- Confessions of a reactionary utopian
“Isolationism” is the belief that the Department of Defense should be used for defense.
“Outing” is accepted as a normal and legitimate political tactic. In other words, it’s perfectly all right to blackmail a homosexual, as long as it’s done for the sake of homosexual causes.
“Those of us who care deeply about the arts” — what a priggish self-description. As if you must be indifferent to Titian if you don’t want Washington bankrolling “the arts.”
A chameleon has no true colors.
A culture is almost by definition a set of things that can’t mix, because they have their full meaning only in relation to each other and lose their meaning in any alien context.
A culture without religion is hardly a culture at all, and to call it one is like calling nudism a “dress code.”
A deadpan delivery is no guarantee of impartiality. It may mean that the journalist is not suppressing his views but merely concealing them, the better to insinuate them into the mind of the reading and viewing public, like a butcher who hopes the customer won’t notice his finger on the scales.
A few years ago liberalism bulletin-board orthodoxy (it changes weekly) held, under the sway of feminism, that marriage was an evil, outmoded, patriarchal institution. Besides, what did a “piece of paper” have to do with love? Now, it seems, marriage is such a vital institution that it’s cruel to exclude anyone from its joys.
A good cause, with a good conscience, should show itself in good faith. It shouldn’t need evasions and euphemisms to describe its own position.
A politician is, in effect, a man who runs for the job of umpire on the promise that he will rule in favor of a certain team.
A regime with trillion-dollar budgets forbids individuals to donate more than a thousand dollars to any candidate.
A two-party system isn’t a democracy; it’s a dilemma.
A voter is a public official exercising his share of power, and he is supposed to use that power for the common good. If he uses it for his own special benefit he is as corrupt as a judge who takes bribes.
According to the Jesus Seminar, Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah and didn’t rise from the dead. In fact, it seems he said very little that wouldn’t fit comfortably into the Democratic Party platform.
All those parables of sowers and vineyards, prodigal sons, and foolish virgins were just lame attempts to say what is more memorably expressed in such elegant phrases as “imperial exploitation and colonial collaboration.”
America is Bill Clinton’s country now. You and I are just passing through, puzzled, disgusted, and as thoroughly out of place as a pair of rusty Royal typewriters in Silicon Valley.
America was bound to change a lot, but it didn’t have to change this way.
American liberals have acquired the old Soviet habit of impugning the mental health of those who reject their ideology. At the moment they are making the term paranoia work overtime in their discussions of that vast pool of heretics they call “the right-wing.”
An idea has really triumphed when people are no longer aware that there is any alternative to it.
An opinion poll may be defined, with only slight exaggeration, as a lie carried out to two decimal places.
And don’t forget: the tigress gives milk. Millions of people live off the modern state.
Another corporation has been found guilty of bigotry — that is, practicing anthropology without a license.
Anyone can be an underdog; the trick is to be a registered, pedigreed underdog.
Anything “medieval” is by definition bad, and of course there was no torture before the Middle Ages, give or take an occasional crucifixion.
As long as there is a single Republican in Washington, nobody can say with any assurance that socialism is dead.
As long as there is sin, there will be blackmail. No reform can get rid of it. It can take many forms, not all of them illegal or provable in court. And it will always remain a hidden factor. This means that we can never completely know who controls our nominal rulers.
As President Clinton reminded us, “diversity” is our greatest strength. That must be why he wants the federal government to make sure all children get the same kind and degree of education.
As you may have noticed, people who are big on “dialogue” usually expect to do most of the talking.
At home, the U.S. Government was forced to “reinterpret” the Constitution, not as something it had to obey, but as something it had to enforce.
At the end of the twentieth century, more people have been killed in the name of equality than for any other principle.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are like members of a trapeze act who hate each other’s guts, but can’t let go: if one falls, the act is finished.
Bill Clinton grew up in the gambling town of Hot Springs, not exactly a pastoral setting (it’s more like a Mafia Shangrila), where playing the angles is a way of life. If he knows any hog-calls, they’re probably Sicilian. Of all the kids in his class, he was both most likely to succeed and most likely to be indicted.
Black hatred of whites, obvious enough in such phenomena as inter-racial crime ( which is overwhelmingly black-against-white), may sometimes be called “reverse” racism; but even this shows that the word racism isn’t racially neutral. It implicitly refers to whites, unless a qualifier is added.
Broadly speaking, the modern Court has redefined the Constitution to favor the agenda of liberal Democrats. With suspicious consistency, whatever they desire is ruled constitutionally permissible and may be enacted by the democratic process. Whatever liberal Democrats don’t want is apt to be found constitutionally taboo, no matter how many voters want it.
By a very conservative estimate, a hundred million people have died at the hands of their own governments in this century. Given that record, how bad could anarchy be?
By now it should be clear to anyone with a brain that forced integration is to racial harmony what the shotgun wedding is to romance.
Can it be an accident that back when people were more judgmental, they didn’t shoot each other quite so often? When you have commonly accepted moral standards, you don’t usually need to resort to force. But when moral rebuke no longer exerts its restraining influence, there is a human temptation to blow the offending party away, as it were.
