I discuss how the left got played (again!) by nihilistic right wing culture warriors. This is a pattern that keeps repeating over and over. The media needs to start accurately reporting what is happening and stop falling for self-evident ploys which enable events such as what recently happened to ex Harvard President Claudine Gay. The media should be more than capable of handling such situation responsibly by now.

This episode was published on January 7, 2024 at 9:20pm EST.

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Episode transcript:

Greetings all! Welcome to Aquarian Diary.

I’m your host, John Irving.

It is January 7th, 2024.

I will be displaying some graphics on the screen. If that matters to you, you may prefer to watch this on YouTube if you’re not.

I just want to comment on a topic that has really struck a nerve with me recently that I think is not receiving the kind of attention it deserves.

And this has to do with the right-wing attack on the leadership of Ivy League universities in America.

Why does this bother me so much? Because to me what’s happening is extremely transparent.

The right-wing is using this as a means to undermine a lot of social progress that has occurred over the past few generations.

Anybody who’s been following right-wing extremists or politics or culture wars in recent years knows exactly what motivates these people. They’re not motivated by academic standards or rigor. At all.

It’s about racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, and trying to normalize that, or make it socially acceptable.

And what infuriates me so much about this is that it underscores again how incredibly naive many people on the left can be, and this includes the pundit class.

They look at this as a technical exercise. Did Claudine Gay commit plagiarism or not? Yes or no? Without considering what is motivating this and what their agenda is.

And in effect, what happens is that a portion of the commentariat effectively is enabling this to occur, which to me represents the thin edge of a very dangerous wedge and slippery slope. Because now what they will do, based on what they perceive as a success, is they will start going after all kinds of academics, professors, teachers, curriculum, etc., on a much larger scale, which has terrifying implications for academia, our culture, and our society.

It brings to mind what happened to Al Franken, and I’m not condoning what he did, but the standards that were applied to him are in no way fairly applied to those on the other side of the political spectrum. Everybody should be aware of that. If you’re not aware of the history of this, I encourage you to read up on it.

Again, there’s this infuriating naivete on the part of the left Not only is this a danger, as I have already described, to all of these institutions and our whole education system, but it also creates a wedge on the left side of the political spectrum where now you have people arguing or debating or being polarized over this issue.

So now we have all of these wedges being hammered into the left, and the left is not only just letting it happen, but in my view, being complicit in that. That’s the infuriating part, it’s the complicity and the naivete, which is a level of ignorance and denial about what’s actually happening and what this threat represents to us on a broader scale.

We’ve seen these kinds of situations play out for years in all kinds of fields, whether it’s the environment, the judiciary, gerrymandering, or voting rights, or abortion, or all of these topics. There’s this confounding, like I said, naivete and stupidity, really, is what it is.

Now, a lot of people have been commenting on this. I’ve posted quite a few articles on my community tab on this topic.

There was one in particular that I thought articulated this the best out of the bunch, and that was by Maura Donegan in The Guardian on January 4th, titled “Claudine Gay’s Resignation Had Nothing to Do with Plagiarism”.

I will include links to some of these articles in the description.

This whole scenario clearly illustrates one of the greatest vulnerabilities of the left, and that is, like I said, the naivete that effectively often leads to enabling.

Our social standards and norms and institutions have been being chipped away at for decades, with increasing intensity recently, and people are standing by and allowing this to happen, and it is extremely dangerous. People need to shake their heads and wake up.

Joe Biden gave a very impassioned speech on January 6th, which I applaud, because basically he took the gloves off and started speaking the truth about the threat to democracy that the United States faces, and I’m thrilled about that.

I don’t agree with all of Joe Biden’s policies. But finally, the Democrats seem to have taken off the gloves, and are fighting back. The Democrats have long sort of taken a knife to a gunfight, and that has always boggled my mind. Democracy is slipping away, and we need to very forcefully confront that.

Astonishingly, even after many, many years, the left falls into the same traps over and over and over, and it has to stop.

As I have commented, it took years before the mainstream media started calling Trump’s lies, lies, even though it was blatantly evident to everyone that he was lying incessantly and deliberately and dangerously. But they would not point that out explicitly for a very long time, even though it was true and plainly self-evident. Like, it’s just jaw-dropping. It’s starting to happen now, thank God, but why didn’t it happen 8 years ago?

This is not to mention all the false equivalencies, false balance, both-sidesing, whataboutism, double standards, and all those other nauseating and cowardly habits that were familiar with from the mainstream media, who’ve been doing that for decades. All in the name of honoring neutrality, like for example giving the same credence or airtime to a highly credentialed expert as they do to some completely unqualified random right-wing blogger, or social media influencer, or clinically insane conspiracy theorist.

