Stephen Miller writes a very perceptive column on the difficulty for the Democrat Party presented by the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The Democrats worked to position themselves as the party of compassion for people and social conscience. In doing that they deeply entwined their message with the entertainment industry. The revelation that the entertainment industry has covered up the worst sort of abuse of power and sexual exploitation while hectoring their political opponents has deeply undermined the moral credibility of the leftist political program. The Democrats chose a medium to present their message; that medium is falling, raising the question of whether and how they might be able to find a way to separate the two.
It’s tempting to say there are two “Americas,” one in which Ben Shapiro is a fairly typical conservative commentator (at least in the substance of his thinking; he’s atypically lucid and engaging), and one in which he is a violent (on the basis of his speech) white supremacist. There’s actually a third America in which Ben Shapiro is unknown, but we’ll leave them alone, as we should. And as Mr. Shapiro would, I think, if asked. But I digress.
Denizens of these two “Americas” were in relative proximity in Berkeley, CA, last night. I say “relative,” because after events of the past several months the university and the city were compelled to maintain a strict buffer zone between the two, one in the auditorium where Mr. Shapiro was speaking and the other across a plaza in buildings and walkways with a view to his speaking venue.
Which “America” represents reality and which is living in a hallucination? [I’m drawing on Scott Adams and his metaphor here.] Perhaps the first step in coming to a conclusion would be to consider Mr. Shapiro directly by hearing him communicate what he believes. At that point one could be in a position to assess whether his ideas are those of a fairly typical conservative commentator or whether they are those of a violent white supremacist.
With that, for your consideration, Ben Shapiro’s speech and Q&A from Berkeley, CA, September 14, 2017.
From what I can tell from current writing, racialists today seem to have fixated on a notion that a black person is reduced in the mind of everyone else to merely their body. Thus a “black body” is just an object to be ignored, or used, or oppressed, but doesn’t represent a human person.
One person who uses this notion is Ta-Nehisi Coates. He’s become well-known and highly lauded among the Left for his denunciation of American society as fundamentally and essentially racist and oppressive to black people.
There is an open letter to Mr. Coates, written by a black man from Jamaica, an immigrant who is now an American citizen, which presents a rather stark contrasting perspective to that of Mr. Coates. It’s worth your time and attention. Please read the whole thing.
Very interesting notes on an interview with a professor who wrote a book in 2002 on white reactions to cultural trends. Dr. Swain even suggests a distinction between white supremacy and white nationalism. That she is African-American makes this all the more challenging. The New White Nationalism in America may be a book we should read in the age of Trump.
Just a reminder of the large leap between the statement that human activity influences climate and global temperature increases and the apocalyptic alarmist claims about killing the planet. Watch this interview with Dr. Judith Curry on climate changes and public policy.
In the category of columnists able to see a bigger picture, along with Megan McArdle we can add Bret Stephens, who very specifically points out how the obfuscation about Charlottesville that people rightly denounced has been routinely overlooked when the acts of terror were done by groups favored by the Left, especially Jihadists. President Obama and his administration routinely refused to name evil specifically coming from groups they favored. President Trump’s initial reticence was rightly rebuked, but Stephens is right to say the criticism from the Left rings hollow in light of their own practices.
Read the whole thing in the New York Times. I’m sure the responses from typical Times readers will be instructive as well.
No one will confuse the author with a conservative, but somehow in this column she allowed for some nuance in the discussion of the costs and benefits of labor policy. I wonder what kind of quizzical looks she’ll get at the next soirée she attends, assuming the invitations haven’t been withdrawn for her heterodoxy on policy claims.
One could wish the level of discourse overall in our society was at the level Megan McArdle exemplifies in this column. It shows an awareness and appreciation of both the natural differences that apparently exist between males and females and the structural problems that arise in groups where one gender and its preferences predominates. She also seems to have the sense not to demand purity in one fell swoop while working toward alleviating those structural problems, condemning any who don’t share her vision. If our society could move toward this approach, a lot more could get done.
Read the whole thing.