Victor Davis Hanson takes up the theme of this series in the American Greatness column “River of forgetfulness.” Among other things, he observes:
Serious Big Brother was never coming to America kicking and screaming in a suit and in a mile-long tie, but rather eagerly welcomed in with jeans and sneakers without socks. The First Amendment could always survive a crude, inebriated Joe McCarthy, but not so easily a social justice ex-barista, doing vanity selfies about diversity, egged on by the “progressive” media, while saving the planet, and “reining” in a hurtful, racist media.
Constitutional nihilists do not put up leaders with garish comb-overs and orange tans. Better to unconstitutionally use the FBI to surveil your enemies, catalog the communications of the press, and weaponize the IRS, when led by a “constitutional law professor” and an icon of the marginalized.
The column widens its focus as it winds its way to this summary of the past year:
[T]he deprogramming Left seeks to wash all memory away. In the cosmic quest for equity, justice, and diversity, there can be no fake absolute standards. For the Left, the moral ends are simply too exalted to worry about the means of obtaining them. Violence for equity is nonviolence. Rioting, arson, and looting in the service of justice is justice for the marginalized.
Before we are all reprogrammed, remember for a bit longer that the reset of memory and truth is not just a political agenda, but a holistic effort to redefine our past, present, and future, to change not just what we think but how we think—or do not think.
This desire to wash all memory away was the secret, after all, to Joe Biden’s virtual candidacy. The implicit promise was always just to vote for nothingness and then all the acrimony, all the rioting, all the fires and looting, all the media craziness, all the cancel culture, all the Twitter wars, all the hysteria would simply vanish with the disappearance of our Emmanuel Goldstein—and a new, undefined but far better world would take its place. And then at last you too could forget the past, and thereby come to love what you’ve become in the present.
The whole thing makes for an important contribution to the subject.
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