American Political Discourse Heads Into The Toilet
In the 1994 film Don Juan DeMarco, Johnny Depp played a young psychiatric patient being treated by a doctor played by Marlon Brando. Depp’s character claims he’s the legendary Don Juan, the world’s greatest lover. He tells Brando a tale of love, heartbreak and longing that includes life in a harem, stranded on a desert island and sword fights galore.
Brando’s character, a middle-aged shrink in a stale marriage, is gradually inspired by Don Juan’s lust for life and rekindles the romance with his wife. Depp’s character tells Brando that life is not how things are but how we perceive it. Both he and his doctor then adopt this R.D. Laing wink-wink, nudge-nudge approach to reality, keeping their alter-lives while coping with the stresses of the modern world.
At the time of its release Don Juan DeMarco was considered a romantic trifle known best for Brando’s surprising performance. Most viewers at that time felt that the concept of everyone defining one's own reality was a recipe for chaos— or a mental institution. People cannot successfully live that way for long before encroaching on each other’s tender sensibilities.
At least they felt that way till the second term of Barack Obama’s presidency. Now Obama’s Justice Department is harassing states like North Carolina into accepting new rules for public access in government-funded facilities. The DOJ wants to allow individuals to choose whether they use a men’s or women’s restroom depending on their orientation.
This would extend to accessing shower rooms in public schools. The self-identifying WC warriors are being compared in the media to the civil-rights freedom riders of the 1960s, breaking down the toilet stalls for a balanced micturition.
The nominal excuse is that transexuals have the right to pee where ever they choose. North Carolina says it is sticking with the status quo, because its citizens have a long-standing expectation of privacy when they use the loo. The sides are suing each other, while the feds threaten to withhold funds from the state until it complies with a directive that was not mandated by law of the Congress.
Meanwhile, corporate America enforcers like PayPal, which has no trouble with the socio-sexual mores of Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Pakistan, have piled on with a threat to withdraw jobs from the state until it allows freelance washroom identification. This is not a nuanced debate.
Whatever the rules of this skirmish, the real point of the DOJ action is to bring to heel those still resisting the onslaught of self-identity politics spawned under Obama’s progressive watch. If he hasn’t exactly halted the rise of the oceans, Obama has raised the toilet seats of the nation. Don Juan DeMarco would be overjoyed to know the support enjoyed by cultural crusaders as Obama’s administration lives out its days.
This include Hillary Clinton’s notion that, facts be damned, all women who claim sexual assault deserve credibility (http://bit.ly/1ldRig4). Then there's this bogus "racial attack" at State University in Albany N.Y. (http://bit.ly/1QXYZPE). Or the gay minister who claimed Whole Foods had homophobically defaced his cake. (http://www.newnownext.com/whole-foods-gay-pastor-cake-fag/04/2016/) Then there’s the support extended to a fraudster who said he was beat up for being gay (http://bit.ly/1qcPiag).
Finally let’s not forget Hands Up, Don’t Shoot, Ferguson Missouri's chef d’oeuvre from last summer, when Black Lives Matter got traction after the Michael Brown shooting. (http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/04/holder-admits-hands-up-dont-shoot-claim-was-bogus/).
All these fascinations-- correct or concocted-- achieved almost universal acceptance in the liberal left, its youth legions and the enablers in the D.C./ NYC media. Resisting “change” or relying on fact, as North Carolina has discovered, is futile. Hollywood mocks you, and the media hounds you over something that was laughable before Bruce/ Caitlyn Jenner thrust his/her narrative before the eyes of impressionable editors and reporters two years ago.
The state-sponsored imposition of self-identity politics may well prove the most lasting impact of the Obama years (unless Iran hits San Francisco with a nuke). It has certainly impacted his possible successor: This echo of culture intimidation has already seen its backlash in the candidacy of Donald Trump, the Howard Stern of American politics.
Here in Canada, our new PM Justin Trudeau is all over the politics of self-identity, too. He calls it multiculturalism or respect, but it means individual virtuous citizens have the right to determine the rules of engagement with society on an ad-hoc basis. In the bottomless depths of his empathy, Trudeau believes it’s tyranny to support the traditions of Canadian culture if they mess with the inner longings of a single citizen.
Margaret Thatcher famously said, “This is all well and good till we run out of other people’s money.” There is a fatal flaw in Lady Thatcher’s comment: the ability of the modern state to print the money needed to pay for these caprices. As America’s debt approaches $20 trillion and Trudeau reprises his father’s debt-driven economic theories, other people’s money will continue to find its way down the toilet.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy
Bruce's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience with successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013).