It ain’t easy being a pompous ass. In spite of all of the role models we have. If the record number of back seat driving pompous asses out there is any indication, then we certainly have made America “great” again.

Whatever happened to introspection? Self-reflection? Looking inward?

That’s all been replaced by looking at the other guy. Pointing the finger at the other guy. And I do mean . . . the finger.

Seems like the only self-reflection these days is self-aggrandizement.

Take Charlottesville.

The “alt-right” (a term I use to signify the fringe elements of the right, not all of the right) points the finger, assigns the blame, to everyone but themselves. They had a permit to be there. They were just there to exercise their right to free speech. Equal rights. Right? Really? Sounds to me like they’re for unequal rights. Singularly disgusting.

The “alt-left” (a term I use to signify the fringe elements of the left, not all of the left) points the finger, assigns the blame, to the alt-right. They had plenty of notice, but no permit. Equal rights. Right? Really? Sounds to me like the alt-left are for unequal rights too. At least on the fringe left, call it the progressives if not the alt-left, free speech means only their speech, not anyone else’s. They didn’t need no damn permits to be in Charlottesville. Or to shout down, or physically shut down, anyone whose speech is different than theirs. Isn’t that so? Are there any rules they have to follow? The left have right on their side. Right? At least as they define it. Need they heed anything more?

The Charlottesville authorities? Not their fault. Everyone else to blame. They were caught off guard. Really? The alt-right pulled their permits weeks in advance. Did it not occur to the Charlottesville authorities to anticipate alt-left pushback? To designate separate areas for each group, separated not by mere inches and foreseeably useless saw horses but by an adequately sized “demilitarized” neutral zone of at least ten feet, if not tens of feet, accessible solely by the police? Didn’t North Korea and South Korea figure that out a long time ago? Didn’t North Vietnam and South Vietnam figure that out a long time ago too? Didn’t East Berlin and West Berlin figure that out a long time ago too?

And why were cars allowed to be anywhere in the vicinity? Hasn’t anyone read Stephen King’s MR. MERCEDES or seen the recent television serialization of that novel? Both spectacular by the way. C’mon, it ain’t rocket science, what cars are being used to do. To terrorize. To kill. Stephen King figured it out, and wrote about it. Couldn’t the Charlottesville authorities have done the same? Should it not have occurred to them not to allow cars amidst all that foot traffic? That someone driving a car in that area might just be a self-aggrandizing nutcase?

And then the holier than thou not us Charlottesville authorities back-seat driving with ultimate Chutzpah afterwards. Why? Because they knew the alt-left progressive media would—and did— have their backs. Starting with the self-aggrandizing Morning Joe cast. They had a ton to say about the ever politically incorrect President, but not one word about the woefully deficient and ill-prepared Charlottesville authorities. Not. One. Word. Too busy talking about our politically incorrect President.

Speaking of whom, when it comes to self-aggrandizement, we all know who the greatest self-aggrandizer is. He just hasn’t seen an opportunity he can’t blow. Totally. But let’s be fair here. He does occasionally get something a little right, including the fact that there’s a lot of blame to go around regarding Charlottesville (I said “get,” not “say,” something right). But, hey, even a broken clock is right two times a day.

The fact is that there is much about the alt-left that is fundamentally threatening and harmful to our American principles. But the harm white supremacists, neo-Nazis and KKK would rain down on our American principles is singularly vile and repugnant. They win that contest hands down. It was equally repugnant for the President of the United States not to clearly state that. Period. He said his piece so poorly. And even when he was momentarily, and belatedly, pressured to try and fix it, he just couldn’t help himself. He just had to come back and muck it up. Again. He just had to have his way. No matter what.

And speaking of being a backseat driving pompous ass, what about the guy behind this keyboard? Nope, not him. Nothing pompous about him. Nothing on which he needs to reflect. Introspectively. He’s the one guy who has the right to point his finger at everyone else. He gets a free pass. Because, after all, it’s his keyboard. Aarrghh. 🙂

Editor’s Note: University of California at Berkeley officials have publicly announced this week that they are about to launch a one-year period of free speech on the Berkeley campus, in which all participants will be required to conduct themselves with civility. Given that bastion of intellectual pursuit’s track record over the past few years, the guy behind this keyboard might just be tempted to say “sorry, too little, too late,” and to ask why for just one year? But the guy behind this keyboard won’t do that because, hey, he needs to be civil too. He will however, counsel the University of California at Berkeley not to bring in the Charlottesville authorities to monitor this “grand” experiment on which the guy behind this keyboard thought our country was already supposedly founded. He will also observe that we have a long way to go to find our way back to sanity. In the current issue of The Week, it is reported that University of Georgia business professor Richard Watson is allowing students to choose their own grades “to relieve their stress.” Watson writes in the syllabus for his business course, “If you feel unduly stressed by a grade, email the instructor with what grade you think is appropriate and it will be so changed.” At least the predicate is that the student must represent that his or her stress is “undue.” Apparently, if one takes Professor Watson at his word, which is dubious, those suffering mere “ordinary” stress need not apply. That’s reassuring.

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