The Cultural White Walkers Have Descended

The Cultural White Walkers Have Descended By  for The Federalist

American culture is past the point of peaceable navigation of conflict. The Left seeks to destroy all that Christian conservatives hold dear.

It’s worth considering the important argument between Sohrab Ahmari of the New York Post and David French of National Review over the past few days. As with many stupid arguments, it started on Twitter.

Thankfully, it bloomed into something more interesting. You can get the background here, with David French advancing his typical “decency and civility” argument against the current sentiments of conservatives locked into the culture wars.

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I don’t want to pick on Sohrab, but I get this sentiment quite a bit. According to some folks on Twitter, I don’t “fight.” I’m too polite for these times. I’m too much of a squish. Apparently, the lesson I learned from a better lawyer than me has been transformed into a kind of defect. A weakness.

But in the example above, what did politeness, respect, and dignity cost anyone? We prevailed in the case. We vindicated our client and achieved a just result. At the same time, we treated other human beings with dignity and respect.

[This piece prompts the typical eyerolls I have toward the always predictable French. Can someone just form the Politeness and Decency Third Party already? I get it, it’s a view, just form it and Mitt Romney can caucus with it and then the rest of the center-right coalition can nod and move on.]

But at the same time, French’s argument – concerning a case before the Kentucky Courts – doesn’t engage at all with the situation Ahmari is talking about. He is talking about a situation constrained by the rules of civility required within a court proceeding, where failing to abide by said rules can find you in contempt. He is not engaging with the culture war situation Ahmari mentioned, hot-button, toxic, and without any of the mitigating entities promised by the American court system.

When French asks, “what did politeness, respect, and dignity cost anyone?”, he sounds like a hockey coach planning to run an all-finesse team out onto the ice. Perhaps their politeness, respect, and dignity will be awarded with a honor in defeat medal. Ahmari is more interested in a form of victory, as he sees it – which could be defined as a restorationist aim, or perhaps “leave us alone, or else” – and he blames French’s mindset for much of the losing.

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