Baldwin, Deen, and the glories of progressive anti-foundationalism
I think just about everyone — regardless of political affiliation — knew that the consequences of Alec Baldwin’s homophobic rant would be negligible, and that he’d be forgiven by politically liberal gay activist groups: after all, all one need do, on the left, to immunize oneself from the consequences of his or her personal hatreds, no matter how ugly they are upon reveal, is agree to join in with a political movement whose broad-based strategy is to adopt political “support” for a number of interest groups, whom in many cases they presume to speak for, thus becoming part of a collective whose general “goodness” prevents their specific actions from ever being anything more than mere missteps. Hence, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are still considered “civil rights leaders” and Reverend Jeremiah Wright a legitimate spiritual leader despite their obvious personal hatreds for Jews or whites or Hispanics, etc. Bill Ayers is accepted in polite society because he is guilty only of overzealousness on behalf of a cause whose basic goodness cannot be questioned.
There can be no hypocrisy in such a worldview — save for the hypocrisy of those who hew to the hoary shackles of man-made constructs such as “reason”. Which is liberating, given that it frees the progressive from the need for repeatable patterns of intellectual behavior while holding those who maintain Enlightenment ideals to a standard that only they need meet.
And this is because the progressive paradigm allows — and promotes — the idea that ends justify the means; that consistency policed is a product of tyrannical rationalism and Enlightenment constraint; that “pragmatism” — which un-moors actions from the fetters of “purist” principles — is itself a guiding principle of anti-foundationalism, wherein achieving what one wishes to achieve is the primary concern, with the “reasoning” behind it a secondary and in many ways illegitimate distraction.
Paula Deen is to be demonized because she is a southern white whose politics aren’t widely known and certainly not influential on a national scale; she hasn’t cultivated the political cover needed to counter the desire of racist and opportunistic “civil rights” leaders to tear her down. And this despite what I’m certain is a history of employing blacks and producing jobs and giving to charities, etc. None of which matters when the goal is to keep us divided, and to promote that divide based largely on caricatures and manufactured perception.
Baldwin, on the other hand, has publicly adopted — and maintained — all the correct political status markers, and has supported, generally, all the “correct” causes and positions. Therefore, Baldwin is useful and Baldwin is good; Deen is not. And so tearing down Deen becomes yet another of the status markers for liberals and their racialist politics, while propping up and defending Baldwin or, eg., Bill Clinton, is a pragmatic concession to the cause long-term.
It is evident that in exchange for political support, the personal trespasses of those who are by way of political affiliation deemed “good” will be forgiven. It is a sacrifice GLAAD or NOW is willing to make for the Greater Good, and the Greater Good comes by way of a political movement that operates by collecting and marshaling the power of interest groups to form election blocs that propel to power people who agree to support their agendas. Quid pro quo.
It is cynical. It is despicable. And it is decidedly anti-individual. But refraining from punishing those in “their” political corner is the sacrifice these interest groups are willing to make if it protects their long term interests. And besides, they are able to tell themselves that people like Alec Baldwin, however homophobic he may sound on Twitter, nonetheless will support the broader cause.
So long as it doesn’t really impact him in any personal way, evidently.
And so he made a mistake, whereas Paula Deen is just a fucking racist.
That’s the dynamic of a PC society with a privileged ideology controlling the rules of the game.
There are ways to change the rules, but those kinds of things are “fundamentally unserious.” So I guess what we can do instead is make sure that Chris Christie gets elected. Then all will be well with the world.