The Seventh Recycling Of July 4

Four years ago I posted the following recycled July 4th piece, linking earlier iterations. Sadly, it still seems relevant, and so here it is again.

Here’s my July 4 post from a year ago, which seem worth posting again (and again … and again):

Here’s how I began a July 4th post two years ago:

On three separate occasions over the blog years — 20022006, and 2008 — I recycled a short piece I wrote for a special July 4th issue of The Nation . As I explained in the first of those posts, I was “in sympathetic and close association with The Nation for a number of years, even working there in a couple of different capacities for a while.”

The remainder of that first post follows, making this the fourth recycling of that July 4th piece. Sadly, it’s still relevant.

Since those comments are still relevant, the remainder of that first post follows … for the fifth time:

I continued to publish there a bit after I left, but with decreasing frequency as my views and the magazine’s began to diverge even more. On one occasion the editor, Victor Navasky … , rejected something I had submitted as too far beyond the pale, but, perhaps for old times’s sake or maybe simply a commendable bid for a bit of diversity, he asked me contribute to a special July 4 issue on “Patriotism” that, as it turned out, contained a large number of short statements by various writers in The Nation’s orbit.

I would say, given the company I was it, my piece was way out in right field. But, given that company, it was so far out that it’s a mistake to regard me as having any company there at all. I can’t link it because that was back in the days before the Internet, even before computers. You can find it in Nexis or the library in the July 15, 1991, issue, but you needn’t. I still like it, and so I’m recycling, I mean reprinting, it in its entirety here:

FOR TOO LONG THE LEFT HAS TOO EASILY REGARDED patriotism as the first refuge of scoundrels. Perhaps the main source of this longstanding discomfort with patriotic sentiment is that patriotism celebrates, at least in theory, the national community as a whole while the left, especially in theory, is oppositional, outside, dissenting. Traditionally class based, with workers viewed as the engine driving society to a better future, the left is now largely a collection of racial, ethnic and gender interests plus some academic defenders of multiculturalism–progressives all, but with no agent of progress and hence no real reason to believe in progress, in sight or in mind.

With little to unite it except opposition to the dominant culture, the left today has lost both the desire and the ability to lay claim to any significant portion of the landscape of American values. Equal opportunity? It has a disparate impact. Free speech? It protects racist and sexist epithets. Self-determination? A principle useful only for bashing the Russians or protecting oil sheiks. This is overstated, to be sure, but not by much. From what precinct of the left today could an authentic voice claim something like “This land is your land, this land is my land . . .”? Patriotism is an expression of solidarity, a principle long favored on the left, but the term itself reveals our predicament. Solidarity of whom? With whom? For what? It is a far but revealing cry from “Solidarity Forever” to “Solidarity in Support of Diversity,” a banner displayed during the recent controversy over affirmative action at Georgetown Law School.

That’s a hard flag to rally around.

Re-Educating “White-Identified” Faculty At San Jose State

See my recent short piece on Minding The Campus for a discussion of how Mao-like cultural revolution has come to campus in the form of “professional development” seminars and training aimed at promoting “racial literacy” by rooting out racial bias (implicit and otherwise) in “white-identified” faculty.

The New York Times On What – And What Is Not – Fit To Print

Since 1896 “All The News That’s Fit To Print” has been the motto of the New York Times. Its recent publication of an OpEd, “What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech,” by Ulrich Baer, vice provost for faculty, arts, humanities, and diversity and professor of comparative literature at New York University, suggests that the Times’ view […]

#BlackLivesMatter Must Matter To Stanford

By now you’re familiar with Ziad Ahmed, the son of a hedge fund manager and graduate of Princeton Day School (tuition: PreK through Fourth Grade: $28,230; Fifth and Sixth Grades: $33,010; Seventh through Twelfth Grade: $34,600 per year) who was just admitted to Stanford after submitting an application essay —  answering the question, “What matters to you, […]

Hinky Hasen

Prof. Richard Hasen, widely regarded (especially by Democrats) as an expert on election law, has a recent OpEd in the Washington Post demonstrating that his expertise does not extend to affirmative action. His argument is that Judge Neil Gorsuch is an “affirmative action baby,” that he “got where he is because of a form of […]

Klueless [sic] Kristof

These days it is almost impossible to parody progressives, because they unwittingly parody themselves so much more effectively than would-be critics ever could. Take Nicholas Kristof of  the New York Times (please!). Here he is today, writing “My Most Unpopular Idea: Be Nice to Trump Voters.” Suggesting that “Maybe we all need a little more […]

Race, Sex Discrimination Against University Administrators

Here is the lede from my recently posted Minding The Campus piece on paycheck unfairness: The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) has just published an extensive research report on pay and representation of racial and ethnic minorities in higher education administrative positions that ought to be a bombshell, documenting as it does widespread […]

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