Don’t Let the Pubescence Choose Its Name


David Gelernter made an important point — with broader application than his example — in an op-ed this week in the Wall Street Journal (bold emphasis added):

“Resistance” is unacceptable in referring to the Trump opposition because, obviously, it suggests the Resistance—against the Nazis in occupied France. Many young people are too ignorant to recognize the term, but that hardly matters. The press uses it constantly. So when a young innocent finally does encounter the genuine French Resistance, he will think, “Aha, just like the resistance to Trump!” And that’s all the left wants: a mild but continuous cultural breeze murmuring in every American ear that opposing Trump is noble and glorious. Vive la Résistance!

This has been a decades’ long practice.  Very often, in mainstream entertainment, one can guess the bad guy by the degree to which he teaches that those whom the Left dislikes should be distrusted.  In 2015, I wrote about one of the more-striking examples that I’ve come across recently, concerning the movie version of The Maze Runner.  Of the characters, the hero group is thoroughly multicultural while the foolish, cowardly group is all white and male, except for one actor whom the director had kneel out of sight in a group shot as if he’d been assigned to his group by accident.

The movie, in other words, maintains that “mild but continuous cultural breeze” that white men who emphasize rules and/or talk in religious terms are either directly the villains or at least a dangerous influence attempting to restrain advancement toward survival and purpose.

Happily, if we look, we are starting to see signs that artists’ boredom with this cliché is outweighing their ideological preference to perpetuate it.  But our civilization can’t afford to wait for that natural process of artists’ pretensions of counter-culturalism.  We have to be more active in refusing to let the Left define itself and the rest of us.

So, here’s a my offering in the case at hand: