- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Making sense

"I deeply believe that this country should be about self-government. A lot of times television programs are based on the notion that the people watching don't have an attention span and can't understand anything beyond the seventh grade. Well, the implication of that is that the people of this country are now too stupid to govern themselves. It's devastating, in fact, if all that's true. And I guess part of what I would like to show is that it's not true. I've heard more sense from ordinary Americans than I generally hear from all of the people who pretend to be so smart about the different issues of the day. …

"Most shows are based on the approach that everyone is entitled to his opinion and we'll just show the clash of those opinions. I think, yeah, everyone's entitled to have an opinion, but I'm also entitled to realize that an opinion is a stupid one. … Somewhere along the way, we turned the freedom of opinion into the right to be self-righteous about opinions that make no sense. And that's just not true."

Alan Keyes, discussing his new talk show on MSNBC, in an interview with Sarah A. Maserati on Monday in National Review Online at www.national review.com

'Indestructible' right

"Communism, Marxist-Leninist style, is a dead parrot. Any attempt to resuscitate it would, according to Professor [Richard] Pipes, 'border on madness.' It has imploded in the Russian homeland of the revolution, while the Soviet Union had failed to become, as it proclaimed itself to be, 'the leader of the progressive forces of mankind'. This massive failure of communism, Pipes rams home in [his new book, 'Communism], was not due to human failures though there were plenty of these, given Stalin's paranoia and Mao's megalomania but to 'flaws inherent in its very nature.' …

"To the founding fathers, Marx and Engels, 'the theory of communism may be summed up in a single sentence. Abolition of private property.' It was private property that underpinned the inequalities of bourgeois society and the stumbling block that stood in the way of the egalitarian society that it was communism's aim to create. But history, Pipes maintains, proves that private property is not a transient historical phenomenon, but 'a permanent feature of social life, and as such indestructible.' … Socialism, to work, demanded the creation of a new man. … But human nature is not infinitely malleable. 'Communism', writes Pipes, 'ultimately was defeated by its inability to refashion human nature'. It was psychologically flawed."

Raymond Carr, writing on "The future that didn't work," Jan. 19 in the Spectator

Accounting owed

"Twenty-six years after a bank robbery that left a mother of four dead from a shotgun blast, five former members of the terrorist Symbionese Liberation Army of the '70s are finally going to court for their implication in the crime. As the victim's son said, it's about time.

"In fact, this should be just the beginning of the accounting owed by all the ex-'radicals' and 'activists' and fellow-traveling apologists for murder and terror. For years now, people who rationalized and championed everything from torture to genocide, as long as these crimes were perfumed with leftist idealism, have enjoyed the good life created by the culture they once wanted to destroy. Indeed, in the university some have been rewarded for those activities and beliefs, which to this day still have adherents in the looking-glass world of the academy. …

"They pay no price for failing to take responsibility for their stupidity and moral idiocy. Indeed, they are rewarded and considered morally superior to so-called 'conservatives' and 'reactionaries.' Chairman Mao has more fans in the university today than does Ronald Reagan. The mystery is why the rest of the nation lets them get away with it."

Bruce S. Thornton, writing "The Symbionese Terror and the Academic Left," Monday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

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