MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2020
Also, Stelter on lies and delusions: Isabel Sawhill is 83. Morgan Welch is three years out of college (American University, class of 2017).
We're sure they're both good people. On the other hand, they co-authored an opinion column in this morning's New York Times.
The column appears in the paper's print editions. Unsurprisingly, the column is full of fuzzy claims which go undefended and unexplained.
The column is full of fuzzy but familiar claims. Perhaps for that very reason, the New York Times chose to run it.
The analytical skills of our war-inclined species are extremely slight. Most strikingly, our own deeply tribal, war-inclined team just can't seem to stop doing things like this, principal headline included:
SAWHILL AND WELCH (11/30/20): Will White Women in Georgia Put Family or Culture War First?
In 2004, Thomas Frank published his best-selling book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?,” which argued that his fellow Kansans were voting against their economic self-interest because of hot-button cultural issues. Perhaps now we should be asking, “What’s the Matter With White Women?” Are they voting on cultural rather than economic issues? Are many simply following their husbands’ lead? For some, it would seem so.
According to the pair of seers, some white women "are simply following their husbands' leads" when they cast their votes in presidential elections!
How many "white women" are behaving this way? The seers don't try to say. But so continues the rank, dim-witted condescension which flows from our failing tribe in much the way that mighty rivers run downhill toward the sea.
The authors seem to say that "white women" shouldn't be "voting on cultural rather than economic issues." How much simpler the world would be if we simply let tribal eggheads like these cast everybody's votes for them!
What’s the Matter With White Women? At this point, the eggheads say we should perhaps be asking that question.
In fairness, based upon an (imprecise) exit poll result they've already cited in their column, their question should really be this:
What’s the Matter With 55 Percent of White Women?
It may turn out that Candidate Trump got fewer than 55% of "white women's" votes in the recent election. In the end, there's no way to produce a precise measure of such matters.
That said, the dumbness of our liberal tribe suffuses this morning's column. And for us, this weekend was a struggle to come to terms with the variables animating our nation's ongoing decline.
For starters, how should we regard Donald J. Trump and his ongoing wild west claims? Should we primarily regard him as a liar? Or should we possibly regard him as being mentally ill?
Yesterday, CNN's Brian Stelter spent the better part of an hour struggling with these concepts. For the transcript of his weekly Reliable Sources program, you can just click here.
Stelter and several guests were serially defeated by the logic of "lying" versus "delusion." Chalk this up to the analytical and intellectual deficits which suffuse our deeply unimpressive journalistic and academic elites.
Is Trump a liar, or is he nuts? At one point, Stelter acknowledged that he tries to avoid that question.
Our journalists also avoid such questions when it comes to high-ranking Trump supporters. We think, for example, of South Dakota's governor, Kristi Noem.
Question! Did Noem believe the things she said in this November 18 press event, or was she possibly lying? Starting tomorrow, we'll be poking at this basic question all through the course of the week.
Such ruminations involve psychological / psychiatric questions. They go to the question of "psychopathologies," and to what we should think about such psychiatric concepts.
A related question involves the psychological forces which may drive us humans to believe the various claims our tribal leaders make. As a general matter, we humans can see such forces at work among others, but not among ourselves.
Tomorrow, a case study! We'll start to look at what Noem said in her recent press event. By the end of the week, we'll be looking at the way the AP reported her presser.
Along the way, we'll look at the difficulties our own tribe's leaders have had as they've tried to report the basic Covid statistics involved in Noem claims. In truth, the woods are lovely, dark and deep, but we humans just aren't super-sharp.
Today, we confess one other way we spent a dispiriting holiday weekend. For the first time, we watched (parts of) several Melissa McCarthy films.
We were triggered by this New York Times listicle, in which Scott and Dargis named McCarthy as the 22nd best actor of the 21st century (to date). Somewhat surprised by this assessment, we decided to take a look.
Two of McCarthy's films, including one which was cited by Scott, were available through On Demand. For the very first time, we clicked and tried to watch.
Two weeks ago, we told the somewhat comical story of the cognitive/cultural decline of basic cable. In one instance after another, the nation's basic cable channels announced lofty aims at the start of life, then devolved into various forms of "World's Dumbest."
Over the weekend, we watched parts of Tammy (2014) and Life of the Party (2018). (According to Scott, McCarthy displays "a fast and furiously aggressive verbal wit" in the earlier film.)
On YouTube, we even watched a scene with a great deal of aural humor from the big smash hit, Bridesmaids (2011).
We also read some god-awful analysis pieces by woke writers at major sites—essays which were substantially dumber and less self-aware than the column by Sawhill and Welch.
(To their credit, Sawhill and Welch didn't refer to "white women" as "Karens.")
Concerning all that, we'll simply say this. A nation with a "World's Dumbest" culture (and capability) can't sensibly hope to survive.
In our view, the behavior of Trump, and of many Trump voters, constitutes a type of epistemic secession. That said, is our own vastly self-impressed tribe a whole lot better in any clear respect? Especially given how "educated" we constantly say we are?
As the week proceeds, we'll ponder the recent claims of Governor Noem. But we'll also ponder the work of Stelter and others within our own failing tribe.
Drawing on extensive consultations with top major anthropologists, we'll suggest this overview:
Our warring tribes are perhaps more alike than different.
Our warring tribes are more alike? Carlotta Valdes keeps telling us that it's been this way all along!
Tomorrow: Case study begins! Noem's assortment of claims