Now, We Know My Mother Has Flaws, but….

SellwynThumbby Selwyn Duke10/11/17
There’s a disclaimer many of us have been conditioned to utter, quite reflexively, and it’s something that has got to stop. When preparing a defense of the United States (against, lamentably, other “Americans”), we may preface it with, “Well, I know our country isn’t perfect” or, as pundit Tucker Carlson said while debating a bigoted lawyer last month, “I don’t deny…that this country is flawed….” Actually, our perspective is flawed.

To gain some perspective, imagine you were giving a speech about your mother and opened with, “Now, we know my mother has flaws, but….” Sound good?

Consider the message sent. Since we’re all imperfect, it’s a given your mother has flaws, and, therefore, it isn’t something you’d normally even think to mention. Thus, the very act of mentioning it involves the implication that your mother isn’t just saddled with the usual imperfections — but that she’s uniquely flawed. It’s not something you do unless she’s a somewhat horrible person.

Or you’re a horrible child — or one horribly brainwashed into thinking he must please a certain hateful audience by disparaging what should be held dear.

Of course, if America were uniquely flawed, it would follow that there are a host of nations better. If we know of one, we may want to consider moving there. If we don’t, we should stop parroting that stupid disclaimer. Russians don’t do it. Chinese don’t do it. Japanese don’t do it. Not even Sudanese, Iranians or North Koreans do it.

In fact, while there’s no nation without sin, can you think of one beyond the waning West whose citizens feel compelled to issue self-flagellating we’re-so-flawed utterances? So why do many Americans, despite occupying history’s greatest nation, feel such a compulsion? What are they comparing America to? Heaven?

Speaking of the spirit world, many cultures would engage in ancestor worship. We engage in ancestor condemnation. Just recently, while defending Columbus Day against Indigenous Peoples Day dunderheads, a quite well-meaning commentator wrote that there “are 364 other days in the year on which we could acknowledge the sins of our ancestors….”

Sorry, but I don’t do ancestors. First, I’ll consider condemning our forebears when other groups and nations begin condemning theirs. Second, I’m no more responsible for their trespasses than I am for their triumphs. (Speaking of which, when I start getting royalty checks for all the inventions and innovations birthed by history’s great white men, I’ll consider offering reparations.) Lastly, I have no interest in continually “acknowledging” my ancestors’ sins — I have enough problems with my own.

This brings us to another aspect of this matter, one well illustrated by another comment Tucker Carlson made: that our country “is deeply flawed on questions of race.”

Actually, no, it’s not. As in the 1990s Rwandan genocide, racial/ethnic/tribal/religious conflicts elsewhere often have resulted in massive bloodshed. In contrast, it’s hard to think of a nation in which so many disparate peoples get along as well as in the U.S. (though the Left is trying feverishly to change that). The point is that in all this talk about “our flaws,” we’re not even talking about “our” flaws.

We’re talking about the flaws of people long dead (that is, when the flaws aren’t wholly imaginary).

In other words, we’re fighting yesterday’s battles — harping on our ancestors’ sins in an infinite loop — and ignoring today’s.

As to this, if a man seeing a therapist fixated constantly on his late father’s faults, wouldn’t the therapist point out that, not only is he living in the past, but that incessantly focusing on another’s flaws can be a way of avoiding having to confront your own?

Leftists haven’t the foggiest idea what our “flaws” are for the simple reason that, being moral relativists/nihilists (not believing in Truth, absolute by definition), they have no standard of perfection to use as a yardstick. And if you have no objective standard of right, you can’t know what’s wrong — not any more than you could identify unhealthful foods without believing in and knowing the rules of human nutrition.

We do have real flaws, today, now, things such as confusion over marriage, sex and the sexes (“transgender” agenda); the mainstreaming of perversion; decadent entertainment; rampant vulgarity; racial demagoguery; profligate spending; leftist propaganda everywhere; and, what lies at the heart of it all, moral relativism. But it’s easier to talk about those dastardly dead white males — they’re not around to defend themselves.

