In the second of this week’s COMMENTARY podcasts, the hosts try to wrap their heads around a series of events that defy logic. Why would Donald Trump try to rehabilitate people who align themselves with torch-lit rally-goers chanting racist slogans? Why would the left go to the mattresses to defend their own violent elements? And what the heck is Steve Bannon thinking in general? And does the country now share our crushing morosity? Give a listen and find out.

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  1. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    One of your best yet. And I agree with John – Bannon is an idiot.

    • #1
  2. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    I’m with @juliablaschke on the Bannon thing.

    That said, I’m from the South, so I was getting a little touchy over the dissing of Traveller.  ;)  I mean, come on, John.  It’s all pretty funny, I guess, but this is a cultural thing as well, which deserves some deeper thinking.

    You see, the South didn’t have many material advantages when it came to the War, but riding horses was something that young gentlemen did.   It was part of what made a Southerner into an “aristocrat.”

    Before anyone goes “that’s anti-American,” I will say it’s important to understand culture if you want to understand why certain things get stressed in literature and history.  It is what it is, and the South had a definite advantage on that front at the beginning of the war per some excellent horsemen.

    Btw, Stonewall Jackson’s horse was named Little Sorrel, and he’s actually on display at VMI where his master once taught!  (Stuffed, I think.)

    Now, having said all that, John is also right about the CSA.  IF the Confederates had won the war or been allowed to leave, they would have had major deja vu soon there-after per their own “Articles of Confederation-like” crises.  One of the many reasons they lost the war, after all, was that the governors were all looking after the interests of the individual states rather than submitting to Davis and his centralized power.  That would only have gotten worse.

    Also, it goes without saying that slavery was an abomination, and that would have continued for goodness knows how long.  It needed to collapse.

    Still, the whys behind Southern admiration for certain men isn’t a simple narrative, and it is hard to explain if you aren’t from the South, so the words of caution about tearing down monuments are very important.   (Even as a history teacher, I don’t mind removing some of them after careful deliberation about why it was originally erected, and I definitely don’t mind adding contextualization to any of them.)

    Pointing to some of the world’s master writers is a good way to illustrate the reasons why dismissing people per a narrow prism of even a heinous ideology is less than wise.

    There is no argument at all from me about the president or the neo-nazi asshats.

    Trump really does make a reasonable position/nuanced discussion about historical preservation more complicated, and I am baffled by the defenses of him for this and many, many, many other things….

    • #2
  3. steven Iverson Member
    steven Iverson

    Yes Bannon is an idiot and he is wrong about North Korea being able to hold Seoul hostage with conventional weapons.

    Their artillery is 40 miles away, inaccurate, and will be taken out before they can do much damage. NK has to know using nukes will mean mass retaliation.

    • #3
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