Attorney General Eric Holder used a Feb. 4 speech in Sweden to promote a big government goal — redistributing social status towards social groups favored by progressive lawyers and judges.
“The fundamental truth [is] that no matter where you live, who you love, or who you are… every human being is, and must be, free and equal in both dignity and [legal] rights,” he told the Swedes.
The political goal of equal dignity — just like the socialists’ failed goal of equal wealth — is being used to justify intense federal intrusion in every aspect of Americans’ social lives, such as in the workplace and schoolyards, Facebook pages and sporting events.
If pursued, it would also change the role of the nation’s attorney general from an enforcer of the laws into a national regulator of social status.
“Dignity is not something the government can confer on people,” said Peter Wood, the author of a book on diversity, and the president of the National Association of Scholars.
The government should not, and cannot, shape how the “population at large regards certain kinds of behavior as justified and appropriate,” without repressing people’s freedom, Wood said.
But “there’s fair amount of repression already,” Wood said, noting that government lawyers have threatened bakers, florists and photographers who do not want to sell their services to single-sex weddings.
Americans have long recognized they share equal legal rights that are enshrined in the Constitution, and those rights have largely been enforced since the rise of a mass middle-class society in the 1960s.
But Americans have never believed that all Americans deserve equal social status.
In general, Americans have collectively evolved social norms that award higher dignity and status to entrepreneurs, investors, wealthy people, parents, hard workers, and military leaders, and lower status to poor people, drug users, thieves, child molesters, pimps, politicians, journalists and lawyers.
America’s federal government was built around — not over — Americans’ evolved cultural methods for creating and allocating status. For example, most Christians argue that all people are equally loved by God, and those religious beliefs are protected from government bullying by the First Amendment.
In recent decades, commercial culture — A.K.A. pop culture — has elevated the status of entertainment professionals.
The complex post-industrial economy has allowed the politically powerful profession class to elevate the status of people who help them — lawyers, journalists, chefs, academics, Internet billionaire and minimum-wage immigrants.
That diverse economy also helps them to elevate the status of their primary competitive advantage, which is the intelligence that allows them to prosper amid the complexity and diversity that befuddles less-gifted Americans. In fact, the professional sector has built a complex profiling system, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, to permanently rank the status of people by a proxy for I.Q. levels. The mechanism is usually applied to people aged 18, allowing them to be sorted for acceptance into high-status universities, such as Columbia Law School.
Holder, a 1967 graduate of Columbia Law School, did not use his Swedish speech to suggest that the dignity of middling-IQ people be raised via government action, such as pressure on the Ivy Leagues to junk the SAT in favor the politicized selection systems used to allocate valuable slots in the middle-class police and firefighter departments in New York and Chicago.
Holder’s text suggests he opposes the status-distribution norms evolved by Americans, and that he wishes to forcefully redistribute social status towards groups that he favors, such as gays and lesbians, or people who wish to change their sexual appearance from one sex to another.
“Just as our forebears came together to overcome tremendous adversity – and to forge the more just and more equal societies in which we now live – so, too, must the current generation rise to the causes that have become the struggles of our day; the defining civil rights challenges of our time,” he pronounced.
“I believe one of these struggles is the fight for equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender – or LGBT – citizens,” he declared.
Overall, LGBT Americans comprise less than 4 percent of the nation’s population. Transgender people comprise far less than one percent of the population.
In recent years, Holder’s fellow lawyers serving as judges in federal courts have swept away evolved norms that penalized homosexual activity. In fact, judges on the Supreme Court moved last year to bar Americans from assigning higher status to creative child-rearing married couples than to barren same-sex couples.
Holder has enthusiastically backed those novel legal rights, and now wants to use the new rights to redistribute status.
So does his boss, President Barack Obama. He’s been using the Sochi winter olympics to laud gay athletes. On Monday, first lady Michelle Obama shared some of the White House’s social status with an athlete merely because he announced he is sexually attracted to men.
“You’re an inspiration to all of us, @MikeSamFootball. We couldn’t be prouder of your courage both on and off the field. -mo,” said the first lady’s tweet.
“Countless Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are proudly standing alongside Sweden and other democratic nations in calling for the protection of our LGBT citizens; in working to secure [social] recognition for the equal love and equal humanity of all people,” Holder said in Sweden.
The “equal love” term refers to the progressive claim that Americans should grant equal status to the love of two gays or two lesbians for each other, as they now grant to a married mother and father who jointly risk their wealth and hearts as they work for decades to create, educate and support the next generation of Americans.
The phrase, “equal humanity,” is new, and refers to the claim by transgender activists that people who wish to change their apparent sex, often via surgery and hormone ingestion, deserve equal social status as the people whose sexual desires matches their sex.
The term appears in product pitches by legal entrepreneurs, such as Abigail W. Lloyd, a California lawyer. Judges have a history of “classifying transgender individuals as man-made imitations ineligible for protection, people whose very humanity is undermined in order to deny them legal standing to seek redress,” she wrote in a 2005 article in the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice.