Those are facts. They describe things that have happened and are happening in this our lives. Smiley is describing a world that makes sense of his philosophy but which is simply not the one we are in.
The second exchange occurred between Smiley and radio talker Larry Elder. (I report this from memory having heard the audio on Elder’s show.) Elder put forward the fact that black Americans advanced economically under the policies of Ronald Reagan more than whites did. Again, a simple truth. All the employment and economic numbers prove it. Smiley’s response: No, they didn’t. He told Elder that, when he got back to his office, he would send him the real numbers. Elder says he has called Smiley repeatedly for those numbers over the last several months but gotten no response.
There are legitimate arguments to be had in this country among reasonable people on the left and right. The proper role of government, the intent of the constitution, the evolution of cultural mores — all of these are appropriate topics of discussion and dispute. But those conversations are very difficult to have when people like Smiley — and George Stephanopoulos and Brian Williams and any number of prominent filmmakers and college professors I could name — are determined, like the clowns at the end of the movie Blow-Up, to make the public participate in their fantasies.
Islam is currently a greater danger to life and liberty than any other religion. Reagan’s policies helped African-Americans succeed whereas Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” and other government impositions have harmed their economic well-being. These aren’t opinions. They’re facts. And the left’s good intentions and fine plans don’t change a single one of them.
The left has gone to great lengths to blacklist, demonize and otherwise silence conservatives in Hollywood, the news media and the academy. Of course — they know that even a word of truth would burst the bubble of their delusions. But if they are really people of good will, they ought to reconsider and commit those industries to intellectual diversity.
Because here’s one more fact: You can’t improve the world unless you’re willing to live in it.