In my column several weeks ago, I took a swipe at certain types of Christian conservatives, suggesting that their belief in the reality of “demonic possession” leads them to accept wild notions about how the entertainment industry can magically influence the voting preferences of average Americans. I was trying to make the point that conservatives, especially those in the Midwest and Deep South to whom Hollywood is a foreign, bizarre, unknown entity, get a little magical in their thinking regarding the entertainment industry’s ability to “possess” people and influence or control their thoughts and lives.
Naturally, I heard from a couple of my left-leaning readers, congratulating me for sticking it to those “superstitious religious Neanderthals” on the right. It was not an unexpected response. If today’s leftists pride themselves on anything, it’s their supposed rationalism. Leftists see themselves as enlightened and logical. They “fucking love” science and reject religious hokum, in contrast to the superstitious buffoons on the right, who live in, to quote Carl Sagan, a “demon-haunted world” of their own making. With every leftist I know, this is the characteristic about which they are most proud: They are rationalists and skeptics, with shibboleth-shorn minds free of bewitchment. The problem is, leftists who consider themselves rational and non-superstitious are like scrawny nerds who look in the mirror and see a chiseled Adonis in the reflection. One almost feels bad for people so possessed of a delusion.
Let’s examine a few of the ways in which the wrongheadedness of leftists resembles the religious bunkum they claim to reject.
To begin with, leftists believe in the power of money to solve all problems, much the same as Christians believe in the power of prayer to do the same. Leftists believe that the solution to everything is to throw more money at it. Failing schools? Recession? Institutionalized poverty? If the government simply throws more money at it, all will be well. It matters not how many times throwing money at something has failed to solve a problem; for leftists, the money solution is a matter of faith. Here in bluest-of-blue California, every few years, the teachers’ union demands money to “save our schools” in the form of new bonds, taxes, and ballot propositions. And still, even after voters approve whatever the hell the union asks for, our schools continue to lurk in the lowest-third rankings in the nation. So of course the solution is to ask for more money in the form of new bonds, taxes, and ballot propositions. To the religious, the proper response to a prayer that fails is more prayer. For leftists, even briefly entertaining the notion that money isn’t a guaranteed cure-all is not allowed, lest ye be seen as turning your back on your faith.
Following the deadly Philadelphia Amtrak derailment in 2015, L.A. Times editorialist and letters editor Paul Thornton wrote an op-ed in which he claimed that the head of the Association of American Railroads had stated that “financial hurdles”—lack of money—were the reason Amtrak hadn’t installed the safety features that could have prevented the crash. I emailed Thornton, pointing out that the AAR head had, in fact, stated that money was not the problem, but rather “regulatory issues” were to blame. To his credit, Thornton admitted his error, confessing that he had just assumed that lack of money was the reason. And why did he make that assumption? A belief system that teaches that all problems are caused by a lack of government money, and are solved by an increase in government spending. Just as Christians take comfort from the very act of praying, regardless of whether or not the prayer is fully answered, so too do leftists take comfort in government spending. The act has as much meaning as the results.
If spending is the equivalent of prayer to a leftist, “climate change” is the equivalent of Christian “end-time” cultism. Let me share with you a very recent, and very relevant, example. Over the past week, we here in sunny insane California have faced the prospect of a major calamity as three merciless months of near-nonstop rainfall have led to the possibility of a massive failure at the tallest dam in the U.S., in Oroville, near Sacramento. It’s a big deal; 188,000 people have been evacuated. Concerns about how the aging Oroville Dam would fare in the face of record rainfall were raised years ago, but the state and the feds ignored them.
The story has been amply reported locally and nationally. But what the press conveniently leaves out of its coverage is the underlining theory behind the dam inaction: climate-change apocalyptics had convinced the Silly Putty-brained California powers-that-be that rain was never returning to the state. Quite literally, new dams, and improvements on old ones, were rejected because a doomsday cult had convinced politicians that water was “over,” that the drought that began in 2012 was not a passing thing but an “era,” something that would last decades if not a century. And why build new dams if there’ll be no water for them to hold? Why refurbish old ones if there’s no chance they’ll ever be filled again?
From the L.A. Times, July 2015:
Dams are a relic of the Industrial Age…. They’re particularly ill-suited to the era of extremes—heat waves, floods and droughts—that climate change has brought on.
The New Republic, April 2015:
The Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick said: “Even if we built a couple of dams, we don’t have water to fill them. We’re tapped out. The traditional answer of building more reservoirs won’t solve our problems.” Building additional reservoirs does little when there’s no snow or rain to fill them.