One of the great victories of the Left is that it has woven so many of its suppositions so seamlessly into the culture that even good people accept them, unknowingly, unthinkingly. Thus will we utter, cowed and callow, “Look, I know our country has flaws….”

The irony is that if we could purge so-called leftism from the hearts and minds of Americans, most of our flaws would disappear overnight.


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5 Responses to Now, We Know My Mother Has Flaws, but….

  1. David says:

    Selwyn – You write about a topic that has troubled me for a long time, that no one seems to notice, much less question… the reflexive disclaimer.

    At first it bothered me when I would hear some otherwise intelligent conservative speaker preface their remarks with things like, “Of course we still have a long way to go in the fight against racism and inequality” (…We do?) or, “of course America isn’t perfect”( it isn’t? Where is?). This seems to have become some sort of mechanical response that people on the right offer up in order to feel comfortable while making assertions that oppose leftist thought. These disclaimers feel disingenuous at best, and I would imagine that a loyal leftist would consider them to be condescending at worst.

    It wasn’t until I heard similar words leave my own lips one time during a conversation about cop on black violence, and tasted their pandering falseness (which didn’t taste good at all), “Of course some cops are racist” (Really? Do I personally know of any?),that I realized how easily influenced we are by propaganda, how tired we have become trying to argue the facts of a matter over, and over, and over again, when the left isn’t interested in argument or examination, but is only interested in our inevitable surrender, by any means necessary.

    This is how effective the communists have been at ‘educating’ us to be politically correct. I really just want to be kind, I really just want to be fair, even if the person I’m talking to has a weak argument, even if they are completely wrong and misguided. I’m just tired.

    Thanks for bringing this up.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Technically, all these disclaimers are true. No one is perfect, so the US inevitably is imperfect and thus has flaws. Given the number of policemen we have, it’s also inevitable that some will be racists; besides, observation of the many incidents of police-on-black violence has certainly shown a few suspicious incidents (though most, as in Ferguson, are the fault of the criminals). But it is odd that so many conservatives feel the need to issue them. I’m not sure what to make of it, which is why I haven’t commented here previously.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Great points, David. In essence, when we make such disclaimers we’re taking on the Left’s premise that it really ought to be Utopia as a starting point. We must then apologize for why it’s not. Instead of pointing out how good things are — especially compared to 3rd world countries which don’t share our systems and beliefs — we instead must note our civilizational guilt for things not being perfect.

      Who in their right mind supposes that if you have a group of 100,000 police officers (or people of any kind) that you won’t have flaws? As Pat noted recently, the Left is about delaying adulthood. An no reasonable adult believes you can ever be free from human flaws. It is a conservative belief (or used to be) that the attempt to eradicate flaws and to perfect society was far more harmful than living with “good enough.”

      But then this isn’t about logic, of course. This is about a Jihad being waged on our country by those who hate it. We could go into the psychology of it. Surely a large percentage of these people hate themselves and are thus simply projecting. And we must note the central aspect of feminism whereby nurturance, not self-dependence, becomes the paradigm so therefore it’s a horror not to stop the world from spinning and re-order everything in order to “care.” And overt racism against whites is noted by few but is widespread. But at the end of the day, this is about immoral, zealous, and rabid people vying for power and sating their inflated sense of grievance.

  2. Rosalys says:

    “Leftists haven’t the foggiest idea what our “flaws” are for the simple reason that, being moral relativists/nihilists (not believing in Truth, absolute by definition), they have no standard of perfection to use as a yardstick. And if you have no objective standard of right, you can’t know what’s wrong — not any more than you could identify unhealthful foods without believing in and knowing the rules of human nutrition.”

    So true, so true. Weaponized virtue is only useful for flinging in the faces of people with a conscience.

    I sometimes find myself falling into this very trap of prefacing my own speech. It’s a kind of virtue signaling, and it really is a disgusting practice. I’m not going to do it anymore! (Or at least I’m going to try – because I’m not perfect.) 😉

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