The Hitler Joke, Our Rights, And Our Nation

Prologue

When I was a junior in high school, I played Ko-Ko in  the Gilbert and Sullivan Club’s production of “The Mikado.” The head of the music department directed, a Jewish teacher named Mr. Einsig. He had the staging notes for all of the Gilbert and Sullivan works from the director who had gained great acclaim from his work with the Boston Light Opera Company, and I must admit, I cribbed many of that director’s ideas myself, through Mr. Einsig.One effective  staging concept was for the encores to “The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring.” Each one was performed as a different ethnic parody, with Ko-Ko singing translated lyrics. It began with Japanese, of course, then French, a Brooklyn dialect, and the biggest hoot of them all, German. I performed it, in my kimono, with an over-the-top Hitler imitation, complete with mustache, ending with an emphatic “Heil” gesture.

It brought down the house. Ten years later, at Georgetown University Law Center, I played Ko-Ko again, did the same Hitler parody again, and brought down the house again. Nobody complained. My late father, crippled for life in the fight against Hitler, detected nothing wrong with the routine. He also loved “Hogan’s Heroes,” with the show’s reluctant, inept, heiling Nazis, and the other Heil-filled spoofs of Hitler by Chaplin, Mel Brooks, and even the Three Stooges.

Now here is what happened to a private school teacher: read the whole, awful thing here. The short version: he was gesturing while explaining something in class, and noticed that his arm was raised Nazi-style, and said, “Heil Hitler,” jokingly. There was no question whether he was serious or not: everyone knew he was joking, and why he was joking. He even stopped and explained to the class that Once Upon A Time, in less enlightened eras, it was considered amusing to mock Hitler and the Nazis.

Ben Frisch, the teacher, a practicing Quaker  whose father was Jewish and who had two great-grandmothers  killed at Auschwitz, was fired by the private school anyway. The school principal who fired him explained his reason to the New York Times magazine  by saying, “One of our pledges is to make all of our students feel safe. And that is something that I take very, very seriously.”

Says the Times reporter in part in reaction to this:

“That no one has accused Frisch of being an anti-Semite was beside the point: His invocation of the Nazi salute in a classroom full of high school students, regardless of his intentions, was enough to end his career. On today’s campus, words and symbols can be seen as a form of violence; to many people, engaging in a public debate about the nuances of their power is to tolerate their use…The dynamics of the classroom are changing. These changes are partly specific to the hothouse environment of the campus in 2018. But they also connect to something much bigger. High schools have become genuinely unsafe: The “Heil Hitler” salute happened on the very same day as the Parkland massacre. And beyond the confines of the campus, a crude, violent bigotry that had long seemed part of the distant past has suddenly resurfaced, with neo-Nazis literally marching in the streets….

Meanwhile, the ex-teacher, like Gallileo or Winston Smith, tells the writer of the above that he now knows he was wrong. Big Brother, in other words, was right.

But he was not wrong, just as the various individuals who have been punished for using the word “nigger” to discuss racism are not wrong. They and others are the victims of creeping totalitarianism and anti-speech indoctrination from the Left…and this is coming from the Left. Political correctness was always a form of enforced ideological thought-control, a way to make certain points of view and beliefs, many of them conventional and benign, some of them more arguable and dubious, essentially mandatory under threat of social retribution. The entire theory and practice is sinister, designating both words and the thoughts they relate to “taboo,” while using fear, retaliation, and a dictatorship of favored groups and their members to enforce a process of extreme self-censorship.

One can take some solace in the fact that the majority of Frisch’s colleagues and the students at the school felt that his punishment was excessive and unjust. One can be encouraged that on blogger Ann Althouse’s commentary on the story, the vast, vast majority are critical of the school and the rationalizations it employed to punish innocent speech. Don’t be fooled. The New York Times allows a reporter to write utter nonsense like “High schools have become genuinely unsafe: The “Heil Hitler” salute happened on the very same day as the Parkland massacre.” That’s the emerging anti-speech and free thought cultural consensus the Left…and it is the Left…is pushing society toward.

That might be the most irresponsible statement I have read this year. No, a joke in a classroom, no matter what it is about, does not make a single student “unsafe.”  Even a genuinely firing-worthy joke in a classroom, or anywhere, does not involve “safety,” which implies physical danger. No, in this country, with its core values, we cannot, shall not and must not attempt to constrict speech by conflating words with weapons, and being made uncomfortable with being harmed.

