Today’s miseries are founded on a single central problem. It’s not a new problem, even for the United States. We’ve seen it in many contexts and guises, here and elsewhere. It’s the problem we must solve if we’re to restore any semblance of normality to American public discourse.
I once ranted about it in this critical essay. Here’s the foundation of the matter:
Truth is an evaluation: a judgment that some proposition corresponds to objective reality sufficiently for men to rely upon it. The weakening of the concept of truth cuts an opening through which baldly counterfactual propositions can be thrust into serious discourse. Smith might say that proposition X is disprovable, or that it contradicts common observations of the world; Jones counters that X suits him fine, for he has dismissed the disprovers as “partisan” and prefers his own observations to those of Smith. Unless the two agree on standards for relevant evidence, pertinent reasoning, and common verification — in other words, standards for what can be accepted as sufficiently true — their argument over X will never end.
An interest group that has “put its back against the wall” as regards its central interest, and is unwilling to concede the battle regardless of the evidence and logic raised against its claims, will obfuscate, attack the motives of its opponents, and attempt to misdirect their attention with irrelevancies. When all of these have failed, its last-ditch defense is to attack the concept of truth. Once that has been undermined, the group can’t be defeated. It can stay on the ideological battlefield indefinitely, preserving the possibility of victory through attrition or fatigue among its opponents.
It cannot be put any more plainly: the unwillingness to accept that there is an objective truth renders a disagreement irresolvable. That makes assaults on the concept of truth the most dangerous of all threats to human society. And the refusal to accept objective truth is at the core of all the Left’s campaigns today.
Let’s start with a proposition that was once uncontested: Human beings come in two sexes: male and female.
You’d have to be Rip van Winkle not to know that today there are many who decline to accept that proposition as true. Yet it conforms to objective reality: we come out of the womb either male or female, and nothing else. Cosmetics and surgery can change an individual’s presentation, but they cannot change his genes.
Now, as it happens I number two transwomen among my friends. I, being a courteous sort – enough with the smirks and cackling, you in the back rows – treat them as they present themselves. As they’re both decent people, responsible, self-supporting, and (as far as I know) law-abiding, nothing else really matters.
This is not new. It’s been going on for decades. Until it became a political cause celebre, it was entirely tolerable. We often take appearances as “of a tactically higher priority” to reality, for the sake of social peace. And to be perfectly candid, there are many counterfactual beliefs and convictions we tolerate to minimize social discord. Consider all the folks who think 9/11 was an Israeli plot, or that America never landed men on the moon. The rest of us, when we encounter such persons, smile and change the subject, or excuse ourselves to use the rest room.
Allow me once more to present a snippet from The Wise and the Mad:
Walsingham nodded. “It is a disorder, you know. A man once born cannot become a woman in truth.”
“Agreed,” Holly said. “Yet it is not impossible for one born a man to present as a woman. Hormones, minor surgery, cosmetics, and diligent study of the personalities and mannerisms of women will suffice for those who already have feminine inclinations and aspects of appearance. For example, you just referred to Heidi as ‘her’ without any apparent tension. That suggests that my portrayal of her in Unashamed was convincingly feminine. I gave her the appropriate appearance, personality, and manner to persuade others to take her as a woman and to treat her as such. I had her respond to such treatment as a woman would respond. An American woman, at any rate. Thus, despite her Y chromosome and male genitalia, she was able to pass in common society as a woman, as was her preference. Only if she had chosen to announce her birth sex to those around her, or to bare her lower body in public, would there have been any conflict about it. Any necessary conflict, that is.”
He blinked and set his glass on the table.
“What about love?”
Holly smiled. “Didn’t Heidi and Roland solve that puzzle adequately?”
“Yes…yes.” He looked briefly away. “It should not have startled me. We have those on the other side of the Atlantic, as well.”
Holly took a moment to choose her next words.
“I’ve been told that a wise man once said that ‘love laughs at hardware.’ I know the sort of love Heidi and Roland chose to enjoy isn’t to everyone’s taste. It’s not that long since it was illegal, both here and in the U.K. Oscar Wilde went to prison for it, did he not?”
