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Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Endless Ages of Purim

Tonight the celebration of the holiday of Purim begins. Purim is a Jewish holiday often neglected outside the more religious communities in America and the State of Israel because it commemorates an attempt to exterminate the Jews. And we all know that stopped being a problem long ago.

If Purim had culminated with some smart power diplomacy and a lesson on tolerance, liberal Jews might be more inclined to celebrate it. Unfortunately it ends with a genocidal madman being hung from a tree and the Jews fighting for their lives, winning and slaughtering their enemies.

And instead of feeling guilty about it, their descendants eat pastries, dress up in costumes and get drunk. At least those of their descendants who believe in survival instead of surrender.

Liberal Jews complain about the difference of values they have with Israeli Jews who insist on survival instead of surrender. They have an even bigger difference of values with the Jews of the Bible. And with Jews throughout history. Not to mention with the religion of the Jewish people.

The more liberal a Jew is, the less likely he is to celebrate the substance of his people's holidays as they conflict with his worldview and virtues. Moshe, the Maccabees and Mordechai don't seem like role models, not even if you rebrand them as community organizers and claim that they were fighting prejudice. There is something relentlessly bloody-minded about them. They care very little about a sustainable environment or LGBT rights, and instead walk through the corpses of their enemies with no regrets or apologetic winces. They stand up for their own people in a regrettable show of tribalism that perpetuates the cycle of violence instead of preaching about Tikkun Olam.

The story of the Megillah, the Scroll of Esther, is the story of how Mordechai, the descendant of the first Jewish king of Israel, snubbed the Grand Vizier of a multicultural empire by refusing to bow to him. The obstinate Benjaminite so infuriated the Vizier that he plotted to kill all the Jews.

The smart thing to do would have been to bow to Haman. To invite him to AIPAC and let him give a pre-written speech and then give him a standing ovation. Then the important official might have been willing to help out the struggling Jews of the Second Commonwealth in Israel. Instead the narrow-minded fanatic offended Haman. And the angry Agagite decides to strangle the newly reborn Second Commonwealth of Israel and all the other Jews throughout the Persian Empire.

By refusing to bow to Haman, Mordechai had turned the formerly moderate Haman into an extremist. He had radicalized him. Jewish leaders hurried to reassure Haman that this fanatic was in no way representative of their values of tolerance and appeasement. Hadn't they attended the feast where the sacred vessels of their own people were used to serve wine and spirits to the mob? Rather than anticipating the return to their land at the end of the prophesied 70 year period of exile, they had cheered the brutish tyrant and made Sushan, his capital, into their new holy city.

A few tens of thousands had gone back to Israel, which the empire had repopulated with other peoples. There they struggled to survive, building half the day and keeping watch with their spears from the time the stars came out until the sun rose.  Most Jews however had remained behind in the Persian Empire. The struggling settlements of the Jews under the last of the prophets seemed like a futile proposition. The future belonged to empires, to Babylon, Persia and Rome. 

There was no room anymore for the sort of pride displayed by Mordechai. This was Haman's hour. Israel was gone and would never return. Rebuilding the Temple was a fool's dream. Why go off to some place your ancestors had come from, to slave in the hot sun, to choke on dust and sleep with a spear by your side expecting an attack from the nomads that had settled in the land?

In Sushan, the wine is plentiful, the bazaars are never closed and the empire will never fall.

There is no room for ancient dreams in the new empire. No room for old fables about slavery and freedom. Perhaps in ancient times some deity had liberated them from Egypt, but here in the modern present, it was the fall of the Babylonian Empire which had raised them up out of slavery and given them a place among the subject peoples of a new empire. They bowed to Haman and to the new order. They gave up their dreams and their religion and drank headily of the wine at the festival of the king. On their couches, they dreamed they saw a new world opening before them.

But Mordechai, narrow-minded fanatic that he was, only saw an old world. And he was determined to fight for it. He wasn't willing to let the old dreams die. To bow to Haman and to imagine, as so many Jewish leaders have done, that some accommodation with evil could be made on mutually beneficial terms. Mordechai was not a man of the Empire. He was an Ish Yehudi. A Jew.

He saw through the illusion of empires and new ages. He saw what his first ancestor had seen when he looked at the sky. He saw that the only true permanence was G-d. Nations would fall, empires would perish and even the stars would burn out. Only G-d would endure.

And so he did not bow. And Haman understood what his refusal meant.

Had Mordechai refused to bow out of personal pride, Haman might have had him and his family killed. But Mordechai refused to bow to Haman because he was a Jew. Haman sensed that the old man had seen through him. The emperor was naked. The old man in rags at the gates did not worship power. He might rule, but had no appetite for it. He worshiped only G-d.

Was it personal conviction? Haman investigated and learned that Mordechai was a member of an  obscure people. A people who do not worship the empire, but worship G-d.

And so they all had to die. The king was bribed. The letters were sealed and sent. The decree was death. It was all over.

But Mordechai had seen more than the nakedness of Haman, the crawling, insecure lackey, filled with hatred for the Persian ruler, flattering him and craving the ultimate power he could not have. He had seen the nakedness of the empire and the age. His eyes had seen past the horses and palaces, the ranks of scribes penning decrees, the harems, bureaucracies and armies.

Mordechai knew that all this would pass away. He had seen through the illusion that every age brings with it the end of history, a new age whose achievements break with the past and usher in a boundless future. The shadow crosses the sundial, the walls come crashing down and the new era of history ends up buried under the rubble of time.

Exile divides the Jewish people into Jews and New Age Jews. Jews wander on their meandering course through history concerning themselves with a past that modern people dismiss as myth and legend, more ancient than that story about Troy, and even more dubious.

The New Age Jews always see the coming of a new era of history, a bright and shining plateau that makes all those old moldy beliefs completely irrelevant. History ends and now a new age of human progress begins. The age of Alexandria, the age of Sushan, the age of Berlin. How, in such a new age, could they be expected to take a few bygone fairy tales retold by barbarians seriously? Such things weren't for enlightened people who were witnessing the peak of human civilization.

The old Jews know what the New Age Jews do not, that history has not ended, that the past is still with us and that it has sharp teeth. They know that Man has not changed, that his sophistication is still only a shell and that sooner or later the shell cracks. If it does not crack from within, then it is cracked from without. 

Those who feel time in their bones know the patterns of history, reading ages like constellations, can never lose themselves in one age or fall into the fallacy of a new era. They know that there is nothing new under the sun. Machines may come and go, but the world is a broken place because the hearts of men have not turned from their ways. And so they remember that every age carries within it the seeds of its ruin. They witness the ruin, climb out of the ashes and move on.

Liberal pieties embrace the new age, fixate on a final transformative era of history at the hands of messiahs who promise hope and change, who will uplift us and inspire us to make the world into a better place. But history never ends. That is the lesson of the Holocaust, of Purim and of countless other horrifying intrusions of the old into the new. The shining new era that begins with grand public spectacles and displays of the power and might of an empire, ends with corpses and men and women fighting and running for their lives.

Jews like Mordechai understand this. New Age Jews do not.

The confrontation between Mordechai and Haman was a collision between two different conceptions of history. It was a contest for the Jewish soul.

Mordechai defied Haman to remind the Jews, who had abandoned religion and nation for the new age of the Persian Empire, of the ugly and bloody truths under the hollow glories of that new age.

In every age, the Jewish soul is nearly lost and then redeemed. The people seem on the verge of vanishing, but then survive. Mordechai understood that the future of the Jews did not depend on the Persian Empire. It depended on their willingness to remember who they were. And so he defied Haman and brought on a Holocaust. And at the end of it, the Jews fought for their survival.

Purim, a holiday preceded by a fast kept by the men going into battle and their loved ones, is not about forgiving your enemies, progressive taxation or coming out of the closet. It is about survival. Not mere survival, but the skin of the teeth sense of how close we came, that moment of revelation which pulls back the curtains of the material world and reminds us of the impossibility of our survival under all the ordinary rules of the world that new ages are found on. It reminds us that behind the scenes of the brick and mortar, steel and steam world, is something else entirely. A force that breaks apart the towers of history, that saves us when we should have died, that has entrusted us with a mission. It reminds us of what the world is and reminds us of Itself and of what we are.

When you stand on the edge of death, life is a revelation. It is not our deaths under the Egyptian sun, the blades and bullets of a thousand empires and kingdoms, or the ovens of Dachau that we are obsessed with. It is that moment of survival. The revelation that even amid the horrors of all that we have witnessed and the terrible things that we had to do to survive, we have risen out of the ground, watched the flesh cover our bones and stood alive again upon the earth. Every time we survive, we are reminded of the fragility of the world and of our enemies who wielding every power and trick, have failed to destroy us. Each time we rise, we transcend the world, in confronting our dead, we confront our immortality.

It is not a purely joyous experience. The day of Purim is preceded by a day of fasting. Before the celebration comes a day of battle as the struggle to survive, the long decline into the abyss, the final desperate hours, suddenly give way to the upheaval of an impossible salvation. We remember the pain, the sense of the grave closing over us, the bodies lying everywhere, the certainty that we will be next. We accept the hopelessness of our situation and then we walk out of the grave and praising G-d, sit down to the feast.

This is Jewish history. It is an alien one to the New Age Jew who clings tightly to the new era and its rules, to its pieties and its mores, who scowls at the old ones for refusing to come and join the imperial festivities where the vessels of the temple are used to serve drinks and the mob toasts that the 70 years have come and gone, and still there is no chance of the Jews returning to their Jerusalem and reclaiming the lost history. "The past is the past," says the New Age Jew. "The past is the present is the future," says the Jew.

The feast of the New Age is the celebration of the end of history, a golden time when there is an unlimited bounty for all, where the wine and the free health care will never run out, where everyone will live together under one government in perfect brotherhood for all time. Many Jews are drawn to this feast, its golden vessels, its vast bounty and its glorious ideals. But then enters the Grand Vizier and some of them begin to frown for though he wears rich garments and speaks soothing words, he is a monster. They don't always know how they know it, but it is a nagging feeling that creeps into them that there is something rotten at the heart of this new age.

