By Arnold Ahlert
The A&E/Duck Dynasty circus and an effort in South Florida to
denigrate a Christmas creche display are both driven by the same
components. They are classic examples of political correctness run amok,
coupled with the idea that the whiners of the world are somehow
entitled to special consideration, even when that consideration amounts
to nothing more than the tyranny of the minority.
begin with Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson. I don’t watch the show, I
have never watched the show and, quite frankly, I find America’s
obsession with so-called reality TV a bit depressing. To me it’s the
equivalent of slowing down at an accident site, hoping to see some blood
and guts, or at the very least, someone whose life has taken a turn
worse than one’s own. In fact, I would submit that the primary reason
for the public’s attraction to reality shows is a combination of
voyeurism and “schadenfreude”. People like seeing what is ostensibly
private, and they take a certain amount of delight in the notion that
others, especially celebrities, are every bit as boring and screwed up
as the average American.
And while it may seem that Duck Dynasty doesn’t fit that particular
description, Americans would be naive to believe it was conceived by the
suits at A&E to be an uplifting look at an unusual family. Make no
mistake: it was supposed to be a har-di-har-har, “look at those
stupid rednecks” putdown of American flyover country. Trust me when I
tell you that no one was more surprised than those same A&E execs
when it not only didn’t turn out that way, it became the smash
hit of cable TV. They were surprised because they conflate bicoastal
elitism with “superior” values. That attitude makes them virtually
immune to the idea that millions of Americans might be laughing with the Robertsons and not at them.
Even worse? Those same Americans might share at least some of the Robertson family values.
Enter the infamous GQ interview. Here are the three quotes that engendered a leftist firestorm:
1. “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more
desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s
more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know
what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not
2. “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.
Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that
woman and those men,” he says. (Then he paraphrases Corinthians): “Don’t
be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male
prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the
slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t
deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
3. “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black
person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for
the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re
white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I
never heard one of them, one black person, say, I tell you what: These
doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you
say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was
singing the blues.”
Note a couple of things. First, because Robertson’s personal opinions about sin and personal experience
with black Americans don’t align themselves with leftist sensibilities,
he was automatically branded a homophobe and a racist. Second, the
greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers and the swindlers apparently
haven’t organized themselves nearly as well as the militant homosexuals
or the racial hucksters, neither of whom ever miss an opportunity to tell their fellow Americans what an irredeemably homophobic and racist nation we live in.
Equally important, both groups are willing to distort both the
meaning and the intent of the above quotes to advance that narrative.
Here’s the short version of Robertson’s outlook: he believes
homosexuality and a whole host of other things are sinful, and he had a
happy experience with black Americans growing up. Everything else you’ve
read and heard otherwise, every interpretation, extrapolation or
“hidden” meaning presented as the “real” story is part of the
aforementioned distortion. A coordinated, willful and orchestrated
distortion by those who believe they own the franchise on what everyone should believe.
In other words, political correctness is nothing more than pure
intimidation. And despite the nauseatingly endless professions of
“tolerance” that emanate from the progressive side of the cultural
divide, you either get with their program, or you’re a target.
Unfortunately, that’s only half the agenda. The other half concerns
the leftist notion that tolerance and approval are interchangeable
terms. That’s an absolute crock. There are plenty of things one is
willing to tolerate in our pluralistic society. But the idea that
tolerance must lead directly to approval—lest one become less of human
being for failing to bridge that gap—is a bridge too far. It’s precisely
that “sale” the left has endeavored to make for decades, and it
represents the antithesis of a pluralistic society. It is nothing less
than totalitarianism masquerading itself as enlightened thinking.
The ultimate manifestation of a truly pluralistic society can be
reduced to four words: live and let live. You want approval for
something? Go see your mommy—or your colleagues in whatever grievance
group that’s been organized to collectivize your indignation
Which brings us to item two, a South Florida newspaper’s castigation
of a town Mayor willing to defy the doyens of PC, and erect a Christmas
creche on public property. “Our region takes pride in being a melting
pot of religions and beliefs and nationalities,” writes the Sun-Sentinel editorial board. “People from all over the world come here to visit and live, and they should be respected.”
