The Democratic Party and Postmodernism

I give you another exhibit of how creeping far-left postmodernist ideas are infecting the mainstream of thought in California, a symptom of the larger rot that is slowly destroying the Democratic Party nationally.

Paragraph after paragraph of heart-rending, maudlin emotional manipulation over the tragic fate of the cherubic little scholar whose only wish is to learn math, but whose test scores will inevitably fall below those of his classmates due to his Dickensian plight; hungry, cold, and homeless, yet cruelly expected to learn as well as his advantaged peers, though his frozen little fingers are too numb to grip a pencil and his stomach rumbles even after the meagre gruel the school provides him for breakfast…

Then, an entire section is devoted to exploring the city’s budget for accommodating homeless people at public expense, the message being that the government is failing in its responsibility to this kid by not providing free housing for him and his family.

Not a word is mentioned about any parental responsibility for getting their kid into this situation, nor for their responsibility to get the kid out of it. In fact, his parents are barely mentioned at all, other than to say that they sold all their possessions and moved to SF in September because his dad thought he had a job lined up which didn’t work out.

What compelled them to pack up and move without any savings? Was it bad luck, desperation, stupidity, some combination of the above? Are they looking for work? Do they have friends or relatives in other cities? Did their savings run out? Were there unexpected medical expenses or something like that? They’ve only been there for a few months, if the job didn’t work out, why don’t they move somewhere less expensive to live than the second-most-expensive city in the US, and to somewhere with better employment prospects for non-professionals? Why are they staying in San Francisco rather than moving somewhere cheaper? Who knows? The reporter didn’t even ask any of these questions.

To be absolutely clear, I am not against emergency public assistance to help those genuinely in need get back on their feet and begin to help themselves. Perhaps the family genuinely does need and deserve help. I don’t know; the reporter didn’t bother to tell us.

What I am against is the notion that the government (that is, the taxpayer) ought to function as a free-flowing money spigot without limits for anyone, forever. This is the mindset that informs both this article and the left wing of the Democratic Party generally. The only question asked is, “why is the government not doing more to help these people?” This could be a great question to ask in certain contexts. It should not stand alone as the only question to ask. The government should help, yes; but it should not be the primary responsible party. The key element of personal and parental responsibility is entirely absent from this discussion.

It didn’t even occur to the reporter to ask such very basic questions about their situation because these more extreme versions of the postmodernist-liberal worldview include a complete abdication of all personal responsibility for one’s situation in life. The individual is considered a mere kite in the social wind whose thin tether has broken loose, buffeted about by forces entirely beyond his control and with which only a massive and benevolent government bureaucracy can possibly contend. It’s all up to the government to save this family from the consequences of their bad luck and poor planning, to the extent that questions revolving around the details of the situation are not considered worth mentioning at all, in favor of a discussion of how woefully little money the government is spending on fixing the situation.

Indeed, the notion that government spending programs are the sole answer to this situation is taken entirely for granted in that article and not even an issue; the only point of contention is exactly how much more than present levels the government ought to be spending to fix things. Even then, “the government finding the parents jobs” is not floated as a solution; the government ought to just give them a free apartment for as long as they like, apparently.

Anyone who dares suggest that parents have any sort of primary responsibility to provide for their kid rather than the city government and the taxpayer is dismissed out of hand by the far-left as a cruel and unfeeling monster, etc.

Well, awareness of the deeper dynamics is the first step towards halting this trend. There you go.

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