Nothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth. Point out that women and men are different, that black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime, that most terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, and the Left leaps to its collective feet in openmouthed shock, like Margaret Dumont after a Groucho Marx wisecrack. This is racism! This is sexism! This is some sort of phobia! I’m shocked, shocked to find facts being spoken in polite company!
No one is really shocked, of course. This is simply a form of bullying. The Left has co-opted our good manners and our good will in order to silence our opposition to their bad policies. The idea is to make it seem impolite and immoral to mention the obvious.
The bullying is highly effective and very dangerous. In England, in the city of Rotherham, at least 1,400 non-Muslim girls, some as young as 11, were brutally raped by Muslim immigrants over a period of years in the 2000s. Police and other officials worked to keep the facts hidden because, according to multiple reports, they were afraid of being called racist. Think about that: police officers did not want to seem racist, so they stood by and let their city’s children be raped. The same thing goes on in other cities in England and throughout Europe. And in fact, some who have spoken out have had their careers curtailed by manufactured scandal. The message is clear: it’s just not nice to tell the truth. It’s just not done. Don’t do it.
Here in the states, the First Amendment has so far allowed old-fashioned American loudmouths to fight the system whenever they could find ways around our monolithic corporate media. But the Empire of Lies is quick to strike back. Google/YouTube now stands charged by multiple accusers of singling out conservative voices for censorship, “fact-checking,” and demonetization. Hidden-camera videos released by Project Veritas this week show Twitter employees conspiring to “shadow ban” conservatives on their system. On campus, intelligent conservative speakers of good will like Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and Cristina Hoff-Somers have faced violent protests meant to shut them up.
No person of importance on the right seeks to silence anyone on the left. The Left, on the other hand, is broadly committed to ostracizing, blacklisting, and even criminalizing right-wing speech.
Enter President Donald Trump. He is a rude and crude person. He speaks like a Queens real estate guy on a construction site. And because he does not have good manners, he thoughtlessly breaks the rules with which the Left has sought to muzzle those who disagree with them. In this regard, I frequently compare Trump to Randle Patrick McMurphy, the loudmouthed, ill-mannered roustabout from Ken Kesey’s brilliant novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. McMurphy comes into an insane asylum controlled by a pleasant, smiling nightmare of a head nurse named Ratched. Nurse Ratched, while pretending to be the soul of motherly care, is actually a castrating, silencing tyrant. Her rules of good manners, supposedly fashioned for the benefit of all, are really a system of mental slavery. All of McMurphy’s salient character flaws suddenly become heroic in the context of her oppression. Only his belligerent ignorance of what constitutes good behavior can overturn the velvet strangulation of her rule.
For Nurse Ratched, read Hillary Clinton, CNN, the New York Times, Yale University, Twitter, and Google/YouTube—all the tender ministers of polite silence and enforced dishonesty. If Donald Trump’s boorishness crashes like a bull through the crystal madhouse of their leftism—well, good. It’s about time.
I don’t know exactly what Trump said in a closed-door meeting with senators at the White House this week. Unnamed sources say that he referred to some African countries and Haiti as “shitholes.” Maybe so; sounds like him. In any case, when it comes to a chance to attack Trump, our journalists don’t waste time with fact-gathering or source-identifying. Like Madonna, they just strike a pose. Various media knuckleheads have reacted to the alleged comment by calling Trump “racist,” “Nazi,” “Evil,” and a “terrorist sympathizer.”
(Personally, my first thought on hearing about the remark was: “What squirrely little tattle-tale of a weasel went running to the press with that?” But never mind. That’s just me.)
Let’s state the obvious. Some countries are shitholes. To claim that this is racist is racist. They are not shitholes because of the color of the populace but because of bad ideas, corrupt governance, false religion, and broken culture. Further, most of the problems in these countries are generated at the top. Plenty of rank-and-file immigrants from such ruined venues ultimately make good Americans—witness those who came from 1840s potato-famine Ireland, a shithole if ever there was one! It takes caution and skill to separate the good from the bad.
For these very reasons, absurd immigration procedures like chain migration, lotteries, and unvetted entries are deeply destructive. They can lead to the sort of poor choices that create a Rotherham. Trump’s suggestions—to vet immigrants for pro-American ideas and skills that will help our country—are smart and reasonable and would clearly make the system better if implemented.
So, when it comes to the Great Shithole Controversy of 2018, my feeling is: I do not care, not even a little. I’m sorry that it takes someone like Trump to break the spell of silence the Left is forever weaving around us. I wish a man like Ronald Reagan would come along and accomplish the same thing with more wit and grace. But that was another culture. History deals the cards it deals; we just play them. Trump is what we’ve got.
For all the bad language, for all the loose talk, I would rather hear a man speak as a man without fear of the Nurse Ratcheds in the press and the academy than have him neutered and gagged by a system of good manners that has been misused as a form of oppression. Better impoliteness than silence. Better crudeness than lies.
We have seen the effect of uncontrolled immigration on Europe. It is very, very bad. The fact is: some countries are shitholes. I don’t want this to become one of them.
Andrew Klavan is a novelist and City Journal contributing editor. His podcast is featured Monday through Thursday at the DailyWire.com.