The Path of Constant Sorrow

Not funny.

On my way to a larger point, I’d like to share a few stories that have bubbled up on Danish news media over the past 24 hours.

Trump Gets His Way, Now This Couple Fears for the Victory They Fought So Hard For, Esther Margrethe Lynard, TV2 News, 26 October

The couple at the center of the piece clearly don’t understand how the Constitution works and the journalist makes no effort to inform her readers, but that’s not what matters. What matters is that these are dark days and they’re scared. They’re trying to be optimistic, but they’re scared, because the president who is working actively and aggressively to get homosexuality decriminaized around the world is clearly hell-bent on using his new Supreme Court to end gay marriage.

Boogaloo-Militia in Hawaiian Shirts Says No to Police and Authorities, Yes to Weapons, Steffen Kretz, DR.dk, 26 October

After months of ignoring Antifa’s obvious and declared role in the riots, arson, assaults, and destruction plaguing American cities, DR’s home page has made an entire theme out of militias, and of course the always objective Steffen Kretz anchors it with his exposĂ© on a boogaloo militia.

Image: DR.dk screencap

These boogaloo guys are clearly nuts. They’re newsworthy enough, but they’re just the mirror image of antifa. Not only that, but they haven’t actually done anything yet. Antifa and its allies have been raising hell across America for months. I couldn’t remember what Steffen Kretz, or anyone at DR, had had to say about antifa. Using DR’s own search tool, “antifa” returns only stories about right wing militias, and a couple of stories where Trump is quoted speaking about antifa. Expanding my search to Google and searching on “Kretz antifa” I could only find an article from Trykkefrihed.dk criticizing Kretz for his imbalanced reporting on America this summer.

Never mind all that: the “boogaloo bois” are a clear and present danger in these dark days.

Trump Got His Christian Judge and a Big Victory: Will Biden Ruin Everything with an Unheard of Plan?, Mikkel Danielsen, Berlingske.dk, 27 October

My favorite line is: “Despite Democrats’ great anger, the Republican majority in the Senate succeeded in rushing Trump’s chosen judge, 48-year-old Amy Coney Barrett, through to a vote in record time.”

Indeed they did. Despite all that really angry anger!

Danielsen also steps on all the usual rakes, presenting every element of this story from the Democrat/establishment media perspective. But it’s the opening of the headline that got me: “Trump fik sin kristne dommer.” Trump got his Christian judge.

No, Trump got his Constitutionalist judge. Try to keep up, Berlingske, even Democrats backed off religious attacks this time around.

And yet, clearly there’s no denying that in these dark days, the Supreme Court is well on its way toward becoming a new edition of the Spanish Inquisition.

Coney Barrett Approved in Senate: “It’s a Dark Day”, Emma Buus Mosegaard, Ekstra Bladet, 27 October

First of all, Buus Mosegaard’s article is actually written on a kind of Tale of Two Cities model, opening with the dark day of the Democrats before covering the day of joy in the Trump camp.

The emphasis is unsurprisingly on the former, with a tone leaving very little doubt what Buus Mosegaard’s sympathies lie.

The “Dark day” quote comes from Elizabeth Warren’s Twitter feed, but we’re also informed that vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris said “we won’t forget this” and called the whole constitutional process illegitimate.

Det er nemlig den siddende præsident, der skal udpeget højesteretsdommere, og Demokraterne havde ønsket, at det ville være vinderen af valget, der fik lov.

Men præsident Donald Trump gik videre med processen til stor frustration for den demokratiske lejr. Ikke mindst fordi Republikanerne i 2016 blokerede for, at den daværende præsident Barack Obama udpegede en ny højesteretsdommer med begrundelsen, at det var for tæt på valget.

I nyere tid er der ifølge Reuters aldrig blevet bekræftet en højesteretsdommer så tæt på et præsidentvalg i USA, og Demokraterne mener, at beslutningen blev hastet igennem.

Let’s take that in English so I can play with it.

“It is in fact the sitting president that nominates Supreme Court justices, and the Democrats had wanted it to be the winner of the election that would be allowed to. But President Trump went ahead with the process to the great consternation of the Democratic camp. Not least because in 2016 Republicans blocked then-president Obama’s nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice on the basis of it being too close to an election. According to Reuters, no Supreme Court justice has been confirmed this close to a presidential election, and the Democrats believe that the decision was forced through hastily.”

