Mitt Romney and Idolatry

Yesterday, in comments, Audre said this:

In the same vein, I’d like to mention Mitt Romney. I watched (please, just shoot me …) all the Senator statements after the closing arguments of the trial. I was impressed on the occasions when Ds stepped outside the Schiff playbook and related the difficulty they had in having to make this decision. I felt they were sharing the real struggle for ‘unbiased justice’ they were called to perform. Several Rs also shared their difficulty in trying to do the right thing. When Mitt made his statement, I have to admit I was moved; he was briefly overcome (tears almost) as he related that he is devoutly religious and that his religion and his belief in God mean the most to him. So he voted guilty in Article One.

Well, I love and admire Audre, as we all know, but sometimes she is a bit naive. The problem, of course, lies here. When Mitt says this, “[,,,] he related that he is devoutly religious and that his religion and his belief in God mean the most to him.” It’s a nice statement, meant to pull in our sympathy, and it does. The problem is that like many in this age, Mitt Romney’s god is Mitt Romney.

Erielle Davidson in The Federalist touches on this very well, when she writes.

Yes, he’s different from many others within the GOP in the sense that he has no firm principles upon which to base his political decisions besides self-interest and self-importance. He is vaguely in favor of free markets insofar as he appreciates a pro-business environment, having been a businessman once. But that seems to be the extent of his political personality.

Romney’s efforts to appear above the “lesser” GOP fray in many cases has translated into a repudiation of conservatism. To be clear, Romney may vote however he pleases, but he, along with our media betters, will likely portray his alleged defection as a more principled approach to conservatism. That takeaway is incorrect. Romney has been voting against his own party’s voters for his entire political career, and on core moral issues, not just pragmatic choices such as the level of tax rates or regulation.

For starters, Romney’s track record on religious freedom has been poor. Catholic leaders in Massachusetts, the state in which Romney formerly served as governor, have emphasized Romney’s role in forcing Catholic hospitals to administer the abortifacient Plan B, even if doing so violated the consciences of the employee required to administer the deadly drugs. “The injury to the conscience rights of Catholic hospitals was not done so much so much by the church’s ideological enemies on the Left but by the Romney administration,” C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League, explained to back in 2012.

Furthermore, as Rolling Stone points out, Romney has flipped on everything from abortion to health care, making it hard to determine whether he means what he espouses at any given moment.

In short, Mitt is entirely dependable, he will say or do anything that he thinks will advance the career of Mitt Romney, and will say or do nothing that he thinks will hurt it. Flip-flop, wash, rinse, repeat.

I remember clear as if it was yesterday, a British Conservative friend asking me, the day after election day 2012, “Was Romney the best you could do?” My answer at the time was no. I was wrong. He was, the Tea Parties had just started the transformation of American conservatism, and that had to play out under Obama’s unfortunate reign, and now it has brought forth Trump.

Just as that friend (and I as well) supported Tereasa May for PM after David Cameron ran away. (In some ways a good comparison to Mitt Romney). She was the best the Conservative Party would stand for, and without her, I doubt Boris would have ever been PM. Early days there yet, of course. We started in America 2011, so our counter-revolution is in its ninth year. As usual, America is leading.

Where it will lead is not given us to see, but it is given us to have the courage of our convictions. But whenever we commit the idolatry of putting ourselves in God’s place, we are not doing the Lord’s work. And that is Mitt Romney’s entire political history. With a side of self-righteousness.

Making Sense of American Conservatism

And so, time to start trying to make sense of the world again, I guess, Matthew Continetti has a long piece up at The Washington Free Beacon called Making Sense of the New American Right. It’s a valiant effort at a nearly impossible subject. Let’s look.

The story goes that, for many years, American conservatives adhered to a consensus known as “fusionism.” Economic and social conservatives put aside their differences. Freedom, they decided, was necessary for the exercise of virtue. The struggle against and ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union was more important than domestic politics or intramural disagreements. Conservative intellectuals eager to privilege either freedom or virtue like to attack this consensus, which they often describe as “zombie Reaganism.” The truth is that the strength of fusionism always has been exaggerated. The conservative intellectual movement has been and continues to be fractious, contentious, combustible, and less of a force than most assume.

Episodes of division and strife are far more common than moments of unity and peace. The more you study the history of American conservatism, the less willing you are to describe it in monolithic terms. There isn’t one American right, there are multitudes, every one of them competing for the attention of politicians and policymakers. The most prominent and politically salient varieties, as expressed in William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review, Irving Kristol’s Public Interest, Norman Podhoretz’s Commentary, and William Kristol’s Weekly Standard, have weakened or disappeared altogether. One of the reasons the intra-conservative argument has become so personal and acrimonious is that nothing has replaced them.

