The culture war is so extreme that nothing can escape, but also interesting is the predictability of plots. One thing is that absolutely minimal pretense can be wrapped around supposed balance. Because it is so extreme and these people are so brazen, balance does not matter anymore. For example, in my son’s former 6th grade class in Maryland, teaching was conducted with Obama playing cards, by a math teacher who was a strong advocate for Obama’s election. In other words, they have gone much further than you would ever expect.
For example, Lisa Simpson is depressed because she doesn’t have friends, but then Lisa meets another girl who shares similar intellectual interests. Lisa and this girl, Isabella, both decide to run for class president. There are some interesting features in this. Lisa is horrified to discover that Isabella is a Republican. While Lisa is able to make reasonable and normal points, Isabella is presented as a stereotype. The Republican committee consists of the following people:
- A scary corrupt, dishonest clown
- A crazy Texan who shoots off guns
- An Arnold Schwarzenegger look-alike
- A vampire
- The dishonest owner of a nuclear power plant (isn’t this over the top, even for an animated comedy?)
In contrast, the Democrats are presented as follows: Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Michael Dukakis. These characters are just teased. Bill Clinton is not criticized, even though he did some “bad things.” Dukakis is lightly jibbed, and Kerry is not dealt with at all. In contrast to the Republicans, a waste dispenser would look like an upright figure.
The Republicans give lots of money to Isabella, whereas the Democrats don’t really help Lisa. But actually, a thing that many people miss is Isabella. First of all, there is no possible way that a self-identified Jew would be named Isabella. Since Queen Isabella exiled the Jews in in 1492, this would be quite unlikely. Second, no Argentinian would identify as Hispanic. People who identify as such are usually from Central American nations. Isabella is given lessons to be Hispanic so she won’t be “racist,” whereas any other republican would naturally be racist outright. This is very subtle. Note that the writers of the program show that “Hispanic” does not only mean Guatemalan or Mexican. At the end of the program, Lisa loses the election, but–this is an absolutely remarkable situation–she is told that she won the exit poll 53% to 47%. Yet a classmate remarks to her, “Your ideas are more popular, but they just don’t like you. Haha.”
In other words, the implication is that Obamacare and economic management under Obama are supported, but sometimes there is a lack of belief in his judgment. This is of course the propaganda line of the Obama administration. It’s so predictable.
Last night my wife suggested we watch a drama about a Danish Prime Minister. Somehow I knew exactly what the plot would be, and sure enough it turned out to be true. The leader of a Danish party was going to go up in coalition with another centrist politician, but then she saw a ridiculous stereotype about how refugees would be sent back to their home lands, and she changed her view. This means that if any country is not likely to allow in a large number of economic refugees with no devotion to the country, and the citizens have to pay for their living well, then this is a ridiculous racist issue.
This explains why at a dinner in Copenhagen some years ago I was asked if I had seen a new book about the history of Denmark, which was in Danish. I had seen it, but obviously could not read it. The Danish military officer who was speaking at the dinner said, “You know that the book ends a certain year, but that’s not just coincidence, because he doesn’t think that Denmark will survive much longer because of this situation. Will the United States?”