No, high schools have NOT become unsafe: that is the factually false, statistically unsupportable Big Lie being perpetuated by the anti-Second Amendment activists and the untrustworthy news media. (Using the Nazi propaganda technique of the Big Lie is truly dangerous, unlike Mel Brooks mocking Nazis.) The fact that Frisch made his Hitler reference the same day as the Parkland shooting  has absolutely no correlation, relevance or significance. Finally, the Parkland shooter, Nicholas Cruz, used bullets to express his hatred of the school and its students. He did not make a joke mocking the Third Reich. To compare the harm inflicted by his guns and the “Gotcha!” political correctness offense that made some indoctrinated young fool feel “unsafe” is obscene. I think that’s a fair word.

I wouldn’t dare use old Mr. Einsig’s staging of “The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring” today, and I’m a pretty fearless director: I staged “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in Arlington Virginia with every “nigger” in the script intact. Not because there is anything actually wrong with spoofing  Hitler, but because the gag wouldn’t work: the Left’s speech bullying and intimidation has made it impossible to get the majority of any audience to laugh at it. Thus I have been censored effectively, by being forced into fearful prior restraint. What this means is ominous: the freedom to speak and think is being taken away in slivers, and the entire concept of what the United States of America means is being eroded and undermined as a direct consequence.

That President Trump used a derogatory term to describe Third World nations and “animals” to describe violent illegal immigrant gang members became weeks-long debates on cable news, and yet Trump’s verbal indiscretions involved no genuine harm to anyone at all.  The harm is allowing a mounting cultural rot to settle comfortably in our nation and the values of its citizens, so people like me will be afraid to make a politically incorrect joke, people like Ben Frisch will confess wrongdoing for employing a “taboo” however innocently, and the next generation will reach adulthood with an extensive and ever-expanding  catalogue of banned words, phrases, gestures, ideas, political positions and beliefs.

That’s real danger and real harm.

49 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, History, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, Professions, Rights, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, U.S. Society

49 responses to “The Hitler Joke, Our Rights, And Our Nation

  1. ”the freedom to speak and think is being taken away in slivers”

    In the era of organized touchiness, incremental removal of liberty is indispensable, is kinda like the frog in boiling water.

    U.W.-Madison (Go Badgers!) Professor Donald Downs outlines a similar Hitler moment in his book “Restoring Free Speech and Liberty On Campus;” the travails of Art Professor Richard Long, who was accused in 1990 of anti-semitism by two non-Jewish grad students.

    Why? He responded to their continual…um…badgering of him for weeks because of his Conservative views with a verbal “Sieg Heil, comrades”

    https://www.overlawyered.com/articles/rauch/pcland.html

    They reported him and he was investigated (“without notifying him formally, naming a plaintiff, or detailing any charges”) by the university’s AA Office because of alleged violations of a Faculty speech code.

    Long: ”I was devastated. Your name is tarnished forever. For 20 years I tried to do everything they asked me to do. I loved being a professor. My father was a tenant farmer, so I saw this as a kind of opportunity. I venerated this university. I was a fool, obviously.”

    Mercifully this was long before being “woke,” mandatory “safe spaces,” and ”micro-aggressions” became de rigueur, otherwise he’d likely still be in the labyrinthine tentacles of the Diversity Gulag.

  2. Alex

    I see a fun argument coming… I may even try it on Facebook if I feeling feisty.

    – Mocking Hitler is wrong because it’s “unsafe” (whatever that means)
    – Trump is Hitler (per everybody on the Left’s assurances)
    – Therefore, mocking Trump is wrong, unsafe, and a firing offense.

  3. adimagejim

    Harm is not the measure. It is using the victim status claimed and the resulting empowerment of allegedly feeling unsafe to silence anything or anyone with whom they disagree (even in jest). These events are ever closer and more frequent shots across the bow in an attempt to ensure any critical thought or reason is relegated to the dungeons.

    I am forever reminded of ‘Stripes’ and Sargent Hulka’s simple, terse, “Lighten up, Francis.” These people will not lighten up because it offers them so much power over their opponents and the common sense they so deeply detest.

