There is a totalitarian stink in the air: Someone has surely found a stash — including Uncle Joe’s 1936 edition of the Show Trial Playbook and Mr. M. Zedong’s Anti-Rightist Denunciation Guide — and shared it with the ranks of silver-spooned virtue signalers and morality monopolists. And they have been only too happy, too thrilled, to call out — to accuse — people and institutions for their inherent racism and insufficient supplications. They are bent on forging a dime-store version of the Cultural Revolution, with mayors, editors, and anyone else in their sights instantly rendered enemies of the people, just like the hog-tied, dunce-capped shopkeepers in the Chinese village square (who, of course, suffered much worse fates).
This new Red Guard — glorying in looting and destruction, demanding confessions, eating its own — is intent on attacking more than just property, on depolicing our cities: Aided and abetted by an ideologue-run media, trained on leftist campuses, it seeks the destruction of this nation at its foundation.
We’re fighting against this — we are fighting for America — every day at National Review, and to keep in this fight we have launched a short-term drive to raise $125,000. If you’d like a good reason for helping, would you consider 130?
Since this madness began at the end of May (actually, as Bill Buckley made clear in God and Man at Yale, the madness began decades ago), we have published at least that many articles covering everything — from the media screaming bias to the shocking passivity of feeble lawmakers to the wanton destruction of our cities and neighborhoods — in order to provide you with truth and sane analysis, yes, but also to sound the call that we cannot — as Rich Lowry so clearly expressed in his excellent article — let them destroy the country.
This is a fight. We fight with words and clear thinking. We fight for you, for our beliefs, for America. We fight against the Left. We fight their tactics, so reminiscent of those employed by totalitarians from ages not-so-past.
Let me suggest one of the 130 pieces: Alexandra DeSanctis’s article, “Your Silence Isn’t Enough.” We should be troubled, and motivated, by this passage:
But the Left’s view of speech is growing more insidious even than that. As the current social unrest has unfolded, vast numbers of Americans have taken to the streets to peacefully protest the unjust killing of George Floyd — a laudable choice, if a bit surprising in light of the global pandemic — or to engage in vandalism, looting, and arson. Many more have taken to social media to promote Black Lives Matter and fundraise for bail funds to release rioters from jail. Almost uniformly, these culture warriors have begun parroting the troubling notion that “silence is complicity,” demanding that we all vocally sign on to their agenda.
According to this view, if you fail to use your platform to speak out about the progressive issue du jour, you are guilty of perpetrating injustice against the oppressed. It is our civic responsibility and obligation to “educate ourselves” — by which they mean accepting and memorizing the prevailing progressive dogma — and then to repeat what we’ve learned, faithful comrades in their holy war.
On one hand, then, progressives work to ensure that contrary beliefs are disallowed in polite discourse. On the other, they insist that we are compelled by the demands of justice to speak publicly about every social-justice issue. If we articulate a view that challenges the progressive creed, they will drum us out of polite company. If we do not speak at all, we are guilty of sinning by omission.
There’s one aspect of law enforcement the Left supports: the Thought Police. We cannot let them prevail.
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