Self-Busting Myths - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Self-Busting Myths

I’m considering making each entry in this space for the next several weeks a continuation of the argument that today’s modern Left and the Democrat Party it drives is a movement by and for people incapable of doing a proper job.

This wasn’t always true, mind you. Not completely. After all, it was Democrats who ran the antebellum South, and their idea of running a successful economy was forced agricultural labor to benefit a medieval-style aristocracy. But on the other hand, the Left demonstrated quite often in the past that it was awfully good at winning political arguments — so good, in fact, that it could win them on the basis of patent untruths.

The American Left’s myth-making and invention of useful narratives starting in the middle of the 20th century and running to about 2010 will go down as one of the more successful efforts at shaping culture, both political and otherwise, in human history. Controlling the discussion, amid abject failure in government, education, and business (Detroit, for example, or Solyndra, or what they’ve done to Yale or the motion picture industry), has been a feat defying proper explanation. They’re to be congratulated for their skill in masking, if not weaponizing, their failure through narrative.

Democrats can’t run an inner city? Accuse everyone else of racism — including the middle class, white and black, who run screaming to the suburbs to escape the failing public schools, rampant crime, cratering infrastructure, and naked corruption.

Can’t compete in business? Inflate a “green energy” bubble by concocting the global warming crisis and demonizing fossil fuels as bringing on the apocalypse — and then pump billions of taxpayer dollars into absurdly unsustainable business models manufactured by major political donors as little more than payoffs.

American leftist education doesn’t compete globally in hard sciences and math? Create “social justice” as an imperative and inject cultural Marxist indoctrination into every subject, so that STEM subjects are stigmatized as racist and sexist.

This has gone on for decades, and it has countless examples.

But has anybody else noticed the Left isn’t as good at this stuff as they used to be? Has anybody else noticed that the latest generation of narratives and myths is beginning to fall flat?

An example: there is the “Fearless Girl” statue placed in front of the famous Wall Street bull. The statue is supposed to symbolize the bravery of the intrepid women working in high finance, but the reaction to it has been strangely mixed. Gavin McInnes brilliantly and hilariously took “Fearless Girl” apart on YouTube, which you can see here. I had a quick summary at my site

McInnes also notes that this is a key characteristic of post-modern feminism; namely, an insistence on disregarding women’s physical limitations as merely social constructs, and then rage at the rest of the world when that insistence crashes into reality. When you declare that women are just as capable as men to be Marines or Navy SEALS, for example, and then find out that few or no women can meet the grueling training requirements for those jobs, you cannot then demand the standards be lowered to accept women while preserving your credibility. At that point you have to admit you were wrong, and move on. Which feminists won’t do, for some reason; instead, what we get is Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson beating the crap out of 250-pound men in every other movie at the theater.

He’s right. In real life it would be monstrous cruelty to put a little girl in front of a raging bull, and in real life the bull would gore the little girl and kill her in seconds. That this statue is supposed to symbolize women on Wall Street doesn’t do women on Wall Street any favors at all, which is something obvious to everyone but the incredibly dense group-thinkers on the Left.

Much more famously, there is the strangely persistent Trump And The Russians myth, which the Left has stubbornly stuck to. Just Tuesday there was the — gasp! — revelation that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had dealings with figures in the Russian oligarchy. But this had been known for almost a year, and nothing much came of it since those dealings were a decade old and Manafort was sent on his way by the campaign shortly after the convention.

The buzz surrounding that recycled story lasted only until Wednesday afternoon, when House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) surfaced to announce that he had seen several dozen transcripts of communications intercepted by the intelligence community in which Trump team members, perhaps even including the president himself, were identified as having been recorded. This is a big deal; the NSA, CIA and other agencies will sometimes catch Americans in the regular course of intercepting communications with intelligence value, but the identity of those Americans is supposed to be “masked” before those communications are circulated. That wasn’t done in this case, and in fact not only were communications involving Trump’s transition team distributed within the government they were leaked to the media — something far, far more serious than the Trump And The Russians meme. After all, the Democrats’ presidential candidate had demonstrably far more ties to Russia and much broader evidence of collusion (uranium, anyone?) with them.

The major reaction to Nunes? Outrage that he told House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House and went public with the information before sharing it with ranking Democrat Adam Schiff, who has traded in the Russia myth with a particular McCarthyite relish. The line of people who give a fig about Schiff’s problems forms at the rear of the hall near the restroom.

Nobody other than partisan Democrats and the dead-ender Never Trump crowd really believes there is much to this Russia business, and it’s been investigated since last summer without result. Back when Democrats were good at their jobs, this myth would have taken hold universally — or at least dumped as a loser.

Were space to allow, we could point out lots of other examples, including imploding minimum wage economics, the persistent stupidity of the wage-gap sexism myth, “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!,” transgender rights, Islamophobia, or even the Trump’s Cutting Meals On Wheels hysteria of last week.

But we’ll leave you with another budding failure of leftist mythology — on Tuesday some minor profit-taking on Wall Street set the wire services off to screech about how the markets were tanking out of fears about the Trump agenda. This isn’t anything new — at the end of January the same thing was said about Trump’s immigration order, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the stock market.

Most people recognize the markets are probably overvalued and a correction of some kind seems likely, particularly since there has been a wild, almost runaway bull market since Trump’s election. And yet every day the market drops 100 points is a signal the president is about to destroy the economy.

Nobody is going to believe such poorly constructed falsehoods. But they’re emblematic of the age we are now in, when one of America’s two major political movements is defined chiefly by unrestrained incompetence. They can’t even lie well anymore.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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