The Diana Oughtons of today aren’t about to start blowing up federal buildings, as did the Weather Underground. But they do share that mentality: in deploring their privilege, they’ve come to reject everything that bestowed it upon them, their history, their nationality, their traditions, their culture, most of the past and some of the present as well. As recently as a decade ago, President Barack Obama portrayed America as an imperfect but worthy project, applying its ideals of opportunity and equality to those still left behind. Today such incrementalism is a dirty word. The waypoints of societal change are intolerable. All must measure up to the uniform yet constantly changing woke yardstick. Thus did a CNN contributor casually suggest that the Washington Monument might be demolished because George Washington was a slaveowner. Anyone suspected of harboring racism—even a founding father who, however imperfect himself, helped codify principles that ended slavery—must be brought to his knees.
It’s worth repeating that this isn’t a working class production. It’s driven by a new generation of bratty Bolsheviks, those spoiled enough to think they can set a single standard and then tear down the world for not living up to it. In lashing out at the society that coddled them, they swing first at themselves. Once our tumbrils were police vans and pickup trucks with Confederate flag bumper stickers; now they’re vehicles for upper-class solipsism and masochism.