Every now and then a journalist from the big city ventures into the hinterlands to tell his readers at the home publication about the rubes. We rubes -- who have hinterlands of our own to tend (the Gazette called eastern Kanawha County the hinterlands) -- have a one-word test for these visitors. Use of this word disqualifies them as serious thinkers.
The word is hardscrabble. Its a very plain word which identifies the hard work and struggle that goes into a project. But when used to define a town or a country (territory) it is a lazy and laughably inaccurate term. And of course, Kevin Williamson used it in his piece, "The Father-Führer," in the National Review on March 28, 2016.
"If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn't Beijing. It wasn't even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn't immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn't any of that," Williamson wrote.
Let me pause from my whelping of the children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog to respond. I'll send the kids to the gas station to get my smokes. (Yells after them, "Use the change to buy Moon Pies for your lunch.")
Williamson described a people who were not very hardscrabble at all. No one works in the Kentucky, New York, and Texas that Williamson sees. They are just a bunch of white people who are collecting disability checks and whelping children in between their highs on OxyContin. Or as he so elegantly put it, "And that’s where disability or other government programs kicked in. They were there, beckoning, giving men and women alternatives to gainful employment. You don’t have to do any work (your disability lawyer does all the heavy lifting), you make money, and you get drugs."
You see, America, it is not the invasion of 11 million illegal aliens or 22 years of unbridled free trade that are gutting America. It is all these white people insisting on living in Nitro long after Monsanto closed the plant and moved it to India.
Surprisingly, a few people paused from their whelping of children with the respect and wisdom of a stray dog to object. The staff at the National Review is defending his trashing of white America as Nazis. After all, who follows "The Father-Führer" but Nazis? Why, all Williamson did was suggest white people move, like he did.
"Kevin has ably defended himself from the tsunami of bile that has crashed down upon him, and I don’t want to speak for him. Though I will say I think people misinterpreted his point. He wasn't writing from a position of loathing and hatred for the white working class (from which he came). He was arguing that if you are stuck in a community or family that is holding you back, you should do what you can to liberate yourself from those shackles rather than demand the federal government fix problems it cannot fix. That’s not hatred, that’s closer to good, tough-love, advice. It is also so squarely in the American conservative tradition, I am shocked by how many conservatives refuse to see it," Jonah Goldberg wrote today.
Boo ho hoo. You churn out a tsunami of bile, expect two back. That's the rule.
As far as defending himself, Williamson merely wallowed in the criticism from Joe Scarborough on MSNBC and Rush Limbaugh. Well, who wouldn't? He meant every word he said and that's that.
But I am reminded of what Limbaugh said in response to one of Williamson's childish rants about Trump last June: "I like Kevin Williamson; I wish Kevin would write something like this about Hillary. I wish some in our conservative media would let go with some of this stuff for Democrats."
Goldberg objected to my post that said it is the Trumpkins, not The Donald that elites fear.
I have misjudged Goldberg. He does not like Trump for personal reasons. When people look at the issues Trump raises, Goldberg assumes something is afoot.
"You know what it means when defenders of Donald Trump refuse to defend the actual man Donald Trump? It means he’s indefensible," Goldberg wrote.
But as readers of this blog know -- and I love every one of you, even the trolls -- Trump is defensible. I have defended his honor multiple times. Remember the farm he saved? The help he gave the terminally ill Miss Wisconsin? The rebuilding of that ice rink? The aid he gave on 9/11? While others pursued political careers by currying favor with the leadership in Washington (even Hilary kissed the ring of Bob Byrd), Trump was rebuilding Manhattan and having a load of fun. And along the way, he gave and earned the respect of his co-workers.
Goldberg does not like Trump. OK. He sees the man as unfit to hold public office. OK.
But Williamson touched on what Washington really fears or should fear -- the Trumpkins. They want a change that threatens the livelihood of everyone in Washington.
Well, the kids are back and I have to go beat them because instead of bringing me back my change, they bought Moon Pies. Where's my belt?