“There can be no aspect of your daily life that’s removed from politics,” Jim Treacher writes at the Daily Caller, “Now you will be monitored by your own children for expressing unapproved opinions. You’d better watch what you say at the dinner table, Mom and Dad.”
First lady Michelle Obama is encouraging students to monitor their older relatives, friends and co-workers for any racially insensitive comments they might make, and to challenge those comments whenever they’re made.
The first lady spoke on Friday to graduating high school students in Topeka, Kansas, and in remarks released over the weekend, Obama said students need to police family and friends because federal laws can only go so far in stopping racism.
“[O]ur laws may no longer separate us based on our skin color, but nothing in the Constitution says we have to eat together in the lunchroom, or live together in the same neighborhoods,” she said. “There’s no court case against believing in stereotypes or thinking that certain kinds of hateful jokes or comments are funny.”
And you never know what sorts of hateful jokes or comments you might hear at church. Churches like Trinity United in Chicago, to pick one entirely at random:
Of course, it’s not all that difficult to program children to snoop on their parents and adults in general for thoughtcrime:
‘Have you got a spanner? -said Winston, fiddling with the nut on the angle-joint.
‘A spanner,’ said Mrs Parsons, immediately becoming invertebrate. ‘I don’t know, I’m sure. Perhaps the children -’
There was a trampling of boots and another blast on the comb as the children charged into the living-room. Mrs Parsons brought the spanner. Winston let out the water and disgustedly removed the clot of human hair that had blocked up the pipe. He cleaned his fingers as best he could in the cold water from the tap and went back into the other room.
‘Up with your hands!’ yelled a savage voice.
A handsome, tough-looking boy of nine had popped up from behind the table and was menacing him with a toy automatic pistol, while his small sister, about two years younger, made the same gesture with a fragment of wood. Both of them were dressed in the blue shorts, grey shirts, and red neckerchiefs which were the uniform of the Spies. Winston raised his hands above his head, but with an uneasy feeling, so vicious was the boy’s demeanour, that it was not altogether a game.
‘You’re a traitor!’ yelled the boy. ‘You’re a thought-criminal! You’re a Eurasian spy! I’ll shoot you, I’ll vaporize you, I’ll send you to the salt mines!’
Suddenly they were both leaping round him, shouting ‘Traitor!’ and ‘Thought-criminal!’ the little girl imitating her brother in every movement. It was somehow slightly frightening, like the gambolling of tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters. There was a sort of calculating ferocity in the boy’s eye, a quite evident desire to hit or kick Winston and a consciousness of being very nearly big enough to do so. It was a good job it was not a real pistol he was holding, Winston thought.
Yes, parents love being told by their kids that they’re racists — and that they’re misogynists who hate women as well — women such as Gaia, as this infamous MasterCard commercial from a few years ago reminded TV viewers:
The above post from Jim Treacher dovetails well with something Peter Wehner writes today at Commentary — or at least with my criticism of Wehner’s post, which is titled, “When the Right Turns on America.” Quoting a speech by Wayne LaPierre at the NRA’s annual conference, in which LaPierre asked, “Do you trust this government to protect you? We are on our own,” Wehner went on to write:
Mr. LaPierre is not the only one who describes America in dystopian terms these days. Earlier this year Dr. Ben Carson, a Tea Party favorite who is considering a run for the presidency in 2016, said America is “very much like Nazi Germany.” Michele Bachmann, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate, has said the Affordable Care Act is evidence of a “police state.” This kind of language–America is bordering on or has basically become a tyranny–is common currency within some quarters of conservatism.
Now it is one thing to believe, as I do, that in some important respects America is in decline and that President Obama is in part responsible for that decline. I agree, too, that there are some alarming problems and trends facing the United States just now, which many conservatives are attempting to address in a responsible fashion.
But it is quite another thing to describe America as the New Left did in the late 1960s, when America itself was spelled with a “k” (“Amerika”) in an effort to identify it with Nazi Germany. Among the young and left-wing academics there was talk about the need for revolution. The United States was viewed as fundamentally corrupt. Once upon a time conservatives fought against this. Today, however, some on the right are turning on America. They employ language you would associate with Noam Chomsky.
Read the whole thing and make up your own mind, but I think Wehner is ignoring a huge difference between the angry New Left of the 1960s and early 1970s, and today’s conservatives: The New Left was (and is) solipsistic; it believed that everyone, from the Founding Fathers to earnest New Deal liberals, Rockefeller Republicans and proto-Buckley-style conservatives were all the enemy. Its poisoned efforts can be seen today in an academic left that believes that history is nothing but Original Sin all the way down, discounting Columbus’ discovery of America, America’s founding, and virtually all of American prior to the JFK era (or FDR if they’re feeling generous) as invalid or evil. And in an MSM that feigns to believe that it is pure and without ideological bias; that only to those their right have an ideology.
In contrast, conservatives and libertarians are mindful of the statement President Reagan made in his first inaugural address that “We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”
When Wayne LaPierre states, “We are on our own,” unlike the New Left of the 1960s, he’s not attacking America and its citizens, merely its elected officials and underlying bureaucracy, both of which increasingly believe themselves to be an isolated caste, removed from the rest of their fellow men, whom they were hired to serve.
Or to bring this post full-circle:
I guess this is possible. pic.twitter.com/7GBofvfMdZ
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) December 21, 2013
Update: “MSNBC’s Capehart: Tolerance ‘Should Not Be a Two-Way Street.’”