I’ve Been Hearing This Since…

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…that fifth grade essay I had to write for a State Standards exam. You know the type – Write a five hundred word essay on the importance of voting. It is therefore easy to imagine just one of the reasons why I cringe every time I hear something like this:

Mrs. Obama also told her audience that turnout was a large part of her husband’s victories, especially “women and minorities and young people.” Republicans, she explained, counted on “folks like us” to stay away from the polls.

And I don’t know if you remember, but people were shocked when Barack won — they’re still shocked — (laughter and applause) — because they were counting on folks like us to stay home.  See, but then we proved them wrong.  Barack won because OF record numbers of women and minorities and young people who showed up and voted.

But the Fifth Grade was way back in the past. And Adulthood is left with the basic premise that your husband, Mrs. Obama, was initially elected based not on the content of his character; Isn’t that what the vetting process used to do? No, Barack was elected because a majority of the sleepy electorate were like, dude, he’s black and that’s enough for my vote.

In grown up terms, Michelle, he was elected based on the color of his skin. And the irony is that you and the Black Caucus are spitting on MLK Jr and all the good the old Civil Rights Movement represented and accomplished.

But then again I’m white. So what do I know about any of this.

Why I Do Not Identify With Conservatism

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In recent weeks I finished a book by John Lukacs entitled A New Republic: A History of the United States in the Twentieth Century. Sometimes it takes a naturalized foreigner to see things American-born citizens can’t or won’t see. From pp. 337-8 of the 2004 printing:

Here was a peculiarly American paradox: the liberals had become senile, while the conservatives were immature. Their intellectual – and moral – substance was not sufficient to fill the post-liberal vacuum. The reason for this was not the cultural inferiority of American conservatives when compared to American liberals: that was a condition that the conservative intellectual movement had, by and large, outgrown. The reason for this was the conservatives’ split-mindedness — suggesting that split-mindedness, too, was not a monopoly of American liberals. The conservatives argued against big government: yet they favored the most monstrous of government projects, laser warfare, biological warfare, nuclear superbombs. They were against the police state: yet they were eager to extend the powers of the FBI and the CIA. They were against government regulation of “free” enterprise: yet they supported at times the government shoring up or bailing out large corporations. They stood for the conservation of America’s heritage: yet they were indifferent to the conservation of the American land. They proclaimed themselves to be the prime defenders of Western civilization: yet many of them had a narrowly nationalist, and broadly Californian, view of the world — narrow enough to be ignorant, broad enough to be flat. “I was a nationalist,” Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf about his youth, “but I was not a patriot.” So were, unfortunately, most American conservatives, unaware of the crucial difference (George Orwell described it in one of his prime essays) betwen the ideological nationalist and the true patriot: the former is moved by the desire to extend the power of his nation, the latter is moved by the love of his country. They were nationalist rather than patriotic: they put their nationalism above their religion, their nationalism was their religion. Thus American conservatives welcomed (at worst) or were indifferent (at best) to the dangers of excessive American commitments to all kinds of foreign governments or — what was more important — to the flooding of the United States by countless immigrants from the south who would provide cheap labor but whose increasing presence could only exacerbate deep national problems…The true patriot and the true conservative is suspicious of ideology, of any ideology: yet the American conservatives were, more than often, ideologues, disregarding John Adams’s pithy statement that  ideology amounted to idiocy. Their view of the world and their consequent advocacies of foreign policies were lamentable, since their view of the Soviet Union as the focus of a gigantic atheistic conspiracy and the source of every possible evil in the world was as unrealistic, unhistorical, ideological, and illusionary as the pro-Soviet illusions of the former liberals and progressives had been. Even though intellectuals of the American conservative movement were often more generous and less narrow-minded than were liberal intellectuals, they seldom hesitated to ally themselves with, and to seek the support of, some of the most uncouth and slovenly-minded people and politicians. That was just the trouble. As Jonathan Swift said, certain people “have just enough religion to hate but not enough to love.” Many American conservatives, alas, gave ample evidence that they were just conservative enough to hate liberals but not enough to love liberty.

Dick Cheney The Ol’ Neocon Bastard

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Compare the philosophic differences in the following quotes:

She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart….Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

John Quincy Adams, 4 July 1821

As quoted recently by Dick Cheney:

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan said, “If history teaches anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.”

One knows he is on the right track when neo-cons start up with their tired tirades. The two good things Obama has done in the last six years is to “end” our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq and draw down the size of the Armed Forces. Regarding the latter, America has done so after every war before World War II. Yet after that war, we actually grew our military, to combat an imagined threat in the Cold War, thanks in part to Truman’s missteps and Ike’s missed opportunities to open up talks with the Soviets in the early-mid 1950’s.

