Regarding George’s post of a few days ago, I’m having trouble seeing Camille Paglia as a collectivist. She is such a distinctive figure, with very independent views, it seems, and she has been very critical of the Obama administration. She did vote for Obama, but does George think that all who voted for him must share his quasi-socialist vision of America?
I’m thinking a lot of people just saw him as more appealing than the dour McCain.
Regarding Bryan, although he was cruelly mocked by Mencken, many of his objections to Darwinism have been justified in recent years. For example, whether one agrees with this point or not, many Darwinians themselves now admit that their theory eliminates God as generally understood, and some have even admitted that acceptance of the theory destroyed their faith, such as it was. David Berlinski’s The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions exposes the many inadequacies of Darwinian doctrine, some admitted by the scientists themselves. “Darwin?” a Nobel laureate in biology remarked to Berlinski. “That’s just the party line.” The short of it is that Bryan did not deserve Mencken’s wild, brutal, vicious, and irresponsible ridicule just because the Great Commoner opposed Darwinism.
As for Mencken, I’m beginning to see him as an early version of South Park, Family Guy, Borat, and the like. Their political incorrectness can seem encouraging in the culture wars to some conservatives, but IMO the price they exact is too high for what they give.