“He did,” Walsingham said.
“Is sodomy still against the law across the water?”
“That law was overturned quite some time ago,” he said. “There have been attempts to have it reinstated, but all have failed.”
“It’s the same here, and just as well,” Holly said. “There can be no pretense of autonomy or personal privacy in a land where the private bodily conduct of consenting individuals is a fit subject for the attention of the police.”
Walsingham’s face worked. “That is the usual argument. Yet there are many who regard the maintenance of society’s moral standards to be of greater importance.”
“I know. It’s unclear to some how utterly impossible it is to have both individual freedom and legally enforced sexual standards at once. The Constitution was the touchstone for reform here, particularly the Fourth Amendment. But America has groups demanding the return of the old laws, too.”
She drained her glass. Walsingham gestured at her with the bottle, and she nodded. As he poured she said “As you know, a law that specifies permitted and forbidden modes of sexual conduct would pose a huge problem for Rowenna. Given her bodily configuration—”
“Her alternatives are celibacy or functioning as a man,” he said. “I’m aware. But it doesn’t appear a problem for you and Rowenna. You are lovers, are you not?”
Here it comes.
Holly inclined her head. “Yes, we are.”
“And it would seem that the tension that arises from making love to what seems a woman but having her function sexually toward you as a man has caused you no difficulty,” he said. “Or no amount you could not surmount.”
She smiled and saluted him with her glass.
“I do present rather convincingly as a woman, don’t I, Sir Thomas?”
Holly, my transwoman protagonist, is candid about her own state. She has “the dreaded Y chromosome” in every cell. Yet she presents as a woman, convincingly enough to win treatment as such from those around her. While a presentation that convincing eludes many real-life transwomen, the rest of us are (mostly) generous enough to make allowances…once again, for the sake of social peace.
It’s not transgenderism per se but the politicization of transgenderism – making it into an evangelistic campaign that demands complete acceptance from the rest of us, including the denial of the genetic realities – that has shattered that peace.
We now pass to the supreme controversy of the day: the 2020 presidential election. Here is the evidence that supports the proposition that the election was stolen:
- Truckloads of late ballots driven from state to state at night;
- Ballots in suitcases without a provenance, much less a chain of custody;
- Ballot-counting places boarding up their windows to prevent witnesses from watching activity;
- Republican poll watchers forcibly excluded from watching the ballot counting;
- Over 1,000 sworn affidavits by witnesses to various kinds and degrees of vote fraud;
- Huge batches of ballots (many thousands per batch) received after the acceptance deadline that contained only a vote for Biden and no other votes;
- Mailed ballots that lacked any postmark;
- Mailed ballots that came from fictitious addresses;
- Refusal by election officials to grant auditors access to ballots and / or voting machines;
- Biden prevailed in only 470 out of 3300 counties, yet received more votes than any candidate in history.
To me and to many others in the Right, this looks conclusive. The Democrats, accordingly, are doing their damnedest to prevent the discussion of this evidence, or of the unwillingness of election officials and courts at various levels to examine the evidence and rule on it. To this date, no court has been willing to look at the evidence. Only one has issued an order compelling election officials to grant access to the ballots and counting machines – and the results favor the conclusion that massive fraud, well beyond the margin of victory, took place.
Now, I could be wrong. I could be completely misinformed about all the above. But whatever the case, there is an underlying objective reality…and the Left doesn’t want it to be examined or discussed.
This is a truth crisis that could result in the destruction of the Republic. It’s already persuaded at least 40% of the country that the presidency was stolen. What reason, therefore, do those four-in-ten Americans have to respect the “president” or to pay the slightest attention to his many decrees? Yet the Left and the media tell us that demanding an inquiry is what will make people distrust federal authority and destabilize the country.
A campaign by Smith to silence opponent Jones is a reliable indicator of fear: fear that what Jones will say will be damaging to Smith. It certainly doesn’t suggest that Smith is confident in his position. And if there are facts available to be examined that Smith resists examining, the case against him goes from damaging to damning.