The Continued Decay of National Review

For a magazine which claims to be the voice of conservatism, it becomes less and less obvious what they’re trying to conserve beyond their own positions as pliant suck-ups to the Left at cocktail parties. The latest inanity, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/transgenderism-compromise-necessary-to-preserve-social-order/ reinforces the belief I made a good decision canceling my subscription years ago.

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Author: The Sinistral Bassist

Ain't no man can avoid being born average, but there ain't no man got to be common. -Satchel Paige

27 thoughts on “The Continued Decay of National Review”

  1. What is scary is what comes next. I remember a quote from a C. S. Lewis book about progress. It was we can see it in an egg. It goes bad.

    Are any of these things all that new? Some of them are quite old. That is to say people are returning to pagan times that found meaning in self serving “gods”. Those cultures didn’t fair well. Will it be different in the future or the same?

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  2. I am feeling a bit more generous in my view of this article. This is the key quote for me:

    There must be a halt in the use of state authority to impose accommodation of transgenderism in a fashion far more totalitarian than is rationally  justified. Transgender people constitute a tiny minority of Americans who, in the vast majority of cases, are explicitly eager to opt into the broad two-gender social order our civilization is based around. Tolerance does not necessitate a purge of any and all public manifestations of the gender binary in the name of extreme exceptions to the rule.

    So there is a fair question: How do you protect individual liberty from government imposition either against the individual or against the individuals who do not wish to associate/accommodate the conduct of the transgender? Tyranny should neither be of the majority nor of the minority.

    We have been treated to the tyranny of the minority as those who command the cultural heights have educated our children through the classroom and the media to accept “collective thought”. Yes we must dismantle collective thought but not at the sacrifice of individual liberty.

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  3. Rodin, you state the key issue that things must be balanced. Should millions/billions of dollars be spent for an extremely small minority? Should they be ignored and let them get through life as “left-handers” in a “right-handed” world?

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  4. Rodin:
    not at the sacrifice of individual liberty

    What?   What sacrifice?

    And then there is this from wikipedia:  “Transgender people are those who have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex”

    What?  “Assigned” sex?  What does this mean?  ‘Assigned’?      

    And this  from Merriam-Webster:  “Gender definition is — a subclass within a grammatical class (such as noun, pronoun, adjective, or verb) of a language that is partly … a subclass within a grammatical class (such as noun, pronoun, adjective, or verb) of a language that is partly”

    Caving to the new use/definition of the word ‘gender’ is the slippery slope to un-truth.

    So a person chooses to deny the truth of his/her birth and we’re all supposed to just go along and give it legitimacy?   Life is more than a costume party.

    Trans-genderism compromise to preserve the social order? = straight up lie.

    Something like when the progressive’s were marketing to get folks to compromise for the right to abortions:   Making abortions available on demand was necessary to ‘save lives’.

    Yeah.   That’s the reason.   Not.

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  5. Nerds trying to be ‘cool kids’.

    I prefer Americanism to Conservatism. I used to be a Conservative but they moved the goalposts and it is no longer me.

    What we have now is a fringe debating society that wants invites to the leftist parties and clubs.

    The National Review just reflects the Elites versus the Americans. Pick a team folks, there is no straddle.

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  6. Rodin:
    I am feeling a bit more generous in my view of this article. This is the key quote for me:

    There must be a halt in the use of state authority to impose accommodation of transgenderism in a fashion far more totalitarian than is rationally  justified. Transgender people constitute a tiny minority of Americans who, in the vast majority of cases, are explicitly eager to opt into the broad two-gender social order our civilization is based around. Tolerance does not necessitate a purge of any and all public manifestations of the gender binary in the name of extreme exceptions to the rule.

    So there is a fair question: How do you protect individual liberty from government imposition either against the individual or against the individuals who do not wish to associate/accommodate the conduct of the transgender? Tyranny should neither be of the majority nor of the minority.

    We have been treated to the tyranny of the minority as those who command the cultural heights have educated our children through the classroom and the media to accept “collective thought”. Yes we must dismantle collective thought but not at the sacrifice of individual liberty.

    We sacrifice individual liberty for collective, public morality all the time. It’s why we don’t let people walk around naked and defecate in their front yards. There is always the tension of society, the culture being able to define what is and isn’t acceptable within that culture versus the individuals’ rights. Too much either way leads to perverse outcomes: a collective opinion being forced upon an individual who finds it morally repugnant versus society breaking down because an individual holds it hostage. We tend to attempt to do the least damage to the least amount of people because of this.

