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“Where are you?”
“Mortimer Street.” I heard another voice from her receiver, someone barking nonsense. I ran out of the apartment and raced down Wells Street, then onto Mortimer barefoot in the rain, until I came to my wife, walking along the sidewalk, with a hooded man behind her, closing in, adorned in the casual uniform of druggy bagginess. Whatever he wanted, it wasn’t directions to the London School of Economics. As I approached, waving my arms, he backed away, with his hands fumbling in his oversized pockets. As I got closer, he retreated into shadows.
Calming down, my wife gave me the look. “What are you wearing?”
We walked home in the middle of a rainy London street at midnight, me wearing nothing but tattered boxers. We hadn’t done laundry, and I wasn’t wearing my best underwear. It had holes in all the wrong places.
I looked ferociously stupid. And then and there, I realized that the hood had run off not because he was scared, but because I looked crazier than he did.
Back at the apartment, my wife was still shaking. “I felt bad for calling,” she said. “When I told him to leave me alone, he just got closer and kept yelling.”
She explained that she had two competing voices in her head, one saying, “This is nothing. He’s just a drug addict.” And another saying, “Call Greg and scream — it’s better to be stupid than be dead.”
SINCE 9/11, these two lines of thinking should compete for attention in your brain each time you’re faced with a potential crisis. Should you do nothing and be cool? Or take action, and look stupid? If you don’t wrestle with those two thoughts when you’re on a bus, subway, or plane, then you are a liar. Or a coward.
They were present when Simone saw that man hurl a coin at her husband, and they were also present on that USAir flight last November, when the imams made passengers and airline staff uncomfortable with their prayers, their animated conversation, and their odd requests. At some point before take off, each passenger on that plane must have had those dueling banjos of thought in their heads:
“It’s 99.9 percent certain that these people are harmless idiots. Just relax. Don’t be a fool.”
“It only takes that .1 percent to blow a plane up. I don’t care if I look foolish, I must say something. My family is on this flight.”
“But I’ll look like an ass.”
“But I don’t want to die.”
These two lines of thinking reveal the key differences between the left and everyone else on earth. Normal folks are willing to take the risk and appear stupid. The left cannot fathom why anyone would do such a thing.
Why? Because it’s uncool. And that’s the only thing that matters to the left. They claim to be concerned about tolerance, but really they are concerned about how cool they appear to others. They need to be admired. The left will never stand up for anything, because doing so undermines the protection necessary for their fragile egos. And it also requires balls, which they sorely lack.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online