Bacon, Islam, and the the Failure of the Politically Correct Society

Winooski, Vermont and the Dismantling of America’s Values – The Dennis Prager Show

Dennis and I don’t always agree, and he gets himself whipped into quite a lather on this one, but he makes a superb point: in the name of political correctness we are surrendering our freedoms, and no more so than in the speed of our retreat in the face of Sharia law.

There is a line between the tact that comes with common decency on the one hand and being hypersensitive about offending the hypersensitive on the other. Winooski, Vermont has stepped over that line. It is no more correct to take down the bacon sign than it is to demand that a nativity scene be removed from a Church law, that crosses be removed, and that Jews be prohibited from wearing religious garb.

On the other hand, if that makes sense to you, I understand that there are many parts of France that can be quite lovely…

A Belated Word on #CancelColbert

The Perils of Making Racial Insensitivity a Firing Offense”
Conor Friedersdorf
The Atlantic
April 1, 2014

I enjoyed this article by Friedersdorf, which was by and large balanced, and I will be interested to see whether and how Stephen Colbert takes his pseudo-conservative persona to his new role as David Letterman’s successor.

I have long been ambivalent about The Colbert Report. Doubtless the lowest-common-denominator, William-F-Buckley-must-be-spinning-in-his-grave far-right yakmeisters have earned their fair share of parody, and Colbert has done that with laughter rather than rancor, for which he deserves credit.

But even on his worst day, I’d never argue for his ouster. He is a comedian, and he is entitled to some license, even if that offends people. If you can argue that Lenny Bruce should not have been censored, you are a hypocrite if you don’t stand up for Stephen Colbert.

In the meantime, we would do well to remember that whatever Suey Park and her followers are, they are not “liberal” in any sense of the word. Indeed, she and they demonstrate that the radical left is anything but liberal. Those of us with any sense of history will hear in their cries the chilling echoes of mid-20th century fascism.

How to Best Remember Pete Seeger

In Pete Seeger and the Judgment of History (Commentary Magazine), Jonathan Tobin offers what has to be the best, most balanced remembrance of the folk singer and activist that has yet been written. Some may feel that Tobin pussyfoots a bit, and certainly it would have been possible to write a more searching essay about Seeger and his legacy. Others have, just as many have written panegyrics to the departed songster.

Tobin did not follow the path of character assassination, choosing equipoise in his eulogy. He reminds us that in remembering the dead we do neither ourselves, nor the departed, nor the bereaved justice in recalling but a single aspect of that person’s life. If we believe that judgment is the Lord’s and his only, we should not judge. If we do not believe that, we are still obliged to inject balance in our public remembrances. We should come neither to praise the corpse nor piss on the grave, but to call upon our fellows to ruminate on the complexity of the human soul and what the legacy of a man in toto means to us all in our lives.

Remembering the bad with the good invites us to reflect that even heroes are flawed, and that humility remains the highest virtue. Remembering he good with the bad encourages us to go forward and do better, regardless of the chaos and destruction left in our wake to that point.

To do less is not just to display a lack of maturity and menschkeit: it is to forgo intellectual honesty and, in the case of political figures, to make oneself a party to demagoguery. It is as distasteful to eschew balance in the memory of Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Margaret Thatcher is it is to do the same with the memory of JFK, Martin Luther King, and Pete Seeger.

Enough with paeans, with juvenile “ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead” idiocy. Let’s take a page from Tobin’s book and show some class, even to those whose politics we detest. We may well learn something.

The Wrong Ideals

The problem with the Left in America is that they are more European than American. Paraphrasing Dennis Prager, they subscribe more to the French Revolution (“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”) than to those of the American Revolution (“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”) The more you think about it, the more you realize that this is the true fundamental divide in American politics.