Most of them still bow to him, touching their heads to the floor, some even embrace him and celebrate his vision. They assure others that he is our friend, the only man who can realize the promise of this age, a wise and noble leader whose vision of change brings new hope. But one or two stay away from the feast and refuse to bow to him. Instead they look to Jerusalem, to where the battle between good and evil was once fought, and where it will be fought again. They know him for what he is.


The Grand Vizier knows that he must destroy them, must destroy them all, because they have seen through what he is, and they have seen through the shallow trappings of the golden age of fools. They know that there is more to the world than the might of men and the cornucopias of kings. They know that he is not all-powerful and when he looks at them, a scowl wrinkles his face, because he knows it too.

So he casts a lot, random chance in a random world where chance is supreme and the whim of every ruler outweighs the weight of history. The bills are signed, the laws are passed, the decrees go out, the officers from the vast imperial bureaucracy are assigned to inform every citizen that their new age will be inaugurated with blood. A people who are not a proper part of the multicultural empire of laws must be wiped out in a properly democratic fashion. Crowd-sourced genocide.

And then the Grand Vizier ends up dangling from a rope, the tanks break through to Berlin, the chariots fall into the sea, the mustachioed dictator dies in a bedroom in Moscow his clothes soaked in his own urine-- and everything has gone completely wrong.

It's an old story and a new story. We tell it over and over again because it is always happening. It is our story and the story of the world. It is the story we have accepted from our parents and it is the story that we will pass on to our children. It is the story of the blood sacrifice of the New Age that goes wrong. The sacrifice survives, bloodied and scarred, the New Age goes down to ruin.


Purim exists because Queen Esther asked the Jews of Israel to write of her for generations. The Persian Empire she had become a part of, the sacrifice she made by leaving the physical stream of Jewish history to be repaid by becoming a vital part of its spiritual history, would fall. Not in her time, but it would. The memory would be carried on by the Jews. Purim is that memory.

Jewish holidays celebrate the interconnection of Jewish survival and productivity with G-d.  The Second Commonwealth fell. Israel may fall. A thousand years from now, the world may little resemble anything we can imagine. And yet, somewhere, Jewish children will celebrate Purim as they have for thousands of years. They may even celebrate other holidays, still unimagined, other memories of salvation from horrors yet to come and remembrances of tragedies yet to be experienced. And if we look through history, as Mordechai did through Haman and the Persian Empire, we may be able to see them on the other side, the descendants of those who survived the whips of Egypt, the slave markets of Babylon, the armies of Rome, the sword and the flame, the concentration camp and the suicide bomber, celebrating a million holidays yet to come.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

In the Coffee Shop at the End of the World with Beto O'Rourke

"This is our final chance," Robert Francis 'Beto' O'Rourke warned while gesticulating wildly in a hipster Iowa coffee shop. "The scientists are unanimous that we have no more than 12 years.”

While patrons of the Lost Canvas wait for the apocalypse to overtake us, they enjoy espressos, bubble tea and art classes. There are also "handmade items from local artisans" for those preparing for a world without technology after the Green New Deal, which O'Rourke endorsed in his prediction of a twelve-year climate apocalypse, has outlawed cars, planes, cows, industrial civilization and machine tools.

Local espresso hipsters weren’t too worried that everything they know will be gone in twelve years, possibly including mango flavored coffee, which tastes as bad as it sounds, because they know that Bobby Francis doesn’t really mean that the world will end in twelve years: they’ve heard it all before.

Also, on his journey across the country, Bobby had lost track of the timeline. The IPCC deadline is supposed to hit in 2030. It’s now 2019. That means 11 years and some months until the end.

Are the scientists unanimous about that twelve-year deadline until the sky falls?

Bobby was quoting the UN’s IPCC report to the espresso oppressed of Keokuk, Iowa. The only things that the UN is unanimous about are not following New York City parking laws and hating Jews.

“It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now,” Debra Roberts, a co-chair of the IPCC's working group on impacts, declared. “This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilizes people.”

Roberts is a South African city official who is environmentalist royalty and has sat on endless numbers of commissions, panels, teams and moots. Which part of the “science community” does she hail from? Her CV, which the IPCC site decided to take down as part of its commitment to transparency, notes that she has a PhD in Urban Biogeography from a Durban university that no longer exists under that name.

The IPCC is famous for the same two things as most madmen standing on street corners and shouting incomprehensibly at the top of their hoarse voices: predicting and postponing the end of the world.

"If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future," IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri had claimed in 2007.

In 2008, he appeared to have claimed that there was only 8 years left.

At a 2009 Senate hearing, two years later, Pachauri insisted, “we have just about 6 years left in which we will have to bring about peaking of emission.”

That would be in 2015.

Pachauri was replying to a question from Senator Jeff Merkley. A decade later, the world didn’t end. And Merkley is still warning that if we don’t listen to the IPCC, the world and all its coffee shops will end.

Last year, Merkley pushed a Senate resolution in support of the IPCC’s latest world ending memo warning that the world will end “as soon as 2040”. That’s safer than the world ending by 2015.

What’s Pachauri’s scientific basis for making all these claims?

His CV, which has also been taken down by the IPCC site, notes that he has a PhD in Industrial Engineering and Economics. That’s better than Urban Biogeography, but not exactly relevant.

