Category: Richard F. Miniter

at-painter-og-image.png

Diversity Is Bunk


I attended one of the premier educational institutions in the United States in the nineteen fifties: P.S. 104 on the corner of 95th Street and Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It’s still there. But as Dr. Thomas Sowell said about one he attended in those years, it might be the “same building” but it’s not the “same school.”

Despite the fact that my wonderful grandmother was a native Swedish speaker P.S. 104 didn’t feel compelled to celebrate my “heritage” the way it would today. They taught me where Sweden was because we studied geography (and don’t we wish our children still did) but not to put too fine a point on it, they knew I wasn’t growing up in Stockholm. I had a friend whose father was a senior NCO at the Fort Hamilton Army Base a few blocks away and nobody went lyrical about how he, just by being black and therefore “different”, enriched our educational experience either. I had another friend whose father had flown a Focke-Wulf 200 multi-engine bomber for the Luftwaffe during WWII and it goes without saying that there wasn’t a chance in hell of anybody applauding his antecedents. Or for that matter the fact that another’s father was deputy something-or-other at the Yugoslav mission to the United Nations, another’s a survivor of the Holocaust or maybe just up from Puerto Rico with the family hoping to start a better life.

None of that mattered.

Instead the school simply thought it should do its job. Shape every kind of child white, black, brown, short, tall, skinny, kids with Coke-bottle glasses, kids dragging one leg behind them into useful citizens by teaching them how to read and write English well while at the same time having them master eight years of arithmetic, penmanship, history, and civics. And boy weren’t they lucky if they got to do just half that because most of us, the boys at least, would much rather be playing stickball or dangling a crab net off the sea wall in Shore Road Park.

Of course, in looking back I see that that principal (there were no administrators then) and those teachers did themselves proud, and that I loved them.

Flash forward fifty years. A long piece appears in The New York Daily News entitled: “We’re ready for real diversity.” It’s author is Shino Tanikawa a mother of two in public schools in Manhattan who has a completely different, but now very popular take on things. Below is an excerpt:

I also wanted my daughters, who are mixed race, to recognize and embrace their Japanese heritage, and not be ashamed of it as I was in my 20s (a rather stereotypical Asian response to a white-dominant society). For this to happen, I knew they needed to be in a racially diverse environment where they were not the only ones who are “different.”


I knew that public schools are where my children could meet and befriend people who are not like them; there aren’t many other places like that, even in a city known as a melting pot. So I sought out schools with diverse student bodies, and that’s what I got — though in this city, where kids tend to cluster by background, it wasn’t easy to find.


Mixing works. Both my daughters learned a great deal from attending elementary schools where classes had two grades or students with and without disabilities learning together.


What they learned does not show up in their test scores. Rather, they have the ability to see strengths in all people, particularly the ones society might label “difficult.” And they have humility about their status in this society.


By the time my younger daughter started the middle school application process in 2012, I was consciously looking for schools with racial diversity.


My spreadsheet of schools (yes, I am one of those moms) had columns for racial demographics. She was offered a seat at a middle school with a student body that is representative of the whole district racially and socioeconomically, as well as in proportions of English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities.


The school also had a diverse faculty. Her eighth-grade academic teachers were all women of color (a magical year that was!). Being a parent in this middle school deepened my awareness and understanding of racial issues as well as my own racial identity as a woman of color.

First of all, I have a real problem with her expecting readers to believe that (with a fist in the eye and a little sob) she “wanted [her] daughters, who are mixed race, to recognize and embrace their Japanese heritage, and not be ashamed of it as I was in my 20s…”

Because I have six children, four of who are married, three of whom are married to either Vietnamese or Japanese partners. My wife and I, Irish/Irish and Irish/Swedish, are card-carrying members of that (I assume oppressive) “white-dominant society” and we couldn’t be happier with those marriages or imagine life without them and most particularly without the grandchildren of those marriages. But that’s not my point. I spent a year in Japan. I’ve worked with both Japanese immigrants and sojourners, I’ve read Japanese history, my youngest grandson is growing up bilingual and spends a month every year with his blood relatives in Japan and if there’s a Japanese soul somewhere besides this woman Tanikawa on the planet who is “ashamed” of Japanese society or culture I haven’t yet encountered them.   

