I Went Too Far

Daniel Larison argues that I went too far in a recent post on the unity ticket. He is totally correct, and in fact I think he’s being very generous. In truth, the campaign season often leaves me at a loss for words. Fulminating is the inevitable result. Frankly, it’s not even obvious to me that Lee Atwater was as bad as he’s made out to me, which is the secret subtext of at least one overheated phrase. And the notion that the Clintons engaged in obscene race-baiting tells us more about how far we’ve come in standards of civility, or rather exquisite sensitivity, than anything else. Some time ago, Rod Dreher noted that when he was a child, people thought nothing of discarding refuse out the window of a moving car while on the highway. Today, such behavior is rightly seen as boorish. Who knows what will be considered obscenely uncouth in ten years time. Perhaps men will be forced to shave their arms in response to some canny Gillette advertising campaign about how no women would associate with a Chewbacca-armed barbarian. Stranger things have happened.

Also, on an unrelated note, I did once shave my arms. Or rather my right arm. There was no drinking involved, I regret to report.