Can you imagine the media politely pretending not to notice, say, neo-Nazis joining in a conservative gathering? Impossible: the presence of neo-Nazis would define the event. But pedophiles can be welcomed in gay events without incurring critical attention. That should tell you what’s going on.
Certain shoes, for some reason, are never put on the other foot.
Chain gangs have been reintroduced by the state of Alabama. Prisoners are actually being shackled together again and sent out to bust rocks all day, just like in old movies. Bryant Gumbel called this “a shameful reminder of our nation’s past.” I’d call it a shameful reminder of our nation’s present, when crime has reached levels that would not have been tolerated in the past.
Christians are accused of belligerency whenever they notice that they are under attack.
Civil rights no longer means freedom. It means the bureaucrats are coming.
Clinton is amazingly, brazenly sucker-oriented.
Congress may have a chaplain, but it needs an exorcist.
Conservatives who think they have “won” because Bill Clinton now adopts anti-government poses are like sheep congratulating themselves because the wolf has been forced to wear sheep’s clothing. It might be reassuring, if only the old wolf weren’t still eating so well.
Conspicuously missing from the Democrats’ inclusive ethnic tapestry is a Dutch uncle.
Conspiracies are real, and conspiratorial behavior is inseparable from politics, since politics is largely the pursuit of power by sneaky people.
Courage is never more bitterly hated than by the timid.
Cultural minorities, unless they are willing to assimilate totally (thereby surrendering their own identity), are apt to be more or less subversive of the majority’s culture, whether or not they intend to be.
Democratic politics is especially hospitable to corruption — and may be inseparable from it.
Democrats know the fight isn’t won at the weigh-in. They understand that though height, weight, and reach can be advantages, a thumb in the eye can also be useful at times.
Distrust of government can be taken to paranoid extremes. But to trust in government is truly crazy. Your own government is your natural enemy. That is why the Framers built all the safeguards we have tom down.
Double standards always point to the buried truth.
Drafting amendments is easy. Drafting uncircumventable amendments is another matter. The Framers were no match for modern lawyers.
Even our commemorations celebrate recent media events.
Every war becomes humane in retrospect.
Expecting today’s white to feel guilty about slavery is like expecting today’s Briton to feel guilty about the Stamp Tax.
For everyone who feels protected by the federal government, there are dozens who are afraid of the power it wields over them — chiefly the taxing power itself, with all its vast apparatus of surveillance, harassment, confiscation, and prosecution.
For some reason, the higher ratio of “wanted” children made possible by legal abortion has been accompanied by more, not less, child abuse.
For some reason, we always seem to learn about these pacts — NAFTA, NATO expansion, et cetera — long after their conception and shortly before their consummation. The very people who are quick to ridicule “conspiracy theories” are also the people whose conduct invites them.
For the ACLU, there was no contradiction between fighting for American “liberties” and working for Joe Stalin.
Forty million abortions, and we’re supposed to worry about how tough it is to be an abortionist these days.
Franklin Roosevelt used people’s trust and devotion against them, and they willingly let their sons go to war for him. I was born the year after he died, and I gradually discarded my family’s reverence and came to hate him for making them love him.
Free speech is a wonderful thing. Just be mighty careful how you use it.
Freedom is coming to mean little more than the right to ask permission.
Given its record of slaughter, asking the modern state to better the human condition is like expecting a tiger to pull a plow.
Governments are made to be bribed.
Here’s the latest update on liberal orthodoxy: Same-sex schools — bad. Same-sex marriage — good.
Historian Paul Johnson feels that the Catholic Church is a good, even a very good, thing, for all its faults. “I love it, despite its faults.” Big of you, Johnson. But another man might say it a little differently: “I love her, despite my faults.”
History is the past written in the third person. Literature is the past speaking in the first person.
Hollywood films falsify the present as much as they do the past, since they barely acknowledge the existence of Christianity.
Homosexuals are in fact rich, powerful, intense, and organized, which is precisely how they became certified “victims.”
Honest mistakes don’t stay honest forever.
How can a government in such an adversary relationship with the people hope to gain their consent? It can’t. That is why so much of the business of governing, liberal-style, has to be handled by the unelected: judges and bureaucrats. Instead of making government officials answerable to the people, modern liberalism makes the people answerable to government officials.
How could a foreign lobby possibly be acting in American interests at all times? Why would it exist at all, except to ensure the subordination of American interests to Israeli interests? If the two countries’ interests were identical, why would anyone seek to influence either’s government on behalf of the other’s? Such obvious questions were ignored by Patrick Buchanan’s detractors, who included as many servile Christians as Jews.
How do you enforce a contract against the government when the government not only monopolizes the means of enforcement, but also monopolizes the interpretation of the contract itself? An attempt by private citizens to force the government to keep up its end of the contract would of course be treated as an insurrection.
How much we don’t know about our rulers until it’s too late to use the knowledge!
How you can work for Stalin and civil liberties at the same time depends on how you define civil liberties, since the definition of Stalin is pretty inflexible.
Human genius can invent anything except human genius.