  4. Excerpted from the above referenced book:

    “Asserting one’s position as a victim is strategically useful as a vehicle for
    obtaining sympathy and material benefits; and – as Nietzsche understood
    so incisively – it can weaken the self-confidence of one’s opponents.

    It can also provide emotional satisfaction as a form of redemptive suffering. (bolds mine)

    • PennAgain

      All of the points, Paul. This is what Claire Fox says we — correction: they (parents, teachers, censors of all kinds) — are creating in Generation Snowflake.
      https://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/generation-snowflake-how-we-train-our-kids-to-be-censorious-cry-babies/

      I’m of two minds on this. Anyone who has ever dealt with a two-year old (I’ve used this two-year-old thing before, but it bears repeating: you don’t have to be a mom to realize they are The Worst!) knows that suspicion in a child is the flip side of curiosity. Half the time they don’t believe anything you tell them; and the other half, they will fight you on it anyway. And they’ve already learned that playing wounded victim to get attention can just as easily get the offensive toy taken away. Adults are unpredictable liars.

      A certain amount of this trickles up (gravity is not always serious) to teen ages to add the spice of advantage-taking to their natural rebelliousness and growing skepticism. They know by this time what the oh-so-easy-to-caricature Hitler and his favorite pose is supposed to look like and in what low opinion he is now supposed to be held. Cue laughter, polite. A few of them — America’s future #MeToo-ers — are likely to enjoy the silly spectacle all the more because they recognize the golden opportunity to Tell On the Teacher. Now the whole class has achieved Victimhood, the Tell-Ons double that because their classmates now despise them for snitching. This Is Power!

  5. Sharon

    Wracking my brain to figure out what the shooting in Parkland has to do with a joke about Hitler. The shooting at Parkland took place on February 14th. The burning of the Reichstag took place on February 27th (at least the same month) and free speech in Germany took another nosedive after the burning of the Reichststag…yeah, I’m reaching. I got nothing. Except a headache.

    • A.M. Golden

      Controversial words make people uncomfortable or offended. Discomfort and offense cause some people to feel unsafe.

      Bullets make people feel unsafe.

      Hence, controversial speech=bullets=unsafe

      i don’t agree with the algorithm, but that seems to be the issue.

  6. A.M. Golden

    Even the Nazis allowed for some joking about the administration. Goering was pretty popular for his well-known self-deprecating jokes. They understood that jokes kept morale up, allowed people to vent frustration and weren’t necessarily reflective of malice against the regime. Per Richard J. Evans’ terrific series of books on the Third Reich, the Gestapo often dealt with reports of people who’d said things in anger or with humor and handled those cases pretty lightly because they knew there was nothing hostile behind them. This was pretty consistent until late 1944 when the regime cracked down.

  7. Other Bill

    Next they’ll say Mel Brooks is making Broadway an unsafe place. For Broadway producers and aficianados.

    • Other Bill

      Gotta love the pretzels.

    • dragin_dragon

      Given the response to this young teacher, I seriously doubt that ‘The Producers” could even be performed anymore.

      • Other Bill

        d_d, this episode is just so absolutely bizarre and preposterous. I’m tempted to think there’s much more to this story than is being told. The guy could just be a really incompetent teacher. I hope there’s more to the story because if there isn’t, as presented it’s just incomprehensible. If this story is true, the people involved have lost their minds.

        • I read the first part and then sped-read the rest. I think that you are onto something with the ‘something more’, but I have the sense that the something more is not much more than out-of-control hysteria. I define hysteria as a psychic condition or reaction which is, to one degree or another, beyond the control of those who participate in it. By its nature it is unconscious (or semi-conscious).

          Simply by making a reference to a ‘forbidden topic’, and simply because of the ambiguity of the possibility in the gesture, the gesture must be condemned hysterically. The ‘time’ demands it. You have to get with the program in one way or another and show where you stand; who you stand with; or what you stand against. I see entire areas of sublimated hysterical reaction that bursts to the surface.

          The other part of my theory has to do with social and intellectual repression. So much has been *repressed*, so much of our actual perception of things is not allowed, and this has gone on for so long, that psychically it is necessary to break out of those restraints. But the vice of social coercion tightens even as the need to shatter the vice increases. Something within the tension there might explain some part of this…unconscious (or semi-conscious).

