Ethics Quote Of The Day: Roger Kimball

“Everything that is happening between now and November 3 is about November 3. But the fundamental choice is not really Donald Trump or Joe Biden. It is civilization and America on one side, anarchy and woke tyranny on the other.”

Critic and New Criterion publisher Roger Kimball

I detest the habit of so many of my Facebook friends, posting daily the published opinions of pundits–Paul Krugman, Eugene Robinson, George Conway, et al.—in an unending appeal to authority. Usually they have barely thought about the topic at hand at all (often, neither have the authors of the pieces they are circulating); literally, the process saves them the trouble of thinking at all.  When I challenge these opinions by proxy, what comes back more often than not is an attack on an imaginary authority that I must be channeling rather than the substance of my argument. They do this because they can only relay the opinions of others which can be used as passports to a position of favor on their bubble-dwelling “team.” That’s not what I do.

Occasionally, however, an analyst independently comes so close to cloning my conclusions on a topic and does such a superb job expressing them that I cannot do better than pointing readers his way.

Roger Kimball’s article in American Thinker contains many powerful statements. Here’s another:

Voters whose voices you don’t hear in the pages of the New York Times and whose rigged Google searches and Facebook hot spots somehow leave out of account. They’re sitting at home watching their cities burn, watching monuments to Columbus, to Washington and Thomas Jefferson be defaced or toppled. They see that, and they hear a nonstop litany telling them how racist they are and how evil  America is. 

And just about now, a great chasm is opening up. The choice, they see, is not so much between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. It is between the America they love—that Donald Trump celebrates—and the out-of-control forces of anti-American hatred that, though he does not understand them, Joe Biden manages to blink and nod and gibber around. 

Do read it; Kimball’s an excellent writer. I only object to a single characterization in his essay, in this sentence: ” How is it that celebrities, major corporations, and tony schools and colleges experienced simultaneous multiple paroxysms of woke self-abasement because a lowlife career criminal with serious cardiac problems died in police custody?”

That’s dishonest. As I have written more than once here, the fact that Floyd was a career criminal is as irrelevant to the episode as the manipulative claims that he was a wonderful human being. It is deliberately misleading to describe what happened to George Floyd as dying “in police custody.” He died as the result, direct or indirect, of a dead-eyed and merciless cop deliberately kneeling on his neck for nine minutes, as Floyd pleaded, fellow officers objected, and cell phones recorded it all. The knee on the neck of a black man placed there by the white representative of the government could not have been a more vivid metaphor if it had been devised by Melville. Of course it was used to launch an attack on whites, police and America. It was perfect.

The rest of his essay shows that Kimball is too smart not to understand this.

16 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Day: Roger Kimball

  1. “passports to a position of favor on their bubble-dwelling ‘team.’ ”

    Now THAT’S a keeper, Jack!

    It’s been inked onto my desk blotter, sharing rare air with Confucius, G. B. Shaw, Samuel Clemens, & Oscar Wilde [it’s early in the month, yet]

    There, it will await being summoned (with citation) to…um…depict any most recent example of Lefty malfeasance, of which there’s been no shortage.

  2. So for the 63 million people who were amazingly annoyed enough to vote for Trump in 2016, what has Trump done to cause them not to vote for him again? Mrs. OB (firmly in the much sought after white, suburban, college educated, woman demographic [sheesh, she even hails from Massachusetts]) says fairly regularly, “He’s just too much. I wish he’d just keep his mouth shut and stop tweeting.” And so forth. But so what? I doubt she voted for him in 2016. I think she might this time. I held my nose and voted for HRC in 2016 and I’m sure as heck voting for Trump this time. Bottom line, none of the people who are annoyed by Trump voted for him last time, and the people who were annoyed enough to vote for him last time have three years of even more outrageous things to be annoyed about and will certainly vote for him again. And I think the weaponization of the virus and BLM (and whatever they come up with between now and November 3) has driven (and will drive) more voters away from Biden and into the only other camp. As I’ve said to Mrs. OB, not voting for Trump is a vote for Biden and Pelosi and Ilhan Omar and AOC and Keith Ellison (your new Attorney General!)

    • You and I are in the same boat, OB. I voted for HRC in 2016 and cried the entire drive to work after I did so.

      I cried Wednesday morning when I found out Donald Trump was the winner.