Okay, nonsense aside, what lessons can we draw from her passionate advocacy? One is that we’ve heard it all before. Liberals have, in a very childlike fashion, conflated the sometimes widely different origins immigrants have with the economic and cultural success of America. America is the most successful nation on the planet, America is a nation of immigrants, ipso facto the secret of even more achievement is even more diversity.

Our strength is our diversity as the saying goes.

The nation made a big mistake forty or fifty years ago when it allowed liberals to give up teaching history, because if they hadn’t maybe most of us would remember that America was never about diversity at all. Instead, it was about what happened to me as a child. About being processed by an immensely powerful social and cultural machine operating from get-go in order to root out the diversity from among us and after stigmatizing it, strangle the thing dead.

A machine that taught us only one language, the English language, one non-denominational evangelistic Christianity (big exception carved out for Jews), one history that begins with the Pilgrims and Captain John Smith and ended with America saving the world, one system of English weights and measures, one reference to one common law, one Constitution ordained by one God — and speaking of God, he taught us at every possible opportunity that he not only made America good but better than any other place in the world.

And so, in point of fact, there wasn’t much diversity about it at all.

Which is why Alexis De Tocqueville opened his Book Two with the observation that “…in no country in the civilized world is less attention paid to philosophy (today we might say ideology) than in the United States.”

Because there was only one tolerated.

Listen to Israel Zangwill’s famous 1904 play The Melting Pot in which he greeted new arrivals to this amazing nation of ours:

…here you stand in your fifty groups, with your fifty languages and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries. But you won’t be long like that, brothers, for these are the fires of God you’ve come to — these are the fires of God. A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians — into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American.

And that was and is America’s historic strength, not diversity but an enforced commonality of value.

Diversity doesn’t get you to the Moon.

Diversity is bunk.

The creed of someone who doesn’t know — either who they are or who they put here to be.

Richard F. Miniter lives and writes in the Colonial era hamlet of Stone Ridge New York and may be reached at miniterhome@gmail.com. The acclaimed author of The Things I Want Most his most recent book What Sort Of Parents Should We Be?: A Man’s Guide To Raising Exceptional Children is now available Here. 

I attended one of the premier educational institutions in the United States in the nineteen fifties: P.S. 104 on the corner of 95th Street and Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It’s still there. But as Dr. Thomas Sowell said about one he attended in those years, it might be the “same building” but it’s not the “same school.”

Despite the fact that my wonderful grandmother was a native Swedish speaker P.S. 104 didn’t feel compelled to celebrate my “heritage” the way it would today. They taught me where Sweden was because we studied geography (and don’t we wish our children still did) but not to put too fine a point on it, they knew I wasn’t growing up in Stockholm. I had a friend whose father was a senior NCO at the Fort Hamilton Army Base a few blocks away and nobody went lyrical about how he, just by being black and therefore “different”, enriched our educational experience either. I had another friend whose father had flown a Focke-Wulf 200 multi-engine bomber for the Luftwaffe during WWII and it goes without saying that there wasn’t a chance in hell of anybody applauding his antecedents. Or for that matter the fact that another’s father was deputy something-or-other at the Yugoslav mission to the United Nations, another’s a survivor of the Holocaust or maybe just up from Puerto Rico with the family hoping to start a better life.

None of that mattered.

Instead the school simply thought it should do its job. Shape every kind of child white, black, brown, short, tall, skinny, kids with Coke-bottle glasses, kids dragging one leg behind them into useful citizens by teaching them how to read and write English well while at the same time having them master eight years of arithmetic, penmanship, history, and civics. And boy weren’t they lucky if they got to do just half that because most of us, the boys at least, would much rather be playing stickball or dangling a crab net off the sea wall in Shore Road Park.

