I am, in many ways, the ideal audience for a certain rogue University of Toronto psychology professor.
In case you've had your head in the sand for the last few years--and I continue to encounter this, even this late in the game--the putative 'most important public intellectual in the west' is no longer Noam Chomsky. It's now a different older white guy named Jordan B. Peterson, and this new guy is about as stodgy as they come.
I remember hearing the descriptor 'stodgy, tweed-wearing traditionalist' somewhere way back when, probably in the early 2000s, back when I was in the first year of my obligatory degree. It was perfect at the time, a way of poking fun at quaint ivory-tower-dwelling academics who commented on stuff they didn't really understand, bleary-eyed, from behind piles of books, and never ventured out into the glaring light of the mainstream, where practicality reigned rather than desiccated theory.
Reactionaries traditionally dislike that kind of academic for a host of reasons. They're not robust manly-men, generally, though many of them support the idea of that sort of thing. The stately dignity of the tenured professor who's been on the job so long he falls asleep at his lectern is hard to smuggle past the gates of their world. He comes from the university, which, we are repeatedly told, is a haven of marxism. That's the place where they won't let Richard Spencer or Gavin McInnes speak. The people at the university, we're told, go on about tolerance all the time, but they don't tolerate hate. They're totalitarians, see? Who but a totalitarian wouldn't look breathlessly forward to being harangued by people trying to articulate a program for a world where they either don't exist, or at least where they have the good sense to stay out of the way and not rock the boat of western civilization, which is a thing, we're told, that was invented by white European men, and it's good, you see--there are warts, but it's good, and these persistent attempts, often by people who don't look like white european men, to dismantle it are bad.
So yeah. I'm the exact perfect audience for this guy's perspective. I'm in a fraternity. I'm in the service. I'm a white dude. I participate in a whole bunch of old boys' clubs. I like model trains. I own a kilt, a sporran, and a sgian dubh (though my dress kilt is more than a bit moth-eaten). I consider myself, with some authority, to be a 'classical liberal' just like he does with somewhat less authority (given the shit he says and the company he keeps). By all rights I should be a libertarian, just based on my demographic characteristics.
I'm not. I'm one of the people on the other side of the curtain of perception of JBP. His followers, probably more accurately called fans, seem to almost worship him. I can't listen to him. I do listen, because I need to know what he says in the same way I need to know what Richard Spencer says, but I don't like it. It hurts me. He makes me embarrassed for everyone who shares my demographic characteristics.
How does he do this? Assuming you're still reading at this point, which if you're one of his fans, you absolutely are not, I'll tell you. Maybe you're one of my friends and you want to know what I think so you can tell me how wrong I am. If you are one of his fans, you've already, I guarantee, dismissed me as someone who doesn't understand him, has misinterpreted him deliberately or otherwise, or else as a postmodernist or a cultural marxist.
One thing he does is redefine terms. Those two above are excellent examples.
The trouble with addressing them, however, is that you have to literally invoke Godwin's Law. Not because you have to make a spurious link to naziism, but because you have to make a totally accurate and direct one. 'Cultural Marxism,' you see, is literally a nazi term. I'm not kidding. The nazis invented it, and they used it exactly the same way, so that means you immediately lose the argument to Godwin's Law, and JBP gets to go right on using it, and, in fact, basing his entire ideology on its perspectives.
I'm not saying he's a nazi. He isn't. The nazis were a bunch of bad German and Austrian dudes last century who were responsible for a war that killed 70,000,000 people in Europe. They were not U of T professors, which is what JBP is. He's not a nazi. He just propagates an ideology that is, whether he is aware of it or not, based directly on nazi writings and was used by them to justify a genocidal white supremacist hate campaign. The trouble is that we are in fact looking at a resurgence of authentically fascist ethnic-nationalist thinking, and so while we have to acknowledge Godwin's law, we also have to willingly suspend it. Have a look at Wiki on Cultural Bolshevism:
"Cultural Bolshevism (German: Kulturbolschewismus), sometimes referred to specifically as "art Bolshevism" or "music Bolshevism", was a term widely used by critics in Nazi Germany to denounce modernist movements in the arts, particularly when seeking to discredit more nihilistic forms of expression. This first became an issue during the 1920s in Weimar Germany. German artists such as Max Ernst and Max Beckmann were denounced by Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Party and other right-wing nationalists as "cultural Bolsheviks"."
