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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Sick U.S. media culture chastises the good but makes heroes of freaks

Times are always changing; sometimes it’s a good thing, others, not so much.

This thought occurred to me on a recent visit to Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia) where my family once again heard from costumed interpreters of the 18th century, a time when the Founding Fathers roamed the landscape in search of enlightenment and liberty, all the while holding their fellow human beings in bondage and relying on Ja Duthe law to keep their slaves subservient.

Like perhaps no other place, Williamsburg demonstrates that slavery incongruity is unavoidable in American history. The great men themselves seemed to realize the inherent contradiction (though they believed they were powerless to do anything about it other than to begin phasing out the institution) and thankfully the historic impersonators don’t try to sidestep the hard questions with answers like “everybody was doing it” and “it was just the common practice at the time.”

The social customs of the period included a hierarchy patterned after the mother country. There were the landed gentry, the intellectual elite, the middling sort, the common class and perhaps even the equivalent of an American peasantry, among others. And then there were slaves. All lived their lives and contributed to the fabric that is – or was – America.

The lesson learned? We shouldn’t judge those from years passed according to modern-day standards but it doesn’t hurt to recognize that in some respects their “odd” customs actually made a lot of sense. Men knew their roles, as did the ladies. Women were actually much stronger back then than some contemporary historians give them credit for -- they owned property, ran households and managed the finances in many instances. They couldn’t vote, but then again, a comparative few of the male sex held the franchise either due to rigid (by modern standards) property ownership requirements.

18th century Virginia was different from today, for sure; as a father of two daughters I’m glad my girls have opportunities women didn’t receive back then. But some aspects of the “old” culture weren’t really all that bad.

Take identity for example. You were born, given a name by your parents and through the social structure, acquired a place in society. Upward mobility was very limited but at least the people knew who – and what – they were.

Contrast this simple “I am who I am” belief system with today’s American culture where some individuals feel free to assume almost any personal worldview and identity and there are those in society who will fight for their right to claim it. A biological male, for example, can maintain that he sees himself as a female and public school districts will make logic-defying exceptions to allow him to compete in women’s sports. Likewise a biological female can say she’s a boy and demand to use male locker room facilities.

It’s an awful strange way to see the world. But who’s worse, the people declaring to be something they’re not or those who enable the ruse by going along with it?

And now there’s even a movement afoot to claim trans-racial identity as well. Garin Flowers reported for USA Today about a white male who thinks he’s a woman – and not only that, he considers himself Filipino in addition. “Ja Du, born a white male named Adam, now considers himself a Filipino.

“He even drives what he calls a Tuk Tuk, an Asian-derived vehicle used for public transit in the Philippines.

“Ja Du is part of a small but growing number of people who call themselves transracial. The term once referred only to someone (or a couple) of a one race adopting a child of another, but now it’s becoming associated with someone born of one race who identifies with another.”

The story features a professional psychologist who believes people need to find out “who they are” so they can be happy – and as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, what’s wrong with it? The article also briefly touches on the more widely publicized case of Spokane (Washington) NAACP head Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who passes herself off as a black woman.

We used to call such people crazy; now the liberal media hails them as brave and heroic agents of change.

In reading this I couldn’t help but think back to colonial Williamsburg where men sometimes wore bright colors and polka dots, little male children were often outfitted in long unisex dress-like outfits and a good many women garbed themselves in practical ways not necessarily specific to gender – at least in private.

How would “Adam/Ja Du” have been treated in a time period where cultural norms were well established and enforced by the persistent threat of societal censure? I can’t say for sure but he/she likely would have been looked upon as an outcast and a freak, which is not so different from the societal customs of not-so-long-ago.

Even in my lifetime it used to be it was okay to recognize differences in sexes and races without the politically correct thought police promising to ruin you for noticing a common sense distinction. A weirdo was a weirdo. Acknowledge it and move on.

People got along back then too. Bullies were punished if they went too far. No doubt some individuals suffered from keeping their nonconformist secrets to themselves. I’m guessing that’s the way it was back in the colonial days as well. But only in Sharia dominated or totalitarian societies are “outcasts” physically threatened and persecuted these days.