    In the case of transgenderism, we do no favors in enabling people with a mental illness who believe they are something in contradiction to reality. If they believed they were a dog or a chair, we would have no problem declaring them insane precisely because they are not a dog or a chair. There is nothing conservative in trying to accommodate someone by encouraging their psychosis. Compromising with the Left on these topics has only hastened the breakdown of society and has done nothing to aid those suffering from confusion about the physical reality of what they are. As many noted in commenting on the article, how long before we see the NR article, “It’s Time to Compromise on Pedophilia” when pedophiles use this claim that they’re just being true to their real nature?

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  7. It seems to me that progressives view progress as a straight line that continues indefinitely in a positive direction. But it doesn’t look that way to me. It seems that it’s not a straight line. In some respects, progress is a circle, or a spiral. I say this because previously repudiated themes crop up again as “progress” develops. For example, transgenderism can be thought of as a new way of saying that women don’t really matter.

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  8. TKC 1101:
    Nerds trying to be ‘cool kids’.

    I prefer Americanism to Conservatism. I used to be a Conservative but they moved the goalposts and it is no longer me.

    What we have now is a fringe debating society that wants invites to the leftist parties and clubs.

    The National Review just reflects the Elites versus the Americans. Pick a team folks, there is no straddle.

    Yup, this is exactly correct. I’m not much on the whole nationalism thing, but if I had to choose between Americanism and Conservatism, give me Americanism any day of the week. Conservatism is just another recipe for socialism. Keep in mind Hayek warned us all about this in his essay Why I am Not a Conservative. I recommend it to you all.

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  9. JJ:
    It seems to me that progressives view progress as a straight line that continues indefinitely in a positive direction. But it doesn’t look that way to me. It seems that it’s not a straight line. In some respects, progress is a circle, or a spiral. I say this because previously repudiated themes crop up again as “progress” develops. For example, transgenderism can be thought of as a new way of saying that women don’t really matter.

    No progressives are New England puritans without the God. They see a culture or a society that they disagree with and it must be changed, by force if necessary.

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  10. I recall when I was still listening to GLoP right around the time of the bathroom fiasco in North Carolina and J-Fraud, in essence, said that the NC Governor (a Republican) did something stupid by wading into this battle about transgender bathrooms. He stated something to the effect that we didn’t need to have this fight because it was a distraction from “real” issues and it gives the Left something with which to beat us up. That is your modern day “Conservative,” squishy on every single issue except when it comes to bombing foreign countries. I suppose I should say modern day “Conservative” elitist.

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  11. Rodin:
    I am feeling a bit more generous in my view of this article. This is the key quote for me:

    There must be a halt in the use of state authority to impose accommodation of transgenderism in a fashion far more totalitarian than is rationally  justified. Transgender people constitute a tiny minority of Americans who, in the vast majority of cases, are explicitly eager to opt into the broad two-gender social order our civilization is based around. Tolerance does not necessitate a purge of any and all public manifestations of the gender binary in the name of extreme exceptions to the rule.

    So there is a fair question: How do you protect individual liberty from government imposition either against the individual or against the individuals who do not wish to associate/accommodate the conduct of the transgender? Tyranny should neither be of the majority nor of the minority.

    We have been treated to the tyranny of the minority as those who command the cultural heights have educated our children through the classroom and the media to accept “collective thought”. Yes we must dismantle collective thought but not at the sacrifice of individual liberty.

    I am not feeling generous at all about this article.

    The tyranny of the minority that has been in effect for fifty years is the tyranny of Leftist judges who have forced traditionalists to tolerate, then accept, and now celebrate and promote every facet of what we euphemistically called “Alternatives-lifestyles” until that term became politically incorrect.

    Tolerance for the transgenders is now enforced by government and preached to our children nationally.  Leftist social media enforcers roam the internet in search of recalcitrant traditionalists to destroy.

    Do you not recall the “compromise” that was worked out over same-sex “marriage”?   No?   Me neither.

    There is no compromise with the Left.  Transgenderism is not the concern of the Left; the Leftist elites do not care about persons with gender dysphoria.  They only care about transgender persons if they are situated in cases that can be used to leverage the judiciary against traditionalists.

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  12. From the article by J. J. McCullough (of Vancouver) at National Review:

    “Disinterest in judging homosexuality is not an attitude government has coerced Americans into, it is the product of a free people’s informed knowledge.   To the extent that America is still having any political debate about homosexuality, it has evolved into a more substantial conversation about religious liberty.”

