Posted on February 21, 2019
Are you a liberal, or do you have self-control?
We’d always known that liberals are people whose capacity for self-control had atrophied after extended periods of non-use. Now, we’ve got that from no less an authority than themselves. “Trigger warnings” have become a common feature on college campuses and in liberal chat rooms, cautioning the emotionally frail that they are at risk of a negative reaction being triggered by something hurtful, like a political opinion with which they disagree. Over time, the term has morphed to mean that the things being “triggered” are liberals themselves, who recognize that they are incapable of exercising self-control, and are therefore not responsible for their own reactions to those things that offend them.
One recent example of this was seen on CNN, after that network deliberately misreported an incident between a group of Catholic high school students and a hodgepodge of irrationally hostile (and presumably “triggered”) liberal activists. In an appearance on Cuomo’s Prime Time, commentator Angela Rye libsplained to host Chris Cuomo that one particular student who was singled out for confrontation must be at fault regardless of what really happened, because he was wearing a red Donald Trump “MAGA” hat. “Just think about that symbol of that red hat,” she said. “When I see the Make America Great Again hat now Chris, I am triggered. I am so triggered.” She proceeded to liken the hat to a Klansman’s hood, which of course is preposterous. But hey, she was “triggered.” Therefore, she is not responsible for her own behavior. Somebody else’s hat is.
Not every emotional reaction is a trigger. If you can rationally explain why your reaction is justified, then you have not been triggered, and are not a liberal. Triggers, being a product of a philosophy of self-absorption, are self-validating in a liberal’s own mind. Rye knows her hostility toward the student is morally justified, for the very reason that she feels hostile. Moreover, once she has granted her emotional reactions the presumption of infallibility, there is no need to control them, and certainly not to suppress them when they are unsupported by reality.
That being the case, you might find it helpful to know if you are a liberal, or if instead you have a social obligation to regulate your own behavior. To that end, here is a brief quiz, which will let you know whether or not you’re susceptible to being triggered:
* Which do you think is more disrespectful to American Indians?: (a) a few teenagers doing the Tomahawk Chop; or (b) a cantankerous boob who runs around angrily beating a drum in people’s faces, while purporting to represent American Indians?
* Which of the following is an expression of hatred?: (a) a group of Trumpies shouting “Build the wall!”; or (b) a gathering of self-described “immigrant activists” chanting, “No border, no wall, no USA at all!”
* Does President Trump make you madder when he: (a) lies; or (b) eats a cheeseburger?
* Which would you more likely describe as immoral?: (a) dismembering and killing a baby in the womb; or (b) preventing people from illegally entering our country.
* When somebody like Jussie Smollett perpetrates a “hate crime” hoax, is he: (a) fomenting genuine hatred; or (b) performing a valuable public service by “raising awareness”?
* Is a person’s sex determined by: (a) chromosomes; or (b) feelings?
* Are more armed criminals thwarted by: (a) law-abiding citizens with guns; or (b) gun buy-back programs?
* Which document should serve as a foundation for public policy?: (a) the Constitution of the United States; or (b) a viral image of a sad-looking polar bear on the internet.
* Which planet is uninhabitable?: (a) Mars; or (b) Our “fragile” Earth.
* Are football players who kneel during The Star-Spangled Banner being anti-American?: (a) Yes, what else could they mean by demonstrating against our flag and our national anthem?; or (b) No, and besides, they’re perfectly justified in protesting this rotten, unjust, inequitable, unsustainable and other-bad-things country of ours. And don’t you dare question my patriotism!
* Which poses a greater threat to civilization?: (a) Islamic terrorism; or (b) plastic drinking straws.
* Should we derive all of our electricity from wind and solar power?: (a) No. Those sources are impractical and prohibitively expensive, and we have no means of storing them until we need them; or (b) Yes. Nobody owns the sun and the wind, so the electricity will be free.
* About what should Pope Francis be more alarmed?: (a) reported cover-ups of sexual abuse among clergy; or (b) plastic drinking straws.
* When should it be permissible to kill another person?: (a) when that person threatens your life; or (b) when that person does not yet have a name or a social identity, and therefore will never be missed.
* Which is more damaging to wildlife?: (a) wind turbines that puree bypassing birds; or (b) helium balloons, which, as every officially smart person knows, choke dolphins.
* Who has done more for American political discourse?: (a) Benjamin Franklin; or (b) the person who coined the phrase, “Don’t go there!”
* If someone you disagree with is speaking at your college, should you: (a) politely listen, and then express your disagreement in a peaceful and responsible manner; or (b) disrupt the speech by making lots of loud noises, cut the speaker’s microphone, and attack that person with a urine-laced cream pie?
* Are carbon and carbon dioxide the same thing?: (a) Of course not. That’s like confusing hydrogen and water; or (b) I’m going “carbon neutral” to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, so the answer must be yes. Have I mentioned that I speak for science?
If you answered (a) to each of these questions, you are a non-liberal, and are therefore capable of withstanding disagreements and getting on with your life. If you answered (b) to any or all of them, you are a liberal, and thus are in danger of losing control of all cognitive and motor functions, whenever you are “triggered” by the sight of a hat.
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press