He would call them "sir" in a way that meant "scum," then he’d remind them of his power, mention the idea of hidden secrets in their finances or personal pasts, snap his fingers and say "light of day." At which point some self-serving confession came out, like "I didn’t know but what could I do," and the way would be clear to head for court.
At the end of every generational crisis, as the existing Thesis collapses, we come to a similar moment. Light of day. All the secrets are going to be exposed, whether sexual, financial, violent, or simple manipulation.
In the current era they’re coming so fast and furious some idiots on the TeeVee think the party in power will get away with it. Well, it’s their job to keep the tension going. What, you thought it was their job to get to the truth?
One of the smaller, and more delicious, scandals now brewing is
something I’ve written about here before. I mentioned it in a January
post dubbed Webnut Welfare, and in a May post called Open Source Publishing. This is the practice of Regnery Publishing (owned by the same folks who own Redstate) of forcing its owners onto the best-seller lists by claiming huge sales,
then dumping the books in (among other places) some warehouse-sized
bookstores along I-75 in South Georgia.
I had fallen for this scam myself, a couple of times, while heading
north from Orlando. Seeking something to read when I got home I found
tables stacked high with copies of Regnery books, with just a few
valiant customers who, like me, were prowling around in search of
This was an open secret among the DFH bloggers of the left, but now it’s coming out in public, thanks largely to the efforts of the authors themselves, who are wondering how, if they all wrote great best-sellers, they weren’t paid like it. The naivete is, in some ways, charming. It’s like the kid up for murdering his parents asking for leniency because he’s an orphan.
But there are important lessons here for the future:
- What you see as corrupt, you corrupt yourself.
- The media is pretty easy to manipulate, the law less-so.
- Anger breeds evil in turn, always. Even righteous anger.
- The problem with any conspiracy is someone is telling lies, and lies get found out.
- You can’t push people in a direction they don’t want, not permanently, no matter how much money and power you have.
Rather than just condemn the miscreants in these cases, I think the
lefty blogosphere needs to carefully consider these lessons. They will
be in power, eventually, maybe not after the next election but at some
point. The wheel of history is always spinning, every movement of
consequence gets its chance to screw up, and you don’t want to screw up
as these folks did.
But it is an iron law of history that you run from what you fear and
wind up causing trouble in the other direction. The Civil War Era
Thesis exalted industrialism, but created class conflict. The
Progressive Era exalted slow, steady reform, and was laid low by the
Depression. The New Deal exalted government’s ability and caused
monstrous problems. The Nixon Thesis exalted conflict and became feudal.
Don’t permanently condemn your enemies. Don’t just ignore them. Learn from them.