The outcry over President Trump’s comments after the Putin summit July 16 began at a fever pitch and promptly turned up to eleven.
Within hours of Democrats champing at the bit to bury Trump with what they perceived to be the silver bullet: “evidence” of treason, the Republicans joined suit. In a press conference the following day, House Speaker Paul Ryan took pains to emphasize how Putin and Russia are bad actors with whom we share nothing in common:
“Vladimir Putin does not share our interests. Vladimir Putin does not share our values.” And furthermore, “... Russia is a menacing government that does not share our interests, and it does not share our values.”
Directly “correcting” Trump, he added, "The President must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals,"
Setting aside the obvious for a moment—that claims of Russians buying Facebook ads, hacking emails, possibly agitating at rallies of both Trump and Clinton, and other such various and sundry “meddling” in our election—had zero impact on the election and don’t constitute any real threat to our democracy ... isn’t this a little like the pot calling the kettle black?
One report claims that we have interfered in democratic elections in foreign nations 81 times between 1946 and 2000. More recently we shamelessly “weighed in” on the presidential elections in Ukraine, which borders Russia. We also gave a backdoor bribe via an IMF loan to “our” candidate, Boris Yeltsin, in their 1996 presidential elections.
We have also repeatedly meddled in Israel’s parliamentary elections to affect the election of the nation’s leadership, most recently during the Obama presidency.
Heck, in 2015 we even got caught bugging Angela Merkel’s phone while she was here on a state visit! Turns out we’d been doing it ... forever. After all, we’re the only country I’m aware of that employs the phrase “regime change” without sarcasm or shame—in fact, with candor.
In short, these “meddling” activities in foreign affairs constitute the underbelly of statecraft, practiced by all and admitted by none. Of which we, perhaps, are the world’s most prolific practitioners.
* * * But this is not my point. I was struck by Paul Ryan’s remarks, that Putin—and by extension, Russia—don’t share our ideals and values.
It got me thinking: What are our ideals and values? Specifically, the ones that Russians apparently no longer, or never, shared?
When I was growing up, the word “communist” was often prefaced with “Godless.” The Russians were our enemies not just because they didn’t believe in private property—oh, and they hated freedom—but because they didn’t believe in God. Atheism was actively encouraged by the Soviet state. Religion was considered backward and superstitious. Christians were oppressed and persecuted, along with members of the world’s other faiths. Heck, the “commies” weren’t just evil—they were damned!
So what were our values and ideals back then, and how have they changed?
Morals generally stem from religion. We were a religious nation, though the Founding Fathers were wise enough to draw a strict line between Church and State. The majority of Americans either expressed a belief in some form of Christianity (or Judaism), and a significant fraction attended Church on Sundays, or at the very least on Easter and Christmas.
“Freedom” certainly comes to mind as a professed value, perhaps the most exalted of them all. Of course, freedom is a vague term, and its functional meaning and limits when in contention with other rights is constantly being tested. Free speech is certainly a component. How often would we hear a patriotic American intone those clichéd words: “I disagree with what you’re saying but I’m willing to fight to the death to defend your right to say it.”
Then there’s the civic virtues we prized. Personal responsibility. The notion that a person’s success in life should only be limited by his or her own work and ambition. This dovetails with our belief in fairness as an innate American value. Fairness, especially in the Civil Rights era ... the recognition that it is wrong to deny someone an equal opportunity because of the accident of their birth, specifically: their race, ethnicity, or—to the extent that doesn’t contradict common sense—their sex. An individual should be judged by his abilities and the content of his character, not the color of his skin—to paraphrase the famous statement of a certain leading light of the era.
Hand-in-hand with the moral virtues we extolled (even if individually we weren’t always able to live up to them we at least agreed in principal on their merit) were the bad behaviors we collectively condemned, and when appropriate, punished. Morality cannot be legislated, we’re told. Our Founding Fathers clearly recognized this, asserting that our rights are God-given, not granted by any government. The civilized way to discourage destructive social behavior is through society’s own built-in mechanisms for self-correction: shame and stigma. In the absence of which the only alternative is the iron fist of the law, which is directly harmful to our highest value: freedom.
And so we stigmatized undesirable social behaviors: out-of-wedlock births, abortion, divorce, homosexuality. A man would be shamed for abandoning his family. A family for going on welfare. The message was clear: not just the best—but the only appropriate healthy environment for raising children was within the nuclear family: a husband and wife. Homosexuality, considered a behavioral and/or psychological disorder at the time, was heavily stigmatized. In many localities society had taken the draconian, and foolish, path of criminalizing it, though this was rarely enforced. Shaming was sufficient to discourage it and preserve the collective rational understanding that it took a man and a woman to create a baby, and a healthy family was the ideal building block for a sound economic atomic unit from which to build and maintain a healthy community.
