Here Thar Be Monsters!
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The left and right wings of the artificial dichotomy of US politics have solidified, with unprecedented vitriol spewing from both camps. I perforce will focus on the left wing (Democrats), since they have been on the offensive recently. However, the right wing (Republicans) are being forced to show their authoritarian leanings out of sheer desperation.
The left wing is currently the most fascinating. In the past 100 years, it has marched continually towards moral relativism and most recently into something called "identity politics". Having made a century-long argument that there is no objective right and wrong, it now finds itself in the position of having to accept any behavior from its members as valid, no matter how reprehensible or illegal. In order to maintain logical consistency, such as it is, they must bed down with even the most puke-making ideologies in order to prove their arguments.
Take the feminists as a prime example. Since the suffrage of the 1920s, they have continuously pushed the boundaries of propriety to the point that they have weaponized the basic human qualities of empathy and tolerance. In so doing, they have now made common cause with Islamic shari'a to show how tolerant they are.
In other words, the feminists are arguing that submission to men, to the point of daily beatings and being forced to wear restrictive clothing and having their clitorises cut off is a feminist ideal. Yes, even the hijab/jilbab have been fashionized in support of their Muslim sisters.
The feminists have successfully argued themselves into a full rhetorical and logical circle, managed to paint themselves into a corner in a round room, and then erected brick and steel walls to ensure they can't escape. They have, in effect, stated that a woman must be subject to the most humiliating and degrading conditions in the name of tolerance!
In another example, a male US politician made degrading and sexist remarks about one of Trump's female aides at a public event. Later, Nancy Pelosi, the "leader" of the Democrats in the US House of Representatives, was heard in an interview brushing the remarks aside while in the same breath lashing Trump for sexist remarks made in private ten years ago! How in the hell does one untie such a relativistic knot of rhetoric?
There has been ample global coverage of the left wing violence during and since the election last year. Here, the left wing finds it necessary to cause injury to life and limb, and destroy private and public property in the name of tolerance and respect. Again, they have tied themselves into a morass of pretzel logic to make a point that their actions immediately and simultaneously undermines.
For a sufficiently high enough level, one could argue that these things are being purposely orchestrated in order to draw out the authoritarian tendencies of the right wing. I can, and likely will, make a later argument that the left is trying to get the right to punch back, so that it can run crying to mommy that the mean, nasty right wingers are so violent. It will probably work without Herculean restraint on the part of the right.
In any event, we are witnessing the dissolution of American culture and politics. It is fascinating to watch, though I empathize with my family and friends in the midst of it - especially those caught up in the currents of illogic and extremism that is sweeping that society.
It is difficult to see how this mess can resolve without some great amount of pain. Rhetorical and moral knots have a way of restricting blood flow to the body politic.
Are we seeing the collapse of empire? Most likely. It is similar in many ways to past events of similar scope and nature.
How long will it take? Hard to say. The Soviet empire collapsed almost overnight, though it is still being unwound. The US empire is far more insinuated into the global structure and its collapse will take far longer and be far more painful to everyone on the planet.
Stand by...this is going to get a lot more interesting in the very near future.