Surfing the cable channels the evening before my Friday a.m. blog duties, I came upon Sean Hannity at Fox News completely losing his shit in a colloquy with Geraldo Rivera about the Iran drone incident. “Bomb the crap out of them!” Mr. Hannity ranted, several times, the veins in his neck throbbing visibly on the high-def screen. I thought I was having an acid flashback to Doctor Strangelove. Geraldo himself seemed a bit nonplussed and embarrassed by Mr. Hannity’s tantrum, but his attempts to calm down the raving anchorman only ramped up the hysteria. One wondered: are there any adult producers off-screen on that network?
Perhaps the Golden Golem of Greatness, our president, who is also known to follow the Cable TV news, witnessed the cringeworthy incident and realized that every other head-of-state on this nervous planet would also see it, and might infer he was doing the bidding of a crazed boob-tube performer if he actually went forward with an air strike. Earlier, he’d told reporters, “You’ll soon find out,” what the USA’s response to the drone shoot-down would be. He should have just kept his mouth shut. Planes and ships were on their way to the bottleneck in the Persian Gulf known as the Straits of Hormuz. Before they could deliver any payloads, Mr. Trump called the whole thing off suggesting that maybe some “loose and stupid” Colonel Borat type on Iran’s side had gone rogue in the incident.
Is there some virus loose in this land that is turning anyone in authority here into reincarnations of the Three Stooges? The illness is certainly not concentrated on either the Right or the Left. There’s plenty of craziness all around. America’s cup runneth over with some toxic agent that interferes with thinking.
It’s most conspicuous among what was formerly considered the Thinking Class, since minus thinking they have no identity at all.
Imagine The New York Times presenting a coherent idea! Today, The Times is celebrating the New York State legislature’s passage of harsh new laws against sexual harassment: Sex Harassment Laws Toughened in New York: ‘Finally, This Is Happening.’ Can you guess what the unintended consequences of this “happening” will be? I’ll tell you: men who run companies (there are some) will avoid hiring women because men and women who are not sexually neutered behave as sexual beings when they spend a lot of time together. You can only pretend to regulate that — especially in a culture as devoid of traditional manners as the US has become — and if the regulations are stringent, any sentient CEO will hear the cloven hoofbeats of personal injury lawyers pounding down the hall of the C-Suite behind every moderately attractive female job-seeker. Or, perhaps the CEOs will just move their companies to another state. Nice going, NY State legislature and our grandstanding guv, Mr. Cuomo.
On the national scale here in Crazyland, we have on the docket in Congress reparations for descendants of slaves, another fabulously bad idea. Could it be that the Democratic Party is only dangling this giant goodie-bag out now because black America is rumored to be disenchanted with life on the Democratic plantation? And without them, they can’t possibly win a national election?
The unintended consequences of the proposal were nicely set forth in congressional testimony by a 23-year-old philosophy undergrad from Columbia University named Coleman Hughes who writes frequently for the Quillette website (and several major media platforms) on US race politics. The hearing room was incandescent with Wokester suspense when Hughes was called to speak, and he laid it out with stark eloquence:
…the people who were owed for slavery are no longer here, and we’re not entitled to collect on their debts. Reparations, by definition, are only given to victims. So, the moment you give me reparations, you’ve made me into a victim without my consent. Not just that: you’ve made one-third of black Americans—who consistently poll against reparations—into victims without their consent, and black Americans have fought too long for the right to define themselves to be spoken for in such a condescending manner.
Ouch! That stung a little! Naturally the room erupted in boos and catcalls of Wokester indignation. (Did he actually say that!) You could hear the sentimental arguments of Ta-Nihisi Coates just gurgle down the drain.
Of course, this reparations cherry on the over-baked victimhood cake would arouse so much resentment and disappointment from all concerned (repeat ALL concerned, black and white), that any hope for social comity in this sore beset nation would lie moldering in the grave… along John Brown, Martin Luther King, and 360,000 Union dead.