More on free speech, PC, and the right
0 comment Tuesday, September 16, 2014 |
I expect most of you have read Steve Sailer's latest essay at VDare.
It fits very much with the theme we've been discussing here on this blog: the growing intolerance on the right toward anyone who transgresses the holy laws of political correctness.
Sailer notes with considerable disgust that virtually nobody on the 'respectable' right, such as the NRO crowd (with the exception of John Derbyshire) or the army of 'conservative' bloggers at Townhall wrote a word about the recent Watson controversy, despite its considerable import. After all, it is not just a political issue; although the assault on free speech should concern all good Americans, but the Watson story has implications for scientific inquiry and the pursuit of truth. Surely someone should care about that, even if they are not concerned about the political ramifications of the public humiliation of Watson.
Sailer sees in this situation a reflection of the lack of courage and integrity among those on the Right.
The level of intellectual integrity on the Right�let alone courage�is catastrophically lower today than just 13 years ago, when the John O'Sullivan-edited National Review responded to the publication of The Bell Curve by devoting most of its December 5, 1994 issue to an impressive symposium on race and IQ.
In it, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray's bestseller was attacked by some, but also stoutly defended by Michael Barone, Michael Novak, James Q. Wilson, Dan Seligman, Arthur Jensen, and Ernest Van den Haag.
Where have you gone, Michael Barone? (Or John O�Sullivan, for that matter).''
In a recent entry on political correctness among conservatives I used the phrase 'the righteous right,' and wondered who had coined that term. Apparently it was Sailer, in the context of the Trent Lott debacle of a few years ago. At that time, I became extremely disillusioned with many in the Republican Party, not only the leadership but many average party members, as they all, as one, attacked Trent Lott and called for his head over his relatively innocuous remarks to Strom Thurmond. At that time, it was evident that political correctness was as much of a religion to many on the right as it is on the left. I found the whole Lott 'scandal' to be dismaying.
So yes, the 'righteous right' has embraced a peculiarly leftist form of 'righteousness'.
If you read the Time article linked above, you will see the liberals at Time lecturing the Republicans about their 'racist' ways, and the Republican response was to scurry to deny their 'racism.' The politically correct instinct in Republicans seems to be a conditioned response to any liberal accusations of bigotry, and the 'conservatives' who respond by conforming to the liberal rules can't seem to see that their eager compliance makes them appear to be deferring to the liberals, acknowledging that the accusations of bigotry are really true.
Sailer advises against apologizing for gaffes, as Lott did to little avail, and as Watson did:
Never apologize for a "gaffe" (i.e., the telling of an unpopular truth).
When you beg forgiveness, the hate-filled jackals just smell your fear and weakness. It excites them, so they pile on. Further, the watching crowd can't tell who's right, so they respect whoever seems the master of the situation at the moment.
In his October 19 response in the U.K. Independent, "To question genetic intelligence is not racism," Watson seemingly tried to be subtle, arguing that there was a difference between inferiority and diversity, then pointing out the Darwinian implausibility that everyone could have evolved to be identical.
Well, swell. But the politically correct don't engage in rational argument. They just hound and bludgeon. So you have to stand your ground.''
Sailer rightly admonishes that those who are hauled up before the PC kangaroo courts stand their ground. Yet there are few who seem able or willing to do this. I agree with Sailer that those among the 'righteous right' are buckling to the left, and failing to defend their own. We are allowing not only our 'side', but truth itself to be routed.
And in the context of the discussion we've been having here about the politically correct neocons, it seems that they have decided to follow the old saying, 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.'' So now the PC neocon 'right' have taken to acting as part of the PC inquisition on their own, so as to pre-emptively ward off the accusations of the left. It seems they have so internalized the left's PC moralizing that they have themselves begun behaving like the left.
The consequences of this abdication by the 'right' are serious. The truth will be more marginalized and silenced than ever if those on the right, who are supposedly the upholders of the idea of truth and free speech in a morally relativistic, post-modern world, have given up and surrendered.

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