Follow the related links in that article. It's specifically about art, but the Petersonian critique of culture includes pretty much exactly this ostensibly anti-nihilistic takedown of a straw-man version of post-modernism. Back then it was aimed at modernism, but when Peterson and McInnes go after postmodernism today, which is apparently just a word they've made up a definition for, because it isn't postmodernism as it's understood in academia, they articulate it the same way. To them postmodernism is a mushy, nebulous thing that's opposed to concrete, traditional ideas that have clear meanings. Back in the early 20th Century, modernism was a rejection of the classical tradition that provoked the same ire, got under the same shirts and irritated the same white skin.
The upshot is that the nazis didn't substantiate their accusation of marxism in art, or academia, or in culture at large. They didn't have to. They just hit it with a club. Similarly, Peterson doesn't substantiate his. He just says it's the case, repeatedly, in different ways, and the kludge of an argument that repetition supports stubbornly refuses to be the case. There does not exist a significant strain of what Peterson refers to as cultural marxism in any of those places. It sounds good and meaty to people primed to see it, but the sober critics of his claims about it, who are standing inside the things he's levelling his complaints at simply continue not being marxists.
There's a thing about marxists. I know quite a few of them. They do this thing where if you ask them if they're a marxist they go "yes, I am a marxist." They'll even be excited about telling you all about why and how they arrived at it. Peterson and McInnes and Spencer seem to be talking about a whole crew of people who surreptitiously are marxists who for some reason (this reason is apparently so that they can destroy the modern west) don't want you to know that they are marxists. He has a house of cards (and a patreon) to defend and support with that. While it's staggeringly difficult to get Peterson to say anything concrete, one thing he is concrete about is that there's this big marxist postmodernist thing going on that is new, bad, and needs to be stopped. McInnes thinks we should do violence to it. Peterson seems to think we can think and live it away through awareness of it, a passive refusal to participate, and a support of traditional ideas about how to live our roles in society. Also we should be christians because unlike marxism christianity hasn't caused millions of deaths (I know, it's nonsense, demonstrably false, but bear with him for a moment).
It's not there, though. What's there is an illusion, a canard, that is not new and not terribly surprising. I can't stand Peterson for many reasons, but the key one is that he isn't anything new. I've seen him before, both in the wild and ossified in history.
Let's look back at that article about Cultural Bolshevism and Carl von Ossietzk's critique of nazi writings about it:
"Cultural Bolshevism is when conductor [Otto] Klemperer takes tempi different from his colleague [Wilhelm] Furtwängler; when a painter sweeps a color into his sunset not seen in Lower Pomerania; when one favors birth control; when one builds a house with a flat roof; when a Caesarean birth is shown on the screen; when one admires the performance of [Charlie] Chaplin and the mathematical wizardry of [Albert] Einstein. This is called cultural Bolshevism and a personal favor rendered to Herr Stalin. It is also the democratic mentality of the brothers [Heinrich and Thomas]Mann, a piece of music by [Paul] Hindemith or [Kurt] Weill, and is to be identified with the hysterical insistence of a madman for a law giving him permission to marry his own grandmother."
Let's tease that apart a bit. He's saying that they point to it. Their substantiation of the phenomenon--which didn't exist then, I have to stress--lies in simply pointing out examples of it in the wild. The modernists were not marxists. Some of them were, but some of them were fascists. Modernism wasn't a marxist movement any more than postmodernism is. Postmodernism isn't even a movement. Modernism we only really recognize as one after the fact. Its characteristics became more fully concrete only after much time had passed, and really only in contrast to things it wasn't, like corinthian porticoes and the winged victory of samothrace. But in the nazi writings he's referring to it doesn't matter that it's an illusion. They substantiate their claim that there is such a thing as cultural bolshevism by pointing to things that piss them off, and to them this constitutes evidence. That the things themselves are not examples of a thing called cultural bolshevism and that the people doing the things are not actually marxists and do not have marxist motivations is not relevant. The nazis are advancing a narrative that is served through their continued insistence on the existence of these things in reality. When you said it wasn't real back then, the nazis responded by telling everyone that look, there they go, the cultural bolsheviks are denying reality again. They're out to destroy everything.
