Sitting back in my office chair, I watched the video on my computer intently. Security footage showed the famed “QAnon Shaman” casually walking through the Capitol, seemingly being escorted at times by the Capitol police.
This video was one of thousands Speaker McCarthy had released to Tucker Carlson of FoxNews and was now being broadcast.
Democrats were livid. Senator Schumer had the audacity to call for FoxNews to self-censor and stop playing the videos. Why? Because the video imagery directly conflicted with a carefully crafted narrative that has been established around the January 6th events. The fact that a senator would call for censorship of video evidence without a shred of self-consciousness, frankly, was more impactful to me than some dude wearing horns walking around the Capitol.
What really struck me, though, was not Tucker Carlson, or FoxNews, or the Democratic sycophants who bleated in indignation (and, yes… there were Republican sycophants who are as ensconced in the narrative as their Democratic colleagues). What really struck me was the reaction by the legacy media. Once, a long, long time ago, the fourth estate of government served a purpose. Now it has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Collectivist Inc. What little interest they showed was dismissive of the importance of the counter narrative.
Pundits, those philosophical prognosticators who really don’t report the news but rather opine on it, were equally dismissive. They may not be reporters in the classical sense of the term, but their offices are still financed by that once elegant institution called the American Society of Journalists.
I have always been interested in Dr. Naomi Wolf. Her political ideology does not hide behind subtle prose. She wears her feelings of collectivism on her sleeve. This is something that I have found odd since she, like most modern liberals, gives putative allegiance to the individual, but usually, counterintuitively, through the full-throated support of collectivism. I believe she believes that pure individualism can only be achieved through participation in a wholly articulated subgroup… a tribe… and one that must be empowered through government intervention. From “feminism” to “ableism” each subgroup of the larger collective needs funding and power, and that can only come from the collective itself. Individual freedom (and I am not quoting her… rather interpreting her) can only be achieved by reducing the individual into a political construct within the sub-collective.
Needless to say… I usually don’t agree with her.
But… she is brilliant; she is an extremely talented writer, and she is, without question, honest… and willing to wear that honesty on her sleeve.
So, I suppose it came as no surprise when she penned the following apology to conservatives:
I encourage you to read it. The fact that she wrote it in the first place is consistent with her personality, and she deserves praise for being as forthwith with her mea culpa.
I have spoken about the Hegelian Dialectic before, and I won’t bore you with another recitation of how that is supposed to work, but I feel the only way to arrive at anything that resembles a “truth” is through both an adversarial, as well as an inquisitorial, process. I have been told that what I look for is a “massaged” dialectic. I think Hegel actually presupposed this construct though. One thought, or one truth, is slammed together headlong into a contrarian viewpoint. This begins the adversarial process. Then… and this is the essential point that has been lost…the combatants retreat to their corners and begin an inquisitorial examination of their own positions.
The other day I was doing a CCW class and one of my students was a rabbi. As I was talking about “professionalism-at-arms”, I jokingly said to him that this is where moral relativism meets absolutism… something that he is all too familiar with.
While I do believe in certain aspects of absolutism, I also understand absolutism exists within a construct. Accepting a priori that a “thing” is a “thing” without the requisite inquisitorial analysis creates a form of unilateralism. If history is a guide… this never works out well.
So yes… we need to be ever vigilant in our ability to be inquisitorial. In short… we need to doubt. We need to embrace our own fallibility. Sometimes… occasionally… the other side might just be right. Sometimes, this awareness is the result of Divine Providence (many have been blessed with the transcendent spiritual moment that leads to salvation). Sometimes it is as pedestrian as watching security camera video.
Dr. Wolf could have easily sat on her hands, personally acknowledged the flaws of her beliefs, and maintained her respected position as a good soldier in her collective.
But she didn’t.
She broke ranks, and acknowledged the failings of her position and the soft foundation of her arguments. Dr. Wolf and I will have our continued disagreements. What she has earned, though, is my deep respect.