Weekend Reflections: Lies, Alcohol, More Lies
This weekend’s triptych of themes: why progressives lie; the secret of Trump’s success; why the left needs racism.
Elizabeth Warren, giving a commencement address at Morgan State University, a primarily black college, told the graduating class that she has never experienced the racial bias that black people suffer — for which she has zero evidence, of course — because, she shockingly revealed, she is “not a person of color.” This is the same Elizabeth Warren who spent much of 2018 trying to vindicate her years of lies and attempts to garner personal advantage as a “native American” by producing a DNA test which proved she did indeed have a drop of “native” blood — though a much smaller drop than the average American.
This is also the same Elizabeth Warren who repeatedly used her fake native heritage for rhetorical gain, such as by claiming in an interview that her family, including her own parents, had suffered racial prejudice due to her mother being “part Cherokee, part Delaware.”
Reflecting on Warren’s sudden, shameless about-face on this issue, I cannot help finding it fascinating that so many prominent progressives turn out to be both wild fabricators of personal history and completely bald-faced liars when finally confronted with their wild fabrications.
This is not at all surprising of course, since progressivism itself is the biggest fabricated political philosophy in human history, and is continually being forced to tell bald-faced lies about itself to avoid confronting its uninterrupted string of failures and inhumanities. But it’s fascinating nonetheless.
Theories abound as to how Donald Trump, a politically uneducated, barely literate, personally corrupt, and famously superficial self-promoter, has been able to walk through the Republican Party primaries, the general election, and now two years of non-stop gaffes, disastrous choices, idiotic statements, and widespread public and international ridicule, and yet somehow survive and thrive in his greatest role ever, that of America’s first reality TV president.
The funniest of these theories, though understandable in light of all the good reasons why Trump should not have succeeded, is that he succeeds because he is smarter than his rivals. I do not mean the “seventy-two-dimensional chess” nonsense spouted by his cultists and media apologists, which may be dismissed merely by considering the sources. I am referring to the reflections of men like psychologist du jour Jordan Peterson, who has famously speculated that Trump’s ability to vanquish his opposition and run a winning campaign unlike any other is indicative of measurably high intelligence, i.e., a genius-level IQ.
This explanation makes sense to those social scientists who are true believers in the religion of IQ testing, because such people have fallen for the fallacy of quantitatively-measured intelligence, namely that it is an unbiased assessment of real intellectual capacity. In fact, IQ tests are built on standards of evaluation derived from a statistical analysis of people judged to be successful according to certain presupposed criteria of what a successful man is. In other words, normal practical success — financial gain, career achievement, popular acceptance — is built into the testing protocols, which means that IQ is actually measuring intelligence in reverse, in the sense that it is really judging, in effect, how similar you are to, say, Donald Trump.
Obviously, on that standard, Donald Trump will fare quite well, so it is logical, granting these irrational premises, that Trump’s success may be adduced as evidence of a high IQ, given that high IQ itself is defined largely in accordance with exactly Trump’s kind of achievements.
But what, you may ask, is my alternative theory? That is, what do I believe is the secret of Trump’s success? General social deterioration, issuing in a broad swath of the American public being primed to cede its soul to a sociopathic demagogue, is certainly an important part of it, as I have previously argued. Such social conditions, however, serve only as the moldable material cause of the Trump phenomenon. What moves this molding process? What makes the bronze into a statue, if you will? That is, how was Trump himself able to exploit this social condition in a way that, say, Hillary Clinton, a much more superficially “qualified,” “experienced” and “respected” candidate, could not?
Here is a theory, one that I guarantee you have heard nowhere else, for reasons that actually help to support the theory: Donald Trump does not drink.
Alcohol, as Nietzsche frequently explains, is the great spirit-devouring dependency of European man. Drinking, to the extent that it becomes essential to the workings of public life, makes men weak and small. “Social drinking,” as that activity has been pursued almost universally among the traditional European peoples of the world for centuries, has one essential purpose and result: to blur the individual’s independence and rational self-control in the name of fostering sentimental “togetherness,” sentimental empathy, and sentimental sentimentalism.
Nietzsche convincingly connects European alcoholism with both the gradual rise of romanticism in nineteenth century art and philosophy, and the closely associated rise of socialism in nineteenth century politics. Romanticism and socialism are movements unimaginable without a preponderance of wet, ponderous souls through which to slog and swish. Artificially-induced sentimentality dampens the soul, makes a man slushy in his stride, unresolved in spirit and dissolved in his will.
Donald Trump may be almost the only man in American national politics today — and certainly the most amorally ambitious — who is not caught up in the political establishment’s non-stop drinking party. Hillary Clinton alluded to this “culture” in her reminiscences after John McCain’s death, as she waxed as romantic as a hardened beast can wax when recalling their many drinking bouts together. Conservatives so often tear their hair out in frustration listening to their representatives talking about “reaching across the aisle,” knowing that the people across the aisle are Marxists. But to those who tip glasses together, the differences represented by Marxist totalitarianism are easily dissolved in the mist of “another round.” From the point of view of the old boys club, what is “across the aisle” is not primarily a threat to liberty, but a drinking buddy. “My good friend so-and-so,” they all say of one another on television — and one almost hears the glow of happy hour memories in the voice, sees the spittle of slurred speech in the corner of the mouth as they say it.
Donald Trump is a non-drinker. A non-participant. An outsider in our peculiarly modern social sense. That means he does not feel the warmth of last night’s drunken laughter when he looks at his rivals — he sees people to be defeated. His enthusiasm for victory has never been soaked in the sweet nectar of “getting along,” where getting along means providing a mutually convenient blanket of moral support for one’s weakness of will — for the alcohol-fueled drive to give in.
Here is a quotation from a 2011 article on Trump in Forbes Magazine:
“I don’t drink, and it’s very easy for me not to drink,” Trump told Forbes when they chatted in the Forbes Townhouse. “I tell people, ‘What are you drinking for?’ And they don’t even understand what I’m saying.”
People, both hardcore Trump fans and those trying to “make the best of the situation,” sometimes try, for whatever reason, to force me to concede at least one issue on which I am in agreement with Trump. Well, there it is.
I read a very reasonable reader’s comment on Right Scoop, addressing the American left’s continual use of racial division as a political tool. Specifically, the commenter suggested that repeatedly talking about racial bias actually promotes such bias, and causes people to expect it, whereas what should ideally be allowed to happen is, to use this commenter’s own example:
White guy: I like cars.
Black guy: I like cars too.
2 hours later they find they have more in common and are now quite friendly to each other.
The reason the left will never encourage that reasonable path is that their whole collectivist charade, and a huge portion of their voter-manipulation technique, would be destroyed if that commenter’s hypothetical conversation proceeded to this:
White guy: My small business is struggling because of all these damned government regulations and high taxes.
Black guy: Mine too.
And then two hours later they are agreeing on how much better their businesses would be, and how much more they could do for their families, if they could just get the government off their backs. Progressivism shattered.
Racism, therefore, is necessary to sustain the left’s illusion that government is needed to solve everything and protect the victims of systemic “discrimination.”