Thursday, July 04, 2019


This Fourth of July, let's celebrate the true reason for the season -- Bret Stephens' hurt feelings.

You may recall Stephens was ratio'd into the stratosphere on Twitter last week over a column in which he posited Real Americans as those who neither spoke Spanish nor could stand hearing vile Democrats speak it. Later, claiming he was actually just portraying the sentiments of those ordinary Spanish-disdaining Americans (which, in addition to contradicting the plain meaning of what he actually wrote,  was even more offensive), Stephens Twitter-tantrumed, claiming himself a victim of "moral bullying and progressive demagoguery."

You'd think that'd be enough self-embarrassment for one theme, but Stephens has come back for more, and his editors, who must despise him, allow it.
I was walking through an airport terminal trying to catch a connecting flight last Saturday when I spotted a writer I had never met but whose work I admire. He greeted me with a look of fatherly concern: “Sorry about what’s happening to you on Twitter.”
(Tom Clancy is dead, so I assume it was some old Anglo reactionary stirring Stephens' filial sensibilities.)
An hour or so earlier, before catching my previous flight, I’d spotted a tweet from the author Reza Aslan, who had accused me of jumping “out of the white nationalist closet” for a column that attempted to channel the negative way “ordinary people” might have viewed last week’s Democratic debates. I replied that his accusation would be “shameful if it weren’t so stupid.” 
Within minutes, I was being described as a “full on bigot,” “ghoul,” “racist,” and so on. As the retweets piled up into the thousands, I felt like I had been cast in the role of Emmanuel Goldstein in some digital version of Orwell’s “Two Minutes Hate.” 
Yes, a ludicrously overpaid New York Times columnist heard unkind words on Twitter, and in consequence has become a famously victimized character in 1984. (Given that Orwell suggested Goldstein may not even exist, I wonder why Stephens didn't pick Winston Smith; maybe because Smith is broken in the end, while Goldstein remains a figure of awe and fear, and what little whiner doesn't dream of being that!)

On and on Stephens goes, declaring this country (I swear to God) "Robespierre’s America" because Colin Kaepernick won't let America walk on flags and James Damore got fired for insulting his colleagues. Maybe he'll move to Hungary or Brazil, where a rightwing man can speak his mind!

This is a reminder that we are all very lucky to live in the real America, where not only can we make fun of buffoons like Stephens, but also buffoons like Stephens are allowed to make ever-greater fools of themselves for our entertainment. So forget Il Douche's stupid theatrics (readers of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down know what I'm talking about!) and revel in our freedoms and the gift of laughter.

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