In trying to console a friend on the passing of his long-time canine companion, the following occurred to me:
Sentimentality about animals is one of the things that separates us from the barbaric civilizations. I include The Left’s world view as part of the “barbaric civilizations.” These sees animals, certainly wild life, as comprising species to sustain, not as individual creatures of God, for which we humans must care.
A helmeted cyclist once chased me down along a suburban running trail. My sin? I had fed the poor juncos in the dead of winter. (Still do. Bite me, you bully.)
Having caught up with me, SS Cyclist got on his soap box and in my face about my unforgivable, rule-bending. Wasn’t I familiar with the laws governing his pristine environmental utopia?
Didn’t I know that only the fittest deserved to survive? That’s the natural world, according to these ruthless, radical progressive puritans.
Yes, mea culpa for having an exceedingly soft spot for God’s plucky little creatures.
To the extent conservatives behave this way, culling and killing for no reason other than that the individual animal doesn’t conform to a so-called scientific theory—they are behaving like liberals.
Professor Clyde Wilson, a paleoconservative, says about my bird-feeding encounter: “Telling other people not to feed God’s creatures according to some supposed scientific official plan is simply fascism.”
Liberals equivocate about feeding a distressed, grieving whale, from a dying population.
Were American conservatism alive and well in media and on the idiot’s lantern (the teli), Dr. Paul Gottfried (and not the next sexy girl or “girly-boy” with chipmunk voices and talking points) would be its voice:
“… What clearly differentiated the conservative movement of bygone years from what has taken its place was a willingness to express sharp internal disagreement and to defend conflicting positions with passion and high learning. This is not to say that the conservative movement tolerated all dissent. It featured one dogma that no member of the inner circle was allowed to dispute: anti-Communism and as a corollary, a vigorous struggle against the Soviets as the leading Communist adversary. But otherwise there was remarkably open debate, and those who participated in it received no conceivable earthly reward, such as lucrative book contracts, invitations to appear on Fox as an all-star or a column in the Washington Post. Being conservative back then was about standing one’s ground not only against the Left but also against other self-described conservatives; and the warrior took positions entirely out of principle.”
“Today conservative celebrities often seem obsessively concerned about positioning themselves in a way that allows them to advance their careers. This came to mind while I was looking at Jonah Goldberg’sSuicide of the West, a sprawling collection of mainstream political views for which the author picked the title of a very contentious book written by James Burnham, a giant of the post-World War II American Right. I doubt that there’s even a single page in Burnham’s book, first published in 1964, which would not enrage today’s thought police. Burnham spoke critically about human rights rhetoric and argued that the Civil Rights Revolution, which had only begun then, would lead to more, not less, racial discord. As I now read over Burnham’s views of an earlier era, it seems that I’m looking at something that arrived from a different planet.”
“Goldberg and Burnham grew up in very different cultures, which may help explain why Goldberg’s opinions often seem to have come out of left field. He defends government-enforced affirmative action for blacks, even while counterfactually depicting himself as a libertarian. Moreover, Goldberg “thinks” but never shows that accelerated immigration from Third World countries is helping to raise the living standards of American workers. But let me resist the impulse to be overly critical. Goldberg is trying to make it in a conservative movement that is entirely different from the one that Burnham helped shape.”
“In the 1960s there was no conservative media or massive donor base that rewarded conservative journalists with TV appearances and raised them to national celebrity. William F. Buckley was an exception to this rule, but I don’t remember any other self-proclaimed conservative whom one got to see very often on TV. The present conservative movement requires its stars to accept certain consensus positions that all nice people are supposed to hold, e.g., never speaking out against gay marriage or “moderate” feminism. Although the same stars hope to market themselves as “conservatives,” they also feel obliged to engage in virtue-signaling, for example, by attacking white racism and praising the civil rights revolution almost ritualistically. On November 27, Laura Ingraham spent a large part of her evening program on Fox gushing with joy over the forthcoming wedding of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle. When a black guest asked Laura if she noticed that Meghan was part black, she feigned offense that someone would even bring up that subject. Fox-Insider tried to make it appear that Laura bested her guest by exclaiming “Must we put our racial hangups on the happy couple?” Needless to say, the guest had figured out the real motive for Laura’s weird outburst of joy. …”
Young women today don’t know squat about sexism. Women of my generation can certainly speak to it–all the more so when they still interact, on occasion, with male throwbacks: older, paleoconservative or paleolibertarian men. Why occasionally? Because such older men (or men who’ve continued the old “tradition” of sexism) indiscriminately recoil from the odd woman who is as smart as they are or smarter. In fact, these men have a hard time believing such women exist, even as we stare them in the face.
I’m no fan of things distaff, but individualism demands that one treat a female individual (who’s as smart or smarter than you are) with the respect accorded to a male colleague. I, categorically, have not found this to be the case (except with younger men).
