Ethics Quote Of The Month: Andrew Sullivan


“[T]he sudden, rapid, stunning shift in the belief system of the American elites…has sent the whole society into a profound cultural dislocation. It is, in essence, an ongoing moral panic against the specter of “white supremacy,” which is now bizarrely regarded as an accurate description of the largest, freest, most successful multiracial democracy in human history.”

—-Blogging pioneer Andrew Sullivan, yet another exile at substack, in his eloquent, brave, important and accurate essay, “What Happened To You?”

That’s probably not the best ethics quote in Sullivan’s latest essay. It’s just the earliest. There is also this bitter truth, as Sullivan’s brief approaches it’s climax:

Look how far the left’s war on liberalism has gone. Due process? If you’re a male on campus, gone. Privacy? Stripped away — by anonymous rape accusations, exposure of private emails, violence against people’s private homes, screaming at folks in restaurants, sordid exposés of sexual encounters, eagerly published by woke mags. Non-violence? Exceptions are available if you want to “punch a fascist.” Free speech? Only if you don’t mind being fired and ostracized as a righteous consequence. Free association? You’ve got to be kidding. Religious freedom? Illegitimate bigotry. Equality? Only group equity counts now, and individuals of the wrong identity can and must be discriminated against. Color-blindness? Another word for racism. Mercy? Not for oppressors. Intent? Irrelevant. Objectivity? A racist lie. Science? A manifestation of white supremacy. Biological sex? Replaced by socially constructed gender so that women have penises and men have periods. The rule of law? Not for migrants or looters. Borders? Racist. Viewpoint diversity? A form of violence against the oppressed.” 

I hate to drop spoilers with a master essay like Sullivan’s but I know a lot of people don’t follow links, and attention, as Willy Loman’s wife said, must be paid. Sullivan writes like an angel, so I quote him in fond hopes that readers will allow his persuasive prose to unfold as he designed it. Andrew begins by writing,

“What happened to you?” It’s a question I get a lot on Twitter. “When did you become so far right?” “Why have you become a white supremacist, transphobic, misogynistic eugenicist?” Or, of course: “See! I told you who he really was! Just take the hood off, Sully!” It’s trolling, mainly. And it’s a weapon for some in the elite to wield against others in the kind of emotional blackmail spiral that was first pioneered on elite college campuses. But it’s worth answering, a year after I was booted from New York Magazine for my unacceptable politics. Because it seems to me that the dynamic should really be the other way round. The real question is: what happened to you?

I have to interject here that Sullivan himself is complicit in “what happened.” He was mostly silent during the Obama years when even the most justified criticism of Barack was a cue for Democrats and journalists to mark the critics as “racist.” Even now, he proclaims himself an Obama acolyte, which I equate with either being taken in by a con artist or being one. (I think Andrew is in the former category). Sullivan writes,

“My favorite [Obama] moment was a very simple one. He referred to the anniversary of the March on Selma, how he went and how he came back and someone (I don’t remember who now) said to him: ‘That was a great celebration of African-American history.’ To which Obama said he replied: ‘No, no, no, no, no. That was not a great celebration of African-American history. That was a celebration of American history.'”

How much further can you get from the ideology of the 1619 Project — that rejects any notion of white contributions to black freedom? In his Jeremiah Wright speech, the best of his career, this is what Obama said of Wright’s CRT-inspired words, damning America: “‘They expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country — a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America… The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country — a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old — is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past.'”

Then Sullivan asks, “This is what I still believe. Do you?”

I believe he does believe that, and I have always believed that. I do not believe for a second that Barack Obama believed that, and his recent words in support of Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter suggest that Sullivan is in denial. We know Obama’s wife doesn’t believe that the March on Selma was a great moment in American history, since she said that she had never been proud of her country until it elected her slick husband President.

