Not that he needs me to defend him; Utah is perfectly capable of doing that for himself. But I feel I owe the RNL a double apology.
First, I want to apologize to Utah for Melfamy. I was primarily responsible for his being a contributor on the RNL. Initially, Utah did not want to add him, but I convinced the boss to add him to the rolls. As time passed, Utah’s reservations were proven correct. That’s why he is the boss and the rest of us are not. Now, Melfamy has finally proven he has no interest in contributing to civil discourse and his contributing privileges have been suspended. As Utah pointed out in a comment to Melfamy’s last post, it wasn’t that Melfamy had a differing opinion; it was that he had lost touch with reality. So, I apologize to Utah and the RNL for my lack of judgment and my part in asking Utah to allow him to be part of the RNL.
My second apology is to Utah and you, the RNL reader, for having lost my own focus. A new reader and commenter, Justin, chastised me in the comments section of my post on Valerie Jarrett – and rightly so. I have allowed myself to be caught up in the emotions of this election, and I have been much less than disciplined in my recent postings. But I see my own reflection in the morality mirror, which is why I heard Justin and recognized the truth in his words. I thank him for his time and concern to offer his correction, and I will adjust my behavior accordingly. So, again, I apologize to both Utah and you, the RNL readers. I will do my best to get back to posting material of the quality that originally motivated Utah to ask me to be a contributor.
Now, all of this said, it got me to thinking about how it is we, as individuals, come to the point where we lose control of ourselves and start to act out of character. In the case of Melfamy, I asked Utah to add him to the RNL at a time when Melfamy was flirting with Libertarianism. As a reforming Liberal, Melfamy was starting to be rational and reasonable, and, though we still disagreed, we found a way to do so civility. As a result, I was finally able to learn from him, and I thought he had learned from me. This is the way Utah and I would like the RNL to function: as a place where serious people can disagree with civility, so we can learn from each other and carry what we learn into our daily lives. But Melfamy slipped back into his old ways, back to the way he was when I first encountered him on our local news paper’s online forum.
Now, Melfmay will probably disagree with me, but this is said in a manner that allows me to be as charitable to Melfamy as possible. I believe the reason Melfamy reverted to his former self is because, as he spent more and more time listening to the arguments on the RNL, he realized more and more that we are correct in our world view and he is wrong. To be sure, he would disagree with many of the detailed points, but, deep down in his heart, he knew that the conservative world view is correct and that of the Left is wrong.
Now, when we are faced with such a revelation, most of us prefer to live wrongly but happy than accept that the world and we are not what we thought because, if we accept that we have been wrong about so much for so long, it means we have to do a lot of hard work to remake ourselves and our world view. So, rather than face what such a humbling and daunting task, we dig in and double down on what we know in our heart is wrong. I have to believe that this is what happened to Melfamy because, if it isn’t, then it means Melfamy actually doesn’t see his reflection in the morality mirror. I could be making a mistake; Melfamy may not see his reflection in the morality mirror. I simply do not want to believe that about the man I once called my friend.
So, what do I mean by the morality mirror? I could make this post longer by trying to explain it with words, but this may actually work better. In his last post, Melfamy posted a picture that is meant to be insulting, yet he claimed it was “humorous.” The picture he posted is insulting because of the title of his post: the title betrays the true intention of Melfamy’s post was to insult, not to make a point with humor. That Melfamy seems to believe Utah and I just can’t see the humor in his last post reflects an inability to see his reflection in the morality mirror, but here is the illustration I think will make my point more clearly:
To the Left, this is political humor:
But this is a sure sign of racism, hatred and fear:
This is what I mean by not seeing your reflection in the morality mirror: when you cannot see the same wrong in your actions that you criticize in the actions of others, then you do not see your reflection. No, it does not matter if you believe you can rationalize or justify your belief that your situation is different: it isn’t. That’s why I chose the example I chose: they are directly equivalent, yet many would think their use of the Joker’s image is defensible where the other side’s is not. If you cannot see and understand this, then you do not see your reflection in that mirror.
I see my reflection. That’s why Justin’s words got through, and why they stung. I’m going to do my best to correct my actions going forward. The questions you have to answer are, do you see your own reflection, and will it change your actions going forward?