Indeed, the situation today is awfully similar to that which confronted conservatives in the 1970s. Then, the Buckley consensus had to find a modus vivendi with neoconservatives as well as with the Catholic integralists around Triumph magazine, against the background of a populist revolt that called out failing elites while relying on racial and ethnic appeals that sometimes crossed the border of decency.

Indeed, that consensus is what many of us to today deride as ‘cocktail party conservatism’. It is one of the things that Donald Trump blew up on his way to the White House, with the willing help of many of us. We also tend to believe these are the people who gave us never-ending wars, mostly to enrich their friends, while denigrating our troops.

The rise of Donald Trump, Brexit, and nation-state populism throughout the world certainly suggest that something has changed in global politics. American conservatism ought to investigate, recognize, and assimilate the empirical reality before it. The trouble is that no one has concluded definitively what that reality is.

Not for lack of trying. Beginning in 2016, intellectuals who favored Trump have been searching for a new touchstone for conservative thought and politics. These writers are often described as populists, but that label is hard to define. Broadly speaking, they have adopted the banner of nationalism. They believe the nation-state is the core unit of geopolitics and that national sovereignty and independence are more important than global flows of capital, labor, and commodities. They are all, in different ways, reacting to perceived failures, whether of Buckley conservatism, George W. Bush’s presidency, or the inability of the conservative movement to stop same-sex marriage and the growth of the administrative state. And they have turned away from libertarian arguments and economistic thinking. Not everything, these thinkers believe, can be reduced to gross domestic product.

And that is an important concept. Too many, whom some call the ‘Chamber of Commerce’ Republicans do believe it is all about the GDP. And what is even worse, they tend to believe the best GDP is taken from the quarterly balance sheet. This very short term thinking has led to the deindustrialization of the US (and Britain and some other nations). There is nothing wrong in profit-seeking, but there is in putting short term profit ahead of the firms long term best interest. And that is what I see all too often.

That is rather the foundation of what we are going to be talking about, there is a lot out there, both in the linked article and some others. So much that there is at least one but probably two (maybe more) articles in it to talk about, since I write articles and not books here. So let’s discuss this much and we’ll continue, hopefully, tomorrow, if the creek doesn’t rise too much.

The Anti-Trump Bourbons

There is a new article out from Victor Davis Hanson, and as always it is exceptional. Let’s take a look.

Just seven months into Donald Trump’s administration we are already bombarded with political angling and speculations about the 2020 presidential race. No one knows in the next three years what can happen to a volatile Trump presidency or his psychotic enemies, but for now such pronouncements of doom seem amnesiac if not absurd.

Things are supposedly not going well politically with Donald Trump lately, after a series of administration firings, internecine White House warring, and controversial tweets. A Gallup Poll has him at only a 34 percent positive rating, and losing some support even among Republicans (down to 79 percent)—although contrarily a recent Rasmussen survey shows him improving to the mid-forties in popularity. Nonetheless, we are warned that even if Trump is lucky enough not to be impeached, if he is not removed under the 25th Amendment or the Emoluments Clause, if he does not resign in shame, even if he has the stamina to continue under such chaos, even if he seeks reelection and thus even more punishment, he simply cannot win in 2020.

In answer to such assumed expertise, one could answer with Talleyrand’s purported quip about our modern-day Bourbons that “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

Namely, Trump’s enraged critics still do not grasp that he is a reflection of, not a catalyst for, widespread anger and unhappiness with globalization, interventionist foreign policy, Orwellian political correctness, identity politics, tribalism, open borders, and a Deep State that lectures and condemns but never lives the consequences of its own sermonizing.

In particular, the current conundrum and prognostications ignore several constants.

Do Americans Really Believe that Pollsters and the Media Have Reformed?

One, despite the recent Gallup poll, most polls still show Trump’s at about a 40 percent approval rating—nearly the same level of support as shortly before the November 2016 election. That purported dismal level of support is pronounced to be near fatal, when in fact it is not.

That is an important point. Why on earth would anybody believe either the partisan press or the (pretty much) partisan pollsters. They haven’t been right about anything in … (well, I don’t remember, how did Dewey’s Presidency go again).

Do Americans Really Believe the Messenger Nullifies the Message?

