In our opening salvo in this series, we looked at what is going on in the educational arena; the attempts to curtail free speech, the distorted view of political correctness, the increasing segregation of campus life and the lack of faculty diversity.
Now we turn to explore two other segments of our societal life—the public arena and the government/political arena—both as disturbing as the school culture.
The Public Arena
Just as is happening in the educational arena, the activists and loud mouths in the public arena try to sway the debate by name calling.
On America’s immigration crisis, if you use the term “illegal alien” or “immigrant,” you’re branded as a racist. The Left wants you silenced to ensure their political agenda can’t be challenged.
Or try this: mention to a liberal that you have doubts about man-made climate change. Suddenly, you’re a denier and you must be silenced!
Say anything positive about capitalism and the freedoms it has ushered in and you’ll be told you support “white male privilege” and “you’re part of the problem!” The same holds true about many other important national discussions—from radical Islamic terrorism to attempting to address violent inner-city street gangs.
Conservatives, libertarians and anyone who refuses to toe the line are being told to shut up—or else!
In the first days of the Trump presidency we had anti-Trumpers yelling about impeachment, and the impeachment chorus continues. Somebody ought to tell them not liking someone is not an impeachable offense. The anti-Trumpers created a mantra we haven’t heard after previous elections. and the continuing cry of “He’s not my president.”
All violate the historical precedent that once elected, like it or not, he was the president. Their protests were not just vocal but destroyed property to emphasize their bitterness.
This isn’t dissent, this is anarchy.
There now appears to be an ongoing and very uncivil war against Confederate statues. The impoverished and crime-ridden city of New Orleans recently spent more than $2 million to take down four monuments. Other cities and towns across the south are making plans to move or demolish dozens of other statues, and Baltimore trashed four monuments in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
Of course, reasonable people can make a powerful argument that statues of Confederate soldiers have no place in America. These men fought to defend the odious practice of slavery. But no one should ever believe this will end with a few dozen statues. The left is on the warpath against anything it considers distasteful in America’s past.
Slaveholders appear to be next in line; and in that regard, Yale University is especially instructive. Last year, university president Peter Salovey vowed that Yale’s Calhoun College would keep its name, even though John C. Calhoun, Yale class of 1804, was a powerful defender of slavery.
Just a few months later, Salovey caved to pressure and announced that Calhoun’s name would be sandblasted off any buildings. Salovey exemplifies the “courage” many college administrators are displaying these days.
But why stop with John C. Calhoun? Elihu Yale, himself, was a slave trader whose actions were arguably worse. You don’t think there are lots of aggrieved people who want the entire university renamed? Think again!
Princeton has its own issues, but not with a slave owner. Former school president Woodrow Wilson, who later moved to the White House and was a liberal hero, held some truly retrograde views of blacks. The university recently removed his photograph from a dining hall because it was deemed “unduly celebratory.” It was also, you know, not in keeping with Princeton’s eternal desire to be “truly diverse and inclusive.”
While Princeton and Yale are in the north, hundreds of schools in the south are named for slave-holders and Confederate officers. If statues of Robert E. Lee have to come down, why in the world does Washington and Lee University get to keep its name? General Lee became the school president soon after he surrendered to General Grant at the Appomattox Court House.
When the left is finished with Robert E. Lee, they might begin tearing down all the monuments dedicated to slave-owners George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Sure, that’ll take a while, but left-wing protestors seem to have little on their minds these days but time and anger.
The war between the states was a defining moment in American history and all Americans need to understand the two sides—who they were and who did what. Ripping down their statues doesn’t advance the cause or history or the understanding of that period.
Maybe there are a few too many statues but we must be very careful about overkill and the attempt to expunge history with so-called liberal political correctness.
We’ve always had activist groups in the public arena, but there’s a new air of anger and volatility in the groups we see today—in the white supremacists, in Black Lives Matter, and the anti-fascist ANTIFA—all disturbing signs.
This is all reminiscent of the Soviet Union or China’s Cultural Revolution, where out-of-favor officials simply got whitewashed. Their images vanished from photographs; their names were eliminated from history books.
In the Soviet Union, the whitewashing of history finally ended when the evil of communism was toppled, along with statues of Lenin and Stalin. Now we are the ones doing the toppling—Civil War generals, slave owners, just about anyone who is not deemed politically correct by the standards of 2017.
Personally, I’m more offended by the protests and the mayhem than I am about the statues.
Colin Kapernick started it and now, USA Sports reports, 17 other millionaire NFL football players are protesting by not standing for the national anthem. This is a game with rules they are forced to respect. What exactly are they protesting?
Maybe they ought to donate 80% to 90% of their bloated compensation to the problems they would like to see corrected. In the meantime, respect the flag that has offered you the opportunity to make so much money.
Now The Political Arena
The biggest accomplishment of the Trump presidency is that they finally got his hairdo under control.
It might have helped if Trump had concentrated on learning how to govern in his first days instead of launching a re-election fundraising effort.
I personally didn’t like Trump before he was a candidate but when he became our president I was hopeful that with a Republican Congress we could get tax reform, a real infrastructure program and an overhaul of Obamacare and our health care system. It doesn’t look promising.
The White House staff has been in total disarray. The only clear functioning appointees so far appear to be the retired military people. Donald, unfortunately, doesn’t have a clue on how to lead, how to govern or how to negotiate with the Republican leadership in Congress. Maybe his approach to the Democrats will work better.
Congress, apparently, can’t function any better on their own. The Republicans spent seven years screaming about repealing Obamacare and in seven months this year they couldn’t come up with an alternative and couldn’t even muster enough votes even for repeal.
Congress ceases to function as a forum of debate and compromise. They obviously need a strong presidential leader and they don’t have one.
Trump was not qualified by experience or temperament to become president of the U.S. His future is clouded by the Mueller investigation, not the Russian collusion fantasy, but what Mueller will uncover about the finances he didn’t want exposed by not releasing his tax returns. That may well be his downfall.
Let me be clear, I don’t believe Trump has contributed substantially to the fraying of our democratic principles but he has done nothing to help it. He’s just an obstacle in the way. Actually, I personally think his election was a beneficiary of all this craziness.
If things weren’t bad enough on the national scene, there are hardly any government entities—city, county or state—that are not on the verge of bankruptcy, all mainly due to the overblown pension benefits accorded to employees, some starting at age 55. How ludicrous!
College Park, Maryland and five other towns have decided to let illegal aliens vote in their local elections. Are people on death row next?
In our final blog, we’ll try to tackle how this came about, where it’s going and what may help remedy the problem.