The Corner

When Up is Down

In his column today, Jay Nordlinger describes how George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Sarah Palin have been caricatured in the media and the broader popular culture. Jay maintains that the Left has won, i.e., its dominance of our institutions permits portrayal of conservatives as evil buffoons. The popular perception of Cheney in particular is upside down (the obverse is the media’s portrayal of certain liberals as smart and personable, when in reality these individuals are ignorant cusses).

 

Jay’s right that news media, television entertainment, movies, music, and the schools are major culprits. But another culprit is the repeated failure of prominent Republicans (and to a lesser extent, conservatives generally) to defend and support our own.

 

Think about the scores of times bright, honorable, self-sacrificing conservatives have been defamed by the Left with barely a peep of protest from Republicans in a position to command attention. It’s as if Republicans concede the premise that their friends and colleagues are demons and/or nitwits.

 

Many Republican politicians seem to begin the day apologizing for being Republicans. And they appear to have a perverse, desperate desire to befriend and seek favor from those who regularly malign conservatives.

 

You will not find finer men nor better public servants than Justice Thomas, Ken Starr, John Ashcroft — to name a few. Yet I’ve witnessed Republicans act as if they’re embarrassed to even know of them. Whether it’s a momentous slander or a series of invidious slights, too many weak-kneed, hand-wringing Republicans simply tolerate the abuse heaped on these good Americans. No surprise that the caricatures hold sway when those expected to protest remain silent.

 

Until Republicans start responding to each and every falsehood with vigor and conviction, the slanders will continue. That’s not good for Republicans, conservatives, or the country.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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