Dilbert to The Rescue

How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble

Posted August 17th, 2017 @ 12:36pm By Scott Adams

History is full of examples of Mass Hysterias. They happen fairly often. The cool thing about mass hysterias is that you don’t know when you are in one. But sometimes the people who are not experiencing the mass hysteria can recognize when others are experiencing one, if they know what to look for.

I’ll teach you what to look for.
image

A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias. In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it. The Salem Witch Trials are the best-known example of mass hysteria. The McMartin Pre-School case and the Tulip Bulb hysteria are others. The dotcom bubble probably qualifies. We might soon learn that the Russian Collusion story was mass hysteria in hindsight. The curious lack of solid evidence for Russian collusion is a red flag. But we’ll see how that plays out.

The most visible Mass Hysteria of the moment involves the idea that the United States intentionally elected a racist President. If that statement just triggered you, it might mean you are in the Mass Hysteria bubble. The cool part is that you can’t fact-check my claim you are hallucinating if you are actually hallucinating. But you can read my description of the signs of mass hysteria and see if you check off the boxes.

If you’re in the mass hysteria, recognizing you have all the symptoms of hysteria won’t help you be aware you are in it. That’s not how hallucinations work. Instead, your hallucination will automatically rewrite itself to expel any new data that conflicts with its illusions.

But if you are not experiencing mass hysteria, you might be totally confused by the actions of the people who are. They appear to be irrational, but in ways that are hard to define. You can’t tell if they are stupid, unscrupulous, ignorant, mentally ill, emotionally unstable or what. It just looks frickin’ crazy.

The reason you can’t easily identify what-the-hell is going on in the country right now is that a powerful mass hysteria is in play. If you see the signs after I point them out, you’re probably not in the hysteria bubble. If you read this and do NOT see the signs, it probably means you’re trapped inside the mass hysteria bubble.

Here are some signs of mass hysteria. This is my own take on it, but I welcome you to fact-check it with experts on mass hysteria.

1. The trigger event for cognitive dissonance

On November 8th of 2016, half the country learned that everything they believed to be both true and obvious turned out to be wrong. The people who thought Trump had no chance of winning were under the impression they were smart people who understood their country, and politics, and how things work in general. When Trump won, they learned they were wrong. They were so very wrong that they reflexively (because this is how all brains work) rewrote the scripts they were seeing in their minds until it all made sense again. The wrong-about-everything crowd decided that the only way their world made sense, with their egos intact, is that either the Russians helped Trump win or there are far more racists in the country than they imagined, and he is their king. Those were the seeds of the two mass hysterias we witness today.

Trump supporters experienced no trigger event for cognitive dissonance when Trump won. Their worldview was confirmed by observed events.

2. The Ridiculousness of it

One sign of a good mass hysteria is that it sounds bonkers to anyone who is not experiencing it. Imagine your neighbor telling you he thinks the other neighbor is a witch. Or imagine someone saying the local daycare provider is a satanic temple in disguise. Or imagine someone telling you tulip bulbs are more valuable than gold. Crazy stuff.

Compare that to the idea that our president is a Russian puppet. Or that the country accidentally elected a racist who thinks the KKK and Nazis are “fine people.” Crazy stuff.

If you think those examples don’t sound crazy – regardless of the reality – you are probably inside the mass hysteria bubble.

3. The Confirmation Bias

If you are inside the mass hysteria bubble, you probably interpreted President Trump’s initial statement on Charlottesville – which was politically imperfect to say the least – as proof-positive he is a damned racist.

If you are outside the mass hysteria bubble you might have noticed that President Trump never campaigned to be our moral leader. He presented himself as – in his own words “no angel” – with a set of skills he offered to use in the public’s interest. He was big on law and order, and equal justice under the law. But he never offered moral leadership. Voters elected him with that knowledge. Evidently, Republicans don’t depend on politicians for moral leadership. That’s probably a good call.