California governor Jerry Brown in August 2015, responding to calls from GOP presidential candidates to build new dams and renovate old ones:
I’ve never heard of such utter ignorance. Building a dam won’t do a damn thing about fires or climate change or the absence of moisture in the air and ground of California. If they want to run for president, they had better do eighth grade science before they made such utterances.
The Sacramento Bee summed it up succinctly: “Questions loom about the value of such projects in an era of scarcity.” Because indeed, leftist voodoo practitioners had brainwashed the state into believing this was an “era of scarcity.” We were told that Mother Earth was punishing us for our CO2 sins by withholding her precious water, and rainfall would only return once we submitted to cap and trade and international climate-change treaties. And anyone who dared suggest that the drought was a passing thing, that weather was not permanent but fluctuating, was ridiculed for not knowing “eighth grade science.”
Witch doctors in white coats who study tree stumps like gypsies read tea leaves told The San Jose Mercury News in 2014 that the drought might last over one hundred, maybe even one thousand, years. If you Google “California,” “drought,” and “will last” or “may last,” you’ll see endless links to left-certified “scientific” snake-handlers who claimed, right up until a few months ago, that the drought may last hundreds of years, or thousands of years, or “forever.”
Yet here we are in February 2017, with the drought completely over in Northern Cal and close to being over in the South. The rainfall of the past few months has shattered all records. The last “abnormal” California winter, 1982/1983, saw rainfall that was 88% higher than the 30-year average. Winter 2016/2017? 120% higher. Cities like Long Beach have seen rainfall at levels never before recorded. The end-time apocalyptic cultists were wrong, but you won’t hear any of them admit it. Just as Christian doomsday cultists never apologize when their Rapture clock turns out to be broken, so too do the macumba practitioners of the “IFL Science” left feel no need to explain themselves. Because the members of their parish—the smug Rachel Maddow-watching, NPR-listening atheist Democrat soft-skulls—demand no explanation. Again, it’s a matter of faith. If the Rapture doesn’t happen as prophesied, it’s not because Pastor Looneybird was wrong in his calculations. It’s because God changed His mind at the last minute and rescheduled the blessed event, and now we must double our faith in our beloved pastor as he attempts to figure out the time and place of the new Rapture.
And if the tree-ring-circus necromancers of the left got the duration of the California drought wrong, it’s not because their models and methodologies were faulty; it’s because Mother Earth cried tears of sympathy on our state to buy us a little more time to confiscate asthma inhalers so that we may regain her favor.
That last sentence may seem a bit over-the-top, but it isn’t. Never forget that the voodoo priests of the left banned the most effective types of asthma inhalers because they were “killing the earth,” even as leftist billionaires were allowed to continue flying private jets all over the world in order to play golf and screw fashion models and conduct similarly important business. There is no way this is any saner than the faith healing and tongue-speaking of the charismatics and evangelicals. Indeed, it’s worse, because it’s way more invasive, way more intrusive, in the lives of bystanders. No right-wing Christian ever forced me to anoint with oil. But leftist charlatans posing as scientists banned the only type of inhaler that helped my elderly mom’s asthma, because the act of her going “puff puff” so she wouldn’t die was bringing about the end of days, while Al Gore’s totally unnecessary private jet oddly had no effect on the environment.
That’s science? No, that’s an Indian rain dance.
There are so many additional ways in which the left embraces superstition and rejects science as much as, if not more than, conservative Christians. During the election last year, leftists attacked Trump for suggesting that intelligence has a genetic component, even though, according to every legitimate expert on the subject, intelligence has a genetic component. Trump had not claimed that intelligence is determined by race; he had only suggested that genetics play a part. And overnight, the notion of a genetic role in intelligence went from undisputed fact to heresy, all because Pope Huffington issued a papal bull(shit) declaring that Trump’s belief that genes contribute to intelligence “may be the most horrible thing that Donald Trump believes.”
Expect more superstitious nonsense from leftists in the years to come, because if leftists have demon-haunted minds, Trump is the ghost rattling around inside, clouding all judgment and giving rise to visions and fever dreams. Undeservedly famous leftist comedians are seeing signs and wonders. Sarah Silverman’s phantom pavement swastikas were nothing more than the leftist-Jewish version of seeing Jesus in a tortilla.
Silverman’s response after being told that her “swastikas” were simple construction markers boiled down to “I’ve been driven to lunacy by Trump’s anti-Semitism.” In other words, she’s possessed; a demon made her do it.
These days, the left has no moral high ground over the religious right. In fact, I’d take a conservative Christian over a demon-haunted leftist any day, because at least conservative Christians admit that their beliefs are faith-based. They don’t go around screaming “science! science! science!” while drinking sacrificial goats’ blood Santeria-style because the rain gods are angry.
I have nothing against people of faith. But hypocrites? They piss me off like a sonofabitch.
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