    B.S.

    The people were never informed.  Anyone who only followed the issue by consuming mass media only ever got one side’s argument.  The arguments from traditionalists were stifled.  Which prompted David Burge’s beautiful tweet from 2013:

    “Journalism is about covering important stories.  With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

    There never was a debate.  There was not even a thorough review in the trials.  I am put in mind of the Prop 8 trial, where the in-the-closet judge disallowed several defense arguments, and then the defense attorney proved to be inadequate at answering predictable questions.  Good arguments from traditionalists never even made it into the courtroom, much less into media coverage.

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  13. Olive:
    I’m assuming you cancelled your own subscription.

    You got that right. I jumped ship a few years ago when Kat Timpf wrote an article critical of Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame for daring to take his faith seriously. It caused her so much embarrassment at her cocktail parties having her friends ask her to defend him that she just couldn’t take those icky Christian hicks anymore. Add that to Kevin Williamson telling hillbillies to move or die, and the writing was on the wall. Sad state of affairs how far they’ve gone into the weeds chasing the approval of their society friends instead of promoting conservative principles.

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  14. I posted this morning and just got back to reading the comments posted after mine. I agree that there has been far too much tyranny by the minority. I don’t know that I would equate ordered liberty with collective action, so I think my comment does not discount societal rules. I also agree that there has been too much activism in the courts to override democratic decisions that did not actually deny individual liberty.

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  15. Robert A. McReynolds:

     

    Yup, this is exactly correct. I’m not much on the whole nationalism thing, but if I had to choose between Americanism and Conservatism, give me Americanism any day of the week. Conservatism is just another recipe for socialism. Keep in mind Hayek warned us all about this in his essay Why I am Not a Conservative. I recommend it to you all.

    I dropped my National Review subscription in 2016 after 24 years. Conservatism is the god that failed. The movement (as defined by Buckley) could not conserve the borders of the United States nor even women’s restrooms. Count me in as an Americanist.

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  16. The following two paragraphs were okay by me:

    Today’s purveyors of identity politics cause acrimony because they seem determined to invent and prosecute new accusations of intolerance against those otherwise trying hard to behave properly. Embracing open prejudice can seem a cynically comforting response among those feeling doomed to be judged regardless. Because transgenderism affects few people, and therefore provokes relatively low social stigma, it seems to be the issue on which many on the right prefer to let loose their inner reactionary, which then further rationalizes petty tyranny on the left.

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    American history teaches that it is neither the radical nor the regressive who are ultimately vindicated in their response to cultural disruption, but rather those cautious conservatives who assign themselves the difficult task of thoughtfully working through the new and unexpected in the cause of preserving a social order as peaceful and free as the one that came prior.

    _______________________________________________________

    But those two paragraphs did not seem to inform the rest of the article’s philosophical bent.

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  17. 10 Cents:
    What is scary is what comes next. I remember a quote from a C. S. Lewis book about progress. It was we can see it in an egg. It goes bad.

    Are any of these things all that new? Some of them are quite old. That is to say people are returning to pagan times that found meaning in self serving “gods”. Those cultures didn’t fair well. Will it be different in the future or the same?

    I would venture that there is a skew to the word “pagan.” Pagan is from the ancient Italian word for country person. They were the last to be converted to Christianity. It is not necessarily true that their gods were any more or less self serving than the new God. It is true that the Roman religion as practiced by the wealthy in the big cities was a religion that allowed for debauchery. But  the beliefs of the Roman city dweller were far removed from that of the peasant, who still held virtue as part of what the god and goddess pantheon required.

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  18. Carol Sterritt:

    10 Cents:
    What is scary is what comes next. I remember a quote from a C. S. Lewis book about progress. It was we can see it in an egg. It goes bad.

    Are any of these things all that new? Some of them are quite old. That is to say people are returning to pagan times that found meaning in self serving “gods”. Those cultures didn’t fair well. Will it be different in the future or the same?

    I would venture that there is a skew to the word “pagan.” Pagan is from the ancient Italian word for country person. They were the last to be converted to Christianity. It is not necessarily true that their gods were any more or less self serving than the new God. It is true that the Roman religion as practiced by the wealthy in the big cities was a religion that allowed for debauchery. But  the beliefs of the Roman city dweller were far removed from that of the peasant, who still held virtue as part of what the god and goddess pantheon required.

    Please give me some concrete examples.

    Did any old religions use “a cross” or similar symbol? How did they treat the poor?

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