Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The Moral Blindness Of The Star Tribune
The Star Tribune has never enjoyed a reputation for intellectual prowess, rightly so given the prominence of such mediocrities as Nick Coleman and Lori Sturdevant, to say nothing of its editorial board with its relentlessly stale, conventional paleo-liberal mindset. Still, MC was surprised that it nonetheless managed to best its own abject track record of moral blindness and desperate attempts at superiority with a badly written editorial titled "Celebrations of bin Laden's Death in Poor Taste " by Jill Burcum. No readers, it wasn't from The Onion.
For all the lack of thought and analysis, however, it may as well have been. And for the condescension toward America and average Americans, it was something out of the Susan Sontag playbook immediately after 9/11 of "Why do they hate us?" One would be hard pressed to find a better example of being out of touch with the zeitgeist and history. Burcum, no doubt, thought she was precisely the opposite.
She starts by saying there's "cold satisfaction" from conjuring up the burial at sea scene. Really? Why do liberals always speak in terms of stories? (Narcissism comes to mind; stories are usually about them, one way or the other) And isn't it the fact that Osama bin Laden can no longer kill innocents that's the source of satisfaction, not the manner of his burial? But that observation won't drive her insipid narrative.
She manages to say lamely "good riddance" and then this: "May the much-deserved bullet that ended bin Laden's life bring about eternal atonement for his sins." Is incoherence a prerequisite for being hired as editorial staff at the Star Tribune? Does Burcum have the slightest idea what the word atonement means? Here she has an inanimate object doing spiritual work for a mass murderer. Bin Laden alone could atone for his sins but not the instrument of his death. It's embarrassing but typical liberal tripe. Thought need not apply.
After granting a certain admixture of emotions to the hoi polloi, Burcum allows that a "sense of national accomplishment was earned." Well thank goodness for that or we'd all be in real trouble. Except that in Burcum's morally blind world, we are and for good reason.
There was "an uneasiness" that came from watching people celebrate (from whom? types like her?) and instead of "a moment of somber reflection" we suffered and writhed to watch "Flags, high-fives, chants of USA! USA!" The horror, the horror. Can there be anything worse for people whose first instinct in every political situation is to blame America first?
Continuing her unfamiliarity with the English language, Burcum labels this jingoism. It's not by any reasonable definition but that doesn't hold sway for such types in the moral cul-de-sac inhabited by Burcum. Those demonstrations are forms of patriotism, that dreaded word. Jingoism "refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism." That an editorial writer at a (somewhat) major national newspaper can't or won't tell the difference is shameful. By her use of the word, celebrating VJ and VE day was jingoistic. Perhaps to Burcum they were; one can never tell. After all, she goes on to say that celebrating "Olympic hockey gold medals or professional sports teams championships" is also jingoistic.
Yes, by God, the reaction to getting rid of Osama bin Laden is precisely the same as the reaction to the 1980 USA hockey victory over the evil empire of the USSR. And liberals wonder why they are viewed with contempt and disgust?
Things got worse for our sensitive editorialist when she was brave enough to venture onto Facebook. Doubtless she spilled her cup of organic camomile tea when she read that some cretins had written "Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey goodbye." Oh the humanity. One could almost hear the jack boots in the street, the Zyklon-B hissing in the showers. However did she sleep that night? Perhaps a comforting phone call from Gwyneth Paltrow? Now there's an image.
Warming to her true subject--contempt for America--Burcum then escalates to fantasy, saying "[h]ad President Obama put bin Laden’s head on a pike and paraded it down Pennsylvania Avenue, we as a nation were ready to click as one on Facebook’s “Like” button."
No Jill, we would not have. But you want to think that's what we would do because that's what you already thought of Americans before you wrote this pathetic editorial.
She praises our military this way: "Our military forces' heroism should not be underappreciated." Underappreciated? Who writes this way? Apparently those who think this way and fit right in at the Star Tribune. She is unable to praise the armed forces in an affirmative, positive way. Might be jingoism, you know. One tries not to be enraged. Might be conservative stereotype, you know.
Finally, Burcum engages in that most quintessential of liberal ploys: moral equivalence. Americans celebrating the end of a mass murderer is precisely the same thing as the celebrations in some parts of the Arab world after 3000+ Americans were slaughtered. MC hates to be rude and is certain Burcum is a nice woman, fun at parties etc but: is it possible to be this stupid? This morally blind? Apparently so and in the course of making a living.
As someone on Twitter said about the same moral equivalency argument about celebrating crowds, the difference between theirs and ours is that Lara Logan would be safe in ours.
Stating, Obama strawman-like, that "this was not a game," Burcum quotes approvingly from a 9/11 survivor/useful idiot quoted in (where else?) The New York Times who says he's sad about any death. Sad. Spare us. But it's enough for Burcum and her self-serving moral smugness.
Weirdly, Burcum trundles on to lecture that "[t]he street celebrations also reflect an unfortunate and simplistic understanding of the war on terrorism." Why? What's the sophisticated understanding? We deserved it? That was Sontag's take, initially, and she was of a smart set Burcum couldn't ever hope to join. Yet those celebrations weren't about the war on terrorism per se; they were about justice, biblical or otherwise.
Pretending to insight, Burcum bleats: "Others inspired by him will take up his cause." Newsflash: they already did and will. Good grief. Also: "The fight is far from over."
The people celebrating Osama bin Laden's death already knew this. Already knew much more than this risible editorial writer with an overly favorable opinion of herself and others like her at the Star Tribune. Already knew that nothing justified or warranted the attacks on us on 9/11. Already knew that the struggle against Islamo-fascism is a long one, often set against the co-opted, morally blind and impoverished attitudes of bien pensants like Burcum. Already knew that the elites of America frequently despise Americans.
As with 9/11 itself, the killing of Osama bin Laden is a Rohrschach test that people like Burcum have failed for the second time running.
Hat tip: Jenna Zark. Follow on Twitter @ZarkWriting