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Klavan On The Culture

The Unbearable Blindness of David Simon

November 10th, 2013 - 1:17 pm

What Leftists Do.

I have been traveling and so this comes a little late, but it’s still worth saying. Lawrence Meyers at the wonderful Breitbart site Big Hollywood had an excellent takedown of David Simon last week. Simon, author of the brilliant book Homicide and creator of the excellent television show The Wire, is also, according to the book Difficult Men, a self-obsessed and bullying leftist. Recently, he attacked conservatives and, indeed, the U.S. Constitution they are trying to defend. Simon says:

If original intent included the sadism and degradation of human slavery, then original intent is a legal and moral standard that can be consigned to the ash heap of human history. Hardcore conservatives and libertarians who continue to parse the origins of the Constitutions under the guise of returning to a more perfect American union are on a fool’s journey to decay and dishonor.

I leave it to Meyers’s strong piece to take down this nonsense, as indeed he does.

But here’s what bugs me. The Wire (which is, to some extent, based on the year Simon spent with the Baltimore Homicide Squad while researching Homicide) takes place in a city without conservatives, even without Republicans. There has not been a Republican mayor of Baltimore since 1967. And much of the show’s genius lies in its depiction of the brutalized life of black people in the city’s ghetto.

So we have a writer who has seen for himself, and who has shown us, the effects of Democrat governance on a city, the dehumanization of the poor that is the direct result of leftism and the corruption that inevitably springs from it. And yet Simon blames conservatives!

I understand why too, as I’ll explain on the next page.

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Top Rated Comments   
Conservatism is hard and liberalism is easy.

Conservatism says “I’m responsible for myself and failure may lead to starvation.” Liberalism says, “There is a safety net and someone waiting to catch me if I fail.” Conservatism says, “I’m accountable for what I do.” Liberalism says, “I’m not accountable; circumstances made me into something I never intended to become. My condition is someone else’s fault.”

Because conservatism is hard and is also correct then it must be demonized. If I’m responsible for what I do then I have no excuse. If my failure belongs to me, I must accept responsibility for it. I believe this demonization of conservatives is the defense mechanism leftists use so they will not be held accountable. They’re running from the truth and are able to run only as long as they demonize. They don't want to face what they are and so they ridicule accountability, making truth the enemy in order to remain sheltered within the easy lie. If they stop demonizing their entire world would fall apart and so demonize they must.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Liberalism is the Islam of politics, "Slaughter them where you find them" is their view of the political right. Why? Because we're (political) infidels.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If anyone wants to see how Leftists can look virulent racism right in the eye and declare it "amazing," and "wisdom," I recommend the video feed of yesterday's conversation between bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry. With "anti-racists" like those, there is no need for evil to have a KKK.

Perhaps word count mattered, but Meyers missed an opportunity to relate that the biggest fear the founding fathers had, and an issue right up through the Civil War, was the fear of the U.S. being Balkanized over the issue of slavery. These fears are well-documented in The Federalist Papers. In other words, a lesser evil and compromise in the hope slavery could be grandfathered out while maintaining a union.

If the South is its own nation, aside from the prospect of future wars and European balance-of-power interference, what would end slavery? The only tool anti-slavery forces would have to end slavery would be a war they might lose. That war was fought anyway, but so nervous was an anti-slavery Lincoln even 2 years into the war, he would've compromised slavery to keep the union, and said as much.

It's easy to act as if the anti-slavery forces could've just snapped their fingers in 1787 and ended slavery but the reality was far different. But the fact the Northwest Ordinance and certain states immediately took steps to forbid slavery in the North puts the lie to Simon's nonsense.

