Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Apologetics Part 3: What You Get For Being Apologetic

     Part 1 and Part 2 of this series have already generated some discussion. It’s a discussion we desperately need, as the greater part of the Left’s attack strategy is based on getting normal, innocent people to feel guilty. If that element of Leftism could be defeated, the edifice would totter. Indeed, it might fall from that alone.

     He who apologizes has implicitly accepted a verdict of guilt. There’s no evading it. Subsequent statements that “I was just being polite!” will be ignored; no one will ever hear them. The only way to stay out of the trap is not to apologize, pro forma or otherwise.

     As it happens, we have some excellent recent demonstrations before us.


     Politeness, when exercised asymmetrically, is a mistake. I contend that the Jordan Peterson video I linked in yesterday’s rant is sufficient demonstration. Clearly, the “trans” and “non-binary” activists who assailed him as a Nazi sympathizer had no intention of being polite. In that case, Dr. Peterson’s penalty for being inappropriately polite was minor: the loss of a little time and some extra wear and tear on his patience. However, many a man who’s been hailed into court as the result of an auto accident has a sadder tale to tell. Consider the following prototypical courtroom exchange from Alexander Rose’s Pay The Two Dollars:

Lawyer: Mr. Blert, if you didn’t cause the whole thing, why did you say you were sorry?
Defendant: What?
Lawyer: Why did you say you were sorry?
Defendant: Sorry?
Lawyer: Sorry.
Defendant: Good heavens, the man was bleeding and I simply said—
Lawyer: Were you sorry about his bleeding or about your carelessness?
Defendant: Carelessness? Why, he was driving with his arm around this girl! How could I be careless?
Lawyer: It’s possible. Now, did you also say...

     Though the above is fictional, it illustrates nicely what well-meaning remarks made in the wrong context can cost...and the cost could be higher. The following is from a real murder case:

     A recent murder trial was based entirely on circumstantial evidence. A Mrs. Brown had a small store in a small town. One fine day her son, who was a truck driver, stopped his truck outside the store, came in and said, “Mom, I’m going in the back room for a minute.” She was busy with customers for some time.
     Suddenly two shots rang out. The horrified woman rushed into the back room and found her son slumped down on a davenport with two gunshot wounds in his chest. There was no one else in the room, there was no gun in view. The only other door in the room was one that opened onto a side street.
She called the police and they took her and her son to the hospital. When the doctors told the police the man was dying, the police had the mother speak to him and ask him who had shot him. He said, “Watt shot me,” and died.
     A Gordon Watt was promptly picked up by the police. They interrogated him and found that he knew the deceased, that they had quarreled over Watt’s attentions to Brown’s wife, and Watt admitted having been within one block of the scene of the shooting at the time it occurred.
     He was indicted and tried for murder.

     [Ibid.]

     As it happens, Gordon Watt was found innocent...but his “attentions to Brown’s wife” and the resulting quarrel could have put him into a gas chamber. Yet what developed during the trial was that Watt had merely been politely, pleasantly attentive to Brown’s wife as she regaled him with the details of some household adventure. He’d shown ordinary courtesy to a garrulous woman in a social setting. Utterly innocent! But it put a man’s life in jeopardy.

     A well-meant pro forma apology could impose a similar cost.


     If you’re not yet familiar with this well-meant bit of prose from a Google employee, please take a moment to read the thing. Note how apologetic, how utterly forelock-tugging to the Left it really is. James Damore, who wrote it, meant no harm to anyone. He did his cringing best to perform ritual obeisance to all the Left’s shibboleths, especially about that most absurd of the modern myths, “gender equality.” Yet he lost his job over it.

     Apologies did James Damore no good whatsoever. His statements were deliberately distorted to suit the Left’s purposes...including the ambitions of Google’s freshly hired “vice president for diversity” Danielle Brown, to appear important and “on the job.”

     Brown’s memo makes plain that none of Damore’s hairsplitting could possibly have aided his defense:

     “Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.”

     As Oregon Muse says at AoSHQ, “In other words, shut up. So her whole statement, translated, reads: ‘All of us here at Google are in 100% favor of free speech and diversity of opinion. Except for this guy. He needs to shut up.’”

     Lawrence Summers could have told James Damore about the futility of apologies. So could James Watson.


     There have been innumerable demonstrations that to the Left, any sign of weakness from an adversary is a signal for immediate, all-out attack. Despite the utter innocence – from any perspective – of the great majority of its targets, the Left attacks to destroy its target and to intimidate any like-minded into silence. As it has a sympathetic and wholly compliant media on its side, it usually carries the day. The exceptions have all been men who stood fearlessly for their expressed convictions and refused any word or deed of obeisance.

     So why apologize? Why qualify your statements in a futile attempt to avert the Left’s thunderous wrath? Why not be “out loud and proud?” Especially as it seems to make your odds of survival a trifle better.

     Think it over.

3 comments:

  1. Great stuff.

    Another principle is "Never fight a small man." Or, for present purposes, do not engage politely and reasonably with someone who's not interested in being civilized, which is to say, a chickenshift bastard. You can mix it up physically with a big man and go have a beer together. Get crosswise with a small person and she will pour motor oil on your cat, as a vengeful woman once did to my brother.

    The left are all vengeful, willful misunderstanders of the essence of the Western way. The promise of classical liberalism did not morph into something better and more refined. Liberty and reason have not flourished. Liberalism ran into the Fabians and their ilk whose core principle was hatred of the existing order, viz., liberalism. Fast forward to "living Constitution," a term that has no relation whatsoever to idea of law as something painstakingly extracted from centuries of human experience and immutable. And just a bit down the road you have leftist glee at the AntiFa approach to debate and mealymouthed Vice Presidents of Inclusion, Diversity, and Niceness uttering fatuous bilge about rigid fidelity to freedom of expression except where the tremulous and confused might feel a dyspeptic pang. So the left dresses up being a chickenshift bastard in the Mashed Potato Speak peculiar to the ejects of higher education in our time. Glib and dedicated to niceness but vicious and destructive.

    With a leftist corporate media firmly dedicated to distraction, trivialization, superficiality, concealment, and outright propaganda you have the perfect storm of disdain for law and reason. The Western world is thus stood on its head. The scum of the earth receive billions in money and weaponry, Stasi informants are put in charge of the speech police in Germany, elections are playthings of the highest foreign or bidder, foreigners are discovered to have rights superior to natives, natives are forced to subsidize parasites, gratuitous war and destruction become the aim of the state, law turns rubbery and is turned against the backbone of the country, black and Muslim pathology is studiously ignored, feminist hysteria is celebrated, and the engines of the media disgorge lies, garbage, and fairy tales. This the left refers to as "progressivism."

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  2. foreign or domestic bidder . . . .

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  3. A nice line to use in lew of an appology: "It's to your shame that you purposely misunderstood my point."

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