I plan a post with a series of links to articles from conservatives that are contrary to the current Mandela hagiography that we are witnessing in the wake of his passing, but I am having router problems and have had limited internet access the last few days, so that post is coming. In the meantime, I wanted to get this quick post up since the subject matter is right in our wheelhouse.
Newt Gingrich has criticized conservatives who have expressed contrary and politically incorrect views about Mandela. The generally paleo friendly James Antle has an article up at TAC that says Newt Gingrich is right. It doesn’t surprise me that TAC posted such an article. In fact, I was almost certain they would. I have been checking back regularly looking for one. I am a bit surprised that it is James Antle who wrote it, however. Antle usually walks a fine line between nuancing tricky issues on the one hand but without overtly embracing the PC side on the other. This article is not finessing a touchy subject. It is embracing the other side.
Antle makes a fair point that people need to be judged in context. I made that same point in my post below, when I said that I don’t necessarily condemn Mandela for being a (small c) communist per se. (Meaning he believed Marx was on to something with regard to economics.) There were a lot of small c communists in that time and place. I do hold it againts him that he was a member of a brutal Communist party (SACP) (which he lied about) and headed an organization that used and endorsed terrorism and brutality.
Again, as I said before, in the 80′s conservatives took for granted that Mandela and the ANC were the bad guys, so to speak, in this drama. Now, conservatives must sing pre-emptive praise for Mandela just to ward off charges of racism. This illustrate the ever tightening grip of political correctness on our culture and especially our political debate. This tigtening grip must be resisted on every front rather than acquiesed to. Whatever other criticism of Antle may be in order, I think he and people like him are missing the big picture. Their efforts to finesse these issues for what they see as the benefit of conservatism actually empowers the Zeitgeist even if there may be some merit to the finesse. Appearances are key here. If it might look like a cave to PC, you should think long and hard about whether it is worth it even if your motives might not be caving to PC.
Update: This morning I posted a comment at TAC that simply said “Et tu James? Et tu TAC?” It has yet to appear. My hunch is that it won’t appear because it’s been a while and several other comments have been approved since. Also, normally it will say “Your comment is awaiting moderation” before it is posted, but you can still see it. I can no longer see my own comment which suggests to me it has been deleted and not just neglected. If so, that’s weak. Censoring critical but non-vulgar or otherwise innappropriate comments is bush league. I have posted another comment that is a modification of my last paragraph above. Let’s see if that makes the cut.