»  National Review Online

October 31, 2000

   Ten More Things You Can't Say in America


Talk show host Larry Elder has got himself a modest best-seller with his book The Ten Things You Can't Say in America. I don't think I am violating any laws or honor codes if I list Mr. Elder's ten chapter headings right here:

  1. Blacks are more racist than whites.
  2. White condescension is as bad as black racism.
  3. The media bias — it's real, it's widespread, it's destructive.
  4. The glass ceiling — full of holes.
  5. America's greatest problem: not crime, racism or bad schools — it's illegitimacy.
  6. There is no health-care "crisis."
  7. America's welfare state: the tyranny of the status quo.
  8. Republicans versus Democrats — maybe a dime's worth of difference.
  9. The war against drugs is Vietnam II: we're losing this one, too.
  10. Gun control advocates — good guys with blood on their hands.

I applaud Larry Elder's efforts to open a crack of honesty in the wall of lies and self-deceptions that forms our public discourse. Now I am going to hammer my own wedge into the crack, in the hope of widening it just a little.

11  American society is increasingly a conspiracy of the smart against the dumb. Who, exactly, do you think benefits from having a 70,000-page tax code? The low-IQ guy trying to run a small business? Or the accountant he has to pay to interpret the code for him? And who benefits from an "open borders" immigration policy? The $350-an-hour lawyer who needs his lawn trimmed and his pool cleaned? Or the low-IQ citizen who'd be glad to do the work … if there weren't 100 Mexican illegals on line ahead of him, willing to do it for half the price? But hey, low-IQ types don't vote much. And they can easily be bamboozled with some scare talk about "racism" or "the rich." True, they have guns and that might turn nasty; but the smart people have a plan to get their guns off them, so things will work out OK. This system is called "meritocracy."

12  Ninety-nine per cent of the stuff exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art is esthetically worthless and will be utterly forgotten 100 years from now. Some similar proportion of the items published in poetry magazines are likewise without any redeeming value and will likewise be forgotten. The last decent opera anybody wrote was Turandot (1926). The last decent symphony was Vaughan Williams Ninth (1958). The human race can no longer paint great pictures, write great poems, or compose great music. We have forgotten how to do these things. Culturally, the present age is a vast stony desert. We are living on the glories of the past.

13  Race is real. Nope, it's not just a "social construct" or a fig newton of your imagination. Races really exist; and they differ from each other in numerous ways, most of which are not visible to the eye. Watch the finals of the Olympic men's 100-meter dash. Then watch the Asian-American kids pouring into Yale, Harvard, MIT. Oh, and by the way: The Jews are a race. They are, on average, much smarter than the rest of us. They got that way by practicing eugenics for 2,000 years. And it is not anti-Semitic to point any of this out.

14  Public education is a failure. Yes, I know, it's heartbreaking. "Our wonderful public-school system" — the one that Americanized all those immigrants back in Ellis Island days, the one that gave even the poorest kids a flying start in life — is broken beyond all hope of repair. Forget hiring 100,000 new teachers; that would just swell the ranks of the teacher unions, the most reactionary and destructive force in American public life. Forget vouchers; that will just give federal bureaucrats and social engineers a foot in the door of every private and parochial school, so they can wreck them with their asinine schemes (remember VMI?) Privatize the whole damn thing. You want your kids educated? We take Master Card. Can't afford it? Sell your third car, or get married before you have kids, or something.

15  The main thing that male homosexuals like to do with each other is unhygienic, spreads disease, and pushes important body parts past their design limits. Outlaw it? No, it's private; the police have no business in anybody's bedroom. But we should discourage it for all we're worth. Gay is not just as good as straight. It's against nature, unhealthy and antisocial. "Gay marriages" will fail at rates hugely greater than straight marriages, because gay relationships are, statistically speaking, unstable — way unstable. "Homosexuals don't want marriages, they just want weddings" — Steve Sailer. And allowing homosexuals to adopt children is an awful idea. It's like saying: Let's identify the most promiscuous, most unstable subset of heterosexuals, and allow them to adopt.

16  Racial profiling is common sense, and good, fair police practice. A young white guy cruising slowly round in a black neighborhood is looking to buy drugs. Two young black guys cruising around slowly in a white neighborhood are looking for someone to rob. A 20-year-old pickup truck speeding north along Interstate 5 from San Diego with fifteen Aztecs crammed in the back is shipping in illegal aliens. Or possibly not, in every case; but all should be pulled over for a check. It's a tiny inconvenience to them, and if you keep doing it you'll catch lots of criminals.

17  Our military has been crippled by insane attempts to prove that women make just as good soldiers, sailors and pilots as men. They don't, and never will. Women have no place in combat. In the event of war breaking out, the Pentagon should have a plan (I'm betting it actually does have a plan) to hustle all those "women soldiers" into rear areas out of harm's way, so the men can get on with fighting. If, that is, they had any time at boot camp to learn how, in between all those "gender sensitivity awareness" lectures.

18  The U.S.A. is a conservative-Republican nation tilted over to the left by black people, who are overwhelmingly socialist. Black Americans are the last big group of people in the world who haven't yet got the news that SOCIALISM DOESN'T WORK. The Russians know it, The Chinese know it, Bulgarians and Lithuanians and Czechs and North Koreans and illiterate hill tribes in Laos all know it; but Jesse Jackson and Kweisi Mfume still don't know it.

19  It sure is a shame what 19th-century Americans did to the Indians. This, however, is the 21st century, and there isn't anything we can do about it now. For their sake and ours, the best thing we can do is to void all laws recognizing Indian tribes as legal entities, tell them they are all full citizens of the U.S.A. with the same rights and responsibilities as the rest of us, and divvy up federally-held or -protected Indian land and sell it, or give it, to the people that live on it. Puerto Rico and the Pacific territories should be asked by referendum if they want independence or statehood, while simultaneous referendums are held in the U.S.A. to find out if Americans want these territories as states. In the case of a "Yes" from both sides for any territory, that territory should get statehood. In any other case, they should be given independence, whether they want it or not.

20  For most people, college education is a waste of time and money. We don't need more lawyers, accountants, investment bankers and architects. We sure as hell don't need more "critical theorists" — one is too many. We need more plumbers, roofers, carpenters, auto repairmen, furniture makers, electricians, tree surgeons, mail carriers, landscapers, computer programmers and entrepreneurs, all of whom can much better be trained on the job. With an open, fair and well-designed apprenticeship system (translation: one that had been taken out of the hands of the labor unions), we could close down 80 per cent of our colleges and be happier, wealthier and more productive. A side benefit would be to gut the power of the intelligentsia, which is responsible for having wrecked our culture.