These highlights were saved with the Kindle version of Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson.
Donald Trump was in many ways an unappealing figure. He never hid that. Voters knew it. They just concluded that the options were worse—and not just Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, but the Bush family and their donors and the entire Republican leadership, along with the hedge fund managers and media luminaries and corporate executives and Hollywood tastemakers and think tank geniuses and everyone else who created the world as it was in the fall of 2016: the people in charge.
Trump’s election wasn’t about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America’s ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end result of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don’t elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do.
A vibrant, self-sustaining bourgeoisie is the backbone of most successful nations, but it is essential to a democracy. Democracies don’t work except in middle-class countries. In 2015, for the first time in its history, the United States stopped being a predominantly middle-class country.
Venezuela used to be a prosperous country. Its middle class was large by regional standards, and well educated. The country had one of the biggest oil reserves in the world. The capital was a clean, modern city. Now there are toilet paper shortages in Caracas. Venezuela has the highest murder rate in the Western Hemisphere. Virtually everyone who can leave already has.
How did this happen? Simple: a small number of families took control of most of the Venezuelan economy. Wealth distribution this lopsided would work under many forms of government. It doesn’t work in a democracy. Voters deeply resented it. They elected a demagogic populist named Hugo Chavez to show their displeasure. Twenty years later, Venezuela is no longer a democracy at all. Its economy has all but evaporated.
Is diversity our strength? The less we have in common, the stronger we are? Is that true of families? Is it true in neighborhoods or businesses? Of course not. Then why is it true of America? Nobody knows. Nobody’s even allowed to ask the question.
Employees of Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon donated to Hillary over Trump by a margin of 60-to-1.
A 2018 study at MIT found that fully three-quarters of Uber drivers earned less than the minimum hourly wage in the states where they were driving. Almost a third of them lost money in the deal. In effect, they were paying Uber to drive.
A 2017 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that the use of Facebook correlated with declining psychological and even physical health. The more time people spent liking posts or updating their Facebook status, the less happy they felt.
Facebook’s photo-sharing site Instagram may be even worse for human well-being. A 2017 survey by the British Royal Society for Public Health found that Instagram was the most harmful of all the major social networks.
Perhaps in order to inoculate himself against elite criticism, Zuckerberg has immersed himself in fashionable political causes. In 2013, he launched a nonprofit called FWD.us to advocate for mass immigration. The group lobbied against immigration enforcement and pushed for amnesty for the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, complete with citizenship and voting rights.
For someone committed to increasing global openness, Zuckerberg has been consistently willing to abet censorship in authoritarian regimes abroad. In just six months in 2015, Facebook blocked 55,000 pieces of politically sensitive content in twenty different countries at the request of foreign governments.
On Cesar Chavez
In the American West, no populist figure was more revered than Cesar Chavez. Chavez, an itinerant farmworker with a seventh-grade education, founded and led the United Farm Workers union. In the 1960s, Chavez led the legendary Delano grape strike, which lasted for five years and inspired college students across the country to wear “Boycott Grapes” pins.
Chavez’s signature rallying cry, “¡Si, se puede!” (“Yes we can!”), became so famous among well-educated liberals that Barack Obama used it as a campaign slogan when he ran for president.
Chavez’s name is still everywhere in the state. There are six libraries, eleven parks, half a dozen major roads, and at least twenty-five public schools in California named after him, more than George Washington.
Cesar Chavez didn’t support illegal aliens. Chavez didn’t like immigration at all, generally, especially the low-skilled kind. Chavez understood that new arrivals from poor countries will always work for less than Americans. Immigration hurt the members of his union, undercutting their wages and weakening their leverage in negotiations with management. Cesar Chavez believed in vigilantly defended borders. When government refused to protect them, Chavez did it himself.
In the early 1960s, Chavez fought the federal Bracero Program, which gave farmers permission to import hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers from Mexico to pick crops. Growers loved the program because it lowered their labor costs. Chavez hated it for the same reason.
Congress killed the Bracero Program in 1964, after which Chavez turned his sights on illegal aliens—or as he called them, “wetbacks.” In 1969, Chavez led a march down the agricultural spine of California to protest the hiring of illegal workers by growers.