Cheney seems to have forgotten that putting Iran into the Axis of Evil in the 2000’s nixed a reformist Iranian governmnet and brought Ahmadinejad to power. Does he also forget that Kuwait was carved out of Iraq by the British? Or that modern Near East states were created by the Allies post-World War I? How our loans to Saddam during the Iraq-Iran War collapsed an Iraqi economy that had been on the rebound before the war? That both reasons led Saddam to invade Kuwait? Does he remember we fed supplies and money into the Iraq-Iran war? Or what of Afghanistan – that we did the same to the Mujahideen and Taliban fighters to spite the Soviets?

Does Cheney, who views the surge with warm feelings because of its “success” understand it was necessary because Rumsfeld refused to understand the concept of invading with overpowering numbers? Would Cheney be able to honestly tell us he believes the American Way is not a cookie-cutter experience for all peoples in all places in all times? If not, I would suggest he read Orestes A. Brownson.

No, the clear evidence Dick Cheney sees he wrongly interprets. The world has not spoken any clearer in telling America to return to its Enlightenment principles. The world does not need another Imperal parent. Spurn Churchill’s desire and lay the British Empire to rest.

In Cheney’s view:

Tragically, [Obama] is quickly proving…that without American pre-eminence, there can be no world order.

As Marcus Aurelius tells Maximus in Gladiator, empire does not mean the end of war for there will always be someone left to fight. We should care to recall that the world was so ordered before America and will be so after America. What is world order other than individuals [nations] acting in their own best interests? Obama cannot be any more right in saying “[a]ny world order that elevates one nation above others cannot long survive.” As Brownson argues, America or any other nation, does not exist in and of itself, it exists as so Divinely created. Exclude the Divine to one’s own peril. What is peril other than to view one’s country as the benefactor of civilization and order?

I hope Dick Cheney’s march takes him straight to the insane asylum.

One For The Queers

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The decision leaves in place another provision in the law that says no state is required to recognize gay marriages performed in any other state. [Courtesy of the LATimes]

I must split with the faux-Conservative community regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act handed down today. I personally believe the law to have been un-Constitutional on two points. On account of the Tenth Amendment, the power to decide who can or cannot marry lies with each individual State. Whether Roberts et al agree with that or not, it is the correct way in which to adjudicate.

And, secondly, there is no such thing as the regulation of morality, which was the basic essence of DoMA. My working theory is the ceding of religious authority and personal morality over time to the governance of Modernism, which entails everything from Relativism to Darwinian Moralism, is the heart of the issue. But this is not the time to expand on that thought.

Regarding my stance on the regulation of morality, those more aligned with religious fundamentalism would disagree with me. They might say morality laws are necessary to slow the onslaught of social deviancy. Or that all law is inherently moral. With the latter point I would agree. Yet there is a sharp difference between a government having the power to print coinage and declare war with a government which says thou shall and thou shalt not. The morality of law, at least in the tradition of Western Enlightenment, is of a more humanistic nature: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Reintroduce religion into government and the theocratic State will do as much if not more harm than what we now have. In other words, the problem is not that we lack law regulating morality, it is that we lack personal morality.

Ergo, where I break with Justice Kennedy is on the issues of morality, the definition of marriage and the individual’s duty to society.

The law “places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage,” Kennedy wrote for the court. “The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, and whose relationship the state has sought to dignify.” [Courtesy of Bloomberg]

The Constitution does not protect anti-social forms of sexuality. Why, in the face of allowing homosexual marriage, should we also not allow other forms of sexually deviant behavior. Logically, what society says is wrong about every other conceivable form of sexuality would also amount to discrimination and injustice. But such couldn’t be further from the truth. Every society operates on conceived ideals, what we might call the social glue, or societal fabric. Thus, should a strand be ripped out, the society falls apart, ie changes.

The term anti-social might bring to mind anarchy or some other such means of anti-government sentiment, but true anti-social behavior is that which completely subverts the normative, in this case a form of sexuality that on one hand does not provide for the propagation of society. And on the other hand fundamentally changes the social fabric at its most basic level, the individual family unit.

The pro-LGBT crowd would here cite two seemingly logical arguments as to why homosexual unions are no different than certain heterosexual unions. One, couples are allowed to marry who either cannot have children or are past the age of childbearing years. Second, couples are allowed to marry and choose not to have children. However, these are nothing more than smokescreen arguments. Every society throughout the expanse of time has understood marriage to be a contract, both social, religious and economic, between a man and a woman. By and large, marriages produce children. It is a rule of natural law. Equally so, homosexual unions cannot produce children. Only in our modern scientific age have we perverted the child-bearing process into the choice and convenience of a petri dish.

