Holiday’s over. Back to the barricades.
For American artists, writers, thinkers, moms, dads, coaches, teachers, and other human beings, the work to create a counter-culture to end and replace the poisonous culture of the left continues. As our government and academies and entertainers try to sell us on slave values like Equality, we have to rebuild and promote the concept of Individual Liberty, the central value of free men and women. In place of the whining, manipulative Victim Power of feminists and race-baiters, we have to lift up the idea of Power through Personal Responsibility, the only path to dignity. And in place of the cushioned chains of government-sponsored safety Obama and his corrupt minions try to push on us day after day, we have to teach and defend the fearful glory of Independence.
And so we will have to offend people. A lot of people. A lot of the time.
I mention this because I notice the idea has grown up recently — especially among the young — that offending people is wrong per se. This idea — taught at universities and in entertainments and in the media — is wholly false. Rudeness and unkindness are very often unnecessary — much less necessary than many counter-cultural warriors suppose — but offending people is unavoidable. It is a natural outgrowth of telling the truth.
Speaking generally, people don’t like the truth. It tends to be less flattering than pretty-sounding falsehoods and far more challenging than relativistic blather. Simply to declare the good — liberty, personal responsibility, independence — better than the bad — equality, victimhood, slavish safety — makes people more conscious of their shortcomings and moral failures. That thing that happens where you fearlessly tell the truth and people carry you on their shoulders in thanks and congratulations? That’s a movie scene, not real life. In real life, the aftermath of truth-telling looks a whole lot more like the crucifixion than Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
But if we’re going to rebuild American culture… in the arts, in the history books, in schools, at home… the truth is the only place to start. Dramatic truth, comic truth, historical truth, moral truth. None of it goes down easy. And so you’re going to be hearing “I’m offended,” all day long and into the night. It’s not a sin to offend people. It’s not even a problem really. Getting offended is just one of the ways people react to reality — it’s the way American culture has been teaching them to react for the past forty-five years.
I feel strongly that a new American culture is already on the way. I read it in books, see it at the movies, read it online and find it in everyday life more and more. My work — and my love — is the arts, but the new culture won’t just be built there. It will be built in the way we treat our spouses, the way we raise our kids, and the way we tell the stories of our country and our lives. For myself, I plan to do all this as honestly as I can, as morally as I can, and as fearlessly as I can.
If any of what I say or do or make offends you, take a number. And when your number is called, pound sand.
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image illustrations via shutterstock / Choat