Sometimes people ask me how I, as a member of the very liberal newspaper industry, came to be a conservative.
The answer is that I’ve been around liberals enough to know that we don’t want them running —— well, anything.
My first and most lasting introduction to leftists was in Newport, Rhode Island, where I went to boarding school.
St. George’s School is a beautiful place. A gothic chapel sits perched among red-brick Colonial classroom buildings and dorms, overlooking a grassy bluff and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a picture of tradition, excellence and charm.
Don’t let appearances fool you. Like most of New England, indeed like most educational institutions, St. George’s was and is a hotbed of political correctness and hard-core liberalism. And it’s also the place where Fox News’ Tucker Carlson went to high school, graduating just a few years before me.
And so on Monday, the administrator of our St. George’s Class of 1992 Facebook page struck out to post this:
“Hi all, happy summer. Hope everyone is well. For those of you out there opposed to the racist hate speech that is swirling around in this country and fueling violence (that I hope has not impacted any of you or your loved ones), please consider adding your name to a letter signed by a long list of alumni who are asking the school to break ties with Tucker Carlson (who was recently used as an auction item amongst other things). Please comment here or message me if you are interested in joining other alums in asking the school to stand behind their purported values. Thanks!”
Ah, nothing brings a graduating class together like a good old ex-communication.
In case you missed it, Carlson did a monologue the other day on his Fox show explaining that white supremacy is not a real thing, that it’s a hoax just like Russian collusion used to hammer Trump. Carlson noted that there is no discernible white supremacy movement in the country; that he’s never met anyone who claimed to be a white supremacist. Neither have I. Have you? It’s merely the latest club that the left is using to try to whack Trump and his supporters. It’s just hateful slander.
On a page dedicated to keeping up with classmates, I thought it was tacky to bring up politics, and I couldn’t keep my fingers shut. As comedian Ron White famously said, “I had the right to remain silent, but I did not have the ability.”
I pointed out to my fellow Dragons that former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential candidate Howard “The Scream” Dean is also an SG alum, and he offends ME greatly. Yet I don’t urge our school to banish him.
“If you want to send the message that SG is another liberal bastion that crushes dissent and anyone who thinks original thoughts,” I wrote, “this seems like a good way to do it.”
I went on to say that I’ve lived in Georgia for 27 years and had yet to meet anyone who advocates white supremacy.
My old chum Candace Gottschalk, who lives in New York City, would have none of it.
“I imagine it would be easy for you to agree that white supremacy isn’t a problem,” wrote Gottschalk. “You are a white male who included an image of the confederate flag on your senior page. Just last week, my husband, who is black, went to the farmer’s market and was asked by the vendor if he was looking for collard greens, because you know, black people only eat collard greens. Racism is everywhere. You do not see it because you are never the victim of it.”
Really? So now her husband is a victim of racism because they asked him if he wants collard greens? My gosh, I LOVE collard greens. Are we really sitting around waiting to be offended? Can you imagine growing up with people like this?
But the Angry Yankees of my youth weren’t done yet.
Cameron Goodyear finally pronounced judgment on me for the entire group.
“I think that the things that offend you (Howard Dean) and the things that don’t offend you (racist comments) really speak to your privilege,” she wrote.
And there it is. I am guilty of the original sin of white privilege. Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Crucify him!
Thankfully, while these guilt trips used to work on me, no longer. Their white guilt is their problem, not mine. They can grovel in their self-hatred and parade their bleeding hearts all day in a futile effort at redemption. But when I left New England, I left that crap behind.
Why am I a conservative? Because I know liberals. There is no grace there. No love there. Only hatred and judgment and pettiness. I joined the St. George’s Facebook page hoping to find old high school classmates. Instead all I found was high school.
Will Davis is publisher and editor of the Monroe County Reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.