As a railway engineer, Pachauri could probably make the trains run on time like Mussolini. But his apocalypses always keep getting stuck in a limbo of missed timetables and snarled tracks.

Democrat politicians keep getting their apocalypse timetables from railway engineers and urban biogeographers before wandering into the nearest coffee shop to warn that the “End is Near”.

Bobby O’Rourke claims that we have only twelve, or eleven years and change, left. And that the “scientists are unanimous” in forecasting a world without coffee shops. Are they really?

Last year, the head of climate and ecological science at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab was claiming that it was 25 years. Does that mean that California has 25 years while Iowa only has 12 years left?

And yet people are moving from California to Iowa.

The year before, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis was claiming that it was ten years. If you’re keeping track, that means the apocalypse may only be eight years away now.

In 2008, Andrew Simms, the co-director of the New Weather Institute, claimed that we had only 100 months to avoid disaster. And he urged a Green New Deal, long before AOC, as the answer.

Andy’s 100 months expired a few years ago. The world and its artisanal coffee shops are still here.

“I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change," NASA's James Hansen, the prophet of chicken littleism, claimed in 2006. "No longer than a decade, at the most."

A decade later the planet is still here. So is James Hansen.

And NASA is back to reaching for the moon instead of warning that the world will end in [Insert Number of Years Here] unless we go back to the caves and cultivate tofu plantations under the stalagmites.

Then in 2009, Hansen warned that Obama had only four years to save the earth. So either by 2013, the earth was saved and we have nothing more to worry about.

Or this is heaven. Or perhaps hell, since Hansen is in it.

The world is always ending a few years down the road. If the false prophets are feeling casual, they may give us a decade.

Even two.

It’s always urgent that we sign the latest agreement, implement the latest program and push more money into the pockets of the very people telling us that the world will end if we don’t.

Warmists mock religious believers, yet their shady tactics and millenarian nonsense makes even the nuttiest Times Square cultist waving a cardboard sign seem credible. Their cult is always promising that the world will end next Tuesday and then changing it to next Wednesday and then the week after that.

The Democrats are stuck in the coffee shop at the end of the world with Bobby O’Rouke. There are espressos, lattes, handcrafted soaps that smell like rancid fat and predictions that the world will end.

This is the cult and this is its catechism.

Its priests are railway engineers and urban bioengineers. There is a consensus. An absolute truth. Put a dollar in the plate to save the icebergs and see you in church next Sunday for another latte.

Vote ‘Beto’ to save the planet from the people who have children, drive old cars and use shopping bags. The infidels who get their coffee plain black, for under three bucks, and use store bought soaps.

Stop by the coffee shop with Bobby and you’ll understand why.

"Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil," Eric Hoffer, the longshore philosopher, once said.

In the hipster coffee shops, there is no god but the trend. The mass movement worships itself. The coffee shop is a celebration of yuppie consumerism infused with spirituality through the climate devil. Its leaders are narcissists who promise to save them from the apocalypse of the good life. That’s Bobby.

Twelve years. Twenty-five years. Six years. It doesn’t really matter.

The numbers create a sense of urgency in the latte section before the next art class. Their contradictory nature is one of those mysteries of faith that all religions have. And if the prophets are an Indian railway engineer and a South African municipal official, that is the diversity which passes for lefty spirituality. Any movement that brings together different people from around the world must be vaguely sacred.

And the numbers do one more thing.

To paraphrase Mrs. Iselin, no one is talking about whether the world will end. Only when it will end.

Meaningless numbers move the debate past whether the world is ending and to the exact date when it will end. It assumes that the apocalypse is nigh and it’s only a matter of determining whether we will be reduced to cannibalism and socialism in 2030, 2040 or 2052. Until then, have another mango espresso.

It tastes just like the end of the world.




Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

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Thank you for reading.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Democrats and the Antisemitism Trap

Every few weeks, some political or national figure demands a national conversation about race. (Most recently, Senator Kamala Harris insisted, “We have not had these honest discussions about race.”)

What does a conversation about race mean? Invariably, an indictment of the fundamental unfairness of our country, the historical roots of racism in white supremacy, and the national guilt of white people.

Or, to put it more simply, why Senator Kamala Harris deserves to be in the White House.

We don’t have national conversations about anti-Semitism because the problem can’t be narrowed down to an easily blamed demographic. The Democrats invariably try to blame anti-Semitism on the usual suspects, white male Republicans living more than two hundred miles from a Starbucks, but the largest toll of violent anti-Semitic attacks tend to fall on New York City’s black neighborhoods.

There is no single demographic for anti-Semitism. It’s a bigotry blasted out by Farrakhan supporters in Crown Heights, but it’s also harbored by white Elizabeth Warren supporters in Chelsea. Rep. Ilhan Omar is an immigrant from Somalia, a country with no Jews, but picked up the bigotry from Arab Muslims. And some of the worst anti-Semites aren’t black or white, Muslim or Christian, they’re Jewish in origin.

Even on the internet, some of the most militant anti-Semitic figures came from Jewish families.

