Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

January 21, 2009

F. Scott Fitzgerald Said…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 10:33 am

… and I’m quoting from memory, “The sign of a first rate mind is tht it can hold two conflicting ideas in it at the same time without denying either.”

So: yes America is a great country and resonsible for many great things for many people and nations around the world.

And: yes there are shameful parts of America’s past that all honest and virtuous Americans deserving of the name, who have benefitted from its greatness (and especially those who boast ceaselessly about it) should be ahsamed of, and recognize that while officially over, have had long lasting impacts. Like official slavery and unofficial racism. It doesn’t mean you have to support all or any black candidates, but to deny those of us who support Obama the right to feel some satisfaction and some sense that this is a moment of redemption is something shabby and narrow minded.

i believe in both these propositions. If you don’t, I don’t think you have a first rate mind.

And by the way, to the commenter who says he suffered at the hands of a liberal lynch mob of anonyous commenters: all the more reason to oppose anonymity, I symathize with you and detest those anonymous cowards, but if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

I can beleive in both these roositions. If you can’t i don’t

And tothe commenter who exlained his anonyity by his experience with liberal lynch ob in the ast, shame on them,



  1. I accept your postition, I do not agree with it.

    Slavery was evil, so is war. Is every Jew or Hebrew to be held acountable into perpetuity for the conquest of Palestine from the Amorites? Or does sin have an expiration date?

    Satisfaction that your candidate won I will happily give you. I was happy the last time that a candidate that I approved of gained office. That he is black is of little matter to me, I wanted Colin Powell to run vs Bubba, again not due to his skin color but because I felt he was a much better man.

    That this somehow extirpates the guilt you feel I do not understand. If you have not sinned how can you be guilty? If you have, how can an external event provide absolution?

    But you still haven’t answered my questions from the last post.

    I’m not that impressed with FSF as a writer or a great purveyor of truth. Possession of incompatible ideas leads to the mental condition referred to as “cognitive dissonance”, where the mind must make constant adjustments to the facts in front of it to remain functional. It is generally viewed as a form of mental illness. Check Dr.Helen’s website on PJM for a much more erudite explantion of this disorder.

    And thanks for saying I don’t have a “first rate” mind. You don’t even know me, but you insult me over a difference of opinion.

    Comment by Anton — January 21, 2009 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  2. Brain failure: DrSanity, mayhaps I don’t have a first rate mind after all.

    Comment by Anton — January 21, 2009 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  3. Actually, Ralph Waldo Emerson said it first. F. Scott Fitzgerald borrowed it, memorably, in the posthumously published (edited by Edmund Wilson) “The Crack-Up”. Fitzgerald went on to compare his mind to a cracked plate, not good enough to serve food on, but able to hold leftovers in the back of the icebox.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 21, 2009 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  4. By the way, if you hold to Genesis, sin’s expiration date comes with the Messiah.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 21, 2009 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  5. But Charlie, how about second-hand guilt? Guilt from a sin that you did not commit? That was my question.

    Comment by Anton — January 21, 2009 @ 11:49 am | Reply

  6. In Genesis, it is all the same. Why not take a piece of the joy Obama is bringing out in so many just for today? Plenty, including Senators from his own party, will drag him down tomorrow. To be black in America is to walk in the shadows. No more.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 21, 2009 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  7. Charlie, Sadly I smell the rancour of gloating in too much of what I hear from the left (booing when Pres Bush appears on the podium duringthe swearing in). This election has done little for me except to confirm the the Dems are the party of race-baiting (notice the specific naming of names in the invocation; whites get right? implying that we are inherently wrong somehow).

    The back-to back selection of persons of color to the post of Sec of State (the second one a woman to boot) and the appointment of an Hispanic as Atty General by the “racist party” were of substance. The election of someone due to his color is just as racist as disbarring someone due his color.

    As I said earlier, I AM heartened by the fact that a black man CAN be elacted president of the very best nation on earth, I cannot feel happy that it is THIS black man. There were many better choices open to both parties.

    Comment by Anton — January 21, 2009 @ 12:17 pm | Reply

  8. Check out Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg’s post today on “The Weekly Standard” Blog

    Comment by charlie finch — January 21, 2009 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

  9. Oh, Ron, my name is John Thull.

    Now will you answer my questions? Or does my status as a “second class mind” mean that I am below that dignity?

    How do I know that Ron Rosenbaum isn’t just a pen-name?

    Comment by Anton — January 21, 2009 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

  10. Interesting posts Charlie, the Weekly Standard is usually pretty thoughtful. Perhaps I am too much a cynic to “feel the joy” of a symbolic act.

    Remember when the the Camp David Accords went through? Symbols without real action have lost their importance to me.

    I am particulary worried over Obama’s past, and current, friends. His Cabinet appointments don’t cheer me either.

    But, we are way off-topic here. I still don’t buy into race-guilt; the argumnet lacks moral basis or logical structure.

    I would be far happier if Ron would engage in discussion rather than throwing names at readers, I liked his books, he doesn’t read the way he posts.

    Comment by Anton — January 21, 2009 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

  11. ” . . . but to deny those of us who support Obama the right to feel some satisfaction and some sense that this is a moment of redemption is something shabby and narrow minded.”

    Aw, you poor persecuted little Ron Rosenbaum. Wise up. Nobody’s denied you the right to feel or think anything. You shame yourself with your insults and accusations.

    Comment by Carl Sesar — January 22, 2009 @ 2:36 am | Reply

  12. Let’s get the quote right, first off. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

    I must confess I am baffled by the sentiments I’m reading in the comments. It seems clear enough that Bush, having been given a free hand, has pretty conclusively demonstrated the bankruptcy of the ideology which provided the foundations for his policies. To hope that the new Administration’s efforts likewise fail is to indulge in a form of nihilism.

    Maybe a good start on developing the chops necessary to establish a first rate mind would be to read the Nobel Prize lecture given by the late Harold Pinter; and then read Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.

    Comment by Bill Altreuter — January 22, 2009 @ 11:54 am | Reply

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