When the horror in Charlottesville shocked the country, citizens instinctively looked to their president for moral leadership. The president instead provided a generic law and order statement. Under pressure, he later named specific groups and disavowed the racists. He was clearly uncomfortable being our moral lighthouse. That’s probably why he never described his moral leadership as an asset when running for office. We observe that he has never been shy about any other skill he brings to the job, so it probably isn’t an accident when he avoids mentioning any ambitions for moral leadership. If he wanted us to know he would provide that service, I think he would have mentioned it by now.

If you already believed President Trump is a racist, his weak statement about Charlottesville seems like confirmation. But if you believe he never offered moral leadership, only equal treatment under the law, that’s what you saw instead. And you made up your own mind about the morality.

The tricky part here is that any interpretation of what happened could be confirmation bias. But ask yourself which one of these versions sounds less crazy:

1. A sitting president, who is a branding expert, thought it would be a good idea to go easy on murderous Nazis as a way to improve his popularity.

or…

2. The country elected a racist leader who is winking to the KKK and White Supremacists that they have a free pass to start a race war now.

or…

3. A mentally unstable racist clown with conman skills (mostly just lying) eviscerated the Republican primary field and won the presidency. He keeps doing crazy, impulsive racist stuff. But for some reason, the economy is going well, jobs are looking good, North Korea blinked, ISIS is on the ropes, and the Supreme Court got a qualified judge. It was mostly luck.

or…

4. The guy who didn’t offer to be your moral leader didn’t offer any moral leadership, just law and order, applied equally. His critics cleverly and predictably framed it as being soft on Nazis.

One of those narratives is less crazy-sounding than the others. That doesn’t mean the less-crazy one has to be true. But normal stuff happens far more often than crazy stuff. And critics will frame normal stuff as crazy whenever they get a chance.

4. The Oversized Reaction

It would be hard to overreact to a Nazi murder, or to racists marching in the streets with torches. That stuff demands a strong reaction. But if a Republican agrees with you that Nazis are the worst, and you threaten to punch that Republican for not agreeing with you exactly the right way, that might be an oversized reaction.

5. The Insult without supporting argument

When people have actual reasons for disagreeing with you, they offer those reasons without hesitation. Strangers on social media will cheerfully check your facts, your logic, and your assumptions. But when you start seeing ad hominem attacks that offer no reasons at all, that might be a sign that people in the mass hysteria bubble don’t understand what is wrong with your point of view except that it sounds more sensible than their own.

For the past two days I have been disavowing Nazis on Twitter. The most common response from the people who agree with me is that my comic strip sucks and I am ugly.

The mass hysteria signals I described here are not settled science, or anything like it. This is only my take on the topic, based on personal observation and years of experience with hypnosis and other forms of persuasion. I present this filter on the situation as the first step in dissolving the mass hysteria. It isn’t enough, but more persuasion is coming. If you are outside the mass hysteria bubble, you might see what I am doing in this blog as a valuable public service. If you are inside the mass hysteria bubble, I look like a Nazi collaborator.

How do I look to you?

 

America

By Charlie Daniels |

The heartbreaking incidents we saw in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend vividly demonstrates the social, ideological, and sadly, racial divisions in our nation, divisions that have been encouraged by opportunistic politicians, self-serving minority leaders, hate groups, radical ideologues and paid rabble rousers.

Whether it’s Black Lives Matters marching down a street chanting about frying police officers like bacon or white supremacists waving swastikas and screaming hateful racial epithets, whether it’s a venue full of college students shouting down a speaker with opposing views or a random drive by shooting of a rival gang member, they all demonstrate how not just divided but, rather, how shattered our nation really is.

The reasons for this sorry situation are almost as diverse as the situation itself, but at least, in my humble opinion, it all boils down to two words, respect and responsibility.

We have come to a point where so many of us have no respect for the views of other people.

The traditional method for settling differences of opinion was debate.  Proponents would sit down and look at both sides of the issue, actually listening to and considering the other person’s position and respecting their right to voice it.

And usually middle ground can be found if both parties are willing to accept the validity of the other person’s argument.

Unfortunately, the debates have disintegrated into screaming matches and the respect into total intolerance.

When preceding generations went to school, discipline was the first order of the day. Disrespect for the teacher carried zero tolerance, which created an orderly and closely supervised atmosphere for learning. And if you didn’t learn, you didn’t pass.