There’s also no easy root cause to blame it on, like slavery. The origins of anti-Semitism lie in the distant past. Its earliest example may be the biblical Pharaoh turning on the Jewish inhabitants of Egypt. Jews encompass race, religion and culture. And anti-Semitism also encompasses racism, religious hatred and cultural hostility. It’s why people of Jewish origin can be anti-Semitic, hating not themselves, but Jews.

Anti-Semitism defies easy origin theories or solutions. And those are the things that politics is based on.

Leftists try to reduce anti-Semitism to a problem of the white male majority. But even a casual glance at hate crimes statistics show that’s nonsense. The solution, diversity, seems to make anti-Semitism worse, not better. The growth areas for anti-Semitism are found in diverse urban areas and college campuses.

Nobody thinks that the Kamala Harris or Obama solution, electing a Jewish president, would work.

There’s no political solution to anti-Semitism. And it is capable of infecting any part of the Democrat base, no matter how privileged or enlightened, oppressed or intersectional, with no immunities. It has no obvious root cause that can be fixed with social policies like affirmative action. It stubbornly refuses to have its expressions be limited to the convenient ideological narratives of leftist social justice.

Is it any wonder that the Democrats don’t want to talk about anti-Semitism? But that’s a mistake because grappling with anti-Semitism would allow them to understand why their policies don’t work.

Anti-Semitism has been around for thousands of years. Its existence defies the comforting idea that we can just get rid of racism by having national conversations about it. Tribal hatreds are part of human nature. We can be better people. But we’ll never be so angelic that we will stop hating other people.

America is the least anti-Semitic, and also the least racist country in the world. That didn’t happen because of national conversations about race, but because we learned to value each other as people. There’s no sign that the constant public indictment of white people has made America more tolerant. Instead it deepened grievances, nurtured hatreds and brought division where there had been unity.

Immigrants are more likely to be anti-Semitic than Americans. Rep. Omar’s defenders have acknowledged this in a backhanded way. What this really means is that America’s approach to racism, defusing it through natural coexistence, actually works. Immigrants don’t have anything to teach us about race. Americans have something to teach them about getting along with different people.

Lefties insist on treating immigrants like Rep. Omar as being morally superior to us when it comes to racism because they come from minority groups. But, as Omar showed us, minorities, especially when emigrating from majoritarian societies, are morally inferior to us when it comes to prejudices.

Democrats try to reduce bigotry to a majoritarian prejudice, but minorities can hate majorities. And minorities (and majorities) can hate themselves. There are white people who hate white people and black people who hate black people. Bigotry spreads socially, but it can also grow in the humid darkness of the human soul. Social conditions make the transmission of racism more likely, but bad ideas can infect anyone. Forgetting that is the best possible vector for becoming infected by them.

The Democrats are more likely to come down with a bad case of bigotry because of their own moral superiority. The more they insist on their own tolerance and categorize bigotry as a Republican problem, the more vulnerable they become to coming down with the virus of hatred while denying they have it.

Anti-Semitism is one of the more common leftist infections because it’s been around long enough to be mutable, adapting its memetic strain to any ideology or group, and because they don’t understand it.

Leftists believe that anti-Semitism is a bigotry of unsophisticated backwoods racists. And since they have a PhD, and a 500 square foot apartment above a Starbucks, they can’t be anti-Semites. They know exactly what bad people look like, they have spent most of their lives studying that very question (and identifying them as white male southerners) and everything they know says they aren’t the bad guys.

That’s not just true of anti-Semitism. But it is more obviously and inescapably true of anti-Semitism.

Democrats only want to fight bigotry that makes them look good. It’s why they inveigh against anti-black racism while celebrating anti-white racism. It’s also why anti-Semitism makes them so uncomfortable.

If anti-Semitism only existed on the other side, as they insist, they could wholeheartedly fight it. And if it existed only on their side, they could just as wholeheartedly defend and excuse it. But anti-Semitism transcends those neat lines leaving them with the troubling feeling that their worldview is wrong.

And so the Democrats can neither fully condemn nor excuse anti-Semitism. They try instead to live in a world where anti-Semitism only exists on the other side, only to be reminded rudely that it doesn’t.

Rep. Omar’s anti-Semitic comments were one of many rude reminders, not only of the moral hazard of mainstreaming Islamists, and of the deeper rot of anti-Semitism among their new coalition of leftists and minority identitarians, but that the progressive understanding of the problem of bigotry is wrong.

Anti-Semitism demonstrates that bigotry can fester among minorities at least as much as majorities, that oppression can co-exist with privilege, and that national dialogues don’t make bigotry go away.

Leftists have fought their War on Racism through a narrow ideological lens. But ideology can just as easily incubate bigotry, as oppose it, based on its own biases and priorities. That is what the reaction to Rep. Omar’s anti-Semitic comments are showed. Ideology is not an antidote to bigotry. Decency is.

Bigotry thrives in tribal environments. Ideological tribalism nurtured the anti-Semitism of the Nazis and the Communists in the last century just as it nurtures the tribal anti-Semitism of the identitarians, fanatics, supremacists, and conspiracy theorists of the extremist movements of the new century.

Ideological tribalism doesn’t just make a society more bigoted, it normalizes its existing bigotries.

