I haven’t blogged much in the last few weeks. Obviously.
Partly it was because I’ve had to start waiting tables to pay our bills – thanks Obama! But mostly because I felt that just about everything had been said to make the argument that Obama had to go.
And then Tuesday happened. Honestly, WTF? We’ve got a miserable economy, foreign policy is a mess, and Obama’s broken even his most basic campaign promises. So, what happened? Fred Barnes:
What we’ve just endured might be called a strategist’s election, and Mr. Obama’s strategists were victorious.
The president didn’t run on his record or a vision or a plan for the next four years. His campaign consisted of using policy favors to lock up the support of his party’s interest groups—liberals, labor, environmentalists, feminists, minorities—and dehumanizing his opponent, Mitt Romney. It worked.
And now we’re getting lectured from the left that the problem with conservatives is that we’re simply too conservative. We need to pander to blacks and hispanics. Because, being “democrat light” is going to work so well. But onward they press with their argument; demographics is destiny.
Because, of course, the color of your skin, or your gender, has everything to do with how you think about fiscal sanity and foreign policy.
But all these liberal concern trolls are wrong. Romney didn’t lose because he was too conservative. He lost because he wasn’t conservative ENOUGH. He failed to present the conservative argument in an appealing, convincing way. But all yesterday, I heard that the GOP needs to change in order to appeal to the coming minority majority. I turn to Jeff G to explain:
I have no problem with Erick’s suggestion that a group that he believes is a “natural fit for the GOP on social issues” be made to feel more comfortable with the GOP. This, demographically speaking, is a given. But what I sense lurking beneath that suggestion is that we take a more Jeb Bush approach to introducing ourselves to Hispanics — that is, we treat them as separate identity group to which we must promise special dispensations — rather than the approach we should have been taking all along, which was to introduce Hispanics to the ideas of individual sovereignty, religious liberty, a stable rule of law, and a system of government that, at its ideological core, promotes industriousness and innovation, freedom and self-reliance.
AND – women and gays, etc. Because so much of their argument relies on a misrepresentation of our argument, which at it’s CORE is a willful misuses of language and the ideas behind words. Cue Jeff, again – long quote because this is SO important:
Either change the rules, or change the game. And to do so begins — as it always has — with language.
And the left controls the language precisely because we’ve allowed them to institutionalize linguistic and hermeneutic ideas that are a systemic foundation for tyranny and collectivism. Our language — how we conceive of it, how we believe it to function, how we’ve allowed its abuses to become found truths and bedrock foundational assumptions — is what is moving us inexorably toward authoritarianism.
The way forward is through a reclamation of language. Because a reclamation of language leads to a reclamation of epistemology — which in turn creates a problem for leftist indoctrination, itself reliant on those incoherent linguistic assumptions that they’ve managed to turn into perceived linguistic truisms.
Once we regain the ability to think in a way that is consonant with Enlightenment principles, we’ll then be able to begin our own long march through the institutions, clearing out the false prophets and would-be tyrants and all the jargon-rich sophistry they’ve laid as a fancy veneer over what is essentially a creaky, moldering foundation.
What did Obama say Tuesday night after he won? Protein Wisdom, again:
It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
One family. One Nation. One people. Led by Obama.
That is, power through conformity and collectivism and the charismatic, visionary leadership of a transcendent man and his willing followers.
I’ve got no desire to be part of this: a society ruled by the Clerisy.
But don’t mourn too much for Obama, who’s held his own in the cash race by assembling a new, competing coalition of wealthy backers, from the “new hierarchies of technical elites” that Daniel Bell predicted in 1976 in The Coming Of Post-Industrial Society. For that group, Bell wrote, nature and human nature ceased to be central, as “fewer now handle artifacts or things” so that “reality is primarily the social world”—which, he warned, “gives rise to a new Utopianism” that mistakenly treats human nature as something that can be engineered and corrected by instruction from their enlightened betters. This approach, although often grounded in good intention, can easily morph into a technocratic authoritarianism.
This support for Obama comes from a combination of of Hollywood, tech sector big-wigs, government, and Universities.
These idea wielders make fortunes not through tangible goods but instead by manipulating and packaging information, and so are generally not interested in the mundane economy of carbon-based energy, large-scale agriculture, housing, and manufacturing. They can afford to be green and progressive, since they rarely deal with physical infrastructure (particularly within America) or unions or the challenges of training lower-skilled workers.
In many senses, we are seeing a “progressive” version of the unlamented John Edwards’s two Americas. Much of the U.S. is struggling, but the Clerisy has thrived. Between late 2007 and mid-2009, the number of federal workers earning at least $150,000 more than doubled.
As government has grown even while the economy staggers, the direct and indirect beneficiaries of that growth have hitched their carts to the administration. Many professors have been protected by tenure, even at hard-hit public institutions. Foundation and NGO heads, financed by philanthropy—much of it from often left-leaning Trustifarian inheritors—have remained comfortably secure, as have their good workers. And Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke’s money policies have funneled cash from return-starved investors into the coffers of tech and social-media companies.
The Clerisy often employs populist rhetoric, but many of its leading lights, such as former Obama budget adviser Peter Orszag, appear openly hostile to democracy, seeing themselves as a modern-day version of the Calvinist “elect.” They believe that power should rest not with the will of the common man or that of the plutocrats but with credentialed “experts,” whether operating in Washington, Brussels, or the United Nations.
I hope they all fail.
I cannot, and will not “tune out” as many of my conservative friends have stated is their forward plan. They believe the time and energy spent learning and arguing the issues the past four years was wasted.
Argue smarter, perhaps. Argue better. Because the opposition is completely wrong.
I’m not going to take this lying down.