In the end, the only rational response to self-righteous political correctness may a simple, declarative: “Oh, get over yourself.”
Is there any other way to answer Avi Selk’s Washington Post article titled: “Roy Moore says he’s a ‘witch hunt’ victim. Tell that to thousands of women killed in real ones.”
Whether the accusations from five women that Moore’s harassed them when they were underage are true or not, the way the media has jumped on this scandal (but ignored the Menendez trials and historically ignored the Clinton accusers) is enough to put Moore on solid rhetorical ground in complaining of a “witch hunt.”
Here’s why -- and try to follow me here, Avi -- nobody in the West has burned a witch for centuries. It’s pretty much unthinkable now. So over time, “witch hunt” has lost it’s literal connotations and become a metaphor to describe any zealous hunt for wrongdoing that goes on despite flimsy or even nonexistent evidence. People use metaphors all the time. That’s why elections are “horse races,” or we have a “war on poverty.” It’s not really a “war.”
So when Selk sniffs that, “The Republican Senate candidate could finally — without a whiff of intentional irony — compare his plight to the deadly persecutions of tens of thousands of women at the hands of delusional men,” in the minds of normal people, it’s not quite as damning as he thinks.
In an attempt to be bipartisan, Selk brought up the Clinton accusers, reminding readers that Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal cited The Crucible in describing what was happening to Clinton. Selk stated, “He was referring to Arthur Miller’s play about an infamous case in 1692, when droves of men in Salem, Mass., were accused of witchcraft, rounded up and . . .
Wait, that’s not quite how the history went.”
Reality check: the Salem witch trials, referred to by Avi Selk, did not just persecute women. Men were tried and executed as well for “wizardry.” If Selk had bothered to open a history book, he would have learned of George Burroughs, Giles Corey, George Jacobs, John Proctor, Wilmot Redd, and many other men who were victimized by the Salem trials. While more women than men were executed, it’s safe to say that both men and women suffered from that blot on colonial history. It’s weird to say that no one has a right to use the term to describe what’s happening to them in the modern age.
Selk briefly passed over this, saying: “And yes, men were accused and killed, too, but in history’s long, expansive witch hunt, the main prey has always been women.” But how dare people, especially men, use the term “witch hunt” to describe how the media treats them!
Selk, it should be pointed out, is a Washington Post reporter. Not a freelancer. These are the journalists they hire over there at the Post?
Roy Moore may have done awful immoral things, and it’s well that the allegations are taken seriously. That doesn’t mean we should take Selk’s argument as anything other beside the point. Like those exquisitely sensitive liberals who hie to their fainting couches lest the term “crusade” offend Muslims, the only appropriate response is, “Oh, get over yourself.”