After a long week on the road last week, I’ve got a long backlog of things to catch up on. Let’s start with these.
• Question: In what way does the progressive left’s attack on white males differ in essence from what the Nazis said about the Jews in the 1930s? (Asking for a friend. . .)
• Speaking of Nazis, I did drop in briefly on St. John’s College in Annapolis over the weekend, where I caught up with a wonderful old story about Jacob Klein, one of the legendary tutors there years ago (and close friend of Leo Strauss—recall that Strauss was at St. John’s at the time of his death in 1973). Klein’s commentaries on Plato, and also on the Greek history of mathematics, are minor modern classics.
Apparently during World War II, the War Department considered taking over the St. John’s campus to expand the Naval Academy, which is based next door. Klein went to see someone in the War Department to talk them out of it. When the Secretary of the Navy greeted Klein and his entourage in his office, he said, “You have exactly one minute to tell me why I shouldn’t use your buildings to help the Academy in war time.”
Klein took out his pipe, filled it with tobacco, lit it up and made sure it was drawing well. Then, after 55 seconds had passed, he got up, walked toward the door to exit, but turned around and said: “Because without what St. John’s stands for, this country is not worth defending against the Nazis.”
They ended up leaving the tiny campus alone to do its thing.
• This is worth a laugh-filled roll on the floor: Slavoj Zizek thinks the left is out of touch with working class voters! And who, pray tell, has done more to make working class people remote from liberalism than avant-garde leftists like Zizek, with their impenetrable jargon? Still, you do kinda have to admit that he seems to have more of a clue than most Democrats:
Žižek, a frequent critic of both capitalism and the shortcomings of the modern left, said liberals focus too much on social issues, such as LGBT rights and racism, and on new right-leaning factions. The cost? The majority of working-class voters may not hear what’s in it for them.
“The crucial event today is not the rise of the New Right,” he said. “The crucial thing is the disintegration of the central-left welfare consensus. This is why the crucial battle in the U.S. today, it’s not against Trump, it’s what happens within the Democratic Party.“
• What’s this? A solid majority in favor of “voter suppression”? According to the latest Pew survey out today, a substantial majority of voters support vote integrity efforts like requiring ID to vote that liberals say amount to “vote suppression” (which, mark my words, will be their excuse if Democrats fare poorly at the polls next week).
About three-quarters favor removing inaccurate and duplicate registrations from voter lists using automatic methods (77%) and requiring all voters to show government-issued photo ID to vote (76%).
Here’s the chart: