Jewish World Review Oct. 28, 2010 20 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771
By Victor Davis Hanson
The fate of Williams reminds us that Americans have developed two personas -- one public and politically correct, the other private. Mix the two and big trouble ensues.
Here are some reminders about what to shut up about.
Don't discuss the deficit. Instead, call borrowing "stimulus." Trillions are not much different from billions. Debt can be paid back with more borrowing and someone else's higher taxes. Ignore the lessons of
Keep silent about
Most Americans choose to be called "cowards" by Attorney General
Closing the border is a taboo subject. Also taboo is the phrase "illegal alien." Speak instead about the need for social justice, not the enforcement of mere laws. Illegal aliens broke no real law when enticed northward by greedy employers. That is why the secretary of labor released a video calling for workers to report employer abuses -- whether the workers are "documented or not." Passing laws to subvert federal immigration laws, such as "sanctuary city" legislation, is commendable. Passing laws to enforce federal immigration statutes earns a lawsuit, and condemnation by the president of
Don't get caught up in discussing global warming. If you must go there, employ the term "climate change" so that anything from a tornado to a blizzard can be blamed on man-caused carbon emissions. Instead of citing recent doctored research or the inconsistencies in
Do not, under any circumstances, associate global terrorism with Islam -- despite the countless terrorist operations that have been carried out worldwide by Muslims since
Do not weigh in on gay marriage. Millions of Neanderthals voted to oppose it; a few sophisticated judges ruled to overturn bans on it. If you talk positively about traditional marriage and the special and historical relationship between a man and a woman, that is code for homophobia.
Lay off the university. It hikes tuition costs higher than the rate of inflation. It exploits part-time teachers while clinging to archaic notions like tenure. It cannot guarantee that its graduates are competent in either basic reading or math -- or that they will even find a job these days. And it shuns true diversity of thought. Yet question its budgets, hiring practices, political tolerance or affirmative action, and one is dubbed anti-intellectual, racist, against the student loan industry, and cold-heartedly against letting someone be all that he can be.
We do not quite know how Americans will vote next week, in part because citizens fear to talk openly about their concerns and instead employ groupspeak. We suspect that in the privacy of the voting booth, they may prove angrier and more frustrated than we think.
But why not, when they know that candor and honesty can earn a presidential lecture, a job firing or a lawsuit?
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
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