Truth or Trope?

Once again, 2019 headlines appear contrived to vindicatemy old ideas.

For instance, last week’s amusing face-off between freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, leader of the Congressional hijab caucus, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi over Omar’s tweets about the influence of Jewish campaign contributions on American foreign policy was a classic illustration of my theory that the Democrats are a coalition of the fringes who can overcome their loathing of each other only by cultivating their mutual hatred of core Americans.

Just how much Jewish Democrats give to politicians I approximate below.

Omar, the fearless Somali bumpkin from North Dakota State U., outraged influential Jewish donors and their loyal politicians by repeatedly going all Black Hawk Down, daring to mention the long unmentionable: the impact of Jewish donations on Washington’s pro-Israel slant.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the new chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, sputtered at the Islamic upstart: “It is shocking to hear a member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of ‘Jewish money.’” Ship of Fools: How a S... Tucker Carlson Best Price: $1.48 Buy New $6.24 (as of 06:45 EST - Details)

“Trope” is an increasingly fashionable term out of deconstructionist literary theory. The word basically means “cliché” or “stereotype,” but it is intended to obviate your tiresome quibbles about whether or not a particular cliché or stereotype is true by assuming away the relevance of truth.

The use of “trope” signals a faith in the lit theory that the concept of “reality” is irrelevant, perhaps fictitious, and definitely oppressive. There’s no such thing as nature, only social constructs, which can presumably be deconstructed out of existence by socially reengineering the discourse.

To a limited extent, that’s true. What goes unsaid tends to eventually go unthought. Before Omar, for instance, a remarkable fraction of liberal Jewish pundits seem to have never even noticed that the logic of their constant castigations of “white privilege” could be turned against their own supposed “Jewish privilege.”

In real life, however, Foucault’s dismissal of nature didn’t keep nature from having the last laugh over him: The philosopher was one of the first decadent celebrities to die of AIDS. But that irony has done little to slow the spread of Foucauldian sophistries, in part because they are so useful to the powerful, such as big campaign donors.

If you are taught that nothing really exists except the power to impose ideas, then the evidence that Jewish-Americans on average seem to be blessed with more money and influence can be dismissed out of hand as a trope.

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