If you went out for a sport, if you couldn’t cut it, you didn’t make the team. I know, because I’ve failed to make the team, and it spurred me and motivated me to work harder to improve myself so I could measure up and make the next team.

There were no ribbons for also-rans, no consolation prizes for losers, no participation trophies, and nobody was patting you on the back telling you it wasn’t your fault that you couldn’t make the grade, that it was really unfair that others did better than you did, that you were disadvantaged for some reason or other and that you should just take your place at the end of the line as the norm for your life, bitter and resentful.

No, what you were told was this: if you want to pass this test, study; if you want to make this team, get yourself in shape; if you want to make something out of yourself you’d better accept the responsibility for your own actions and develop a hardcore work ethic.

Respect for law officers, the very people who put their lives on the line for us every day, who risk life and limb by just showing up for work, has reached a deplorable level, as evidenced by the amount of police shootings around the nation.

And there are those who, given a chance, would seriously reduce the levels of discipline in our armed forces, the discipline that means the difference between life and death in battle conditions.

An overly permissive society is never equipped to deal with its own results as ideology is seldom practical, given to overkill and unrealistic pipe dreams and in the effort to level playing fields actually tilts them, much as compassionate green minded activists upset the natural order when they try to influence the ecology and bring about an overabundance of some species that actually contributes to the dwindling population of others.

Human beings were, from their creation, meant to respect authority, to earn their bread by the toil of their hands and the sweat of their brow. They were meant to obey the laws of God and man and to sit down and reason together.

My fervent prayer for our beloved America is that we will one day, again, live up to the word “united.”

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Blame Canada

South Park on my mind. 🙂 when reading about this Leftist Atrocity:

Canada passed a law Thursday making it illegal to use the wrong gender pronouns. Critics say that Canadians who do not subscribe to progressive gender theory could be accused of hate crimes, jailed, fined, and made to take anti-bias training.

Canada’s Senate passed Bill C-16, which puts “gender identity” and “gender expression” into both the country’s Human Rights Code, as well as the hate crime category of its Criminal Code.

Then it was passed by the full Legislature and got official royal approval so it’s now Law.

Forced Government speech. “hate” speech if you don’t.

There will be a test later. And an Army of Lawyers on Speed Dial if you slip up.

Pronouns – A How To Guide

Pronoun cards 2016-01

Pronoun cards 2016-02Note: the top line is meant to indicate two separate – but similarly spelled – sets of pronouns. They are ae/aer/aers and fae/faer/faers.

Gender Neutral / Gender Inclusive Pronouns

A gender neutral or gender inclusive pronoun is a pronoun which does not associate a gender with the individual who is being discussed.

Some languages, such as English, do not have a gender neutral or third gender pronoun available, and this has been criticized, since in many instances, writers, speakers, etc. use “he/his” when referring to a generic individual in the third person. Also, the dichotomy of “he and she” in English does not leave room for other gender identities, which is a source of frustration to the transgender and gender queer communities.

People who are limited by languages which do not include gender neutral pronouns have attempted to create them, in the interest of greater equality.

HE/SHE HIM/HER HIS/HER HIS/HERS HIMSELF/HERSELF
zie zim zir zis zieself
sie sie hir hirs hirself
ey em eir eirs eirself
ve ver vis vers verself
tey ter tem ters terself
e em eir eirs emself

https://uwm.edu/lgbtrc/support/gender-pronouns/

No pressure. There is just an Army of Lawyers on Speed Dial waiting for you to “offend” someone so they can destroy you and a Government that will arrest you if you don’t comply.

Happy Trails, Citizen.

 

Hero No More

One of the South’s & Confederacy’s “gods” Masser Robert is now Politically Inconvenient so now he’s bein smeared by the Leftist that once revered him as a God.

After all, The Confederacy was a Democrat thing. Slavery was a Democrat thing. Being against Civil Rights in the 1960s was a Democrat thing.

So 50 years later you re-write history and the mindless buy into it.

Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest military leaders in human history. He was also a deeply honorable man of his time.

