During this past week’s drama…I mean circus…I mean confirmation hearing for Brett “the Hitman” Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee made it a point to underscore how brave Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was for appearing before the committee and telling her side of the story. And I literally mean “story.” I haven’t been so unconvinced at what I saw since I watched the actors in “The Blair Witch Project” trying to convince me the movie was scary.
The standard for bravery is different for everyone. For some, it’s the soldier who lays down his or her life for her country. For others, it’s police officers and firefighters running towards danger. For Leftists, it’s…a privileged white female professor who flies across country. Granted, if she flew on United, they might have a point.
And because of this disparity, we have a point to discuss in the Leftist Lexicon.
What the Left thinks it means – courage in facing adversity, often imposed upon people by conservatives
What it really means – a term the Left has really watered down
One of the hardest parts of defining bravery is in nailing down what constitutes it. Everybody’s going to have a different perspective due to their individual experiences. Having said that, I would like to think there is common ground on the definition.
Then, the Left get involved and any common ground turns into the Dust Belt.
As with public education, school lunch menus under Michelle Obama, and personal ethics, the Left sets the standard for bravery lower than Congress’ approval ratings. That’s not to say they don’t have standards, mind you. It’s just their standards are more ideological than anything else. (Surprise, surprise.) Anyone who could conceivably or actually represent Leftists get the fast track to hero status. That’s why AIDS victims are lionized while police officers are cursed (and cursed at, for that matter). It’s also why soldiers get called baby-killers while women who had or support abortion get positive press.
But it misses the point. You aren’t brave if you stick with the prevailing idea, no matter how many Leftists call you brave. If anything, conformity is the opposite of bravery because all you’re doing is following what the crowd tells you is good and right. And that’s how “Two and a Half Men” got into syndication.
The truly brave people are ones who ignore the majority and seek a better solution on their own. Our country might still be English colonies if the Founding Fathers listened to majority opinion at the time, which clearly sided with continuing to be colonists. Maybe they were afraid to change or maybe they had a thing for guys in white powdered wigs, but the point is the Founding Fathers took on great risk and the possibility of failure to take a chance at something great.
And it’s not just here and in the past, kids. People like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Harvey Milk, Susan B. Anthony, and countless others (including more than a few idols on the Left, I might add) bucked the existing system and brought about the societal change they wanted to make. I may not agree with them or what they stood for, but I cannot deny they were brave.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “What does Thomas wear around the house?” Or “What does Thomas consider brave?” You know, whichever.
To answer the latter question, bravery is when you swallow today’s fears so others won’t have to be afraid tomorrow. That means a lot of people the Left call heroes don’t make the cut, including Dr. Ford. She wasn’t courageous for coming forward; she merely did what was expected she’d do and was treated like a Faberge egg in a pillow factory. Had she come forward in the 80s and faced down a hostile legal team who cared nothing about her or her feelings, that would have made her brave. As it stands, Dr. Ford’s bravery was more watered down than Michael Phelps’ Speedo.
As for the former question, I’m saving that answer for another blog post.
Bravery in any form comes with an element of risk. The higher the risk, the greater the reward for success or penalty for failure. And with Leftists wanting to take the risk out of everything so everyone can be equally mediocre, that means being brave gets a lot easier if you subscribe to the Left’s mindset. The problem is if everyone can be called brave, then no one gets to be brave. Bravery becomes the norm.
Let me put it another way. Being an outspoken Leftist at UC Berkeley requires little bravery. Being an outspoken conservative at UC Berkeley requires much more bravery because a) you will always be outnumbered, and b) the outspoken Leftists at UC Berkeley may physically hurt you for being an outspoken conservative.
Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart used a now-famous test for obscenity: “I know it when I see it.” Bravery works a little bit differently. You’ll know it when you don’t see it.