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The Chattering Class becomes the Stammering Class
By Bruce Walker
Life these days is frustrating for liberals. Decades ago, these ever self-indulgent children were our "intellectuals." It requires imagination, if one has not lived through those decades, to understand how the Marx could have even been presented as serious thought, or how obvious biological differences between men and women could have been the foundation for an academic demonology, or how the blood drenched hands of African gangsters could be excused indefinitely by ancient and putative wrongs by colonial rulers. But so it was.
Then in 1980 or thereabouts, the world view changed. Any pretense of Marxist justice drowned in the blood of Islamic freedom fighters in Afghanistan, the screams of the dying in Cambodian Killing Fields, and the stout courage of Solidarity in Poland. Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Reagan -- grown ups amidst liberal school yard bullies -- refused to be intimidated or to give away rhetorical points for the sake of civic peace. Dame Thatcher, as even socialists conceded, was intellectually brilliant, and President Reagan, as we know now from his manuscript writings that fill books, was wise and informed and reflective.
The Lecturing Class became the Chattering Class. Unable to justify in any arguments their ahistorical world-view and porous logic, they began more and more to simply mock and smirk. The Saturday Night Live theory of geopolitical and social theory replace any mask of serious thinking. This Chattering Class reached a crescendo under the Clown Prince of Politics, William J. Clinton.
His hi jinks themselves became "policy" of sorts, or at least comic theater in an age begging to be entertained. Boys and girls from the 1950s, still deep in childhood, relished the narcissistic creeps who slithered around that man called by his young intern "the Creep." And it was so, so funny!
The liberals chattered at the quiet fury of responsible people. Destroying lives has always been their secret joy -- making men and women hate each other, driving blacks into angry despair, crushing small businessmen even as they deplored big business -- this sordid work of maliciously wrecking purposive lives perversely gave liberals an feigned purpose.
Then something clicked in the American mind. There was no one turning point, but many noteworthy shifts in sentiment. Clarence Thomas goes through a nightmare while Bill Clinton gets a pass. The trivial abuses of Nixon's power, on which a whole edifice of independent prosecutorial power was created, are thwarted by a royal arrogance among the entourage of Clinton so that abuse of power itself becomes a meaningless proposition. The inevitable contradictions of the left -- O.J. committed domestic violence, but then he was black too, so how can social justice be attained? Do Californians suffer through hot summers because of ecolognuts or do the suffering masses who vote count more? -- became to pop up more and more.
We conservatives also learned the rules of engagement. Because we are so much tougher and smarter than these sloths, and because we have been challenged in battles from classroom to boardroom so often, the Chattering Class has proven easy game. Once, when their money and prestige stifled all other voices, the hollowness of their position still look real. But when the liberals stopped being serious -- when good and serious people like Thatcher and Bush came along -- then those childish people with grown up toys became to lie even to themselves.
Now, with a firm, gentle President and general control of government in Republican hands, with legions of battle-tested conservative veterans, and with conservatives communicating joyfully and freely through the Internet, talk radio, "Think Tanks" that think, the liberals are left without a ploy.
This is dramatically complicated by an over-indulgent media which has allowed a plump Caligula-like Clinton to gain the purple. Everywhere, everyday liberals are plugging holes in their sloppy defenses. Watch the pundits respond. What does the liberal pundit -- Peter Fenn, Susan Estrich, or Dan Rather? Stammer. Reach for the semblance of cognition. These so-called "smoothies", these people comfortable in front of the camera, these savants of modern culture can not defend, excuse, explain, or even mock.
Enjoy! I do. These agents of so much human misery, these merchants of pointless fear, these personification of true selfishness -- they have no where to run and no where to hide. I have heard them lecture and seen them frown. I have heard them mock and watched them smile. Now I watch them fumble and bumble and stumble while the world watches. Behold: the Stammering Class.
Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent
contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.
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