‘Whatever It Is, I’m Against It’

Detail of Birth of Old Glory by Percy Moran (Library of Congress)

Ramesh notes the speed with which the Betsy Ross flag was deemed outré:

Even so, the shift of the Betsy Ross flag, from worth showcasing for the Obama inaugural planners in 2013 to unacceptable for a big company in 2019, has been very quick. That timeline actually downplays how quick it has been: It was nearly instantaneous. The vast majority of people hearing about this controversy, including me, had never previously been exposed to the idea that there was anything malevolent about the flag.

And even as specimens of woke culture go, this one also stands out for the tenuousness the connection between the newly unacceptable thing and the evil it is supposed to represent.

This is true. In a couple of days, we’ve gone from a celebrity saying a flag is bad, to a major corporation indulging that judgment, to presidential candidates and governors blithely confirming and cementing it. In my view, though, the scariest part is not so much “how quick it has been,” but that there has been no argument or explanation to speak of. Upon the instant, professional progressivism has accepted the change as if it were taking orders from on high. “The flag is in the bad column now? Got it. Will amend attitude and proceed accordingly.”

Asked about the flag, Beto O’Rourke said, “I think it’s really important to take into account the impression that kind of symbol would have for many of our fellow Americans, respect the decision Nike made and grateful for the conversation.”

What “impression”? Which “fellow Americans”? What “conversation”?

Julián Castro said:

Yeah. Well, you know, I was glad to see that and my hope is that that they didn’t just do it to do it, that they understand the significance there. And look there are a lot of things in our history that are still very painful. The Confederate flag that still flies in some places and is used as a symbol, and I believe that we need to move toward an inclusive America that understands that pain, that doesn’t wipe it away from history in the sense that still belongs in a museum or we need to read about it and understand the significance because that’s how you learn and make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes in the future, but does not glorify it, does not celebrated it.

What? What is “the significance there”? Why is the Betsy Ross flag “painful”? What, exactly, is “that pain”? What are we not “glorifying” or “celebrating”? And what does Castro mean that he was “glad to see it”? He knew all about those shoes, did he? He’s been upset by the Betsy Ross flag for a long time?

Nobody has answered these questions. Nobody can. The Party has spoken, and the apparatchiks are enforcing the new line. It’s creepy as hell.

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