When the U.S. government failed to secure the border, Chavez’s unionized fruit pickers acted unilaterally. In the winter of 1979, UFW members, almost all of them Hispanic, began intercepting Mexican nationals as they crossed the border and assaulted them in the desert. Their tactics were brutal: Chavez’s men beat immigrants with chains, clubs, and whips made of barbed wire. Illegal aliens who dared to work as scabs had their houses bombed and cars burned.
Here’s how one prominent Democrat described his position on immigration in 1995: “All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by U.S. citizens or immigrants. The public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers.”
The speaker? President Bill Clinton, addressing Congress in his State of the Union speech.
Clinton went on to boast about hiring more Border Patrol officers, cutting off welfare for illegal immigrants, and cracking down on employers who hired illegal workers. He called for speedier deportations of illegal immigrants. “It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws that we’ve seen in recent years,” Clinton said. “We must do more to stop it.” He got a standing ovation.
As late as 2006, there were still New York Times columnists willing to concede that immigration came with a downside. “Immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants,” economist Paul Krugman wrote that year in the paper. “We’ll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants.” That same year, Hillary Clinton voted in support of a fence on the Mexican border. So did Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, and twenty-three other Senate Democrats.
In places, the 2000 Democratic platform sounded similar to what Donald Trump would advocate just fifteen years later. “We must punish employers who engage in a pattern and practice of recruiting undocumented workers in order to intimidate and exploit them,” it said. “We believe that any increases in H1-B visas must be temporary [and] must address only genuine shortages of highly skilled workers.” The platform vowed to protect American farmworkers, not just foreign pickers imported to replace them.
By 2016, when the Democrats faced off against Donald Trump, there were virtually no immigration skeptics remaining on the left. The same politicians and intellectuals who had once acknowledged a need to enforce the border and protect workers now disavowed their old views and suggested those who still held them were racist. The Democratic Party had given up trying to represent the working class, in favor of investors and welfare recipients—and by 2016, illegal immigrants.
In the 2016 Democratic platform, the party reframed immigration from a debate about economics to the next frontier in the struggle for civil rights and social justice. Any references to the effect of immigration on American citizens were deleted. According to the Democratic Party, the goal of immigration policy was to ensure the well-being of immigrants.
In 2016, only about 18 percent of immigrants to the United States were white. Thanks almost entirely to immigration, the population of the country had gone from 84 percent white in 1965, when Congress stopped favoring European immigrants, to 62 percent white in 2015, and the number was dropping every year. There are a lot of things you could call American immigration law, but the product of white racism isn’t one of them.
Hundreds of U.S. municipalities run by Democrats have declared themselves “sanctuary cities,” barring police from cooperating in any way with federal authorities in enforcing immigration statutes, even against immigrants caught breaking U.S. law. The attorney general of California announced it is now illegal for private citizens in the state to assist federal immigration authorities in any way. Violators will be prosecuted.
Media coverage has been remarkably consistent in the way it presents the abrupt demographic change wrought by immigration. A 2018 story in National Geographic about Hazleton, Pennsylvania, is typical of the genre. In the year 2000, the story explained, Hazleton was 95 percent white and less than 5 percent Hispanic. Just sixteen years later, 52 percent of Hazleton residents were Hispanic. Less than half spoke English at home. People who grew up there didn’t recognize the city. They didn’t hate immigrants. Most Americans don’t. But they were bewildered.
One place notably unaffected by demographic change is any neighborhood policy makers happen to live in. The people making immigration policy tend not to be affected by it. Los Angeles County, for example, is now overwhelmingly Hispanic. Upper-income Malibu, meanwhile, is still 87 percent white. New York is a diverse city, but former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s zip code isn’t. His neighborhood is 82 percent white, and less than 5 percent Hispanic. It’s still 1985 where Bloomberg lives, and will likely always be.
Barack Obama’s new zip code in Washington is less than 8 percent Hispanic. The suburbs across the river in Virginia become more Spanish-speaking every year. Obama approves of that. He sees it as a sign of progress. He doesn’t want to live near it. Diversity for thee, but not for me.
When the realities of mass immigration conflict with other elite concerns—preserving the environment, for example—elites choose immigration. Consider the case of John Tanton. Tanton is a retired physician from Michigan and a lifelong progressive. He helped to found local chapters of both the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood, and in general supported the agenda of the Democratic Party. That began to change in 1965, when Congress rewrote immigration law. As millions and then tens of millions of immigrants entered the United States, Tanton started to worry about the effect of all those people on the environment.