Sullivan’s Obama addiction aside (and his cartoonish, Democratic Party talking points characterizations of Trump, Republicans and conservatives—which I suspect are injected to maintain some credibility with his now deranged “team”) his assessment of the vital importance of where American progressives are trying to lead us is spot on:

“But I am not making a tactical argument here. I’m making a deeper moral argument. We can and must still fight and argue for what we believe in: a liberal democracy in a liberal society. This fight will not end if we just ignore it or allow ourselves to be intimidated by it, or join the tribal pile-ons. And I will not apologize for confronting this, however unpopular it might make me, just as I won’t apologize for confronting the poison and nihilism on the right. And if you really want to be on “the right side of liberalism,” you will join me.”

10 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Month: Andrew Sullivan

        • Sullivan is fatally flawed because he’s a standard issue current youngish lefty who thinks the only thing standing between the U.S. and its becoming Heaven on Earth is the Republican Party. They really believe if there were simply one party rule, everything would be just fine and dandy. It’s the annoying half of the country that doesn’t listen to and agree with lefties and the politicians they vote for that need to be neutralized. Then things will be fine. Sullivan is as toxic as all the rest.

  1. The single driving force behind all of this madness is, ironically, the high regard that white Americans have for the various minorities. The threat of being called a racist by some of them is such a powerful motivator that nearly everyone will do just about anything to avoid the slightest chance of being called a racist or Nazi. The Left has weaponized this phenomenon and they’re squeezing every inch of ground they can out of it, with no regard for truth, reality, sincerity, or compassion.

    It won’t stop until a majority has the courage of conviction to ignore and dismiss false cries of racism. When this tactic is met with the disdain and mockery it deserves.

    • Yes, mockery is what is required, Isaac. Don’t fall for trying to counter illogical drivel with logic and rhetoric. A full tongue-out raspberry is needed.

  2. Moral panic. I usually thought of a moral panic as something stupid that society quickly wakes up from and asks itself what it was thinking. The gross overreaction to New Zealand’s Mazengarb report was a moral panic. The fear regarding role playing games stoked by Patricia Pullman and her hangers-on was a moral panic. The 1990s fear of pedophiles and kidnappers to the point where “walking while young” was almost a crime was a moral panic.

    This is more than a stupid moral panic. This is akin to the red scare, except now it’s a blue and white scare. Instead of seeing a traitor in every kid wearing his hair a little long and a communist in everyone who’s a little left of center, now the establishment sees a racist bully and murderer in every man in a uniform and just a racist in everyone lighter than Samuel L. Jackson. In fact, this is the opposite of the time of Tales of the South Pacific, when, to southern Ensign Nellie Forbush, everyone who wasn’t white or yellow was a nigger, even her potential lover’s innocent half-Polynesian daughters who she doesn’t even know. Today, anyone who IS white is a racist, be he a Southern good old boy with a huge Confederate flag on his belt buckle or the wokest hipster with a man bun and skinny jeans. The best he can be is a white ally, but even that can’t purge the taint of being the same color as those who oppressed the new black and brown favored class. Heck, in Canada now it’s becoming the opposite of the days when black churches were burned and bombed while the local authorities shrugged. Now Catholic and Anglican churches are being bombed and burned in revenge for things that happened a century ago, while Justin Trudeau shrugs.

    I didn’t think this would become a reality, where I’d have to be worried that I might become a target because of my color, or ethnicity, or faith, or holidays I observe, and that the authorities would look the other way or take the attitude I ran into all too many times when attacked or beaten up when I was young, “what did you do to make them so mad?

    • The people behind Critical Race Theory and BLM and concepts like intersectionality are Marxists. What do they want? They want to destroy the current largely capitalist American economy and replace it with an essentially communist one. Everyone will be equal, except the Marxists in charge will be much more equal. Private property? Adios. State ownership of enterprises? You bet. Confiscation of private wealth? Of course. That’s what they want. They’re not unhinged, they’re greedy and lazy. They want a short cut. Their slogan ought to be “Gimme that! I want it! Right now!”

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