Two Great Editorials That Taste Great Together

The Wall Street Journal has published brilliant editorial pieces in the past – to specifically focus in on two of them is saying something. Back in March of 2017, Shelby Steel wrote one titled “The Exhaustion of American Liberalism” and then last week on June 3rd, Daniel Henninger penned one of his best titled “America’s New Nihilism”. As powerful as they might be when taken individually, reading these two articles in concert, combines them to create the force of a sledgehammer to the forehead.

Intellectually, they mesh so perfectly, one could be forgiven for thinking they were written three minutes apart rather than three years apart.

I want to point out a few excerpts. First from Steele:

“When America became stigmatized in the ’60s as racist, sexist and militaristic, it wanted moral authority above all else. Subsequently the American left reconstituted itself as the keeper of America’s moral legitimacy. (Conservatism, focused on freedom and wealth, had little moral clout.) From that followed today’s markers of white guilt—political correctness, identity politics, environmental orthodoxy, the diversity cult and so on.”
So, liberals wanted to claim moral superiority as the basis for their societal model. I cannot think of a better example of PMA (Peak Moral Superiority) than Barack Obama.

Speaking of President Obama, Steele noted this, “For this man liberalism was a moral vaccine that immunized him against stigmatization.” I would venture to say that this applies to all liberals, not just Obama – they all believe that liberalism is a moral vaccine that immunizes against all stigmatization.

Too bad that the moral high ground chosen was false.

So, some fifty years on, how is that working out? Henninger ventures an answer:

“It is evident from the coverage [of the Floyd protests/riots/looting sprees] that most of the demonstrators were born after 1990. By then, the Great Society programs had been in place for 25 years, and now it is 55 years. Annual budget appropriations totaling multiple trillions of dollars on Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, public housing, rent subsidies and federal aid to public schools have produced . . . what?

Since the 1960s, essentially little has changed in the neighborhoods at the center of those long-ago urban riots. By current telling, they are about as poor, as crime-ridden, as under-educated and in poor health as they were when LBJ said he would change them. That means five decades of stasis and stagnation in America’s most marginalized places, virtually all of it under Democratic—now “progressive”—political control.

The failure of the liberal model is by now so embarrassing that the current owners of that model have created an alternative universe of explanations, such as blaming it on American settlers in the early 17th century or the nonexistence of ‘justice.’”

But as Henninger notes, people aren’t really buying that American hasn’t done enough since 1619 to cleanse its mistakes and it is clear to even the staunchest of liberals that their model has failed and now liberalism in boxed into a corner.

It is an ideology that has failed in terms of civil discourse, economics, culture, and governance – now it has failed morally.

That is pretty much running the table on failures.

As has been said for centuries, one should not interfere when one’s enemy is destroying themselves.

Break out the popcorn.

Search for these two articles – I linked them here but they are behind the paywall at the WSJ – but they have been reproduced in full in other places and the really do deserve to be read together.

Well worth your time.

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