We’re developing Yogi Berra politics. The connections are severed, but the connections are secure. Everyone is sticking with the thing that everyone has abandoned.
In California, elected officials have become positively manic in their promotion of a sexualized childhood and a culture of enforced secrecy in schools. Attorney General Rob Bonta is suing a school district to prevent it from notifying parents when their children declare a new gender identity and pronouns to school officials.
Read this press release from Bonta to see the depravity of the argument right from the source.
The extremely explicit and persistent state policy is that children must be protected from the gravest threat they face: their own families. Schools must keep sexual secrets about young children because that’s very progressive. California is “protecting the rights of trans children,” and communicating with parents about their own children is “forced outing.”
The unspoken but not-at-all-subtle premise underlying this state push for childhood sexual secrecy is that children have their most honest and intimate relationships with officials in government-run schools but must hide their true selves from their parents. It’s statism on steroids and crystal meth and bath salts, and your children belong to the government.
Californians despise this view, and they express deep loathing for all of the policy implications that follow.
Democrats are freakishly good at severing politics from real-world outcomes and hooking it firmly to status anxiety. Republicans don’t counter that maneuver.
It’s been months since a Rasmussen poll arrived at this conclusion: “California Voters Support Parental Rights by Overwhelming Margins.” Amazingly enough, pretty much no one supports the premise that teachers should have a lot of intimate sexual conversations with young children and then keep it all a special secret from mommy and daddy. A solid 82% of all likely voters in California support parental notification policies — and that’s without asking the question of parents only.
1) A much-publicized California policy has no support among California voters, who hate everything about it.
2) But elected officials aren’t changing their policy course at all. If anything, they’ve shoved all their chips into the pot and are uniformly moving in a direction that the public overwhelmingly rejects.
3) And, this is the kicker, no political course-correction appears to be on the horizon.
Polls strongly suggest that California voters will remain aligned with the Democratic Party and Democratic elected officials while despising the things those officials actually do. Californians are probably going to elect Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff to the U.S. Senate this year, if you need to read in one sentence how dark that disconnection becomes.
The matter of sexualized childhood and school secrecy isn’t an isolated case. Californians are disturbed by an open border, appalled by widespread homelessness, aware of growing economic hardship and urban decline, bothered by crime, and firmly behind the Democratic incumbents who are causing all of the things they hate.
I strongly support Elected Official X, voters explain, and I despise everything he does.
You’re probably thinking right now that you don’t care because Californians are just getting what they voted for. They chose it, so they deserve it.
The problem is “President Joe Biden,” whose leg hair turned blond in the sun and the children loved to play with it and then Corn Pop showed up. The cultural fire in California is just a slightly hotter version of the national grease fire. How many Texans voted for the federal government to put out the welcome mat at Eagle Pass? The coast-to-coast trend is toward meaningless voting, and not just because of ballot harvesting and the lost connection between votes and ballots.
The severing of what politicians do from the question of what we think of them is a cultural crisis built on a foundation of status-signaling.
If your experience is anything like mine, your discussions with fiercely Democratic Party-supporting family members turn quickly to ranting about trailer parks and flyover country: Dude, I’m not some Trumper. Don’t you know where I went to college? Democrats are high-status and upper-middle-class; Republicans are the poors, and they probably shop at Walmart or something. For example, see what advice the liberal pundit Matt Yglesias offered young men about identifying as Republicans. (Spoiler alert: It’s about their dating life.)
This realignment of political choice on an otherwise empty foundation of consumerist status-signaling is our ruin. It locks people into failure because voting against failed politicians is low-status.
Democrats are freakishly good at severing politics from real-world outcomes and hooking it firmly to status anxiety. Republicans don’t counter that maneuver. But the ugliness of our emerging future demands that we re-establish the link between how we vote and what happens next. Look north to Canada to see what happens to a country that sustains failed power far past the moment of its collapse.
Our path forward reflects our ability to connect cause and effect, and that path isn’t looking good. It’s time to fight through those family rants about Trumpers and their trailer parks and force people to look at what’s actually happening. The empty politics of social status is death.