Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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On Experiencing Gore Vidal’s Favorite Word

Ed Driscoll » On Experiencing Gore Vidal’s Favorite Word

Vidal is a good argument against government by an inherited aristocracy. Generations of creative talented courageous and patriotic people labored to create and preserve and improve the United States. They were honored for doing so. No matter what they did though their legacy will be judged by the conduct of their descendants.

Gore Vidal has proven deeply disloyal to the United States, the Constitution and the American people. His loyalty that he protests is not to what is but to his personal vision of what it should be. That vision is not rooted in a reasoned conviction of what best serves the greater good but rather what indulges his particular vanity. He does not seek to enlarge the space of Liberty in the future. That is served by strengthening the best friend of Freedom anywhere, the United States. He seeks only to exalt his pretension to deserve deference in the present.

Gore Vidal seeks to obscure criticism by charging that it is motivated by bigotry due to his homosexuality. That charge is false. As Erik Erickson trenchantly tweeted about a different issue, "What’s not acceptable coming from straight males can’t become acceptable just because it’s coming from a homosexual male instead." Vidal deserves public condemnation not for his private acts but for his public conduct. The device of preempting criticism of public behavior because of some private attribute is incompatible with democratic behavior.

1 comment:

marymcl said...

Remember his debates with Buckley on local TV during the Vietnam War? My father used to make us watch (and truth be told I'm glad he did) - he thought Buckley was a genius and Vidal was his favorite example of what he used to call the "half-assed intellectual" ;)