Others were concerned about that, too. In 1979, Tanton started the Federation for American Immigration Reform, with the help of investor Warren Buffett and Democratic senator Eugene McCarthy.
In the words of a New York Times profile, Tanton “hoped to enlist unions concerned about wage erosion, environmentalists concerned about pollution and sprawl, and blacks concerned about competition for housing, jobs and schools.” That’s not what happened.
Instead, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which fraudulently poses as a civil rights group used by the left to smear its opposition, devoted an entire page on its website to suggesting Tanton was a Nazi. “Tanton has for decades been at the heart of the white nationalist scene,” the SPLC charged, providing no evidence. Tanton, who lives in a nursing home and is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, could do little to defend himself.
Warren Buffett was gone by this point, reinvented as an advocate for a borderless world. Major environmental groups didn’t say a word to defend Tanton, either. Even executives at the Sierra Club, which Tanton had long supported, refused to speak up on his behalf. They’d changed their views on immigration too.
One of America’s most powerful environmental organizations now supported mass immigration. In 2013, the group came out in favor of Barack Obama’s amnesty orders. What did amnesty have to do with the environment? As a Sierra Club spokesman explained to Politico, illegal immigrants “are the most adversely affected by pollution.” He did not explain what that meant.
Mass immigration makes household help affordable. That’s one of the main reasons elites support it.
From the 1800s through the 1950s, maids, nannies, gardeners, and other domestic help were ubiquitous in upper-middle-class households. Economic prosperity gradually eliminated the huge pool of unskilled labor that filled these jobs, but modern immigration policy has revived America’s servant class. Immigrants now fill countless jobs as nannies, gardeners, cooks, and housekeepers.
When your housekeeper is a peasant from Honduras, there’s no reason to feel bad about it. You don’t have to wonder about the details of her life outside of work. You can barely communicate with her. She may be cleaning your floors for minimum wage (or less) while your children travel abroad, but you’re not exploiting her. Just the opposite. You’re giving her a hand up, allowing her to participate in the American dream.
It’s the perfect arrangement. You get to feel virtuous for having a housekeeper; she walks the dog while you’re at SoulCycle. You can see why affluent moms tended to hate Donald Trump and his talk about building a wall. For Americans in the top 20 percent of income distribution, mass immigration is one of the best things that ever happened—cheap help, obedient employees, more interesting restaurants, and all without guilt. There’s no downside, at least none that you personally experience.
At a closed-door speech in 2013, Hillary Clinton told a group of Brazilian bankers, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.”
On the War Against Terror & Interventionism
“No one has done what Saddam Hussein has done, or is thinking of doing,” Clinton’s secretary of state Madeleine Albright told the audience at a town hall meeting at Ohio State University in 1998. “He is producing weapons of mass destruction, and he is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other dictators.”
In 2002, the New York Times gave the case for war a sizable boost with a series of stories on Iraq’s supposedly vibrant chemical and biological weapons programs.
In 2002, the New York Times gave the case for war a sizable boost with a series of stories on Iraq’s supposedly vibrant chemical and biological weapons programs. The articles cited anonymous Bush administration sources, who later went on television and cited the Times as evidence that what they had already told the paper on background was true. It was an airtight loop.
Strikingly, two of the Times reporters responsible for those stories had previously written books attacking Saddam Hussein. It’s not a defense of the Iraqi regime to wonder how that might have affected their objectivity. Would the New York Times allow reporters who’d written books critical of abortion to cover the Supreme Court’s reevaluation of Roe v. Wade? Probably not, though the hypothetical is absurd, since almost nobody at the paper opposes abortion.
It wasn’t just the Times. Other establishment outlets did the same, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Stories that confirmed the existence of Iraq’s WMD program made the front page. Stories that raised doubts got buried.
Less than a year into his first term, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, apparently for the transcendent achievement of not being George W. Bush. But the prize had no lasting effect on Obama.
In 2011, Hillary Clinton and other interventionists in the administration convinced Obama to support the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. It was never obvious why Gaddafi needed to be killed.