Now, there is a contrary perspective here. You can simply say, well, yeah, they're right--the nazis are right. Modernism was that. Similarly, you can say Peterson is right--there is cultural marxism, and the examples he gives are examples of it, and the people he says are marxists (remember when he wanted to create a register of marxist professors?) are marxists. You can do that. His followers do. They become incapable of engaging in a nuanced and accurate discussion of the role of marxist analysis in the arts, in culture, and in academia when they do that, but they do it. You can't discuss that if you've redefined it. It becomes like mormonism in a way. Once you've committed to the belief that a near-east culture, with horses and oxen, predated amerindians in North America, you've painted yourself into an ideological corner where you can't really discuss mainstream archaeology and anthropology anymore. Same process here.
I'm laying bare here my core reason for disliking Peterson, and the shortest way I can think of of rearticulating that is that I profoundly want his followers to get to the damn point about what they mean. Be honest about it. Don't tell me I don't understand Peterson. Tell me the point. You believe, as he does, in a conspiracy of cultural marxist postmodernists that are out to destroy the west. If that's it in the essentials, then we can't have any more of a discussion about the topic. In much the way devout mormons and I can't dialogue in any real way--I am an ex-mormon--I can't dialogue with you because you are now living a fiction, and if you're supporting his patreon you are now effectively a tithe-paying believer. The reality of the place marxism actually holds in 2019 is off the table. You won't even listen to the marxists about it, let alone the people who aren't marxists who are trying to tell you how they encounter it.
Let me analogize again. I worked in defense simulations for a long time. I helped make video games for the military as my full time job. We had this huge problem, and in many ways still do, that video games are a really cumbersome training tool. What we would have liked would have been a software tool that could train effective killers. What we got was something that could improve battlefield communication, allow space for practicing battle procedure, and help troops and leadership have better situational awareness at an almost theoretical level.
Over in the non-reality-based community there was this hysterical insistence that video games were murder simulators and were making our kids violent (a classic moral panic), and that we had to do all kinds of things to stop it and curb it and whatever else. That the professionals had been quietly trying to actually do precisely this and couldn't get it to work was not important. Nobody ever asked. I mean, wouldn't you think it would be the first thing they'd do? Find out if the military and people working for it were trying to develop games that generated killers and then ask them if it worked? Nobody did. The hysteria was enough. They just pointed to things they saw as examples of the phenomenon they had decided on, and be damned to the reality. I can't tell you how many times 'video games don't make people kill,' was responded to with 'why don't you want to protect our kids, you monster.'
The point is, why wouldn't you just ask? Is it a coincidence that all the people who are supposed to be cultural marxists always respond with 'what the hell are you talking about, you just made that up?' No. You just made it all up. You also aren't the first. It's a thread in the ongoing human dialogue that's always been percolating. You are continuing to make up shit in a thread people have been having for literally as long as there have been humans.
Now, I keep looking because like a train wreck in slow motion, extremist movements are morbidly fascinating. I'm always going to want to see the contortions and the acrobatics that are necessary to make everything fit into the self-referential ethnic-nationalist narrative. Particularly since it is so restrictive and self-referential that it literally slots into every other ethnic-nationalist narrative throughout the world and throughout history. It essentially shakes out as it always does. It's a narrative of the powerful that dresses itself up as a narrative of the persecuted. It's essentially cowardly too. You have an enemy who is simultaneously weak and impotent (the soyboy) and powerful and omnipotent (the globalists). You end up with a pinboard with a thousand pins on it held together by a million strands of yarn. You become so confused and enraged that you convince yourself that people are out to silence and even kill you.
So I'm exhorted, as a white dude, to adopt this perspective. The Gillette ad demonizes men, I'm told, and is a cynical moneygrab, and cynical moneygrabs that aren't expressly libertarian in origin are bad, you see. The other kind are okay. Being a cynical moneygrubber and putting yourself first is, of course, a net positive for society if you initiate that from the right side of the conversation. If it urges you, as a man, not to be a bully and belittle women, which are things lots of men do (and they all object to the ad, of course) then it's cynical and it serves this identitarian cultural marxist movement, and is therefore bad. There are, in fact, I'm told and should agree, cultural marxists, and they constitute an existential threat to the social order.
