Thursday, 10 November 2016

Contempt for the Clintonites

One shouldn't take people too seriously when they complain after an election.  Inevitably there's a harvest of sour grapes and apocalyptic wailing for a few days.  Then, people realise that the economy hasn't tanked, that people aren't being rousted from their homes at bayonet point, and nobody has been made to surrender the head of their firstborn child.  And then there's a report like this, which makes you think that the losing side actually deserved to lose:

The following story recounted that
A number of U.S. universities are giving students ample room to grieve in the wake of Donald Trump's election victory Wednesday.
Barnard, a women's liberal arts college based in New York City, has given professors the opportunity to cancel classes and is offering students counseling after the "heightened emotions" caused by the election. ...
American University is also holding a vigil for students "who needed a quiet place to reflect and talk" about the election Wednesday, the Vice President of Campus Life told TWS....
At Columbia, which is closely affiliated with Barnard, professors reportedly postponed over a dozen midterm exams out of concern for students' mental health.
A Yale economics professor also made his exam optional after students wrote to him expressing "shock" and sadness over the election results.
Meanwhile, a New York University student said that her biology professor made a Friday exam optional because students' "distress from the election" could "make it difficult for them to study."
There's no excuse for this spinelessness.  There's no excuse for this inability to deal with life.  There's something grotesquely wrong with a section of the population who cannot see the absurdity in this response.  And perhaps this is the lesson in why Clinton not only lost, but needed to lose: at least a proportion of her supporters are utterly unsuited to a harsh world.

Consider this: I have the privilege to lead a unit of emergency responders.  Many of them are the same age, or younger, than the students and Barnard and American and the rest.  I imagine these students would regard many of them as unutterably coarse and ill-educated.  But each one of them will show up to respond to death and maiming.  To do grimy, back-breaking work laying sandbags to reinforce a levee.  To climb up on a roof in a storm to repair damage.  They're part of the same order of people as Constable Victor Nelson:

Nelson's story is this:
In June 1925 an old aged pensioner named Frank Mahoney was badly burned in a fire at his hut on the riverbank at Shepparton. He adamantly refused police requests to go to Hospital. When they later learned that the old man was living in a state of indescribable filth, totally unable to care for himself, it was resolved to take him to the hospital forcibly. Constable Nelson was one of the men detailed for this task, and he became infected through contact with Mahoney’s septic burns. He developed virulent cellulitis of the nose, face and head, and died at the Mooroopna Hospital at 10.30am Sunday 12 July 1925 as the result of an attack of erysipelas combined with blood poisoning.
Men and women cut from the same cloth fill America's police and fire departments, man its warships, and enlist in its regiments.  On any measure, the relative spinelessness of young men and women unable even to deal with an adverse election result is worthy only of disgust and contempt.  Nobody so lacking in character has any business wanting their view of the world to govern others.

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