The Democrats have been hijacked by ideological fanatics who extend the umbrella of their cause over their bigotries. That umbrella protected Rep. Omar as it has Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and many others.

The ideological umbrella did not invent Sharpton’s gutter anti-Semitism, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes”, no more than it invented Rep. Omar’s latest bigotry outbreak. What it does is normalize it by framing existing bigotries within the worldview of its political movement.

Leftists turned Sharpton’s anti-Semitism and Rep. Omar’s anti-Semitism into the outcry of the oppressed, normalizing and mainstreaming tribal bigotries into the bloodstream of a movement.

As long as the Democrats choose leftism over liberalism, and ideology over decency, the toxic strains of anti-Semitism within every one of their factions will meld with their movement. Each outcry about anti-Semitism will lead to a backlash that will mainstream those attitudes, as the response to Rep. Omar did.

That is what Rep. Omar has been doing, trolling Jews by deliberately provoking outrage that will force her movement to either disavow her or embrace her bigotry. Like her Islamic counterparts in UK’s Labour, Omar has gambled correctly that her political allies will choose anti-Semitism over apology.

The complaints by Jews about anti-Semitism will be used to justify anti-Semitic attitudes toward Jews. The best defense against accusations of anti-Semitism by a political movement that has come to understand that a sizable portion of its base will refuse to stop engaging in anti-Semitic behavior, is to embrace anti-Semitism. After failing to rebuke Rep. Omar, the Democrats have taken the first step.

When they have taken a few more, the Democrats will no longer be a party with an anti-Semitism problem, they will be an anti-Semitic party.





Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

2020 Dems Prove More Women in Politics Won't Fix Sexual Harassment

It’s no secret that the top ranks of the Democrat 2020 field have a #MeToo problem.

Joe Biden is a walking #MeToo outrage. And one of his presidential campaign leftovers was recently dumped by Schumer’s office for “inappropriate encounters”. Bernie Sanders once wrote, "A woman enjoys intercourse with her man as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously." His campaign was a swamp of sexism, sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by staffers and political allies.

And Beto O’Rourke’s former political outreach director has been accused of rape.

That kind of behavior inspires Democrat activists to insist that we need more women running things. But the only woman that the Democrats picked for the White House had a career record of covering up the sexual harassment and possible sexual assaults that were being committed by her husband.

The victim of Beto O’Rourke’s former director was fired by her boss, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. The rapist was working at the congresswoman’s Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Leadership Institute.

Women are just as likely to cover for sexual harassment by a trusted male employee or aide.

Or even more likely.

Of the top 2020 candidates with a #MeToo scandal in their office, 2 out of 3 are female. Biden and Beto’s staffers disgraced their former bosses in #MeToo scandals after they had moved on.

Half of the top rank of 2020 female candidates had a #MeToo scandal happen on their watch.

That’s a worse statistical track record than even the male candidates.

The only 2020 candidates that had #MeToo scandals in their offices are Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand. While the sexual harassment scandals in the offices of the two female senators were no match for the sheer scale of the complaints in Bernie’s campaign, there was a pattern.

Both Gillibrand and Harris had close male aides, Abbas Malik in Gillibrand’s office and Larry Wallace in Harris’ office, who maintained very close relationships with their female bosses while allegedly sexually harassing other women in the office. The relationships between Malik and Gillibrand, and Wallace and Harris, appeared to cross professional lines with both men maintaining a personal relationship.

Malik was officially Gillibrand’s military adviser, but actually worked as her driver and gofer. In between the alleged incidents of inappropriate office behavior, Malik had the keys to Gillibrand’s house and was known in her circle as “the keeper of the purse”. Despite his lack of obvious qualifications, Malik may have come to Gillibrand’s attention while complaining that he couldn’t get hired as a security guard, he was on track for a promotion even though he was really working as Gillibrand’s driver.

Wallace had also built a close relationship with Kamala Harris. He had spent fourteen years as her deputy chief when she was working as a DA. Somewhere along the way their relationship had deepened and when she won her senate race, Wallace became her senior advisor. The Sacramento Bee described Wallace as her “close friend” and “closest confidante”. Former employees called Kamala Harris and the alleged harasser “incredibly close”. Wallace managed the future senator’s security team resulting in the two of them spending a great deal of time together. His duties appeared to be light, traveling only five times on official business, while earning a $90,000 salary as her liaison to law enforcement.

When Kamala Harris published her campaign bio, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, it contained a photo of Harris and Wallace, and praise for her longtime aide’s “leadership”.

Wallace and Malik had backgrounds in law enforcement and the military, they were officially serving as advisers on these issues, but in practice were being kept around because they had an emotional connection to a senator, and possibly received positions and rewards based on that relationship.

Underlying the dubious positions of Wallace and Malik were the dubious positions of Harris and Gillibrand. Kamala Harris had climbed the ladder through a relationship with Willie Brown. The former San Francisco mayor had appointed her to positions she was unqualified for and linked her up with his donor network. Brown had also gifted the much younger woman he was having an affair with a BMW.

