I must have seen “The Shawshank Redemption” at least a hundred times. It was an ubiquitous staple of college life in the late 1990s, like “Friends” or The Dave Matthews Band. It’s the story of a young banker, Andy Dufresene (Tim Robbins), who tries to preserve his humanity and his hope while serving a life sentence after being wrongly convicted of the murder of his wife and her lover.
In the middle of the movie an elderly prisoner, Brooks Hatlen (James Whitmore), holds another inmate hostage at knifepoint. After Andy defuses the situation it is revealed that, after 50 years in prison, Brooks will be paroled. Brooks had spent his entire adult life in prison, and he didn’t want to leave, so he reasoned that by committing another crime he could remain in prison. While Brooks’ would-be victim surmises that Brooks is simply crazy, Andy’s best friend, “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), has a different explanation: “He’s just . . . just institutionalized.”
Is the Right commencing a long countermarch through the institutions, including the very one – the academy – from which the Left’s own long march began?
Judging by the distress shown by some in the educational establishment, and like-minded corporate media, regarding higher-education reform efforts in North Carolina and Florida, one might get the impression that the countermarch is not only underway but rapidly advancing – threatening progressives’ stranglehold over schools and virtually every other American power center.
“We have two parties… One is the Evil Party and the other is the Stupid Party… Occasionally the two parties get together to do something that’s both evil and stupid. That’s called bipartisanship.”
— M. Stanton Evans
The Stupid Party strikes again.
Just one short month ago, Republican leaders and strategists were salivating over the prospect of a GOP blowout in the approaching midterms, as Joe Biden lurched from disaster to disaster. The debacle of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, raging inflation, an uncontrolled invasion at the southern border, crushing vaccine and mask mandates, and the utter failure to control COVID as promised all contributed to an apparent death spiral in the polls for Biden. With even mainstream media outlets acknowledging that the president’s polling numbers had rapidly cratered to unprecedented lows (with no bottom in sight) only one year into a new administration, it appeared that all Republicans needed to do to win big in November was to stay out of the way while the Democrats self-destructed.
The Washington Post has recused its new national editor, Matea Gold, from the news organization’s coverage of the FBI and Justice Department over a personal conflict of interest. A month before Gold was promoted, her husband, Jonathan Lenzner, was named FBI chief of staff.
A Post spokeswoman told RealClearInvestigations that the paper’s managing editor, Steven Ginsberg, will be overseeing coverage of the Justice Department and the FBI. Kristine Coratti Kelly, the paper’s chief communications officer, said the decision does not reflect on Gold’s objectivity or credibility.
“We have every confidence in Matea’s professionalism and high standards,” Kelly said. “She has recused herself from this area of coverage to avoid even the appearance of partiality.”
Whatever else can be said about the FBI’s vendetta against James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, his investigative journalism enterprise, it is a useful reminder of two things: 1) that we increasingly live in a two-tier society in which the lower tier can expect the arbitrary intrusion of all the coercive elements of the state, and 2) that the fundamental legitimacy of many important American institutions is draining away rapidly like a full bathtub that is suddenly unplugged.
Scott Johnson at Powerline has an excellent summary of the case thus far.
Last Thursday, the FBI conducted a raid against two former employees of Project Veritas.
A few days later, they conducted a dawn raid against O’Keefe himself. It was the full monty.
We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.
We know the roots and origins of the cult of wokeness.
And we know, too, how such insanity—from the Salem witch trials to Jacobinism to McCarthyism—can spread, despite alienating most of the population, through fear and the threat of personal ruin or worse. These are the dark sides of the tulip, hula-hoop, and pet-rock fads, the mass obsessions so suited to past affluent Western societies.
In the old days, Democrats had predictable agendas, supposedly focused on individual rights, the “little guy,” and distrust of the military-industrial-intelligence complex.
The Left, often on spec, blasted the wealthy, whether the “lucre” was self-made or inherited. The old-money rich were lampooned as idle drones.
Alabama A&M University in Huntsville is the latest school to close its Confucius Institute.
According to a press release from Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), the university’s board “voted to close their Confucius Institute and end their relationship with the Communist Chinese Party.”
“Confucius Institutes are nothing more than Communist Chinese Party propaganda and spying units,” said Rep. Brooks. “For nearly a year, I, and other patriotic Alabamians have called on Alabama A&M University and Troy University to close their Communist Chinese Party-controlled Confucius Institutes.”
As American schools begin the process of slowly reopening at all academic levels, over 100 colleges and universities are implementing the strictest requirements by demanding that all students receive a coronavirus vaccine before returning to school, according to CNN.
In the beginning of April, only about 14 campuses had announced such a policy. But by the end of the month, that number had increased exponentially. Only a handful of the schools have included possible exemptions for various medical, religious, or personal reasons. The majority of schools demanding such mandatory vaccinations are private schools.
Post-World War II institutions are unraveling, and there’s panic here and abroad about it.
The transnational Left is starting to lose the means by which it seeks to shape the world without voter involvement. And the neo-cons are seeing their means of geopolitical intervention weaken.