Thursday, June 24, 2021

All the Lovely People

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

A woman's name came up in polite conversation recently. She runs one of the school boards of which I have been critical of late. That board has been doing a horrible job, a complete disservice to the kids at that school.

"She's perfectly lovely," I was told by someone who knew her. "Yes, lovely," someone else agreed.

Here's the thing: I'm sure she is. I know many of these people. They're all lovely. Boards everywhere are populated with delightful, successful people who would be wonderful table partners at a dinner party. Politically, they are largely centrists.

And yet, woke perversities and the insanity of Critical Race Theory are being institutionalized on their watch. 

And it's not just school boards. It's institutions of all kinds - corporations, foundations, NGOs...all of them, really. And, arguably, they are overseeing the dismantling of Western culture, of the Great Experiment. 

This is not an exaggeration.

How can this be?

This is a source of some interest to me, so I decided to talk to a number of people about it. There are several factors at play.

First, about a decade ago, boards made a laudable effort to diversify themselves. In the process, they got what they asked for, which was not merely skin color diversity but opinion diversity. At least, they thought they wanted that. Or perhaps they thought their new members would smile and keep to themselves, just happy to be there.

Some of the new faces were considerably more radicalized than anyone may have realized. It's also possible they became more radicalized, as was the fashion, post Ferguson, and in particular, post George Floyd. Either way, most boards now found themselves with one or two very different voices in their midst, voices pushing for radical change.

Normally, this wouldn't matter. Boards are usually twenty or more people, and an extremist or two would easily be voted down.

But this time was different.

You see, if the extremist voices are "of color," it changes the social dynamic entirely. Remember, we are dealing with Lovely People here. Lovely People are virtuous. Lovely People don't make a fuss. Lovely People embrace diversity, and they want to be sure you know that.

So much easier to go along. 

Plus, these new advocates for social justice were just so damn passionate. They pushed their agendas with vigor.

This has long been a crucial aspect of the American polity. The left cares about what it cares for more strongly than the right. They write letters to the editor, they go to town meetings. They hashtag ad infinitum. If it's Tuesday, it must be a women's march. Or a climate march. Or a food justice march. (Not kidding, it's a thing.)

Conservatives don't do these things. Or rarely, anyway. They get outworked, out hustled, and outshouted.

Many of the radical changes that have happened in our institutions also happened during the Trump administration. This is no coincidence. You see, Lovely People couldn't be seen to be Trump supporters. In places like Manhattan it was social suicide. 

Lovely People didn't approve. 

So, if you stood in the way of these new voices, the others would be on to your scent. They would sniff a Trumpist inside their boardroom walls.

Like I said, suicide.

There's also the matter of board...comity? No board likes dissension, and they especially don't like it when word of dissension leaks out. Group dynamics create groupthink.

But lastly, with private school boards, there has been an entirely unique factor at play. Most school board members have enrolled children. Put yourself in their place. Assuming you even had qualms about having your kids labeled "supremacists" and "oppressors," you were all too aware there could be real consequences if you resisted the New Order.

You see, the administrators and teachers were all enthusiastically on board. Stand in the way of this train and that letter of recommendation to Yale might not have the necessary adjectives.

Don't think they're above it, because they're not.

You might even have to find another school, and that's certainly a hassle, and it might not be a brand, like Dalton or Brearley, and that will be an issue next time you compare familial notes at the club. So where's Taylor now?

So, you see, if you're a Lovely Person, there's just no incentive to raise your hand, no incentive to say, "but wait."

The Lovely People don't get ahead by throwing bombs.

The problem is, as the Naked Dollar has repeatedly pointed out, progressive movements are never sated. The goal posts are always moved. The Lovely People will go along and go along until one day the revolution comes for them.


  1. When you say, 'Lovely', you mean useless. They shouldn't be on the board. And, no, it wasn't 'laudatory' to add 'viewpoint diversity' if the diverse weren't on board with the historical mission of the school.

    Your main problem is the faculty and administration. They generally have one thing in common: time in teachers' colleges. Note, 90% of all school teachers and administrators are public employees. State legislatures and administrative agencies make time in teachers' colleges a requirement and, even when they do not, the hiring manager is commonly someone who has and who isn't amenable to the idea he was wasting his life there. Teachers' colleges vary in quality, but are commonly purveyors of the worst sort of humbug. So, your faculty and administration is made of of people who think humbug is serious business (or were for one reason or another willing to sit through the humbug). Thomas Sowell has been making the case for a generation that teachers' colleges reduce the quality of the applicant pool.