Humor, the liberal joke police incessantly insist, can be just another form of victimization and oppression. According to liberal metaphysics, jokes about women drivers lead to rape and stuff. (In liberal causal theory, nearly every normal activity “leads to” something reprehensible.)
I don’t know anything about Mr. Lincoln except that he got more than half a million American boys killed in order to “save the Union.”
I don’t mean to suggest blanket contempt for certain authors; what I object to is blanket reverence.
I hadn’t known that the Southern states had separate schools for the two races. People down there were prejudiced, I was taught. I didn’t stop to think how odd it was that when Northerners making that observation said “people,” they meant white people.
I have the distinction of being the target of silencing efforts not by benighted advocates of censorship, but by passionate apostles of free speech — who, though they disagree with every word I write, would fight to the death for my right to say it, provided I were stranded, incommunicado, on a desert island.
I suspect that even the foxy New Male sometimes wishes he could get in touch with his inner lion.
I suspect that Stalin would be disappointed at the current direction of the progressive movement.
I think the media age really began when radio could pipe the ruler’s voice into every home, in a one-way conversation with the ruled.
I yearn for the good old days when people made direct insults and accusations, without disguising them as diagnoses.
I’ve noticed that the more you evolve, the further left you seem to go.
I’ve often wondered just what anti-Semitism means nowadays. I should have known the answer. It means Christianity.
If a group can’t define its own purposes, standards, and criteria for membership, if such a basic prerogative can be usurped by the state, let’s have no nonsense about “freedom” and “pluralism.” We are living under the comprehensive, monistic, centralized state, which can dictate its standards to us.
If Clinton’s relations with Monica weren’t “sexual,” how can Kenneth Starr’s account of them be pornographic?
If nontaxpayers are allowed to vote, then those who choose not to vote should be relieved of the obligation to pay taxes. If we are going to have class war at the ballot box — as we already do — then we should make a provision for conscientious objectors.
If real compassion propelled people to the top, Mother Teresa would rule the world. It doesn’t quite work that way.
If termites could talk, I always say, they’d call what they’re doing to the house progress.
If the powers that be really wanted to control the corrupting power of money, they would disfranchise anyone who received a government check.
If the vote were really as valuable as the cheerleaders of democracy insist it is, depriving people of the vote would be a sufficient punishment for failing to pay taxes.
If there was no excuse, later, for not knowing of Hitler’s crimes during war, there was certainly none for not knowing of Stalin’s crimes during peacetime.
If trial by jury, the presumption of innocence, and similar safeguards didn’t exist already, it’s a cinch that our current breed of rulers wouldn’t have invented them.
If we consider a principle refuted every time its advocates fail to live up to it, we’ll soon be left with no principles at all.
In a liberal society, nobody is smugger than those who feel ahead of their time.
In consistency, liberals should be as neutral about hypocrisy as about other vices. The truth is that they oppose hypocrisy only when it pays tribute to virtue.
In every population there is a small class of brazen criminals who have no guilt or fear about invading people’s homes to rob, rape, and murder. But there is also a much larger class of timid people who, though they would shrink from such aggression, are willing to accept the fruits of crime if they may do so discreetly, without danger or loss of respectability. This sub-criminal class forms the basis of democratic politics.
In liberal hagiography, “victims of McCarthyism” who lost government jobs deserve more pity than victims of Communism who lost their lives.
In politics nowadays you have to insult the intelligence of anyone whose vote would be worth getting in order to get a majority.
In the minds of 75-watt intellectuals like Frank Rich and Richard Cohen, Christians cause violence (even when they denounce it!) merely by expressing moral disapproval.
In the minds of liberals, truth itself is discredited if uttered by the right-wing. The right-wing is all the more dangerous when it’s proven correct!
In the modern world no institution is, in principle, “separated” from the state; the state eagerly embraces, subsidizes, and smothers other institutions.
In the new language of abortion, unborn children are no longer “killed”; unwanted pregnancies are “terminated.” Nobody is “pro-abortion”; some people are merely “pro-choice.” Plain language has become taboo; those who use it are “extremists” who want to “impose their views.”
In the year 1900 American high-school students often studied Greek and Latin. As we approach the year 2000, few colleges and universities teach classical languages, but most offer “remedial English.” That’s what we call progress in education.
In this century, Jack the Ripper didn’t have to be self-employed.
In this world a key to success is knowing things you’d be crazy to say in public.
Intellectuals who can’t even build a mousetrap (but think they know how to build a socialist utopia) feel superior to men who build laser microscopes and jet engines.
Interesting how often our official voices feign a unanimity that doesn’t reflect their real thoughts. Interesting, too, how long it takes us to find out.
Is there any way to encourage lesbians to practice birth control?
Israel is the only “democracy” where the principle that “all men are created equal” has yet to gain much of a toehold.
It always amazes me that political greed is so insatiable. You’d think that even criminal types could manage to be law-abiding when they themselves control and enforce the law. And yet so often they turn out to be like bullying children who make up the games, then break their own rules in order to win.
It hardly needs to be pointed out that Israel has no problem with illegal Christian immigrants, and no Christian has held a major office in Israel.
