I’ve been able to laugh, shrug, or sigh through thousands of Saileresque vignettes, and remain of sound mind. Osterweil on looting and its sweetheart Lewis on abolition of the family nearly broke me. I can imagine starting a discussion with almost anyone in the world, but from what common ground could one begin to reason with such untethered fanatics about their deluded and menacing ideas? I still suspect a LARP. But a line has been crossed. And since, each day has been crazier than the last. Forcibly indoctrinate federal employees with uncritical race theory. Remove the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Suspend the SAT on a pretext. David Brooks’ dog-whistle for a military coup. Retcon the museums.
I opposed excessive PC in the 70s while still a crazed campus leftist, and opposed it wholeheartedly in the 80s at the cost of some social punishment. PC was in apparently terminal decline after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in the 1990s, with career constraints, I withdrew into public neutrality.
We should have objected from the first falsehood onward. I think it was in the 80s that I first heard the twisted reasoning about how only white people could be racist. I laughed at the person asserting it; I thought it was something stupid he had blundered upon on his own. But I let it go. I remember when some religious antiwar people of my acquaintance came back from “antiracist” training. Likable, caring people had become soulless corpses repeating absurdly erroneous maxims and started to excuse and enable crime in the community. But other cults had risen and fallen, so I let it go. I knew that illegal immigration was disastrous for the poor, for blacks, for native americans, that Bush’s vast expansion of legal immigration in 1990 would replace the American stock and would change the country in unpredictable ways, that most refugee resettlement was grimy opportunism, that H1B was indentured servitude, that black crime was an onerous challenge, that the deliberate destruction of societies in the Middle East had nothing to do with American interests, that China trade would be economic carnage heading towards geopolitical surrender. The explosion of homelessness, and of addiction, and the growing suicides, were no mystery to me.
But I let it go, because I thought that so many people harmed would see fit to pursue their legitimate interests (computer programmers!), and that there would be wise adults in the elites to put the brakes on. I didn’t anticipate that an ocean of propaganda would forestall recognition of the plainly declining quality of life. Although not fond of the right, I thought they would do their job and preserve the best. I did not understand that the right had purged most of its conservatives, and was a competing tribe of jackals feasting on carcass America.
If there had been 1000 Sailers among the literati, instead of only one, it might not have happened. I won’t accuse others, but I, for one, let hundreds of falsehoods pass by without any comment except to 2 or 3 close friends. Now we are swirling in a rushing tsunami of falsehoods, each with not much more than an individual life-preserver and an ineffectual paddle.
Look at the odious Ilhan Omar, from the corrupt communist elite of the most antisocial country on the planet, hustling her way to the U.S. by illegal means, her beliefs about America formed by simpleton PC community college teachers. There was a time when a charlatan like that would be shamed across the political spectrum. Now, she is sacred, numinous, ideal.
Those who thought it would be a great idea, from lofty sentiment or Leninist malice, to bring in 50 million people and then to teach them that this is the worst country in human history; and at the same time to teach black individuals and groups that they are not morally responsible for their vices; were stupid. Those of us who failed to object and argue, however, are more at fault.
Emulate ISteve: [Evidence + Argument +“Just knock it off.”]