But his time is up. He’s more useful for a 2 Minute Hate (see Orwell) stretch out for days, weeks, months, longer if need be. He is now a punching bag for the manipulations of The Left.

The removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee was the flashpoint that brought white supremacists to Charlottesville, Virginia, and reignited a national debate over Confederate monuments. But what do most Americans know about the Confederate general?

Not enough, says George Rasley, editor of Conservative HQ — especially racists want to use Lee as a symbol of white supremacy and liberals want to see him erased from American history. In a Conservative HQ n op-ed titled “Misusing Robert E. Lee,” Rasley argues that both sides in the debate over Lee’s legacy miss that he opposed slavery and helped end the Civil War before it turned into a bloody guerrilla war.

Knowing Lee’s place in history is important, particularly as the left seeks to use him as a symbol of division. Progressives know that Lee has many defenders — and they also know that conservatives who stand up for Lee’s memory can be falsely painted as apologists for slavery and the old order of the Confederacy.

Yet, few involved in the debate actually know Lee’s complicated history.

Offered a position as the commander of the Union forces, Rasley points out, “Lee refused the command on the grounds that he was a Virginian and owed his first allegiance to the state he believed was a sovereign entity with the right to stay in or leave the Union as it saw fit. He would, he said, not make war on the Union, but he would defend the state of his birth.”

However, when Virginia seceded, the general felt his sympathies residing with his home state. “I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty,” he said.

As for his feelings on slavery, Rasley notes that “(w)hile Lee espused the paternalistic attitudes many Nineteenth Century Americans felt toward Africans, it certainly wasn’t because he believed slavery was just.” In fact, what Lee said about slavery may surprise a number of people who aren’t familiar with Lee’s views on the matter

“There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil,” Lee wrote back in 1856, in a letter written in response to a speech given by then-President Franklin Pierce.

Lee’s views on race may not be ones we entertain today, but few if any Americans — even those that we rightly hail as heroes of the emancipation — held opinions we consider appropriate on the matter. As for why he fought for the South, Lee simply believed the United States was, as Rasley says,  “an association of sovereign states that could, if they chose, leave it or dissolve it.” After all, as the Declaration of Independence notes, “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” Lee believed his state — and the rest of the South — was simply following the tenets of one of our founding documents.

However, Rasley argues that “it isn’t what Lee did before and during the Civil War that makes him such an important figure in American history — and one that should be honored — it is what he did after the Civil War that earned him the memorials erected to his memory and a place in history that should be honored by all.”

“When Lee surrendered at Appomattox he also signed a parole document swearing upon his honor not to bear arms against the United States or to ‘tender aid to its enemies.’ Lee’s surrender and his immediate parole were essential in preventing the Civil War from continuing as a destructive guerrilla war that would have continued to rend the country indefinitely.”

Lee spent his retirement as the president of Washington College in Virginia (which would be renamed as Washington & Lee) and would urge reconciliation between the North and the South. In his public letters, he urged “all should unite in honest efforts to obliterate the effects of war and to restore the blessings of peace.”

Does this sound like the kind of man who would urge belligerent white nationalists to violence over a statue of him? Does this sound like the kind of man who would tolerate those who would give succor to the enemies of the United States in the reprehensible, intimidatory way that the vomitous cretins who held aloft the flag of Nazi Germany in Charlottesville this past Saturday did? Does this sound like a man who would support domestic terrorism?

No. You may not agree with the decisions that Robert E. Lee made or the views that he held, but let us remember that he spent the rest of his life atoning for the war and his views weren’t just his own but those of his era. He was a man who was opposed to slavery and wanted to bind the wounds that the war caused.

The liberal media wants to make Lee the avatar of the abominable rabble that descended upon Charlottesville and left three people dead in its wake. What they hope America never hears is who he really was.