Gaddafi was an unsavory autocrat. But there were far more dangerous and more repressive regimes out there, and there was no clear replacement for him within Libya. If there’s a single lesson of the Iraq War, it’s that chaos is worse than dictatorship. Libya looked like a prime candidate for chaos.
The establishment applauded. Obama’s overthrow of the Gaddafi government, declared the New York Times, was “an historic victory for the people of Libya who, with NATO’s help, transformed their country from an international pariah into a nation with the potential to become a productive partner with the West.”
By 2013, the lessons of Iraq and Libya still unlearned, Obama was preparing for another regime change, this time in Syria. The cycle was eerily similar. Syrian president Bashar Assad was undoubtedly a cruel, authoritarian figure, but he also was not a clear threat to the United States, and it was impossible to know who might replace him should he fall.
The New York Times was back with its full support. In an editorial, the paper noted that “it would be highly unlikely—if not irresponsible—for [President Obama] to authorize Mr. Kerry to speak in such sweeping terms and then do nothing.” The next day, the Times ran an opinion piece titled “Bomb Syria, Even if It’s Illegal.”
On Election Day 2016, after eight years of rule by the nominally “antiwar” faction of U.S. politics, American troops were stationed on roughly eight hundred military bases in seventy nations. The Pentagon was dropping bombs on at least seven different countries. Barack Obama was the first president to serve two full terms, and preside over war for every single day of them.
In 2008, three antiwar documentaries were nominated for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards, and Hollywood stars routinely bashed President Bush’s foreign policy. On January 21, that all evaporated. Popular culture seemed oblivious.
The most dangerous force of all turns out to be an activist establishment that believes its heart is in the right place.
By voter registration, D.C. is the most Democratic city in America. Yet the instincts of the people who live there are deeply conservative. Washingtonians hate change.
More than anything, they hate to be told they’re wrong, or their ideas are stupid, especially when they are. This explains much of official Washington’s hostility to Donald Trump.
If you’re going to run a country for the benefit of a few, it’s dangerous to let people complain about it. The only way to impose unpopular policies on a population is through fear and silence. Free speech is the enemy of authoritarian rule. That’s why the Framers put it at the top of the Bill of Rights.
Lots of places have market economies and democratic forms of government. Only the United States has the guarantee of free expression. Almost every other country prosecutes its citizens for having unpopular views, even peaceful Canada. We don’t. It’s what sets America apart. This isn’t just a free country, it’s the freest.
There’s nothing more infuriating to a ruling class than contrary opinions. They’re inconvenient and annoying. They’re evidence of an ungrateful population. They impede the progress of your programs. Above all, they constitute a threat to your authority; disagreement is the first step toward insurrection. When you’re in charge, you’ll do what you can to suppress dissent.
The modern establishment has done exactly that. Once they took over the institutions they formerly opposed, liberals abandoned their historic support for the First Amendment and became its enemies. Nowhere was the change more profound or perverse than at the University of California, Berkeley, birthplace of the Free Speech Movement.
Students are growing up to believe that there is no longer such a thing as legitimate political debate. Free speech is a meaningless concept in a world with only one permissible set of political views; if the battle is between Good and Evil, only a fool would give Evil equal time. No wonder students at DePaul called for “hate crime” charges against classmates who used sidewalk chalk to express support for Donald Trump.
In the 1980s, a group of law professors invented an extraconstitutional category known as “hate speech,” which they said fell outside the protections of the First Amendment. It’s not clear how they arrived at this. The Constitution says nothing about hate speech. The Supreme Court has never ruled on it. Yet on many campuses, hate speech was treated as a valid legal term with a precise and objective meaning. Symposia were held on it. Professors taught sober-sounding classes on it. Students for the most part accepted the existence of hate speech uncritically.
When you sincerely believe you possess the truth, all disagreement looks like apostasy. For the greater good, it must be silenced.
The social media giant Twitter barely hides its contempt for free speech, regularly banning or locking the accounts of users for “hateful conduct,” a term it keeps usefully subjective. Milo Yiannopoulos was banned by Twitter in the summer of 2016. Within a week of Donald Trump’s election victory, the site carried out a purge of accounts associated with the “alt right,” even if they had broken no rules. Political operative and Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone was suspended in fall 2017 for criticizing CNN personalities. Twitter awarded a verification, the blue check that signifies an account is legitimate, to the Muslim Brotherhood before it gave one to the conservative site Breitbart.