Interesting. The thing is, Republicans could put a Supreme Court justice on the bench even though the Democrats didn’t want them to, because the Constitution says they can. In 2016, Democrats couldn’t put a Supreme Court justice on the bench, even though they wanted to, because the Republicans wanted to stop them and could, thanks to that danged Constitution. And the primary reason no justice has been confirmed this close to a presidential election is that most aged and ailing justices have, until these dark days, been gracious enough to die or retire further out from an election.

It’s as simple as that.

And with that I move on to my larger point.

My Larger Point

My larger point is that these are dark days for the left because every day is dark for the left. Their outlook is bleak, their vision is grim, their suspicions are dark, their fears are legion.

The other day a friend remarked that he couldn’t get over the way the cultural right had become so fun and energetic, edgy and anti-authoritarian, while the left had become, in his words, “dour, puritanical, the party of no fun for anyone, and just a bunch of fascist buzzkills.”

As generalizations go, I’m inclined to agree.

The left used to be the source of countercultural excitement, the anti-authoritarian irreverence, all the transgressive fun. The right was all buttoned-down and serious, uptight and grim. The left was always about sticking it to the man, but now the left is the man, and the man controls entertainment, media, big tech, Wall Street, academia, the arts, professional sports… and the man is a miserable wretch terrified of his own shadow.

Today’s left comes across as a bunch of dour and sour old fogies who don’t like the way you phrased that, who hope you realize you’re wearing your mask wrong, who need you to understand that what you just said or did was offensive, who’ll rat you out in a New York minute for violating any of last Tuesday’s government edicts, who detect secret white supremacy signals in innocuous hand gestures and pictures of eagles and even certain numbers, for the love of god, and above all they’re tired of having to tell you: That’s. Not. Funny.

It’s really not. (Image: internet meme.)

And they’re so deadly serious about all this that they’re perfectly willing to tear down anyone and anything that isn’t ready to don the sackcloth and ashes and join them in the ritual gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.

The contrast between the competing worldviews of right and left were put into very sharp relief at the last presidential debate.

BIDEN: Come on. There’s not another serious scientist in the world who thinks it’s going to be over soon.

TRUMP: I didn’t say over soon. I say we’re learning to live with it. We have no choice. We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does. [Etc., etc., etc.] 99% of people recover. We have to recover. We can’t close up our nation. We have to open our school and we can’t close up our nation, or you’re not going to have a nation.

A moment later:

BIDEN: Number one, he says that we’re learning to live with it. People are learning to die with it. You folks home will have an empty chair at the kitchen table this morning. That man or wife going to bed tonight and reaching over to try to touch, there out of habit, where their wife or husband was, is gone. Learning to live with it. Come on. We’re dying with it, because he’s never said. See, you said, “It’s dangerous.” When’s the last time? Is it really dangerous still? Are we dangerous. You tell the people it’s dangerous now. What should they do about the danger?

Trump is making the case for life. Biden is making the case for despair.

Trump is urging us to light our candles. Biden wants us to curse the dark.

The world of the left is a dark and terrible place.

Compare the boisterous spirits of a Trump rally to the funereal hush of a Biden rally (if you can find one). And where exactly on the left do you have to go these days to find something like this:

While the American left is cowering in its psychological basement, terrified of the dark days being plotted by the imagined fascists and neo-Nazis and white supremacists of the American right, that American right is psychologically hopping around to disco in in all the multicultural glory of a Benetton ad.

A black Supreme Court justice just swore in a female Supreme Court justice… and the left sees dark days ahead because of the anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-everything nature of the increasingly “conservative” court. (The scare quotes are because Constitutionalism isn’t a liberal or conservative thing.)

For what it’s worth, multiple peer-reviewed studies over the past couple of decades have found a “happiness gap” between liberals and conservatives that’s consistent throughout the west. You can read more about them, and click your way through to many of the individual studies, in this Federalist article.

Let me quote from one of the citations in that article (emphasis mine):

In four studies, conservatives expressed greater personal agency (e.g., personal control, responsibility), more positive outlook (e.g., optimism, self-worth), more transcendent moral beliefs (e.g., greater religiosity, greater moral clarity, less tolerance of transgressions), and a generalized belief in fairness, and these differences accounted for the happiness gap.

Do happy people incline toward conservatism, or are conservatives more inclined toward happiness?

Something to reflect upon during these dark, dark days…