (along with taking lots of money from Republican donors). Historian Rick Perlstein, a Chicago local, has been chronicling this election and in this piece for In These Times he lays out the case for Garcia's experience and political know-how. He also notes that the Emanuel campaign along with his various Republican spokesmen have been doing what you'd expect: issuing thinly veiled attacks on Garcia as lacking "responsibility" if you know what they mean. [link in original, format edits]
I have no illusions about Rahm Emmanuel. His budget cuts represent no initial salvo in the battle to return America to proper, limited government: As far as I can tell, they might help Chicago spend money it doesn't have a little bit longer. But that's what passes for "fiscal responsibility" these days: A perfunctory acknowledgment that money has to come from somewhere. For this, Emanuel is called a "racist" and the term "responsibility" is labeled racist code. The will of the people isn't just for politicians to acknowledge, it supersedes reality itself, and Emanuel is a meany for withholding his magic wand from all those schools he spitefully closed. The real reason the government hasn't made us all rich, and why only a relative few have lots of money is because a few people who must be defeated are withholding it.

This is an example of a commonly-held metaphysical position, Primacy of Consciousness. The petulance -- and political "leanings" -- flow directly from it, and yet I share Thomas Sowell's exasperation:
It is staggering that there are sane adults who can vote for someone ... as if they are in school, just voting for "most popular boy" or "most popular girl" -- or, worse yet, voting for someone who will give them free stuff.
It beggars belief, and this bloc of voters, most of them unreachable by rational persuasion, will pose an electoral obstacle for the foreseeable future. They will hear of no limits on what their whims say the government ought to be handing out to them. To them, reality isn't just optional, as Sowell once titled a book: It's racist, if we are to judge by the epithet their leaders choose to hurl at anyone who hints that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

-- CAV


3-35-15: Corrected a typo and a format error. 


Anonymous said...

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. "

Hi Gus,

The above quote was attributed to "an obscure Scotsman" by an Op-Ed from the 1950s but actually appears to be made up from whole cloth by the Op-Ed writer himself. Misattribution aside, it still seems to well-describe the primacy-of-consciousness voter that our educational system has fostered; the same mentality that will gather in lines in Chicago to receive 'free money' from 'Obama's Stash."

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


Your mention of the role that government schools play is integral to this issue. While mob rule needn't inevitably lead to collapse and dictatorship, the learned feeble-mindedness of the electorate certainly makes them more likely.