From Mark Steyn:
I did my best to keep my spirits up on Tuesday while guest-hosting America’s Number One radio show, but actually I was near overwhelmed by an awful sickening sadness, which is not the best disposition for broadcast entertainment. I woke up to the news that, during the night, in Baltimore, Maryland, the oldest monument to Christopher Columbus in the United States had been destroyed by someone called “Ty” and his chum:
A 225-year-old monument commemorating Christopher Columbus was vandalized early Monday amid the nationwide debate on removing Confederate statues and monuments.
A video posted on Monday shows the monument being smashed. It shows two unidentified people taping a sign reading “The future is racial and economic justice” on the monument. One of them then hits the monument with what appears to be a sledgehammer while the other stands next to the monument holding a sign that reads “Racism: Tear it down.”
“Christopher Columbus symbolizes the initial invasion of European capitalism into the Western Hemisphere. Columbus initiated a centuries-old wave of terrorism, murder, genocide, rape, slavery, ecological degradation and capitalist exploitation of labor in the Americas,” the video’s narrator, who identifies himself as “Ty,” says.
As you can see at right, almost every word painstakingly engraved on that obelisk has been obliterated. It stood for 225 years, and it was destroyed in the blink of an eye. Julia Manchester, The Hill’s reporter, continues:
This comes amid a heated debate across the country over removing Confederate monuments…
That’s one way of putting it, but not an honest one. Mark Steyn Club member David Elstrom left a comment here that deserves to be more widely distributed:
I notice that the left media and even Fox News talk about the “discussion” on statues, or opine on the “conversation” concerning public monuments.
This Newspeak is apparently supposed to con the plebes into thinking something civil or democratic is happening. All I’ve seen is politicians or other apparatchiks rushing to remove statues (fearing the wrath of the mob) or actual mobs tearing things down.
If this is discussion, or conversation, then rape must be a “social event,” and sticking up the local convenience store a “financial transaction.”
Indeed. It’s hard to have a “conversation” with a guy wielding a sledgehammer. I was just sent a link to an Ohio newspaper purporting to report that one municipality was now “exhuming” the bodies of Confederate soldiers. I’m relieved to report that website appears to be fake. But it’s getting increasingly hard to tell. We live in a decadent age of totalitarian narcissism.
From Charles Krauthammer:
There is a loss of spirit in the west, not so much in the U.S. as in Europe, where we don’t believe in ourselves, where our history is flawed, where we teach our kids all of the sins of the American republic and none of the glories. When you do that for a long enough time, you end up with a generation that doesn’t know why they should be proud to be Americans, why they should be defending America.
“We’re watching a slow-motion coup.”
— Victor Davis Hanson on the Left’s despicable attempt to ruin Donald Trump’s presidency.
From Dennis Prager:
It is time for our society to acknowledge a sad truth: America is currently fighting its second Civil War.
In fact, with the obvious and enormous exception of attitudes toward slavery, Americans are more divided morally, ideologically and politically today than they were during the Civil War. For that reason, just as the Great War came to be known as World War I once there was World War II, the Civil War will become known as the First Civil War when more Americans come to regard the current battle as the Second Civil War.
This Second Civil War, fortunately, differs in another critically important way: It has thus far been largely nonviolent. But given increasing left-wing violence, such as riots, the taking over of college presidents’ offices and the illegal occupation of state capitols, nonviolence is not guaranteed to be a permanent characteristic of the Second Civil War.
There are those on both the left and right who call for American unity. But these calls are either naive or disingenuous. Unity was possible between the right and liberals, but not between the right and the left.
Liberalism — which was anti-left, pro-American and deeply committed to the Judeo-Christian foundations of America; and which regarded the melting pot as the American ideal, fought for free speech for its opponents, regarded Western civilization as the greatest moral and artistic human achievement and viewed the celebration of racial identity as racism — is now affirmed almost exclusively on the right and among a handful of people who don’t call themselves conservative.
