Quote of the Day:
Does anyone think a culture of whiners can really build high-speed rail in California? Even its supporters want the noisy tracks built somewhere away from their homes.
— Victor Davis Hanson
In an essay that takes us from Greek tragedy (life is never fair but human beings must behave according to a code of honor) to the reign of the American therapy ethos (life should be fair, and if it isn't, dammit, we blame somebody), Victor Davis Hanson explains how victimhood is destroying us:
A nation of victims soon becomes collectively paralyzed in fear of offending someone. Pay down the $20 trillion debt? Reform the unsustainable Social Security system? Ask the 47 percent of the population that pays no income tax to at least pay some?
Nope. Victims would allege that such belt-tightening is unfair and impossible — and hurtful to boot. So we do nothing as the rendezvous with financial collapse gets ever closer.
Even animals get in on the new victimhood. To build a reservoir in drought-stricken California means oppressing the valley elderberry longhorn beetle or ignoring the feelings of the foothill yellow-legged frog. America’s impoverished ancestors at 15 years of age may have rounded Cape Horn on a schooner or ridden bareback over the Rockies.
Not today’s therapeutic college youth. They have been so victimized by racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and other -isms and -phobias that colleges often provide them “safe spaces,” outlaw “microaggressions” and demand “trigger warnings” to avoid the un-nice. What would our grandfathers think?
As teenagers on D-Day, they found no safe spaces on Omaha Beach. A storm of steel from thousands of SS killers proved more than a “microaggression” at the Battle of the Bulge. Generals did not give their freezing GIs mere “trigger warnings” about a half-million Chinese Red Army soldiers crossing the Yalu River during the Korean War. American victimhood is the luxury of an affluent, secure, and leisured postmodern society that can afford such silly indulgences.
Only an absurdly affluent society could afford a Colin Kaepernick, who is paid $20 million a year, but sees himself as a victim unable to stand for the national anthem of the nation that protects him and makes his wealth and security possible. Kaepernick has become a hero for some segments of the population.
As has a former Miss Universe, who gained forty pounds, twenty-years ago, making it hard for the beauty contest to which she was contractually obligated to function. Someone mentioned this weight gain to Miss Universe, rudely, alas, and now Hillary Clinton regards this as an issue fit to be raised in a presidential debate.
Hanson predicts that this will not end well. Read the whole essay.