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John Mark Reynolds- Contributor

John Mark Reynolds is the founder and director of the Torrey Honors Institute, and Associate Professor of Philosophy, at Biola University.

Sad Mr. Stein
The LA Times pays people to say they do not support our troops...

[John Mark Reynolds] 1/26/05

Mr. Joel Stein has every right to his opinion. Some of my students are putting their bodies on the line in Iraq to defend that right. This is not about Mr. Stein's right to express his opinion, but about my right to disagree strongly and to refuse to support the institution that pays him and gives him space. Mr. Stein is not likely to give this blog a tip in the old Amazon tip jar (even if it were easier to find on this site). In the same way, I don't have to support Mr. Stein's opinion and nobody has a right to be printed in the LA Times.

But if you live in the real world, like most of us, you may be unaware that the paper of record on the West coast has given Mr. Stein its editorial page, a high prestige place, to say he does not support our troops, to suggest that they are dopes or dupes, and to suggest, in all humility, that he is better than they.

His piece is a bit of juvenilia really, not yet graduated to the full blown bitter hatred of the left in America. The libertine left is unable to produce culture so irony, sarcasm, and the inside joke are all they have left. Everything is written tongue in cheek like this article so they can smirk at blogs like this that take things too seriously. It is easy to recognize the conceit of the freshman honors students. . . though Mr. Stein is a little long in the tooth for such hi-jinks, it is hard to be very mad at his sad little essay. Until you remember 9/11. And the students who volunteered, honor diploma's in hand, to fight. Colin. Jon. And you think that perhaps that snobbery is misplaced.

Mr. Stein does not know Colin Anderson. He did not sit in Plato session with him. He did not hear him express his love of country over Locke. I did and so it is harder to smirk with Mr. Stein about his lack of respect for Colin. . . a man who chose to fight for his country, but whose thoughtful sacrifice Stein compares to stupidly clicking on a pop up ad. The man who has put himself in harm's way to bring liberty to a whole people is sneered at as a thoughtless buffoon and God help me, I find it hard to laugh in the knowing way Mr. Stein expects.

It is tempting to grow angry in a good old fashioned way and say that this columnist is a soft, cowardly, elitist whose convenient pacifism allows him to live parasitically on the sacrifice of others. But anger is no longer understood on the left and so they would only sneer. . . and I do not know enough about Mr. Stein to know what is really like. And I would not soil a good insult in that man's company.

It is shocking to me that folks are shocked. If you are getting ready to send your kids to UCLA or any big name school, this is what they will be taught. If they go to grad school and support the President in any way, they will be mocked. Mr. Stein has published material so mild compared to what leftist blogs publish every day that it is surprising that anyone can still be surprised. But the blog literate amongst us forget that though exploding most folk still do not read blogs or if they do still have an old irrational prejudice in favor of old media. And many of those folk do not realize the passion with which the Left hates the majority of the country. They live in communities where it is safer to believe in Wicca than in Jesus. They agonize over whether to vote Green or support Howard Dean and they think those outside of their little enclaves are stupid, immoral, and bigots. They have not tolerance for you and blogs allow the masks to slip.

Blogs expose what people really think. One does not polish and rewrite. My opinions are just out there. The profanity and the bile will be there if that is who you are. Graciousness and mercy will be there if that is who you are. The Old Left, often Christian and deeply patriotic, may have been wrong, but you could find civilized humans there. However, years of education in moral relativism have done there work. The New Left is almost entirely secular, libertine, and they hate anyone who gets in their way. Don't get me wrong. The Right has haters and bigots and folk who say irrational or stupid things. We have to denounce our Pat Robertson types, but in the "intellectual" class (no smarter by and large) the irrational and lunatic ravings of the Daily Kos are taken seriously. Read this editorial and then go to the Daily Kos (smart and honest about what it believes) and prepare to realize that if you go to Mass this Sunday, they don't like you. Oh occasionally someone will raise their head and say they are religious and polite noises might (sometimes) be made. . . especially when it looks like they need at least one Southern state, but in the power corridors, they hate you, hate traditional America, and hate our troops. They don't understand how facile columns like Stein's strike most of us in the stomach. They are blind to their own folly, because they believe and say so much worse in private. The internet smokes them out and the old media is now forced to print, to keep their position at smart set parties, more and more extreme things. The LA Times is now printing mild forms of what they see on the left-wing blogs and hear at their own gatherings.

And most of us are left out. How long before African-Americans and Hispanics realize that they are being used by people who do not love or understand the life of the poor? If once the exploited realize they are being exploited (as my own poverty ridden state of West Virginia is finally realizing), then the end will come, because these are sad and isolated people. Most have never held jobs or lived in areas where everyone did not agree with them. They have been coddled ideologically in college and move on to soft government or media jobs.

Yet when the anger fades one remembers that this is one nation after all. We must learn to love our secular brother. If we have more votes, then we must govern in a way to give them the most liberty that the nation can afford. If we can, then we must continue to serve them with the blood and sweat of our finest young men. We shall let them reap the benefits of a culture built by our grandparents and theirs. . . which sadly they have rejected. Somehow in the bitter words we must love the person and the image of God in him while opposing with every fiber of our being ideas that would destroy us all, including Mr. Stein. CRO

copyright 2006 John Mark Reynolds



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