Everything I said in “The Flight 93 Election” was derivative of things I had already said, with (I thought) more vim and vigor, in a now-defunct blog. I assumed the new piece would interest a handful of that blog’s remaining fans and no one else. My predictive powers proved imperfect.
Which should cheer everyone who hated what I said: if I was wrong about the one thing, maybe I’m wrong about the others. But let me take the various objections in ascending order of importance.
First is the objection to anonymity and specifically to the pseudonym. Anonymity supposedly proves that I am a coward, while the use of “Decius” shows that I am a hypocrite. What am I risking? I freely admit that, unlike the real Decius, I don’t expect to die. But I do have something to lose, and may well yet lose it. I could easily have not written anything. How could speaking up possibly have been more cowardly than silence?
Second is the objection to my invoking Flight 93. I refer such objectors to Stanton’s words at the death of Lincoln: “Now he belongs to the ages.” Heroes always belong to the ages. For all of recorded history, men have drawn inspiration from, and made analogies to, their heroes. Speaking only of us Americans, for more than 200 years, we’ve been making Bunker Hill analogies, Gettysburg and Pickett’s Charge analogies, San Juan Hill, Belleau Wood, D-Day, Okinawa, Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh, and so on and on. But all of a sudden this is “disgusting.” It’s quite obvious that what’s really disgusting to these objectors is Trump. Which they could say forthrightly without recourse to the cheap, left-wing tactic of feigned, selective outrage over a time-honored rhetorical device that goes back to the Greeks, which conservatives are perfectly happy to use when it suits their immediate interest.