The struggle I am having is that I believe in civility, character, and decorum. I am not saying that in a self-righteous or sanctimonious way; I am confessing it to be a liability. It is a liability for me, but also for all of my colleagues at National Review who are similarly handcuffed by standards of decency and morality. These handcuffs are a liability because in the present culture war, the other side has no such self-limiting governor in place. The other side will fabricate the most horrid of accusations against a man of unparalleled character and accomplishment, and lynch him with it. The other side’s use of physical intimidation, coercion, harassment, and abuse will not be limited by norms. They desire an end without norms, and they certainly will not see their means limited by such. To take on an opponent in the battleplace of ideas is difficult when your lead will be a carefully constructed white paper, and their lead will be an unsubstantiated allegation that you are a child molester. The Biblical story of David and Goliath is promising, but in analyzing the present cultural milieu, there are few analogies to capture what we are up against.
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