Do you remember Obi-Wan Kenobi in that first Star Wars flick where he’s trying to smuggle Luke Skywalker and his two robotic pals off of their home planet? The whole crew of them end up at a check-stop where Obi-Wan waves his magic hands and tells the Stormtrooper that “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”. The shtick works and the poor guy mechanically repeats back: “These aren’t the droids we’re looking for”. In the film, it’s all very cool and the good guys get away. Big win all-round, right?
Well it looks like the Dark Side™ learned the trick, because in this week’s latest installment of the culture war, the cultural Left is using this same strategy (again) to distract and mystify the cultural Right. And it’s working (again). But it shouldn’t.
This time the subject is ‘Trans-Man of the Year’ Bruce Jenner, and the Left-wing anti-argument that keeps popping up is “What do you care? This doesn’t matter. Not important at all. Old Bruce can be whatever he wants to be. This doesn’t affect you, so who cares!?”
Well now, that’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Even more interesting is that this question is only asked by the Left. It’s a ‘gotcha’ question where the answer is already assumed: “Who cares? Only knuckle-dragging transphobic bigots like you, that’s who!”
This is a trap for conservatives whose natural inclination is to agree with the ‘mind your own business’ sentiment. As conservatives, personal liberty is kind of our thing. “Don’t spank your kids, give us your guns, don’t idle your gas-guzzler”. We hate that crap. So why do we care?
I called the ‘who cares’ question an ‘anti-argument’ for a reason: it’s designed to shut you up and portray you as naïve bumpkin (at best) or a hateful Neanderthal (at worst). To see what I mean, let’s turn the question around and ask the other side: Who cares?
Well, Vanity Fair cares. They care enough to put the ‘New Bruce’ on the front cover. So does the New York Times, Huffington Post, CNN, Time, London’s Telegraph. Oh, and 2 million Twitter followers. I’m just scratching the surface here. The cultural Left has risen monolithically, like a Hydra, to declare unequivocally that they care.
They just don’t want conservatives to care. “This isn’t an issue you care about”, they say as they mystically wave their hands and look deep into your eyes. But you know what? Conservatives should care. Very much. And for the same reason that the Left cares: If the definition of male and female can be redefined, what can’t be? Better yet, what if you can create a whole new gender, which is clearly the goal of those pushing the transsexual agenda?
This is an ideologically-driven push to redefine temporal reality. And conservatives are supposed to look the other way. Notice that from the Left’s perspective, there’s no room for questioning whether ‘transsexuality’ is really the defining issue of our time. If you’re not willing to go along with the mob on this one, prepare to be subjected to at least ‘two minutes of hate’. And if you don’t like that, then you need to shut the hell up and mind your own business.
Lest you think this is new, this tactic has been used successfully on other issues. Quick: name me a sitcom, reality TV show, or mini-series without a gay character.
What did you come up with? How far back did you have to go? The Wonder Years? All in the Family? I don’t care what your take is on homosexuality, this is propaganda. Two percent of the population is gay, yet their representation in the media has been pervasive. That’s not an accident. And the same question was asked about that issue: “Who cares? What difference does it make to you?” Well, if you’re not super-keen on the whole homosexuality thing, it makes a pretty big difference now, doesn’t it? Instilling orthodox religious values in your kids is a bit more difficult. So is speaking your mind at work. Or for that matter, anywhere outside of your own living room. The bounds of acceptable opinion have narrowed significantly, and most of us have fallen in line.
Ditto with abortion. Immigration. The related but separate issue of same-sex marriage. “What do you care? What’s it to you? My body, my choice. They just want to share the dream. Why can’t we redefine the oldest social institution in human history at the drop of a hat? What’s it to you?!”
Whether you’re staunchly conservative or just not entirely sold on the social justice issue of the day, you need to get in the game. The Left wants to unmoor social and political decision-making from rational thought, moral truth, and objective facts.
If that happens, we’re all headed down the proverbial rabbit hole. Because culture trumps politics and everything else. This isn’t an attempt by the cultural Left to reorder society, it’s an attempt to disorder it; to make the culture infinitely malleable to the whims of the mob.
Finally, don’t believe for a moment that just one more tactical withdrawal by conservatives will win us any peace. There is no bottom line that the cultural Left will accept; no accommodation that they’ll be willing to make. As Mark Steyn says, for the cultural Left, “there is no bottom line – no line and no bottom, just an ongoing bumpy descent into a brave new world.”