Thursday, May 10, 2012

Phony Truth

For those who may not be aware of the amusing events transpiring in the Massachussetts Senate race between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Scott Brown, here's a quick summary:

Back in the 1990s when Warren was seeking employment at Harvard's law school she checked the box on the application indicating that she was Native American.

Presumably, she hoped this would give her a bit of an edge in the hiring process, and, anyway, there was a legend in her family that her great, great, great grandmother was part Cherokee. That would have made Ms Warren at most 1/32 Cherokee if it were true, which is still no excuse for checking the box. By Ms Warren's standard, after all, George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin, could call himself black (his great grandfather was black) and Barack Obama could call himself white (his mother was white).

Nevertheless, Warren was still claiming to be Native American as recently as April 27th.

At any rate, it turns out that there's no evidence that the ancestor in question was in fact Cherokee.

As if all this didn't make Ms Warren look silly enough it now turns out that the g.g.g.grandmother's husband, Ms Warren's g.g.g.grandfather, was a member of the Tennessee militia, and as such was almost certainly one of the men tasked with rounding up the Cherokee people into holding pens and then sending them off to Oklahoma along the infamous Trail of Tears. He also likely fought against Indians in Florida in the Seminole War of 1837. Breitbart has the story.

A lot of people have a had a good laugh at how Ms Warren's risible, if not dishonest, attempt to identify herself with an oppressed ethnic minority has blown up in her face, but there's a more serious point to all this. In the postmodern world of much of contemporary liberalism, truth is "whatever your peer group will let you get away with saying," as the late philosopher Richard Rorty once put it. It's whatever grabs you personally, whatever appeals to your subjective desire. It has no objective component. Thus, Ms. Warren's Native American heritage is true for her regardless of what the objective "facts" are.

This is the sort of nonsense one must accept when one gives up belief in the objectivity of truth and embraces the tenets of liberal postmodernism, and it explains why so many politicians can lie so glibly. They're probably convinced they're telling the truth, at least as they see it.

On the Wrong Side of Gay Marriage

President Obama has finally decided to end the charade he's been conducting on his position on gay marriage. He claimed to have been against it in 2008, and presumably more recently, but having consulted with Michelle and his daughters, as well as his neighbors, whoever the neighbors of the White House may be, he has decided that after a long process of evolution his position has mutated to the point where today he's all for it.

Rarely does one see a scientific theory confirmed by a president, but Mr. Obama has just demonstrated that Darwin was right after all. Politicians, like species, are in a struggle for survival and such a struggle rewards those most agile in adapting to changing environments. Thus Mr. Obama's evolution makes him more fit, he apparently believes, to survive in the current political climate.

Even so, Mr. Obama is simply wrong on this issue. Most people who favor gay marriage do so because they think it to be the compassionate thing to do, but this is a case of favoring the wrong thing for a good reason. Contrary to conventional opinion, permitting gays to marry is not a matter that affects no one but the blissful couple. It will have, probably sooner rather than later, a deeply corrosive effect on our social fabric by emptying marriage of any real meaning.

The traditional view is that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. Mr. Obama is telling us that he no longer believes that the gender of the couple entering the union should matter, but if the gender shouldn't matter why should the number of people in the union matter? Once we open up marriage to any combination of genders what logical ground will there be for limiting marriage to just two people?

Mr. Obama would have us step out onto a slippery slope which would lead almost inevitably to a nadir at which we'd have no rational basis for excluding any marital arrangement into which any combination of people wish to enter.

Indeed, what basis would there be, and I'm serious when I ask this, to limiting marriage to an assemblage of humans? What logical objection could anyone have, once we've crossed the gender threshold, to someone who wished to marry his or her pets? If people deeply love their pets why should they not be permitted to formalize their relationship? We can't just say that that's gross. We have to have logical reasons if we are to deny people this right and once we've discarded traditional and religious strictures there simply aren't any.

The point is that once the word "marriage" means any congeries of people (or animals) - and anyone who thinks it won't is either naive or hasn't thought this through - it has ceased to mean anything at all. Marriage will cease to exist as an institution in this country except, perhaps, among those backward religious folk who lack the wit to embrace the moral progress that our enlightened elites are foisting upon us.