From the " is Still in Business?" File

Liberal hack site Salon attacks the president of Emory University for saying positive things about the “Three-Fifths Compromise”:

So under Wagner’s formulation, one of the basest and demeaning political deals of American history, if not the basest, is an example of working toward a “highest aspiration.” Counting slaves as three-fifths of a person becomes an example of American politicians setting their sights high! 

Wagner, thankfully, is at least not a history professor.

If we asked the writer of this post to explain the Three-Fifths Compromise, do you think he could do it? Does nobody know what the Three-Fifths Compromise was anymore?

I don’t really care about this alleged controversy one way or the other, but it caught my eye as another shining example of liberal piousness. Liberal elites are so secure in their cocoon of self-righteousness that they can’t even comprehend how a decision made by a person in different era with different priorities and different mores might have been the best available option.

And can you believe the Continental Congress said nothing about sustainability or green energy? Those bastards!

Update and bumped: Of course, Wagner curled up in the corner like a whipped puppy and issued a sniveling apology. Robert Weissberg, who apparently knows what the three-fifths compromise is, takes him to task for it and explains what’s going on in academia:

Let me suggest that President Wagner’s troubles offer important lessons for those who fear the proverbial “knock on the door” from the PC police. 

First and foremost, never assume that historical accuracy is any defense. Constitutional history isn’t my specialty, but I have some familiarity with the topic and I have never seen any scholarly treatment of the three-fifths compromise assert that it demeaned African Americans. 

Yes, everybody agrees that while many Founders had a low opinion of slaves, others believed that slavery was a horrible wrong, but the consensus was that all these slave-related constitutional compromises were unavoidable adjustments to an unpleasant political reality if the Union was to survive. Only the most strident ideologue would insist that the Constitutional Convention could have abolished slavery and still kept the Union. 

None of that matters to people who are looking for an excuse to attack because you have supposedly offended them.    

It is far safer to assume that many of today’s hyper-sensitive academics will retrofit current trendy ideology so that they can manufacture a case against you. For example, the Founders are described as just another gang of rich white males anxious to silence impoverished people of color. Defend anything they did and you will find yourself in boiling water. And it only compounds one’s sins to rebut this retrofitting. 

Second, always presume that PC enthusiasts are perpetually on the lookout for some offense, real or imagined, to keep the flame alive.

Leave a Reply