For reasons I don't understand, this massive fear of Balkanization, once a commonplace knowledge back then, has lost its context almost entirely.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (95)
All Comments   (95)
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The facts are that this nation has paid back the descendants of the African-Americans by providing an opportunity for many A-A people in this country. Many have become wealthy and successful, and certainly many now have an opportunity to achieve their dreams and do. Some also don't. I will add another fact, that is, we still don't have an African-American President. Its strange how they rally around a half-white half black man who has nothing in common with them. Despite the numerous successes Blacks have had over the years, there is still a lot whining about their perceived plight and white people are still blamed. Yet Blacks in poor neighborhoods, in places with strict gun control laws, are getting guns and ammo and killing each other regularly. This is a shame, because they should be celebrating, not whining, and they should be lifting up the spirit of these people and open their eyes to the truth about the country that has much to offer them.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The founders were generally anti-slavery, even while many owned slaves. (You might say they were pro-choice.) They were also against other evils common in their time; George Washington at least was a strong opponent of anti-semitism, at a time where that was a minority opinion.

They did not, however (to my knowledge) oppose all of the various religious laws for social control that existed then and for a long time afterwards. And I am 100% with the Founders on that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As a former Baltimore Republican, I recall going to vote, where the official could not find my paper, until she had the strange idea to look in the Republican box.

BTW, if you think there are no conservatives in Baltimore, I suggest you listen to WCBM, home of Tom Marr and Les Kinsolving. However, many people in large cities register Democrat to avoid being disenfranchised.

That being said, the Leftists do control the place, and they are rather pro-criminal which is why what worked in NYC never worked there. But there are still some nice neighborhoods.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Steve Earle, who was great on The Wire, was on an NPR show talking about his political beliefs. He is a socialist. But he said no one touches his guitar collection. I wish I could tell him, under Socialism, his guitar collection would be the first to go. That is the problem with David Simon. Does not understand what he loves will be the first to go.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He knows. They think they will get the dachas and the servants.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Two points to address in your column.

First, you write Mr. Simon denounces the Constitution since it did not end slavery.
That forces me to try and defend the Founders’ decision not to try and end it in our Constitution.
Never really thought about it before, and so I can easily be wrong on this, but here are my thoughts: They just finished a war with England. How simple would it have been for the southern states to refuse the Constitution and then form their own new nation to preserve slavery? That would be a valid concern.
I just did quick research and read the new states up north quickly outlawed slavery. If not for the Constitution setting up the nation, those states could not have stood fast in quickly outlawing it.
But here is the biggest point which non-historian Simon blissfully ignores: the forming nation was still full of Tories. We fought against them. They were throughout the nation. How simple would it had been for them to foment a second War after the northern states tried to outlaw slavery in the Constitution? They would fight in that war, and help form a new southern nation. England of course would help with that.

So if Mr. Simon had his way, there would be an entrenched American southern nation today still practicing slavery. His beloved Maryland would be in it. While the United States consisting solely of northern states would have its constitution outlaw slavery, the American southern nation in its constitution would authorize punishment of wayward slaves. Thank you Mr. Simon for basically screaming in ignorance that the Revolutionary War should have resulted in a Tory led American southern nation preserving slavery.

Some might argue if the southern states formed their own nation, they would have been crushed by the northern states. In the 1860s, yes. In the 1790s, no. The southern colonies won the Revolutionary War (see Yorktown). The northern colonies could not have defeated them in the 1790s. The influx of immigrants needed for the Union to win the Civil War had not happened. The years of northern abolition to inspire northern soldiers had not happened. The southern nation led by Tories would have easily formed. And slavery would have been entrenched.

Does Mr. Simon realize what would have happened worldwide if a southern American nation since the 1790s worked to preserve and expand slavery? All allowed because the Founders followed Mr. Simon’s advice, tried to outlaw slavery, and lost a united American nation?
I am dumbfounded Mr. Simon is livid half the colonies after the Revolutionary War did not form a nation to preserve, and expand worldwide, slavery. That is what certainly would have happened if the Founders proffered the David Simon proposal to abolish slavery at the Constitutional Convention.