As in 2016, many of those who voted for Trump would prefer that he curb his tweets, clean up his language, sleep eight instead of five hours, and follow all the conventional-wisdom admonitions offered about his misbehavior. But that said, nearly half of the country is probably still willing to overlook his eccentricities for several reasons.

Trump now has a presidential record of eight months. Despite the media’s neglect of it, one can sense changes by just getting out and traveling the country. Even in rural central California, one can feel that it really is true that there is a 76 percent drop in illegal immigration, and immigration law is being taken seriously as never before.

It was no accident that the National Council of La Raza without warning dropped its racialist nomenclature and is now UnidosUS (“Together, US”). Why is the Democratic Party now feigning a focus on class, not racial, issues with its new “Better Deal” FDR/Truman-like echo?

Lot in that, isn’t there? We are, for the most part, smart enough to understand that Trump’s Tweeting, if it has any meaning at all, is his method of bypassing the media, which is why they hate it so, especially because it is effective. It’s also one way he controls the narrative, by trolling the Democrats, the Anti-Trump Republicans, and the media (Yes, I did threepeat myself there, there is not a hairsbreadth of difference between them, and we could add more such as the deep state and others).

The trade deficit is even shrinking and lots of companies have announced relocations to the United States, in reaction to record cheap energy costs and a perceived favorable business environment. And all this comes at a time when the United States is neither seeking optional military interventions nor backing away from thuggish aggression, but is trying to thread the needle in restoring deterrence along the lines of “principled realism.”

The point is not just that no one can know the ultimate fate of the Trump agenda, but rather that so far media hysteria and congressional calcification have not stopped perceived conservative progress. The bottom line is that Trump did prove to be far more conservative than Republican establishmentarians had forecast. To his supporters, Trump’s message is usually distinguished from Trump, the messenger. Politically that means pragmatist supporters can focus on his agenda not his tweets, while Trump’s die-hard voters like his Twitter combativeness, viewing it as a long overdue media comeuppance. […]

One of the strangest ironies of the present age is that Trump’s populism (e.g., “our farmers”, “our vets”, “our coal miners”, “our workers”), which saved the Senate and House for Republicans and delivered the greatest Republican majorities on the local and state level since the 1920s, is either ridiculed or ignored.

Yet the more the economy picks up, the more the administration prunes back the regulatory state, and the more the United States restores deterrence, the shriller will be the argument that Trump’s tweets and behavior nullify solid achievement. Just watch.

Will the New Democratic/Progressive Party Really Rebuild the Blue Wall?

Fourth and finally, the less publicized split in the Democratic Party is probably worse than that of its Republican counterpart. The latter did not stop Trump’s victory in the Electoral College, the former helped ensure Hillary’s “Blue Wall” collapsed.

Continue reading The Anti-Trump Bourbons: Learning and Forgetting Nothing in Time for 2020As always it’s quite wonderful, as one would expect from one of America’s greatest minds. So enjoy, and take comfort in his words, a fair amount of damage has been caused, but nothing is beyond repair, let alone America. Especially as long as men like VDH are writing the truth.

Is The Clinton Foundation Just A Foreign Laundering Scheme?

150220_POL_Hillary.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeI’ve always thought it sad that we have commented more or less forever that we have the best Congress money can buy. particularly since it so often seems true. We deserve better but we are lazy and don’t demand it, so we don’t get it.

Still this nonsense just leaves me shaking my head in bewilderment that anybody thinks that an aging woman with no accomplishments should be president, after she sold out the US State Department to the highest bidder.

BloombergPolitics reported this morning that the Clinton Foundation refused to disclose the identities of at least 1,100 donors, most of whom are not U.S. citizens, to a Clinton Foundation affiliate. The donations were routed through the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada), or CGEPartnership, a Canadian charitable organization. That organization then effectively bundled the foreign donations and sent them along to the Clinton Foundation itself, and it did all of this without ever disclosing the individual foreign sources of the income.

If that sounds to you like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization, that’s because it certainly looks like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization. In this case, however, rather than taking cash from blatantly illegal activities (as far as we know) and then cleaning it up by running it through legitimate businesses before it ends up at its final destination, the Clinton Foundation mops up cash from wealthy foreigners, bundles it within a larger organization to hide the money’s original source, and then funnels the cash from that legitimate charity right into the Clinton Foundation coffers.

After the New York Times uncovered the connections between uranium mining magnate Frank Giustra, his Canadian charitable organization, the Clinton Foundation, and official actions taken by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that benefitted Giustra’s global uranium mining operations, the Clinton Foundation immediately entered spin mode.

Is The Clinton Foundation Just A Foreign Laundering Scheme?.

Hillary Clinton; likely the best candidate for US president that Foreign money can buy!

Is that what we really should have?

Ukraine and America

In many ways it is difficult for an American to conflate the European Union with freedom, but in some ways we do the EU a disservice. They are far from perfect (so are we) but they are far better than, oh say, Putin’s Russia (soon to be Empire). Watch.

Honestly, even without the disadvantage of our (non)leadership, there is little we could do. The analogy that come to my mind is Hungary in 1956. But now, like then, we can hope and pray for brave souls who are willing to pledge “their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor”. If they truly hunger for freedom they, like the Hungarians, like the Czechs, and like the Poles before them, they are the heirs, like us, of the man who said this.

Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.

Patrick Henry

And so, my question is, “How fares that City upon the Hill, does its light still reach out to the world?”

My answer is , “Yes, yes, it does, but the guardians of the fire have become lax and it is beginning to gutter and flare. They need to be recalled to their duty, still another time.” For we know the light to be far better than darkness.

He’s right, you know. The reason that Lenin had to count on us to sell them the rope to hang us with is because they weren’t aren’t competent enough to make it, let alone design it. What can you say about a superpower whose ruling elite always imported their kitchen ranges from the enemy?

But on another not unconnected story we have some problems of our own that we need to solve.

Erick Erickson had some thoughts yesterday on the Democratic, Demopublican, Republican party. I think and have for a while, that he is exactly correct. The party of Leviathan is in charge whether they claim to be blue or red, and that is not the American way, that we have worked, fought, and yes, died for for over 200 years. Here’s Erick


I was once an elected Republican. I started the College Republicans at my school. I served as the state chair of the College Republicans in Georgia. I have worked for more than two decades to get Republicans elected. But more and more I cannot tell you what it means to be a Republican other than opposition to Barack Obama. I want to be for something, not just against someone. And I surely do not want to be for a party that thinks the problem is Democrats in charge of government and not government itself.

As a former political consultant I know most people want to vote for something or someone, not against something or someone. That, frankly, is one reason why Mitt Romney lost in 2012. He did not really give people something to vote for. He just assumed people would vote against Barack Obama. But a majority liked Barack Obama even if they disagreed with him. New polling shows a majority of people who voted for Barack Obama regret doing so, but they don’t regret not voting for Romney.

What does the GOP stand for?

I know what conservatives stand for — limiting government, local control, free markets, and life. But what of the GOP?

Continue reading Why This Fight

My key takeaway for myself from Erick’s article is this, “I want my government to leave me the Hell alone”. That’s the essence of America, right there.

But does it really matter? Sure I like being free and I’d like my kids to be but it’s a lot of work, and I’d rather drink a beer and watch the ball game.

Well, so would I, but you know something? So would that Ukrainian girl who led this column. And she knows, even if we’ve forgotten that freedom has happened only when a strong people made it so. And she knows that where that “Candy Striped Banner” flies, freedom reigns, as she has for 200 years. That is where the “City on the Hill” is. She doesn’t expect the US Army to do it for her but, she expects us to watch and pray and support how we can. It is our duty, and we are the guardians of the flame. If we don’t support freedom we will lose freedom.

That speech I quoted from above, it was in the Virginia House of Burgesses and it ended this way:

Give me Liberty of Give me Death


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Paglia: Continued

Full disclosure: I cherry picked the paragraphs here but, i also gave you enough continuity to ensure proper context. In fact, it is a continuous quote from the magazine. This is from her Salon interview on the release of “Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art From Egypt to Star Wars”. This is from 10 October 2012.

You know that I’m conservative with a bunch of libertarian leanings, Ms Paglia is a left libertarian, and in all honesty there not all that much room between us, as you’ll see. About the only thing I disagree completely with here is that the 60s radicals were libertarian, my read then and now is that they were anarchists which is considerably different but, we are agree on where the Democratic Party has gone.

I would also argue vociferously with what she wants to do with the money her ideas on foreign policy would save but it would be an honest disagreement, and whoever won, America would be well served. And my terrible three politicians would be different but, I understand hers.

Camille Paglia, and the fiery planet of Mustafar, from "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." (Credit: Michael Lionstar/Salon)

Camille Paglia, and the fiery planet of Mustafar, from “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” (Credit: Michael Lionstar/Salon)

OK: Who are you going to vote for?

I am voting for the Green Party.

Oh, you are? I don’t even know who the Green candidate is. Who is it?