So what constitutes disrespect? Try this with regard to the city of Deerfield Beach and its Mayor Jean Robb:
Commissioners passed a law in October that allows no one but the
city to erect holiday displays on city land. At the same time, the city
said the Nativity scene that has long appeared in December at Fire
Station No. 1 at Federal Highway and Hillsboro Boulevard would not be
there anymore. They said they didn’t plan to add any more religious
displays, and if they did, the entire commission would have to make the
It was a smart decision, recognizing the separation of church and
state and limiting the possibility of lawsuits against the city.
Ah, but Jean Robb would have none of that.
Last week, at her direction, the Nativity scene was again set up
at the fire station, apparently without the approval of the rest of the
city commission. And Robb was particularly insulting in explaining why
the creche was returned.
“I really feel that no one should tell us how we should celebrate
the most sacred occurrence on the Christian calendar,” she said. “Ninety
percent of the people in the United States celebrate Christmas. The
other 10 percent shouldn’t influence the way we celebrate our holiday.”
In other words if you don’t hold the same beliefs as Jean Robb, you probably shouldn’t feel welcome in Deerfield Beach.
Again, note a couple of things. The Nativity scene had “long
appeared” at the fire station—meaning that for a long time, live and let
live was the operative factor in Deerfield Beach, just as it had been
all over the nation—for decades—before the rise of political
correctness. Further note, that this rise has engendered one of two
outcomes: despite the reality that the overwhelming majority of
Americans celebrate Christmas, these scenes either have to be removed
completely, or every other religion and ism must be equally represented
to the point of absurdity.
That absurdity was epitomized by the display at the capitol rotunda in Madison, Wisconsin where a 30-foot Christmas tree, a nativity-like scene that mocks
religion and a Festivus pole occupy the space. “The rotunda is getting
very cluttered,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom
from Religion Foundation. “But if a devotional nativity display is
allowed, then there must be ‘room at the inn’ for all points of view,
including irreverency and free thought.”
Much to her credit, Deerfield Mayor Jean Robb was having none of that kind of all-or-nothing nonsense.
Thus, the Sentinel
concluded her attitude was “insulting,” even as it further insisted
that one “shouldn’t feel welcome in Deerfield Beach” because there’s a
Christmas creche sitting in front of a fire house—at Christmas time.
Oh, the humanity!
My letter to the editor was short and sweet: “Mayor Jean Robb’s
rationale for erecting a Christmas creche was spot on. Those who are
offended, or as the Sun-Sentinel editorial board suggests, ‘feel
unwelcome’ in Deerfield Beach, need to get a life. As for the
Constitution, the mayor didn’t ‘establish’ anything. And it’s freedom of religion, not freedom from it.”
I can only speak for myself, but I’m betting more than a few
Americans are sick and tired of the whiners who think the rest of us
should kowtow to their oh-so-delicate sensibilities, to the point where
everyone from Satanists to Jerry Seinfeld fans should be accommodated in
a Christmas display, or a single complaint about something
should be equally weighed against the desires of an overwhelming
majority of people. Those who insist that no one can prioritize
anything, or profess to be “offended” by something like a Nativity scene
have deeper issues. Many of those issues are animated by the simple
reality that, despite pious professions of tolerance and inclusion, far
too many of our leftist brethren aren’t happy unless they are making
their fellow Americans miserable.
Last week the PC crowd and the whiners got shot down. Phil Robertson
is back on Duck Dynasty, and the Christmas creche remains on display in
Deerfield Beach, all the hang-wring and gnashing of teeth
notwithstanding. Hopefully, it’s the beginning of a trend. Americans
shouldn’t feel like they have to walk on eggshells regarding what they
believe, no matter how politically incorrect. That’s what the
marketplace of free ideas is all about. Nor should they feel beholden to
those who bristle at the notion of live and let live, when it intrudes
on their hypersensitive universe. The elitists and the complainers need
to get over themselves. Despite every effort on their part, they lost
these two battles for the simplest of reasons: a lot of Americans can
still think for themselves.
Nothing angers—and frightens—the American left more than that.
Canada Free Press