Second, you write as a former liberal you were taught to hate non-liberals. You write liberals are taught to fear the political unknown, which includes conservative policies. With great cleverness you write Mr. Simon can see the results of liberal policies by watching his own show which portrays a liberal enclave.
I have only one thought on this, beyond thanking you for being well-equipped to persuade liberals to permit conservative political solutions. Does not what you write mean liberals accept one dogma? If liberals as a group reject non-liberals, that implies they don’t reject each other. Conservatism has multiple divisions – social conservative, economic conservative, libertarian conservative, and moderate conservative to name a few. No such modifiers are used on liberals. Does this mean there is one liberal political dogma which American liberals are expected to accept? If so, who constructed that dogma? Who is the Martin Luther of the dogma of American liberalism? My guess is FDR, thanks to Woodrow Wilson first making FDR’s unconstitutional power grab palatable. If not for Wilson demanding the Constitution be ignored (like Mr. Simon demands), I doubt Americans would have accepted FDR’s usurpation of power.

If prayer says post this, I will.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I only now just noticed that in comments Mr. Simon mentions that white people who watch 12 Years A Slave must cringe watching what white people did.

That is the tip-off right there. If I say black people must or should cringe at watching black flash mobs, sharing some racial guilt or responsibility, that is always said to be racist.

And yet the Left commonly asserts exactly that principle, and across generations no less, for white folks. If it's a whites-only water fountain, it's not a principle, but just a double standard of racism smoke-screened as justice.

In fact, the Left cannot use principle in its arguments, because those arguments are self-contradictory and easily shredded.

I might cringe at what humans do, but I have never cringed at what whites do while looking at what blacks do as if they're a ladybug on a leaf, beyond my ability to relate to. I don't look at the pyramids as if aliens built them or shine with racial pride at the (our) Parthenon. What rubbish.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Flash mobs are not backed by the law. Stephen Douglas himself, in the debates with Lincoln, argued theat slavery could not exist without the law backing it up. Plessy vs. Ferguson was not about the right to segregationm, but about the right of a state to force a private company to segregate.

That's the difference.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So tempted to go to 12 Years a Slave and cheer the white slave owners.
Transgressive, alternative behavior, you know, celebrating diversity.
Maybe, with armed guards.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The blindness is endemic. It galls me no end when they confidently project on me "they all lie" because I am the honest man they do not know voting for honest men to represent me. There is a reason dishonest Republicans do not get reelected and these poor souls trapped in their ideology intentionally overlook the implications.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Simon provides needed context in the comments section. The problem is that saying in comments one understands the compromises The Federalist Papers foresaw doesn't give Meyers reason to think Simon actually understands those compromises and the reasons behind them. The place for that would've been in Simon's article proper.

What we're still left with is the idea that everyone born before us was an idiot. If we can't even maintain that Constitution, or obey and respect law, who's the idiots? We have institutionalized, INTO LAW, illegal immigration and racism. We're going backwards and calling it forward.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
David Simon obviously knows nothing about the history of the U.S. Constitution or the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention. He would be advised to read Catherine Drinker Bowen's excellent "Miracle at Philadelphia" which tells the story of the drafting of the Constitution with clarity and superb detail. She relates the arguments, compromises and deal-making of what was arguably the greatest group of American legal scholars ever gathered in one place. Mr. Simon no doubt has only the most superficial grasp of American history (no doubt culled from movies and television) and no interest in the fact that the union under the Articles of Confederation was quickly falling to pieces and that the challenge faced by the delegates was to try and balance the need for some form of strong central government against the rights of citizens - rights that I am sure he takes for granted. Leftists don't feel the need for this since they are always right and always virtuous.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He was a reporter, why would he know history?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"... the greatest group of American legal scholars ever gathered in one place..."
except when T. Jefferson dined alone.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I never liked that saying. Even in his own day, Jefferson was considered kind of weird (although nothing like Tom Paine, who actually left the country).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Went to Mr. Jefferson's University, but even the smartest guy in the room doesn't know everything or have the most Wisdom. That was Solomon.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Jefferson never dined alone, he always had himself for company. Much like the incumbent.

Cheers
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"It's how the left keeps you in the fold despite the evidence of your own eyes."
They know you are so stupid that you will believe them than your own lying eyes. They also know there are plenty of stupid you to pop them back to office.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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