Viewing Kavanaugh as part of a narrative

Jonah Goldberg dissects at National Review Online the approach some left-of-center commentators take toward U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Why is Brett Kavanaugh so upset?

It’s a question few ask because so many already think they know the answer.

The most common explanation — the hot take so hot it melted the conventional wisdom and forged a new concrete groupthink — is that Kavanaugh was so angry because he represents White Male Entitlement.

The WME explanation is a form of allegory, not argument. In allegories, the characters aren’t real people so much as metaphors for certain ideas. For instance, in The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), the main character is named Christian, and on his trek he encounters other abstractions in human form, such as Mr. Worldly Wiseman.

Kavanaugh is now Mr. White Male Entitlement, and as such, he is by definition wrong because that is his assigned role. …

… This is all emblematic of one of the chief problems with our politics today, on the left and the right. We follow politics as if it were a movie or, in this case, an allegory, in which characters are denied human agency and assigned the task of merely personifying an idea or theme. Thus Christine Blasey Ford isn’t a specific human being making specific charges, but an avatar for an idea about all women at a moment when “all women” must be believed.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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