It isn’t Christians who want to force children to be bussed to their schools, or who want to tax their neighbors to pay for pet programs, or who want to decide where smokers can light up.
It isn’t that Israel lags a little behind Western standards of justice; it doesn’t even aspire to those standards.
It would amaze many young conservatives, who came along in time to witness the shabby end of Communism, to know that socialism had a kind of dark prestige a generation ago, in that even people who detested it more or less believed in it.
It’s a common error to suppose that tyranny always means an entire populace quaking in terror; no tyranny can exist for long without many beneficiaries.
It’s a good rule of thumb that anything called a “program” is unconstitutional.
It’s a sign of the times that the stag film has become an obsolete art form.
It’s better to fail at refinement than to succeed at vulgarity.
It’s easier to amend the Constitution than to abolish Social Security, which is something to ponder, inasmuch as there’s no constitutional authorization for Social Security. It’s not just that the tail ‘wags the dog, but that it isn’t really the dog’s own tail.
It’s nauseating the way politicians always pretend that the right thing, the advantageous thing, and the immediately tempting thing are the same thing.
It’s not just that the past was “better,” as nostalgia would say. It’s that the past knew its own past. The Americans of 1795 had a profound sense of all that had come before them; the Americans of 1995 hardly even know of the Americans of 1795. The English of the Founders is more alien to us than Greek was to the Founders.
It’s revealing that Peter Jennings confuses reporting facts with opening minds. It’s even more revealing that he assumes that his own mind is a model of openness that his viewers would do well to emulate.
It’s interesting that the only isolationists on Earth are Americans. When Russia pulls its military forces out of other countries, nobody worries that the Russians are becoming isolationist or forsaking their global responsibilities. Foreign countries are not supposed to assert their power beyond their own borders. That’s strictly an American prerogative.
Jefferson should indeed be blotted from the roster of great Americans. If Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt belong there, Jefferson doesn’t.
Jesus Christ is the most famous and influential Jew of all time, much to the exasperation of two religions.
Johnnie Cochran may talk as if he has all the respect in the world for his fellow blacks, but he treated the black jurors in the first O. J. Simpson trial the way the Kingfish used to treat Andy. And by the way, he got an acquittal.
Just how1 do you identify deserving artists? Well, maybe you, personally, can’t do it, so leave it to the federal government. The government knows. The languishing geniuses have become a lobby to be reckoned with.
Justice Breyer doesn’t mind our being ruled by the dead hand of the past, provided that dead hand is attached to a liberal cadaver.
Letting Congress propose amendments to the Constitution is like letting Maya Angelou revise Paradise Lost.
Liberal bias is a feeble and inadequate name for the herdlike consensus of the major media.
Liberal Catholics are defined only by a series of incremental rejections.
Liberal Democrats understand that the real game is controlling the Constitution, not just winning elections.
Liberal sentiment says we can’t judge the individual. If it stopped there, it would be reasonable and merciful. My point is that it never stops there. It insists on absolving. But if we can’t judge, how can we absolve?
Liberalism has created a test of economic policy: it condemns any tax or spending cut that “hits the poor hardest.” Oddly enough, it has utterly failed to see that the New Morality hits the poor hardest. It destroys the familial and tribal ties they need far more than they need cash.
Liberalism is pretty much the use of guilt in the service of power.
Liberals began with good intentions. They ended by giving good intentions a bad name.
Like “war crimes,” terrorism is always committed by the other side.
Machiavelli was denounced less because he was cynical than because he was openly cynical: he spilled a lot of trade secrets.
Many of us would enjoy seeing Bill Clinton impeached. But almost nobody would like to see him hanged. That sets him apart from many of our alleged greatest leaders.
Many people who say they revere the First Amendment treat it as an obstacle to be circumvented. If they can’t jail their opponents, they must find other ways to prevent them from being heard.
Many pregnant women wrestle with their consciences over abortion. The only ones who get favorable publicity are the ones who win. Those mothers whose consciences prevail don’t even get credit for having consciences.
Maybe the strangest fact about the members of the Cause of the Month Club is that their moral relativism doesn’t prevent them from being moral scolds.
Men in power are more criminal than people in general, not only because power corrupts but also because most people who seek power are already corrupt.
Minority rights is the guise under which privilege is sought in an age formally committed to the shibboleths of equality.
Modern government is a conspiracy against every productive human being who would prefer to be left alone.
Modern man’s faith in the state far exceeds medieval man’s faith in the Church.
Most Americans feel that third parties aren’t worth voting for. It’s interesting to note that most corporations, foreign and domestic, likewise feel that Americas third parties aren’t worth cultivating — or bribing.
Most Americans have seen the federal government as a mean dog, necessary for protection, and tolerable only for that purpose, but definitely not a family pet. Now that the dog isn’t needed for protection anymore, and keeps biting its alleged masters, they’d just as soon shoot the damn thing. It’s a healthy impulse.
Most of the people who work for the U.S. government would work for any government. If they had been born into Aztec Mexico or ancient Rome, they would have gone cheerfully to the human sacrifices or to see Christians thrown to lions.
