Disdain, Distaste, And Self-Regard

     At present, all signs point to the Republicans giving [Democrats] an electoral shellacking but, hey, we’re never really outside the margin of magical mail-in ballots, are we?

     While I have often cautioned about Republicans being overly optimistic about November, I am gradually moving toward the position that all the GOP has to do is get out of the way and let the Democrats defeat themselves.

     [Stephen Kruiser]

     Consider the above a tone-setter.


     If I know anything – other than art, that is – it’s how disdain and distaste work. Trust a curmudgeon to be fully booked up on those subjects.

     A great many people hold the opinions they do because of their admiration for others who have those opinions. They want to be associated with those others. They want those others to regard them cordially, perhaps even as friends. This applies just as strongly to political opinions as to any other variety.

     Now and then we actually get to see distaste in action. For example, there’s considerable distaste circulating around certain public figures: Sam Brinton and Tiara Mack come to mind at once. Their behavior has earned that distaste. In Brinton’s case, his whole being is involved; nothing he could do, including resigning his government post, converting to Catholicism, and becoming a Trappist monk, could free him of it. In Mack’s case, the distaste is the consequence of a single behavion: her tawdry “twerking upside-down” performance. (Yes, Gentle Reader: a behavion is the fundamental particle of behavior. Of course it’s a real word! I just made it up, on my authority as dictator verborum to the World Wide Web.)

     That distaste is having perceptible effects on political responses. The opinion polls, which in the usual case tell us nothing more reliable than that “this is the way people want pollsters to view them,” display a strong trend away from the currently regnant Democrats. Considering that in the November 2020 elections those…persons reaped an all-time record number of votes for their presidential candidate, that’s something to ponder.

     Yet Democrats campaigned nationwide and without pretense on exactly the policies they’ve fastened upon us since then. The effects of those policies were all foreseeable. How likely is it that those voters – the real ones among them, that is – have “wised up” since then?

     Distaste for the caperings of unfortunately prominent Democrats and supporters is a far more plausible explanation.


     Distaste excites the activity of another aspect of the human psyche: our self-regard. When we look with distaste upon a person, or a group of persons united in some distasteful fashion, our self-regard impels us to respond internally with “I’m better than that.” (We’re seldom sufficiently critical of ourselves for that reaction to be either completely accurate or completely sincere, but that’s a subject for another tirade.) We cannot think as well of ourselves as we’d like while we keep company with persons we disesteem.

     “Keeping company,” interpreted broadly, would include holding the same opinions and positions on matters of current interest. Yes, it really works that way. It’s why so many of us inherit our politics from our parents. It’s why so many of us adopt the politics of persons we admire. The negative form of those associational influences has as much power as does the positive.

     This gives me some hope for the upcoming elections. Not that there’s such a thing as an un-stealable election in this universe of discourse; Stephen Kruiser hit that one dead-center. However, the Left might not be brazen enough to steal the tens of millions of votes, in hundreds of separate elections, that would be required to overcome the predicted “red wave.” Some thefts are beyond fan-dancing away to the satisfaction of the whole of the media, even as corrupted as they’ve become. I’d suggest that you ask Hugo Chavez, but he’s dead.


     As one of my literary gurus has said, you can’t beat something with nothing. (It doesn’t matter how close to “nothing” that “something” may be. Herbert Hoover found out about that in 1932.) Winning in November will require effort by many thousands of persons. Voters must vote; poll-watchers must maintain vigilance; reporters must report promptly, accurately, and fearlessly. And as we know that the majority of Republicans are either spineless or corrupt, the effort must continue from there. We must hold “our representatives’” feet to the fire. Those that fail to act sincerely upon their campaign pledges must be punished for it.

     That having been said, it starts with the swelling disdain and distaste ordinary Americans feel for those currently in power, and their natural reaction out of their self-regard toward those they deem unacceptable. Disdain and distaste may do the work that reason and evidence have failed to do. We have reasons to hope, but as has been said too many times already, hope is not a strategy. Prepare to do your part.


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    • Steve Walton on July 7, 2022 at 9:06 AM

    I like “behavion”, although I cannot help but feel there is an existing word that means the same thing. Perhaps “event”, “characteristic”, “display” — but all are wrong. In English, one uses modifiers (Germans just stick all of their modifiers in a clump and declare it a word), so “characteristic display” might replace it. Eh, senility’s a bitch.

    But “behavion” is short, natural, and science-y, so what’s not to like? Bravo.

    1. (chuckle) A writer whose stuff I’ve long enjoyed, Larry Niven, once counseled aspiring science-fiction writers to “Save your typos!” He told of how often his typos had become quasi-scientific terms, words in future dialects, and names for aliens. “Behavion” was a morning typo of mine. (My fingers wake up more slowly than the rest of me.) It tickled me quite a lot, as you can see!

        • Steve Walton on July 7, 2022 at 9:51 AM

        I figured as much (screwups due to voice recognition errors are much less enlightening). When I was a kid, I hated using white-out so much that I simply found another word that fit the letters I put to paper and went with it. I credit that practice with increasing my vocabulary well beyond the American norm.

  1. Pressure state governments to enforce the proper procedures on clearing out dead or missing voters. The election boards will need to hire extra workers, so consider applying for one of the jobs, and keep your eyes open. A lot of shenanigans happen in the open. And, some of it is ignorance of the rules.
    My daughter worked for the elections board in Cleveland for several years – eventually was promoted to be in charge of the location, as she became very knowledgeable about the rules. A lot of times, they can’t find the younger workers (under 50), and the old guys just want to “do it the way we’ve always done it”. What younger workers are there are usually politically activist Dems/Leftists – not hard to imagine that they would interpret rules in favor of THEIR side.
    Can ONE person make a difference?
    Ask the Acorn organization.

    • ontoiran on July 8, 2022 at 4:12 PM

    c’mon now Frank…can you think of a better way to judge a dimocrat’s ability to govern than by judging their upside down twerking? or how many hot dogs they can fit in their mouth at once? i think all politicians should have to audition for their seats with a display of their most abhorrent talents. make them compete to see who can debase him/herself the most. the guy who ate his own poo? he gets the job

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