A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
We live in cowardly times, mean-spirited and smug. We celebrate cheap shots and slink away from honest debate. We attack those who can’t defend themselves while insisting it is our moral principles which give us the open warrant for this revenge. We applaud bullies in our streets and on our social media and then wonder why they’ve crept onto our playgrounds. In our society, many of us are not very nice, and because of that, history will probably judge all of us as vulgar.
The infernal optimist in me thought that we couldn’t sink much lower than making fun of 86-year-old Pope Benedict XVI for wanting to retire. Old Christians are easy targets, but the same folks, so quick with the jokes, had already loudly refused to publish satirical Moslem cartoons under the guise of sensitivity. I thought integrity was not a flexible commodity. I was wrong. As of last week, the vitriol circus three-ringing itself around the death of Margaret Thatcher proves the “progressives” among us have hit intellectual rock bottom and are now starting to dig.
As a public figure, even in death, Margaret Thatcher’s policies should be (and are) open to vigorous debate. For those who disagreed with her methods and results there are any number of well thought out arguments they could use to support their opposition. However, I doubt if “bitch” is one of them. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I don’t see abandoning my political position on the strength of that thesis. At least, “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” — although about as original as most leftwing ideas — has a sophomoric air of carnival about it. However, neither of these responses to one of the most divisive politicians in recent history is exactly a tsunami of intellectual prowess. If this is all the left is bringing to the table, it’s no wonder they couldn’t convince the voting public that Margaret Thatcher was the personification of evil – on three separate occasions. And this brings us to the interesting question: What does one do with one’s political self-righteousness when the ballot box disagrees with them? (After all, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government was democratically elected three times.) Does one snarl and cry and demonize one’s opponent, or pout and call her names? Or perhaps one tantrums through the streets in sanctimonious anger, smashing things, burning cars and injuring police officers? Or maybe one merely gathers enough explosives to attempt to blow one’s opponent’s head off and thus alleviate the need for any further discussion? In Margaret Thatcher’s case, the answer is all of the above — plus one more. Many on the left just quietly waited until the object (she was an object by then) of their hate died and now attack her viciously and personally with no fear of repercussions. Plus it should be noted that those who profess an absolute abhorrence of hate are among the first to cast a stone.
To those who disagree with Margaret Thatcher’s policies — with measured argument and open debate — I wish you well. To those who rant their hate from the rooftops and “celebrate” her death: you are the embodiment of all that is dull-witted and crude in our times. I want nothing to do with you or your politics; you’ve shown the world the ugly face of both of them.