Mr. Clinton is a broad-minded soul, tolerant of everything except disagreement.
Mrs. Clinton is the senior wife in what amounts to a walk-in harem. As long as she retains her primacy, she appears not to be jealous of the other women.
Never trust a ruler who demands that you trust him. I’m delighted when the Washington chorus laments our “cynicism;” they really mean that the suckers aren’t biting anymore. The real madness is not suspicion of government, but faith in government.
No liberal pundit did any “soul-searching” over whether his (or her) “rhetoric” may have helped inspire the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Liberals never find “hate” or “extremism” on their own side: they have welded these words to the phrase right-wing.
No newspaper would send a reporter who was ignorant of baseball to cover the World Series. Why do they sent ignorant and even hostile skeptics to cover the activities of Christians?
Not “we the people” but “we the lawyers” control the Constitution. Commentary has displaced the text itself. The Constitution belongs to the priesthood, not the laity, and it is pointless for ordinary citizens to read it. The clerisy will tell us what they have decided it means.
Nothing is as outdated as yesterday’s vision of the future.
On China’s “population problem”: The Chinese people are never said to have a “government problem.”
On the Communist collapse of faith: Too many broken eggs, not enough omeletes.
One index of a group’s power is its ability to impose a double standard in its own favor.
One reason the two parties seem so friendly to each other is that each is afraid of what the other might do in an all-out fight. Both have a lot to hide.
One reason to study history is to give your mind an inventory of normal periods against which you can measure your own time.
Only Bill Clinton could stand in the pillory and pretend it’s a pulpit.
Open apostasy is quaint nowadays; the great enemies of the Church are within, and are often priests, nuns, and theologians who want to “restate” Christian doctrine.
Other governments aren’t interested in emulating our Constitution, which has become a dead letter. But many of them are eager to emulate our military power. A government wins global respect in proportion to its power to kill.
Our rulers don’t dare either to abide by the Constitution or to renounce it outright. They need it the way liberal churches need the Bible, as a handy trove of quotations and a reassuring symbol for the suckers in the pews.
People who would never hurt a child themselves feel bound to excuse their government for having killed tens of thousands of children.
Politicians are men with certain low skills, including the ability to raise money and speak in bland cant.
Politics and lying go together like hot dogs and mustard. You can’t have one without the other. The reason must be that politics is about government, which is about power, which means forcing people to do things they wouldn’t do voluntarily, which usually requires a certain amount of deceit. True, politicians sometimes tell the truth, but that’s just to keep us off balance. It’s sort of like fractional-reserve banking.
Power accrues to those who can create and sustain public hysteria for which the mass media are apt instruments.
Powerful men who want abortion to be kept legal push their cause in the name of women’s rights, because their own motives are too seamy to expose.
President Clinton escalated the abortion battle by nominating an experienced abortionist to be his surgeon general. This was like nominating a pornographer to the cabinet on grounds that the Supreme Court has struck down most obscenity laws.
President Clinton even accuses the Republicans of wanting to “make war on kids” — quite a charge, coming from a man who regards aborting kids as something the government should not only permit but subsidize.
Public opinion is what everyone thinks everyone else thinks.
Public servant: n. A politician who hasn’t been convicted yet.
Savagery is on the right, while humanity is to be found on the left, a view that flatters liberals but is somewhat at odds with the history of the twentieth century.
Schools that depend on government money are simply not going to teach children to be skeptical of government.
See how the modern state has warped our sense of right and wrong. We have become such people as would have appalled our ancestors. The things we should have conserved have already been destroyed.
Separation means pretending you’re not a Christian during office hours.
Separation, like secession, is what we call independence when we don’t like it.
Sexual harassment means unwanted sexual advances by a Republican.
Shifting arguments are the mark of a bad cause.
Since Franklin Roosevelt, liberal has come to mean one who favors federal interference in our domestic life; conservative, one who prefers interference abroad; and moderate, one who favors both. It follows that one who opposes both is an extremist.
So many people and places have been damned as antiSemitic that a simple soul might wonder why so intelligent a people as the Jews have so consistently migrated to antiSemitic countries.
Somehow it’s easier to be sure that liberal Catholics would vote for the Democratic Party than that they would bear witness to Christ if the chips were down.
Someone has said that you always hate what you’ve wronged. So it’s natural that those who have wrecked an old social order in the name of an illusory future are eager to defame the past.
Substitute tendency for conspiracy, and the Birch view of things acquires a surprising cogency.
Taxpayers aren’t getting — and can’t possibly get — their money’s worth. How can you get your money’s worth from an extortionist?
The “bias” of the media doesn’t consist in mere partisan slanting of details; it lies in a whole way of looking at the world.
The “new morality” was imagined as allowing responsible “consenting adults” to fornicate with contraceptives, affecting nobody outside the bedroom walls; it turned out to mean 25-year-old men preying with impunity on 15-year-old girls.
The “separation of church and state” is turning out to mean the separation of man from God.
