For those who never heard it, here is John Tyner’s smartphone tape of his confrontation with the TSA. The significant part starts a couple of minutes in. And here is Wikipedia’s account of the incident.
Since I and others condemned the adoption of Tyner’s “Don’t touch my junk” remark as a conservative slogan, I want to make it clear that my criticisms were not directed at Tyner himself. He spoke the phrase spontaneously in the heat of the situation, and his choice of words was entirely understandable. Furthermore, I consider his conduct and his statements to the TSA throughout the incident to be exemplary. My criticisms—and my disgust—were directed at Charles Krauthammer and other intellectual “conservatives” who, to their disgrace, are deliberately trying to turn “Don’t touch my junk” into a conservative and patriotic battle cry.
Kilroy M. writes:
Your criticism is legitimate. I think the mainstream conservative desire to assume populist rhetoric and symbols is part of the ideological rejection of elitism translated over time to the sanctification of all that is “common.” It’s the lowest common denominator theory of politics—the democratic liberal spirit.LA replies:
Yes. The idea is that our enemy is the “liberal elite,” so anything which is “non-elite” and “of the people” represents us. The more populist and vulgar something is, the more “conservative” it is. The idea that conservatism is supposed to represent standards has long been lost.November 24
Kilroy M. writes:
On precisely this point: I have conservative friends that constantly ridicule theatre, high art and academics as a group etc. I reply by describing this as a form of cultural Bolshevism. It’s over the top, I know, but they never get it. To them, apparently going to the Opera makes one a lefty. What I try to illustrate to them is that their attitude is itself a form of civilisational surrender. Conservatives have ceded the high cultural ground and allowed mediocre minds to take over, among other things, the universities and the media.[See discussion of “who” versus “that” in this entry.]
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 23, 2010 01:09 AM | Send