      After what I’ve seen the last four years, I may never vote for a Democrat again. They and their allies in the news media and the entertainment industry are aligning themselves with people who hate America and are trying to fundamentally alter our system of government so that it is unrecognizable. They’re doing this because they want power.

      They are like the conservatives in the Weimar government of 1933 who convinced themselves that they could control Adolf Hitler even if he became Chancellor only to watch the Reichstag burn six weeks later.
      The national emergency that was declared then was used to rationalize extreme powers granted to the chancellor. Meanwhile an aged and confused President von HIndenburg watched on impotently as a man he despised took over.

      These woke Progressives infiltrating the Democrat Party are far more dangerous than anything stupid Mr. Trump has tweeted in the middle of the night.

      People who returned to Germany after years abroad could tell something had fundamentally changed about their country. But, like a picture hanging askew on a wall that you have trouble righting, they couldn’t figure out what had changed and, thus, didn’t know how to fix it. How heartbreaking that Americans overseas may return to find that their country as they knew it doesn’t exist anymore.

      In my opinion, the only question about what happens if Biden is elected is how quickly a contrived national emergency will erupt that will require the woke minority woman in the Vice-President’s office to call for the 25th Amendment her party has painstakingly made Americans aware of to force Biden from office so she can take over and remake America via executive order.

      This is an existential election, folks. Something much bigger is happening here.

  3. Roger Simon said:

    And just about now, a great chasm is opening up. The choice, they see, is not so much between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. It is between the America they love—that Donald Trump celebrates—and the out-of-control forces of anti-American hatred that, though he does not understand them, Joe Biden manages to blink and nod and gibber around.

    I find this far too simplistic to be truly useful, even though it is powerfully argued. This piece reminds me of a quote by Hannibal Lechter in Silence Of The Lambs:

    First principles, Clarice. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature?

    So what is the nature of the “particular thing” the Left seeks? Donald Trump’s defeat is the simple answer, facile and, in some ways, honest. But that’s just a manifestation of what the Left wants, and the conclusion it hopes we’ll all reach.

    The Left has always been of the opinion that every election that does not produce the result they demand is illegitimate. Even if Trump carries every state but the deepest blue, they will still have that opinion, which indicates that they really don’t care who the GOP puts forth in nomination — unless a Democrat wins, the election will be considered illegitimate and the president a fraud.

    Fundamentally, the Left doesn’t even accept the liberals in the country, because most liberals are not calling for massive structural change. That’s why you see so many nominally “on the Left” get “canceled” on social media — because they aren’t “woke” enough. Biden himself would be a victim if he were still in a primary with Sanders or, especially, with Corey Booker or Camella Harris. As it is, he’s just a useful idiot whom the Left hopes to use to capture power, then remove and replace with a more useful idiot. Biden is going to be spending all his time proving he doesn’t deserve replacement.

    The nature of this “particular thing” is not about Trump — Trump is its public face, its boogeyman. The “particular thing” into which Simon purports to inquire is far larger than one man. Instead, it is doubtless the entire U.S. system of government and elections. The Left would like to cancel large swaths of government, such is ICE, the FBI, the CIA, and even the military and replace it with organs of social change, indoctrination, and retribution against those who oppose it.

    They want to remake the presidential election into a populist referendum. They want to “reform” the Supreme Court to ensure a consistent favorable ideological balance, and they no doubt intend to do the same for every other circuit court of appeals in the country. If they don’t like the partisan makeup of the electorate, they want to change it by redistricting to ensure they can make a “legitimate” claim to power, and even the most Rorschach-style Gerrymander will be upheld by their newly “reformed” court.

    They will sacrifice the Senate filibuster for this purpose, because they believe that once they have the power to move legislation without roadblocks, they can change the laws to make competitive elections impossible — for instance, by rewriting congressional district population limits to gain more representation per capita from big cities in the name of “fairness,” admitting Washington DC and Puerto Rico as full states with two senators each, and granting immediate citizenship and voting rights to DACA aliens and making illegal immigration a thing of the past.

    They will undo Citizens United and ban corporate contributions while allowing unions and other left-favoring groups to contribute unlimited sums. They will attempt to disarm Americans by passing stringent gun control, and if anyone thinks they won’t act to confiscate firearms, you are sadly mistaken. Ultimately, they will attempt to create a Constitutional Convention and adopt a new, radical constitution that will undo most of what our Founders did.

