Democracy can’t survive if we can’t trust our institutions.
We’ll come back to that.
In Tom Wolfe’s 1987 satire Bonfire of the Vanities, a young black man is run over by a car driven y a millionaire bond trader. A Bronx DA and couple of New York cops investigate.
In one part of the story, a huckster minister, clearly modeled after Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or some such, explains his role in the community to the investigators.
In his metaphor, community anger is “steam”, building inexorably as the heat rises, ready to blow the boiler sky high if something isn’t done. That “something”, naturally, is the good reverend plying his services, as a “steam valve”.
For a price.
The book was head, shoulders and ankles better than the movie – a box office bomb that nearly ended Tom Hanks as an A-lister, thirty years back – but this scene more or less gets the point across:
But remember – they’re the ones that cover the news to the highest of standards.
We’ll come back to that.
Answering Their Master
Republicans since Richard Nixon have known that the media was biased to the left. Over this past twenty years, it’s been almost beyond parody. Over the past five years, literally, parody has been more accurate than journalism.
But there’s a level of parody beyond which even The Onion or The Babylon Bee would feel awkward going. Our “elite” media has no such limits:
More locally? I could go back a bit, to the media’s response to conservative protest and the Tea Party – and that was the least of the problems. The IRS abused its power to try to shut the Tea Party down.
And there was nary a peep from the establishment media. “Law enforcement” under the Obama administration did nothing at all. The agent of the scandal, Lois Lerner, retired with her full government pension and the tacit thanks of the Obama regime.
More recently, there’ve been two episodes that show how very, very unequal we are in this country, depending on your politics.
On March 4, 2017, a group of Republicans held a rally at the Capitol. A group of “Anti”-Fa used a counter-demonstration for a delivery system, violently attacking the Republicans, injuring several.
And how did the justice system in Ramsey County work? Like a fraternity hazing. Without the hazing. The defendants – including the son of Hillary Clinton’s VP nominee, weren’t so much prosectuted as féted. Had John Choi done otherwise, he’d have never done lunch at the Lex again.
More recently? Last summer, a Minnesota state DFL legislative candidate famously threatened brutal violence on a Twin Cities suburb for being home to Bob Kroll.
This, of course, after a series of citywide riots for whichi justice was slow, dilatory and diverted by stories of “white supremacists with umbrellas” doing improbable feats of mischief.
And, behind it all, a long trail of elaborate rationalizations for the rioting: after centuries of (checks notes) systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, economic and environmental racism and mansplaining, a riot was a positive public health good, to deal with all that built up “steam”.
But only the correct rioting.
Because if Pro-Life Action tried to block a freeway, Jacob Frey would have water cannon and attack dogs out there before the protesters got over the fence. And everyone involved knows it.
As re protesting, there are Two Americas.
But only one America gets to release its “steam” in polite company.
I’ve mentioned this to others in the past week.
Some have said “mind the ‘whataboutism'”.
This isn’t whataboutism.
This is pointing out that when sides perceive, correctly, that the deck is stacked against them, they will find coloring outside the lines more and more acceptable.
Which is the exact rationalization the left uses for BLM’s shenanigans; inequality begets rage!
Well, yeah. It does. As we’ve seen.
But it’s not just the usual enemies.