The COMMENTARY podcast expounds upon the principles set forth in a rare editor’s letter published in the upcoming issue of the magazine: “We Must Stop the Great Unraveling.” A political and legal philosophy that reduces individuals to the categories they were assigned at birth and treats them as representatives of a collective has once again risen to the fore. It must be stopped.

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  1. Mark Alexander Lincoln

    A thought-proving podcast. The Commentary Magazine Podcast got me to subscribe to Commentary magazine (and I love getting access to decades of articles by people I love to read).

    I also love how you all challenge my thinking and assumptions.

    One of the great failures of non-Leftists is the failure to stop and reverse the takeover of education, first in the universities and teacher colleges, and then K-12. We now have a majority of unlearned teachers teaching. As Fred Siegel says in a recent Power Line podcast, “The inability of young people to engage in rational debate is absolutely frightening.”

    It’s not enough to occasionally speak up about it.

    It’s time for a constant drumbeat against the insanity, an insanity that started in education and now is accomplishing the Great Unraveling.

    This is why I started the Underground Grammarian website over two decades ago, and wrote an article for Quillette and maintain the Underground Grammarian Twitter feed.

    Education is the #1 issue, if you ever want to have a hope of reversing this.

    I would hope that every issue of Commentary, and everything you and your readers do is, not only create your own drumbeats, but also act where you can in your community.

    One drumbeat I would like to see? President Trump (or any future President) withholding Federal education funds from any State that approves schools using Howard Zinn’s “People’s History” as a text and anything to do with the 1619 Project.

    Learn from Leftists. We have moved past mere evidence, argument, and persuasion.

    Drumbeat, drumbeat, drumbeat, drumbeat…

    @UndergroundGra4

    • #1
    • June 16, 2020, at 12:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
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  2. Kephalithos Member

    I’m 24. If a Gallup pollster had asked me, “Are you proud to be an American?” I might well have answered in the negative — not because I buy into the 1619 Project and social-justice tripe, but because the 1619 Project’s popularity reveals how very deep the rot is. If “being American” means “reading the New York Times and performing ritual acts of self-flagellation,” then being American isn’t something to be proud of.

    Our politics is a . . . er, fecal festival. All the major institutions (and most of the minor ones) have sold their souls to critical theory — and if they’ve not, they’re still grossly incompetent and/or mired in corruption. None deserve my trust.

    What’s there to be proud of? At what point does “America” cease to describe the ideals espoused by Washington, Madison, and Lincoln? At what point does “America” come, rather, to describe just one particular species of human misery?

    • #2
    • June 16, 2020, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
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  3. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    The lack of self-awareness in this podcast is astounding. They purport to be fighting the radical Left, and saying that we have to take a stand and stop them. Then Ms. Rosen says (37:45):

    And I will say this, none of this is to say that, I mean, I think all of us here are very glad to see, you know, you should not be fired if you’re gay, that is absolutely intolerable, that is not something that should be happening.

    This in a conservative Jewish organization. They don’t seem to know much about either Jewish teaching on this issue, or conservatism. They have capitulated.

    I actually think that the truly conservative position is to oppose anti-discrimination laws on principle, in favor of freedom of association.

    I suspect that the majority of my compadres here at Ricochet disagree with me about this issue, and agree with the Left. Each of you is free to reach your own conclusion, of course. I do find it puzzling that people in this category continue to self-identify as conservative.

    • #3
    • June 16, 2020, at 3:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. ericB Lincoln

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I actually think that the truly conservative position is to oppose anti-discrimination laws on principle, in favor of freedom of association.

    Even aside from questions about that issue, I noticed two other misrepresentations of the Constitution in this episode. The first comes around 19:00.

    @johnpodhoretz is explaining about compromises and discusses the three fifths (3/5) rule compromise, which is

    “misunderstood by most people because it seems to suggest that the founders placed unequal value on white and black lives …”.

    On this point he is correct. That is sadly a very common misunderstanding. But the reason it is wrong is quite different from, and even the opposite of, the reason he gives.

    “…whereas by creating a value for the life of slaves they were actually making slaves into individuals … codifying into law for the first time…” etc.

    That would imply those who wanted that number (or higher) were doing so out of respect for black lives as people. The opposite was true. The slave states were the ones to prefer counting every slave as a full person for this purpose because that gave slave states more representatives in the House and therefore more political power in Congress.

    It was the free states who would have preferred to not count slaves at all because they wanted to end or restrict slavery and therefore would prefer that the slave states have fewer representatives and less political power in Congress.

    Notice that none of this is an assessment of the value of a black person. Even before the Civil War, not all black people were slaves.

    The compromise is all about whether slave states can count slaves in order to boost their power in Congress. All people who want freedom from slavery should prefer that slave states benefit as little as possible from counting slaves to achieve greater representation. As it was, to keep a union, they found it necessary to compromise.

    • #4
    • June 16, 2020, at 6:06 PM PDT
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  5. ericB Lincoln

    The other misrepresentation of the Constitution I noticed starts around 43:43 when they are discussing whether the recent Supreme Court decision

    “settles matters going forward for religious organizations … I think we’re going to see challenges and lawsuits … looking for exemptions here” – Abe

    @johnpodhoretz and the rest later talk about who at a religious school, for example, might receive a “ministerial exception”.

    However, the right to religious freedom is not the right of an organization. It is the right of every human person. One doesn’t need to become a “minister” to have the right to freely exercise your religion.

