With a grotesque philippic, Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is now leveraging both anger and scatology to trash the Republican Party and engender partisan support.
Yes, Perez is the DNC’s face to the world. This is the go-to guy of the political party with 18th century antecedents to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Still in shock and denial at the election of Donald Trump, the DNC figures it failed to connect with America between the coasts and needs a new marketing strategy to restore itself. Alas, Perez at the podium in an atavistic dance is now the new brand.
Perez hopes that anger sells — and scatology. After watching a video of Perez one is reminded of 20th century dictators rhetorically flagellating their enemies, gesticulating wildly with their twisted convictions. One may muse, “Is this the best they can do?”
In his latest invective, Perez said that Republicans “don’t give a sh-t” about voters. Not only that, the Democratic Party’s official store is now selling a T-shirt for $30 that proclaims: “Democrats give a sh-t about People.”
These techniques may turn a civilized person of either political stripe into a stunned mullet: it is difficult to find an adjective that describes this descent into such septic depths.
Governance was once seen as the art of applying mission principle, and then seeking fiscal stability and best practices. Yet it has devolved into the primitive notion that whoever can pound the table the loudest has the most moral authority. Civility is no longer manly — indeed it is a sign of wimpiness for those fellow travelers in Perez’s train. Emotional incontinence is the new self-discipline. In your face is the new self-effacement. And Neanderthalian man, epitomized by Perez, is the new Homo sapiens.
Anthropologists and sociologists will ponder the origins of destructive behavior and exactly how we came to be here. Some may speak of MSM seeking the lowest common denominator to increase ratings. Others may blame technology, social media, and the Internet for creating channels where the most vile of human behaviors can become electromagnetic waves crossing borders at nearly the speed of light. Still others may point to the conduct of former presidents such as Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton: if anything goes in the Oval Office, then anything goes anywhere.
But there is another “unindicted co-conspirator” to consider: the 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard, often regarded as the progenitor of existentialism. This philosophical movement rejoices in subjective human judgment: truth is whatever the individual perceives it to be. Truth is not an objective force, sustaining norms are whatever the individual thinks they should be, and of course there can be no objective standards against which to evaluate anything. So what you have is the “whatever” culture, which implies that if you can get away it, do it — or if it feels good, do it. All behaviors are equal and OK: for example, heinous acts committed by a so-called people’s government are downplayed, as blind eyes of the existentialist Left are turned obliquely. The so-called Me culture is a subsidiary concept, justifying the pursuit of self-satisfaction and creating vast phalanxes of eupeptic vulgarians. Stiff upper lips won’t be seen.
Later, Jean-Paul Sartre elaborated with the 20th century idea that “existence precedes essence,” meaning that one gets to indulge and create his or her own values to live by. Reality is what you say it is. Like the many-headed Hydra of Lerna, the swamp creature of ancient Greece, the existentialist philosophy can justify all sorts of repugnant behaviors — indeed, it can be used to glorify them.
Courtesy of the Democratic National Committee, scatology has become the new ontology. But the good news is that Perez may be the best thing that has happened to the Republican Party since the election.