Every nation tries to influence how its citizens behave, but a free society never presumes to control what people believe. That’s for the individual alone to decide.
Members of the same class run Google, UC Berkeley, and virtually every other powerful institution in America. Suddenly free speech looks a lot more like a threat than a virtue.
White men now kill themselves at about ten times the rate of black and Hispanic women. Yet white men are consistently framed as the oppressors, particularly blue-collar white men.
The quickest way to control a population is to turn it against itself. Divide and conquer. That’s how the British ruled India. If you wanted to run a country for the benefit of the people who lived there, by contrast, you’d do the opposite of this. You’d deemphasize racial differences. You’d understand that in a society composed of many different ethnic groups, tribalism is the greatest threat to unity and order. Of course there will always be racism, because that’s the nature of people, and you’d work to discourage it. But you would resist using the existence of racism as an excuse for your failures. You would never, for example, blame an entire racial group for the sins of its ancestors. That would serve only to embitter and divide the population.
In May 2017, Harvard University held its first ever segregated graduation ceremony. Black students have attended Harvard since just after the Civil War, and for almost 150 years they graduated alongside their white classmates, a fact the school was proud of. But in 2017, the school discarded that tradition and created something called Black Commencement, held two days before the regular graduation ceremony. Hundreds attended.
Segregation divided people on the basis of things they couldn’t control. It suggested that a person’s race, an entirely immutable characteristic, was the most important thing about him, and should determine how he was treated by others.
In 2015, a sociology professor at the University of Memphis announced that Dylann Roof, the deranged Charleston church shooter, was just another example of “white people acting how they’re conditioned to act.”
In December 2016, a professor at Drexel tweeted, “All I want for Christmas is white genocide.” Sarcasm? “To clarify,” he wrote, “when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.”
“I sometimes don’t want to be white either,” explained Dr. Ali Michael of the University of Pennsylvania. Michael was referring to the story of Rachel Dolezal, the racial poseur forced to resign from the NAACP after it was revealed that she was pretending to be black. In a piece for the Huffington Post, Michael empathized with Dolezal, saying she faced her own crushing guilt about her whiteness. Michael said she finally concluded “that I couldn’t have biological children because I didn’t want to propagate my privilege biologically.”
At Evergreen State College in Washington State, students informed a white biology professor that he would have to leave campus along with his white colleagues, as an expression of atonement for their race. The professor refused to leave, on the grounds that people ought to be treated as individuals regardless of their color. Students threatened him with violence. He later resigned from Evergreen.
At SUNY Albany in 2016, three female black students claimed that a white mob had assaulted them while riding a public bus. The school held a public rally on their behalf. Hillary Clinton tweeted her support. A subsequent police investigation revealed the truth: the three girls had in fact started a fight and attacked the white students. They invented a fake hate crime to avoid being punished. It took police weeks to discover what actually happened, in part because the white students were too afraid to contact the police themselves.
On Ta-Nehisi Coates
Powerful white elites secretly love to hear they’re naughty. That’s why Ta-Nehisi Coates is their favorite intellectual.
In 2014, Coates published what remains his most famous article, “The Case for Reparations.” Over the course of more than fifteen thousand words, Coates describes America exclusively through the lens of racial grievance. Every significant fact of American history, Coates concludes, is a consequence of white racism. In Coates’s telling, America was constructed with the labor of enslaved Africans. Racism was the basis of the country’s economy, and the driving force behind its political history. The New Deal, Coates writes, “rested on the foundation of Jim Crow.” The postwar housing boom was rooted in racist “redlining” policies. Decades later those policies are still the primary reason for wealth disparities in America. In a Coates essay, everything is about white racism.
The Washington Post described Coates’s writing as “unstinting, yet lyrical.” The New Yorker called the essay “breathtaking.” Damon Linker at the Week called it “the most compelling and exhaustive case for reparations that I have ever encountered,” marked by Coates’s “potent mixture of intelligence and passion.” Carlos Lozada at the Washington Post described the piece as a “work of deep reporting and seething understatement [that] made Coates a literary star.” FiveThirtyEight’s Christie Aschwanden called it “mind-blowing.” The Baltimore Sun’s news section called it a “ground-breaking and exhaustively researched essay.” The Huffington Post’s Tom McKenna called it “the finest, most thorough piece of journalism I’ve seen in years.”
