Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Final Solution: On Shithole Countries

If there is good in every bad happenstance, at least insofar as they are all potential learning opps, then let’s try to look on the bright side of the current furor over Donald’s Trump’s speech and in particular his use of the term “shithole countries.” To begin with this is an era in which speech is increasingly being threatened, particularly in university enclaves. William Deresiewicz’s "On Political Correctness" (American Scholar, Spring, 2017) is an especially nuanced essay that sees the notion of religious dogma lurking under the surface of a supposedly egalitarian impulse. Elites are perpetrating the notion of right ways of thinking and being that run contrary to the essence of liberal education. That’s not to say that crying fire in a crowded theater or in this case hurling racial insults at nations is an example of exercising a right. It’s beyond mere prejudice and one of the worst of many horrible things Trump has done, amongst them pulling out of the Paris Environment Accords and passing a tax bill that blatantly favors the rich. So what's good? The good lies in the fact that The New York Times gets to print “shithole” on the front page. Hopefully Trump will start calling women “cunts” and also threaten to “fuck up” Kim Jong-un so that those words will finally grace the columns of the paper of record. Trump called Senator Elizabeth Warren, “Pocahontas.” But for the sake of the language let’s hope he calls her worse. And let’s not forget “asshole,” “prick” and a host of other forbidden words which will now get their green cards.

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