November 24, 2008
Are we dinosaurs?
|[Posted by ]|
In the midst of one of my mental rants against "60s liberals", I suddenly realized that the start of the Reagan era was nearly 28 years ago. The 1980s are just as relevant to college kids today as the 1960s were to me. In other words, they're completely irrelevant.
In my political science classes (even at the liberal University of Wisconsin), the ideas of the 1960s were dead. They weren't even worth studying. They were swept aside in the giddy culmination of the Cold War.
While people like Christine Todd Whitman are rightly bitching about the state of the GOP, that's all that they're doing. Bitching. The reasonable wing of the Republican party is resting on the wilted laurels of the Reagan years.
Too many people have no idea what those ideas even are anymore. It took Reagan nearly 20 years to reap the benefits of the seeds of conservatism he sowed with his radio addresses in the 1960s and 1970s.
I really don't think the GOP needs new ideas so much as it needs to rearticulate and reinterpret the Reagan revolution to meet the concerns of the next generation. If it fails to do that, it really will go the way of the dinosaur (or at least the Whigs).
At least I'm thankful for something
|[Posted by ]|
It was a rough year for those of us with a libertarian bent – the government bailed out failing businesses left and right, California simultaneously banned the evils of gay marriage and cupcakes, and the coming Obama government only promises more of the same. But even still, like many people, I pause this time of year to reflect on those things I’m most thankful for. While I am truly thankful for the love and support of my friends and family in what turned out to be a crazy year, I’m just maybe a little more thankful for the iPhone.
Seriously. I love it. I love it so much that I honestly have no idea how I managed to live 99 44/100% of my life without it. I use the features I never thought I’d care about. I upload tons of random pictures to Facebook. I play Yahtzee (confession: once I realized I could buy a Yahtzee game on iTunes, I knew I’d be playing it all of the time. A love of Yahtzee, like a love of Todd Rundgren, is embedded in my genetic code). I’m already completely dependent on the maps to keep from getting too lost. I’m currently using its iPod to listen to the “Stars on 45” while writing this (yeah, like everything on your iPod is cool). It’s a LCD beacon of light in these troubled times!
November 16, 2008
Senses of certainty and senses of place
|[Posted by ]|
One of the many things that made so many people so uncomfortable with George W. Bush is his sense of sureness. Oddly enough, these same people seem perfectly content with Barack Obama's own sense of certainty. To me, it's just a good leadership trait. Leaders should know where they're going, right? They may be taking us in the wrong direction, but at least they're decisive. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, in any moment of decision the best thing you can do is go the right way, the next best thing to do is go the wrong way, and the worst thing you can do is drive around in circles.
I was thinking about having that sense of certainty because of a poem a friend of mine just wrote called "Lost in the City":
When they began to circle
Watching, soaring for days
She was not surprised
When the hawk came closer,
piercing her flesh
Lifting her up
She went without a shriek
accepting and willing
knowing they would come
Both of us have recently moved to a bigger city and we struggle with not having that sense of certainty or sense of place. We don't belong to this place. But it's not about this city in particular. It's about any city. I feel certainty and peace and complete on the water. It doesn't matter if that's a lake in the middle of town or out in the big waters of Lake Superior. That's just me. I have a sense of sureness about the wind and the waves that I'll never feel walking downtown or navigating the interstate. Maybe if this whole internet thing works out I could be like Shreve Stockton and work out of a cabin somewhere (sans coyote).
There are millions of Americans just like me. I laugh at the media's bewildered observations of us. We're not hicks, we're just not the same. I'm continually amazed by the lack of tolerance and diversity expressed by the alleged keepers of tolerance and diversity. It all comes back to that sense of certainty. They know their views are the right ones. They know what's best for us. They're sure of it. And if you don't agree, you're not just different, you're wrong.
November 11, 2008
What would spark a revolution?
|[Posted by ]|
I was talking to BVBigBro a few weeks ago and he remarked that he thought that the rumored proposal to confiscate 401Ks and IRAs would result in revolution. I disagree, but it got to me to wondering what government actions would actually cause Americans to rise up.
To be honest, I'm not sure that anything would cause a revolution anymore. We're all so willing to let our government take away our rights and property little bit by little bit:
- The Supreme Court ruled that the government could take away your home and give to someone else and we didn't revolt.