          Simply by making a reference to a ‘forbidden topic’, and simply because of the ambiguity of the possibility in the gesture, the gesture must be condemned hysterically. The ‘time’ demands it. You have to get with the program in one way or another and show where you stand; who you stand with; or what you stand against. I see entire areas of sublimated hysterical reaction that bursts to the surface.

          The other part of my theory has to do with social and intellectual repression. So much has been *repressed*, so much of our actual perception of things is not allowed, leading to *cognitive dissonance*, and this has gone on for so long, that psychically it is necessary to break out of those restraints.

          Yet the vice of social coercion tightens even as the need to shatter the vice increases. Something within the tension there might explain some part of this…

          • Other Bill

            Yes, Alizia, your analysis is trenchant and thoughtful and doubtless contains a great deal of truth. I guess my point is we might benefit from not taking this seriously because THESE PEOPLE ARE FUCKING NUTS! A guy is losing his job because of this? I think there’s some benefit to dwelling a little on the “These people are fucking nuts!” for a while. We shouldn’t dignify this situation with serious analysis before at least acknowledging how insane the whole situation is. This is insanity!

            Thanks and regards.

  8. Isaac

    “That no one has accused Frisch of being an anti-Semite was beside the point: His invocation of the Nazi salute in a classroom full of high school students, regardless of his intentions, was enough to end his career. On today’s campus, words and symbols can be seen as a form of violence; to many people, engaging in a public debate about the nuances of their power is to tolerate their use…The dynamics of the classroom are changing. These changes are partly specific to the hothouse environment of the campus in 2018…”

    What? Did someone at the Times grow a spine? Are they going to go off-script and acknowledge the way that progressives are derailing education? Good for them!

    “..,But they also connect to something much bigger. High schools have become genuinely unsafe: The “Heil Hitler” salute happened on the very same day as the Parkland massacre. And beyond the confines of the campus, a crude, violent bigotry that had long seemed part of the distant past has suddenly resurfaced, with neo-Nazis literally marching in the streets…”

    Never mind.

    Every single thing about that last paragraph, incidentally is a lie. Neo-Nazis aren’t marching in the streets in greater numbers or more frequency than in past decades. Schools are not less safe. And the Parkland shooter wasn’t a Nazi. He was, however, yet another nihilist, narcissist, moral relativist, atheist/agnostic with a god complex who said that his “life is meaningless” and wanted to kill to be famous. Basically exactly like all the others. But let’s not notice any cultural trends forming that might reflect poorly on baby boomers’ philosophical and lifestyle choices. Let’s talk about guns and Nazis some more.

  9. If my kids went to this private school… they no longer would. After a loud and blunt public dressing down for their treatment of this teacher. I would do everything in my power, legal and ethical, to get most of the parents to follow us out the door. They need our money, unlike public schools.

    As for the teacher’s ‘confession:’ poor guy was like Galileo, who saved his life in the same way. Teacher may never teach again, if he bucks the fascist administration.

  10. joed68

    “The school principal who fired him explained his reason to the New York Times magazine by saying, “One of our pledges is to make all of our students feel safe. And that is something that I take very, very seriously.”

    If you want to be taken seriously, try not being a clown.

  11. I know I would certainly feel less safe if my teacher were fired for making a humorous reference to Nazis.

    This gave me an idea for an article about teaching people to use free speech skillfully to counter ideas they feel are wrong, rather than trying to shut down others’ speech or trying to drown them out with protests and spamming slogans. I’ve got a few other articles to write before that, though.

  12. High schools are increasingly dangerous. But not for any of the reasons they cite.

  13. The funny thing is … just imagine a school setting in America in which the ideas that informed Interwar Europe, and which informed fascism and hard(er) right ideas and ideology … were studied without an a priori prejudice. Imagine a class that investigated, without prejudice, many American writers of the Interwar period whose ideas cannot be mentioned or considered.

    Imagine for example an historical review by someone like, say, David Irving, or a classroom anywhere in America which used any of his books as class-books.

    Imagine a syllabus in which it was proposed to critically examine the Holocaust without a priori and predetermined assertions. Or imagine a class that investigated how the specific wartime propaganda was later embellished and made into a far larger *narrative* which also defined ontological malevolence in specific, rather propagandistic ways…

    Imagine any classroom anywhere in America where such free enquiry were allowed; that is, where free thinking was allowed.

    Now, imagine a person or people who come to conclusions about things — any things — that doe not follow the Party Line (as it were). That is, a nationally determined view…

    And then ask Why is such free thinking not allowed? What happened? How can it be recovered.

