Home / General / David Frum is a well respected, man about town, doing the best things, so conservatively*

David Frum is a well respected, man about town, doing the best things, so conservatively*


By using the word repatriate, Frum avoids making a statement that can instantly be classed with the “…paranoid delusions coming from the fever swamps,” he so abhors.

And his efforts are appreciated by the class of people who are sympathetic to the idea of rounding up people they view as sub-human, and shipping them and their children to places they clearly don’t want to be (and where the “repatriated persons” will likely be killed), but believe they have nothing in common with the uncouth sorts who stand around in mil-drag and teabags while they wave large guns and shout about Islamosharia Birth Certificate Gun Grab Jelly Bean Boom.

Repatriate sounds nice. It’s got Patri- in it. Repatriate. Patriotism. Patriotic. Proud patriarchs, traditional families, the good old days.

There’s no hint of screaming, bloody scalps, or the smell of prison cells crammed full of shit-scared people in the word at all.

So, in thinking about this and similar comments from the Frums of the world, as well as the long-standing concern over civility, I came up with a new, improved and thoroughly honest definition of civil speech:

  • Statements by the right sort of person
  • who says the right things
  • in the right way, and
  • is rewarded for doing so.

I am no tyrant. If someone fails the third portion of the test, she will be classified as “Provocative.” Provocative status might be preferable to Civil status, as the Provocateur doesn’t have to mess about with dog whistles, euphemisms and perverting the meanings of words. The down side is she may not be invited to the very best of the best parties.

A person may start out as Provocative and become Civil as his statements gain wider acceptance. (Acceptance is indicated by an increase in income/prestige gained for the statements).

Those who are made uneasy by the candor of the Rush Limbaughs of the world can say “Well, I wouldn’t put it quite that way, but he does have a point.” And provided all the punches are aimed downward, everyone who is anyone will be comfortable.

At least until the thick short-fingered vulgarians start running the show. But that’s another issue.


(Merci to tomstickler for the correction. Civility may trump accuracy, but accuracy is still important.)




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