and William O. Douglas that would indicate their moral superiority’rnover, say, Verne Presley or the roughneck running thern”Zipper” at the county fair? Many of the good and wise menrnwho have destroyed the federal principle—John and Robertrnand Edward Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Martin LutherrnKing—were entirely despicable in their private lives. If we darernnot trust a politician to babysit our daughters, why would wernentrust him with the fate of our families, schools, and neighborhoods?rnThere is only one alternahve to the federal principle, and itrnis the hydra-headed absolutism that shows a different facernto every generation. As soon as we lop off the head of Robespierre,rnNapoleon’s face pops up out of the gushing wound; therncomparatively benign kaiser and czar are replaced by Hitlerrnand Lenin; and by the time Nazism has been destroyed andrncommunism neutered, the absolutists find new ways of usingrn”majority rule,” “the public interest,” and “democratic humanrnrights” as instruments of oppression as degrading and ultimatelyrnas destructive as theories of proletarian dictatorship and thernAryan race. So great has been their success that the victimsrndare not whimper, and, if they do, they are branded immediatelyrnas bigots and reactionaries by the journalists, professors,rnand publicists who take pleasure in this kind of dirty work.rnTheir only moral code is that of the mugger who is ordinarilyrncontent to take your wallet and leave you unharmed butrnwho, if you make the mistake of pleading with him or of appealingrnto his humanih’, is outraged and beats you unconscious.rnWhen you wake up in the hospital, you are expected tornapologize for the crimes of your great-grandfather, who did notrnpermit his wife to vote and might have shot an Indian who wasrnattacking his cabin.rnIf you have done harm to someone, you should apologize tornhim. (Let your ancestors make their own apologies.) But yournowe nothing, not an apology, not an explanation, not a defense,rnto the political and legal predators who have taken away thernmost fi.indamental power given to us by our Creator: the abilit’rnto make mistakes. If leftists had been in charge from the beginning,rnthe garden of Eden would have contained no fruitrntrees of any kind, and Eve would have been too busy pursuingrnher career to bother witii Adam. It would have been, in otherrnwords, a perfect utopia, free of challenges or distinctions, inhabitedrnby Harvard Law School professors passing judgmentrnon each other’s judgments. Een Milton’s hell seems preferable.rnReal people, however many are left, know better. If our enemiesrnare unitarian and monolithic, we celebrate all the littlerndifferences between mair and woman, tribe and tribe, nationrnand nation. That is both our weakness and our sttength: It isrnour weakness, because we are too fragmented and diverse tornfight openly against the power-monopolies that control bothrnparties, the media, education, and the major religious and culturalrninstitutions; but our diversity is also our strength and ourrnhope, proliferating like yeast in thousands of different groupsrnand networks. We may have lost the Republican Party and thernEpiscopal Church, but in independent evangelical churchesrnand Latin Mass communities, in states’ rights movements inrnthe West and the South, and in homeschooling associationsrnthat are springing up like mushrooms in a rotting tree trunk, wernsucceed in doing good in our own lives and laying the groundworkrnfor the next cultural revolution.rnDICTATIONSrn”WrnNews-Speakrnre very clearly had made a mistake,”rnsaid the marketing director of Merriam-rnWebster, explaining her company’srndecision to pull an on-line thesaurus tliat includedrn”faggot” and “fruit” as synonyms forrn”homosexual.” Wliile many homophiles freely usernexpressions like “faggot” and “fruity,” and “butch,”rnthey reserve the right to dictate polite u.sage to thernstraight world. Not too long ago, a similar fuss v’asrnmade over the dictionary definition of “nigger,” andrnwe are treated to the spectacle of African-Americanrnprofessors solemnly denying that “nigger” could everrnbe used except as an inflammatory racist epithet.rnThe professors have led a sheltered life.rnIt is a curious process. Only mentally deficientrnwhites object to tcnns like “whitey” or even “houky.”rnIf I ani not ashamed of what I am, what do I carernwhat the term is—so long as it is not achially defamatoryrnor unduly descriptive? When an African-rnAmerican professor says, “Listen, you cracker,” 1 amrnnot offended, because I am not a cracker, and evenrnif I were, I would be proud of it. People uncomfortablernwith their identit)’, though, are forever comingrnup with new wa)s of describing themselves, and wernhave gone from black to colored to negro to Afro-rnAiileriean to black to Mican-Anicrican. I do not objectrnever name they have chosenrnW^iy should terms of racial identit)’ have to undergornthe same metamorphoses as terms related tornexcretion (crapjjcr, water closet, toilet, commode) orrndeath (boueyard, graveyard, cemetery, memorialrngarden). I’ve never understood, for example, why itrnis in.snlting to refer to Norman Mailer or Irving Kristolrnas Jews. If I were Jewish (as we must say), I shouldrnrub people’s noses in my people’s accomplishments.rnIn Jean-L,ue Ciodard’s sci-fi film, Alphaville, therngovernment issues a huge book, every- week, listingrnthe words that no longer exist. Codard is a Marxist,rnbut lie is more honest and more free than the leadersrnof our society, who sit quietly as our language isrnturned into an instrument of oppression.rn—Humpty Dumptyrnt is only good manners to call people by what-rn12/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn