I am learning – the hard way – to get knee-jerkingly suspicious every time someone mentions the phrase “moral equivalency” […]
In case you think the story of Chicken Little’s cry “The sky is falling!” is something from a fable, you should know that a cognate form of this fable has been acted out in real life every time conservatives and progressives have clashed over any matter involving any significant alteration of the social and economic conditions of American society. That is to be expected: conservatives … well … conservatives conserve. So conservatives said the sky would fall if slavery ended, because formerly enslaved black men would take up arms, kill their former masters, and rape white women; or that if women could vote, they would abandon their husbands and children in favor of lives of prostitution … and they might even smoke, etc., etc.
When I was at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1988, one of the more unsettling things I learned in my classes […]