The left, however, is opposed to every one of those core principles of liberalism.
Like the left in every other country, the left in America essentially sees America as a racist, xenophobic, colonialist, imperialist, warmongering, money-worshipping, moronically religious nation.
Just as in Western Europe, the left in America seeks to erase America’s Judeo-Christian foundations. The melting pot is regarded as nothing more than an anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-Hispanic meme. The left suppresses free speech wherever possible for those who oppose it, labeling all non-left speech “hate speech.” To cite only one example, if you think Shakespeare is the greatest playwright or Bach is the greatest composer, you are a proponent of dead white European males and therefore racist.
Without any important value held in common, how can there be unity between left and non-left? Obviously, there cannot.
There will be unity only when the left vanquishes the right or the right vanquishes the left. Using the First Civil War analogy, American unity was achieved only after the South was vanquished and slavery was abolished.
How are those of us who oppose left-wing nihilism — there is no other word for an ideology that holds Western civilization and America’s core values in contempt — supposed to unite with “educators” who instruct elementary school teachers to cease calling their students “boys” and “girls” because that implies gender identity? With English departments that don’t require reading Shakespeare in order to receive a degree in English? With those who regard virtually every war America has fought as imperialist and immoral? With those who regard the free market as a form of oppression? With those who want the state to control as much of American life as possible? With those who repeatedly tell America and its black minority that the greatest problems afflicting black Americans are caused by white racism, “white privilege” and “systemic racism”? With those who think that the nuclear family ideal is inherently misogynistic and homophobic? With those who hold that Israel is the villain in the Middle East? With those who claim that the term “Islamic terrorist” is an expression of religious bigotry?
The third significant difference between the First and Second Civil Wars is that in the Second Civil war, one side has been doing nearly all the fighting. That is how it has been able to take over schools — from elementary schools, to high schools, to universities — and indoctrinate America’s young people; how it has taken over nearly all the news media; and how it has taken over entertainment media.
The conservative side has lost on every one of these fronts because it has rarely fought back with anything near the ferocity with which the left fights. Name a Republican politician who has run against the left as opposed to running solely against his or her Democratic opponent. And nearly all American conservatives, people who are proud of America and affirm its basic tenets, readily send their children to schools that indoctrinate their children against everything the parents hold precious. A mere handful protest when their child’s teacher ceases calling their son a boy or their daughter a girl, or makes “slave owner” the defining characteristic of the Founding Fathers.
With the defeat of the left in the last presidential election, the defeat of the left in two-thirds of the gubernatorial elections and the defeat of the left in a majority of House and Senate elections, this is likely the last chance liberals, conservatives and the right have to defeat the American left. But it will not happen until these groups understand that we are fighting for the survival of America no less than the Union troops were in the First Civil War.
Trump is the only way in which to halt the further metastasis of Leftism on America.
From Dennis Prager:
All #NeverTrump conservatives maintain that their decision to never vote for Donald Trump is guided by their principles. I have no doubt that this is true.
But some of them seem to imply, or at least might think, that conservatives who vote for Trump have abandoned their principles. Indeed, the charge of compromising on principle is explicitly levied at Republican politicians and members of the Republican “establishment” who support Trump.
I cannot speak for all conservatives who are voting for Trump, but I can speak for many in making this assertion: We have the same principles as the #NeverTrumpers, especially those of us who strongly opposed nominating Trump. That’s why we opposed him, after all. Almost everything that prevents #NeverTrumpers from voting for Trump also troubled us about the candidate. (I should note that some of us are less troubled today.)
So where do we differ?
We differ on this: We hold that defeating Hillary Clinton, the Democrats and the left is also a principle. And that it is the greater principle.
Obviously, the #NeverTrumpers do not believe that. On the contrary, some of the most thoughtful #NeverTrumpers repeatedly tell us that the nation can survive four calamitous years of Clinton-Democrat rule. And then, they say, conservatism will have cleansed itself and will be able to take back the nation, whereas if Trump wins, he will be the de facto face of conservatism, and then conservatism will have been dealt a potentially fatal setback.