    Make no mistake, this “particular thing” is no less than a Marxist revolution, and I suspect if Biden is elected he will be the last legitimately elected president. It’s time for us to take the rhetorical gloves off and call it what it is — an attempted Marxist takeover of America by using one of the two political parties as a vehicle.

    These past few months have awakened me to reality. I hope those of you yet to find your enlightenment do so soon.

    • Yup, that about covers it. Yet the national polls say this nation is ready to elect this idiot because people hate Trump that much. You’re going to hate what electing Biden does to your investments even more, especially if he picks Elizabeth Warren as his VP and tasks her with changing the wealth picture.

    • “and if anyone thinks they won’t act to confiscate firearms, you are sadly mistaken”
      Oh, I have no doubt they might test this out in fits and starts, but I feel pretty certain that this, if nothing else, will stir people to immediate and direct action. If that is allowed to transpire unopposed, it’s all over, and as sickening as our inertia can seem at times, I think our will to resist is still alive and well in our DNA.

      • “and if anyone thinks they won’t act to confiscate firearms, you are sadly mistaken.”

        And if anyone thinks we won’t react with violence to resist gun confiscation, you are sadly mistaken. A lot of folks I know are already (figuratively) off safety and taking up slack on the trigger. Sheriff’s across the nation are lining up to declare they won’t enforce confiscation laws. Being a gun confiscator could become the newest form of “death by natural causes: dying due to the life they chose.”

          • “Where do you think gun confiscation efforts would start?”

            Wholesale gun confiscation would begin in areas where the anti-gun sentiment is already the strongest, where gun control efforts and other programs like gun buy-backs have already proven ineffective in curbing gun violence. In short, it would be in areas already closest to the “socialist utopia” the Left desires, and where there might be enough illusion of compliance to indicate legitimacy. I can see some “blue” states like California and New York nominally falling in line “officially,” but the thing to remember is that most of America is “red” with islands of “blue.” Outside of those islands, there is virtually NO support for gun control and certainly not gun confiscation. I don’t believe wholesale confiscation would happen for quite some time.
            Gun control from the federal level would likely begin with Federal Firearms Licensees and work it’s way outward. First, “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines would be outlawed. Then, when enough gun confiscators were sacrificed on that altar, all semi-auto centerfire rifles would be singled out. When the confiscator death toll continued to mount, scoped centerfire rifles (regardless of action) would be next. Then particular calibers and types of ammunition wold be banned. All these increments in the guise of preserving some remnant of the Second Amendment. Tactical shotguns would probably fall from acetance somewhere along the line, then repeating firearms like lever-action rifles. We might eventually be “allowed” to only keep arms lie a single-shot .22 or grandpa’s old single-shot 12 gauge, but even those would have to go eventually. This extent of gun banning presupposes that armed revolution or some sort of secession movement hasn’t resolved things in support of our original constitution.
            If the Left wants to pick an issue that will force widely varying interests to coalesce toward a common cause, then gun control, and especially actual gun confiscation, will do nicely.
            Many gun owners i know have started referring to their guns as having been “lost in a tragic canoeing accident.” (Maybe I should say “former gun owners?”) Not only stockpiling but strategic caching of firearms and ammunition is becoming a “thing.” Out here in flyover country, gun confiscation will not work. As my tobacco-chewing neighbor (and boon coyote hunting companion) would say, “That dog won’t hunt.”

                • I don’t think much would change in the black inner-city communities. A sizable proportion of them are already forbidden from owning guns. Cops get their guns out of circulation whenever the opportunity presents itself (usually incident to arrest), and that’s probably how things would stay. The gun-grabbers would need to construct the illusion that confiscation efforts are a success story, and so would pick soft, compliant targets of limited size; most likely small geographical areas in states and municipalities where citizens already had ambivalent feelings about the issue. For so many reasons, a large-scale confiscation attempt would fail before it even got rolling. Forget attrition, logistics, and hearts & minds; the desertion rate alone would be enough to kill it.

                  • Yeah, what joed68 said! Might present a problem for the “BLM-minded,” but they will likely be irrelevant by that time. As joed pointed out, the desertions from the law enforcement ranks would be epic.

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