Instead of having unwritten “rules” and norms America has evolved in the other direction. People can claim virtually any identity they want nowadays and the presently-dominant liberal culture protects them. Traditionalists are labeled as bigots and misogynists for merely suggesting there’s such a thing as gender roles and acceptable behavior. Meanwhile “Ja Du” attracts national attention because he/she claims he’s really a Filipino. His name was all over the news this week -- what’s next, is someone going to claim they identify with animals or extraterrestrials? Or even inanimate objects?

“I’m really a tree. I see them and they’re beautiful and peaceful. I’m one of them.”

How could it have gotten this bad this fast? Some blame the baby boom generation.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote in National Review, “Our culture and financial elite are primarily a coastal tribe, cut off from both the poor and the material conditions that face the poor. They find penance and exemption for their privilege in loud but empty virtue-signaling and in easy contempt for the supposedly grasping middle class. But what we wanted from them was excellence, competence, and leadership; yet they had neither the education nor character for any of that.

“It is hard to destroy the NFL or to discredit a liberal-arts degree from Yale, or to turn NBC or CNN into a bastard of Pravda or to make the Hollywood of John Ford, Frank Capra, and Alfred Hitchcock into that of George Clooney. But we managed it — and more still to come before we are through.”

Hanson’s is a pretty bleak view of the world his generation’s ruling class has created. It’s one where even purporting to be “normal” often meets with a severe rebuke and often with intense character assassination.

Take the case of Alabama senate candidate Judge Roy Moore. By most accounts Moore’s lived an exemplary life – at least the three-plus decades when he’s been married. Now, however, Moore’s being buried under unsubstantiated “he said/she said” accusations from practically forty years ago.

Establishment politicians and conservative pundits will go back-and-forth over whether Moore should resign, but in essence the Judge’s ultimate fate has much to do with the greater cultural struggle taking place all across America these days. From Hollywood to Washington to New York the establishment is under siege from allegations of sexual harassment and worse.

Accusers are literally bursting from the sidelines to point fingers at someone. There’s a tendency to overreact and believe whatever they say, just as there’s a desire among many to trust white male American “Adam” who thinks he’s really a Filipina woman named “Ja Du” in his own mind.

Much has been written about how the current troubles were fostered through decades of cultural revolution with the old ways largely having given way to newer notions of “tolerance” and “diversity.” Just look at a TV show like “Cheers” from the eighties and notice how remarkably different things were thirty years ago (even on a show about liberals made by liberals) than they are today.

In simpler times there was no such thing as “transgender,” only cross-dressing. Homosexuals lived their lives largely unbothered and didn’t demand marriage rights or that their lifestyles be celebrated by the greater culture. The “norm” was the norm and few complained. Now, if you claim something’s true everyone rushes to believe it rather than run it through the filter of cultural examination, skepticism and realism.

At least to some. Liberals by and large get a pass from condemnation.

Will Democrats and liberals put the Clintons through the same ringer they’re subjecting Roy Moore to now? Jeffrey Lord wrote at The American Spectator, “So where are the McCains and Flakes and other GOP insiders in and out of the Senate and the House in holding to account not just Roy Moore but their friends and fellow Establishment insiders?

“Will they bring about the Clinton reckoning as the Atlantic asks? Will they finally turn their Senate spotlight on the infamous Ted Kennedy/Chris Dodd ‘waitress sandwich’ and the behavior of their own colleagues? Will these Senators put their time and actions in the Senate where they now say they really stand? Will they finally give Juanita Broaddrick her due?”

I wouldn’t count on it. We live in a world where the Clintons can get away with anything as long as they champion liberal causes and recluses like “Ja Du” receive sympathy and compassion. Meanwhile Roy Moore fights for his lifelong reputation because someone asserts he used to like teenaged girls (again, it’s his word versus the others’).

Ben Franklin allegedly once said, “We are all born ignorant but one must work hard to remain stupid.” With the rush to judge “normal” people and believe the bizarre claims of freakish outcasts these days, there’s an awful lot of stupidity maintenance work going on in abundance.

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