Thomas Chatterton Williams, a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, was even tougher on Coates, accusing him of sharing the same assumptions of white supremacists. Both, he writes, “eagerly reduce people to abstract color categories, all the while feeding off of and legitimizing each other, while those of us searching for gray areas and common ground get devoured twice.”
In July 2016, a black man assassinated five police officers and injured nine others in Dallas. The city’s police chief, who was black, left no doubt about motive: “The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” Here’s what Hillary Clinton tweeted the next day: “White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day.”
At the funeral for the slain officers, Barack Obama took the opportunity to lecture the officers’ family members about the racism of America’s police departments: “We also know that centuries of racial discrimination, of slavery, and subjugation, and Jim Crow; they didn’t simply vanish with the law against segregation . . . we know that bias remains,” he said to children who had just lost their fathers in the attack. “No institution is entirely immune, and that includes our police departments. We know this. “When all this takes place,” Obama continued, “more than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.” Listening to Obama, it was easy to forget that the killer was a black man, and that the cops he murdered had been protecting a Black Lives Matter protest.
If you want to know what people really care about, take a look at where they live, especially if they could live anywhere. Hillary and Bill Clinton are worth tens of millions of dollars and have free Secret Service protection for life. They could live safely in Harlem or East New York. Instead they bought a place in Chappaqua, which is less than 2 percent black.
Barack and Michelle Obama are also rich and surrounded by bodyguards. Their kids went to Sidwell Friends, so school zoning is irrelevant to them. Yet when they left the White House they still moved to the whitest neighborhood in Washington. Fewer than 4 percent of their neighbors are black, in a town that was known for generations as Chocolate City.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York is a tireless advocate for diversity, but not in his own neighborhood. Although he lives in Brooklyn, where one in three residents is African American, his own zip code is one of the whitest in New York. It’s less than 5 percent black.
Even Representative Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, an open black nationalist, doesn’t choose to live around the people she represents. Waters doesn’t live within the bounds of her own district. She lives in a six-thousand-square-foot, $4.3 million spread in Hancock Park, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
Even Representative Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, an open black nationalist, doesn’t choose to live around the people she represents. Waters doesn’t live within the bounds of her own district. She lives in a six-thousand-square-foot, $4.3 million spread in Hancock Park, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
But what’s more interesting are the demographics of the neighborhood where Waters lives. The district she represents in Congress has the second-highest percentage of African American residents in the state. The neighborhood where Waters bought her mansion is just 6 percent black—or, as she might put it if she didn’t live there, it’s 1950s-level segregated.
Elites choose to live in cocoons white enough to burn your retinas, even as they mock the middle of the country as the land of mayonnaise and Wonder Bread and Klan rallies. For all their professed enthusiasm for America’s melting pot, they don’t mix and don’t want to.
“There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America,” Obama said to the cheering stadium. “We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”Barack Obama
There aren’t many open white supremacists left in America. In a nation with almost 200 million white people, the various factions of the Ku Klux Klan have fewer than ten thousand members between them.
It’s not obvious why abortion should be the one nonnegotiable value of feminism, or even a value at all. The earliest feminists saw nothing virtuous about it. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the first suffragettes, called abortion the “murder of children.” Susan B. Anthony referred to it as “infanticide.”
Clinton received oral sex from a twenty-two-year-old intern named Monica Lewinsky. When the story became public, he and his wife attacked Lewinsky as delusional and a “stalker.” The ensuing publicity destroyed Lewinsky’s life. The Clintons never apologized to her, or even suggested they felt remorse.
In the summer of 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy went to a party on a small island adjacent to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, called Chappaquiddick. A little before midnight, he left in his Oldsmobile with a young unmarried aide named Mary Jo Kopechne. Apparently drunk, Kennedy accidentally drove off the side of a narrow wooden bridge into a tidal canal. The car landed upside down, but Kennedy swam to safety. He left Mary Jo Kopechne in the car. Kennedy fled the scene and went to bed. Likely afraid of being charged with drunk driving, he did not alert authorities.