There’s no question that the right-wing is completely delusional. A quarter of the American population believes that the January 6th insurrection was instigated by the FBI. A quarter of the American population is completely out of touch with reality, on just that one topic. Like, how can that be? It’s just absurd.

But the left is also delusional in the sense that they seem to be in denial about the nature of the threat that we are confronted with, and the tactics that they overtly employ, repeatedly.

Anybody who has done any amount of reading on the extreme right playbook, coupled with their actual actions and behavior, should know exactly what their agenda is. In fact, now we know very explicitly what the agenda is, because the plan for what’s going to happen if Trump gets re-elected is out on the table. Anybody can go read it. It’s right there in black and white. It’s not debatable. It’s irrefutable.

It amounts to a plan to install a fascistic, authoritarian, and theocratic dictatorship, which clearly and plainly contradicts core democratic principles and values. We don’t need to speculate about this. It’s black and white. It’s like we’re in a war, but people won’t admit it. And that has to end.

We need to stop being naive, stop playing into their hands, stop being complicit in allowing them to undermine and chip away at our institutions and our democratic principles and values and norms, rules and laws. And, as I argued in a recent episode, the adults need to step up and take control, to avoid an absolute calamity.

One of the things we can do is that when pundits, journalists, or commentators openly play into their hands and basically further their agenda, we can call them out for it and say you need to stop doing this. You are part of the problem.

On January 6th, there was new video released, which shows the Capitol Hill insurrectionists trying to breach the House of Representatives. It’s about 8 minutes long. It’s really disturbing.

When I was watching this, what I thought about, which I didn’t see many people comment on, was the fact that these people are not the sharpest tacks in the box. They’re not the brightest bulbs, if you know what I mean. Clearly, you can tell that.

And what I thought was that these people are the victims of disinformation, which caused them to act in such a bizarre and dangerous fashion. And that the real perpetrators here are those that were promoting the misinformation that caused this to occur, but that they’re not being held accountable. It would be the news networks, the politicians, the social media platforms, the blogs, and right-wing press. They are responsible for what happened here.

Many of these people are just not that bright. It’s really disturbing when you look at it from that perspective. Many of these people’s lives have been completely ruined, and they should be suing the politicians and organizations that promoted propaganda and lies that instigated this.

When something really sticks with me like this topic has, I know, I just know, it’s really important.

The right wants to unwind all of the accomplishments that the left has made going back to the 1960s. And we are allowing them to do it.

Despite their blatant hypocrisy, despite the fact that we know what their true motives are, and despite the fact that we know what their agenda is, which is clearly illiberal and anti-democratic, we need to stop enabling them. We need to put our foot down. We just need to stop it. Or we are in big trouble.

Even those who don’t consider themselves to be on the left but favor reason or are pro-democracy should consider this.

Again, for more detail, check the episode description for other episodes or articles that are related or that I mentioned.

And if you’re interested in a reading with me, I’ll put a link to that as well. I have a 20% off special on currently.

Many sincere thanks to everyone who supports me, especially my YouTube members. Thank you very much.

Take care, all the best, and I’ll talk to you again soon.

Bye for now.

End transcript.

Other related episodes or referenced herein:

The Great Infant Rebellion

Articles referenced herein:

Why Some Academics Are Reluctant to Call Claudine Gay a Plagiarist

Conservatives see Harvard, Penn takedowns as just the beginning

I Was Wrong About Al Franken

The Case of Al Franken

‘A bully’: the billionaire who led calls for Claudine Gay’s Harvard exit

Bill Ackman’s Campaign Against Harvard Followed Years of Resentment

Claudine Gay’s resignation had nothing to do with plagiarism

We Sat Down With the Conservative Mastermind Behind Claudine Gay’s Ouster

Christopher Rufo Claims a Degree from “Harvard.” Umm … Not Quite

Bill Ackman’s celebrity academic wife Neri Oxman’s dissertation is marred by plagiarism

Resignation at Harvard latest but not last salvo in GOP war on colleges

Harvard governing board, activists say former president was a victim of racism

GOP voter-fraud crackdown overwhelmingly targets minorities, Democrats

More than half of voters think Trump will act like a dictator if elected: poll

This conservative ‘mandate’ is a terrifying preview of Christianized government

How Right-Wing Groups Are Plotting To Implement Trump’s Authoritarianism

Conservative groups draw up plan to dismantle the US government and replace it with Trump’s vision

A tense new Jan. 6 video shows Republican congressmen admonishing rioters trying to enter House chamber

A quarter of Americans believe FBI instigated Jan. 6, Post-UMD poll finds

Biden marks Jan. 6 anniversary with campaign speech on democracy

A Warning About Donald Trump and 2024

#Media #Harvard #CultureWars

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