This argument is profoundly mistaken.
It assumes that America can survive another four years of Democratic rule.
And it depends on what “survive” means. If it means that there will be a country called the United States of America after another four years of a Democratic presidency, and after, quite possibly, another four decades of a left-wing Supreme Court (as well as dozens of lifetime appointments to the equally important lower federal courts), then country will surely survive.
But I do not believe that the country will surely survive as the country it was founded to be. In that regard, we are at the most perilous tipping point of American history.
It is true that the country was threatened with survival in the 1860s, and only a terrible civil war kept it whole. But with the colossal and awful exception of slavery, neither side challenged the founding principles of America.
That is not the case today. One side seeks to undo just about every founding principle that made America exceptional. Important examples include small and limited government; preservation of the power of the states to serve as political and social laboratories; a belief in individual responsibility; a society rooted in Judeo-Christian morality — one composed of people who nearly all affirmed in God and Bible-based moral teachings; and a deep sense of a unifying American identity and destiny.
The left is successfully undoing every one of those founding principles.
In fact, the left and the Democratic Party (which are now indistinguishable) boast of their aim to do so. As then-Senator Barack Obama accurately prophesied in 2008,
“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
And for the first time in American history, a man calling himself a socialist won the great majority of young people’s votes in the Democratic presidential primaries. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ new political movement is accurately named “Our Revolution.”
Of course, for conservatives “our revolution” occurred in 1776. So the left is in fact leading a counter-revolution.
Therefore, with another four years of Democrat-left rule — meaning a nearly permanent left-wing Supreme Court and left-wing-controlled lower courts; the further erosion of federalism; an exponential growth in the power of the federal government; further leftist control of education; and the de-Americanization of America in part by effectively eliminating its borders, in part by substituting multiculturalism for American identity and in part by giving millions of illegal immigrants citizenship — America will not be America.
We conservatives who will vote for Trump understand that he is the only vehicle we have to prevent this. We recognize that though there are some fine individuals who hold left-wing views, leftism is a terminal cancer in the American bloodstream and soul. So our first and greatest principle is to destroy this cancer before it destroys us. We therefore see voting for Donald Trump as political chemotherapy needed to prevent our demise. And at this time that is, by far, the greatest principle.
From Kevin D. Williamson:
Hearken unto me, o ye students of political history, and recall the ancient days of . . . 2011.
Anybody remember 2011? I remember 2011 pretty well. One of the infamous and horrifying events of that year was the shooting of Gabby Giffords by a pathetic misfit in Tucson. That was followed by a veritable Wagner opera of alarm and distress regarding the state of American political rhetoric. Oh, you remember, do you not: Sarah Palin, who had targeted several purportedly vulnerable Democrats for special electoral attention, had published a map with crosshairs — crosshairs, people! — over those Democrats’ congressional districts.
You’d have thought that Palin had pulled the trigger herself. Every good liberal on God’s green Earth began lecturing us about the need for “civility,” about the horrifyingly violent rhetoric of the Tea Party, etc. The president himself lectured us on civility. E. J. Dionne went the Full Yglesias (What’s the Full Yglesias? Stroking your beard and wetting yourself at the same time), writing:
Since President Obama’s election, it is incontestable that significant parts of the American far right have adopted a language of revolutionary violence in the name of overthrowing “tyranny.” . . . We must now insist with more force than ever that threats of violence no less than violence itself are antithetical to democracy. Violent talk and playacting cannot be part of our political routine.
Former senator Gary Hart, writing in the Huffington Post, insisted that riling up partisans by employing martial tropes in political campaigns (but we can’t call them “campaigns!”) is “to invite and welcome their predictable violence.”