I am oddly struck that the Supreme Court did not amend the disparity of marriage recognition between the various States [Ref quote at top]. If Justice Kennedy and his four cohorts are truly out to find justice under the law for the homosexual community, would it not therefore be appropriate to wrest the power of marriage away from the individual States and form a Bureau of Marriage at the national level?

Confusion Thursday…

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brought to us by the outstanding Senator from California, Dianne Feinstien.

Thesis:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) laid out the conditions of her proposed assault weapons ban Thursday, saying it would prohibit 158 specifically named military-style firearms.

Except:

We have tried to recognize the right of a citizen to legally possess a weapon. No weapon is taken from anyone.

The twist:

Instead, the bill protects hunters and sportsmen by protecting 2,200 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes.

Let me try to run the logic of this pretzel. We are proposing to uphold the Second Amendment via banning weapons [deemed unsuitable for law-abiding citizens]. But law-abiding citizens who already own high-capacity firearms can keep them because they are for certain specific purposes, i.e. hunting and other sporting engagements.

I would read into that last bit that Liberals will detach their proxy arm, PETA, to outlaw hunting and other similar sport through lawsuits at some point in the future.

Also, no hunting weapon has been used or ever will be used to commit a crime. There is no black market by which any citizen or non-citizen has or ever will purchase a firearm. Humanity is essentially good, perverted only through violent video games and movies. Non-citizens, such as Pancho Villa, have never committed a crime in the United States.

Okay. I think I understand their logic now.

Follow the same thought process to make sense of the following three oxymora. Feel free to add to the list:

Fixing illegal immigration by building a fence and/or passing new immigration reform laws and/or redefining the entire issue as a Path To Citizenship or Filling Jobs Americans Won’t Do.

Securing Pax Americana abroad by engaging in endless war, conspiracy and fomenting social and political unrest, particularly in the Near East.

Reducing spending by raising the debt ceiling.

And We Should Care What Mitt Said Because…?

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Buyer’s remorse? Another morsel of proof that Romney was perhaps the better choice? An aha! towards the naysayers?

A yes to any or all of those questions. And more to questions I don’t care to bother to think up. Big deal about Romney’s quip during the final presidential debate last year that proves he was right about what is now happening in Mali.

Anyone with half a brain could have seen this coming. They could have seen everything that’s happened in the last decade. The last twenty years. The last near-century since we decided to prop up Near East dictators so we could have access to cheap oil. Bush’s War hasn’t helped the matter either. Colin Powell was right at least on this point – that if you break it you have to put it back together. Well, we broke Iraq and our wise politi-crats in Washington still have no idea how to put it back together. Personally speaking, unless Islam goes through a fundamental ideological change, or the region’s religion coverts to something else, nothing will change except for which of the strongest tribes wields power.

I have a hard time understanding how Bush 43 and his Circus Administration wholly ignored the balance of power between Saddam and Iran. But stupid is as stupid does and stupidity bequeathed to us yet another Imperialist president who likes to foment the hornet’s nest of the Near East. Romney may have correctly assessed the potential for upheaval in Mali but he fell short of the question which begged asking: Why are we in Mali? I dare say we might find the least of wisdom in taking a hard look at the Washington Administration. I propose closing down all Embassies. Perhaps in the future when we feel we have State issues with a foreign nation, we should send an entourage over with a clear and specific purpose. Doing so just might save us the headache of yet another American bureaucrat taken hostage and/or killed.

Another Anecdote From Under The Class Warfare Umbrella

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Last weekend I and five of my coworkers pulled four shifts in three and a half days at a warehouse just south of Louisville, Ky.

Needless to say, on the final drive back to southwestern Ohio, conversation briefly revolved around the Fiscal Cliff. I think because one of my coworkers with a fancy do-it-all smrt phone alerted us that the House turned down the initial Senate-passed bill.

Another piped up over the brief conversation about something to the effect of how the rich need to pay their fair share.

So Will, I said, how much is fair?

The same as the rest of us, he replied.

But which rest of us? The bottom fifty percent don’t pay anything! I shot back. Should the rich continue to pay the bulk of the tax bill so the rest of us can not only not pay anything, but also receive a check in the mail with free money? [That second part I wish I had said, but didn’t think of it till a few hours later].

To ad to the infinitum of the cliché the issue is not wholly about how much in taxes Washington receives but how much Washington spends. We have the exact opposite problem as that of the 1780’s and -90’s. There is no other word for what Washington has done in the last one hundred years since the Federal Reserve Act was passed other than despicable. They’ve destroyed the money supply and are in the process of enslaving us entirely via “paying our fair share of taxes”.

Will Atlas ever shrug or is Ayn Rand both a false prophet and a horrible writer?

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