Of course, in looking back I see that that principal (there were no administrators then) and those teachers did themselves proud, and that I loved them.

Flash forward fifty years. A long piece appears in The New York Daily News entitled: “We’re ready for real diversity.” It’s author is Shino Tanikawa a mother of two in public schools in Manhattan who has a completely different, but now very popular take on things. Below is an excerpt:

I also wanted my daughters, who are mixed race, to recognize and embrace their Japanese heritage, and not be ashamed of it as I was in my 20s (a rather stereotypical Asian response to a white-dominant society). For this to happen, I knew they needed to be in a racially diverse environment where they were not the only ones who are “different.”


I knew that public schools are where my children could meet and befriend people who are not like them; there aren’t many other places like that, even in a city known as a melting pot. So I sought out schools with diverse student bodies, and that’s what I got — though in this city, where kids tend to cluster by background, it wasn’t easy to find.


Mixing works. Both my daughters learned a great deal from attending elementary schools where classes had two grades or students with and without disabilities learning together.


What they learned does not show up in their test scores. Rather, they have the ability to see strengths in all people, particularly the ones society might label “difficult.” And they have humility about their status in this society.


By the time my younger daughter started the middle school application process in 2012, I was consciously looking for schools with racial diversity.


My spreadsheet of schools (yes, I am one of those moms) had columns for racial demographics. She was offered a seat at a middle school with a student body that is representative of the whole district racially and socioeconomically, as well as in proportions of English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities.


The school also had a diverse faculty. Her eighth-grade academic teachers were all women of color (a magical year that was!). Being a parent in this middle school deepened my awareness and understanding of racial issues as well as my own racial identity as a woman of color.

First of all, I have a real problem with her expecting readers to believe that (with a fist in the eye and a little sob) she “wanted [her] daughters, who are mixed race, to recognize and embrace their Japanese heritage, and not be ashamed of it as I was in my 20s…”

Because I have six children, four of who are married, three of whom are married to either Vietnamese or Japanese partners. My wife and I, Irish/Irish and Irish/Swedish, are card-carrying members of that (I assume oppressive) “white-dominant society” and we couldn’t be happier with those marriages or imagine life without them and most particularly without the grandchildren of those marriages. But that’s not my point. I spent a year in Japan. I’ve worked with both Japanese immigrants and sojourners, I’ve read Japanese history, my youngest grandson is growing up bilingual and spends a month every year with his blood relatives in Japan and if there’s a Japanese soul somewhere besides this woman Tanikawa on the planet who is “ashamed” of Japanese society or culture I haven’t yet encountered them.   

Okay, nonsense aside, what lessons can we draw from her passionate advocacy? One is that we’ve heard it all before. Liberals have, in a very childlike fashion, conflated the sometimes widely different origins immigrants have with the economic and cultural success of America. America is the most successful nation on the planet, America is a nation of immigrants, ipso facto the secret of even more achievement is even more diversity.

Our strength is our diversity as the saying goes.

The nation made a big mistake forty or fifty years ago when it allowed liberals to give up teaching history, because if they hadn’t maybe most of us would remember that America was never about diversity at all. Instead, it was about what happened to me as a child. About being processed by an immensely powerful social and cultural machine operating from get-go in order to root out the diversity from among us and after stigmatizing it, strangle the thing dead.

A machine that taught us only one language, the English language, one non-denominational evangelistic Christianity (big exception carved out for Jews), one history that begins with the Pilgrims and Captain John Smith and ended with America saving the world, one system of English weights and measures, one reference to one common law, one Constitution ordained by one God — and speaking of God, he taught us at every possible opportunity that he not only made America good but better than any other place in the world.

And so, in point of fact, there wasn’t much diversity about it at all.

Which is why Alexis De Tocqueville opened his Book Two with the observation that “…in no country in the civilized world is less attention paid to philosophy (today we might say ideology) than in the United States.”

Because there was only one tolerated.

