Suzanne Fields

Scott is an authentic, fresh voice who you might think would please both black and white, a celebration that we've come a long way in dismantling the harsh and unforgiving racial attitudes of the South. We shouldn't have to agree with him on every issue dear to received opinion to appreciate that he earned the appreciation of Nikki Haley, the Indian-American governor who appointed him with pride, and to the general applause of white Carolinians.

But Scott runs against the rigid liberal orthodoxy. The New York Times, the unthinking man's guide to approved liberal prejudices, was predictably outraged, giving prestigious prime op-ed real estate to Adolph L. Reed, political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, to represent the fakers who howl at any black man being anything but liberal. The professor suspects that the appointment is aimed "at whites who are inclined to vote Republican but don't want to have to think of themselves, or be thought of by others, as racists."

As with the fake scholarship and culture that anoints art and art criticism, the first step is to marginalize the concept of truth. Instead of looking directly at the new senator's character and accomplishments, the professor, who reveals himself to be more political than scientific, plays to prejudice and to the fakers, in this case liberals, who agree with each other and question the integrity of any black man who differs with received orthodoxy. Rather than doing the hard work of examining the man and the issues, the "expert" must find meanings hidden to everyone but the cult of the fakers.

Instead of examining issues, keyboard cowboys and microphone mavens appeal to prejudice little short of bigotry. An op-ed piece by a knee-jerk radical passes for intellectual rigor in the mainstream media. Not many of us care whether the collective fakers in art hang a pickled cow in a museum and call it a contemporary Mona Lisa, but there are consequences for a fake political culture that sacrifices thoughtful argument for mere attitude.

But this is the season for hope, so happy sliding to all, with a wish for a happier new year. We may need it at the bottom a cliff.

Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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