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“Deference” is not a synonym for “respect.”  It’s a distinction apparently little known and appreciated in America, circa 2021–actually, for much longer than that.  It is among the very first things I taught my students on the first day of classes each school year, a prelude to caring about words.  We defer to others because of their position—their title.  Because I was a teacher, kids owed me certain duties simply because I was a teacher.  We respect others for the demonstrated content of their character.  We may never respect a teacher, but we owe them deference nonetheless.  Of course, all of this matters only in a society based on merit.

A writer I respect is Sara Hoyt, who recently wrote on this very issue:

I was thinking of that when doctors have thrown their prestige and ability in in the service of various social causes that have nothing to do with medicine, and have become ever more faddish and prone to follow whatever the left wants.

Now, sure, that’s not all doctors. That’s not even most of them. It’s just their professional organizations and their public figures.

But it’s enough.

We give doctors deference due to their years of study, which used to mean something.  But we were a meritocratic society then.  One didn’t get into medical school unless they were intelligent and responsible in the right ways and they didn’t graduate from medical school unless they knew their stuff.  Now, they’re more interested in equity, the opposite of merit.  Think not of respect, but how much deference will they get when they appear to be more interested in socialist political correctness than healing?

In the same way, how many lawyers does it take becoming judges and proving themselves partial and prejudiced, not to mention invincibly stupid, before lawyers too lose all prestige.

Not much longer.

In this as in everything else, the left captures the institutions, professions or organizations, skins them, and wears the skin demanding respect.

As the error in the fanfic shows the left (almost for sure for the author) thinks that prestige and power inhere to things: to institutions, to skin color, to positions, to professions. They think it’s always been so and it will always be so, pre-ordained, world without end.

That is not how the world works. Professions and institutions acquire respect by proving themselves worthy of it.

Quite so, and education has done enormous damage to itself, even before it became power mad with Critical Race Theory.  Who trusts a history teacher who, trained to the standard of equity, knows nothing of actual history, and what he does know is false?  Who respects a math teacher who thinks math is racist?

How many idiots like the pathologically narcissistic Fauci does it take to destroy the patina of medicine? How many doctors on tic toc doing choreographed dances in empty hospitals while your cancer goes untreated? How many doctors getting in the middle of the street and pretending to be dead in ‘White coats for black lives?’

Each and every doctor that prioritizes one class of lives over others is not only an idiot, but not to be trusted.

How many idiot engineers who can’t figure out 2+2 does not equal white supremacy have to build bridges that fall before people figure out the profession is not what it was?

How many graduates from Harvard have to fail at basic historical analysis before a degree from Harvard is worse than toilet paper, particularly in times of shortage?

That train has already left the station.  We’re well into establishing two societies: one with credentials, demanding respect, and a second, with ability, reliability, and demonstrated competence.  An Ivy League degree is everything to the former, nothing to the latter.  Which society can feed itself?  Repair its machinery and electronics?  Build homes?  Should the D/S/C Left force civil war, that equitable society will push themselves back a century or more, trying to rebuild with people who have no idea how.

I also respect Andrea Widberg—Bookworm–, who speaks to the bizarre world of equity in language:

Biden’s proposed budget (which Chuck Schumer hopes to cram through the Senate) is bad at so many levels. Economically, it’s a pure Cloward-Piven strategy to break America. Practically, it seeks to flood leftist causes with money, while draining Americans dry. But perhaps the very worst thing about it is that it calls women “birthing people,” a demeaning phrase that reduces half the population to a mere procreative vessel.

“Birthing people?”

The premise behind the ludicrous phrase ‘birthing people’ is that, while all women can theoretically give birth, not all people who give birth are women. Instead, some are men. Transgender men. To the party that worships the god known as ‘Science’ as part of the faith of “Scientism” this apparently makes sense. To the rest of us, though, it’s utterly ludicrous.