    When Christine Rosen talks about how “Americans don’t want that. The opinion polls show that.” (i.e. the will of the majority doesn’t want X), that is irrelevant and missing the point. The whole point of having a Bill of Rights is to explicitly protect the human rights of people in the minority from the tyranny of the majority. That includes protecting those whose exercise of religion is in the minority.

    When she goes on to mention “protect the rights of religious minorities”, she adds “you can do both, but … that is something we need to do legislatively”. This also is upside down.

    Notice that the Constitutional Amendments generally do not create or grant rights to people or organizations. On the contrary, human rights cannot be granted (or removed) by government. The Constitution recognizes that people (not just some “religious organizations”) already have inherent and unalienable human rights, including freedom to exercise religion. The Constitution never gives that to them. (Likewise for other human rights.)

    Instead, the pattern of the Constitution is to forbid government from unwarranted intrusions that “prohibit” or “abridge” or “infringe” upon those inherent rights that people innately possess.

    When Christine references the protections of earlier legislation, hopefully that includes a recognition of and a reference to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). RFRA didn’t grant human rights. RFRA merely restored an earlier Constitutional standard for limiting the power of the federal government to trample on human rights of exercising religion.

    • #5
    • June 16, 2020, at 6:56 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
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  6. Henry Racette Contributor

    I want to commend Commentary, and particularly Abe, for the excellent statement of principle you published. Well done.

    • #6
    • June 17, 2020, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Charlotte Member
    CharlotteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    I’m 24. If a Gallup pollster had asked me, “Are you proud to be an American?” I might well have answered in the negative — not because I buy into the 1619 Project and social-justice tripe, but because the 1619 Project’s popularity reveals how very deep the rot is. If “being American” means “reading the New York Times and performing ritual acts of self-flagellation,” then being American isn’t something to be proud of.

    Our politics is a . . . er, fecal festival. All the major institutions (and most of the minor ones) have sold their souls to critical theory — and if they’ve not, they’re still grossly incompetent and/or mired in corruption. None deserve my trust.

    What’s there to be proud of? At what point does “America” cease to describe the ideals espoused by Washington, Madison, and Lincoln? At what point does “America” come, rather, to describe just one particular species of human misery?

    This was my reaction too. I’m a 46-year-old white woman (if it matters) who in the past has felt immense pride at being American. But lately, well…I look around and I’m just not that impressed by my fellow Americans or their institutions. I wish it were otherwise.

    • #7
    • June 24, 2020, at 3:35 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Charlotte Member
    CharlotteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    The lack of self-awareness in this podcast is astounding. They purport to be fighting the radical Left, and saying that we have to take a stand and stop them. Then Ms. Rosen says (37:45):

    And I will say this, none of this is to say that, I mean, I think all of us here are very glad to see, you know, you should not be fired if you’re gay, that is absolutely intolerable, that is not something that should be happening.

    This in a conservative Jewish organization. They don’t seem to know much about either Jewish teaching on this issue, or conservatism. They have capitulated.

    I actually think that the truly conservative position is to oppose anti-discrimination laws on principle, in favor of freedom of association.

    I suspect that the majority of my compadres here at Ricochet disagree with me about this issue, and agree with the Left. Each of you is free to reach your own conclusion, of course. I do find it puzzling that people in this category continue to self-identify as conservative.

    I was disappointed in Rosen’s comment as well, but for somewhat different reasons.

    I am simultaneously:
    *An atheist
    *A freedom of association absolutist (which is most relevant to the comment at issue)
    *Not much bothered by homosexuality or (adult) homosexuals
    *Opposed to the radical homosexual public policy agenda
    *Certain that the traditional nuclear family is the arrangement most conducive to human flourishing even though I do not think other arrangements should be prohibited by force of law

    So do I still get to self-identify as conservative? Are there any other Ricos who share this particular combination of positions?

     

    • #8
    • June 24, 2020, at 3:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Henry Racette Contributor

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    The lack of self-awareness in this podcast is astounding. They purport to be fighting the radical Left, and saying that we have to take a stand and stop them. Then Ms. Rosen says (37:45):

    And I will say this, none of this is to say that, I mean, I think all of us here are very glad to see, you know, you should not be fired if you’re gay, that is absolutely intolerable, that is not something that should be happening.

    This in a conservative Jewish organization. They don’t seem to know much about either Jewish teaching on this issue, or conservatism. They have capitulated.

    I actually think that the truly conservative position is to oppose anti-discrimination laws on principle, in favor of freedom of association.

    I suspect that the majority of my compadres here at Ricochet disagree with me about this issue, and agree with the Left. Each of you is free to reach your own conclusion, of course. I do find it puzzling that people in this category continue to self-identify as conservative.

    I was disappointed in Rosen’s comment as well, but for somewhat different reasons.

    I am simultaneously:
    *An atheist
    *A freedom of association absolutist (which is most relevant to the comment at issue)
    *Not much bothered by homosexuality or (adult) homosexuals
    *Opposed to the radical homosexual public policy agenda
    *Certain that the traditional nuclear family is the arrangement most conducive to human flourishing even though I do not think other arrangements should be prohibited by force of law

    So do I still get to self-identify as conservative? Are there any other Ricos who share this particular combination of positions?

     

    That would be me, except that I prefer “agnostic” as a more rationally defensible position.

    • #9
    • June 24, 2020, at 5:55 PM PDT
    • 1 like