Kevin Williamson kicked off the thought process with this paragraph – referring to the Nation and Mother Jones magazines
Rather than bring out the best in them — the muckraking, the unsentimental view of American life made possible by a politics not excessively burdened by patriotism — President Donald Trump and his merry men have driven the Left deeper into daft identity politics and vague conspiracy-mongering. Where once there was Christopher Hitchens, now there is the “interactive privilege simulator.” That is not progress.
Which does raise the thought that it is the unsentimental side of an ideology that has value.
That would break out to
Liberals (not the populist left) contribute insight onto
- The military
- Foreign Policy
- The criminal justice system
- Come to think of it, anything involving flags and guns
- What life is actually like on the bottom
Conservatives (not the populist right) contribute insight into
- Poverty/anything even remotely resembling an underclass
- Anything involving the “intersectional/priviledge” – though that is probably a recent development
Libertarians (there are no populist libertarians) contribute insight into
- The actual working of the state, and it’s victims
- Insight about the planning fallacy, and central planning – that probably includes all of the insights libertarians have
I heard the closing moments of the Kennedy Nixon debates on Radio Free Bernstein a few weeks ago and was struck by how novel it seemed. – they both seemed genuinely smart, and off the cuff, not rehearsed. The most striking thing was that there were almost no pauses for emphasis, which meant that the listener has to actually listen (any modern speech you can do the auditory equivalent of skimming, thanks to the pauses).
Word Salad seems to be the most apt phrase for modern political speech.
I think much talk of “privilege” is actually false modesty on the part of the speaker – probably 90% of it actually. However, Arnold Kling has a list of other factors, particularly
- being tall
- having attractive features (or at least not being extremely unattractive)
- being naturally outgoing (extroverted)
- not having mental disorders, such as autism, depression, or schizophrenia
- not having debilitating physical ailments or physical handicaps
- growing up with your biological father (particularly if you are male).
- having artistic gifts
There is no political advantage to either side for these so no one ever talks about them…
This SMBC Cartoon – summarizes me quite well
Not that many really. He’s a bit too rabid on immigration, and he keeps too many of his “paleo con”
around, but that’s who I will be voting for.
Problem 1: A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartenders says “Hi Mitt”. Bring unpredictable is not a good thing for a president.
Problem 2: Mitt had an eye for cutting deadwood, but he doesn’t seem to have a taste for it anymore.
Problem 1: His magnificent faith in government. Whether it be moon colonies or a costless war with Iran, his optimism towards every government act would embarass most Democrats.
Problem 2: low moral character. Say what you will about the institution of marriage, but the rules are clear. As we’re living in a sluggish police state I would prefer a chief executive who is not talented at rationalization and comfortable living with contradictions. Divorce is acceptable in a candidate, but since his platform is based on making the government bigger and bolder then his adultery disqualifies him.
Problem 1: his primary focus is social issues, and he seems to have no problem running on a “like Sharia, but Catholic” platform.
Problem 2: He lost his election, and then stayed in DC, which is an appalling lack of loyalty to his constituency. Perhaps my mental model of a senator is flawed, but shouldn’t they be their state’s biggest fans? And with enough affection for their home state to return after they’re done instead of cashing in?
There has been much hubub about Arlen Specter’s switch to the democrats, saying they’re losing the “Moderate” wing. My theory: The GOP’s primary impediment is not ideological, it’s biological. They’re stuck with their corrupt deadwood, made even more rotted by their brief period in control of the legislative and executive branch. They have no credible voice on the current spending orgy because they haven’t been in the credibility business in any form for quite some time.
By getting rid of the old guard (albeit not intentionally) they would seem to be solving the problem.