Yes, some racists and bigots are in favor of keeping Confederate monuments. Nobody is denying that. We believe they are in the minority. The vast majority of people who want to want to keep these statues wish to honor our history and the men who played a part in it. Let us all turn away from the despicable ideologies we saw on display in Virginia this weekend — but let us also not let the media pretend that those ideologies are what the debate over Confederate monuments is about. (Conservative Tribune)

They are Charlottesville

I would like to congratulate the “White Nationalist” twits in Charlottesville, VA for giving The Left EXACTLY what they needed, a poster child for the Not-Them. A violent, White, Agressive Thug. Everything they like to tell people anyone who isn’t them is.

So thanks for that.

Now any Trump Supporter are these assclowns just waiting to burst out and kill you. They boogeyman personified.

It doesn’t matter who created who. It’s who can use who. And with an abusively biased Ministry of Truth we just personified Goldstein, the opposition and they will use it relentlessly I guarantee it.

The fact that The Left’s hate created this monster will be about as far from their thoughts as the remnants of the Big Bang are physically, light years away.

Because, to them, and their ideological needs, WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY. They just have a new poster child.

And symbolism is everything to them.

John Hawkins:

The liberal media is dying to blame it all on Donald Trump, but it should look in the mirror.

To begin with, the liberal media is almost entirely responsible for growing the Alt-Right merger of hate groups and internet trolls. Most people are well aware of the stifling political correctness that reached an apex under Barack Obama. People are sick and tired of being attacked and scolded by the humorless left-wing thought police every time they stray from the latest liberal doctrine.

As an aside: Try being unhappy about a Female 13th Doctor and see how much scorn and hellfire you get. 🙂

That created a large group of people who enjoyed tweaking social justice warriors and some of them realized the easiest way to do that was with racial slurs. Every time some doofus leaves a noose on a college campus or says the N-word, it’s treated like a national crisis. If you’re an anonymous troll who enjoys getting people to react to everything you say, that’s a FEATURE, not a bug. All you have to do is say something racially offensive and all these people who studiously try to ignore you will go out of their minds.

That racial element gave the Nazis, white supremacists and KKK mouth-breathers a way to connect with the more socially adept trolls making the Pepe the Frog memes. Of course, the media liberals fueled them as well with their hypocrisy. They painted EVERY white supporter of Donald Trump or the Republican Party as a racist even as they ignored and defended the vicious anti-white rhetoric that has become commonplace on the Left. Just to give you a quick example of that, there was a hashtag that trended on Twitter after the attack called #ThisIsNotUS. It started out as a way for white liberals to virtue signal, but it quickly turned into an all too typical attack on white people, America and Trump voters. Here are some of the most popular comments from the hashtag…

#ThisIsNotUs Then who is it? 63% of white men & 53% of white women voted for KKK-endorsed Trump. The majority of EVERY OTHER ETHNICITY didn’t

If you are white and you are trying to say #ThisIsNotUs you are part of the problem.

If you’re earnestly tweeting #ThisIsNotUS, know that the you might as well have been one of the white supremacists walking w/ tiki torches.

Every white person that tweets #ThisIsNotUs is being complicit in not addressing the rampant racism and bigotry that in their community

#ThisIsNotUS? Easy to say so. Unfortunately you can’t have the Black, Brown, Asian, Jewish, Muslim or LGTBQ “experience” to know #THISISYOU

Gaga, prime example of a white woman using tag #ThisIsNotUs like this country wasn’t built on slavery & racism. THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN AmeriKa

#ThisIsNotUs is how white people try to absolve themselves from their complicity in white supremacy; it v much is you, your inaction fuels it

The biggest talking point white supremacists have are comments like these. Would that be true if the mainstream media actually treated these comments with the same sort of contempt it has for the Alt-Right?

Nope.

Yet these sort of comments are MAINSTREAM on the Left. Let me repeat that. They are MAINSTREAM on the Left.

 

On the other hand, white supremacists are nothing on the Right. David Duke is a joke. Richard Spencer? Let me tell you a little story about Richard Spencer. I was walking around CPAC and noticed an enormous gaggle of media surrounding someone I didn’t recognize, who didn’t seem to be drawing a crowd of regular attendees. As it turns out, the massive group of media people weren’t following a big name. They were following Richard Spencer, who was later kicked out of the conference, presumably because the organizers never wanted him there in the first place.

