Friday, November 30, 2018

Fumfering Around On A Fine Friday

     That’s right, Gentle Reader: It’s another of the dreaded assorted columns!

     I’m always impressed by success at turning the Left’s efforts to dictate the terms of our discourse ruinously back against it:

     Well played, Reverend!

     Have some perfect observations about the recent events at the Mexican border:

     The migrants freely admit their tactic is to front their columns with human shields go garner sympathy:
     Women and children were walking at the front of the march, he said, "to see if they would let them enter."

     But saying "NO" to predictable and tired tactics, and the hand-in-glove cooperation of leftwing NGOs, "protesters," and media operations all working to achieve leftwing agenda points, has changed some minds:

     Please read it all. In our time, NO! has become one of the things people find hardest to say, even to the blatantly demanding yet undeserving. Yet NO! is freest word in any language. Remember this passage from Atlas Shrugged?

     “Then I saw what was wrong with the world, I saw what destroyed men and nations, and where the battle for life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality—and that my sanction was its only power. I saw that evil was impotent—that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real—and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it. Just as the parasites around me were proclaiming their helpless dependence on my mind and were expecting me voluntarily to accept a slavery they had no power to enforce, just as they were counting on my self-immolation to provide them with the means of their plan—so throughout the world and throughout men’s history, in every version and form, from the extortions of loafing relatives to the atrocities of collective countries, it is the good, the able, the men of reason, who act as their own destroyers, who transfuse to evil the blood of their virtue and let evil transmit to them the poison of destruction, thus gaining for evil the power of survival, and for their own values—the impotence of death. I saw that there comes a point, in the defeat of any man of virtue, when his own consent is needed for evil to win—and that no manner of injury done to him by others can succeed if he chooses to withhold his consent. I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind. I pronounced it. The word was ‘No.’

     Rand got a couple of things wrong...but she got a whole lot of other things right.

     Perhaps Kurt Schlichter’s greatest service to us in the Right has been to insist that we remain mindful that liberals and their lackies hate us and want us silenced:

     They aren’t even pretending anymore – the left and their pathetic, craven Fredocon Renfields hate us, and they are giddy at the idea that they can shut us up and make us serfs in our own country.

     But they can’t do it. And if they weren’t so in love with the thrill of temporary success in banning people from Twitter and lying to our faces on 95% of the channels, they would understand the dangerous and hopeless game they are playing.

     See, they want the benefits that come with a free and stable society, but they don’t want to do the inconvenient things that come along as part and parcel of a free and stable society. Things like not using whatever power is at hand to shut up people who say things you don’t like. Like not trying to leverage power to intimidate people into obedience. Like not becoming petty dictators as insanely certain of their own virtue as the Red Guards of the Cultural Revolution.

     It’s an awareness that we in the Right have often fought. Decent people simply don’t want to believe that anyone hates them. We don’t want to believe that there are nominal Americans who want to see us crushed under their heel. But what else does it mean when the Left strives to silence us by hurling every imaginable excoriation and condemnation at us for speaking out minds?

     Kurt’s column does contain one wrong note, though:

     Oh, to be sure many Republicans are useless. After Jesse Kelly was shamefully banned, Ben Sasse – hedging with his obligatory “Oh well I never” sigh over Jesse’s refusal to be a passive schmuck – went on to offer a mealy-mouth headshake about deplatforming being bad. But Sasse is a senator. How about he stop tweeting and scribbling stupid books and write some damn laws protecting our rights?

     Unfortunately, a law cannot protect our rights. Otherwise the Constitution would be obeyed to the uttermost limit of its terms. Only we can protect our rights: by exercising them without apology and fighting back with our full rage and resolve when they’re abridged or threatened. Second Amendment absolutists have been telling us that for quite some time. We should have been listening.

     There are times I look back on my past and ask myself “How could I have been so stupid?” At my age, I’ve got a fair amount of past to look back on, so the effort can keep me busy for a while. It’s not mere self-flagellation; it helps to cauterize old wounds and remind me of how much I’ve learned. It also reminds me of a maxim I should keep more firmly in mind: Living well is the best revenge.

     Sarah Hoyt’s most recent column provides another perspective:

     Who are you really?

     What I mean is if you met yourself at seven, are you the same person? Some of us remember being seven, but I might have trouble even speaking to that little girl, attending a one room school in Portugal.

     And some of the things she believed and did I know just ain’t so. We have some memories (some of them pleasant) in common, and I’d probably break the face of one or two of her enemies, just because they were smug and full of themselves and that annoys me.

     Then how about 12? 14? 18?

     Hell, my teen years are even more embarrassing than the kid ones. Or as Terry Pratchett put it “You have to crawl through a lot of twerpitude to be who you are.”

     Please read it all.

     At some level I’ve always known what Sarah expresses. But as I’ve noted fictionally, your past, with all its warts, cannot be cloven from who you are and what powers you have to bring to bear on the tasks before you:

     My self-imposed exile wasn’t for any particular purpose. Maybe it served one even so.
     —No maybes about it, Al. You are not who or what you were. You’re far more. Some of it is invisible to you yet, though it won’t be forever. Just one of the unacknowledged laws of human nature at work.
     Which is?
     —At every moment of your life, you are everything you have ever been. It’s all there, from the instant of your birth onward to this very moment. And it all plays a part.
     Even the pain?
     —Especially the pain.

     Yes, I’ve been stupid. So have you. It’s there to be used, so use it.

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. Have a fine Friday. Get on with your life. Don’t take any wooden dialogue.

1 comment:

Linda Fox said...

Funny you should have mentioned the Hoyt post - I'd read it, and bookmarked it, planning to write about it.

You have saved me the trouble.

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