Courage. There are lots of reasons to have it, in a vast number of situations.
George Clooney’s wife, Amal, outlined some of those in her recent commencement speech at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University.
Less than a mile from the old studio location for Hee Haw, the human rights attorney commissioned the young and idealistic to go into the world and wage war for the things that really matter — namely, journalists and homosexuals. Clooney fought the power with the following:
“Courage is needed more than ever. At a time when women all over the world face physical abuse, restrictions over their ability to work, own property, travel and even have custody over their children, we need courage. At a time when the LGBT community on every continent struggles for equal rights, freedom from imprisonment and even death, we need courage. At a time when more journalists are imprisoned around the world than anytime in the last three decades, and even here at home the media is under attack from the White House, we need courage.”
Courage is needed more than ever? More than during World War II? More than just after 9/11? More than during the Revolutionary War? Or, worldwide, any time before that?
Indeed, it is so, according to Amal. Women are facing abuse and discrimination; bisexuals endure the scourge of inequality; and President Donald Trump has turned journalists into a protected species.
Obviously, no sane person wants women to be abused; and many women are indeed suffering — at the hands of an ideology which the Left refuses to condemn. Regarding the remaining two:
Surely, Clooney can’t really believe transsexuals and reporters have always had it better than now.
Nevertheless, for some, this is what presently passes for a terrific oration. I’m not criticizing Ms. Clooney’s desire to see any given group find a better place in the world. But I believe her message to graduates is a perfect example of pandering, partisan talking points over substance, and the abject pettiness into which our society is sinking.
During George Bush’s presidency, his opponents began comparing him to Hitler. That was an incredible show of historical ignorance and reprehensible disrespect for those who perished at the hands of the Nazis. Trump’s political entrance brought the same unfounded association, only worse.
Our society is failing to “major in the majors and minor in the minors.” We are living in a world where young people are taught the devastating importance of whether someone uses their preferred pronouns. College students are being conditioned to believe they are terribly persecuted if anyone mentions something with which they disagree.
Our idea of the most important things — like courage — is being downgraded to social activism for ancillary leftist causes. Meanwhile, there are bigger problems in the world that need tending to.
I think of Star Wars: The Last Jedi as an excellent indication that we’ve lost our way. The Rebellion, in its original iteration, was a group of people who knew the galaxy was under such dire threat of slavery or extermination that defending it was worth one’s life. It was a conflict born of the highest stakes. However, under Disney’s liberal leadership, the new trilogy’s second installment saw a young rebel — someone who had decided she was willing die for the most important cause in the universe — state that freeing a few animals made a failed attempt to save the word totally “worth it.” This is where we are.
As for homosexuals and those reporting the news, they seem to be doing a fair bit better than at other times in history. And to whatever degree they are suffering, I suspect Amal Clooney has heard of a few other, broader reasons to be brave. Those reasons, it seems to me, would perhaps have more better inspired a generation to courageously make the world a better place.