Yet Richard Spencer, like David Duke before him, is treated like some kind of rock star by the media liberals even though he’s a nobody in the conservative movement. Why? Because they don’t care about conservative opinion. They don’t care about conservative views. They care about creating propaganda that paints the Right as a bunch of hood-wearing, Nazi-saluting scumbags. So, they treat Richard Spencer like a rock star.

This creates a sort of Kim Kardashian effect. Ninety five percent of any influence Spencer has comes from the fact that anything he does is a big deal to the media. Why were Spencer and Duke able to gather even 500 Tiki torch-waving idiots in Charlottesville? Because the media would cover everything they did with bated breath. It gave them a chance to feel important, to feel like they were making an impact. In fact, white supremacists have started to believe its own BS because they keep hearing it from the media. After fighting with Richard Spencer on Twitter, I still remember one of his fans claiming that white supremacists were an essential part of Trump getting elected. My response was….

 

“Yeah, you guys made a bunch of Holocaust memes & called people cucks and then you’re all….’I’m helping.’”

The hardcore racists out there are pariahs everywhere except in the mainstream media, where they’re treated as incredibly important.

On the other hand, the same mainstream media that has elevated the Alt-Right has been silent as violence has increasingly become a mainstay at liberal protests, including the counter-protest of this event. A few shops getting looted or people getting hurt doesn’t stop the media from describing a liberal event as a peaceful protest. Even the counter-protests in Charlottesville were widely described as “peaceful.” Yet, protesters chanted “From the Midwest to the South, punch a Nazi in the mouth,” a female reporter was punched by one of those counter-protesters, the organizer of the rally was hit, and other people were attacked. That’s not peaceful. That’s something LIBERAL POLITICIANS should be asked to condemn.

 

In other words, Nazi and KKK members are HORRIBLE. The violent liberal counter-protesters are ALSO horrible. James Alex Fields, Jr? Who appears to have marched at the rally before plowing into a crowd? I condemn what he did. I also condemn the Bernie supporter who shot up a congressional Republican softball game. Additionally, I will condemn the next person on the Left or the Right who kills someone over politics, which seems inevitable when you have opposing sides carrying shields and weapons to political rallies. Those condemnations don’t make a damn bit of difference as long as the liberal media keeps elevating white supremacists and excusing the violence of the Alt-Left. I’m genuinely sorry people are dying at political rallies, but it would be surprising if the death at Charlottesville were the last one. Their blood will be on the hands of the liberal media.

The Civil War the Liberal Media WANTS is on. Whether you like it or not.

 

Whitewashing History

On July 7, the University of Mississippi—Ole Miss—announced it would re-name the James K. Vardaman Building, which houses among other things the university’s Violence Prevention Office.

That was a nice touch. When former Democrat Governor James Vardaman died in 1930, his legacy was not exactly violence prevention. In 1907, as sitting governor he declared, “If it is necessary, every Negro in the state will be lynched; it will be done to maintain white supremacy.”

“[I]t’s an old game.”

Ole Miss’s decision to demote Vardaman comes at a time when many colleges and universities and some city governments are embroiled in controversies over whether to remove statues or otherwise de-commemorate historical figures whose legacies now seem less than wholesome. Vardaman, who is among the most vicious racists ever to hold public office in the United States, is an unrivaled example.

Extolling Mississippi’s poll tax, Vardaman spoke with his usual candor: “There is no use to equivocate or lie about the matter… Mississippi’s constitutional convention of 1890 was held for no other purpose than to eliminate the nigger from politics.”

The memory of Vardaman belongs in the textbooks, not over the portals of university buildings. But what about figures such as Woodrow Wilson? In November 2015, students organized as the Black Justice league at Princeton University occupied President Eisgruber’s office to demand the removal of Wilson’s name “from all buildings.”

Wilson, who served as Princeton’s president prior to being elected the governor of New Jersey and president of the United States, was definitely no friend to American blacks. After receiving a letter from NAACP founder Oswald Garrison Villard deploring his administration’s decision to segregate black federal workers behind screens, Wilson insisted that segregation “reduced tensions between the races.” And Wilson’s affinity for eugenics is no secret: as Governor of New Jersey he signed a bill permitting the sterilization of criminals and the mentally ill.

