Bruce Jenner, Brett Favre, and the cultural totalitarians

In a truly surreal display, NFL great Brett Favre is being denounced by the left’s new cultural commissars for not clapping long and hard enough at ESPN’s ESPY awards, as Bruce/“Caitlyn” Jenner received a “Courage” award for his efforts to become a woman.  Oddly, Favre did applaud – not doing so would have been a grave heresy to America’s new church of progressive inquisitors.  His sin was not applauding enthusiastically enough.

The New York Post placed a video of Favre’s blasphemous insufficient clapping, juxtaposed with Jenner’s celebratory ascent to the stage.  The video repeatedly replays Favre’s cruel, disgraceful, calloused political-ideological-cultural faux paus for the stunned amazement and universal condemnation of the New American masses.  Yes, Mr. Favre, you’re guilty – we caught you on tape!

No, I’m not making this up.  In the New America, not only must we accept transgenderism, but we must literally applaud it – and literally applaud it long, loud, and hard.  And remember, Big Brother is watching you.  Well, Brett Favre didn’t, and now the left’s ministers of culture are relegating him to their progressive gulag.

In fact, it all smacks of the gulag – literally.  On my shelf at my office is Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s classic, The Gulag Archipelago.  There, on page 69 of volume 1, is a chilling account of a Stalinist Soviet Union where men were actually penalized for not clapping ardently enough.  Solzhenitsyn wrote:

At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up. ... For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, “the stormy applause, rising to an ovation,” continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin.

However, who would dare to be the first to stop? … After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who would quit first! …

[The comrades] couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly -- but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them?

The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! …

Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! … To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved!

That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him. … After he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:

“Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”

Obey, comrade!  This man was condemned in Stalin’s Soviet Union for not clapping long enough.  True story.

Fast-forward to today, in the left’s New America: Brett Favre is criticized for not clapping long enough – amid a nervous hall of cowering athletes with make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope – in praise of Bruce Jenner’s attempt to be surgically reconstructed to appear as a woman.  I suppose the Hall of Fame quarterback should consider himself lucky that our forces of “tolerance” and “diversity” didn’t consign him to Siberia for ten years of hard labor.

David Horowitz’s FrontPageMagazine has a slogan that says, “Inside every liberal is a totalitarian screaming to get out.”  I once thought that was maybe a little over the top.  Well, liberals are doing their best to show my naïveté.

Hey, liberals – is this what your New America is like?  It’s an awful place.

Paul Kengor’s latest book is Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.  His other books include The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.

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