The Corner

Unsettling

I am no fan of 9-9-9 and not particularly of Herman Cain, but his present woes say more about us than him. Nobody other than the participants knows what went on in his “encounters” with these complainants, and the entire episode is a cautionary tale in the perils of the odious and far too widespread practice of “settling”. But honestly:

There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable.

What does that mean? Because, if you’re going to destroy a man’s life over it, it ought to mean something. A “gesture” that is not “sexual” but that makes women “uncomfortable” enough to threaten sexual harrassment?

But then everyone’s “uncomfortable” these days, aren’t they? On the Sunday gabfests, those sanctimonious pills Bob Schieffer and Tom Brokaw were a-huffin’ an’ a-puffin’ about Cain’s gross irresponsibility in allowing his campaign manager to “promote” smoking in a political ad. Mark Block is apparently the new Joe Camel. It was a close call but the nauseating Schieffer edged out Brokaw in moral finger-wagging, flaunting his own credentials as a cancer survivor. So what? Unlike Schieffer, I quit smoking at 17, when I figured out that a less dorky haircut would do far more for me with the chicks than pretending I enjoyed unfiltered cigarettes ever would. Yet for the first time in decades I feel a sudden craving for nicotine, possibly while making non-sexual gestures of an uncomfortable nature.

What ought to make America “uncomfortable” is that it’s broke and it’s heading for collapse. But, judging from the preoccupations of our media, very few Americans are discomforted by that. On the other hand, even if we were solvent, I very much doubt that a society made up of social arbiters with Brokaw and Schieffer’s tender sensitivities and with millions of its citizens ever more ready to be discomforted by an ever wider of ever more inappropriate if entirely non-sexual gestures would be likely to survive. Or even remain capable of basic social interaction.

Let’s hear what these gestures were. Then we can mandate sensitivity training to eliminate them. Which will stimulate the vital sensitivity-training sector of the economy.

PS While we’re at it, why are so few Americans “uncomfortable” about being held hostage by JetBlue for seven hours on the tarmac at Hartford, Connecticut? All the coverage is pansy-boy stuff about how if they hold you for over three hours without food, water or functioning bathrooms you might be eligible for government-mandated compensation. Big deal. Why can’t you just say “Screw this, I’m outta here”? The fact that hundreds of airline passengers are “comfortable” in complying with this nonsense is way more ominous for the future of the republic than Mark Block blowing smoke rings.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

Most Popular

Sports

It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More
U.S.

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More
Elections

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More
U.S.

The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More