Stockholm Syndrome is a condition which causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity. These alliances result from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time together, but they are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.
There are four key components that characterize Stockholm syndrome:
- A hostage’s development of positive feelings towards the captor
- No previous relationship between hostage and captor
- A refusal by hostages to cooperate with police forces and other government authorities
- A hostage’s belief in the humanity of the captor because they cease to perceive the captor as a threat when the victim holds the same values as the aggressor
I read a headline the other day. Some Catholic bishop or other was condemning President Trump for “debasing the discourse.” Now, I’m like anyone else on this topic. The pathetic level of today’s political back-and-forth bothers me as much as it does anyone, I promise you.
And, it’s a big one.
I’ve been disgusted by the level at which this political discourse in America has taken place… for decades.
All the way back in the 1960’s, the leftists started with their withering fusillade of insults and name-calling that hasn’t abated since. You know the insults… “Nazi!” “Racist!” “Fascist!” “Sexist!” “Hater!” “Denier!” “Homophobe!” “Islamophobe!” And the list goes on and on.
And the multi-word ones: “You hate women!” “You hate gays!” “You hate black people!” “You want to deny healthcare to children!” “You hate poor people!” You hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate… and you hate some more.”
And on and on and on and on and on and on…
They all, the insults that is, come from the Left, hurled at the Right. All of ’em. There’s no list of insults that originate on the Right and move to the Left. Oh, we’ve tried from time to time. Our desultory attempts to fight fire with fire. We called ’em “Socialist!” That should have been an insult on a par with “Nazi!” … because it means the same thing.
We called ’em “Tax and spend liberals!” We called ’em “Big government lovers!” Oooohhh… strong stuff!
But the media, Hollywood, pop culture, academia… love Socialism. So, instead of being an insult, “Socialist!” and “Big government!” became things to be proud of… edgy, daring things.
The difference was that — what we said had the virtue of being true. The accusations of racism, sexism, hating, and all the rest were, and are … slanders. Our mocking sobriquets in return: “Socialist!” “Big Government Lover!” “Tax and Spender!” were, and remain … true. If we’d wanted truly to fight fire with equivalent fire, we’d have called the Left “child molesters!” and “bank robbers!” and “rapists!” and “serial killers!” … all things that are patently, and obviously, slanders, but that would also have the merit of sending the message that what they were saying was slander as well.
So, yes, we tried, but then we gave up.
Furthermore, for years a strong contingent of Conservatives tut-tutted and scolded the rest of us into silent acquiescence in the face of the abuse, thereby sowing the seeds of the Stockholm Syndrome that was to congeal in us ever more solidly and heavily as the years rolled on.
“We don’t want to sink to their level,” insisted the Conservative moralizers. “If we do the same thing, we’re no better than they are,” they clucked. Except. We’d have been telling the truth. It is a distinction, and an important one.
If in an argument, one side is full of scoundrels, liars and power-mad, half-witted petty martinets, but that side starts the name-calling first. The other side is not wrong to shoot back. Furthermore, calling the other side the scoundrels, liars and power-hungry clodpoles that they are is doing the country a service. It was an absolute dereliction of our duty to America itself not to fire back, and fire back hard.
So, finally, some of us have started to shoot back. And it’s way, way, way past time too!
The bishop mentioned at top was miffed because the ones who have always been attacked — well, some of us anyway — aren’t just sitting still for it anymore. His Eminence was just fine with the status quo… a status quo in which day after day, week after week, month after month… decade after decade, the Left abused the Right with the most horrible of taunting, denegrating, slanderous insults.
The bishop was just fine with America’s already debased political discourse. He didn’t like that Trump is pushing back, changing it, warping it… turning it back on the ones who started it all; that Trump isn’t just sitting there, taking it, as figures of the political Right(1) traditionally have; and as they’re supposed to do.
Needless to say, this has driven the Left mad. They weren’t too far from it to start. After all, they’ve long understood full well that the reason they must insult, is simple: they can’t argue. A leftist trying to argue — and using leftist arguments — is like a major league baseball player trying to hit major league pitching… with a whiffle bat.
No one has more respect for the Catholic clergy — the good ones — than I have. It has to be admitted though that lots of them are naïve, pie-in-the-sky, gullible leftists. Hard-core leftists. In politics, leftists are the ones swinging the intellectual whiffle bats.
A brief anecdote: I went through RCIA — Rites of Catholic Initiation for Adults — I’m a convert. In one of the classes, the subject turned political. The priest running the lesson was praising the then chief dirtbag of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez. My fellow classmate blurted out, bless his heart, “But he’s a Socialist!” The priest shot back with something like, “Well, maybe Socialism’s a better way.”
The priest is a guy who should have known better. More than 120 million murdered in the past century alone should give pause to anyone with all the time to study that a Catholic priest has. I mean, that’s what they do. Among other things.