Listen to Israel Zangwill’s famous 1904 play The Melting Pot in which he greeted new arrivals to this amazing nation of ours:

…here you stand in your fifty groups, with your fifty languages and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries. But you won’t be long like that, brothers, for these are the fires of God you’ve come to — these are the fires of God. A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians — into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American.

And that was and is America’s historic strength, not diversity but an enforced commonality of value.

Diversity doesn’t get you to the Moon.

Diversity is bunk.

The creed of someone who doesn’t know — either who they are or who they put here to be.

Richard F. Miniter lives and writes in the Colonial era hamlet of Stone Ridge New York and may be reached at miniterhome@gmail.com. The acclaimed author of The Things I Want Most his most recent book What Sort Of Parents Should We Be?: A Man’s Guide To Raising Exceptional Children is now available Here. 



Source link

198695_5_.png

The Coming of The Hatespeakers


Several dozen students from a Middle School in New Jersey refused to pose with Speaker Paul Ryan in a photo op at the Capital. Later they bombarded his Instagram account saying they hate him for opposition to LGBTQ rights, because he’s shadowing President Trump’s agenda and well — you know the drill and you can read the full story and see copies of the Instagrams  in the Daily Mail and Washington Post.  

One of the mothers concerned, first name Elissa, (pictured with her son Matthew) a public school librarian supported her son’s decision not to appear with Speaker Ryan saying that this was his own choice and telling the Daily Mail she was proud of him and the rest of the children for standing up for what they believe in. 

“We’ve always talked about politics so we’ve always been a family that has been politically active. We didn’t indoctrinate him, he has had a mind of his own ever since he was a small child and he’s gathered up his own views.”

Now if you believe she didn’t indoctrinate him, you’re also one of those who knows for a fact that you can open a trap door in Steve Bannon’s office in the White House, climb down a ladder, and find Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s secret command headquarters from which he orchestrates Donald Trump’s every move. 

Of course she indoctrinated him. And of course, those other students who declined to be photographed were indoctrinated by liberal parents and teachers. How after all, in an age when elementary school students (and their teachers) struggle to name all the continents and the oceans did they learn about LGBTQ rights. Or the idea that President Trump was an evil man whom Ryan “shadows,” if not by having these leftist mantras constantly recited to them.

So fine, smile when you can, Elissa. The public school as we know it today, with all of its not so subtle programming, is going the way of the DoDo bird because it’s not, to use a favorite liberal term, sustainable. But the real issue is not the lies that are taught, but the attitude these parents and these schools impart. The attitude that those who do not agree with them are bad, bad people. Racist, misogynist, homophobic, mean, greedy, and xenophobic, planning to break up families as they imprison minorities in camps before deportation while at the same time denying food and medical care to the poor and dispossessed, and so they deserve no respect whatsoever. That even though you are only twelve it’s okay for you to send hate messages to certain high public officials. And later on in life, to go on to deny any contrary opinion free speech, burn down any building that offends you by hosting one of these bad, bad people, hit these beyond the pale humans over the head with a bicycle lock. In other words, pull a “Berkeley” on them because they deserve what’s coming to them.

The problem, of course, is that little Matthew the so-called Self-Motivated Opinion Gatherer might not shake off this nonsense in enough time in later life that another person he insults or ridicules doesn’t punch his grin into next week. Which is how those on the other side of certain questions are being beginning to feel is the only way to deal with people like Matthew, his public school librarian Mom, and his teachers.

It’s a conundrum, isn’t it?

That the weakest snivelers among us are doing everything they can to tear down the social fabric that physically protects them. Most Americans agree that violence isn’t the way we deal with each other, rather that we establish institutions within which we can deal with each other in mutual respect. But the fact is, any agreement has limits and those institutions only last as long as we continue to nourish them with that same mutual respect.

And once we lose that respect for one another, once the hatespeakers among gain us ascendency, there is no turning back, because we’re in a “fight where dark riders ride in darker valley night.” Which has happened, we should remember,  once before in American history and when it did some of the most beautiful countryside in the world had the bodies of our sons piled on it up like cordwood.

