Diane McWhorter, in "Why Americans Hate Democrats," escalates the difference between liberal "values" and conservative "morality" to declared war status in her emotional diatribe declaring that "morality" is the new "racism." If differences were being discussed (and they rarely were), that should raise the ante to such an emotional level that they can't be rationally considered at all. Perhaps that's why the Dems are in trouble -- they are too quick to head toward a reasonless passion and too slow to enter into reasonable discussion.
Diane is a very distant(thank God)cousin of mine. My grandfather, a distant relative of hers, was a "fine Christian gentleman" but NOT a segregationist, as she generalizes the term. And then there's my father, who was also a Southern gentleman (and, my husband says, a saint) and no segregationist. McWhorter writes what the liberal establishment wants to hear and the truth be damned. That's how she won a Pulitzer Prize. I hope she's smart enough to giggle all the way to the bank.
She grew up in the South -- in Birmingham -- and, falling prey to liberal professors during her youthful academic years, she fell hook, line and sinker for the "intellectual liberal" line. She swallowed all the guilt attendant to the anti-South traditional accusations and has been genuflecting wildly to her Northern constituency ever since. Unlike most intellectual Southerners, she sees everything in terms of race. "'Morality' is the new 'race,'" she writes,--as in racism." That is one of the most patronizing put-downs I've ever seen in print. And it looks to me like an intentional flame-thrower.
The first amendment to the Bill of Rights says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." The very basis of religion -- any religion -- is morality. Assuming that the definition of morality is conforming to a set of standards involving right as opposed to wrong, it looks like McWhorter is making a dirty word of morality and thereby denying concepts like truthfulness, honor, nobility or conscience. After all, that's the modernist paradigm, isn't it? Ethical Relativism - there is no such thing as "right" or "wrong." Everything is gray, so if it feels right, it's okay.
Racism is a dirty word in our society. By connecting "morality" to "racism," "morality" becomes a dirty word too. This is McWhorter's intent -- be patronizing to moral values; make fun of them and those who live by them and before you know it "morality" and the attendant concepts are social lepers. Forget that this country was founded on concepts of honor and (heaven forbid) religion -- the Judeo/Christian religion.
McWhorter, whose view of the world is colored by her judgmental and, paradoxically, defensive attitudes concerning segregation in her native Southland, can't see beyond her deeply repressed antagonism to her own genealogical birthright as a Southerner. In the most patronizing tone she claims that Democrats and Republicans are all bigots and accuses Americans of being apathetic unless we can relate "political issues" to sex, vice, race and abortion. McWhorter claims, for example, that abortion is related to fornication (obviously!) and adds that racism is a fear response to "black sexual predators," a statement that is stupid and inflammatory. The opposition to free-wheeling abortion is objection to abortion as birth control -- there are better methods. And opposition to partial birth abortion is simply opposition to gruesome murder.
Then she really jumps off the deep end: She claims that opposition to gay marriage is a "cynical addition to the Southern strategy." We can assume from that statement that marriage vows have no special meaning to her -- they are simply a legality. That's not so to most Christians. Marriage is a special union between a man and a woman; connected in faith to the relationship between Jesus and his Church. It is actually defined as man/woman becoming one in the sight of God.
I have no objection to gays having their own legal union -- but just don't call it marriage, because it isn't. You can have all those benefits you want, just change your semantics.
The crusade against gay marriage, she writes, "is a totally manufactured moral 'crisis' with no effect on anyone other than the marital partners themselves." This statement, the strongest argument for gay marriage, demonstrates a lack of understanding of what marriage is in the Judeo/Christian tradition.
There is no reason why the legal joining of man and man or woman and woman should not be termed something else - "union," "connection," "joining,". . . whatever . . . with all the legal rights and appurtenances attendant to marriage - but leaving the word "marriage" to be defined as between a man and a woman. Using different terminology would clear up any communication problems caused by defining one term in multiple ways. Marriage is sacred and special to the man and woman who take their vows seriously; sharing the term with people who don't share the values demeans the sanctity of the vows.
McWhorter is wrong when she calls for addressing bigotry "masked as 'morality,' and breaking 'the code of the Republicans' fraudulent claims on piety.'" Piety is dutifulness in religion and in the case of homosexuality, that dutifulness calls for total rejection of gays. There is absolutely nothing more to be said on the subject that hasn't already been overstated.
Where we do agree, however, is that the "moral terrain we should all stake and reform is ...MTV-land." But McWhorter overlooks the fact that it is the far right who are on record as objecting to the "outrage of Britney," Paris Hilton, and the Dixie Chicks. And it is the Democrats who encourage and support the likes of Michael Moore and Whoopee Goldberg. McWhorter selects Fox reality shows, of course, ignoring Bravo (NBC's affiliate) with its "Queer Eye" and other offenses. "Trading Spouses" is another network abomination and nearly all the reality shows reek with disgusting and disrespectful behavior in which women, especially, are exploited.
But now we come to the crux of the entire matter and that is this writer's total lack of comprehension of what the war against terror is all about. "Then again," she writes after wondering why Carl Rove hasn't already taken up arms against reality TV, "the President's men may be inhibited by the fact that our grotesque trash culture, along with our freedom, is what the terrorists hate." That's not what they hate. They hate that we are not Muslims. Since we aren't, we are, by definition, infidels. They could care less about our freedom or our culture. They hate us because we are not them. That's pretty basic.
If we were hated because of TV, our moral-less society, or our freedom we could appease the terrorists by giving up those things. But we are hated simply because we exist. There is no way to appease them. The only thing they understand is "eye for an eye." There's a good reason why the Spanish and the Australians suffered terrorist attacks but all we got from Bin Laden was a video tape before our elections.
But Diane's original premise is wrong from the outset. Americans don't hate Democrats. They just don't appreciate the candidates Democrats give us. Kerry was a traitor to his country back in the '70s when he met with the Viet Cong in Paris while the war was still raging. According to Article 14, Section 3 of the Bill of Rights, he has no right to serve in Congress, much less run for President. Kerry was saved from examination of that premise by Richard Nixon, who nixed a suggested investigation of the issue because did not want another inflammatory problem at the time. Too bad, it would have saved us a lot of unnecessary trouble recently.
Al Gore was a dumb opportunist; John Kerry is a liar. The Democrats need to get rid of Terry McAuliffe, James Carville, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons, and all the other shady characters and vow to come clean. Until they do so, they don't deserve the respect -- or the votes -- of the American people.