To his credit, my fellow classmate snorted shot back with something about the mass murders that always accompany Socialism, and the political digression ended in the class .
For decades now, the rhetorical battlefield has been fully owned by the Left and their toadies in Hollywood, academia, the media and pop culture. They’d long been unchallenged on that battlefield. A crucial part of the Left’s basic strategy to maintain control of any discussion has long been to savage anyone who disagrees with them… or with whom they disagree. American political discourse has been a cesspool for generations… because the Left has been painting people who disagree with them as evil… for generations.
Folks just settled into it, is all. Got used to it. That’s Stockholm Syndrome. Just like the bishop. That fourth point in the above Wikipedia definition of Stockhom Syndrome, the red highlighted one — A hostage’s belief in the humanity of the captor because they cease to perceive the captor as a threat when the victim holds the same values as the aggressor — That’s why the bishop was upset. If he wasn’t upset at the way things were before, then he’d long been one of them, having ceased to perceive the captor as a threat, because he holds the same values as the aggressor. One of the ones fostering the very same climate that has been abusive, belittling, insulting, defamatory… outrageous for more than three generations.
But now the climate is a-changin’; the longtime patsies for the playground bullies have their own playground bully.
Yes, it’s got to that point. The American Left has been a bunch of cheap thugs for so long, that we’re way past the point where merely fighting their crap with sweetness and light could solve the problem. It never worked before because it never was going to work.
It would have been fine if the media had pointed out what we were always pointing out: that the Left had long since stopped arguing issues and were now in search and destroy mode. At that point — say in the mid-’60’s — our high road approach might have worked. If the media had gone along. Not anymore. People have become way too used to it all. To the point where the above-mentioned bishop could say what he said. And, worst of all, the media had long since ceased to perceive their captor as a threat, because they, also, hold the same values as the aggressor.
Well, part and parcel of those leftist “values” are slander, attack, attack, attack, revile, defame, slander some more, and endlessly tar their political opponents as evil.
When Trump came along, the people were surprised. They shouldn’t have been. All Trump did was hold a mirror up to the Left. Trump did nothing more than just not take it. He dished it out just like the Left has been doing for decades. And generally with every bit as much nuance, finesse and intelligence… in other words: not much.
This all rocked the Left back on their heels, and they went bonkers. It’s really one of only several things I really like about Trump. We on the Right need to take the lesson to heart, and never again take the lies and slander of the Left without hitting back… twice as hard. It’s the only thing that will solve the problem of the brainless, power-mad Left and their inability — and unwillingness — to debate.
And why did all that happen? How did it all come to such a pass? Where a man, the above-mentioned bishop, who plainly should know better can believe that Trump has debased America’s political discourse?
For the answer, we need a bit of background. After Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, and the rest, it had become way past obvious that Socialism was a fraud; a bankrupt ideology based on a tissue of mindless lies and brainless fabrications. Worse, Socialism, it became more and more plain, was nothing more than the same ol’ same ol’ — vast government power in the hands of a tiny coterie of power-mad half-wits and goons — all dressed up in a complex web of gobbledy-gook language, wrapped in a vast, smothering fog of pseudo-intellectual blather… all nothing more than hooey. Blood-drenched, murderous, ruthless, vicious… hooey.
Since all the filth, gore and blood of Socialism were becoming more and more plain, it further became obvious that in order to win the debate, the Left had to prevent the debate from ever even happening… then pretend they’d won it… by not having lost it.
The Left bet — correctly — that the press would support this ludicrous state of affairs, and that Hollywood, academia and most of pop culture — the country’s cultural megaphones — would support their charade. They bet — correctly again — that the media, Hollywood, academia and pop culture were all populated overwhelmingly with lazy, vainglorious, narcissistic, none-too-bright fops, susceptible to flattery and praise. More, the Left bet that there was a critical mass of Americans willing to sign on to the same mindless codswallop. They were right about that too. They even named these people: useful idiots. And that’s how we got to this ridiculous place where a prominent citizen of the community can suggest that Trump is debasing public discourse, rather than simply joining in an already debased discourse.
No one is immune from the temptation, as the bishop demonstrated clearly. Talk about someone who should know better! So much of a Catholic bishop’s life centers on thought and study, on reflection and introspection. A Catholic bishop has at his disposal more sources of information than the vast majority of people. More, he has a background in understanding truth and lies. Goodness knows the church has been the target of vast campaigns of slander, lies and calumnious propaganda. Your typical Catholic bishop should know better than just about anyone how the Left has been spreading its very own Big Lie for so very long. If he didn’t it means only that he was one of the useful idiots too.
(1) Trump’s hardly a figure of the Right, more a slumgullion of Leftist-Centrist-Rightist stuff that he finds somewhere in the fridge, adding it the strange concoction that is Trumpism if he figures he needs it.