Richard F. Miniter is the acclaimed author of The Things I Want Most and his most recent book  What Sort Of Parents Should We Be?: A Man’s Guide To Raising Exceptional Children is now available Here. 

Several dozen students from a Middle School in New Jersey refused to pose with Speaker Paul Ryan in a photo op at the Capital. Later they bombarded his Instagram account saying they hate him for opposition to LGBTQ rights, because he’s shadowing President Trump’s agenda and well — you know the drill and you can read the full story and see copies of the Instagrams  in the Daily Mail and Washington Post.  

One of the mothers concerned, first name Elissa, (pictured with her son Matthew) a public school librarian supported her son’s decision not to appear with Speaker Ryan saying that this was his own choice and telling the Daily Mail she was proud of him and the rest of the children for standing up for what they believe in. 

“We’ve always talked about politics so we’ve always been a family that has been politically active. We didn’t indoctrinate him, he has had a mind of his own ever since he was a small child and he’s gathered up his own views.”

Now if you believe she didn’t indoctrinate him, you’re also one of those who knows for a fact that you can open a trap door in Steve Bannon’s office in the White House, climb down a ladder, and find Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s secret command headquarters from which he orchestrates Donald Trump’s every move. 

Of course she indoctrinated him. And of course, those other students who declined to be photographed were indoctrinated by liberal parents and teachers. How after all, in an age when elementary school students (and their teachers) struggle to name all the continents and the oceans did they learn about LGBTQ rights. Or the idea that President Trump was an evil man whom Ryan “shadows,” if not by having these leftist mantras constantly recited to them.

So fine, smile when you can, Elissa. The public school as we know it today, with all of its not so subtle programming, is going the way of the DoDo bird because it’s not, to use a favorite liberal term, sustainable. But the real issue is not the lies that are taught, but the attitude these parents and these schools impart. The attitude that those who do not agree with them are bad, bad people. Racist, misogynist, homophobic, mean, greedy, and xenophobic, planning to break up families as they imprison minorities in camps before deportation while at the same time denying food and medical care to the poor and dispossessed, and so they deserve no respect whatsoever. That even though you are only twelve it’s okay for you to send hate messages to certain high public officials. And later on in life, to go on to deny any contrary opinion free speech, burn down any building that offends you by hosting one of these bad, bad people, hit these beyond the pale humans over the head with a bicycle lock. In other words, pull a “Berkeley” on them because they deserve what’s coming to them.

The problem, of course, is that little Matthew the so-called Self-Motivated Opinion Gatherer might not shake off this nonsense in enough time in later life that another person he insults or ridicules doesn’t punch his grin into next week. Which is how those on the other side of certain questions are being beginning to feel is the only way to deal with people like Matthew, his public school librarian Mom, and his teachers.

It’s a conundrum, isn’t it?

That the weakest snivelers among us are doing everything they can to tear down the social fabric that physically protects them. Most Americans agree that violence isn’t the way we deal with each other, rather that we establish institutions within which we can deal with each other in mutual respect. But the fact is, any agreement has limits and those institutions only last as long as we continue to nourish them with that same mutual respect.

And once we lose that respect for one another, once the hatespeakers among gain us ascendency, there is no turning back, because we’re in a “fight where dark riders ride in darker valley night.” Which has happened, we should remember,  once before in American history and when it did some of the most beautiful countryside in the world had the bodies of our sons piled on it up like cordwood.

Richard F. Miniter is the acclaimed author of The Things I Want Most and his most recent book  What Sort Of Parents Should We Be?: A Man’s Guide To Raising Exceptional Children is now available Here. 



Source link

Shrugging Off the Liberal 'Resistance'


American tourists in foreign countries once had the reputation of believing that if they shouted loud enough the dumb foreigner standing there with a puzzled look on his face would somehow understand what they were saying.  A stereotype that Liberals are now mindlessly acting out with the American people with their 24/7 rabid denunciations of President Trump.

