I usually post on Mondays.

Never underestimate the brutal power of desperation, on either the right or the left.

Early in the previous presidential administration, a young man showed up during my office hours to tell me his strategy for overcoming the other side in the culture wars.  He wasn’t one of my students, and I don’t know why he sought me out.  I suppose he thought I would be sympathetic.

Having learned about the lessons the then-president is supposed to have learned from community organizer Saul Alinsky, he said “Our side has to do that stuff too.”

What sort of stuff?  He meant things like threatening, lying about one’s goals, misrepresenting the other side’s positions, assassinating the character of opponents, and deliberately provoking crises in order to make people frantic for change.

As you may know, a lot of people since then have taken the same view.  Culture wars ignite cultural arms races.


I told him I didn’t believe in doing evil so that good would result.

But they’re destroying the country.  We have to save it.

How would it save the country to become just like the people he viewed as destroying it?

But they’re winning.  We can’t let them win.

What would he expect to win by destroying the moral order of the republic he claimed to love?

He demanded to know what I proposed instead.  I said he might try bearing witness.

I’m afraid he found me disappointing.  He seemed to think that I sympathized with the other side.