In a recent essay, the indispensable Jonah Goldberg said, maybe stating the obvious: “rudeness is not a conservative principle.” (link here) It was in response to a crude remark that Donald Trump, a man legendary for crude remarks, made to Megyn Kelly during the debate.
We all have super powers(1). One of Jonah Goldberg’s is the pithy phrase, well-written, well-placed and on-target.
One of mine is seeing the second half of, or the follow-up to, the pithy phrase; the follow-up that tends to flesh out and give context and additional perspective to the original phrase. An example: Margaret Thatcher once said, “The facts of life are Conservative,” and I found that to be a wonderful summation of a basic truth of life.
Unfortunately, people with a solid understanding of the facts of life are rare in the media, academia, or pop culture — the “MAP Complex“(2) — at least in America.(2a) Hence, the follow-up that I recognized really needed to be added: “…but society’s white noise is leftist.” Society’s “white noise” is the aforementioned “MAP Complex.”
Back to Jonah Goldberg’s phrase: “Rudeness is not a Conservative value.” The follow-up that needs to be added: “…but rather a leftist tactic.”
The wording of both parts is important. If rudeness is not a Conservative principle, then it can’t be used by Conservatives as a tactic either. And it isn’t. If someone — or someones — is/are using rudeness as a a tactic, then that means it, rudeness, is also a principle, or a value, of the one using it. In other words the intentionally rude person considers that he is doing nothing wrong by being rude.
A sneering, condescending, pre-adolescent rudeness is so baked into every aspect of leftist discourse that they’re no longer even aware of it, and they certainly don’t consider it a bad thing.
Did you ever notice that when a leftist goes way, way, over the line and gets called on it, he always seems surprised, almost mystified, that he’s being called on it. As if to say, “But I said what I said about really bad people! You know, right-wingers.” And, “You let a lot worse than that go through uncommented on all the time! Why’re you picking on me?!?“(3) Their subsequent apologies are always forced, non-apology apologies of the “I’m sorry if anyone was offended” type.
That’s because rudeness is, absolutely, definitely, no doubt about it, a leftist principle, a leftist value. To such an extent that they don’t even consider it rudeness, except if directed at them, at which point they get instantly into high dudgeon, and all, “How dare you?!?” about it. Fully and blissfully unaware that they themselves are constantly guilty of what they so indignantly decry.(4)
(1) – Super powers — in the plural. Everyone has many super powers. Okay, okay… aptitudes and talents, which if honed and refined, would be quite strong. The trick is in identifying them and exploiting them for one’s own betterment, and for the betterment of all mankind. It’s not all that difficult, really, and one should do it. We call the ones who don’t correctly identify their super powers: poor.
(2) – To coin a phrase…
(2a) – As a result, people with a firm grasp of the facts of life are rare in government.
(3) – Which is absolutely true. They are absolutely right to be mystified by the media’s occasional, and rare, pangs of conscience regarding the rude and crude, the unacceptable and the offensive.
(4) – This last phrase itself is a neat little summation of the American left. You almost could say only that — that the left are “fully and blissfully unaware that they themselves are constantly guilty of what they so indignantly decry.” — and not need to say anything else, and you would have described them entirely.