Help me with a provocative question. I’ve pondered; I’ve thought; I give up.
The question: Why don’t the Chinese communists seize the present golden opportunity and land 5,000 or 10,000 members of the People’s Liberation Army in San Francisco or, better yet, Seattle, where the police have been replaced, apparently, by the homeless and the graffiti artists and the drug purveyors running, until recently, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone? If you call it “running.”
Just who’s running anything at present in America is a point much argued. Nobody seems to be in charge around here — least of all morally.
Ten thousand ace Chinese troops are likely all it would take to knock us over, just so long as the newcomers from Asia refrain from ridiculous claims such as Asian Lives Matter or, more insultingly, All Lives Matter — which they don’t; they never will, and let’s not forget it.
The New York Times and CNN would tout the newcomers as “Dreamers” bent on redeeming the promise of a nation barely aware until the last few weeks that its founding generation had tolerated or even participated personally in the institution of slavery. Well, it had! So there.
The Chinese should hurry. We may return, some of us, anyway, to our lost senses. Meanwhile, we’re a bunch of pushovers — morally, I emphasize anew.
Among the latest evidence: our mainstream media’s devotion to the theme that the president’s July 4 speech in South Dakota was a grand performance marked by darkness and divisiveness. Which it wasn’t. Rather, Trump noted a fact obvious to anyone with two eyes, or maybe just one: There is, going on around us, “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”
The apparent problem from the media’s standpoint — and that of leading Democrats, from Joe Biden on down — isn’t that these things are happening; it’s that we shouldn’t mind their happening. And that anybody who objects to their happening, most of all a national leader, is some kind of nut, for not knowing that statues of Christopher Columbus and even Thomas Jefferson are unworthy representations of shameful beliefs and commitments in our darkened past. That’s where all the darkness comes in: Americans, it seems to dwellers on the political left, have oppressed and oppressed and killed and murdered for centuries, starting with Columbus, and it’s time for a national spanking.
Our shapers and dispensers of opinion seem to have gone suddenly off the deep end. In their claim to engage us with formerly unknown “truths,” such as the moral imperialism of Jefferson and Washington, our national consciences leave us wondering how they ever graduated from kindergarten.
Behold the fruits of the 1960s. Or the Garden of Eden, if you like. It suffices for present purposes to note the collapse during the Vietnam War of the norms and ideals that had generally governed Americans’ aspirations — yea, unto the launching of fratricidal warfare to end slavery. A great number still living witnessed the revolution firsthand and saw with dismay what was coming down the road — namely, the revolutionaries’ climb to eventual power, their dislike of civilization and culture unslaked, unforgotten.
You wonder why the so-called establishment — the media, corporate leadership, college faculties, etc. — is buddy-buddy with the statue-wreckers? Wonder no more. The ’60s counterculture is the establishment, the folk who urged other folk, “If it feels good, do it.”
Oh, man, does it feel good employing the civilizational wrecking ball to the remaining images and beliefs and convictions of the Old Order that declined to defend itself in 1965!
“Bye, bye, Miss American Pie” — the backward-looking words of Don McLean, sung around the time Biden was gearing up to run others’ lives. It was pie imperfectly baked. It was likely, come to think of it, cherry pie, in homage to the slave master of Mount Vernon. All the same, there was about it the aroma of freedom and of generosity and of love for a land always reinventing itself, blessedly unaware of the reinvention that lay just beyond, the one through which we presently trudge, following the acrid smoke.
William Murchison is writing a book on moral reconstruction in the 21st century. His latest book is The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson.
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