I have been watching the latest cultural crusades with some dread and trepidation.
The campaign against the Confederate Battle Flag is one in which cowards have not only prevailed, but engaged in an orgy of self-congratulation that would leave most rational witnesses convinced of the insanity of the most fervently committed, and it has enjoyed a success that could not have been possible until we empowered those among us who decided to be offended at anything. Once we allowed offense to become a de facto crime, we robbed ourselves of the most powerful tool of personal and regional autonomy: The Burden of Persuasion.
Make no mistake. This is where we have been headed the minute we set foot on this road. One need only look back and recognize that this has been how the left has accomplished every major coup of the last 60 years. What could not be won in persuasion, and therefore by legislative means, was won in courtrooms, by judges and justices peering in “the law”, and divining just the right purpose to reward petitioners by mining the necessary meanings from penumbras and emanations, until they have gotten so bold that they will announce their conclusions as rooted in shallow philosophy rather than actual jurisprudence. And at the same time, they have set themselves up as the ultimate arbiters of culture, unafraid to take advantage of the general good nature of those they would browbeat into submission. This, was in fact, their avenue to victory. By claiming offense at anything and everything, they caused those they deemed themselves to be superior to surrender. It is a cowardly way to advance an idea, a notion, a concept, or a worldview, but shame was not to stand in the way of victory.
It is said that one of the great flashes of genius in the Second Amendment is that it prevents compulsion and requires persuasion. Small wonder, then that the Second Amendment is a touchpoint, and a sore one at that in the war that our cultural betters have been waging against us for years now. I have largely stayed out of the battle over the Confederate Battle Flag, not because I didn’t think it mattered as a fight, but because it has been a convenient distraction and wedge to occupy good people in a never-ending battle against the cultural shock troops of our betters, while the very people who have fomented this conflict benefit from drawing everyone’s attention away from what they are doing. Frankly, the only reason I’m commenting on this farce now has to do with a blog post that made its way around Facebook this week, where a “hero” took it upon himself to tear the battle flag off the back of a semi trailer. The author waxed poetic about the vandal’s heroism, and about the “cowards” who fought for the losing cause of the Confederacy. The aggressiveness of the ignorance underscored why this matters.
Back when I was young, and my skull full of mush, I believed in the nobility of the North’s cause in that conflict. I too, referred to that banner as a traitor’s flag. But when I got outside the halls of public indoctrination, and took the time to read first-hand accounts, and to dig deep into the history to understand the events of the era, I learned that not everything that I was taught was correct, and that it sure as hell didn’t tell the whole story. But even when I didn’t know what I didn’t know about the conflict, I still wouldn’t have characterized the Confederates as “cowards”. Knowing what I know now, I know that men don’t fight for years, in rags, sometimes barefoot, with as many of their number falling prey to malnutrition as to enemy action out of a belief in an institution that many of them weren’t wealthy enough to practice on their own, and it is cartoonish and silly to assert otherwise.
But flush in their recent judicial victories, complete with govern-given “rights”, and cultural victories against a symbol that represents a lot of things, good and bad, our betters now assume that persuasion is no longer necessary. They show no hesitation at demonizing anyone who dares to think, or believe in ways in which they do not approve. They seek to criminalize non-conformity, to bring the power of the state to bear against anyone who dares resist their collective will. This is the essence of cowardice; the absolute refusal to persuade when compulsion has been made easy. It shows no respect, despite demanding it still when “offense” is invoked, and it will brook no resistance. The only view that is acceptable is their own, and if you cannot be made to voluntarily silence yourself, then they will shut you up by force, and make an example of you if necessary. And when all else fails, they will attack the dead.
I read a tweet the other day by some Administration flunky, which expressed the view that states rights has been dead (and rightly so) since the Civil War. In some ways, he was correct, but in the most important one, he was wrong. I don’t recall any amendment repealing the Tenth Amendment, and until that occurs, Americans everywhere are free to exercise their rights within their home state to live in any way that they did not expressly grant the Federal government control over. And it is LONG past time to stop being polite, to our own detriment, and remind our betters and our rulers (BIRM) of that fact.
It’s been said that war is simply politics by other means. Our betters believe that politics is war by other means, and that is why they are always on the attack. If it feels like you’re always being put on the offensive, it’s because you are. And its being done by people who are cowards, people who don’t want to have a conversation, people who don’t want to have a debate. They are people who want to lecture. They are people who want to scold. No give and take is necessary, because they don’t have to afford you the courtesy or respect of acknowledging that your opposing (or even just different) thoughts and beliefs are honestly arrived at, derived, or earned. They are people who eschew morals, but cling to their own ideology, and advance it by any means necessary as if it were the strongest moral imperative. As long as your motives can be disregarded by the casting of aspersion, then they do not have to persuade you, because you…YOU…are a racist. YOU are a hater. YOU are a bigot. YOU are a reactionary, and only their view may prevail.
The President recently said that the only thing we all have in common is government. It is small wonder then, that so many among us keep trying to imbue it will power it was never meant to have, in part to stamp out any non-conformity with what it would plan for us. I think that we could set the cultural cannon fodder back on their heels if we would only stand. It wouldn’t mean being rude; merely firm. But then, if they continue to criminalize thought, and continue to presume that they know what is in our hearts, then they should be weary. Getting what one has wished for has been the undoing of many people throughout the years, and the fact is that if they are determined to make me, and my friends outlaws, then I am quite sure that we will be the scariest damn outlaws to ever walk the Earth.