As you are all aware, a frenzy of revisionism and sexual hysteria is sweeping the United States. Crude behaviour of twenty and thirty years ago is now cause for firing. Garrison Keillor was fired for placing a hand on the middle of a woman’s back, the place on the body with the fewest nerves. Canned on a single complaint. The Democrats are eating their own. What gives? Here are several observations and conjectures.
- This movement has been planned for at least a year, and it is a directed event. I got wind of this a year ago at least, when our Democratic inside the Beltway lawyer told us that the standards were being reset; sexual harassment, he warned us, was going to become anything and everything. This guy is a deep insider, and he was speaking with a certainty that comes from knowledge, not just conjecture or bar talk.
- It is not principally directed at Republicans or Trump. It may serve the interests of Democrats to further blacken Trump, but that, I believe, is not their goal. Republicans are not buying into the smear campaigns. Witness Roy Moore. So the Democrats are shooting their wounded, such as Al Franken, who is a capable representative of their positions. Why?
Why are the Democrats willing to accept own-goals, sacrifices of their talented? What are they gaining?
I would like to postulate what I think is a reasonable, though far-fetched, explanation.
Let us suppose that there are such people as sane Democrats. [Bear with me conservatives]. They are like most reasonable people. They are concerned for the working classes, for America’s position in the world, for moderate and sensible behaviour. They are not concerned with transgender bathrooms, identity politics, or Trayvon Martin, though they may be appalled at the rate at which blacks are killing each other in Chicago and Baltimore. They foresee a Democratic Party doomed to perpetual electoral losses unless they get the Party back on track. It is possible they fear that the Democratic Party might even win future elections in its current state. This may scare them even more.
How is the Democratic Party to be rescued from the irrelevance of identity politics? Just put yourself inside the shoes of business Democrats. They see Trump reshaping the world the way Bismarck reshaped Germany and Europe in the 19th century. They see prosperity returning to the United States. They see their country dominating the world from a position of energy independence, courtesy of shale oil. They see Trump reforming the middle east, laying the groundwork for dealing with the Islamic threat, facing down North Korea and Iran. Above all, they do not share a smug conviction that Trump will be out in 3 more years.
They turn to their own party and what do they see? A corrupt Hillary Clinton taking money for the Clinton foundation in exchange for shifts in US foreign policy. They see Bill Clinton hovering in the background, the albatross hanging about the neck of the Democratic Party. They see a progressive disengagement between the party activists and the core of the American people, who want jobs, not transgendered bathrooms. They see their allies in Hollywood are the problem, not the solution.
Accordingly, it is time for a purge. But it is also a time for a change of subject. It is time for a cultural reaction, for diminishing the power of women, for reversing the sexual freedom of the 1960s, for putting people back into their closets.
Could this be true? Yes, I believe it could be.
I think the people who started this sexual panic want to swing the Democrats around the rear of the Republicans. (The metaphor is military, not sexual, but please yourself). I think that what they want is a return to sexual certainties, to men and women, not 26 genders. I think they have launched a general assault on the culture, and the way to get this done is to make everyone unsure of how to behave with the opposite sex. I am not sure they have thought everything before hand; and some may be content with further demonizing Trump. But I do not think this would be thinking large enough. What is intended, I suspect, is a massive change of the subject. The immediate targets may be men, but the inevitable result will be an insistence by men that there need to be rules of engagement. This may mean that men do not meet with women alone, as VP Pence has done for years. Another important Senator, John Thune, will not meet a woman alone after 8pm. It may go as far as restrictions on women in the workforce, which could take many forms, including a disinclination to hire them, but more likely codes of conduct that amount to chaperoning.
I realize that these speculations are far fetched, but they seem to be exactly where we are going. The subject is being changed. This refashioning of the culture is more than a moral panic, it is being directed at refashioning what politics should be doing. Is it reactionary? Yes. And the reaction is not coming from the political right. Allow yourself to think about that for a moment.
On the difficulty of Democrats trying to be the party that protects women, by Maureen Dowd.
If you think there are such people as centrist Democrats, then the idea that the future of the Party lies with an unreformed Marxist like Sanders would appall you.
Cleaning up the Democratic National Committee, where they see Bernie Sanders as the future of the party
Bernie Sanders robbed of the Democratic nomination by Hillary Clinton
Jen Gerson expresses parallel ideas in the National Post about the implications of this scare.
Hypocrisy in the name of partisanship will no longer do. The culture is beginning to shift in ways that social conservatives should embrace.
There should be no expectation that everyone will be held to the new sexual standard that emerges from this mire; but with the current round of public prosecutions, there is, once more, a sexual standard to be held to.