The Corner

Rush, Conservatives & Speech

A quick comment on the Rush business–on the quarterback business. I’m reminded of something that I’ve discovered in recent years. I work in Conservativeland, and I’m used to speaking freely. I’m used to not having to abide by a speech code or any other restriction of political correctness. And then sometimes I leave Conservativeland, and continue to speak freely–and sincerely–and then find that I startle people. They’re not used to hearing it.

Now, it seems to me that what Rush said is rather obvious: that people root for the black player, in whatever field, to succeed. That’s not necessarily wrong, incidentally. It may even be admirable. But it’s so.

On this matter of speaking freely: I have found that you can’t even use normal English (outside of Conservativeland). Do you recall an incident I wrote about concerning the Davos Forum, back in January? I was moderating a panel. At the outset, I said, “Let’s have each panelist say a few words about himself.” And the first person–a female anthropology professor–barked, “I’m not a ‘himself,’ I’m a person.” One person in the room–another woman–broke out in wild, and lone, applause.

It was incredibly awkward. But it reminded me: Oh, yeah, I’m not in Kansas anymore. I can’t even use English.

Rush considers himself a free man, and said simply what he thought was true. And I imagine that what he said is, in fact, true. And this is a great man, as can be judged, in part, by the quality of his enemies.

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