Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Esolen on Pottersville

Matthew Franck at First Things notes of a recent Wall Street Journal editorial that it defends "the proposition that the FCC should cease and desist from enforcing any notions of decency in broadcast television..," causing him to wonder how anyone could "make such vacuous arguments." He thinks he might have found the answer in a Tony Esolen column called "Pottersville, USA," wherein Mr. Esolen speculates on a topic of recent interest here -

During a recent debate among candidates for the Republican nomination for president, one of the members of the media asked what has been decried as an absurd question. It was not about a massive health care bill, whose details were quite unknown to the very senators and congressmen who voted on it. It was not about American tax law, whose tendrils and curlicues are describable only by a judicious application of chaos theory. It was not about the American army attempting to make the world safe for – we aren’t sure. It was about whether in the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court was right to remove from the states all authority to regulate contraceptive devices and drugs.

Apparently, it is a question to arouse contemptuous laughter, whether one is an extreme statist with the false name of liberal, or a moderate statist with the false name of conservative. It is as if the nation were now basking in the warm benevolent glow of the sexual revolution; Marriages are stronger than ever before, and divorce is almost unheard of; children grow up knowing both mother and father, within the fostering shelter of committed love; Abortion is considered a scandal.

Read the whole thing here.

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