Kirsten Gillibrand’s appointment to a Senate seat remains one of the more baffling developments in New York politics. Obama had hoped to turn Hillary Clinton’s seat over to Caroline Kennedy. Instead Caroline had to settle for a disastrous ambassadorship in Japan while Gillibrand, a complete unknown representing a conservative area in upstate New York, joined the Senate. Gillibrand had previously only made it into the House because her Republican opponent had been accused of beating his wife.

Gillibrand was selected for the seat by former Governor Paterson, a corrupt politician who would later be accused of witness tampering in a domestic abuse case involving his own staffer. Gillibrand’s grandmother had allegedly built power through an adulterous affair with Albany mayor Erastus Corning II. Her appointment to a prestigious office remains a mystery. The New York Times and other papers had inveighed against it at the time before agreeing to let it go and accept Gillibrand as a Senate member.

Both Harris and Gillibrand got their start in politics through dubious means that potentially blurred the lines between the personal and the political. And once in the Senate, it appeared that the lines continued to blur within their own offices and inner circles. Both powerful women appeared to form personal relationships with their advisors while ignoring the allegations of sexual misconduct.

Were Malik and Wallace able to get away with their alleged harassment because of their close relationships with female bosses who had built their brands around fighting sexual harassment?

Who would believe that senators so dedicated to fighting for #MeToo had a #MeToo problem?

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, more than any other politician, had used the #MeToo movement as her platform. Senator Kamala Harris followed close behind her. The hypocrisy was stunning because Gillibrand’s staffer ended up trapped by a mediation requirement that her boss had publicly opposed. Harris’ staffer was silenced by a Non-Disclosure Agreement that her boss had publicly opposed in sexual harassment cases.

The very reforms that Harris and Gillibrand were campaigning for were off-limits to their employees.

Riding the coattails of the #MeToo movement, Gillibrand and Harris claimed that victims should be believed. Instead they chose not to believe the victims when they were accusing their aides.

Malik and Wallace were only forced out when their cases went public. The feminist establishment that promised to protect women, instead did everything possible to protect their sexual harassers.

At Variety’s Power of Women luncheon, Gillibrand had touted #MeToo and warned, “For too many institutions, their actions speak louder than words.”

That proved to be true of Gillibrand, who talked endlessly about the evils of sexual harassment while turning a blind eye to it in her own office.

Senator Gillibrand’s solution to sexual harassment was more women like her in the Senate.

“Imagine the day when we have 51% of women in congress. We only have 22 in the U.S. Senate, only 18% in the House of Representatives,” Gillibrand had ranted. “Do you think this U.S. Senate would still be doing nothing to change the sexual harassment system.”

And then Gillibrand demonstrated that having more women in the Senate would not prevent sexual harassment. No gender has a monopoly on misbehavior. Women may be less likely to sexually harass, but they are as likely, and 2020 statistics suggest perhaps even more likely, to turn a blind eye to it.

Gender diversity doesn’t fix sexual harassment. Ethics and values do.

Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris convinced women to vote for them by playing on the myth of sisterhood, telling other women that they could count on their support because they were women. But the women working for them quickly found out that the senators put their relationships with men first.

Leftist feminism is built on the same lie of gender solidarity. Diversity insists that only women can be trusted to treat women fairly, and only black people can be trusted to treat other black people fairly. And Congress makes a mockery out of the myth of solidarity through diversity every other week.

Decency has no gender and no race. Ethics has no identity. And diversity is no substitute for decency.





Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Post Child Democrat Party

“Is it okay to still have children?” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wondered while making a salad.

“It’s basically like, there is a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult and it does lead, I think young people, to have a legitimate question.”

It's easy to dismiss her, but the loudest proponent of a Green New Deal doesn’t come up with original ideas, she just snatches extreme lefty ideas already being mainstreamed, and dumbs them down into a ridiculous and easily digestible form. Cortez hadn’t come up with the idea of cracking down on air travel or cows. And she hadn’t invented environmentalist proposals for human extinction on her own.

"Is It Cruel to Have Kids in the Era of Climate Change?" the New Republic had asked.

"If the looming 12-year deadline is missed," the formerly liberal, and now radically leftist publication, suggested, "what purpose could life have in the face of an unavoidable, collective downfall?"

"Bringing children into a decaying world, without even the opportunity to do something about it, seems a cruel fate to inflict on someone, especially your own child."

It was the very same argument about the cruelty of bringing unwanted children into the world that had been used for abortion that was now being deployed for a preemptive national infanticide.

But infanticide, personal or societal, of a child that exists or of all the children that never will, is not about compassion for the child. It is about the perception that the existence of the child is an evil.

The New York Times put that idea forward when it ran an op-ed asking, “Would human extinction be a tragedy?"

"It may well be, then, that the extinction of humanity would make the world better off," it pondered.

More children mean more plane trips, more cows and more carbon emissions. Like the cows and the planes, the children must go for the environment to be saved to go on existing in splendid isolation.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If there isn’t a single human being left on the planet, does it matter how pristine the woods, lakes and skies are?

New York State rolled out a law legalizing abortion up to birth. Governor Cuomo called it a, “historic victory for... our progressive values”. New York’s birth rate had already been dropping steadily.

In 2015, black women in New York had over 25,000 abortions and only 23,116 births.

