American author and Senior Editor of The Federalist, Mollie Hemmingway (nee Ziegler), has won the 2021 Bradley Prize.
Hemmingway was one of three winners out of 100 nominations.
The award “recognises individuals whose outstanding achievements reflect The Bradley Foundation’s mission to restore, strengthen, and protect the principles and institutions of American exceptionalism.”
According to The Spectator US, The Bradley Foundation, “is a Milwaukee-based conservative foundation that ‘envisions a nation invigorated by the principles and institutions that uphold our unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Responding to the achievement, Caldron Pool’s favourite Lutheran author, (and theologian in his own right) Gene Veith, signalled to Hemmingway’s “obvious talents,” and her efforts in defence of the “cause of freedom in America.”
Veith, a friend of Hemmingway, cited her persistent fight for truth in the face of “journalistic malpractice.”
Such as “forcing the mainstream media to cover the ‘murder trial of abortion butcher Kermit Gosnell,’ and ‘exposing the left’s attempt to smear Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.”
Her 2021 Bradley Prize speech is equally noteworthy.
After offering a short anecdote about bullying, Hemmingway asserted:
Today, everyday Americans are being bullied by a hard-left minority that unfortunately has taken over and controls most of the agenda-setting institutions in our country. As someone who works in the media space, I know what it is like to be a lonely voice taking on many of these powerful people.
I prefer David Azerrad’s definition that courage is the “Bold and principled defiance of the lies of the age. The conservative establishment, its politicians, and its media, don’t lack ideas or people. But too many of its leaders do lack determination and endurance and fearlessness. The people can tell. As it is said, “Men don’t follow titles, they follow courage.”
Hemmingway accused the conservative movement in Washington D.C. of “engaging in insincere opposition” to leftism.
The movement, she said, “seemed mostly interested in negotiating terms of surrender or managing defeat than preserving the republic.”
Citing Michael Malice, Hemmingway added, “Institutional conservatism and its alleged leaders” looked more like “progressivism with a speed limit.”
For conservatism to mean anything now, it has to be about rejecting this rigged system […] Our duty is to not to say “stop” but then bend the knee in cowardice when the mob comes. That brings even more harm to our more vulnerable neighbours and does nothing to prevent the destruction of the country.
Hemmingway then called the “conservative project” a “counter-revolutionary one.”
Pointing to Cancel Culture, censorship, one-sided political indoctrination as opposed to representation, and the corruption thereof, she said, “[…] if more people don’t stand up and fight hard, the nation is going to die.”
Borrowing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Hemmingway, herself a Lutheran, told the audience to guard against “fashionable pessimism, and mindless hopefulness.”
She encouraged those in attendance to be wary of having an “unwarranted faith” in the current socio-political culture wars ending well.
Advocating for a healthy optimism, guided by reason and faith, Hemmingway utilised Bonhoeffer’s term for healthy optimism: “hilaritas” (good humour),
This, he wrote, “described people optimistic about one’s own work, as bold, [with a] willingness to defy the world and popular opinion, as the firm conviction that they are doing the world GOOD with their work, even if the world isn’t pleased with it.”
Thus, Hemmingway states, “Let us have high-spirited confidence and faith in our positions.”
For, she argued:
It’s not enough […] that someone fights. The fight must be smart and tactical. While we are clearly entering an era where dissidents will be required, there’s no value in secular martyrdom or being just another victim of the regime. The fight must be supplemented by prudence and strategy. Be bold and defiant, but […] know where to aim our fire.
Hemmingway’s words resonate with those familiar with the work of Dr Stephen Chavura.
Chavura’s belief is that “courage culture is the remedy to cancel culture.”
The Australian academic has been at the forefront of academics presenting the dangers of apathy in the face of virulent cancel culture.
Central to cancel culture, writes Chavura, “is an emerging therapeutic totalitarianism, which seeks to outlaw speech and practices deemed ‘unsafe’ or ‘harmful.’”
For him, and so it seems Hemmingway, “Courage is the only way forward.”
Welcome to the rebellion!