Monday, December 5, 2016

Nicholas Kristof -- Away with the Hitler Metaphors


You have to give the devil his due, and the devil I speak of is Nicholas Kristof, a preening, self-righteous ideologue who pretends to be a journalist. He belongs to a very exclusive troupe of professional pontificators known as New York Times columnists.  These haughty sycophants serve the Democrat party in a Pravda sort of way, predictably parroting its officially sanctioned propaganda talking points and relentlessly hectoring and smearing any and all outliers who might resist the iron fisted orthodoxy peddled by the “progressives”.  For the shills who man the loud speakers of progressive politics the only obstacle to the complete institutionalization of the progress they envision for all of the lesser lights under their tutelage is the moral malignancy of the political opposition, immersed as it always is in the evil of racism and its progeny, sexism, homophobia, and on we go to infinity. There can be no good faith opposition to progressive policies which embody everything that is good, just mean, selfish people who discriminate and hate. Boiled down to its essence progressive politics is about really good people who should be in charge (them), and very bad ones who should not (us). 

By my count there are nine of these regular pulpiteers, the best known likely being the globe-trotting, blow hard, Thomas Friedman, a prolific but mediocre wordsmith unsurpassed in being able to say so much about things of which he knows so little.  A close second might be the supremely arrogant and condescending Paul Krugman, a master of vitriol who at some point forsook economics to become a party scribbler, a hack ideologue who preaches only to his own little choir.  Oh yes, and there is the NYT-designated resident “conservative” in the claque, David Brooks, who in 2008 swooned over the “crease” in Obama’s slacks, an intellectual pretender who seems to be taken seriously only by himself.

But my favorite, as suggested above, is Nicholas Kristof who is the complete New York Times columnist package, political correctness incarnate. He is more akin to the “good cop” of the NYT enforcers and goes busily about, hither and yon, proclaiming himself as the “voice” of the oppressed, specifically, those “victims” chosen by the Democrats and most recently by Hillary Clinton.  These are the various mythically persecuted legions who needed protection from the rampant bigotry of the millions of “deplorable” voters who for some inexplicable reason could not stomach the prospect of a professional grifter and her sexual predator consort once again polluting the rooms of the White House.  

More in contact with reality than Friedman, more condescending but less openly arrogant and vitriolic than Krugman, less ponderous and intellectually pretentious than Brooks, Kristof is the perfect progressive -- earnest, oozing with compassion, his sensitive moral antennas ever alert to pick up the faintest signals of any of the “isms” or “obias” (racism, sexism, xenophobia, “you name it”, as Hillary croaked to her LGBT groupies in New York) wafting up from and infesting those vast regions of the country outside of the DC Beltway, Manhattan, Boston, Hollywood, and our staunch bastions of free-speech and moral courage, the universities.    

You have to experience Kristof in person – his irritating, prissy sounding voice and goody-two-shoes demeanor -- to really appreciate what a smarmy, self-promoting, snake oil salesman he is. Some years ago I sat through a slide show he gave at a university in Ohio, the content, as I vaguely remember, the tear-jerking details of one of his many sojourns through a third world hell hole.  All in all, however, the talk was all about Kristof.  He is a master of what now is called “virtue signaling” – following the proper grievance mongering protocols, publically voicing your deep concern for the oppressed, the point being that everyone needs to know that goodness beats in your heart -- and a university audience was the perfect venue for him to hit all of the right notes to demonstrate his compassion for the right kinds of people, who are, of course, victimized by the worst sorts of people, and, we all know who those people are.

Kristof’s columns as well are tributes to his virtue.  The best of his most recent efforts came shortly after his world came a tumbling down with the election of Donald Trump.  Thus: “A Twelve Step Program for Responding to President-Elect Trump.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/opinion/a-12-step-program-for-responding-to-president-elect-trump.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fnicholas-kristof&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=collection&_r=0

This piece is vintage Kristof, just the title alone with Kristof playing the therapist for the traumatized millions who, unfortunately, believed the the New York Times pundits as they confidently proclaimed that Hillary would follow Obama into the White House.  Things didn’t quiet work out the way the wise men thought they were supposed to, and the surprise election of the “racist”, “sexist”, “xenophobic”, “you name it” Trump was not simply an electoral defeat for the progressives. It is now, you see, January 30, 1933 once again, and Adolf Benito Grand Kleagle Trump will soon be resting his jack booted feet on the White House coffee tables. When you make every possible effort to paint your opponent as Hitler, Mussolini, the voice of the Klan, too vicious, stupid and incompetent to win – and he wins, yikes! – well, “it’s your party and you can cry if you want to.” But reality must at some point intrude even for Saint Nicholas. The Reichstag is not on fire. Time for the grief counselors to go home.  Kristof must rally the cry babies.