    Republican state legislators, if they were something other than otiose Chamber-of-Commerce turnips, could provide a partial remedy for this by shuttering state teachers' colleges and insisting, for reasons of consumer protection, that 'education' programs at private institutions re-label themselves. Step two would be to strip out any provision in state law which requires or allows the state board of regents or local school boards to require that applicants have BEd or MEd degrees.

  2. Something else you can do: modify state corporate law to require that philanthropic corporations be governed by boards elected by stakeholders, in postal balloting supervised by the state board of elections. Need to get rid of self-regenerating secret societies and their bloody nominating committees. In the case of the Dalton School, the stakeholder body would be alumni who were registered to vote in New York. By 'alumni', I mean (1) persons who attended the school for at least 7 full academic years or (2) persons who attended the school for at least the whole of their senior year and then received a diploma from it.

  3. Gabriel PentelieJune 27, 2021 at 4:30 AM

    To paraphrase the ole adage, ...

    For Woke Nihilists to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that Lovely People should do nothing.

    Thankfully, as we have seen in the past few weeks, not just in Red states/counties but Blue, Mama and Papa Bears (of all hues) have begun to awake from their hibernation and rally in roaring defense of their cubs.

  4. You mention something I have noted numerous times - that the Left will consistently and inexorably punch well above it's weight for a very simple reason: the question is the role and power of The State. Party A worships the State, loves The State, believes anything, everything, and everbody should be under the control of The State, and are students and masters of that State and it's machinery.

    Party B.... wants to be LEFT THE EFF ALONE! Raise your kids however you want, dress like a furry, have sex with a tree, whatever...knock yourself out.... BUT LEAVE ME AND MY FAMILY ALONE!

    Party B wants to do politics... in the 90 days before an election. Other than that, they want to do business.... family.... church.... hobbies....

    Party A - ALL politics, ALL day, EVERY day, 24/7/365, 366 on leap years.

    Golly, it's a fight over politics and State power - who do YOU think is gonna win?

  5. Pitch perfect article, on a topic of which I had never thought about before. But in my opinion, you nailed it. Sadly.

    1. You need to read Who Goes Nazi? by Dorothy Thompson.

    2. Well worth reading. Reminds one how much our current social milieu is almost tailor made to produce people susceptible to being Nazi's. We have emptied people of all conviction, all religion, all morality and simultaneously built a media and social media system, used and viewed by almost everyone, designed to make many feel just that touch of inadequacy and resentment. Almost tailor made.

  6. Lovely people don't have ugly and immoral beliefs like CRT.

    1. You put your finger on a key aspect of this issue. In this Alice In Wonderland realm, what is objectively ugly and immoral - such as CRT - has become subjectively beautiful and virtuous. When social status is what matters most, objective reality is often the first casualty. Progressives have a feral understanding of this, and they exploit it at every turn.

  7. "Progressive": This word always reminds me of cancer, which kills the host.

  8. I'm somewhat disappointed there was no link to the lovely people webcomic in this post.

  9. Lovely people are also nice guys. They'd rather die than not be nice. They'd rather die than offend anyone. The post WWII WASPs writ large.

    People like Donald Trump and Laura Loomer aren't lovely, we're told. That's because they fight back.

  10. In my 30 years in non-profits, the loveliest of the lovely were usually women. In groups.

    1. Cruel to the kind and kind to the cruel, because it's easier that way.

  11. Progressives are never sated because they are the ideological equivalent to marketing folks. ALWAYS looking for the next score, the next better, stronger, sexier new thing. What IS will be discarded for what is NEW. They WILL abandon Heaven for Hell simply because that is the only way the can "progress".

  12. Just a richer breed of cattle. Like all cattle, they are incapable of thinking for themselves. They determine what their herd finds acceptable and adopt that attitude/position. They do not give two cents whether or not it's true; Truth and reason have no bearing for them and no power to persuade them. All that matters to them is securing their position in their cattle herd.

    This cattle herd is even more contemptible than the common ones. They have had every advantage and been exposed to Truth and Reason, and they reject them, even to the point of their herd stampeding over the cliff.

  13. Cress theory ...the keys to the colors

  14. I'm glad this petty gossip blog gives you a sense of purpose.

    1. You'd do better as a troll if you actually understood the definition of the words you used.

      I see the Dalton School hires only the very best.


    Did you catch this? Ya think maybe one problem is that the pool of people attracted to school teaching and school administration in our time is abnormally studded with sexual perverts? And do you notice how her pedagogy tries to alienate children from their family members.

    Tens of thousands of dollars in tuition and this is what you get.