Some of their words make sense but simply don’t compute, as when the Liberals describe President Trump as a “failed billionaire.”  The man flew everywhere in his own 757, he owned golf courses and hotels all over the world and before he moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, lived in in a gold-encrusted four-story penthouse atop the gleaming skyscraper he owned overlooking Central Park.

So just what does “failed” billionaire mean?   And how do I become one?

But most of their stuff is shouted out in language which doesn’t mean much to the natives of Brooklyn, Peoria or Biloxi.  Not because they don’t know the definition of the words they’re hearing but because they rarely, very rarely, use them.  I spent thirty years in manufacturing,  I go to gun club meetings, American Legion meetings, I chat at the post office in the morning, I go to church and church affairs and have friends.  But in all these years of mixing, I’ve only heard the word ‘fascist’ used by a man railing against his wife.  Ditto for ‘misogynist,’ ‘xenophobe,’ ‘Islamophobe’ or ‘homophobe.’  Even the word ‘Nazi’ is rarely used to describe a bigot; usually just a very dogmatic person, as when my son-in-law humorously described (out of her hearing of course) a certain nutritionist almost comically opposed to sodium as a “salt-Nazi.”  For that matter, you don’t hear the word ‘racist’ very much, either.  In fact, as I sit here I cannot recall a single recent instance when someone I knew called someone else they knew a racist.

Instead, they tend to use the simple sins defined in the Ten Commandments, in anti-patriotic terms or in remarks about intelligence to label people they don’t like.   And mostly in simple Anglo-Saxon/Middle English: liar, thief, fool, half-wit, nut-case, a__hole, retarded, corrupt, pervert, mental midget, idiot (often f___king idiot) and so on.

 You see where this going.  The simple Anglo-Saxon terms Donald Trump used to describe Hillary – “liar,” “corrupt,” “crooked,” “nasty,” resonated with middle America where the East and West Coast Liberal inside-the-bubble-talk that Hillary and her advocates used to describe Trump drew a blank.  And so went the election. 

But the media and political Liberals cannot stop themselves from continuing to rage on to the nation in the same stupid fashion because calling Trump’s America a dystopia helps reassure them that they’re smarter than people living in cow country. Besides, it’s the language of the narrow East Coast–West Coast very unhappy world in which they get rewarded.

They should know better, especially with the superior education they’re always claiming, because it’s an adage in writing or speaking in English that you should never use a long word when a shorter one will do, never a compound or foreign one when there is a simple Anglo-Saxon word you can substitute.  Not if you’re trying to make your point the best way.

And in truth using big words, especially Latin and Greek compounds, don’t make you sound any smarter. 

Indeed the opposite is true.  Churchill taught us that.  Told that he wasn’t considered smart enough for Eton with its Latin and Greek, he was instead was bundled off to Harrow where along with other lacklusters he was forced to study the simple Anglo-Saxon/Middle English sentence.  And so as it turned out he wound up sounding smarter than anybody else because he could always get his ideas across.

Indeed, the man mesmerized the world with his oratory, with his command of the infinite possibilities which those simple Anglo-Saxon constructions offered.

The point being that maybe we conservatives should relax a tad because the ridiculous liberal vituperation, their so-called “resistance” can’t amount to much in terms of moving the mass of the American people.  Not so long as they insist upon shouting at them in what amounts to a foreign language, dripping with condescension.  And while President Trump has nowhere near the mastery of the language of someone like Churchill or Reagan, he’s brilliant in keeping his message simple and Anglo-Saxon: bad, good, amazing, huge, sad, great, jobs, deal, wall.

And so connects with his friends.

 

Richard F. Miniter is the author of The Things I Want Most, Random House, BDD See it Here.  He lives and writes in the colonial era hamlet of Stone Ridge, New York, blogs here and can also be reached at miniterhome@gmail.com

American tourists in foreign countries once had the reputation of believing that if they shouted loud enough the dumb foreigner standing there with a puzzled look on his face would somehow understand what they were saying.  A stereotype that Liberals are now mindlessly acting out with the American people with their 24/7 rabid denunciations of President Trump.