The “static meaning” Justice William Brennan despised is the only thing that makes the rule of law possible, just as static value is the only thing that makes money reliable. (Inflation might be defined as “living, evolving” money.)
The advocates of abortion usurped the “pro-choice” tag in spite of the obvious consideration that the aborted child had no choice in the matter; it was as if advocates of slavery had called themselves “pro-choice” on the grounds that no white person would be forced to own slaves. Meanwhile, opponents of abortion were to be given no “choice” about the use of their tax dollars for what they regarded as murder.
The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honor you can bestow on him. It means that you recognize his superiority to yourself.
The best “defense” is not to make enemies in the first place. But this elementary prudence is now called isolationism (though it might better be called multiculturism).
The Cause of the Month Club is that mighty chorus of people who get indignant in unison about arbitrarily selected issues that don’t have any strong logical connection with each other.
The chief business of a sane society is simply the maintenance of the normal.
The Clinton White House, avoiding the extremes of both left and right, may be the first to be infiltrated by capitalists and Communists alike.
The Clintons hope, in the short time allotted to them, to elevate us all to their plane.
The Clintons’ compassion is reserved for the suffering of large and well-organized constituencies; they aren’t averse to inflicting acute suffering on isolated people who get in their way.
The common phrase taxpayers’ revolt would be nonsense if the taxpayers were really sovereign.
The Constitution as “living document” always turns out to increase the power of the federal government, not to limit or reduce it.
The Constitution is to today’s federal government what the Book of Revelation is to the Unitarian Church.
The craziest part of the status quo regarding Israel is that American Christians are taxed to support an anti-Christian government and are constantly told that it’s their “reliable ally” (in spite of Israel’s long record of spying and technology theft against its most generous benefactor).
The crude policy of forcing people on each other has had the effect (it shouldn’t have been unexpected, but it was) of driving them apart.
The difference between a politician and a pickpocket is that the pickpocket doesn’t get indignant when you tell him to keep his hands to himself.
The enforcement of intellectual conformity among the educated classes is a fascinating and neglected subject for two reasons: (1) it isn’t supposed to happen, and (2) it happens all the time.
The faith of the Enlightenment was that once man cast off the superstitions of religion, rational common sense and general harmony would prevail. “Reason” and “science” would improve on tradition and create a better world. That attitude may have been understandable after centuries of religious war. But some people still hold it after a century of wars that make the Reformation wars seem like the Era of Good Feeling.
The favorite line of Clinton’s partisans is that his misdeeds don’t “rise to the level of impeachable offenses.” We must have heard this one a thousand times this month. The nation’s capital, including the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, seems to be under the control of a master ventriloquist.
The First Amendment doesn’t make schools “religion-free zones,” but it makes religion a Congress-free area.
The gold standard is a way of keeping God in control of the money supply.
The good news is that all the purloined secrets didn’t do the Soviets much good anyway: Which suggests that even if we couldn’t count on the CIA, we didn’t need it, so all’s one. And if we didn’t need it then, we don’t need it now. It has been far more successful at keeping information from Americans than from Russians.
The harder you try to be up to date, the sooner you’ll be outdated.
The Historical Jesus is based on several modern dogmas: it presupposes that Jesus wasn’t divine, didn’t do miracles, didn’t foresee the Crucifixion, and didn’t rise from the dead. He just left a lot of wise sayings. Maybe he wasn’t divine, but he’s awfully quotable. And you can edit out the quotations you don’t like: they’re all optional.
The idea that genuine anti-Christian prejudice is a major force in America doesn’t seem absurd at all to Christians who have seen their country taken from them over the last forty years, and who remember what a small minority of non-Christians did to Christians in Russia and Eastern Europe earlier in this century. It can happen here. It is happening here.
The illusion that we enjoy free speech has been fostered by the breaking of Christian taboos, which has become not only safe but profitable. To violate minority taboos is “offensive” and “insensitive”; to violate Christian taboos — many of them shared by religious Jews — is to be “daring” and “irreverent.” (“Irreverence,” of course, has become good.)
The implied meaning of rogue nation: one that resists American domination.
The Israeli connection, like the Chinese one, is a valuable dye marker: It provides a visible intimation of all the domestic corruption we never see.
The maddening thing about politics is that every now and then, some low-down SOB may be telling the truth.
The main beneficiaries of legal abortion are not “liberated” women, but sexually irresponsible men.
The meaning of the Constitution now has to be communicated by the grapevine.
The media try to discredit criticism of themselves as “blaming the messenger.” But the criticism arises precisely from our sense that the messenger is tampering with the message. We don’t argue with the mailman, even when he delivers bills; we may want to argue with the anchorman.
The message, I gather, is that we should all be tolerant. Since I am already tolerant, I don’t need this crap.
The modern state congratulates itself on having eschewed crude methods like torture. But it can do without such methods because its own control is so much more total than that of most regimes in history.
The modern state stands ready to release you from all your duties to your own family, while constantly increasing your political obligations. You can divorce your spouse, neglect your parents, abandon or abort your children. But you’d better pay your taxes, most of which will be spent for the benefit of people you’ve never met and have never agreed to support.
