The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


Pusillanimity is one of those 10 dollar words that implies timidity—a distinct and noticeable lack of courage, determination, and grit. Over the past few years, a majority of corporate leaders have exhibited pusillanimity when confronted by patently ridiculous demands presented to them by social justice warriors who have become members of the Outrage Brigades. Daniel Henninger comments on the recent dust-up over Nike sneakers:
The remarkable thing about Colin Kaepernick’s banning of Nike ’s Betsy Ross flag sneaker to commemorate the Fourth of July isn’t that it happened, but how easily it happened. Nike’s management simply folded over “concerns that it could unintentionally offend.”

Translating this waffly phrase into odds, I’d put “concerns that it could” at about a million to one. But because the thought found its way into Mr. Kaepernick’s head that the shoe was about slavery, Nike’s senior decision-makers nodded without dissent: We’ve gotta pull it.

No one has ever thought to go looking inside corporate headquarters for profiles in courage, but the lurch toward timidity in our time by individuals at the top of America’s private and public institutions is something to behold. Pusillanimity has become a plague.
Henninger goes on to discuss baseball's Cleveland Indians ban on their Chief Waahoo mascot, and the Philadephia Flyer's banning of 1930s era singer, Kate Smith's redition of God Bless America because Smith recorded a racially insensitive song almost than 90 years ago. In some cases, there was mild pushback by the corporate chieftains (oops, is that a "cultural appropriation?") but in the main, they all folded like cheap suits.

Over the past few decades, faux-outrage has been a dominant strategy on the Left. The reason is simple—it works. It's all part of a broader strategy to delegitimize the country, to suggest that we as a nation are [fill in the list of pejorative adjectives], to convince people that what we have is soooo bad that it MUST be replaced by a socialist system in which government controls all aspects of our lives and where dissent is not only inappropriate, it is forbidden. If history serves, a proposed system like that would quickly devolve into an authoritarian dictatorship where the same social justice warriors that are now outraged by sneakers would become power brokers and the thought-leaders.

Henninger continues:
The rest of the time when a Chief Wahoo or Kate Smith happens, most people find space inside themselves to absorb it. But for the increasingly Mao-like American left, even this choked-down acceptance of their political assaults isn’t enough. They no longer seem content with winning. The left today has a compulsion to force obedience again and again. Thus, You didn’t like Wahoo and Kate Smith? Try this: We’re getting rid of your racist Betsy Ross flag, and you’ll shut your face and take it.

What they want from their opposition isn’t agreement with their ideas but submission—a kind of political lobotomization. And disturbingly, a lot of contemporary leaders—at Nike, the Yankees, the Flyers, almost any university—are volunteering to assist in the procedure.

Anytime thought suppression goes too far, people look for ways to resist. One thinks of the determined objectors in Ray Bradbury’s now barely fictional novel, “Fahrenheit 451,” evading the firemen who exterminate the possessions of people who read books. Today, the firemen are burning any symbol of American life they say has become unacceptable—to them.
Henninger suggests a "Mao-Like" stance among the SJWs. I have suggested that there are echos of the Khmer Rouge in their words and actions, albeit, faint at the moment.

When confronted with the idiocy that is now an everyday occurrence among the outrage brigades, the only acceptable response is push back—hard, directly, and vigorously. The best response is to flip the SJW accusations, using their language and memes to suggest that the SJW demands are themselves "offensive and outrageous." That they make the listener feel "unsafe." That those who don't agree with the SJWs are "hurt" by the SJW language, tone, and accusations. But that takes courage, not pusillanimity.