Most Americans were sympathetic to those neighbors who for one reason or another were unable or unwilling to conform to the ideal family model, and recognized that the freedom of such people to pursue their lives, liberty and happiness in the manner they chose must be respected. Homosexuality was considered bad, counterproductive to the social necessity of producing the next generation, but it was tolerated. The notion of marriage being modified to include same-sex couples was ludicrous. The notion of rewarding homosexual couples with adoptive children would’ve been worse—perhaps an abomination, to give it the flavor of the religious sentiments still present at the time.
* * * Are those the values and ideals Paul Ryan was thinking of when he denounced Putin and Russia for “not sharing our values;” when he angrily implied that President Trump believed in a moral equivalence between our two nations?
What exactly are our values ... today?
Some are relatively unchanged. Others are 180 degrees out of phase. We still value freedom of the press, but freedom of speech is on life support. Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past decade or so, free speech is largely a thing of the past in the academy. Thoughts or speech that violate the ever changing canons of political correctness is considered “hate speech.” And hate speech is considered “violence.” It is not much of an exaggeration to say that our colleges and universities have been taken over by a dogmatic, vulgar, violent, left-wing fascist political faction that has succeeded in silencing any contrary thought or speech. The word “fascist” is used here with prejudice. Words evolve, and this one has lost its prior connections with economics and is now used to mean any authoritarian movement that stifles opposition by force, including violence and threats of violence, as well as political intimidation. Antifa, campus “progressives,” Black Lives Matter, feminists and their LGBTQ “intersectionalists,” are all fascist by definition.
What about the notion of a person being judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin? Gone. Into the Orwellian dustbin of history. So-called affirmative action had transmogrified into virulent identity politics, which has now reached such levels of bullshit that on some college campuses students “of color” are demanding they be segregated from whites in student housing and even at graduation ceremonies. Identity politics demands that people be judged not by their abilities or their character, i.e., not as individuals, but by their group identity. We’ve come full circle, but now it is whites that are discriminated against in hiring and admissions policies ... and worse is coming for them.
With respect to civic virtues, half of this country doesn’t even believe in the concept of a national identity with borders and a universal language. At immigration-related rallies held by Hispanics, Mexican flags are waved. When Maxine Walters held a rally, her followers actually burned an American flag.
What about personal responsibility, and the work ethic? Largely gone. It’s been replaced by the entitlement culture. As the state continually finds new roadblocks to hamper small business creation through ever-growing licensing requirements and ridiculous regulations ... and of course taxes ... it extends more and more free services to those that choose not to pull their own weight. Forty-four million Americans receive food stamps. Ten million Americans receive disability insurance. Over four million Americans under 65 receive SSI (mentally unable to work) benefits.
When considering our moral values, we’re forced to conclude that they have not just been softened—they’ve been completely corrupted and turned upside down. Vice is now virtue. Single motherhood is lionized. It’s the new norm. It’s even led to the creation of a new phrase replacing “husband”: the “baby daddy.” There is nothing more obvious than the direct correlation between our descent into social chaos and the absence of fathers in the home. On the basis of overwhelming circumstantial evidence it is not a stretch to say that our culture has been waging a war on fatherhood since the emergence of feminism.
Speaking of ... the decline in religious observance can at least partially be attributed to scientific advancement and the unavoidable conflicts with religious cosmological canon. But if religion is something that humans do ... something that humans need ... we now have alternatives that satisfy those existential needs. Feminism may not be a religion per se, but it bears too many of the trappings to liken it to anything else.
Feminism is a doctrine of hate. Like Christianity, it gives its adherents an explanation for all the misfortunes in their lives ... in fact for all the evil in the world. Its devil is man ... the patriarchy. The male sex is defined outside of the new moral universe. Like all religions, unbelievers are infidels. Attempts to counter any of its catechisms are met with virulent denunciation and violent fury. Offending individuals are immediately targeted for personal and professional destruction. The feminazi takes no prisoners.
With regards to sexuality, clearly we are in free-fall. We have passed the black hole’s event horizon and at this point no semblance of normalcy is safe. We have drag queens dressed in nightmarish costume, devil horns and all, brought into public libraries to read to pre-school children. We have gay teachers dressed in tutus prancing on stage at public school assemblies. We have LGBTQ representatives handing out information about anal fisting ... again, to school children. The list goes on, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the depraved movement to encourage children to undergo surgical mutilation to change their “gender.”