New York’s progressive values have made it a place where birth rates keep dropping and the death rate keeps rising. It’s progressively aging while its youth population fell 4% since the 2010 census.

Virginia’s Governor Northam backed an infanticide bill that would allow abortion up to birth.

“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” he told a radio show. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue.”

Virginia’s birth rate hit a low in 2017. The state’s fertility rate trails national averages. Before Obama, the state had seen 108,884 births. In 2017, that number had fallen to 100,248 births.

Rhode Island’s Gov. Gina Raimondo backed its version of an infanticide bill. The state already has the lowest fertility in the country. It also has the country’s highest rates for out of wedlock births and births by welfare mothers.

Vermont debuted an infanticide bill declaring that a, “fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law." In 2016, Vermont had the lowest number of babies born since before the Civil War.

Present day Vermont has 5,903 babies being born, fewer than the 6,538 babies born to an 1857 population of 300,000. Current Vermont birth rates are 30% below birth rates in the eighties.

This is what progressive values look like.

Nationally, every Senate Democrat, except three, refused to back the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act compelling doctors to preserve the lives of babies born after a botched abortion.

"I want to ask each and every one of my colleagues whether or not we're OK with infanticide," Senator Ben Sasse asked.

The answer was given.

Politicians were once known for kissing babies. Now, if they’re Democrats, they kill them.

The Democrat political calculus of infanticide is so brutally grim that it makes the infant exposure of their spiritual pagan forebears seem almost humane.

Population increases in states like New York are driven by immigration. First generation immigrants are the safest political bets for Democrats. As the generations pass, the immigrants become worse bets.

The safest pathway to a permanent Democrat majority is abortion and open borders.

Global Warming provides the perfect political cover for a policy of suppressing births and promoting migration. Abortion will reduce our carbon footprint even as we welcome in “climate refugees”.

The central idea put forward by Cortez, the New Republic and the New York Times is an ancient one.

When drought and famine struck, the Pre-Greek Pelasgians would sacrifice every tenth child in an appeal to their gods. As with modern infanticide, ideology served as cover for pragmatic policy.

Judaism gave the pagan world the prohibition against infanticide. As Judeo-Christian influences wane, our pagan ruling class which puts its faith in the apocalypses of its PhD priesthood turns once more to murdering children in a ritual cleansing to appease the anger of Mother Earth at our unclean science.

Kill 100,000 babies a year and perhaps global temperatures will drop. If not, let’s kill 200,000.

Having children is an act of faith, in the future and in ourselves. But what if you believe, like Rep. Cortez, that there is no future worth having? That the world is nothing more than the narcissistic carpe diem of the moment in which all that matters is the moment of fame and the instant rush of experience.

An interesting thing happens when we look at the children of the 2020 field.

President Trump has five children. Mitt Romney, the previous Republican nominee, also had five children. McCain, the GOP nominee before him, had four children by his two wives. Barack Obama has two children. His Democrat predecessors, Bill and Hillary Clinton, had one daughter.

Of the 2020 Democrat front runners who have officially announced that they are running, Senator Kamala Harris has no children. At her current age, she probably never will. Senator Cory Booker is unmarried and will probably stay that way. Senator Elizabeth Warren has two children. Senator Amy Klobuchar has one child. Governor Inslee has three. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has two children. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been married twice. She appears to have no children. Julian Castro has two children. Pete Buttigieg is gay and has no children.

Senator Bernie Sanders has one son with whom he appears to have almost no relationship.

There are more prolific candidates in the wings. Beto O’Rourke has three children and Joe Biden has four. But those numbers make them well above average for a 2020 field that is light on children.

Individual lives are complicated. That is no less true of politicians than it is of anyone else. And so this is not about passing judgement or making assumptions about the personal lives of individuals. But the statistical trend lurking in these numbers paints a picture of the Democrat political elite.

Four of the 2020 candidates are childless. Only three have families that are above replacement rate. Replacement rate means that two people are doing more than replacing their own numbers. A society whose childbirth rates are at replacement rate isn’t growing. One that is below replacement rate is dwindling away. That’s true of much of Europe. It’s also true of the Democrat political elite.

The average number of children of the 2020 Dem field is 1.5. That’s below replacement rate.

By contrast, the Republican primary field average in 2016 was 3.1 Above replacement rate. The most fertile Republican in 2016 had twice as many children as the most fertile Democrat in 2020.

The Dem 2020 candidates have a total of 18 children. The Republican 2016 field had a total of 50.

These demographic snapshots are also philosophical trends. They show that on average, Republican leaders still believe in the future and their Democrat counterparts don’t. The enthusiasm for abortion is mirrored in their own lifestyles and beliefs. The future is doomed. A prematurely short amount of time from now the waves will roll over their beachside mansions. Starving refugees will flood Marin County. The future will belong to climate refugees from El Salvador and Somalia who will run the country. All the old white Democrats can do is graciously show them the ropes and implement socialized medicine.

And then have a chardonnay, short some energy stocks and watch the tide of change roll in.

Make America Great Again infuriates them with its assertion that the decline at the heart of the selfish nihilistic philosophy to which they have given their lives isn’t inevitable. And they will do everything to prove it wrong, and that their wreckage of their duty and country was right, by destroying America.






Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.