Thermidor

© 2017 Thermidor Magazine.

Designed by Jonathan.

Mike Pence Assailed for Exercising Virtue in DC

Sound the alarm. There's a married Christian man in Washington who, awash in a culture of degeneracy and infidelity, has a healthy marriage and takes sane measures to ensure its success. Is this tasteful? Hell, is it even legal? Now that I think about it, it's probably rape!

After it was recently revealed that Mike Pence doesn't go on solo meal dates with women and doesn't drink when his wife isn't around, The Left went into another of its now-regular hysterical meltdowns. These neo-puritans are a bizarre mirror image of their forebears. Instead of public excoriations for laxity in matters of sexuality, today it is precisely Christian chastity and sobriety which can enrage them enough to bring out the pitchforks.

Of course, what is at root a deep Christophobia and hatred of virtue is often veiled in more reasonable dress. The Left will find a way to rationalize its tribal prejudices. The main way it has attempted to do so here is by claiming that this sort of marital caution amounts to a professional discrimination against women since so much of what transpires in Washington takes place over informal meetings and lunches. Joanna Grossman, hitting peak Vox, cites Hamilton the musical's line that "decisions are happening over dinner" as substantiation for this argument. (As a friend points out there's a strong irony here as later in the play Hamilton's lack of discretion and precaution results in his being seduced.)

This rationalization simply begs the question, though. Even if you accept that such practices result in power being mostly male and that informal male social interactions strengthen this male dominance, you actually have to also argue why this is bad. Or why egalitarianism is true. But egalitarianism isn't true and male social units organized in organic hierarchies that wield and exercise power is how civilizations are formed and function.

But because egalitarianism is a widely accepted cultural presupposition, despite having little basis in fact or reason, our talking heads feel comfortable assuming its legitimacy. Once this rug is yanked out from under them, you can more clearly see their irrational tribal prejudice for what it is.

Too often, however, conservatives cede their position when confronted with this tactic. Rather than simply deny the premise that it's bad for women to be marginalized in halls of power, or acknowledge that support of traditional gender roles and norms does mean opposing equal representation in the workforce or in leadership roles, they instead will only argue that Pence is justifiably defending his marriage, and should do so whatever marginal effects it might have. They can't make the more robust argument because they too are committed to feminism and egalitarianism themselves (just, you know, the good kind.) This is a squandered opportunity.

With all their bluster over Pence's prudishness, these Impuritans are capable of switching back to old-fashioned Puritanism at the drop of a hat. You'll recall without difficulty the widespread, intense feigned outrage during the 2016 campaign over Trump's sexual indiscretions and vulgarities. This despite these same people exalting various sexual perverts and predators, from Bill Clinton to Anthony Weiner, who didn't take the requisite precautions in their own marriages. Failures which didn't stop them from rising to some of the highest positions in the Democratic party, further revealing the farcical nature of these objections. Whether too maritally cautious or too incautious, the Right is guilty and the Left is clean.

To see in this outburst anything more than raw, naked tribal emoting and signaling would be a grave mistake. The blind, seething rage against Team Trump (also amply on display in the Left's histrionics over Russia) will find whatever thin pretense it needs to grasp on to. Verdicts come first: the Right is guilty and must be punished. The trial and the charges come later and are simply theatrics.