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The Wire IV.4-13


Making Patriots

Education is this story’s theme. Educating children is liberalism’s most abject failure. & liberals have promised enlightenment! Confronted with harsh injustice, liberal teachers prefer to flatter other liberals, on taxpayer money. Hence the academic jargon, bureaucracy, & federal programs. Consequences be damned.

Liberals misunderstand children. This teaches children that education is weakness masquerading as generosity. The kids are harsh. They constantly fear harm. They stupidly provoke it, out of resentment. But liberal weakness is no whip. It evokes in them begging & pleading. This teaches them that capricious willfulness is master of all.

The election is also an education into city politics. Some few have money & influence; even fewer have power. This is democracy: Getting money & flattering the mob are the tried & tested ways. How to be a policeman without being involved in democratic politics? – or a teacher. Here, all public things can become political issues. Democracy means an issue can be made out of almost anything. From serious concerns to hysteria, life can rapidly become very interesting. Nothing is untouchable.

The cops, at a cop wake, drunkenly sing The Pogues’ ‘Body of an American.’ We get to hear them shout they are free born men of the USA. How about the people living their lives in fear of crime? How are they different to slaves? There is the vote.

The policeman who tried to legalize drugs is now trying to educate the youths growing up with drug-dealing. He believes he cannot persuade or compel them to change their ways. Within the conventional limits of schools, he tries to see & do things their way. He does not know he does not know crime. His long & bitter experience goes with his soft & moral way. He wants to believe in these children. He is therefore liberalism’s champion. He underestimates horror. If the students believed in him, some would become soft & risk destruction, the others would lose hope thereby & resign themselves to harsh injustice. – The liberal school drama is his backdrop: there is never enough money, all the teachers are saints, but the politicians & tests are evil & unsympathetic. Despite liberal sentimentality, this just proves teachers are useless.

Consider these two murderers. The first, just out of prison, learns he’s soft. He doesn’t want to kill anymore. He teaches kids boxing now, but he cannot persuade them to show up. They are spirited, but do not want to learn any craft. Technique & willfulness are obviously enemies. The latter, serving life, no parole, confessed to dozens of murders. His kind of man, he did kill dozens. He teaches his son that things have changed: The crime family has degenerated; honor is no longer possible.