From Peggy Noonan: A Point Worth Pondering

 

As I was wandering through the news headlines this morning, I came upon an item that recounted MSNBC “journalist” Joy Reid’s interview with Pete Buttigieg. Don’t ask me how the topic came up, but Reid took Buttigieg to task for a recent tweet of his that said, in part, that America needed a president shaped by “heartland” values. Poor Buttigieg did not anticipate her response which was that the word “heartland” was “like a dog whistle for white voters.” When I read that, I thought of a recent opinion piece by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal that said in part:

The past decade saw the rise of the woke progressives who dictate what words can be said and ideas held, thus poisoning and paralyzing American humor, drama, entertainment, culture, and journalism. In the coming 10 years someone will effectively stand up to them. Their entire program is accusation: You are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic; you are a bigot, a villain, a white male, a patriarchal misogynist, your day is over. They claim to be vulnerable victims, and moral. Actually they’re not. They’re mean and seek to kill, and like all bullies are cowards.

Although I agreed with Ms. Noonan, the thought struck me; do we really have 10 years before this woke progressivism renders this country incapable of any intelligence in any field? We can look back on any number of watershed moments in American history. Take, for instance, Joseph Welch’s masterful rebuke of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (“At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”), which many historians believe was the turning point in the history of McCarthyism. Would the woke progressives (or even those less woke) even recognize such eloquence? More importantly, would they even want to recognize it? I’m not so sure.

I want, with every fiber of my being, to believe that we have not descended so far into chaos that we can still preserve this republic. However, when I see the idiocy of Ms. Reid and hundreds of those like her, I cannot help but think that we, as a nation, have been educated far beyond our intelligence.

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  1. TallCon Coolidge
    TallCon
    @TallCon

    CACrabtree: Would the woke progressives (or even those less woke) even recognize such eloquence?

    Maybe.  It was used as a line in Star Trek VI.  I don’t think Nicholas Meyer is as comparatively woke but he’s definitely a lefty.  I never knew it until recently that the moon Praxis is named for a Marxist term.  He also gives Spock the line “As with all living things, each according to his gifts.”

    BTW, here’s the interview:

    • #31
  2. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    CACrabtree: Take, for instance, Joseph Welch’s masterful rebuke of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (“At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”),

    That was indeed a rhetorically masterful attack. Its falsehood is so thoroughly pervasive that you make unquestioning use of it. Welch, as the Army’s counsel, was defending the Army as an institution. The problem was that McCarthy was right. The Signal Corps installation at Fort Monmouth was so deeply penetrated by Communist agents that it had to be shut down and reconstituted elsewhere with better vetted personnel. The Army was stonewalling McCarthy, and ultimately destroyed him with ad hominem attacks.

    As the Monmouth probe unfolded, it found eerie similarities between the security picture at the post and previous wrangles on such issues. A main disclosure of the Amerasia case had been the vast hemorrhaging of confidential papers that wound up in the offices of this pro-Red publication. Revelations from other security probes suggested that looting of secret government data was a fairly common practice. There is no way of knowing how many U.S. secrets had been funneled to Moscow by Hiss at the State Department, White and the Silvermaster Treasury combine, or moles in the atom project, but the number was by most assessments in the several thousands.

    Estimates of possible security damage at Monmouth were at this same stratospheric level. Literally thousands of official papers, it seems, had gone missing from the complex. Captain Sheehan would, for instance, tell McCarthy staffers of a case in which a Monmouth employee had signed out at one time or another for more than 2,700 documents (not a typo). Security officials tried to retrieve these, said Sheehan, but after thorough investigation, two-thirds of this enormous total was still missing. Sheehan added that, when the employee was brought up on security charges, this rather fantastic datum was omitted from the hearing record on orders from the higher regions. Other estimates of secret data pilfered or copied and supplied to outside parties from the Monmouth complex were often in this same prodigious range. Such was, for instance, the post-McCarthy testimony of a defecting Soviet scientist named Andrivye (not his real name). Andrivye told congressional probers that in the 1940s secret U.S. materials involving radar had turned up in Russia in vast amounts, and that literally “thousands” of these had been identified on their face as having come from Monmouth.

    Evans, M. Stanton. Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies . The Crown Publishing Group.

    The Army-McCarthy Hearings took place in 1954.  The problems at Monmouth happened in the 1940s as did the Amerasia case.  Whittaker Chambers had it right, McCarthy set back the cause of anti-communism through his recklessness, accusing many unfairly, including George C Marshall, of commie sympathies, while allowing his aide, Roy Cohn, to pursue a vendetta against the Army on behalf of his boyfriend.  Destroying McCarthy with ad hominem attacks is perfectly appropriate given McCarthy’s tactics.

