Oprah, Postmodernism and Shit Hole Nations

In the second instance, President Donald Trump arguing about the standards for immigration in a closed door informal meeting asked why the United States would want the detritus of a bunch of “shit hole nations” (the result of a lottery style immigration policy) in lieu of his proposal for merit based immigration. It’s probably not the first time Mr. Trump has used similar sobriquets and it most assuredly will not be the last. It is also not a reference that is unfamiliar to most of you and I dare say has been used by you at one time or another. It certainly has been by me.

In the first instance, Ms. Winfrey was given universal acclaim by the Hollywood crowd, the mainstream media, and progressives looking for a “rock star” to lead them. In the second instance, the exact same people provided universal dismay over Mr. Trump’s comments. A half dozen actresses feigned the vapors, wept openly, and shook their tiny fists. Network newsreaders dropped their voices a full octave and piously intoned that Mr. Trump was a racist, bigot, sexist, misogynist, homophobe and I cannot remember all of the litany of hate they bestow. All the Democrats contemplating a run for the presidency echoed their publicists in the mainstream media.

Do you see the connection yet? No, it’s not that they love Ms. Winfrey and hate Mr. Trump. Well they do but that isn’t exactly it.

Let’s go back to Ms. Winfrey. I have always been an admirer of Ms. Winfrey as I am with virtually anyone who has “boot strapped” their way into success. In the process of gaining fame and fortune, Ms. Winfrey has brought others along with her. And in doing so Ms. Winfrey has proven the American dream – hard work, perseverance, and more hard work can make you successful, even when you start with nothing. But even people I admire can make really bone headed mistakes and Ms. Winfrey has made a significant one in her speech to the Golden Globe glitterati. I choose to believe Ms. Winfrey made the comment out of ignorance or ignored the ignorance of those who coined the phrase before her.

“Speak your truth” is the underlying lie upon which Postmodernism is based. Postmodernism is a movement generated in the halls of academia where the proponents are insulated from the effects of its advocacy. The essence of it is to destroy the history of Western civilization by claiming that everything we know is based on the biases of those who led, participated in, or charted the history of mankind’s advancement from and after the Dark Ages (500 to 1000 AD) – a period of time in which savagery contributed to the cultural and economic decline of the Western world. In its most fundamental essence, it advocates that “the truth” is personal – it is what you perceive it should be and that those who disagree (particularly those with power) should be ignored, removed and in some instances eliminated.

Dr. Jordan Peterson, a noted Canadian psychiatrist and lecturer has been one of the leading voices in exposing the excesses of Postmodernism. In a recent radio interview, Dr. Peterson made the following points:

  •  Postmodern philosophy has its roots in Marxism. The most important common feature is that they believe that “Truth” and “The Good” are relative (i.e. there is no objective truth or objective good). To the postmodernist, all truths and value systems are actually power games, meant to benefit the powerful.
  •  Since all truths and value systems are relative, the only REAL good is the destruction of power hierarchies that create inequality. And the only truth worth believing in is the truth that leads to the destruction of these power hierarchies.
  •  Since all truths and value systems are relative, the only REAL good is the destruction of power hierarchies that create inequality. And the only truth worth believing in is the truth that leads to the destruction of these power hierarchies.

Identity politics has become one of the means of pressing Postmodernism. In essence rather than debate the facts, principles and logic attendant to a point of view, you attack the credibility of the proponent by deriding them as old, or rich, or white, or Christian, or Jewish, or male, or any category demeaned and criticized by the postmodernists. Does any of that sound familiar? Liberal/Progressives routinely attack the messenger rather than the message. For instance, Mr. Trump’s remarks about preferring merit based immigration rather than accepting a lottery for third-world shit hole nations are dismissed as racist and bigoted without ever once debating the value of merit based immigration.

In a June 5, 2017 interview Dr. Peterson is quoted by Real Clear Politics as noting:

“It is not like any given person is absolutely possessed by the spirit of postmodernism, because often they are not educated enough to know all the details about what it is that has them in their grip, but if you get 20 of them together and they’re all 5% influenced by the postmodernist ethos, you basically have the spirit of the mob. It’s a mouthpiece for that particular philosophical doctrine.”

The way to power is not to succeed in the debate over ideology; rather it is destroy those who have it.

The high priests of postmodernism are the insulated monks of academia. The foot soldiers are the anarchists who routinely attacked the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings, the Antifa movement decrying anyone with power as a fascist, the street thugs who have infiltrated Black Lives Matter and the students who are influenced by the academics because they are entering adulthood without fully developed brains (not until age 25 according to most neurologists).

Now is any of this sounding familiar?

But let’s return to Ms. Winfrey. I do not think Ms. Winfrey is an active advocate for postmodernism. I think that she, like the Hollywood stars and starlets who dabbled in communism decades ago, is simply, blissfully ignorant of the dark side of postmodernism – the destructive power of denying reality based on race, gender, or sexual preference. It is the refusal to engage in intelligent debate about policy by rendering it moot based on identity politics. It is the forgiving of abhorrent conduct because of identity politics. (There was a point in time when Ms. Winfrey criticized the brutal misogyny of rap music but quickly withdrew because she was criticized as race-traitor.) It is the dismissal of laudable conduct as the excesses of privilege – you didn’t build that business, others did it for you. The whole concept of acquiring power by attacking the legitimacy of those whom currently hold it.

And make no mistake, this is about power. And like communism before, once power is acquired it rapidly turns into despotism where the masses are ignored in pursuit of absolute power. Think of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Red China, Communist North Viet Nam, Cuba, Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega, Venezuela under Hugo Chavez, and on and on.

Which brings us back to third world shit holes. Mr. Trump was probably inartful in describing third world countries where repression is king and progress is nil. The United States has poured billions of dollars in foreign aid into these nations where it is routinely siphoned off by the corrupt few who brutalize their people to enrich themselves and preserve their power. Contrast the Dominican Republic and Haiti – two halves of the same island (Hispanolia) – the former progressing in terms of education, healthcare, and economics while the latter is mired in poverty, starvation and a squalid environment. The former existing as a democracy while the latter has been in the rubble of its former communist opportunists. The same can be said of large swaths of Africa and the Middle East where tribal conflict is still the standard as it was a thousand years ago and, for many, civilization has progressed little in that thousand years.

These places are indeed shit holes and it is not for want of trying on the part of the United States that they remain thusly. Centuries of ignorance about the management of civilizations leave many of these people not only ignorant of the requirements of a civilized society but significantly suspicious of the gap between them and us. As a result they are even more readily susceptible to the false promises of postmodernism than the mush headed students preyed upon by the academics. And worse yet they are more willing to accept the doctrine that power should be taken through violence and by destroying those who possess it. Think about those who are being radicalized after arriving in America.

So, do you not find it odd that the very people who advocate for “personal truth” rather than “the truth” are among the first to condemn someone who speaks his personal truth? Mr. Trump can do better than to present good ideas in language best left for the locker room. And Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) can do better than engaging in identity politics and start discussing the substance of critical issues.

Otherwise, the United States may just become one of those shit hole nations.