“…the Confederacy’s primary reason for being was to preserve racial slavery — that is, to violate natural rights rather than to secure them. That is what Confederate soldiers fought for. Whatever else their battle flag may mean, it has to mean that.”“If your ancestors fought for the Confederacy, I do not respect their ‘service’ or their ‘sacrifice.'”
I’ve been a loyal reader of National Review, and National Review Online, since 2000. I have contributed financially to National Review most of those years—usually with a subscription fee, but sometimes with a pledge drive donation.
I have long appreciated the consistent dignity its editorial staff brings to the discussion, whatever the discussion may be (and however irreverent the writer). It is a dignity that has always been informed by the fact that thinking, reasonable people can come to different conclusions.
This thinking, reasonable person concludes that scare quotes around “service” and “sacrifice” above are not dignified.
Jason Lee Steorts’ National Review association has taken a rather bizarre turn lately. Before this latest chapter, his most recent play was a 7,000-word discursive emesis supporting gay marriage.
Now given my position on such, I was fine with most of the content. However, so little editorial discretion with such high visibility is alarming. Too tame for red meat, yet far too long to reach anyone persuadable, it wears its self-indulgence on its sleeve. It’s a poster child piece for the power of a good editor.
And now we have the above. It is the spitting on of the notion that thinking, reasonable people can find the Civil War, its causes, and its effects complex topics indeed; the wholesale dismissal of the premise that there is room for genuine honor of the fallen on both sides.
It’s perhaps poetic that Steorts is the guy who ran off Mark Steyn from National Review because he wasn’t being polite enough, don’t you think?
As I type Jason Lee Steorts has remained silent in the aftermath of his screed. I presume said silence corresponds to a lack of regret. This stance falls unacceptably short of National Review‘s long-established bar.
Should he continue to be unrepentant, Steorts’ association with National Review should be terminated.