    • #32
  3. Ben Sears Member
    Ben Sears
    @BenMSYS

    Weeping (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    CACrabtree: Poor Buttigieg did not anticipate her response which was that the word “heartland” was “like a dog whistle for white voters.”

    What does that even mean?

    And who decides these kinds of things? I mean, one day the “ok” symbol doesn’t simply mean “ok”; it’s a symbol of racism. The next day, the word “heartland” doesn’t simply mean the central part of the nation; it’s a racist term. Who in the world decides these things?

    You do. Tell them to go to hell. 

    Blink was the best episode, by the way. Nice.

    • #33
  4. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    CACrabtree: Take, for instance, Joseph Welch’s masterful rebuke of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (“At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”),

    That was indeed a rhetorically masterful attack. Its falsehood is so thoroughly pervasive that you make unquestioning use of it. Welch, as the Army’s counsel, was defending the Army as an institution. The problem was that McCarthy was right. The Signal Corps installation at Fort Monmouth was so deeply penetrated by Communist agents that it had to be shut down and reconstituted elsewhere with better vetted personnel. The Army was stonewalling McCarthy, and ultimately destroyed him with ad hominem attacks.

    As the Monmouth probe unfolded, it found eerie similarities between the security picture at the post and previous wrangles on such issues. A main disclosure of the Amerasia case had been the vast hemorrhaging of confidential papers that wound up in the offices of this pro-Red publication. Revelations from other security probes suggested that looting of secret government data was a fairly common practice. There is no way of knowing how many U.S. secrets had been funneled to Moscow by Hiss at the State Department, White and the Silvermaster Treasury combine, or moles in the atom project, but the number was by most assessments in the several thousands.

    Estimates of possible security damage at Monmouth were at this same stratospheric level. Literally thousands of official papers, it seems, had gone missing from the complex. Captain Sheehan would, for instance, tell McCarthy staffers of a case in which a Monmouth employee had signed out at one time or another for more than 2,700 documents (not a typo). Security officials tried to retrieve these, said Sheehan, but after thorough investigation, two-thirds of this enormous total was still missing. Sheehan added that, when the employee was brought up on security charges, this rather fantastic datum was omitted from the hearing record on orders from the higher regions. Other estimates of secret data pilfered or copied and supplied to outside parties from the Monmouth complex were often in this same prodigious range. Such was, for instance, the post-McCarthy testimony of a defecting Soviet scientist named Andrivye (not his real name). Andrivye told congressional probers that in the 1940s secret U.S. materials involving radar had turned up in Russia in vast amounts, and that literally “thousands” of these had been identified on their face as having come from Monmouth.

    Evans, M. Stanton. Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies . The Crown Publishing Group.

    I’ll have to respectfully disagree and reiterate that a scalpel was called for rather than a blunderbuss.  I don’t believe you could call Ronald Radosh a “fellow traveller” but he referred to Mr. Evans book by stating that “his own exaggerations and unwarranted leaps parallel those made by McCarthy.”

    • #34
  5. Pete EE Member
    Pete EE
    @PeteEE

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I have one serious disagreement with the OP. I really dislike Welch’s dishonest rebuke to McCarthy. McCarthy was a blowhard, but he was also correct about many things. There was serious Communist infiltration of our government, unions, and the Democratic Party. I am going from memory on this, relying on Ann Coulter’s book on the subject. Being a member of a Communist front organization is every bit as reprehensible as being a member of a Nazi front organization. It is not indecent to object to governmental employment of actual Communists and Nazis

    If you have some concrete substance against McCarthy, share. Otherwise, complaints about McCarthy’s style are on a moral plane with complaints about MLK’s hair or William Wilberforce’s taste in clothes. McCarthy was the hero to expose the vilest ideology creeping into the US government.

    (edit – Comment #32 would count as substance. Thanks.)

    • #35
  6. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    Pete EE (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I have one serious disagreement with the OP. I really dislike Welch’s dishonest rebuke to McCarthy. McCarthy was a blowhard, but he was also correct about many things. There was serious Communist infiltration of our government, unions, and the Democratic Party. I am going from memory on this, relying on Ann Coulter’s book on the subject. Being a member of a Communist front organization is every bit as reprehensible as being a member of a Nazi front organization. It is not indecent to object to governmental employment of actual Communists and Nazis

    If you have some concrete substance against McCarthy, share. Otherwise, complaints about McCarthy’s style are on a moral plane with complaints about MLK’s hair or William Wilberforce’s taste in clothes. McCarthy was the hero to expose the vilest ideology creeping into the US government.