In a world where merit mattered, science would demand proof that men—or whatever other gender D/S/Cs invent—could actually—you know—gestate a baby and give birth.  Since this is impossible, there is not only no demand for proof—reproducible experiments—but the very thought is forbidden, or if anyone is foolish enough to raise it, it’s: shut up you anti-science, white supremacist, systemically racist anti-science racist you!

Nevertheless, as part of the Church of Scientism, the left is now all about ‘birthing people.’ I jokingly said to a friend that, if things continue this way, men will henceforth be known as ‘sperm delivery people.’ I was wrong, so wrong!

Why?  Merely because that makes a deranged sort of sense?

I was wrong for a very specific reason, which is that I forgot that, in pure biological terms, only genetic males can create sperm. (Science!) Calling men ‘sperm delivery people’ is an insult to ‘transgender men’ (i.e., women) because they cannot and will never be able to deliver sperm.

That’s not quite true.  There are always turkey basters…

As part of the catechism for the Church of Scientism, IFLScience introduces the correct phrase for the people who are not ‘birthing persons.’ They are ‘Penis Havers.’ After all, thanks to the miracles of modern surgery, even women can be mutilated into having a weird simulacrum of a penis.

Yes.  They turn a vagina inside out, and fill it with—stuff—can’t go on.  Too disturbing. Fortunately, I’ve been able to obtain a partial transcript from the meeting of the Federal Commission Task Force For Never Offending Anyone With Language Except Systemically Racist White People, the FCTFFMOAWLESRWP, as they came up with the latest classification.  We join the action after they came up with “Birthing People,” and the wild applause died down…

Chairperson:  “I want to thank the co-Chairperson…”

Commissioner Dumpfh:  “That’s sexist!  Some people aren’t persons, and if we appropriate their non-personhood, we’re no better than non-birthing people!

Co-Chairperson: “Oh shut up.”

Commissioner Dumpfh:  “You heard that!  You all heard that!  That’s talkist!”

Assistant to the Co-Chairperson Ditz: (reaching over and slapping Dumpfh hard on the back of the head)  “That’s on the agenda for the next meeting.”

Commissioner Dumpfh:  “Ow!”

Chairperson:  (Balefully glares at Dumpfh who rubs her head and shuts up)  “Right.  Now as we all know, not only men have penises…”

The meeting briefly breaks up into pandemonium as commissioners argue about how many beings other than men have penises.  Finally, the Chairperson shouts “TRUMP!” and all recoil in breathless horror.

Chairperson:  “I’m sorry I had to resort to that.  The question before this august body…

Commissioner Spitz:  “Wait! Not everyone has a body.  We can’t discriminate against the bodily deprived…” (the Assistant to the Co-Chairperson walks around the table and raps Spitz on the noggin).

Chairperson:  “Look!  What do we call people with penises?”

Commissioner Dumpfh:  “Dick distributers?”

Commissioner Carpool: “Cock carriers?”

Commissioner Whimper: “Pork sword wielders?”

Commissioner Dinglebell:  “Weenie Wranglers?”

Chairperson:  “No, no!  That’s too…too white.  You’d see that on The Babylon Bee… (the commissioners react as vampires to a crucifix)  We have to be diverse, inclusive and equitable.

Co-Chairperson Ditz:  “So if persons other than men (the assembly hisses)…other than men have penises…

Commissioner Spitz: “They do!  They do!”

Co-Chairperson Ditz: “…then they have them.  Soooo…”

Commissioner Dumpfh:  (Confused) “So they have them…”

Commissioner Carpool:  “…they have them…which makes them penis…”

(The commissioners are stumped.  Many mutter “penis…penis…”)

Commissioner Dinglebell:  “Havers!  They have penises, so they’re penis havers!”

Co-Chairperson Ditz:  “Brilliant!”

At this point, the meeting once again descended into pandemonium as the commissioners congratulated each other on a characteristically transformative, diverse, inclusive, anti-racist and equitable solution.

This was all my source was able to smuggle out.  But I trust, gentle readers, the point is clear.  What happens when institutions, people, who were once accorded deference have thrown away every behavior and measure that once encouraged Americans to willingly give it?  Can such a self-hating, stupid society survive?