How Stupidity Became America’s Most Valuable Social Currency

(Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Gage Klipper Commentary & Analysis Writer
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Spend five minutes scrolling through social media, and you’ll quickly realize that some of the dumbest people are also the most influential. From Cardi B to Dylan Mulvaney, Mark Ruffalo to LeBron James — all are among the hordes of cultural icons, talentless or not, who use their platforms to blur the lines between pop culture and political expertise. But you don’t have to be a big name to rack up online social currency with absolutely trash takes.

One of the most painfully stupid videos ever to grace the internet went viral this weekend. Since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, all sane people have come together to mock the “Queers for Palestinemovement that quickly popped up. Like chickens defending KFC, these LGBTQ activists rush to defend Islamic fundamentalism. But one transgender TikTok activist took it even further with her (yes, her — the mastectomy scars don’t lie) exegesis on the abundance of progressive liberal tolerance in the Muslim world.

“Historically,” she arrogantly explains, “the Islamic world is very open for queer people.” In her telling, the “Islamic world did not start off homophobic and transphobic,” but its bigoted turn came after “Western European colonialism came through and changed the culture and changed the narrative.” Thus, she rejects attempts by the “queer community” to “ostracize” her for “finding God” through Islam.

@birdy.blossom (And if you want to listen to a Queer Muslim Palestinian- as you should, particularly right now – check out @fakegyllenhalal . Don’t let your socialized bigotry get in the way of the bigger picture: we are an extremely diverse community, and that’s part of what makes us SO beautiful. Open your minds, open your hearts, and leave your bullying at the door. This is my house-and if you’re insulted at the fact that I’m reading the Quran, then please go because I don’t need your hateful energy here in the first place.) • • #queer #trans #nonbinary #autistic #adhd #artist #handmadejewelry ♬ original sound – Aurora Bird (Birdy)

The Islamist-transgender activist is obviously an oxymoron. Islam — like all of the Abrahamic religions — rejects all forms of non-traditional sexual orientations and identities. The male-female union is a natural institution that honors God; anything else is a corruption of His will. With some of the highest levels of religiosity, it’s no wonder the Middle East is one the least LGBT-friendly regions in the world. To reduce centuries of Islamic culture and thought down to Western imperialism is to reject all notions of civilizational agency, and ultimately amounts to, well — Western imperialism. (RELATED: Dear Americans Defending Bin Laden: He’d Still Want To Kill You)

This begs the question: how do people with such an astounding mix of stupidity and confidence exist? Is this a case of “ignorance is bliss,” the confidence of being too stupid to realize you’re stupid? Perhaps, but it only thrives — with over 71,000 followers —  because our culture empowers it. In fact, the crazier the better. Everyone knows what she says is patently insane, yet no one with respectable credentials, a cushy job, or a position of intellectual influence would ever say so out loud. The radical, non-binary, Muslim activist said something is true — thus, it is beyond reproach.

This is because the left’s vision of an identity-based hierarchy is the only true social credit system left. Social credit does not necessarily come with a dystopian connotation. Rather, it is a cultural shortcut we take to evaluate those we do not know. In the past, nobility or church affiliation would convey that a person was worthy of respect. Their institution was held in high esteem by society, and rather than getting to know everyone individually, one could assume the institution instilled praiseworthy virtues. In other words, they gained social legitimacy by association. Not so long ago, this still applied to businessmen, teachers, or even just good parents. Their value judgments all meant something due to the nature of their vocation.

But the left’s centuries long war on Western hierarchies has finally reached its zenith. The nobility was the first to go, and perhaps that was a good thing. Rather than the title of their birth, one’s value would be judged on the merit of their accomplishments. This was indeed more fair. But fairness under liberalism has no limiting principle. (RELATED: Is Taylor Swift A Trojan Horse For Joe Biden’s Socialist Agenda?)

The Church creates a hierarchy that ostracizes other faiths and non-believers. Capitalism alienates the poor from the fruit of their labor. Universities prioritize certain forms of knowledge at the expense of others. The family itself creates a hierarchy between husband and wife, parents and children — a patriarchal servitude. What we’re left with is “fairness” re-defined by making society’s exceptions into the rule. Anyone victimized by social norms deserves to have new norms re-calibrated to their own psychic wellness. Having delegitimized all other forms of hierarchy, the self-proclaimed victims now sit atop the only remaining social power structure in America.

Over the past several decades — and especially in the Biden era — the most powerful form of social currency increasingly became that imbued by victim status. To claim racial or gender discrimination is the ultimate source of legitimacy; your experiences and grievances are beyond reproach. No one — particularly someone more “privileged” — has the right to question your subjective assessment because they cannot possibly understand what it feels like to be victimized in that way. It’s no coincidence this influencer embraced Islam; it only potentiates her social currency from being transgender. Those proclaiming their victimhood the loudest and with the least self-awareness curry the most respect.

Yet unlike past hierarchies, the hierarchy of victimhood cannot identify any measure of objective worth. People’s value does not come from their immutable characteristics, but from the deeds they undertake. Only the stupidest among us lean into this identity-based value system because it is easier than striving for something more meaningful. Perhaps they should be pitied; they find no other source of value and embrace the path of least resistance. But it falls to the rest of us to no longer indulge it. Gay or straight, black or white, male or a female — a liar is still a liar and a cheat is still a cheat.