1. Lesson: Don’t underestimate the Duke! It looks like John Wayne is stronger than the cancel culture after all. Earlier this year the Woke Avengers tracked down an old Playboy interview where the actor made some inflammatory remarks about blacks and Native Americans (I thought then and I think now that the Duke was deliberately trolling his liberal critics, but it was still a bad interview.) Predictions were rife that the most enduring, influential and popular screen icon of all time had reached the end of his run. It doesn’t appear so: at least two cable channels are running John Wayne film marathons on or around Christmas.
2. The ethical response: feel compassion for Hillary. There are people who get run over and squashed by life, their own failings, and bad luck. We don’t have to like all of them, but the Golden Rule argues that we should feel some pity and compassion for them, even though many have brought some of their misery on themselves.
I think about this when I see, for example, Marcia Clark, the losing prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case, and her desperately tucked and altered face as she transitioned into a B-media personality. The earliest example of this syndrome that I can remember noticing was perennial Republican Presidential candidate Harold Stassen, with his dazed expression and bad toupee, who once thought he was going to be President. Dubbed the “Boy Wonder,” Stassen was only 41 when he seemed to be on his way to winning the Republican nomination for President for the 1948 election in which President Harry Truman was widely regarded as both a lame and dead duck. Stassen lost the convention battle, however, to Thomas Dewey, of subsequent “Dewey Defeats Truman!” fame. After that, Stassen ran for President in 1952, 1964, 1968, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992 , gradually becoming a laughing stock. (He also ran unsucessfully for Governor of Minnesota, the United States Senate twice, Governor of Pennsylvania twice, Mayor of Philadelphia once; and U.S. Representative). I just thought he was a buffoon until my father told me about his many accomplishments before his dreams were crushed. He was one of the founders of the United Nations, for example.
As I made pretty clear in 2016, when I wrote almost as many critical posts about her and her generally awful ethics as I did about our current President when he was a candidate, I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton. I’ve continued to write critical commentary about her, because she continues to operate with wildly malfunctioning ethics alarms. She is stuck now, in Kübler-Ross terms, in the first three stages of grief: denial, pain and guilt, and anger and bargaining because she lost the election she was certain she was going to win. (So is the entire Democratic Party.)
Now look at her:
3. Marvin Miller makes it into the Hall of Fame. Yecchh. Marvin Miller was described in his obituary as “an economist and labor leader who became one of the most important figures in baseball history by building the major league players union into a force that revolutionized the game and ultimately transformed all of professional sports.” I have no quarrel with any of that. Miller was a labor activist who did his job extremely well. I would put him into a labor leader’s Hall of Fame—-I’m sure one would get at least a hundred or so visitors a year—without blinking. He no more belongs in the the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY than I do, but he was posthumously elected to that Hall of Fame last week.