The wise comedian Rob Schneider tweeted this week, “There was the Age of Enlightenment, The Age of Reason … we are all now living in The Age of Emotion.”
Actor Will Smith was so overcome with emotion when comedian Chris Rock made a joke about his wife at Sunday’s Oscars that he stormed the stage and slapped Mr. Rock in the face.
“Love will make you do crazy things,” Mr. Smith explained to the Academy, after being awarded the best actor trophy — and not a night in jail — later in the ceremony. Mr. Smith would proceed to party late into the night, dancing to his own songs, celebrating his victory.
President Biden was also overcome with emotion last week. Distraught at the plight of Ukrainian refugees he saw in Poland, he ad-libbed during a globally televised address that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”
Mr. Biden emphatically, unequivocally, called for regime change in Russia, giving Mr. Putin the propaganda talking point he needs to go for broke in Ukraine. Why come to the negotiating table if the American president just reinforced Mr. Putin’s worst fears — that the West wants to control countries around the world and determine their leaders? Undoubtedly, Mr. Putin will use Mr. Biden’s words to persuade the Russian people his war is just.
“The fact of the matter is I was expressing the moral outrage I felt toward the way Putin is dealing, and the actions of this man — just — just the brutality of it,” Mr. Biden later explained of what he called his “personal feelings.”
“I wasn’t then, nor am I now, articulating a policy change,” the president insisted. “I was expressing the moral outrage that I feel, and I make no apologies for it.”
Who cares if those feelings might ignite World War III?
Feelings and emotion, not reason or restraint, rule those on the left.
They use the fragility of their moods as an excuse for erratic, irresponsible or reprehensible behavior, and — more important — as a tool to silence anyone who may criticize that behavior.
For years now, conservatives have been warned not to use “trigger” words that might offend the left’s brittle sensibilities. “Woke” college campuses have implemented “safe spaces” as a haven for like-minded individuals to have their viewpoints affirmed and validated.
“I’ll literally fight you, b——,” was the reception Kristen Waggoner, the general counsel at the conservative organization the Alliance Defending Freedom, received from a Yale law student this month when she was invited on campus to talk about a free-speech case.
About 120 students shouted down Mrs. Waggoner, pounded on the classroom walls, and chanted over her speech in an attempt to drown her out. Members of the Federalist Society, which organized the event, were harassed and physically threatened by their fellow law students. Police officers were called to escort Mrs. Waggoner from the campus.
None of the students were punished — they actually doubled down on their deplorable behavior in an open letter to the university, whining about how their so-called protest was dismissed as “childish” and how the police response had put Yale’s “queer student body at risk of harm.”
On Monday, Yale’s law school dean conceded the students’ behavior was “unacceptable,” but insisted it didn’t violate the college’s rules.
How far we’ve come from the Age of Reason or Enlightenment — emotion now rules the day.
A civilized society can’t continue like this.
In 2020, after George Floyd’s death, many Black Lives Matter protests turned ugly — emotions were running high, leading to rioting, looting and arson. Instead of condemning and arresting the protesters, progressive leaders bailed out the criminals and refused to prosecute them. Many cities defunded or dismantled their police departments in a knee-jerk response.
That same year, murders in the U.S. spiked more than 27%, the largest percentage increase in at least six decades. Fatal shootings have increased by about 80% in the nation’s largest cities since then.
This is where heightened emotions lead us — chaos and ruin. Is this the future the left wants?
• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at the Washington Times.
Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Click to Read More and View Comments
Click to Hide
Please read our comment policy before commenting.