I can never figure out whether we white dudes are supposed to be the victims or the ones who maintain that social order (because we seem to be conveniently both or either whenever we're accessing different parts of the narrative), and the reality of what that social order is ultimately supposed to look like eludes me. I keep mining my history to find what social orders created and maintained by white dudes have looked like and it pretty much all comes up really, really bad for everybody else, but yeah, evidently I'm supposed to adopt this and think, whatever the bad points, it was all primarily good and positive. I mean, we're the status quo. We hold most of the positions of power, including professorships at the University of Toronto and the distinction of being literally the most influential public intellectual in the west, so we are dark horses, outnumbered and beset on all sides by legions of organized marxists who control all the positions of power and are the status quo.
It plays out, tired and tweed-wearing, like every other ethnic-nationalist persecution complex. I'm exhorted to adopt it and resist the forces of chaos. Literally chaos. I mean, he calls women a force of chaos, unironically, and his fans actually go right ahead and unironically adopt that as a line of authentic reasoning that they unironically go out into the world with, and they fully expect you not to think they're mentally unhinged and tell them so.
So no. I won't adopt it. I will, instead, attempt to excise from it the things it doesn't own.
In Twelve Rules for Life, an actual twelve-step self-help book written by an ostensibly adult and self-respecting tenured university professor, written at about a tenth-grade level, Dr. Peterson gives us, among some other brutally unhinged nonsense, some pretty obvious advice about the fact that we ought to behave with integrity, honesty, and charity, and that we should clean our rooms, and he dovetails it into all his other bullshit. Guess what? You can behave with integrity and resolve, deal honestly and charitably, and even clean your room without also attaching to it an unyielding inability to cope with social change and a related inability to avoid being thrown into paroxysms by the irritating desire of people who aren't like you to exist as they like and want to exist. I know. It's hard to believe, but if twelve-step self-help books have ever taught me anything, it's that if I really put my mind to it I can accomplish anything.
So what is he saying?
Evidently that's pretty hard to determine. I mean, you could read Twelve Rules for Life, but if you did, and you did anything but nod, you didn't get it, apparently. I mean, that does seem to be the pattern. He says some concrete things, but you're not supposed to take any of them as explicit statements. The rules themselves are pretty explicit, but the chapters that illustrate them mostly meander around not supporting them, and are generally closed with caveats.
At one point he spends a couple of pages telling you that your friends are probably taking advantage of you, people who drink, party and do drugs are objectively bad people, and that people who need help are basically freeloaders who need to choose 'the path upward,' illustrated with examples from his own life of people and circumstances that were to him terrible, but that are, objectively, not terrible. Then he closes by saying he isn't saying any of that 'in case that needs to be said,' which, of course it does. I mean, it's basically 'it's way more likely your friends are contemptible freeloaders than that they genuinely need your help, and way more likely you're just trying to make yourself look good in helping them than that you're legitimately trying to help because everyone's selfish and altruism is a lie,' and then, as an afterthought, 'in case anyone's confused, I meant be compassionate and help people.' It needs to be said because it's the opposite of what you said.
I mean, it could be (and has been) said that that analysis of the book lacks a tolerance for nuance and ambiguity. Yeah. It could. In my experience, people who are constructing nuanced arguments actually construct nuanced arguments that incorporate an understanding of the dizzying complexity of life, and not clearly illustrate one unscrupulous thing that's really explicit that they seem to actually believe for an entire chapter and then effectively take it back at the end (or, in the case of the whole 'enforced monogamy' thing, in a totally different piece of writing that essentially contradicts the first one).
I guess if Ayn Rand had closed Atlas Shrugged with a 'don't abandon the poor as lazy parasites because they're not all bad,' it might have been harder to claim she was a libertarian knocking down her favourite straw men. I mean, you could obviously do it, but her fans would be able to say 'look, that's not what she meant' rather than owning it the way randroids historically have. At least those guys had the courage of their convictions. They had the (good?) sense to own the fact that they were pushing a moral justification for being a selfish jerk.
He basically spends the whole book couching things. He'll say something fantastically misogynistic very enthusiastically for several paragraphs and then roll it back just enough for his fans to be able to feel like he was just warning them against a potential pitfall on the road to being their best self, but what he really meant was whatever their own threshold for basic human compassion is. Judging by the internet output of his fans, that's not very high.
Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe his fans really, really want to be compassionate people, but they're frustrated at social failure. Jordan Peterson, judging by the book, spent a good deal of his time as a social failure. He didn't like parties. Judging by the way he talks about parties, he probably didn't get invited to a lot of them. He paints an image of himself scowling silently to himself, judging (harshly!) all the people enjoying being inebriated around him. All those people are stoned failures. They're all putting themselves at too much risk. There's a part in the book where he basically goes on a diatribe about how women who dress provocatively shouldn't be surprised when they get raped. He ducks and dives, though. Boy does he duck and dive. He doesn't come out and just say it.
That's where I have to come back to my core problem with this whole ideological bloc. What does he mean? You can wax vague, for sure, but maybe don't tell me what he means then, tell me instead what you mean! Do you mean women who dress provocatively shouldn't be surprised when they get raped? I've literally been told that by people who are just as willing to tell me I misunderstand him, so if he isn't providing you some validation about that, why am I being so enthusiastically encouraged to read him and adopt his views? If you're bitter about all those inebriated people at parties who never gave you the social validation you wanted, he's willing to commiserate about that too, and then deny it so he can get off the ideological train before its destination when you don't. I mean, what is he saying other than what I'm imbibing? It's the upshot of the whole crowd he moves in. He's on TurningPointUSA's panel for their student summit, for heaven's sake.
So what is it? It looks exactly like misogyny, ethnic nationalism, apologetics, and just basically being an uncompassionate person. But it dresses well. It looks and feels exactly like that scene in American History X where Edward Norton has gotten out of prison and he goes back to confront the white nationalist leader he has since rejected, and he's dressed nice, in a nice shirt, and he has hair, so he doesn't look like the old school kind of nazi punk who wore red laces and ten hole docs and shaved his head, and the guy looks at him and says something like, 'I like this respectable look, this is what we need,' which is what Gavin McInnes did, and that movie came out in 1998, back when we were coming out of a previous resurgence of this kind of thinking and rhetoric, but when the people doing it didn't have the good sense not to dress like they were trying to deliberately scare immigrants, but did have the good sense to meet in secret.
It looks just like that, but it dresses well, meets in public, and tells you that isn't what it is.
It even gets spectacularly offended at an advertisement that asks men not to be bullies and then tells you that it's really upset because of what that says about the portrayal of men in advertising, and that advertising panders to audiences to make money (which is apparently news), and actually expects you to believe that it has ever, even once, had any legitimate reason to be authentically worried or upset about how anyone else has ever been portrayed in advertising.
So, let's approach charity.
As in, the principle of. I'm not being entirely fair. There are some genuinely admirable things about Jordan Peterson. I keep being told this, and where those things stand out, and they do, they're legitimate things. People keep saying to me that yeah, there are good things and bad things, they don't agree with everything he says, but on the whole, it's good, because what he encourages is, in many cases, positive.
The principle of charity is when we assume the person we're talking to or about isn't an idiot, that we assume they have the relevant expertise or the apprehension to discuss something, so we don't have to go back to first principles. We also assume that their intentions are good. In fairness, he does have a chapter about this, but the chapter isn't an example of it. It's a chapter where he totally dismantles a woman (a client, no less), effectively stripping her of her humanity and agency in a systematic airing of personal details and scalpel-sharp judgments, and not an example of him accepting that others know things he doesn't, which might have been educational for the reader. I digress.
So, in the spirit of the principle of charity, I want to get into what I actually appreciate about him, and then clarify why it's not enough.
He's often actually capable of admitting when he's wrong, at least when it's not destructive to his core ideology. I'm not sure I should get too deeply into the Kavanaugh comment that got him in hot water with his fans, because frankly, displaying basic human compassion and getting your face bitten off for it by your fans really sounds like a him problem to me. He's walking a whole lot of fine lines with a whole lot of disagreeable people, and I have a hard time being sympathetic about that, because it's one of the main places where you get to really see him being deliberately intellectually dishonest. Those fans make no bones about reminding him where his paycheck comes from.
What I mean is, when someone gets him on fuzzy reasoning, and not a lot of people do in places where he can't back out or ignore it, he displays humility and accepts he was wrong. The whole thing about refusal of services to people for political reasons conversation is a good example of this. I mean, he's consistent that you ought to discriminate against people based on your personal convictions, but at least he admitted he was being a hypocrite that one time. I don't think Deepak Chopra has ever acknowledged that he's always wrong about everything at all times. Ben Shapiro, that amazing gish galloper, has made his whole persona about of being perceived to never be wrong about anything by his fans, even though he's actually a complete moron.
