Instapundit linked to an extraordinary post this morning. The post is entitled “The India Effect: (what Celebrity Big Brother can teach us about gender politics.)” and is a discussion circling around a transsexual character on the aforementioned show. The piece makes two extraordinary points. First:
The problem is that while you can perhaps legislate for speech and expression, you cannot legislate for conviction. In other words, you might be able to force people to say a certain thing, but you cannot force them to truly believe it.
The second point is this:
In an attempt to relieve distress and provide a theoretical framework for validation, the truth must necessarily be bent, squeezed, and hammered square into a round hole. But the actual truth of our physical selves does not require endless validation.
The two points are actually deeply related. “Validation,” which most people think is love in this age, is more than a verbal expression, it is a conviction. Therefore, “validation” is impossible to achieve by force of law or intellect.
Senator Tom Cotton joined me on the radio this AM to talk about the deal and the threat of a shutdown:
HH: Joined by United States Senator Tom Cotton. Good morning, Senator.
TC: Morning, Hugh, how are you doing?
HH: I am terrific, but I am much more interested in Dick Durbin’s demands than in what Dick Durbin heard or said. I am just done with the story about who said what. I want to know what he wanted, and I want to know if there’s a deal out there. Can you fill me in?
TC: Well, Hugh, that’s the right approach to take. I wish more folks in the media would take it. What matters to the American people is what our immigration policy will be, not what was or was not said in a private meeting and then leaked selectively and dishonestly. So the proposal that the Gang of Amnesty made last week was preposterous. It wouldn’t have just given legal status for the 700,000 people who currently have a work permit under the DACA program, but anybody who was ever eligible for it and their parents, undermining the very rationale for the program, since we’re supposed to be holding the children of illegal immigrants who came here willingly harmless, and furthermore, adding the temporary protected status program, Hugh. That’s about 400,000 people who are living in this country when their countries were struck by a natural disaster or we, in a charitable fashion, allowed them to stay in this country until those conditions change. But in some places, that’s going on 15, even 20 years. T in TPS stands for temporary, and it needs to end. It certainly doesn’t need to be a part of these negotiations. Furthermore, on all of the so-called concessions that the Gang of Amnesty made, there was no concession whatsoever. They gave a relatively small amount of money, certainly not enough to secure our border entirely, knowing that they would block additional money next year. They didn’t do a single thing to end chain migration. They merely delayed it temporarily for a very small population, accelerated it for others. And they don’t end the diversity lottery, Hugh. They simply take those green cards and give them to other people, creating new country set asides and quotas, which is the exact opposite of what we want to do on our immigration system. We want to treat people for who they are, not for where they come from or who they’re related to. So the proposal they made was utterly ridiculous. And it probably set us back in trying to find a deal.
While reading a post by Hinderacker at Powerline, “ASSOCIATED PRESS: PEOPLE DON’T TRUST THE MEDIA, BUT WE CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHY,” Oprah’s now immmortal Golden Globes speech came to mind:
I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. [emphasis added]
And then it dawned on me. Relativism is now so deeply a part of our culture that we argue veracity instead of seeking truth. Let that sink in for a moment. The question is no longer, “WHAT is truth?’ but rather “WHO is telling the truth?”
The reasons behind this are multitudinous – from a world become so complex that we must rely on experts to the fact that we are just too stubborn to consider things outside our comfort zones.
Here’s what I know – “news” is now sprayed at us in volumes and at pressures like water from a fire hose, virtually free of charge, in order to attract eyeballs to ads. The money is not in the news it is in the ads. In other words, the news is of no value. “Content,” not truth, is all that matters. The only thing that stands between us and people just writing “news” out of thin air is the character of the writer. The internet has revealed a world full of writers without character, and as Hinderacker points out, revealed a few in mainstream media along the way.
But nothing is going to change it until we the consumers are of sufficient character to demand truth. What was it Ronald Reagan said about the Soviets? Oh yeah “Trust, but verify.” Maybe if we did a little work before we hit the “share” button – you know verify – things would improve.