The American Way of Denial – or How to Conquer the World (Codex Vagus: essay 10)

Someone working in the Supreme Court of the United States leaked a draft of an opinion statement which said that Roe v Wade was about to be overturned and the whole of Liberal America was shocked and instantly outraged. Somehow, a large segment of the American population – it appears – did not see this coming. This has been creeping threat for more than four decades. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not yet born when abortion rights immerged as a divisive issue in America. Yet a great many Americans believed that the overturning of Roe v Wade was unthinkable. Many still do.
The American way of denial is unique in that it is a denial by optimism. American have a way of believing that the way things rightfully ought to be will naturally come to be through the sheer merit of it being the way it ought to be.
Only about twenty percent of Americans support a complete abortion ban without exceptions. Therefore, Pro-Choice advocates claim, a complete abortion ban cannot happen in the United States. The track record shows otherwise. The vast majority of Americans have always opposed a complete abortion ban. Yet the twenty percent minority has had their way for the past forty years culminating in the leaked opinion statement. This should be proof positive that a well organized and concerted political effort counts for more than having the majority of non-voters nodding in agreement with you. But many Americans don’t see it that way. They think that being on the “right” side should automatically bring about policy that is agreeable to them.
This attitude has, and will continue to have, serious repercussions for the world.

Codex Vagus is the title I gave to essays unrelated to creative writing on this blog.

Codex Vagus: essay 10


This inability to properly assess an immerging threat does not end with the abortion issue. When Donald Trump became the Republican presidential nominee, a large swath of the American left failed to perceive Trump as a credible threat. Even when his campaign funds were better financed, his supporters were enthusiastic, and his presence dominated the media, many Democrats failed to see a future where this pussy grabbing, veteran insulting, wife cheating, reality show host becoming POTUS as something that could actually happen. Many thought it was a ridiculous notion and dismissed it out of hand. On the reverse side, four years later, Trump’s supporters could not believe it possible that their hero could lose the election in spite of the fact that his campaign funds were grossly mismanaged, his media message was unfocused, his rallies were losing steam, and his handling of the COVID pandemic was alienating the swing voters in the middle. They found the loss so unthinkable that many of them believed that there must have been voter fraud. Yet in both cases the result could have been predicted a mile away.

It is human nature to believe that what ought to be will be. All people of the world have some tendency to believe that justice will prevail, that good deeds will be rewarded, and that perseverance will bear fruit, just because it should. But Americans take it to a different level. It is the American cult worship that American goodness will prevail against anything that stands against it, even when Americans cannot agree on what American goodness is. Much discussion have been deliberated on the current dogma of “I am offended, therefore I am right”. But that is only the inconsequential tip of a much more profound iceberg. From the very day of inception, America was founded on the notion that a truth self-evident was naturally destined to become reality. Even though there was no rhyme or reason to back up the “self-evident” notion and plenty of counter examples to prove it wrong, the very fact that “we the people” perceived it as self-evident automatically designated it as inalienable truth and pre-ordained outcome. The self-appointed founders were deeply offended that such an outcome had not yet been obtained. And an entire nation – not to mention a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world – was founded on the notion that “I am offended, therefore I am right, and consequently the world shall change its shape to my liking”.

Rant against the woke social justice warriors all you like, but seen from the perspective of a foreigner from a different culture, Cancel Culture is only the logical conclusion of the Declaration of Independence taken to the 21st century extreme.

The American cult worship of righteous inevitability has grave consequences for the rest of the world. When China finally broke out of Maoist isolationism and the Chinese people started drinking Coca Cola, all American media outlets without exception predicted that the prosperity brought to China through capitalism and Americanization would turn China into a friendly democratic nation. China has become a remarkably prosperous nation over the following few decades, and became more oppressive, autocratic, and expansionistic as a result. History shows that China has always been one of the most prosperous nations, if not the most prosperous nation, and has always been autocratic and expansionist for the past four thousand years. If Americans saw this history correctly and intervened when they still had more leverage, the Tibetans and Uighurs may have met different fates.

The same can be said of Eastern Europe and Russia. In the face of all contrary evidence, Americans collectively claimed that the prosperity brought on by capitalism and exposure to American culture through McDonald’s hamburgers and Hollywood movies would turn these countries into friendly democracies. Unlike the case with China, a few thoughtful decenters suggested otherwise. But their voices were drowned in a sea of optimistic denial. A popular grass-roots support for more economic and democratic freedom did become prevalent in the formerly Communist countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Belarus, and Ukraine. But Russia, instead of supporting a sustainable democratic system and making much needed economic changes, responded by suppressing the democratic movements in these countries. Russia’s postponing of necessary reforms and America’s insane belief that freedom will prevail automatically, in combination, lead to the tragedy that we are seeing in Ukraine today.

Pro-Choice advocates, in the wake of the leaked opinion draft, have vowed that there will be mass street demonstrations. But street demonstrations have been repeatedly proved to be nothing more than masturbation. Americans should have learned by now that “outrage” is about as effective as “thoughts and prayers”. Pro-Life advocates have proven that what really matters is how organized and politically focused you are. Not how many street marches you have. And definitely not how many passive non-voters agree with you from the comfort of their armchairs. What is the point of raising awareness through street demonstrations when 80% of the population already agrees with you?

The world will never be the way it ought to be. Not without a serious fight. Street marches and mass protests are not serious efforts. You are just indulging in the rights you already enjoy. You may fancy yourself engaging in pageants of past marches that had actual risks and consequences such as the Selma to Montgomery March or the March on Washington. But marches today are like vanity movies. They only make you feel like a star. In Martin Luthor King’s era when most White Americans did not know or did not care about the plight of African Americans, raising awareness was an important part of the process of social change. In divided America of the 21st century, everyone knows what the issues are or they would not be divided in the first place. What you need to do is what Pro-Life advocates have been doing all along. Visit people and persuade them to vote with you. Drive strangers to voting booths. Help strangers with their voting applications. Have cook outs, bake outs, knock on doors with cookies in hand. Talk to your neighbors to get them to vote on your side. All the nitty gritty of getting politically organized. You must also reward and punish careers. Justices have been promoted to the Supreme Court for supporting abortion bans. Congressmen and legislators have won seats for being anti-abortion. This must be reversed in order to attain actual change. And yet Pro-Choice advocates still seem to believe that all they have to do is take to the streets and show the world how outraged they are and everything will fall into place. Too few people are knocking on doors and too many people just want to cosplay Rosa Parks.

Pro-Choice advocates like to point out that a state that has the power to force you to carry a baby to term will eventually gain the power to terminate it, or even to force you to become impregnated. They also point out that the loss of control of one’s own body to the state is the loss of all liberties. I believe they are right. Pro-Choice advocates are also the majority of the population. But being right and being the majority has changed nothing over the past forty years and that is a fact being ignored. It is a willful blindness. People still think being right and being the majority will change something. It should, but it won’t.

American Liberals who refuse to recognize reality tend to blame their failure on the unfairness of “society”, which is just a way of passing the buck of their inaction onto something else. It is procrastination by denial and denial by optimism. Optimism that America will always do the right thing without anyone putting in the grunt work behind it. Denial by optimism is a uniquely American religion. Those who follow this belief will lose all of their liberties. Those who take advantage of this cult worship will control America, and hence the world.

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