to Harris/Biden in Atlanta on Friday. Or an exercise explaining Why I swear at the tv. Mid-way to rational thought, it is at least better than ***!!!###. Aside: Posting here is a great gift. Writing – like speech with others – forces us to use words. Our founders would use the word deliberate, to move from gut response to reason. Let’s begin with them for perspective:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . . “
“Hate crimes” violate not only our laws but our core belief that in each (and all) is a divine spark, that is one way we are truly equal. However, “hate” for an individual or a random act of pointless violence is also hate. Inchoate anger is hardly virtuous. Haters choose the weak, the dependent, the isolated, the outlier; they want neither consequences nor pricks of conscience. “Knock out” punches throw the weak, the elderly, the unprepared to the ground and are often too random to easily assign blame; knowing society identifies less with such victims makes quick punishment less likely; an important distance comes from convincing one’s self such a victim is not “equal”, is not human – that stills the conscience.
Our president and vice president commented on a heinous crime Friday in Atlanta; a man feeling himself controlled by drives beyond his will faulted others, the tempters, society. That is evil. But politicians and the media blinked at the evil and turned the crime to their own use – a use apparently unsupported by facts, that betrays their own responsibility “to promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.” Their speech, like their actions on the border, are designed not to rally nor unite, certainly not to better secure.
Our culture at its best has taught internalization of values and responsibility; our virtue arises from our choice of the good, that another path is offered gives us choice not excuse. Sinful thoughts may be inevitable, but our reasons should cool our passions, stop us from actng. This killer could not kill the thought, so tried to kill its representation – as if the women were not individual breathing souls but abstractions, impediments. That is an old evil. Indeed, the very form it takes is not new but then evil is always old. How often is the victim an outlier, vulnerable? Aren’t murderers always bullies?
The democrats argue Asians in America are victims of white racists, the prism through which they focus this week. Race seems to work for them – or at least they think it does. But this is neither a useful nor truthful approach nor does it bring the unity Biden claims. Deaths of runaways, homeless people, and women (and children) in certain service industries are often given short shrift, their vulnerability, their weakness preyed on by the vicious and sociopathic, capable of cruelties difficult to contemplate. (Google “homeless” “burn” “fire” – the one from last week is but one among many in a short period.)
The undynamic duo implied much that is not statistically true. Violence against Asians is less often from whites and prejudices predate Covid. (Chris Wallace harangued a guest about such covid bigotry, within minutes describing a variant as “British.” I don’t think we need to spend a lot of time feeling guilty for his xenophobia toward England.) Conflating Korean and Chinese and Japanese and Indian doesn’t seem particularly “woke” nor make our vice president’s ethnic empathy ring all that true. Nor does banning the label keep us from remembering exactly what China did and WHO abetted it.
But it is less what they said than what they didn’t. Cartels running a protection racket take much more than money; the percentage of migrants who have experienced sexual violence is large, drugs are slipped through in the midst of chaos. Governor Abbott spoke at the border, discussing a fear those who know the border well have – that unaccompanied children are vulnerable in that long trek and also as targets for traffickers. The border’s chaos has given the manipulative and the violent, the evil, a vulnerable population. The hypocrisy over covid – at schools disproportionately feared, at the border ignored – is only one unbalanced equation; hypocrisy comes from other insensitivities – to drug deaths and kiddie porn, to lives debased and devalued.
Instead, the deadly duo managed to move on from labeling the nation they represent racist to descriptions of their generosity with our children’s money. Implicit in the rest of their address was the assumption that Americans should delight in our infantilization, implying we are dependent, greedy, and indolent. They share with the sociopathic murderer little ability to take responsibility for their own actions. They, too, see the people whom they represent as pawns, to manipulate in their expression of personal power. Meanwhile, they ignore the purpose they assumed with executive power. Many a great man has understood this as a duty to secure the safety of those represented, a duty to promote maturity, liberty and virtue, to lead. Do they recognize this? They willfully (and selfishly) create chaos and cynicism, weakening us abroad as well as at home.