Quote of the week

The political left, somewhat more so than the right, tends to believe in the fundamental mutability of mankind: you can change minds, you can change hearts, you can change murderers into commencement speakers. Baseball owner Bill Veeck was pointing out the futility of this sort of thing before many of them were born:

When I signed Larry Doby, the first Negro player in the American League, we received 20,000 letters, most of them in violent and sometimes obscene protest. Over a period of time I answered all. In each answer, I included a paragraph congratulating them on being wise enough to have chosen parents so obviously to their liking. If everyone knew their precious secret, I told them, I was sure everyone would conform to the majority. Until that happy day, I wrote, I was sure they would agree that any man should be judged on his personal merit and allowed to exploit his talents to the fullest, whether he happened to be black, green, or blue with pink dots.

I am afraid irony is lost on these people, but that’s not the point I want to make here. A year later, I was a collector for what is now called the Combined Jewish Appeal. This time, I got something close to 5,000 violent and sometimes obscene letters. In answering, something interesting happened. The names began to have a familiar ring. I became curious enough to check our files and I found they were to an astonishing degree — about 95 percent — the same people. A year after that, I converted to Catholicism. About 2,000 anti-Catholics were concerned enough about my soul to write me violent and again often obscene letters. All but a handful of them were already in our anti-Negro and anti-Semite files.

So I am one man who has documentary proof that prejudice is indivisible. The jackal, after all, doesn’t care what kind of animal he sinks his teeth into.

Once an asshat, always an asshat.

The kind soul who dug up this Veeck quote added:

So to all those who claim the Internet has led to some degree of courtesy breakdowns, moral decay, and Loss Of Values, I just want to say the following:

It’s always been like this. It’s just a lot faster now.

Note that no one is saying you don’t have a right to your opinion. You don’t, however, have a right to make anyone give a damn about it.


  1. McGehee »

    5 October 2014 · 8:03 am

    Hearts and minds can be changed, but not by other people. The political Left looks upon organized society as a surrogate deity, and the political Right — however much the various flavors of it may revere organized society – – does not.

  2. Roger Green »

    6 October 2014 · 3:19 am

    With all due respect, McGehee, I see the political Right, especially in terms of What Women (Should) Want just as theological. But yes, very true of the Left as well.

  3. Roger Green »

    6 October 2014 · 6:58 am

    In fact, http://weeklysift.com/2014/09/29/a-conservative-lexicon-with-english-translation/ this is a useful tool for people on the left to try to understand those on the right

  4. McGehee »

    6 October 2014 · 9:37 am

    Theological != theocratical.

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