Some of their words make sense but simply don’t compute, as when the Liberals describe President Trump as a “failed billionaire.”  The man flew everywhere in his own 757, he owned golf courses and hotels all over the world and before he moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, lived in in a gold-encrusted four-story penthouse atop the gleaming skyscraper he owned overlooking Central Park.

So just what does “failed” billionaire mean?   And how do I become one?

But most of their stuff is shouted out in language which doesn’t mean much to the natives of Brooklyn, Peoria or Biloxi.  Not because they don’t know the definition of the words they’re hearing but because they rarely, very rarely, use them.  I spent thirty years in manufacturing,  I go to gun club meetings, American Legion meetings, I chat at the post office in the morning, I go to church and church affairs and have friends.  But in all these years of mixing, I’ve only heard the word ‘fascist’ used by a man railing against his wife.  Ditto for ‘misogynist,’ ‘xenophobe,’ ‘Islamophobe’ or ‘homophobe.’  Even the word ‘Nazi’ is rarely used to describe a bigot; usually just a very dogmatic person, as when my son-in-law humorously described (out of her hearing of course) a certain nutritionist almost comically opposed to sodium as a “salt-Nazi.”  For that matter, you don’t hear the word ‘racist’ very much, either.  In fact, as I sit here I cannot recall a single recent instance when someone I knew called someone else they knew a racist.

Instead, they tend to use the simple sins defined in the Ten Commandments, in anti-patriotic terms or in remarks about intelligence to label people they don’t like.   And mostly in simple Anglo-Saxon/Middle English: liar, thief, fool, half-wit, nut-case, a__hole, retarded, corrupt, pervert, mental midget, idiot (often f___king idiot) and so on.

 You see where this going.  The simple Anglo-Saxon terms Donald Trump used to describe Hillary – “liar,” “corrupt,” “crooked,” “nasty,” resonated with middle America where the East and West Coast Liberal inside-the-bubble-talk that Hillary and her advocates used to describe Trump drew a blank.  And so went the election. 

But the media and political Liberals cannot stop themselves from continuing to rage on to the nation in the same stupid fashion because calling Trump’s America a dystopia helps reassure them that they’re smarter than people living in cow country. Besides, it’s the language of the narrow East Coast–West Coast very unhappy world in which they get rewarded.

They should know better, especially with the superior education they’re always claiming, because it’s an adage in writing or speaking in English that you should never use a long word when a shorter one will do, never a compound or foreign one when there is a simple Anglo-Saxon word you can substitute.  Not if you’re trying to make your point the best way.

And in truth using big words, especially Latin and Greek compounds, don’t make you sound any smarter. 

Indeed the opposite is true.  Churchill taught us that.  Told that he wasn’t considered smart enough for Eton with its Latin and Greek, he was instead was bundled off to Harrow where along with other lacklusters he was forced to study the simple Anglo-Saxon/Middle English sentence.  And so as it turned out he wound up sounding smarter than anybody else because he could always get his ideas across.

Indeed, the man mesmerized the world with his oratory, with his command of the infinite possibilities which those simple Anglo-Saxon constructions offered.

The point being that maybe we conservatives should relax a tad because the ridiculous liberal vituperation, their so-called “resistance” can’t amount to much in terms of moving the mass of the American people.  Not so long as they insist upon shouting at them in what amounts to a foreign language, dripping with condescension.  And while President Trump has nowhere near the mastery of the language of someone like Churchill or Reagan, he’s brilliant in keeping his message simple and Anglo-Saxon: bad, good, amazing, huge, sad, great, jobs, deal, wall.

And so connects with his friends.

 

Richard F. Miniter is the author of The Things I Want Most, Random House, BDD See it Here.  He lives and writes in the colonial era hamlet of Stone Ridge, New York, blogs here and can also be reached at miniterhome@gmail.com



Source link