Only One Side Counts
I’ve been meaning to note Bob Kerr’s continued function as the elder statesman who says what the younger folks must strive to keep to themselves at the Providence Journal. Here’s the crux of his Wednesday column:
You might remember protest. It’s an honored American tradition. It’s how this whole thing got started. People speak out and other people are moved to think about things they hadn’t thought about before. …
This is not the golden age of protest. Despite the brutal cost of two misguided wars and an economy knocked cruelly out of balance, it is difficult to move people to take their feelings out in public.
It might be fear, it might be indifference, it might be the desire to stay comfy and cozy at any cost.
His purpose, the reader quickly finds, is less to make grand statements about protest culture than to promote a particular protest with which he’s sympathetic. But in his entire column, he offers not one sentence, one phrase, one carefully sharpened jab about the Tea Party movement that has been redefining politics in the United States. In the left’s strained and rigid lexicon, shining ideals like Protest can never be applied to people with whom they disagree.
When the Kerrs of the old guard raise “question authority” to the highest of principles, they conveniently neglect to consider that, as they slipped into their social positions and reached middle age, they themselves became authorities who must be questioned. And so, not only are many deliberate in their refusal to answer, but some try with all their might not to hear the inquiry.