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.
Throughout his speech in Sweden, Holder elevated his role, dismissed public preferences and disregarded possible costs of his society-changing agenda.
He portrayed himself as walking in the footsteps of Rev. Martin Luther King, who sought equal treatment of the laws. At one point, he focused the audience’s attention on one of the special attendees, Gloria Ray Karlmark, an African-American who was one of the first students to legally walk into an all-white school in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957.
Holder “then spoke off script, but for us all, when he said, ‘Gloria paved the way for me,” said a blog post by the U.S. ambassador to Sweden, Mark Brzezinski.
Holder compared himself to South African President Nelson Mandela, the former terrorist-turned-democratic-
“Fifteen years ago next month, in his final days as the first democratically-elected president of South Africa, the late Nelson Mandela spoke in this august chamber… Let us recommit ourselves – here and now – to the legacy of cooperation that brought President Mandela to Sweden that day,” said Holder, who has worked as a lawyer all his life.
The speech reveals the “enormous moral self-congratulation among progressives, within an administration that has failed in its central task — reviving the economy and providing opportunity,” said Maggie Gallagher, a senior fellow with the American Principles Project.
Holder also used eliminationist language to dismiss his many or most Americans as unthinking and paranoid throwbacks, not as his legal clients, nor as fellow citizens with a different perspective grounded in history and reasonable worries about the risks of major social change. “Neither tradition nor fear of change can absolve us of the obligation we share: to identify and eradicate discrimination in all its forms,” said Holder, who spoke from a podium.
“As we continue to move forward, we will undoubtedly encounter resistance and opposition both at home and around the world,” he said. But “by consistently choosing understanding over fear, diversity over intolerance, and inclusion over division – these advancements and many others have brought our respective nations closer to the democratic ideals,” he claimed.
However, conservatives say shifts in social status can have enormous harmful impact. For example, almost 70 percent of Holder’s fellow African-Americans are born and raised outside marriage, crippling their prospects for jobs in an increasingly high-tech society.
Simultaneously, progressives’ have walked away from the belief that Americans deserve more status in the United States than foreigners, and have supported large-scale immigration of low-skill Latinos who have pushed many of those African-Americans out of the workplace.
Progressives have also walked away from the interests of other working-class Americans. For example, Holder declined to mention the long-standing idea that people earn dignity by working. That popular idea is being championed by popular Americans, such as Mike Rowe, the host of the “Dirty Jobs” TV series.
But those post-1960s shifts in status have benefited some Americans.
Progressive lawyers, social workers, journalists and politicians, as well as prison companies, bail bondsmen, payday lending firms and hospitals, for example, have cooperatively offered to remedy the post-60s urban disasters in exchange for salaries, status and votes.
Attorney General Holder’s view of Americans’ attitudes was highlighted by his declaration that the opposite of “diversity” is “intolerance.”
That comment reflects anger towards the majority of Americans who prefer their evolved social ideals — such as patriotism, marriage, Christianity and sexual caution — over the imposed variety favored by diversity advocates, such as Holder.
Holder lives in “an enclosed moral world where… he’s apparently utterly unaware of any other actual points of view,” said Gallagher. He won’t recognize Americans’ views even “as he pats himself on his back for his tolerance, diversity and inclusion,” she added. “That seems to be a very small world he’s living in.”
Holder seems to think that Americans’ views “are not even worth further discussion,” said Wood. “Many Americans in good conscience find it very difficult to see the merits of taking this dramatic departure from all of human history on the basis of a decade or so of political advocacy,” he added.
Holder even used his speech to applaud government hostility towards people who back the evolved social norms that grant heterosexuality a higher legal or social standing than homosexuality.
“I am particularly impressed by the formulation that the United States Embassy in Stockholm used as it engaged in the annual Pride festival last July: U.S. Embassy Stockholm is ‘anti-anti-gay,’” Holder said.
Holder’s “pride festival” term refers to events organized by gay and lesbian advocates to elevate their peers’ social status.
There are no similar “pride festivals” organized by parents or entrepreneurs who quietly create the next generations of Americans and companies.
Corporate executives don’t hold pride festivals either. Instead, they eagerly trade the potential social status they could claim as the creators of miraculous technology, myriad jobs and enormous wealth, to the progressives in government in exchange for lower taxes and political quiet. In effect, the executives tug their forelock, bend their knee, and kiss the progressives’ rings in exchange for an annual golf trip to Wales.
But parents, entrepreneurs, small-government conservatives and Tea Party people don’t submit to Holder.
Holder’s use of government power to redistribute dignity “reaches way beyond our constitution and tradition,” said Wood. “The government has take sides in a moral dispute that is beyond its rightful capacity.”