- The state of Texas took 401 kids away from their wacky religious parents and the rest of us just chalked it up to the parents being wacky & religious
- Wisconsinites are ready and willing to give up their 4th Amendment rights to protect themselves from drunk drivers
- Schools are full of vague and restrictive speech codes that people put up with in order to avoid being "offensive"
- Simply put, every day, the government takes our money and gives it to other people
Oh sure, we might get worked up about some of those things, but not enough people actually want to do anything about it. If it doesn't personally hurt us or people like us, we don't really care all that much. We look at the benefits specific situations of government intrusion (protecting kids from wacky parents or roads from drunk drivers) without worrying about the reach of government itself.
So, to get back to the original question, what would it take to spark a revolution? The only thing I can think of is a draft. It would touch enough people and cause enough pain that we might get fed up. Maybe.
What do you think? Am I underestimating or overestimating the complacency of the American people?
November 05, 2008
Facebook: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Obama
|[Posted by ]|
John McCain got 46.3% of the popular vote, but you wouldn't know it from Facebook. As much as I got sick of political commercials, I got even sicker of all of the holier than thou notes and status updates over the last few days on Facebook. Here's a sampling of some of the worst:
“Fear always springs from ignorance."
Always? Really? Nah, sometimes I think fear springs from knowledge.
is sick of pessimistic Republicans. Obama is not a terrorist and our country is not going to fall apart. Bush did a good job of starting that process though.
Dems are the only ones allowed to express pessimistic opinions. Gotcha.
is in shock that Indiana is blue on this map. Well done guys, I guess you don't suck as much as I thought you did!
You "suck" if you don't vote the same I do. Typical liberal tolerance and diversity.
is confidence is restored. Americans still believe in an America where anything's possible, where merit and hard work trump money and connections.
As demonstrated by Obama's victory after outspending McCain by millions and millions. Okay.
is very, very sad for those uneducated enough to actually be afraid right now.
Again, only Dems are allowed to express pessimistic opinions. But how nice that the author is so caringly "sad" for those folks.
is in a state of bliss
Soon to be followed by a state of denial, no doubt.
I never thought I'd see this day. Ever. Now I'm wondering -- if Obama becoming prez is possible -- What can I do? Anything is possible.
You bringing meaning to my life. You're the inspiration...
is so happy! Wow McCain's supporters are classless aholes. I thought the popular vote would have more of a gap though.
Yes, it's gotta be hard for McCain supporters to reach the heights of class attained by Gore and Kerry voters.
NADER NADER NADER NADER NADER, SEE HOW ANNOYING YOU ARE.
You know it's bad when Nader supporters are calling you out for being annoying.
November 03, 2008
12 Ways to spend Election Day
|[Posted by ]|
With election day looming, a lot of you will be glued to your TVs and computers tomorrow, watching for the latest election results. While I can't tell you how to spend your time, I do have a few alternative suggestions.
The truly politically insane on both sides of the aisle will probably be depressed on November 5th no matter who wins. Why? Their raison d'etre is gone. So, for them I suggest making sure that campaign 2008 ends with a bang. They could:
- Slash tires on "get out the vote" vans
- Set up roadblocks in minority neighborhoods
- Give the homeless cigarettes in exchange for voting
- Go to random polling places and make scary, glowering faces
If that's not your style, then how about using Election Day to better yourself:
- Celebrate the feast day of Saint Charles Borromeo, the patron saint of learning and the arts, by taking a trip to a local museum or gallery
- Watch the results at the gym - use your joy or rage at the polls to motivate yourself to a great workout
I know our readers are worried about tomorrow. They can use the day to prepare for the possibility of a coming Barapocalypse:
- Take money out of the bank and put it in your mattress
- Dust off that generator you bought for Y2K
- Hit the grocery store and stock up on canned goods
For you liberals worried about McCain, there's really only one thing to do.
If you've already recovered from Halloween, you can enjoy some election night drinking games. These range from drinking something blue or red, depending on which way states go (of course, this game is wrong since blue traditionally represents the incumbent party - 2000 screwed everything up) to taking a shot every time someone says maverick. I think if you really want to get messed up, take a shot every time the election is called "historic". It's the "Norm!" of 2008.
Finally, as the dust settles, might I humbly suggest that you become of proud member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy? Our motto? "Quality plots since 1992". I still have membership cards...