Jill Stein — a doctor from Massachusetts. Now, I wouldn’t be voting Green if Roseanne Barr had won the nomination, but Stein is a solid and sensible candidate. I don’t agree with everything the Green Party says, but I’m in tune with many of its basic positions. I’m remaining a registered Democrat because I still hope for the reform of my party. If the Republican candidate were Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, I would certainly not be voting Green; I would be voting for and contributing to Obama again, as I did in 2008. There are three people on the political landscape whom I absolutely loathe — Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Dick Cheney — that delusional and mendacious war-monger. But I think that Mitt Romney is a moderate — like Nelson Rockefeller, who as governor of New York poured money into the state university system that educated me. Romney is an affable, successful businessman whose skills seem well-suited to this particular moment of economic crisis. Hence I want to use my vote to make a statement about my unhappiness with the Democratic Party and the direction it has taken. The biggest issue for me is the Obama administration’s continuation of endless war, war, war. I denounced the Iraq incursion before it even happened.

I remember that — it was in an interview with David Talbot for Salon.

It was when the cowardly major media were totally accepting the government line and the flimsy evidence that Colin Powell presented at the United Nations. It was only after the invasion had been launched — and the non-discovery of any weapons of mass destruction — that the media woke up and began its way-too-late critique. I have been revolted by the silence of the liberal mainstream media about Obama’s expansion of war — even beyond our pointless continued presence in Afghanistan. After 9/11, I was for bombing the hell out of the mountains of Afghanistan until Osama Bin Laden was caught or blown to smithereens. I certainly never believed that land troops should be used in Afghanistan. Good lord, look at the evidence of history — how ridiculous! Not only the defeat of the Soviet Union there — it goes all the way back to Alexander the Great! But the Libyan incursion is another example. The mainstream media behaved like robots as Hillary Clinton and Samanatha Power and who knows who else put pressure on Obama to go into Libya. What are we doing there? It’s absolutely madness! Then, all of a sudden, when the whole thing blows up and our ambassador is killed, Hillary is in a funk. Oh, dear, how could this have happened? In a country that we helped!

And what is the administration’s response to the murder of our ambassador? Nothing. Do we have a presidency or not? The ambassador’s journal was lying on the floor for CNN to find, and it took weeks for the FBI to get there and spend a day — after sensitive documents were stripped long ago. The State Department has clearly become a morass of political correctness. Hillary and U.N. ambassador Susan Rice should resign. Of course the mainstream media were mum for weeks about the Libyan scandal. And that just empowers the right-wing in the country. The media’s pampering and protection of Obama over the years simply led to his weakening — which was on excruciating public display at his first debate with Romney, who landed blow after blow.

So, the first reason I’m voting Green is the state of endless war. Second is the appalling rise in the military and domestic use of drones. I bought Medea Benjamin’s protest book about drones, and I agree with her. There is reason for great concern about the use of drones for police surveillance in the United States. This Democratic administration has gone very deep into the weeds here in offering incentives to local police departments to acquire drones, which are a serious threat to our civil liberties and right to privacy — which liberals should be defending. We’re on our way toward a Big Brother society.

My third reason for going Green is the creeping totalitarianism of Obamacare, which Jill Stein as a physician is rightly skeptical about. I began denouncing the Obamacare bill in my Salon column within two months after Obama’s inauguration. And I was also criticizing the President’s imprisonment within an insular circle of advisors who were not of sufficient quality and experience as administrators or strategists to sustain his presidency. If Democrats and their cohorts in the mainstream media had listened to me and begun criticizing the administration early on, there would have been ample time for a course correction and Obama would now be sailing into reelection.

But the childish naivete of so many supposedly well-educated liberals was shown by their complete failure to notice or remark on the most glaringly obvious deficiency in Obamacare: You cannot possibly expand medical coverage to millions of people without also expanding medical training and funding new clinics and hospitals. The total absence of that in the bill was ludicrous. And you still hear mush-minded liberals saying all the time in the media, “Oh, what about this nice provision or that?” When any of those things could have been easily dealt with by free-standing bills passed with bipartisan support.

The way liberals lay down flat to accept this massive, totalitarian takeover of the American medical system was shocking to me. Let’s remember how Bob Dylan broke out of folk music into the public sphere with his great song, “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” which was about the fascist intrusion of Big Brother government. It was about the FBI and the CIA and the police — faceless bureaucracies — intruding into our private lives. What in the world has happened to the Democratic Party? Its passivity towards this awful takeover of our lives by a know-it-all government, as shown by the way Obama has governed by constantly going around Congress — appointing czars and one new layer of bureaucracy after another. And hardly a peep of protest from liberals. It’s like the movie of H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” — Democrats have turned into the Eloi; they’re like sheep. They hear a signal, and it’s like pre-programmed spin in their heads — they just trot like sheep in one direction. I am voting Green in protest against the systemic corruption of my party.