The most American Americans — “angry white males” — now regard their own government as their enemy. And for good reason. Their own government regards them as its enemy.
The most dangerous people in the country are the people who are already running it.
The notion that Americans are free because they can vote for either of two sects of a single elite is parallel to the notion that a choice between being a Mormon and being a Jehovah’s Witness would amount to religious freedom.
The old taboos have been reversed, not abolished: it’s the concept of perversion that’s forbidden now, not perversion itself.
The only term limits most politicians might support would be limits on the length of prison sentences. How does it happen that we are so often “represented” by men who seem to embody not our aspirations, but our dark side? And why have we come to expect this?
The only woman Clinton hasn’t accused of lying is the only one we know has lied: His wife.
The opposite of isolationism is a world in which every incident can trigger a general conflagration -you can just say “Sarajevo,” for short. Maybe no man is an island, but do we improve things by making every man a tripwire?
The people are the sea on which the politicians sail. Now and then the sea may get choppy. It may rock the ship of state, but it never directs it. When it turns violent, it merely imposes certain limits on the ambitions of the crew.
The preferred “victims” are those who have votes, money, power. Victims with muscle might not seem to qualify as victims, but that’s the point. It takes a lot of clout to be an Official Victim these days.
The progressives have found no substitute for virtue. They can offer only such morbid stopgaps as contraception, abortion, and euthanasia. The Dark Ages understood virtue and built a civilization; the progressive age doesn’t understand virtue and is tearing down the civilization it inherited. Euthanasia is a fitting symbol: the last sacrament of a society that cannot aspire to heaven, but only to painless annihilation.
The real argument for freedom of the press is not that the press is a good thing, but that the press is a powerful thing, a dangerous thing. It becomes much more dangerous if the state controls it.
The real goal of the ACLU has never been an overall expansion of freedom, but the centralization of power in the name of “civil liberties.”
The real lesson of the Clinton scandals is that we have allowed power to be dangerously concentrated in the hands of a few people of limited intelligence, dubious character, and considerable arrogance.
The Republicans let the Democrats write the rules by which the game of politics is played. The essence of the rules is that Democratic (minority) gains are untouchable, while Republican (white Christian) holdings are always up for grabs.
The right to have an abortion is a “right” people aren’t proud to exercise. Nor do they express affection, in retrospect, for the “abortion provider.”
The same people who denounce monopoly capitalism usually want monopoly government. And they want it for exactly the same reason capitalists want monopolies. They’re greedy.
The so-called Anti-Federalists are looking a lot less backward than we were taught in school.
The Stalin government was at first thought to be good, by an innocent mistake on the part of our government, but later turned out to be bad.
The state crowds us into unwanted relations with each other.
The state gives you two options. If you won’t be its dependent, you must pay taxes to support those who are. Living off others’ taxes is legitimate; refusing to pay those taxes is criminal.
The state is increasingly organized against the whole population, most of which is meek to a fault. Its chief business is siphoning our wealth, not protecting our rights and safety.
The state owns a large share of all of us through its taxing power, which is unlimited in principle. And since we can all use the taxing power to get some of our neighbors’ money, you might say that we all own a little piece of each other. Chattel slavery has been replaced by “decimal” slavery.
The state, our alleged servant, takes tax evasion more seriously than violent crime. The robber or rapist may hurt you, but he doesn’t hurt the regime.
The Supreme Court has been broadening the rights (privileges, really) of the media for half a century, and it may be no accident that the judiciary gets a better press than the other two branches of government from an industry that considers itself “the fourth branch of government.”
The telltale sign of an accusatory term’s lack of definition is that there is no reciprocity in these accusations. We have no word like anti-gentilism to identify hostilities in the opposite direction.
The Tenth Amendment is a sort of antitrust act for government.
The truth is that the only “enemy” the government has to keep secrets from is the American public. Its refusal to come clean is our warrant that its relations with American citizens are essentially hostile — as the Waco siege itself should have told us. The government’s interest and the public interest are two different things.
The two parties in Washington are like an unhappy family that is always bickering about little things while implicitly agreeing on the fundamental things that keep them together. If you listen only to the bickering, you won’t understand how the political system actually coheres. You have to be aware of all the things the two parties don’t argue about.
The views most Americans shared at the time the Constitution was ratified would be called “right-wing” and “extremist” by the writers of today’s headlines and editorials. That’s because people back then were pretty much normal.
The word cheating is applied only to recalcitrant taxpayers. It’s never applied to the government that abuses the taxing power in myriad ways. There is no criminal penalty for rulers who use tax money for unconstitutional functions and “programs” that amount to mass bribery, extorting money from some for the benefit of others.
The word minority is not numerical, but moral: it implies those with just grievances against the white majority.
The world is truly going to hell. When I was in college, you had to be able to read Cliffs Notes in the original.
There is no “new” morality. There is only the systematic pretense that sexual vice is not vice.
There is nothing in the Inclusive Bible to make Janet Reno want to arrest anyone.
There’s the classic Republican boast: They’re more bipartisan than the Democrats.
This must be the first administration in which the women have deeper voices than the men.