The next wheel to fall off is the normalization of pedophilia. The efforts are already afoot, and have been ongoing behind the scenes in the psychobabble communities (the APA, etc.) for at least two decades. We are just now beginning to see this disgraceful and depraved “lifestyle” jockeying for position as the next “cause” in the popular culture.
Shame and stigma, meanwhile, have become fighting words in the filth and depravity contingent and Gender Studies departments ... but I repeat myself.
Difficult as it is to accept, these are now our values, according to the arbiters of behavior, the professional experts who inform our educational and cultural enterprises.
So, if Putin and Russia don’t share our values—perhaps it is worthwhile looking into exactly what their values are now... ?
* * * One of the incidents under investigation by those trying desperately to undoTrump’s presidency is the meeting Donald Jr had with a Russian attorney. The ostensible issue prompting the meeting, adoption, is rarely mentioned—or when it is, never in specific detail. Since states removed the prohibitions on homosexual adoption it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a huge number of adoptions are now granted to homosexual couples, overwhelmingly lesbians. In Massachusetts, where it is actively promoted by the government agencies, it’s around half.
In 2014 Russia implemented a law banning adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples internationally. They went further, banning adoptions by single people who lived in nations that allowed same-sex marriage.
Since overthrowing Marxist-Leninism, the Russian Orthodox Church is thriving. Vladimir Putin has often decried what is now commonly referred to as “Europe’s suicide.” This is from a Christmas message Vladimir Putin delivered in 2016:
We see that many Euro-Atlantic states have taken the way where they deny or reject their own roots, including their Christian roots which form the basis of western civilization.
In these countries the moral basis and any traditional identity are being denied—national religious, cultural, and even gender identities are being denied or relativized.
There, politics treats a family with many children as equal to a homosexual partnership (juridically); faith in God is equal to faith in Satan.
The excess and exaggeration of Political Correctness in these countries indeed leads to serious consideration for the legitimization of parties that promote the propaganda of pedophilia.
The people in many European states are actually ashamed of their religious affiliations and are indeed frightened to speak about them. Christian holidays and celebrations are abolished or “neutrally” renamed, as if one were ashamed of those Christian holidays. With these methods one hides away the deeper moral value of these celebrations.
And these countries try to force this model onto other countries, globally. I am deeply convinced that this is a direct way to degradation and primitivization of culture. This leads to deeper demographic and moral crisis in the West.
What can be better evidence of the moral crisis of a human society (in the West) than the loss of its reproductive function? And today nearly all “developed” Western countries cannot survive reproductively, not even with the help of migrants.
Without the moral values that are rooted in Christianity and other world religions, without rules and moral values which have formed and been developed over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity (become brutes).
This from the previously “Godless communists.” Who could’ve imagined fifty years ago that the remaining sane people of the western democracies would turn to an ex-KGB strong man for moral guidance?
In Western Europe, the cradle of our civilization, the cultural and moral values are under attack at both ends of the spectrum. At the opposite end of the West’s own self-mutilation of morality is its embracing of a culture whose values and ideals are the very antithesis of our own—past and present. The social fabric of nations such as France, Sweden and Germany is being torn apart at the seams by the tidal wave of terrorism, murder, rioting, beheadings, acid attacks, rape, white slavery and the “grooming” of girls as young as eleven—all due to the massive influx of African, Middle Eastern and Asian Muslim immigrants.
But these are the values that are waiting to step in once the West’s cultural revolution has run its course, reaching the inevitable end that results from embracing moral anarchy.
No, Mr. Ryan, I don’t hold to our new values. They are not my values. They are a corruption of the very meaning of the word “value.” They need to be expunged. Where did they come from? Did I miss the planetary invasion from Planet X? I want our old values and ideals back. And if Russia still holds them, I want the U.S. to gravitate toward Russia and away from Western Europe. They are even further down this spiraling path into the black hole’s singularity of cultural suicide, perhaps just one generation away from submitting to the rigid, 7th century patriarchal morality of Islamic law.
Age is supposed to give wisdom. I’ve been alive long enough to know when my country is trying to manipulate me into joining a pig-pile. I read 1984, and I grokked its message. It’s clear that certain factions are scared shitless at the thought of a President Trump allied with a revanchist Russia against the West’s “cultural revolution.” We need to look deeper for their motivations, past the usual suspects, the industrial war machine.