I do wish to not overly attack people I like and genuinely respect; but when I read, for example, Jamie Kirchick, a normally dependable guy and someone I’ve met slightly, and like well enough, spending 700 words of an 800 word column talking up how base he thinks Pam Gellar is in a column allegedly defending her right to free speech, instead of, you know, actually defending her right to free speech, I become despairing, because if this is all the defense the alleged defenders of Free Speech can muster, then we have no right to free speech.
This is about class. This is all about class.
This is about, specifically, the careerist, cowardly, go-along-to-get-along mores of the Upper Middle Class, the class of people whose parents were all college educated, and of course are college educated themselves; the class that dominates our thought-transmitting institutions (because non-college educated people are more of less shut out of this industry).
It is a class which is deathly afraid of social stigma, and lives in class-based fear being grouped with the wrong people, and which is more interested in Career, quite frankly, than in the actual tradecraft of that Career, which is clarity of thought and clarity of expression.
Read the whole thing. It is worth your time. This sort of hit me a bit, because when I think of the things left unsaid for the sake of getting along, I worry I’ve fallen into this trap myself. Sure, I have this blog, but I write under a pseudonym. Why? Because I maintain a career in a large metropolitan run by the Upper Middle Class consensus. Anyone who follows my personal Facebook account knows I seldom bring up political topics, largely for the sake of getting along with friends, coworkers, and some family.
I think the lack of conversation is killing this country. We’ve been reduced to walking on eggshells for fear of upsetting the perpetually offended, and often times you don’t know who they are until you say the wrong thing. This state of affairs benefits the far left, because it’s how they control the culture when most people don’t actually agree with them. If we’ve been reduced to insulting each other on social media, and going on virtual witch hunts for the disbelievers, this lets them win. The polite everyman shuts up to avoid becoming the victim of some SJW witch hunter. If this country started talking again, we might begin to understand we’re not all that different, and we share a lot of the same concerns.
Sometimes I wonder if the issue is that social media turns a lot of people into monsters, because it’s hard to believe the American character has changed all that much in just eight years. Perhaps all that’s happened is the left has figured out how to take over that institution like they’ve taken over all the others. People can get away with saying things online they’d never say to another person having a discussion over a few beers. Five years ago I cut the cord on the TV, and I don’t miss it. Lately I’ve been thinking I should cut the cord on social media. Facebook is a giant waste of time, and Twitter is becoming a 140-character-at-a-time cesspool of groupthink hashtag activism. People used to think TV was destroying the country, but I wonder if social media is actually destroying this country.
Maybe it’s time for me to build a brewery in flyover country and check out from all this ridiculous bullshit.