Well, some things never change. Back in 1937, outgoing prime minister Stanley Baldwin joined his successor, Neville Chamberlain, in expressing the sentiment to members of parliament "that if they felt they must deplore totalitarianism and aggression, they must not name names."
"It was important," implored Baldwin, "to avoid 'the danger of referring directly to Germany at a time when we are trying to get on terms with that country'" (Manchester).
Consider this an open thread, since I don't have much time this morning -- in fact, for the rest of the week. It's October, and it's an even-numbered year, which means I have until the end of the month to complete my 36 hours of discontinuing education. Something has to give, and you're looking at it.
TRIGGER WARNING: some readers have expressed the view that my deployment of any salty language diminishes the blog. TURN BACK NOW.
Recall that we were just about to dive headlong into Principles of History, if there are any. The above example may or may not reveal a principle, but it certainly suggests a pattern.
But why should naming evil cause good people to want to turn evil? That doesn't make any sense. And why should evil people care if someone calls them evil? Evil people don't care what others think, except insofar as they can manipulate them.
Another parallel: Obama and Clinton say that naming the evil is a great recruiting tool for the evildoers. Therefore, appeasing them should lessen their appeal and thin their ranks.
Okay. How'd that work out? "Time increased Hitler's momentum.... Now that England had shown the white feather, recruits swelled in the ranks of the Nazi parties in Austria, Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland, western Poland, and the Free City of Danzig." Hmm, exactly the opposite of what the Theory of Appeasement would predict.
Besides, if going after enemies creates more of them, why does the left never stop attacking our deplorable asses??
You know how the Palestinian cause -- not to mention Bernie Sanders and liberal fascism in general -- is so popular on college campuses and among Hollywood and media eliterates? Well, by the mid-1930s, "Nazism had become fashionable in London's West End. Ladies wore brackets with swastika charms; young men combed their hair to slant across their foreheads.... The Fuhrer still had many admirers in Parliament and a lofty one (King Edward VIII) in Buckingham Palace."
Each generation must learn anew the same lessons. Especially this one: "History is mankind's painfully purchased experience, now available for free, or merely the price of attention and reflection" (Thomas Sowell).
Oh, and one more -- a memo to the Kaeperdicks among us: "There is not one of our simple uncounted rights today for which better men than we have not died on the scaffold or the battlefield" (Churchill).