I don't think JBP is stupid. A bit addled, maybe. He's certainly smart, but he's not as smart as he thinks he is, and he's definitely not as smart as his fans think he is. He is definitely smart, though, and his advanced degrees display that he's got the ability to see through challenging tasks. Where that falls down is in his willingness to compromise the facts to support his audience.
Wait. I said I didn't want to get into that.
I guess I have to, because this is where I part ways with having any real respect for him or being willing to join some of my dude friends in being a fan (aside from the fact that I disagree with how he arrives at his principles and the way he treats people).
If Ben Shapiro, say, makes his whole biz about intellectual dishonesty, and Deepak Chopra makes his about conflating science with mysticism, then there are essentially two possibilities in their cases. Either they know they are liars, in which case at least they own it--I'm never going to care, or take cues from them, or follow their ideas and nod, but I can at least respect the buy-in--or else they are actually so deluded that they truly believe the nonsense they say, in which case there's something innocent about that, and while what they both do is terrible and the consequences are broader than they probably know, there's something about innocence of that kind that is to some degree forgivable. They don't know any better. Neither Ben Shapiro or Deepak Chopra are smart or moral enough to realistically interface with the consequences of the ideas they propagate. Deepak Chopra is not having a moral crisis over fleecing old people with nonsense. I guarantee.
Peterson clearly knows what he's doing. You can watch the trajectory of his decision to dedicate his life to talking to young, frustrated, confused dudes who feel they've been given a bad hand by life and (let's be honest) women. He's chosen to do that, and in doing that he's chosen to commisserate and play to their prejudices. He knows they're largely libertarians, largely on the right, largely misogynistic. He's way too smart and too old not to have recognized that he's inheriting the space of Rand and Heinlein and Robert Bly, and he's absolutely, 100% capable of streamlining his own intellect and message into what they expect to hear. They want, need to be validated. They need to be absolved of responsibility for downright shitty behaviour. They need to be told they've been socially rejected because everyone else is wrong. The only way he can get them to the positive nature of his blatantly obvious twelve rules is to play to that, and then inject some good behaviour. He's making a god damned killing now doing that. He has a responsibility I'm certain he's aware of to avoid the way Gavin McInnes has gone, with his encouragement of violence and forming of blackshirt groups.
He's made a conscious decision to serve a victim complex, though. He's fully aware that if he were to (as he did about Kavanaugh) actually deviate from the line the fans have chosen him for, the revenue would dip. Angry, frustrated dudes are capricious! See how they respond when people interpret their favourite comic books in ways they don't like? When razor companies suggest they could be better people?
Don't get me wrong. I don't think Jordan Peterson is actually a classical liberal, or a secret leftist or anything. I don't think he's even a centrist. He's a traditionalist and a conservative, and he's using fascist rhetoric and hanging around with the religious right. He just knows he's the intellectual prisoner of a community that will turn on him in five seconds if he doesn't toe the line, and he hasn't been making their coin long enough yet to have gotten over that. And there's where we part ways on the principle of charity. He's locked in so hard that even though he has, as a bona fide academic, the concept of intellectual honesty drilled into him, even though he's capable of admitting when he's wrong, even though he's capable of displaying and articulating legitimate compassion and a concept of the consequences of his words and actions, he's consciously chosen to forgo all that for demagoguery.
Also, the other thing is that since everything he says that I agree with is blatantly obvious human universals (dignity, integrity, charity, cleaning your room and treating people fairly) I don't need to hear it from him. The fact that the rest of it is aimed at people who believe Soros is coming for them and blame their social inadequacy on the girls who wouldn't sleep with them at high school parties means it's somewhere between irrelevant and repugnant to me as a way of seeing the world.
So yeah. You take the good and leave the bad, as I'm told. The problem is that I don't think cleaning your room and behaving with integrity have anything to do with thinking girls who dress provocatively shouldn't be surprised when they get raped, and stoners are bad people you shouldn't be friends with. The problem is that his fans and I come to such drastically different conclusions about what the good and the bad are, and I'm perfectly willing to throw out the judgmental bull and divorce it from basic human virtues.
JBP doesn't own bedmaking, so to speak, any more than Charlie Kirk owns the nuclear family.
I have more to say on this topic, and so expect edits here if you want to follow that.