Through most of recorded history the ordinary man could assume his sons would die in their own country. In the twentieth century, with total war and conscription, that ceased to be true. Never have so many millions of young men been forced into combat abroad.
To hear liberals talk, you would think that only the white man truly has free will, that all others depend on him.
To the envious, sin is more forgivable than virtue.
Today’s politicians not only can’t say memorable things; they can’t even remember memorable things.
Using women in the military is such a brilliant idea that you have to wonder why it didn’t occur to Alexander the Great and Napoleon before it occurred to Patsy Schroeder.
Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Jackson, if they were alive today, would have no place in our politics. They couldn’t get the nomination of either major party. Even if they did, we wouldn’t elect them. Let’s not flatter ourselves.
We hear a lot about the evils of “Holocaust denial.” But those who question the conventional version of Nazi history are only retrospective and speculative. They don’t influence events. That can’t be said for those who assisted and glorified the Soviet Union under Stalin while it was still active and thereby facilitated its enormous crimes.
We keep hearing of Miss Reno’s “integrity,” but where is the evidence of it? Aren’t the commentators really saying that they can’t imagine that a homely, charmless, eccentric spinster could also be brazenly corrupt?
We’re never told what was “right-wing” about Attila. He was a formidable enemy of Christendom and not particularly devoted to limited government.
We’re told the country has swung to the right, but you can lose your job at a conservative publication (as I have reason to know) for being too right-wing. I don’t know of anyone who’s lost a job at a liberal publication lately for being too left-wing.
Well-meaning liberals and socialists like Michael Harrington used to talk about “building a new society.” They built it, all right. It’s the one the middle class dreads dropping into.
What distinguishes modern tyranny is not its severity, but its sheer pettiness.
What passes for “news” is often nothing more than liberal melodrama, with subtle clues as to who the good guys and bad guys are.
Whatever the First Amendment is supposed to mean, there is still more free speech in the barroom than in the newsroom.
When a histrionic politician feels someone’s pain, some agency will be required to cause someone else’s pain offstage, and in this country that agency happens to be the IRS.
When a politician talks of civil rights, peace, defense, abortion, or anything else, we always have to ask what his words do to the field of power.
When black “leaders” and their white allies say in effect that blacks can’t meet racially neutral standards, the Klan’s services seem to be superfluous.
When church and state clash, anyone who loves freedom — even a nonbeliever — should instinctively side with the church. The whole purpose of separating church and state is to limit the state.
When the Lewinsky scandal broke, Mrs. Albright led the cabinet in declaring their belief in Clinton’s denials. Now we’re supposed to trust their judgment and honesty when they tell us that the retaliatory airstrikes were based on solid intelligence that a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory was producing a component of nerve gas. This isn’t just a chain of command; it’s a chain of faith. We are expected to put our faith in people who put their faith in Clinton.
When we watch the old film noirs these days, we aren’t seeing an underworld. We’re seeing something more like a utopia.
When you seduce a child, you can expect that to upstage your good deeds — and for that matter, most of your bad deeds.
Whenever a taxpayer lives a nightmare, someone else’s dream is coming true.
Why are rustic “cults” and “separatists” who don’t bother their neighbors, rather than urban criminal gangs who do, the targets of so much federal attention?
Why do we expect a man whose only adult experience has been politics to be able to run something as huge and sprawling as the executive branch of the federal government, let alone “the country”?
Why does Bill Clinton carry a Bible with him wherever he goes? Probably in case he feels a sudden need to commit perjury.
Why has liberalism provided useful camouflage for Communism? To put it another way, why didn’t Communists bother passing themselves off as conservatives too? Was the border between liberalism and Communism especially porous? If so, and if many liberals accepted Communists as worthy allies, why should we be severe with antiCommunists who didn’t or couldn’t make fine distinctions between them?
Why is diversity the favorite word of monotonous people? The instant you hear it, your nervous system braces itself for a torrent of cliches, Liberals are lucky the rest of us don’t demand reparations for decades of boredom. If boredom were officially recognized as a form of suffering, the full extent of liberal guilt would be incalculable.
You can almost define a liberal as one who demands that others reach his conclusions from their premises.
You can divide people into two categories. For one, politics is merely the background of life; for the other its the foreground, the great theater, where “the action” is.
You can fool all of the people some of the time, or you can fool some of the people all of the time, depending on your market strategy and time frame. With an election approaching, you want to go for all of the people some of the time. Between elections you go for some of the people all of the time, also known as protecting your base.
You can no more mix two cultures without loss to both than Bertie Wooster could walk into War and Peace without somewhat breaking the tone. Only the naive can believe in a formula under which the cannibal and the vegetarian can sup contentedly together.
You can’t teach an old underdog new tricks.
You don’t know in advance that there is going to be a poll; as with the Soviet space program, you hear about it only after it has already happened, with results acceptable to the pollsters. There is no time for debate, as before an election. A small fraction of the public is, in effect, ambushed.
You not only have to accept change; you also have to pretend, with a silly smile, that the new way of life is a big improvement over the old one.
H/T Ronald N. Neff
Source: Griffin Communications