Fishermen found Kopechne’s body the next morning. Divers estimated that she had survived for several hours in the Oldsmobile, her head in an air pocket, until she finally suffocated from lack of oxygen. She could easily have been saved if Kennedy had called for help. The scandal that followed likely ended Kennedy’s presidential aspirations, but it did nothing to dim his popularity with feminists. Kennedy was an absolutist on legal abortion. That was more important than the killing of an individual woman.
In 2016, a social media celebrity named Qandeel Baloch was strangled to death by her brother in an apparent honor killing in the Pakistani state of Punjab. Her crime? Posting pictures of herself online. It was one of at least one thousand honor killings in Pakistan that year, and every year.
In most cases the perpetrators are never punished, possibly because they enjoyed wide community support. A 2014 survey by Pew Research found that more than 40 percent of all Pakistanis believe honor killings are justified if the killing involves a woman who engaged in premarital sex or adultery.
Migration from the Islamic world has led to a wave of sex crimes in Europe. During New Year’s Eve celebrations in Germany at the end of 2015, hundreds of women in Cologne were groped and sexually assaulted in public by mobs of men, almost entirely of Arab or North African origin. Stunningly, the police initially reacted by ignoring the attacks entirely, bothering to investigate only after widespread complaints on social media exposed the cover-up.
In the British city of Rotherham, a group of Pakistani men abducted, sexually abused, and raped more than 1,400 children, primarily teenage girls, for more than a decade. Police and local government knew about the crimes, but did nothing. Officials feared that singling out the Muslim community for investigation would be decried as racist.
The 2017 Women’s March on Washington might have been a useful time to mention the millions of women around the world oppressed by Islamic regimes. Instead, organizers adopted as their motif a picture of a Muslim woman wearing an Islamic headscarf, perhaps the most familiar symbol of men’s control over women in the Islamic world.
Cochairing the march was Linda Sarsour, a Muslim American separatist who not only wears a hijab but has vocally defended the sharia codes under which women around the world are oppressed. In 2011, Sarsour remarked that Ayaan Hirsi Ali didn’t deserve to be a woman and should have her vagina taken away as punishment, presumably in addition to the genital mutilation Ali had already endured as a child.
If you spent decades punishing anyone who acknowledged inherent sex differences, transgender politics is what you’d wind up with. The core belief in transgenderism is that biology isn’t real: sex is not determined at the DNA level; it’s determined by appearance. If you look like a man, you’re a man. If you look like a woman, you’re a woman. You are what you say you are, even if it’s a description you invented yourself. Anyone who doubts you must be fired.
Employees of Facebook came up with more than seventy gender choices for their site. The choices include asexual, gender neutral, polygender, agender, bigender, gender fluid, gender variant, neutrois, pangender, transmasculine, as well as something called two-spirit, which one noted expert on gender identity described, unhelpfully, as “a sacred, spiritual and ceremonial role that is recognized and confirmed by the Elders of the Two Spirit’s ceremonial community.”
A 2013 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that two-thirds of children who say they believe they were born the wrong gender change their minds and come to accept their biological sex. Another study, by clinical psychologist Devita Singh, found that without adult intervention, 88 percent of kids ultimately evolve out of gender confusion.
On Gender & Privilege
The average American man dies five years before the average American woman. One of the reasons for this is addiction. Men are more than twice as likely as women to become alcoholics. They’re also twice as likely to die of a drug overdose.
Seventy-seven percent of all suicides are committed by men. The overall rate is increasing at a dramatic pace. Between 1999 and 2014, there was a 43 percent rise in suicide deaths among middle-aged American men.
You often hear of America’s incarceration crisis. That’s almost exclusively a male problem, too. More than 90 percent of inmates are men.
A recent study found that almost half of young men failed the army’s entry-level physical fitness test during basic training. Fully 70 percent of American men are overweight or obese, as compared to 59 percent of American women.
A woman makes 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. The statistic is repeated everywhere. But that number compares all American men to all American women across all professions. No legitimate social scientist would consider that a valid measure. The number is both meaningless and intentionally misleading. It’s a talking point.
Once you compare men and women with similar experience working the same hours in similar jobs for the same period of time—and that’s the only way you can measure it—the gap all but disappears. In fact it may invert. One study using census data found that single women in their twenties living in metropolitan areas now earn 8 percent more on average than their male counterparts.
