Kenney: Ban Dr. Seuss? Start With The Democratic Party Instead
This March is Irish-American Heritage Month, a month of corned beef and cabbage during Lent that will climax on St. Patrick Day— typically with even more corned beef and cabbage (yuck) but always with Guinness and Jameson and some drunken stumbling somewhere in the world.
That’s right — stereotypes.
Of course, who cares about cultural appropriation on St. Patrick Day, right? Or the sheer offensiveness of wearing orange on St. Patrick Day (HINT: don’t).
One of the more frustrating features of the falsetto virtue signalling of the postmodern left goes somewhat along these lines.
Minority groups — who have a traditional history of being on the wrong side of the power dynamic in America — will rightfully raise the question of maltreatment in society.
Democrats — who traditionally deal out this maltreatment — choose to virtue signal by pretending to be the aggrieved party (or at least, in true paternalistic condescension, pretend to act on their behalf).
All this nonsense about Dr. Seuss being banned is tiresome in the extreme. Not to mention other ideas, concepts, opinions and so forth in the public square that seem to warrant the punishment of damnatio memorare by the so-called tolerant left.
Of course, this is the germ of what has motivated the Democratic Party from Andrew Jackson — the man who committed an act of genocide against the Cherokee Nation — to the present day.
Present day Democrats love to trot out the same line, namely that any of the ills of the Democratic Party of the past were the fault of “conservative Democrats” who gleefully stopped voting for men such as Bill Clinton, Cooter Jones, Jim Webb, Ralph Northam and Mark Herring and quite suddenly voted Republican — as if all their social sins could be placed on a handful of souls.
It’s the laziest argument ever made.
Democrats haven’t changed one iota.
They laud FDR while pretending that the internment camps were “conservative” in nature; they laud LBJ while pretending that his line about keeping a certain demographic voting Democratic for the next 100 years was “conservative” in nature; they laud Clinton while pretending that just about every line of his pro-labor and protectionist economic policy wasn’t represented during the Trump presidency.
History avails us of the lessons. It is the Democratic Party that was the party of slavery, the party of segregation, the party of Jim Crow, the party of eugenics, the party of abortion, the party of internment camps, the party of welfare, the party of Massive Resistance and Harry Byrd, and the same Jacobins who begged for détente with the Soviet Empire.
Republicans historically have rejected every line of that.
Remember who we are.
- Republicans fought the war to end slavery in America over the voices of Democrats both North and South.
- Our first Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates were all black men.
- The Virginia Republican Party was founded on an alliance of Readjusters and Republicans.
- Republicans fought Jim Crow.
- Republicans condemned eugenics as Planned Parenthood rose to prominence and continues to receive federal and state funding from Democrats today.
- Republicans condemned the practice of internment camps during the Second World War.
- It was Republicans who brought the first Civil Rights Act in the 1950s.
- It is Republicans who condemn the welfare state.
- It was Republicans who fought Democratic-led Massive Resistance and desegregated Virginia’s public schools in the mid-1970s.
- It was Republicans who stood fast, working with Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II to bring the Soviet Empire to ruin.
- It was Republicans who exported free market capitalism to the world, creating the system that lifted 1 billion people out of poverty and is set to lift the final billion of humanity out of poverty by the end of the decade.
The Democrats resisted every inch of this. When proven wrong? They heaped those sins on the Republican Party as if we were the genesis, defenders, and promoters of their system of knowing-what-was-best.
Now they are doing it in other ways.
But let’s be honest about what the Democrats are doing. They really don’t care about Dr. Seuss. They surely do not care about their own legacy of hatred for their common man, their own institutional racism, their own structural bias.
There’s reason Terry McAuliffe and not say — Justin Fairfax — has the backing of the Democratic power elite. WE ALL KNOW THE REASON WHY. The press knows the reason why. Justin Fairfax’s campaign knows the reason why.
They are the same reasons Fairfax was opposed in 2017 by the Byrd Machine (and it’s not dead by a country mile). Yet the media is so craven, so ideologically driven by power, that they can’t compel themselves to take on the real motors of prejudice and bias in society.
Let’s be honest about Dr. Seuss’s legacy here. Seuss was a committed liberal in the truest sense of the world. Seuss fought the Nazis early and often while Democrats were seeking ways to accommodate the Nazis as late as 1940. Yet Seuss was a man of his times — same as Mark Twain or Shakespeare or Chaucer — and yes, some of his advertisements wouldn’t fly the page. But rather than wokewashing history, we should be forced to grapple with it — same as the Irish.
Of course, one could think of an institution that stands out as a prime candidate for the sort of wokewashing they prefer to deal out to others. After all, what sins have Seuss, Twain, Shakespeare and Chaucer committed that even begin to compare to the institutional sins of the Democratic Party writ large?
After all, our present governor and attorney general committed far worse sins than Dr. Seuss. Yet for the sake of power? Both men remain right where they are (and we don’t have to be children to understand why).
If we are going to paint with 21st century paintbrushes? Let’s be consistent in the application. If not, then let’s at least be honest about what cancel culture truly is at core.
Rules for thee; not for me.
I doubt for one moment that obliterating six children’s books resolve the question of injustice in society. Obliterating the institution that perpetuates injustice both historically and presently? Republicans ought to have more guts to call Democrats out head on and without fear — most notably because the charge is true, but most of all because it is right to do so.
Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.