Time To Unplug

I’ve been so busy over the past few days, I haven’t had time to pay much attention to politics. Over the course of that time, I haven’t missed anything important, and I almost feel like my sanity level is approaching normal (normal for me, that is).

unplug-small-appliances

I watched the video(s) of Milo Yiannopoulos the other day when that story broke, and I think that, in combination with all of the stuff going on at home and at work, is what did it for me.  I went through the 2016 election constantly finding myself disappointed in people, as they bought a steady string of lies being told to them by the man who is now our president.  Now, while I’m cautiously optimistic that President Trump, despite his many flaws, may actually do some good, the incessant whining from both parties has made politics totally unworthy of the time & attention that it should deserve.  Things were supposed to improve after the insanity of the election, but they’ve only gotten worse.

I will admit that watching the Left become unhinged at Hillary’s loss was amusing, for a little while.  But with the constant nitpicking by the media, and the constant obstruction by members of Congress, and the constant hyperbole by EVERYONE on the Left, it just becomes an endless cacophony of ridiculousness that just isn’t worth paying attention to anymore.  They’ve made it abundantly clear that they won’t learn anything from their loss.  They’re just going to keep on pushing the identity politics, now ramped up to the Nth degree, villainizing everything Trump does and everyone who works with him.  It wasn’t that long ago that these same Congressmen and Senators were calling Republicans “obstructionist” and “the party of NO.”  They’ve come full circle, becoming exactly what they spent so much time whining and complaining about.  It’s infantile and stupid, and not worth the attention paid to it on a daily basis.

And the Right isn’t any better.  President Trump’s fans demanded unwavering loyalty from Republican Party members even before Trump was officially nominated as the GOP’s candidate.  They demanded that Republicans hold party loyalty before political ideology, before basic morality, before good sense.  And while the rhetoric is decidedly less virulent, little else has really changed since the election and inauguration.  President Trump and his team have made numerous missteps along the way, including telling some out-and-out lies (or “alternative facts”), yet any criticism is met with “But Obama…” or “But Hillary…”  No criticism, no matter how valid, is seen as valid; there is always

After spending 8 years criticizing President Obama for constantly blaming George W. Bush for everything that went wrong, Republicans now do the same, becoming what they spent so much time whining and complaining about.  It’s infantile and stupid, and not worth the attention paid to it on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are pledging to cut taxes while working to raise them, and pledging to end Obamacare while working to keep as much of it as they possibly can.

The swamp hasn’t been drained, it’s just under new management.

I’ve been paying a bit of attention to the big stir over Milo Yiannopoulos.  It caught my attention when the story first broke, and I watched the videos that generated the headlines.  I also kept up with his response.  Claiming that a 6-minute video was “deceptively edited” or “taken out of context” struck me as very much on par with the excuses given by Cecile Richards – insincere and untrue.  What he said was disgusting, whether he meant it or not, and I’m glad he stood up & apologized for it. However, I find it rather idiotic that a guy who has made a career out of being an a-hole and saying offensive things takes such umbrage at the fact that something he said could actually have real consequences for him.
 
The First Amendment is meant to protect Americans from retaliation by the government in matters of speech, assembly, the press, and religion. It doesn’t protect you from the real-world consequences of what you say and do. If you want to go around offending people and saying the most outrageous things you can think of, the United States government can’t (legally) stop you…but the rest of the world doesn’t have to sit there and take it.
 
I feel sorry for Milo (though I’m fairly certain he doesn’t want my sympathy), as it’s clear that his behavior is, at least in part, a consequence of the abuse that he experienced as a child. But at the same time, it seemed clear from his press conference that he is thriving on all of the attention he’s getting over this, and is working hard to profit from having the spotlight shining on him. After all, even though the personal and professional consequences seem to have hit him harder than when one of his speeches gets shut down over protests or riots, playing the victim card has long been his modus operandi when he does get shut down.
 
In a lot of ways, Milo’s rise in popularity on the right is just indicative of what I see as the growing cultural rot in the conservative movement.
 
Many Republicans were okay with George W. Bush when he said that we had to abandon the free market in order to save it. Well, we abandoned the free market, and then handed the government over to socialist rule for eight years, only able to stop some of it by taking back control of Congress.
 
Then, we were supposed to be okay with abandoning conservative ideals in order to win an election. The election was won, but now all of those Republicans who just needed the presidency in order to lower taxes and end Obamacare are plotting to raise taxes while calling it a tax cut, and ‘end’ Obamacare while preserving as much of it as they can…all while the victor goes on late night rants on Twitter about how ‘unfairly’ he is treated.
 
And now, it seems that we are supposed to defend anything and everything that comes from “our side,” because “our side” can never do anything as bad as what the other side does or has done. It doesn’t matter whether it’s lies from the White House, backstabbing from Congress, or the offensive ramblings of a professional a-hole, we have to be okay with it, because in this tribalistic battle that is modern American politics, we can’t afford to give an inch.
 
Frankly, I’m glad Milo won’t be speaking at CPAC. I’ve long wanted to attend, and when I heard he would be giving the keynote, this was the first year since I’ve know about CPAC that I really didn’t want to. The conservative movement has plenty of problems as it is. We don’t need to become a bunch of offense peddlers and professional victims.

 

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