    Many people do not feel that way.

    Rooting out evil is one thing, but when there is obsessiveness involved, and an unchecked  grab for power and control, the citizenry then realizes how  totalitarianism is staring them  down, to the point that the life blood of the Republic is sucked away.

    The parallel now exists, that because there is White Supremacism in our society (although possibly at a level of less than 0.02% of the society) then such an atrocity needs to be wiped out of our society. This is resulting in how some arbitrary arbiters are allowed to create language distortions and decide, as is being discussed in this topic, that the okay sign means the user is a racist, and that using the expression heartland is also racist.

    If McCarthy had gone after specific targets in a meaningful way, that would have been valid. But you had people being forced to confront their “communist sympathies” just because as a college student they attended a single meeting in NYC’s east side.  Friends ratted out friends in order to keep their jobs in Hollywood. As a writer, I sympathize with the actors the most. Some writers simply used pseudonyms, while actors had no way to stay employed.

    Charlie Chaplin even decided that our culture was going to hell in a hand basket and left the country.

     

    • #36
  7. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    CACrabtree (View Comment):
    I’ll have to respectfully disagree and reiterate that a scalpel was called for rather than a blunderbuss.

    With the benefit of hindsight, that may well be so. Radosh deserves much credit for following the evidence where it led on the Rosenbergs. But his assertions about Evans are not only unsupported by the facts, they are often distorted and even false. Radosh still acts like an anti-anti-Communist and is not to be relied on about McCarthy.

    Evans:

    As important as such factual bloopers, in some ways even more so, is the manner in which Radosh fills gaps in his knowledge with reversals of the empirical record in which he represents me as saying the exact opposite of what I have actually written. This happens so frequently as to suggest a deliberate tactic — apparently on the premise that, if I didn’t say something or other in defense of Joe McCarthy, I should have, so that’s how Radosh describes it. Following are a few examples:

    Radosh says: “In a similar fashion, Evans supports McCarthy’s outrageous assertion about Gen. George C. Marshall.” I in fact wrote the opposite, in several places, to wit: “McCarthy was quite right that an immense conspiracy was afoot — especially with regard to China — though erring as to the role of Marshall. .. . Without trying to rehash the long career of Marshall, a few examples may be cited to suggest the factual errors in McCarthy’s thesis. . . . McCarthy made his share of errors . . . [among them] the Marshall speech . . . .”

    (The “immense conspiracy” involved in all of this, by the way, included a high-level U.S. scheme during World War II to murder our anti-Communist ally Chiang Kai-shek, repeated aid cut-offs to injure Chiang in his struggle with the Chinese Reds, and a State Department plot to overthrow him through a military coup d’état when he sought refuge on Formosa-Taiwan. All of this is documented in my book, but apparently qualifies as more old-hat material well-known and boring to experts such as Radosh, which is perhaps why he doesn’t mention any of it.)

    I have now been a journalist for upward of 50 years, most of them with some connection or other to National Review. In all that span, many things have been said about me and my work, not all of them positive in nature. But at no point in my career has anyone to my knowledge ever accused me of plagiarism, one of the most serious charges that can be leveled at a professional writer. Nor do I recall even my most determined left-liberal foes, however much they might disagree with me, accusing me of being in any way dishonest. It remained for these sinister charges to be made in the year 2007 by Ronald Radosh — in the pages of National Review.

    What all that says about Radosh, National Review, and me, I leave to the judgment of the reader.

    • #37
  8. Pete EE Member
    Pete EE
    @PeteEE

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    Charlie Chaplin even decided that our culture was going to hell in a hand basket and left the country.

    There is a scene in Modern Times that I think is a great illustration of the Marxist idea of alienation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n9ESFJTnHs

    It’s got the dehumanizing of work and the dehumanizing of people through work. (In case you miss it look closely at the shape of the women’s buttons.) It even has the proletarian rising up, with nothing to fear but his chains.

    • #38
  9. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    There was nothing wrong with Pete’s answer, but a lot wrong with the question. You are right – everything is a dog whistle and her question to Pete made him feel like he had to clarify and defend a simple thing like getting back to the heartland. But now we have been over-sensitized to making everything about what Peggy Noonan described. We don’t have ten years to fix this.

    • #39
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