    • Alizia, you will probably be thrilled to know that “educators” in Texas intend to excise the words “heroic defenders” from all instruction on the siege of the Alamo (Texas history). But of course: White just can’t ever be right. This news further drives me to complete my new book, “White is the New Perfect.” Oops. I was trying to make a joke. See you in the gulag.

  14. Open your eyes folks, the signs are staring you in the face, the social justice warriors have won. This isn’t a one off incident, there is a disturbing trend.

    Business, and people in general, are now actively making choices to preempt any possible public social shunning and intimidation actions against them from social justice warriors. It won’t be long before doing something as simple as wearing a shirt or hat with the flag of the United States on it will instantly label you as deplorable and it’ll get you fired from your job and shunned by society as unemployable. Do something that social justice warriors deem offensive and you’ll have a virtual trail of social justice warriors stalking you, protesting your thoughts, protest your existence, calling you every name in the book, and destroying your life. The goal of social justice warriors is total capitulation to them and if you don’t comply you will be destroyed one way or the other. Wide spread open violence from social justice warriors can’t be far away

    The United States of America and the Constitution are doomed unless we all start standing up against this ignorant social tyranny right now. Use your intellect, logic, common sense, reason, and your voice to oppose this utter nonsense but you better damn well be prepared to face down what is likely to confront you.

      • Alizia Tyler wrote, “Heil Hitler to that!”

        It’s thirty lashes with a wet noodle for you and then you’re hereby banished to the gutter from whence your ancestors came. 😉

      • Be it noted that the Alizia Combine stands against any such totalitarian solutions, and anyway German cooking, except a few desserts, has little going for it. If the New Regime does not have open kitchen-ideology, well, I am not going along!

      • Alizia,
        Interesting observation; you’re humorous comment worked as the perfect deflection from the seriousness of my comment. Such is the way things go sometimes.

        • Business, and people in general, are now actively making choices to preempt any possible public social shunning and intimidation actions against them from social justice warriors.

          The raison d’être of a corporation is to maximize profits. It is therefor a necessary business decision — in respect to the share-holders — to do what is needed to keep the profits augmenting, not decreasing. Therefor, ‘business’ can only be expected to do what must be done to augment profits. Business looks to align itself with cultural modes and with trends of culture.

          Business — corporations — therefor cannot, or perhaps should not, be expected to have ethics nor morals. Individual board-members might (or might not), but the overall entity cannot act like a *person* though it has the status of a person. I would conclude from this that business cannot and should not ever be relied on to guide the country morally or ethically. The opposite is more likely. And I think it is fair to simply notice that American government and American business are tightly melded, one serving the other.

          There you have a big problem.

          It won’t be long before doing something as simple as wearing a shirt or hat with the flag of the United States on it will instantly label you as deplorable and it’ll get you fired from your job and shunned by society as unemployable. Do something that social justice warriors deem offensive and you’ll have a virtual trail of social justice warriors stalking you, protesting your thoughts, protest your existence, calling you every name in the book, and destroying your life. The goal of social justice warriors is total capitulation to them and if you don’t comply you will be destroyed one way or the other. Wide spread open violence from social justice warriors can’t be far away.

          But social coercion has been a substantial part of the American system for at least 70 years. Consider Edward Bernays and the book about PR called ‘Spin”.

          What I find interesting is to compare something like this:

          With more obvious and Maoist forms of ‘cultural engineering’. The CNN spectacle and rehearsal is a carefully constructed public relations piece presented by those entities with both basic institutional and economic power and that have definite interests in engineering the American population. The problem is how, then, to look at Fox News? which to all appearances takes a ‘stubborn’ stance (to coin Mao) to the progressive cant of CNN?

          From Wiki: “Chinese propagandists used every possible means of communication available in China after 1949, including electronic media such as film and television, educational curriculum and research, print media such as newspapers and posters, cultural arts such as plays and music, oral media such as memorizing Mao quotes, as well as thought reform and political study classes.”

          The United States of America and the Constitution are doomed unless we all start standing up against this ignorant social tyranny right now. Use your intellect, logic, common sense, reason, and your voice to oppose this utter nonsense but you better damn well be prepared to face down what is likely to confront you.

