We ran out of quarters on our 2018 American arcade cabinet. Yeah, a lame gaming metaphor for an even lamer society. I was going to try and somehow segue into Brett Kavanaugh using Pac-Man and Galaga references… but the reader lucked out. Boy howdy, you might even say they scored a continue! Well, there goes the last bit of my levity.
So, why is everything so terrible now? Why is it that we can no longer talk to each other? Why is it that we can no longer come together on any issue, with our old NATO allies, or even as simple Americans? The only things that still make us a society at this point are some pretty frivolous facts: We live within the borders of something called the United States, we use the same currency, and we have roads connecting us. That’s about it. A coherent culture is no longer a resident among our citizenry.
We are all children of the Age of Enlightenment. All that we have and who we are, everything that’s not traced back of being a peasant or a slave, is owed to the great old thinkers of the Enlightenment. David Hume, Denis Diderot, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, among many others, paved the way to live a life no longer shackled in ignorance and delusion. To live free, even if at a modest income, and to die on your own terms according to your own passions. This is what we were afforded.
I’ve often talked about Thomas Paine. He is, after all, one of my two heroes from teenage years. The other being Goku, a fictional anime character. What this says about my sanity, I cannot say. In any event, as every non-swamp person taught in elementary school knows, Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense. Great, hooray for our education system. They don’t tell you that Common Sense actually outsold the Bible (in the 18th century, no less) and Paine gave all his profits to purchase mittens for freezing American soldiers during the Revolution. Our schools also don’t tell you that Thomas Paine died a broke and hated man for what he later said regarding criticism of Christianity. So despised, that a century later Theodore Roosevelt would regard him as a “filthy little Atheist.”
While Paine was even denied the right to vote in his own country after his publication of the Age of Reason, apparently his words mattered to some. In 1809, for his defense of freedom to everyone in all places, two out of the six mourners that made up his meager funeral procession were freed African Americans. These two black men didn’t need a white master or a white pastor to tell them what to do or believe anymore; they were free to weep for a publicly maligned hero.
But what is a liberal? What is liberty, for that matter? What did Thomas Paine and other progressives fight for? Religious ideals are universal in their function for dull-witted humans to stab and shoot each other with God on their side. In order for Arnaud Amaury to have a dopey, bloodlust induced grin as he and his Crusader army cut the heads off 20,000 Cathar men, women, and children, he had to believe in a stupidity that transcended moral obscenity. That is, he “let God sort them out.” His boss, Pope Innocent III, was a divine instrument… and of course must be innocent of all things, genocide included.
So, what the hell has all this to do with anything? Well, evidence matters. Evidence matters more than black lives, more than white lives, more than allegations of rape from both boys and girls, and it certainly matters far more than me. I’ll refrain from focusing on Brett Kavanaugh, as if I did it would just serve to water down what matters. Besides, I might as well pick Aziz Ansari or that entire UVA fraternity from 2014 if I was going to go into false, or at the very least, unsubstantiated and poorly evidenced claims.
But that’s the point, isn’t it? The fact that liberals now believe anything, absolutely anything regardless of facts or evidence of any stripe, as long as it’s against the “opposition.” As long as it feeds into our weak and pitiful cries for emotional attention. As long as our primary identity is not being free but being offended and outraged. Thomas Paine was offended and outraged when he was thrown inside a French dungeon in arguing human dignity even for King Louis. Nat Turner was offended and outraged when he was sentenced to be hung for merely rebelling against his masters, a similar subject that made George Washington an inspirational “revolutionary,” but Turner a half-mad monster. These men, and many others who actually fought against tyranny, felt “triggered,” but they remain as Reason’s torches… however despised by fools they may be.
The point is that without deference to evidence, without objective consideration to uncomfortable facts, and above all, the burning desire to see all men and women be lords of their own fate, then the Enlightenment is truly over. Small-minded shit such as the concern over a country club nobody like Brett Kavanaugh is an abject disgrace for a progressive mind. For the record, if it’s discovered that Kavanaugh is an attempted rapist, then charge him for perjury and when he finally gets out of jail, spit on him and curse his name when he’s on the street as an untouchable bum. If evidence is found then you’ll have my glowing endorsement.
But we’re missing the point. Answer this question: What in Lovecraft’s name have liberals been doing since 1991? There’s no more Kaiser. There’s no more Hitler. There’s no more Stalin. Hell, there isn’t even a Saddam Hussein anymore. Here’s the sad truth: we’re stuck with ourselves and we’re scared of the dark. Or to quote a Christian coward like Blaise Pascal, “the eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.” The United States finally beat out fascism and communism, even went to the moon, but now we’re afraid of our own reflection. This is what religious cowardice looks like. They cannot handle reality, so they tremble and lie to themselves and others that there’s a better one. A Heaven for good little sheep.
Liberals now carry the sin of doing the same thing. We need our safe spaces. We need our precious identity labels as being gay, straight, black, white, female, or male. We need constant reassurances that Republicans are very bad, so we Democrats must be very good. These childish pursuits have kept us quite busy but has not produced the utopia that was due after the fall of the Soviet Union. Also, as an aside, being an Atheist does not make you special or cute. Scientologists are technically also Atheists, but their worldview puts even biblical nonsense like the Garden of Eden and Noah’s Flood to shame in their perverse idiocy. What matters is secularism. Without a secular mindset, even an Atheist can become anti-reason and dogmatic.
If Hillary Clinton, who was on the board of directors at Walmart, was our corporate sellout of a president instead of Donald Trump (you know, our actual corporate sellout of a president), then what honestly would have changed? At the end of the day, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are going to give a gourmet handjob to guys like the Nestle CEO who wants to privatize water. How about we come together as a humble species of mammals and try to explore and colonize space? Or really, anything other than putting an out of date “I’m With Her” bumper sticker on your car. Or maybe it’s too late and we should just drink beer like Brett Kavanaugh.