 “A Twelve Step Program” does not read well on a queasy stomach, but it does capture the essence of the ideology that defines Kristof’s New York Times hermetic world. Here we go.

I will accept that my side lost, but I won’t acquiesce in injustice and I will gird for battle on issues I care about.” As noted above, the opposition does not operate in good faith and its victory in the election means the subversion of justice. The “battle” will continue which means the racism-sexism propaganda barrage will be ramped up.  Much of what Kristof writes turns into verbal smog:  what exactly would he be doing if he “acquiesced in injustice”?  As if anyone would suggest that he would – more virtue signaling.

I will avoid demonizing people who don’t agree with me about this election, recognizing that it’s as wrong to stereotype Trump supporters as anybody else.” Well, this sounds nice and civil of him, but don’t get your hopes up, because … “I’ll call a local mosque to offer support, or join an interfaith event. I will sign up for an “accompany my neighbor” list if one exists for my area, to be an escort for anyone who is now in fear. The horror, the fear, yes, indeed.  Kristallnacht is next on the agenda.  You see, those Trump supporters he instructed you not to demonize are now out on the streets hoping to be able to beat up your Muslim neighbors on their way to prayer.  As I recall, the last ethnic people in the U.S. to be rounded up and placed in detention camps were Japanese Americans, done under the administration of … wait a minute …. Democrat Patron Saint, Franklin D. Roosevelt, opposed by Democrat arch villain, J. Edgar Hoover.

I will avoid Hitler metaphors, recognizing that they stop conversations and rarely persuade.”  This one is really worth parsing.  The Nazi name-calling tactic didn’t work so well for the election. “Nazi” and “Republican” have been interchangeable for long time, so maybe a different approach is needed. Kristof counsels his readers to eschew Hitler metaphors not because he believes they are wrong, but because those rubes who voted for the Klansman aren’t buying it. 

I’ll do my part to support the society I’d like to see. I’ll eat Chobani yogurt because its owner has been subjected to racist attacks for his willingness to hire and promote refugees. Likewise, I will give blood and register for organ donationfor at least they’ll make me feel better. As will a tub of Chobani.”  This might be the best one of all.  You eat the politically correct food, feel good about yourself, (feeling good about yourself is really what this is all about) and …. “support the society [you’d] like to see”. Clearly, he doesn’t like the society he sees now. And, what kind of society might that be?  One without racists. Kristof is a one trick pony and yet once more, the de rigueur “racist” smear.  Of what race are refugees?

I may not be able to prevent a sexual predator from reaching the White House, but at events I attend, I may be able to prevent a sexual predator from assaulting a drunken partygoer.” Whoa, where did this come from? Maybe Kristof is laying awake nights in anguish, worrying that President Trump will be lounging in the Oval Office commandeering blow jobs from the twenty-something interns he keeps in tow and ejaculating on their dresses. With Hillary and Bill back in the White House, this, of course, would never have been a concern. But we will look forward in the times ahead for reports from Kristof’s heroic efforts at stopping sexual predators from assaulting drunks at parties. Perhaps there are a lot of them in the parties he goes to.  Maybe Bill Clinton will be at some of them with his travel pal from the “Lolita Express,” convicted sex-offender, Jeffrey Epstein.    

I will not lose hope. I will keep reminding myself that politics zigs and zags, and that I can do more than shout in the wind. I can fight for my values even between elections, and even at the micro level I can mitigate the damage to my neighbors and attempt to heal a social fabric that has been rent.”  This is step 12, the last chirp in this particular installment of “fight the good fight” from the ideological cocoon Kristof lives in.  What is he hoping for? What is the “social fabric that has been rent”, and how does one "heal a social fabric"? This is some sort of therapeutic-sounding babble. What is “damage” that has been done his neighbors? The person they voted for lost the election.  In an election someone has to lose. “What is the “mitigation” involved?  None of these questions Kristof could answer in language that connects with anything other than the abstract, anodyne pieties that he constantly employs to bolster his delusions of moral heroism and perfection. His agony is now that the wrong people are now in charge, and he will continue toiling away with his non-stop accusations of hatred and bigotry.