Mike Pence is the Devil, Mother's Day Edition

Now that the 'ctrl-left' is pretty sure it's got Trump on the ropes -- no doubt he'll be impeached any day, since all the newspapers say he should be -- it's time to move on to demonizing Mike Pence. We got round one out of his horrible refusal to dine with women besides his wife; well, at least, fifteen years ago he felt that way and nobody bothered to check if he still did.

Round two: he sometimes calls his wife "Mother."
One unlucky legislator stuck next to Pence tried to make conversation, but found even at dinner she couldn't shift Pence off his talking points. Gov. Pence shouted to his wife, Karen, his closest adviser, at the other end of the table.

"Mother, Mother, who prepared our meal this evening?"

The legislators looked at one another, speaking with their eyes: He just called his wife "Mother."

Maybe it was a joke, the legislator reasoned. But a few minutes later, Pence shouted again.

"Mother, Mother, whose china are we eating on?"

Mother Pence went on a long discourse about where the china was from. A little later, the legislators stumbled out, wondering what was weirder: Pence's inability to make conversation, or calling his wife "Mother" in the second decade of the 21st century.
There's other stuff in this profile: he's a Christian, but not the kind of Christian who thinks that progressive social programs are the ideal tool for religious expression; there are unsubstantiated accusations from people who used to know him, or who like what he did but don't like how he did it; he's way too religious for the author's taste.

If there are so many reasons to dislike Pence, why include this strange tidbit about how he refers to his wife in their own home? They make it sound weird, which to me suggests that the author is childless. Pence and his wife have three children. In a house full of kids, everyone but you is calling her "Mother," and if you want to communicate effectively with those children you'll adopt their usage when speaking with them. So too with her, who is likely to tell the children information they need to know about "Daddy" or "Father." In their own house, eating off their own china, it's not strange that they'd fall into what must have become a common mode of speaking in that particular context over decades of child-rearing.

But of course that's the point, isn't it? Child-rearing is weird now, at least among the readership of Rolling Stone. Being a Christian is weird. Taking your wedding vows seriously is weird. What could be stranger than seeing yourself and your spouse, inside your own house, as related to the context of that household you built in the role of mother and father?

These things used to be ordinary. They almost defined ordinary. Now they're proof of moral wickedness: a failure, I suppose, to evolve.

But don't these same people tell us that evolution is random and without purpose or meaning? Motherhood, so necessary for the process of evolution, is not lacking in these things.


Texan99 said...

He's uncool. Isn't that the same thing as being a moral monster?

raven said...

Thinking persons strive to find rational reasonable explanations for the strange behavior of the left. This burns up valuable brain cells.

There is no explanation, save for unrelenting hatred of the other.
There is no life of the other so pure, that the left cannot find a crime in it, nor any evil they will not forgive and forget in their own.

Tom said...

Actually, Progressives have never really understood the purposelessness of Darwinian evolution. Back in the late 19th century they adopted it as leading to ever better organisms, because they didn't understand it, and that has stuck as part of their culture to the present day.

The Progressive view of evolution seems somehow similar to Hegelian dialectic.

Grim said...

I wouldn't go so far as to say that they don't understand it. There may not be many atheists in foxholes (although I'm not sure there are none), but there are plenty in philosophy departments. Hegel's not that popular anymore, but purposeless evolution very much is.

And yet... you're not wrong. You can see it in the language of daily usage, if not in the formal ideas as expressed in carefully considered papers. If they write such a paper, of course evolution is just random mutation and, though natural selection helps find the best 'fit' for a given environment, there's nothing about the process that connotes any sort of "improvement" because there's no standard by which one could judge things to have improved. Any organism is as good as any other, and if it doesn't survive because it doesn't fit its environment very well, that's more of an accident than a criticism of that organism's particular evolutionary path.

But then ask them over a beer about society, and they'll use words like "evolution" (and its opposites, "backwards" or "reactionary") in a way that clearly implies a directional arrow. That part is more Hegelian than they might like to admit, even to themselves.

Dad29 said...

Never forget that in the background, the Left aims to demolish the family and substitute the State--or some level of government. Read between the lines in attacks on Pence, and even on Trump.

raven said...

You don't always have to read between the lines, either- sometimes they come right out and say it. Families represent a power center they cannot control, and anything outside of leftist control is hated by them.

Ymar Sakar said...

Bringing up Lucifer is weird to you, Grim. It's the cake along with the utensils in this world.

Grim said...

Consider Tolkien, in which to close a study of The Enemy for two long proves destructive to Saruman the Wise. Indeed, it is his very study of the enemy that is his downfall. Gandalf is careful even about the use of The Enemy's proper name.

It's difficult to avoid falling under the sway of the thing if you think and talk about nothing else.

Tom said...

I wouldn't go so far as to say that they don't understand it. There may not be many atheists in foxholes (although I'm not sure there are none), but there are plenty in philosophy departments.

True. I painted with an overly wide brush. But many rank-and-file Progressives seem not to understand the lack of telos in Darwinian evolution.

Hegel may not be popular, but Marxism seems to be essentially a materialistic Hegelianism, and misconceptions of evolution that may be red in tooth and nail but come with the slow advancement of the species seem to fit the Progressive worldview, more or less.

It's possible that the bloodiness of evolution may even support their belief that violence in the name of Progress may be justified.

That may even underlie their inability to name a final goal where Progress is complete. They don't really know where evolution is heading, but it must be advancing the species. They seem to have a strong faith in that.

What do you think? Am I way off-base?

Grim said...

So, Marxism is very popular. What they don't like about Hegel is just where Marx differs from him -- especially materialism, which is seen as the smart person's approach to reality. (This fashion for materialism is one reason why so many philosophers are atheists; I don't think it will continue more than another generation or so, however, as materialism is really indefensible. That's a separate discussion).

And you're right that Marx took this idea of conflicts leading to contradictions that are then transcended into something better from Hegel. Usually in philosophy, getting to a contradiction is bad. If your idea produces a contradiction, that's a proof that there was something wrong with the idea to start with. (This is an insight from Aristotle, which is applied in our systems of formal logic: if an assumption derives a contradiction, e.g., both P and ~P can be derived, the assumption is taken to have been logically proven false. This entitles you then to claim the contradictory assumption as true, which is an interesting and highly debatable consequence of the binary status of truth in formal logic).

Marx can be excused for 'not getting Darwin right' both because of the timeline and because he's not required to have believed Darwin's argument in his own lifetime even if he had carefully studied it; it's time and evidence that has made Darwin's approach plausible, and that came later. But it is an oddity in the contemporary philosopher both that they kind-of (or outright) believe Marx's 'progress' model for society and history; but also they definitely believe in evolution, which is supposed to be without a directional arrow that can be called progress in any sense.

Tom said...

Yeah, I wasn't really thinking of Marx himself as a Darwinian, but Darwin didn't invent the idea of evolution of species. Lamarck's version was around for a generation before Darwin and embraced a sense of progress. Come to think of it, Lamarck's theory of evolution might have influenced Marx and is closer to what Progressives seem to believe.


I don't think I'd ever made the connection between the normal approach to contradiction in logic and Hegelian / Marxist dialectic. It seems obvious now that you've pointed it out. That's interesting.