You’d have to ignore an enormous amount of research data to repeat the pieties of 1970s-era feminism, but Obama did. At the very moment he was lamenting the lack of educational opportunities for women, more girls than boys were graduating from high school. Far more were graduating from college. Women now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates.
Under Obama, the White House solicited hundreds of millions of dollars from corporations to encourage female achievement in higher education. At the time this was happening, one study showed that there were already at least four times as many privately funded college scholarships available for girls as for boys.
There are more than two million more women than men enrolled in American colleges. On most campuses, men are a distinct minority. At Carlow University in Pittsburgh, women outnumber men by more than six to one. Yet almost every campus has a women’s studies department. In many of them, the stated goal is to fight expressions of masculinity and disempower men.
A survey by the local NBC station in the spring of 2018 found garbage strewn over all 153 blocks of downtown San Francisco. On more than forty blocks, there were discarded hypodermic needles. Close to one hundred blocks had piles of human feces. “The contamination,” said an infectious disease specialist from UC Berkeley, is “much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India.”
With every passing year, the goals of the environmental movement become steadily more abstract. Environmentalists have shifted their focus from the tangible world, with its feces-covered sidewalks septic enough to infect pedestrians with E. coli, to concerns invisible to the naked eye, or even to science.
In 2011, at the urging of environmental groups, the Obama U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service granted an exemption to industrial wind companies under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. For most Americans, killing an eagle, even accidentally, remains a felony punishable by up to two years in prison. Corporate wind farms can kill eagles with impunity. And they do. Wind turbines destroy hundreds of bald eagles every year. That’s in addition to more than a quarter million other birds of various species, including hawks, owls, and songbirds crushed by turbine blades. Some experts believe the actual number of dead birds is much higher, possibly in the millions.
Two years after granting its initial exemption, the Obama administration gave a power company in California legal protection in the event its wind farms killed California condors, a critically endangered species with a wild population of fewer than three hundred. For the first time in many decades, killing condors was legal, as long as they were killed by wind turbines.
The Sierra Club, which was formed to maintain hiking trails in Yosemite, now takes a vigorous position in favor of transgenderism and taxpayer-funded abortion. Its website includes a section on “Equity, Inclusion, and Justice,” with articles like “Silence Is Consent: Solidarity with All People Fighting Oppression.” In the summer of 2017, the Sierra Club signaled its opposition to the “unsustainable whiteness” of environmentalism.
If you can take a private jet to a global warming summit without guilt, you’re probably not going to be troubled by a few inaccurate predictions, even if those predictions formed the basis of flawed public policy that affected the lives of billions. Climate change activists give themselves permission to make mistakes.
In 1989, officials at the United Nations predicted that entire countries would be annihilated if warming trends weren’t reversed by 2000. In 2007, the UN’s former head of the IPCC predicted that if “there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late.”
In 2008, ABC’s Good Morning America estimated that, because of climate change, New York City would be underwater, “hundreds of miles” of the country would be on fire, and a billion people would be “malnourished” by 2015. By June 2015, ABC said with confidence that a carton of milk would cost $12.99 and a gallon of gas would be $9. “That’s seven years from now,” said anchor Chris Cuomo. “Could it really be that bad?”
As it turned out, no. But that didn’t prevent the head of NASA’s Goddard Research Center from predicting in 2009 that Barack Obama had “four years to save Earth.”
Clearly there’s still a lot we don’t know about climate change. To be fair, there’s still a lot we don’t know about a lot of things. After more than one hundred years of research, scientists haven’t figured out what much of the human brain does. Researchers can’t agree on the evolutionary purpose of sleep. These are basic questions, yet they remain shrouded in mystery. This is why hubris is the enemy of accurate conclusions. The minute you imagine a scientific debate has been settled, you start predicting nine-dollar gasoline.
Within academia, the pressure to conform to climate orthodoxy has rendered the scientific method irrelevant. Judith Curry, a longtime climatologist at Georgia Tech, resigned from her tenured position because of what she described as “craziness in the field of climate science.” Over the course of her career, Curry has published two books and 186 articles on climate. But by 2016, the field was so politically fraught that academic journals refused to publish research that deviated from conventional opinion.