Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Atlantic's New Hire Might Be Problematic

My schedule has been kind of bananas lately, which has precluded regular blogging, but I couldn't help but weigh in on The Atlantic's troublesome new affirmative action for conservatives hire, who has made statements in his columns, etc., that have been interpreted as racist, misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic. I think The Atlantic is perfectly free to promote a writer in the name of ideological diversity if the editors think this is a good thing to do, but they had best just recognize that disdain, contempt, cancelled subscriptions, and sternly-worded missives will, perforce, necessarily follow in the wake of such a decision. 

No lie, I don't read the National Review much, from which Williamson comes, although I can't help but think that calling a small black child a "primate" and filling his mouth with an improbably stereotypical dialog (I feel, if not apocryphal, this child has certainly been embellished by the author) probably fit in far better there than it will at his new perch. But as for the outrage regarding his statements that women should be hanged for seeking abortions, which, it seems, Williamson has said more than once or twice, and not just in tweets? 

Well, there's your ideological diversity, because this isn't some weird fringe-y thing that Williamson alone on the right has espoused at all. We have at least two legislators in Ohio who think this is a fine idea: the death penalty for doctors and patients alike. The candidate for Lt. Governor in Idaho seems to think this is a completely acceptable discussion, as well as do others in that state. Why in the world would I pretend to be shocked that Williamson holds a position that red state elected officials and clinic bombers alike also hold? Isn't the entire point of having a commentator on board with interesting and divergent opinions getting to hear those opinions spelled out in excruciating detail?

Perhaps he can expand for us the idea that women might be dissuaded from ending their pregnancies if they thought they might be hanged by the neck until dead (despite countless women having sought unsafe abortions at the risk of death by sepsis or hemorrhage when safe and lawful procedures could not be obtained).  Perhaps he can elucidate the ways in which a fetus has personhood and agency and a right to the body of another person greater than that female-bodied person has over her own body. And perhaps he can't, but that shouldn't be because The Atlantic hasn't let him, now that they've offered to be so accommodating. (And while he's at it, he can get reiterate his greatest hits from the National Review--second chances, amirite?)

There is a tremendous whinge heard on the right (from the White House, even!) that the mainstream media just doesn't allow conservative voices on--even though that is patent bullshit. Every Sunday chat-show roundtable has its conservative contingent, Republican politicians have long outnumbered Democratic politician on such shows. CNN bent over backwards to try to have Trump-friendly commentators on air the past two years. Mainstream newspapers have certainly tried to find conservative columnists. The Atlantic has Williamson, and a well-feathered albatross he seems be, for the moment. (Who knows how enjoyable he will be once he's been around their necks for awhile?) 

But I think it's a damn shame folks will insist on pointing out the sexism and racism and the homophobia and transphobia, as if they are missing all the conservative thought just sitting out there in the open in the gentleman in question's previous missives. I mean, not all conservatives can be Andrew Sullivan (last seen still defending Murray's The Bell Curve, I believe), of course.  But here's to The Atlantic for taking that chance. 

As has been famously said, what have they got to lose?

UPDATE: The Atlantic has decided to lose Kevin Williamson, and will, presumably, seek conservative opinions from people who are not racist or transphobic or in possession of the idea that killing women is a way to reduce abortions.

2 comments:

Burr Deming said...

It seems natural to me that an unholy alliance developed between ideological conservatives who want extremely limited government and "cultural" conservatives who want government help to be confined to those deserving folks who are on the right side of the color line.

I'm open to the criticism that non-conservatives are wrong to conflate the two. I am bemused on occasion when a conservative publication commits the same sin.

Or when a liberal magazine does it when trying for ideological balance.

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, sorry your schedule is so messed up. (What ever happened to that trip to Italy to meet with relatives for some business venture?)

Williamson is an idiot. He's a NeverTrumper which alienates him from most of the Republican Party, and he has made comments about Republicans that are not at all flattering.

The old ways of looking at the right are no longer applicable. Big-government Republicans are not conservative, as your commenter points out, they just want to dish out pork to their constituents just as the left wants the parasitic sector to dish out pork to their constituents. Today the right is divided between those that are for Trump and those that are not. Ironically, those of us who like Trump are a collection of conservatives, leftists, libertarians, and others who primarily believe that government should solve its own problems. A keen analysis of some of Trump's initiatives shows that in some cases he applies a liberal solution, as in his trade initiatives. At this juncture we just want the problems to be solved and the debt cleared and ISIS to be destroyed. You realize that before Trump ran for president, he and his family were New York liberals.

A vision of the extreme right would sort of be like a modern version of Little House on the Prairie, and a vision of the left would be sort of like the Soviet Union but where everyone was honest and the system worked fairly and the populace was happy. Naturally both of these ideas are completely absurd. Neither is going to happen.

I still see us as basically being influenced by two possible trends. One is a change in the zeitgeist, which still seems to be viable to me. (In government as in other things, basically cycles just go back and forth) and the other is the Kali Yuga (we're deep into the Kali Yuga, having already started the counter-initiation phase).

From the Qaballistic point of view the Kali Yuga is known as the Fall. The mythical Garden of Eden was in Atziluth; one of the titles for Atziluth is “the Nearness”. Naturally, absolute divine reality is what Atziluth is near to. The Fall is the descent from the enlightened level of consciousness in the garden of paradise to our present problematic situation stuck in Malkuth of Assiah. The way of return is Tikkun (too involved to go into) and the objective is to return to the high level of consciousness of Atziluth represented by the garden of paradise. The eastern perspective would regard this as becoming enlightened.