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/ 1 Mar-Cheshvan 5770
Limbaugh bad, Mao good
Here is a tale of two sound bites. First:
"Slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back; I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."
"The third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Tse Tung and Mother Teresa. Not often coupled with each other, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is: You're going to make choices. ... But here's the deal: These are your choices; they are no one else's. In 1947, when Mao Tse Tung was being challenged within his own party on his own plan to basically take China over, Chiang Kai-shek and the nationalist Chinese held the cities, they had the army. … They had everything on their side. And people said 'How can you win? How can you do this against all of the odds against you?' And Mao Tse Tung says, 'You fight your war, and I'll fight mine.' You don't have to accept the definition of how to do things. … You fight your war, you let them fight theirs. Everybody has their own path."
The first quotation was attributed to Rush Limbaugh. He never said it. There is no tape of him saying it. There is no transcript of him saying it. After all, if he had done so at any point in the past 20 years, someone would surely have mentioned it at the time.
Yet CNN, MSNBC, ABC and other networks and newspapers all around the country cheerfully repeated the pro-slavery quotation and attributed it, falsely, to Rush Limbaugh. And planting a flat-out lie in his mouth wound up getting Rush bounced from a consortium hoping to buy the St. Louis Rams. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the talk-show host was a "divisive" figure, and famously nondivisive figures like the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson expressed the hope that, with Mr. Divisive out of the picture, the NFL could now "unify."
The second quotation hailing Mao was uttered back in June to an audience of high school students by Anita Dunn, the White House communications director. I know she uttered it because I watched the words issuing from her mouth on "The Glenn Beck Show" on Fox News. But don't worry. Nobody else played it.
So if I understand correctly:
Rush Limbaugh is so "divisive" that to get him fired Leftie agitators have to invent racist sound bites to put in his mouth.
But the White House communications director is so undivisive that she can be invited along to recommend Chairman Mao as a role model for America's young.
From my unscientific survey, U.S. school students are all but entirely unaware of Mao Tse Tung, and the few that aren't know him mainly as a T-shirt graphic or "agrarian reformer." What else did he do? Here, from Jonathan Fenby's book "Modern China," is the great man in a nutshell:
"Mao's responsibility for the extinction of anywhere from 40 million to 70 million lives brands him as a mass killer greater than Hitler or Stalin."
Hey, that's pretty impressive when they can't get your big final-score death toll nailed down to within 30 million. Still, as President Barack Obama's communications director says, he lived his dream, and so can you, although if your dream involves killing, oh, 50-80 million Chinamen you may have your work cut out. But let's stick with the Fenby figure: He killed 40-70 million Chinamen. Whoops, can you say "Chinamen" or is that racist? Oh, and sexist. So hard keeping up with the Sensitivity Police in this pansified political culture, isn't it? But you can kill 40-70 million Chinamen, and that's fine and dandy: You'll be cited as an inspiration by the White House to an audience of high school students. You can be anything you want to be! Look at Mao: He wanted to be a mass murderer, and he lived his dream! You can, too!
The White House now says that Anita Dunn was "joking." Anyone tempted to buy that spin should look at the tape: If this is her Friars Club routine, she needs to work on her delivery. But, for the sake of argument, try a thought experiment:
Midway through Bush's second term, press secretary Tony Snow goes along to Chester A. Arthur High School to give a graduation speech. "I know it looks tough right now. You're young, you're full of zip, but the odds seem hopeless. Let me tell you about another young man facing tough choices 80 years ago. It's last orders at the Munich beer garden gee, your principal won't thank me for mentioning that and all the natural blonds are saying, 'But Adolf, see reason. The Weimar Republic's here to stay, and, besides, the international Jewry control everything.' And young Adolf Hitler puts down his foaming stein and stands on the table and sings a medley of 'I Gotta Be Me', '(Learning To Love Yourself Is) The Greatest Love Of All' and 'The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow.' And by the end of that night there wasn't a Jewish greengrocer's anywhere in town with glass in its windows. Don't play by the other side's rules; make your own kind of music. And always remember: You've gotta have a dream, if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?"
Anyone think he'd still have a job?
Well, so what? All those dead Chinese are no-name peasants a long way away. What's the big deal? If you say, "Chairman Mao? Wasn't he the wacko who offed 70 million Chinks?," you'll be hounded from public life for saying the word "Chinks." But, if you commend the murderer of those 70 million as a role model in almost any schoolroom in the country from kindergarten to the Ivy League, it's so entirely routine that only a crazy like Glenn Beck would be boorish enough to point it out.
Which is odd, don't you think? Because it suggests that our present age of politically correct hypersensitivity is not just morally unserious but profoundly decadent.
Twenty years ago this fall, the Iron Curtain was coming down in Europe. Across the Warsaw Pact, the jailers of the Communist prison states lost their nerve, and the cell walls crumbled. Matt Welch, the editor of Reason magazine, wonders why the anniversary is going all but unobserved: Why aren't we making more of the biggest mass liberation in history?
Well, because to celebrate it would involve recognizing it as a victory over Communism. And, after the Left's long march through the institutions of the West, most are not willing to do that. There's the bad totalitarianism (Nazism) and the good totalitarianism (Communism), whose apologists and, indeed, fetishists can still be found everywhere, even unto the White House.
Rush Limbaugh's remarks are "divisive"; Anita Dunn's are entirely normal. But don't worry, the new Fairness Doctrine will take care of the problem.
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"America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It"
It's the end of the world as we know it...
Someday soon, you might wake up to the call to prayer from a muezzin. Europeans already are.
And liberals will still tell you that "diversity is our strength"while Talibanic enforcers cruise Greenwich Village burning books and barber shops, the Supreme Court decides sharia law doesn't violate the "separation of church and state," and the Hollywood Left decides to give up on gay rights in favor of the much safer charms of polygamy.
If you think this can't happen, you haven't been paying attention, as the hilarious, provocative, and brilliant Mark Steynthe most popular conservative columnist in the English-speaking worldshows to devastating effect in this, his first and eagerly awaited new book on American and global politics.
The future, as Steyn shows, belongs to the fecund and the confident. And the Islamists are both, while the Westwedded to a multiculturalism that undercuts its own confidence, a welfare state that nudges it toward sloth and self-indulgence, and a childlessness that consigns it to oblivionis looking ever more like the ruins of a civilization.
Europe, laments Steyn, is almost certainly a goner. The future, if the West has one, belongs to America alonewith maybe its cousins in brave Australia. But America can survive, prosper, and defend its freedom only if it continues to believe in itself, in the sturdier virtues of self-reliance (not government), in the centrality of family, and in the conviction that our country really is the world's last best hope.
Steyn argues that, contra the liberal cultural relativists, America should proclaim the obvious: we do have a better government, religion, and culture than our enemies, and we should spread America's influence around the worldfor our own sake as well as theirs.
Mark Steyn's America Alone is laugh-out-loud funnybut it will also change the way you look at the world. It is sure to be the most talked-about book of the year.
Sales help fund JWR.
© 2009, Mark Steyn