Don’t count me among the gushing admirers falling all over themselves to praise the boxing legend.
Years and years, decades in fact, ago the onetime Cassius Clay decided that he would avoid serving the country that had been very, very good to him.
Ali chose to avoid service in Vietnam, and in so doing relieved himself of a steaming pile of really stupid, completely non-credible codswallop to justify the betrayal.
I could have respected him just a bit more if he’d simply told the truth: (1) that he didn’t agree with the Vietnam War, (2) that, like every other draft-age American man at the time, he was terrified at the thought of going to war.
But, no. Muhammad Ali told everyone that he was a believer in “non-violence,” a “pacifist,” and that his religion forbade him from going to fight for his country. Those were howlers at the time, and in retrospect it’s almost surreal how transparently stupid they were.
How’s that, you say?
Well, how on earth does a guy who made tens of millions of dollars beating the stuffing out of other men get to call himself “non-violent?” Or: “a pacifist?”
Well, he doesn’t.
However, as brain-dead as the media are today, they were just as brain-dead then, and they dutifully “reported” that the man who was then making a really good living beating the daylights out of other men was really a “principled pacifist,” opposed to going to war.
Then, these same morons reported that the reason for all those lofty principles was Ali’s religious faith. And, they said, he was, in the parlance of the day, a “black muslim.” And, as we see today those muslims are such peace-loving, gentle, caring, sweet souls!
Why, pray tell, did the onetime Cassius Clay even try to make that transparently stupid case? Simple: at that time, the only way a man could suggest that he might be exempt from military service was to try to claim a religious exemption. Furthermore, you could count on the adoring press to back up even the most ridiculous of claims. If, that is, they agreed with your ideological predilections.
Some things never change. The press are as stupid today as they were in Ali’s heyday, because nothing, and no one, has insisted that they get any better.
This is why Hillary Clinton is potentially the soon-to-be nominee for the thoroughly corrupt Democrat Party(1), instead of in jail where she ought to be. It’s why Bernie Sanders is a “prominent Democrat,” and not a laughingstock as he ought to be.
Back, though, to the late Muhammad Ali.
So Ali chooses to use Islam as the religion that would get him out of serving America. Because of the all those “non-violence” and “pacifist” things in Islam.
In a stand-up comedy routine, that claim would leave ’em rolling in the aisles.
People called Ali “a genius.”
Well, he was kinda sorta glib. He’s remembered for saying exactly two things: “I’m the greatest.” And: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, something, something, something, something, Muhammad Ali.”
No, I didn’t think it was worth it to find out what all the “somethings” really were, in what was, essentially, a children’s nursery rhyme.
The first thing — “I’m the greatest” — if said by anyone else, and not by someone whose leftism was much loved in the American press, would have been scorned for the egotistical, pretentious, puffed-up buffoonery that such a boast always is.
The second thing is, as we might have mentioned just a bit earlier, nothing more than a mildly clever nursery rhyme.
Well, you can say that he was a spectacularly good boxer. He probably was the greatest boxer who ever lived. Doesn’t that make him a genius? I don’t think so. Ali was extremely good at doing something really stupid: pounding the stuffing out of other men.
If I become the best the world has ever seen at tying shoes, does that make me a genius? Not really. In my mind, there’s also an element of “net positive gain” to the idea of “genius.”
After a day at work, how many people were really, net, better off for Muhammad Ali’s having reported to work that day? Actually better off? Besides Ali himself, of course, who was certainly much wealthier, if probably a good deal less healthy.
An important point: Ali’s increased wealth definitely came at the expense of another. Unlike, say, a great inventor, whose invention makes him fabulously wealthy, ands presumably launches an industry that provides wealth for many others as well, Ali’s success depended very much on his ability to incapacitate someone else.
One more thing. As time went on, archives were opened in the now defunct, unlamented Soviet Union. It came to light that the anti-Vietnam War movement was led by a bunch of pro-Soviet/pro-North Vietnamese agitators. All the so-called “idealism” of the anti-war movement was just a fraud. The members of the movement were nothing but a bunch of stooges.
The end result of the “anti-war” movement’s efforts was more, and more horrific, war — along with the bloody takeover of much of South-East Asia by merciless, bloodthirsty savages, who have been killing people ever since. Anti-war? Hogwash!
These were people who were anti-getting their backsides injured or killed, and who were too gutless or dishonest to admit it. They were more than happy to hitch their cowardly glutei maximi to the canard that the Vietnam War was not a “just war.” History has shown rather conclusively that it was every bit as much of a “just war” as everyone’s epitome of a “just war,” World War II.
Many reported that Muhammad Ali was a “role model.”
Seriously, why? All reports are that he was a lousy husband, and a not-so-hot father. He certainly was a graceless, full-of-himself athlete.
His public position that he was a “non-violent pacifist” and a “conscientious objector” to war was a risible fraud. He was, probably unwittingly, a stooge of communist sympathizers whose aim was, and remains, to destroy the country that made him a fabulously wealthy man.
Furthermore, Ali publicly declared himself to be an adherent to a religion, tens of thousands of whose followers claim divine justification to nail children to crosses, to decapitate women and children, to bury or burn people alive. Millions of other followers of the same religion view approvingly the sub-human ghouls who commit those atrocities.
To earn his living, a very handsome living, Muhammad Ali beat men to a bloody pulp. He obtained fabulous wealth from that pursuit, and it also led to decades of debilitation for Ali himself.
I’ll make you a bet that, twenty years ago, after a decade of suffering with the Parkinson’s disease that would eventually kill him, if you had offered Muhammad Ali the choice between the career he had, and, say, that of a modestly successful plumber, he might have said: “Plumber — in a heartbeat!”
Why on earth would anyone suggest that Muhammad Ali was a “role model?”
(1) Unless that is, as we’ve predicted in these pages, she withdraws from the race due to her legal troubles.