The editors at the Huffington Post seem to have evolved on the issue, having just published a column by Jesse Benn, whose mirth-inducing bio-line identifies him as a doctoral student in journalism, in which he calls not for a revival in violent political rhetoric but for actual political violence: “Sorry Liberals, A Violent Response To Trump Is As Logical As Any,” the headline reads. Benn argues that the Trump phenomenon is not “a typical political disagreement between partisans,” and that “there’s an inherent value in forestalling Trump’s normalization. Violent resistance accomplishes this.”
E. J. Dionne has not been heard from.
A few days ago, Vox suspended an editor (after considerable criticism) who called for violence, in the form of riots, in response to Trump.
Gary Hart has not been heard from.
Neither has the president.
What’s violent rhetoric compared with genuine calls for violence?
Actual political violence is apparently to be encouraged when the goons are on the left and the target is (I suppose) on the right. Let a couple of ranchers in Nevada get squirrely, though, and it’s the end of days.
From Paul M. Johnson:
THE MENTAL INFECTION known as “political correctness” is one of the most dangerous intellectual afflictions ever to attack mankind. The fact that we began by laughing at it–and to some extent, still do–doesn’t diminish its venom one bit.
PC has an enormous appeal to the semieducated, one reason that it’s struck roots among overseas students at minor colleges. But it also appeals to pseudo-intellectuals everywhere, since it evokes the strong streak of cowardice notable among those wielding academic authority nowadays. Any empty-headed student with a powerful voice can claim someone (never specified) will be “hurt” by a hitherto harmless term, object or activity and be reasonably assured that the dons and professors in charge will show a white feather and do as the student demands. Thus, there isn’t a university campus on either side of the Atlantic that’s not in danger of censorship. The brutal young don’t even need to impose it themselves; their trembling elders will do it for them.
The insidious thing about PC is that it wasn’t–and isn’t–the creation of anyone in particular. It’s usually the anonymous work of such Kafkaesque figures as civil servants, municipal librarians, post office sorters and employees at similar levels. It penetrates the interstices of society, especially those where the hierarchies of privilege and property are growing. To a great extent PC is the revenge of the resentful underdog.
Nowhere has PC been more triumphant than in the U.S. This is remarkable, because America has traditionally been the home of vigorous, outspoken, raw and raucous speech. From the early 17th century, when the clerical discipline the Pilgrim Fathers sought to impose broke down and those who had things to say struck out westward or southward for the freedom to say them, America has been a land of unrestricted comment on anything–until recently. Now the U.S. has been inundated with PC inquisitors, and PC poison is spreading worldwide in the Anglo zone.
For these reasons it’s good news that Donald Trump is doing so well in the American political primaries. He is vulgar, abusive, nasty, rude, boorish and outrageous. He is also saying what he thinks and, more important, teaching Americans how to think for themselves again.
No one could be a bigger contrast to the spineless, pusillanimous and underdeserving Barack Obama, who has never done a thing for himself and is entirely the creation of reverse discrimination. The fact that he was elected President–not once, but twice–shows how deep-set the rot is and how far along the road to national impotence the country has traveled.
Under Obama the U.S.–by far the richest and most productive nation on earth–has been outsmarted, outmaneuvered and made to appear a second-class power by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. America has presented itself as a victim of political and economic Alzheimer’s disease, a case of national debility and geopolitical collapse.
None of the Republican candidates trailing Trump has the character to reverse this deplorable declension. The Democratic nomination seems likely to go to the relic of the Clinton era, herself a patiently assembled model of political correctness, who is carefully instructing America’s most powerful pressure groups in what they want to hear and whose strongest card is the simplistic notion that the U.S. has never had a woman President and ought to have one now, merit being a secondary consideration.
The world is disorderly and needs its leading nation to take charge and scare it back into decency. Donald Trump fits the bill. Other formidable figures, including Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, have performed a similar service in the past. But each President is unique and cast in his own mold. Trump is a man of excess–and today a man of excess is what’s needed.