          As I do not and will not tire in saying: these processes of undermining the Constitution, or the engineering and the reengineering of culture began a loooonnnggggg time ago. It all starts (or at least a significant part) during the War Between the States. Let me put it another way: the war on, and the destruction of the South, was a destruction of the Constitution in a far more severe sense than that of the SJ-ism in our present.

          I do not, not ultimately, know what to make of it all, but I can do some part in noticing what is going on.

          • Alizia wrote, “the war on, and the destruction of the South, was a destruction of the Constitution in a far more severe sense than that of the SJ-ism in our present.”

            I think you’ve completely missed something rather important Alizia, the Constitution still stands as the law of the land even after the Civil War. If this crop of ignorant social justice warriors get their way the Constitution will be come kindling under their totalitarian social rules – snowflakes will rule. In other words the Constitution will literally either cease to exist or become completely unenforceable as a relic of the un-woke past due to outright social intimidation and violence.

            The Constitution existed and thrived after the destruction of the south in the Civil War, in my humble opinion when this crop of social justice warriors get their way the Constitution will no longer exist.

            • ‘snowflakes will rule.”

              SnowFLAKES will NEVER rule in and of themselves, they’ll wilt like August lettuce when it heats up.

              Not saying they won’t get used as cannon fodder, but that’d leave too many chiefs and not enough indians.**

              **needs a trigger/micro-aggression/racist, et al ruling.

            • Esteemed Zoltar, my point has to do with what I understand to be an expression of a *totalitarian* social- and civil-engineering project that was the invasion of the South by the North. My points in relation to this are various…

              One is simply that ‘social engineering’, at any cost, is part-and-parcel of the Republic. If it happened once, surely it can happen again. What is happening now has causal links to what happened then.

              Two is the tacit, or perhaps implicit, destruction of a Constitutional principle that has to do with *sovereignty*. The invasion of the South by the North, no matter how it is seen, in my opinion, represents a thorough and a gross overstepping of the Constitutional spirit. And therefor it represents a *wound* in the social body that still exists.

              Now, in our present, the SJW of whom you complain (and I complain) represents a continuation, in a certain sense an evolution of, the intentionality of the North. Similar to the radical Republicans of that era. The link between the SJW and the ‘Puritan spirit’ has been noted by some. The hubris of the Northern *regime* has also been noted, and resisted. By many in fact. Obviously the US Southerner but also by those who are critical of US policies (populist and democratic anti-war factions for example and throughout America’s neo-imperial history). And by those who have suffered the results of them.

              But this goes further, much further. And if one were going to speak in *genuine* terms, and if one did accept the suggestion of a violation of Constitutional principle as I have outlined, one would be in a position to notice an evolution in similar policy undertaken by the Northern government as the 19th century turned into the 20th century and America’s neo-imperial adventures began. These are, in my view, just the most basic information, understood by many, but difficult in my view for Americans to see. The social and cultural transformations that are tied-up in these neo-imperial projects, cannot be seen except as contrary in spirit and in fact to the Constitutional principles that were *enshrined*, as they say, in this guiding document. What does this mean? It means numerous things. But one important thing has to do with *disentanglement* of perception, and a reordering of historical view. That is, if one genuinely wants to understand the present, and also many of the things going on in the present.

              When we turn back to the crisis in America now and we seek hermeneutical tools to decipher it.

              I do not, like you, believe that the US Government has must *real* and genuine respect for the Spirit of the Constitution — that is, if it is really taken as a real thing. Time and again I have mentioned the destructive and totally illegal and 100% immoral wars that the US Government has waged (Iraq, Afghanistan and on-going). These clearly show a spirit of violation of the principles of sovereignty. And the important point? That if sovereignty is violated *there*, our there, among *them*, it rebounds as a negative effect on one’s own social body. Vietnam is the best example of such a horrid repercussion.

              So, in my view of things, if one is really & truly going to speak of ‘protection of the Constitution’ and recovery of Republican principles, one is going to have to do a great deal of intellectual and analytical work to get to the bottom of *what went wrong* and *why*.

              This is my operating stance. I am uncertain what it will portend though.

              In my view, the crisis of the present is multi-layered and exceedingly complex.

    • Oh, I’m prepared. I was born for this task. If you know of anyone in particular who needs deconstructing, let me know, and I can make an example of them.

      –Barren [sic] Blauschwartz

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