Well, thanks for the exclusive. Totally agree on two subjects, Afghanistan and the growing surveillance state. But it seems like those are issues brought up — we raise them, other progressives raise them a lot — but part of why it never comes up is because the Republicans are completely complicit and would likely be worse in both of those areas.

Wait a minute, hold it, no! Listen — a huge point I want to make is that the protest against the surveillance state has, with only a few exceptions, been mainly coming from the Right and not from the Left! Talk radio has been seething with this issue for years. A good example is talk-show host Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny,” which was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller three years ago and yet got very few mainstream reviews. Democrats have got to wake up! This is why the Republican Party has gained and why the Democratic Party is in disarray — because the Democrats have lost one of their key signature issues from 1960s leftism. Why has the GOP become the freedom party?

A lot of the people who were critical of the growth of surveillance under Bush no longer care about it under Obama. That’s true. But you’re saying that it’s up to the Left, and the Democrats, to change that?

Yes. The Left must retake this issue of personal freedom and civil liberties. Over the last 20 years, freedom has become a conservative watch word, and liberals have lost their claim to it. There is a huge difference between contemporary upper-middle-class bourgeois Democratic liberalism and the fire-breathing 1960s leftism that was the mood of my college years. After all, it all began with the free speech movement at Berkeley! But liberals have now been trained to be docile and obedient. Last month, I was the featured speaker in a debate about gender roles at the Yale Political Union. At the dinner at Mory’s beforehand, the very bright and talented student organizers were telling me about how every academic year begins with a counseling session where they are instructed about the nature of sexual “consent.” So I said to them, do you understand that there is a level here of surveillance and control of your private lives that at the University of Paris would be considered grotesque? Why should the administration of any college be telling young people the way they should be interacting with each other? But these very able and promising students have been brought up in a culture of smothering paternalistic observation and control. It’s so authoritarian! But the students have been taught not to question it. To a ’60s libertarian dissident like myself, it’s really alarming.

But don’t you think the two parties have converged, have moved in the same direction, on surveillance and authoritarianism?

As someone who listens to talk radio, I must tell you that the issue of personal freedom and resistance to a swollen totalitarian government has become primary on the Right. Yes, the two parties have converged in their support of Wall Street and the military. But as with Richard Nixon going to Communist China, it may be only a Republican president who could close our excess number of military bases around the world. Why is there never a public review of our obscenely costly global presence? I believe in a strong military and in adequate funding for training and armaments, but we are seriously over-extended right now. This is where I completely agree with the Green Party. We are still stuck in a hopelessly outdated Cold War model.

And all that foreign aid — I’m sick of it! We go on and on throwing money down every corrupt rat hole in the world! Our tax dollars should be going to upgrade inner-city schools or paying for medical care for the elderly. Why aren’t Democrats in the forefront of proposing budget cuts in unnecessary government expenditures? They’ve sure made it so easy for Republicans to tag Democrats as reckless tax-and-spend liberals. And too many Democrats have fallen for the administration’s canard that we can restart the economy through more government spending.

So then, why not vote for Romney?

I cannot cast a vote for a party that cast so many votes in the primaries for the vile Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum! The Democrats may be naive about institutions and economics, but the Republicans seem to be culturally and psychologically naive in imagining for a single second that Newt Gingrich is a deep and erudite thinker! I watched that boomlet happen, and I thought, “What world do Republican voters inhabit if they mistake Gingrich’s glib, snickering, tittering snarkiness for depth and learning?”

No, the Republican Party has become very provincial in terms of culture. Nelson Rockefeller, in contrast, was a collector of first-rate abstract art! That’s one of the things I’m trying to remedy with my book. One of my target audiences is home-schooling moms — whose powerful voices I heard calling into conservative talk radio at the dawn of the Tea Party. They are formidable and capable personalities whom feminism has foolishly ignored.

Continue reading  In “Glittering” return, Paglia lets loose

She is especially right about the way the democrats have lost their way on totalitarian tendencies in our government. It is an issue, in fact it may be the issue for many of us on the right, but not many years ago the left would have been right there with us because in truth this is an

American Issue


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