Princeton took the demand to scrub Wilson’s name seriously. Princeton’s board of trustees convened a committee to study the proposal. In April 2016, the board accepted the committee’s recommendation to keep Wilson’s name, but also created a new program to foster “diversity and inclusion.”

When it comes to de-commemoration, lines must be drawn. Vardaman is known for nothing other than oppression of blacks. Wilson has a more complex legacy. Wilson’s advocacy for international institutions based on human rights and the rule of law eventually undergirded a US-dominated world order. Princeton rightly took this into account.

However, it isn’t always easy to draw a line between “flawed men” like Wilson who might still be worthy of recognition and figures like Vardaman who deserve nothing but opprobrium.

Consider Yale’s decision to rename Calhoun College. Although John C. Calhoun was an ardent defender of slavery, he was an accomplished public servant and reformer.

When President James Monroe tapped Calhoun to head the War Department, he advocated for the development of a professionally trained army in place of the smaller, local militias that barely scraped by British forces during the War of 1812. Though congressional Jeffersonians fought his efforts tooth-and-nail, public opinion would eventually reflect Calhoun’s view.

Calhoun also favored the development of roads and later a national railway system that would have protected domestic trade from foreign interference with coastal shipping.

Did having a college at Yale named after an alumnus who became vice president and a leading figure in antebellum politics stain the university? Perhaps some stains are better left intact. Calhoun was a man of his time and place, but he was also a statesman who spoke, at least some of the time, to noble aspirations. Statesmanship is totally absent in a figure like Vardaman. That seems one distinction worth maintaining.

There is, ironically, another line of defense for preserving Calhoun’s name. The idea for which he is best known—nullification—lives on among today’s progressives. You would think they would want to give credit where credit is due.

Governor Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) had no problem applying Calhoun’s nullification logic to support his decision to defy federal immigration laws. And progressive activists tapped into their inner-Calhoun when they encouraged the Golden State’s secession after Donald Trump’s upset election victory last year.

Progressives also displayed their latent attraction to Antebellum views on race in 1969 when Wesleyan university agreed to provide segregated housing for blacks, saying the decision would quell racial tensions on campus. Just two years ago, Brown University released a “Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan” detailing the school’s effort to promote “culturally conscious mental health,” a euphemism for hiring black psychologists exclusively for black students.

Woodrow Wilson, the ur-progressive, would surely have approved. Brown University has restored his concept of screening off the blacks.

The urgency among universities to whitewash history by eliminating conspicuous apologists for slavery collides with their competing urgency to validate neo-racist policies.

When Trinity College reinstated Prof. Johnny Eric Williams after the widely reported #letthemfuckingdie incident, the AAUP celebrated his exoneration. And the Chronicle of Higher Education rushed to defend Tommy Curry’s advocacy for racial violence against whites on the grounds that his views were why Texas A&M hired him.

It’s possible that what we’re witnessing on university campuses is simply the triumph of one identity politics over another. It isn’t hard to see the “intersection” between Lost Causers and modern day multiculturalists. “Woke” blacks justify campus segregation by saying it’s a defense against an all-powerful white regime. Slavery apologists continue to argue that Northern aggressions provoked the first shots at Fort Sumter.

Each side seeks recognition of its illiberal views. Neither understands the truth in the idea that all men are created equal.

Tearing down the statues of yesterday’s heroes, renaming buildings and streets, putting someone else’s mug on the nickel or the $20 bill—it’s an old game. Egyptian pharaohs played their own version of it, so it’s best not to get too excited. At least not until the keepers of our cultural legacies decide to replace Tupac Shakur with Eminem. That’s where I draw the line.

Double Standard Debbie

WASHINGTON — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman known in political circles as DWS, is knee-deep in a scandal that involves a laptop, money and possible foreign entanglements.

Unlike the Trump Russian scandal, however, The Washington Post and New York Times have barely reported on the story, which has conservatives observing — with President Donald Trump’s Twitter account concurring — that the mainstream media have a double standard.

