Saturday, April 22, 2006

Great Coulter column

As a general rule, I find Ann Coulter entertaining. Sometimes I think that she's lets the invective run away with her, and ends up saying things that are, well, stupid, but I agree with her on most issues. But her column this week (LIE DOWN WITH STRIPPERS, WAKE UP WITH PLEAS) is absolutely outstanding - must read.

The basic point of her article is that there's a fairly standard piece of age-old wisdom, a cliched proverb, that has been lost or thrown overboard by today's post-modern "nothing is a sin but judgementalism" society. "If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas" sounds so trite and obvious as to be worthless, but it is not. The fact is that certain behaviors increase the likelihood of certain consequences, and it's not wrong to say so. It's wrong to avoid saying so. I heard a lot of it in the aftermath of the Imette St. Guillen murder in NY. Whenever anyone would venture the opinion that a single woman leaving a bar alone and drunk at 2:00 in the morning is perhaps not the best example of safe behavior, there would be an immediate outcry against whoever chose to offer that opinion. "You're blaming the victim! She didn't deserve what happened!" Well, no, of course she didn't. That goes without saying. But that doesn't mean that it isn't risky behavior. And it doesn't mean that the behavior shouldn't be criticized, and it's not "blaming the victim" to say that indulging in risky behavior increases the chances of unpleasant consequences.

And Ann's on top of her game today in saying so...

Yes, of course no one "deserves" to die for a mistake. Or to be raped or falsely accused of rape for a mistake. I have always been unabashedly anti-murder, anti-rape and anti-false accusation — and I don't care who knows about it!

But these statements would roll off the tongue more easily in a world that so much as tacitly acknowledged that all these messy turns of fate followed behavior that your mother could have told you was tacky.

Not very long ago, all the precursor behavior in these cases would have been recognized as vulgar — whether or not anyone ended up dead, raped or falsely accused of rape. But in a nation of people in constant terror of being perceived as "judgmental," I'm not sure most people do recognize that anymore.

...

The liberal charge of "hypocrisy" has so permeated the public consciousness that no one is willing to condemn any behavior anymore, no matter how seedy. The unstated rule is: If you've done it, you can't ever criticize it — a standard that would seem to repudiate the good works of the Rev. Franklin Graham, Malcolm X, Whittaker Chambers and St. Paul, among others.

It's an excellent piece...

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