In February, the House sergeant-at-arms yanked House computer network access for five information technology staffers who worked as shared employees for some 30 House Democrats. Capitol Police told members that the five were under criminal investigation for possibly violating security policies — and asked members to update their security settings. By March, most Democrats had fired the five, if only because they could no longer do their jobs.

To the puzzlement of many Democrats and Republicans, Wasserman Schultz kept one of the five, Imran Awan, on the payroll, even though he could not do standard House IT work.

On July 24, federal authorities arrested Awan at Dulles Airport as the naturalized citizen was about to board a plane to his native Pakistan. According to an FBI affidavit, Awan had just wired $283,000 to Pakistan, $165,000 of it from an ill-gotten home-equity loan. The feds charged Awan with bank fraud, and then released him under supervision. Only then did Wasserman Schultz fire Awan.

Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, who was one of the fired IT workers, had left the country for Pakistan in March. While she had bought a round-trip ticket with a return date in September, FBI Special Agent Brandon C. Merriman wrote he “does not believe that Alvi has any intention to return to the United States.”

Wasserman Schultz is no obscure member of Congress. Last year she had to resign as DNC chair after WikiLeaks revealed that she had tilted the Democratic primary in favor of Hillary Clinton, even though the national committee was duty-bound to remain neutral.

Earlier this month Wasserman Schultz told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that she kept Awan on the payroll because she had “grave concerns about his due process rights being violated,” and stated her belief that the Capitol Police actions could be the result of anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistani profiling. She kept Awan on the payroll by switching his role to an advisory position.

Awan’s attorney Christopher Gowan released a statement that blamed the firings on “a frenzy of anti-Muslim bigotry,” charged that “extremist right-wing bloggers” forced Awan’s family to leave the country and voiced confidence that Awan “will soon be able to clear his name and get on with his life.”

It is important to note that federal authorities have not charged any of the IT five — Awan, Alvi, Awan’s two brothers or a friend — with any crime directly related to their House IT work.

But Matthew Whitaker, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, sees Awan’s continued presence on the payroll as a violation of House ethics rules. “After Awan was barred from accessing the House computer system, Wasserman Schultz continued to pay Awan with taxpayer funds for IT consulting – a position he could not possibly perform,” Whitaker wrote to the House Ethics Committee.

Awan’s salary also is an issue. Politico reported that Awan made nearly $2 million since he started working for House Democrats in 2004. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley wrote that over 13 years, Awan, his brothers and wife “collected more than $4 million,” which he said is “three times higher than the norm for a government contractor.”

There is enough smoke to this story to merit intense news coverage. Yet The Washington Post, the federal government’s hometown paper, had published only two stories on the Awan saga as of Tuesday, when the Post ran an explainer that looked at the story through two lenses — one conservative, one liberal.

The “conservative media” angle: “A powerful Democratic congresswoman refused to fire an information technology aide after he’s accused of stealing House computer equipment and potentially breaching security protocols.”

The “liberal media” angle: “Powerful Democratic congresswoman protects Muslim IT staffer from what she suspects is religious discrimination. She fires him after he is charged with a seemingly unrelated crime.”

For this story, the Post simply could not take a side. Its coverage of the Trump Russia probe shows no such hesitation.

Likewise The New York Times began a July 28 story with a warning of sorts — that “conservative news outlets have built a case against Imran Awan, his wife, two brothers and a friend, piece by piece.” Hmm. Could it be that conservative outlets built the case because most liberal organs didn’t see much of a story?

When Trump has railed against leaks from the intelligence community, cable pundits routinely have slammed the president for not appreciating members of the intelligence community who put their lives on the line every day. When Wasserman Schultz has accused the Capitol Police of racial or religious profiling, newspapers have simply repeated her accusation.

The twin papers focused on how the fringe has framed the story — one “YouTube conspiracy theorist” accused Awan and friends of being “Pakistani spies” — as if fringe opinion absolves them from having to follow the story where it leads.

It is impossible not to see a double standard. The Democrats’ IT guys enjoy the presumption of innocence. And that would be OK, if big beltway media showed the president the same courtesy.