In interacting with Old-School codgers or their acolytes, you’ll find these men talk down to you, scold you as though you were a child, and conduct themselves imperially, as if their un-charismatic, long-winded, me-me-me, solipsistic soliloquies are indisputably superior. How can people lack so in self awareness? Easily: Because many older men are pompous, grew up in an era when their superiority was a given, equate a PhD with intellectual superiority. And so on. Moreover, these Old-Timers are still fortunate enough to enjoy personal and professional support systems which reinforce their mindset.
A recent example that comes to mind (asidepersonal relationships which will forever remain personal) is an older radio host who asked this writer to come on his program, but not before severely scolding me for not studying (no less) the “work” of an obscure, unknown dabbler, who had recently written a book about … South Africa. The same host also demanded that the little woman (me) find a partner with whom to appear on his little-known show. Kind of like a “Cheech and Chong” duo, for I could not be expected to hold my own without a partner.
Likewise, I recall how Bill O’Reilly never invited Ann Coulter back on his show after the good lady failed to suppress her intellectual superiority and embarrassed Bill. The Fox News hosts are always more comfortable with younger, mediocre, conventional Millennials, who cannot outsmart the egos in the anchor’s chair. That’s the formula on Fox News.
I don’t praise young men enough. But the young editors coming online more than make up for their lack of literary and editorial sensibilities with a natural penchant for treating women as equals. Younger American men are the best in this regard.
The same thought, albeit applied to music, came to mind when watching the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Mary was the talent, the star: she had the voice, the stunning, exotic looks and the stage persona. Compared to Mary Travers’ striking looks and sonorous voice, the two strummers, Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey, sound and look anemic. Yet in many of the trio’s performances, Mary doesn’t even have a dedicated microphone and is treated as a backup singer. On her death, September 16, 2009, this major talent was still described by the New York Times as “the sex appeal of that group,” whose “voice blended seamlessly with those of her colleagues, Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey.” Essentially, a backup singer.
Crap. Mary Travers was the star of Peter, Paul and Mary. By comparison, the two men (who?) were just plain, wimpy, bloodless warblers, with an annoying nasal twang, and a very average facility with the guitar.
In important ways, a revolutionary process has begun. So argues Ilana Mercer in the best extended analysis yet published of the Trump phenomenon: “Trump is getting an atrophied political system to oscillate” in “an oddly marvelous uprising.” For us revolutionaries there is still a long way to go, but we are entitled to a “modest hope” that “an utterly different political animal, Donald Trump, might actually do some good for the countrymen he genuinely seems to love.”
It is not Trump who is transforming American politics, the author asserts; “it’s the people of America doing the transforming.” Trump is the first politician in a long, long time who has regarded America as a country rather than a “proposition” and has actually spoken to and for “the people.” Far from being “divisive,” his plain speaking has enthusiastically united large numbers of Americans. …
… “White Lives Matter Less” has been, in Mercer’s words, “the creedal pillar” of our public life. Without ungraciousness to any, Trump has shown that it is OK for white Americans to declare that they have had enough of “the pigment burden” that has been piled on their backs. This paleolibertarian author does not disguise her disgust at the fashionable statism, indistinguishable from the collectivist left and without a clue to what “free trade” really means, that passes for libertarianism today. …
… as Mercer points out with tough realism, … In this post-constitutional time, it may be that “the best liberty lovers can look to is action and counter-action, force and counterforce in the service of liberty.” A president hoping for reform will face 160,000 pages of federal laws and regulations and relentless sabotage by the Banksters, Bombers, Bureaucrats, and Busybodies who now govern us. He cannot be a moderate if he hopes to accomplish anything.
On “Mercer’s Menckenesque ability to coin memorable phrases describing the empowered fools of our time,” Professor Wilson’s asks: “Does any contemporary writer do it better?”
Finally, a reviewer with a sense of fun; someone with the good sense to have a hearty chuckle at this verbal swordplay:
Mercer on the media: “news nitworks,” the “War Street Journal,” “idiot’s lantern,” “unsharpened pencil,” “tele-tarts,” a “circle jerk of power brokers,” “one-trick donkeys,” “celebrated mediocrities,” “another banal bloviation,” the “cable commentariat as a cog in the corpulent D.C. fleshpot.”
Mercer on our rulers and would-be rulers: “parasites in waiting”; “nation-building at the point of the bayonet makes [Hillary] barking happy”; “Banana Republicans”; “dwarf-tossing” (William Kristol’s promotion of nonentities as Trump alternatives); the “quaint expectation that voters, not party operatives, would choose the nominee”; the “silent majority that dare not speak its name”; “what our crypto-leftist conservatives are ramming down our proverbial gullets are dogmas, not values”; the “master-servant relationship between Republicans and the Religious Right”; the “think tanks’ industry for the god of war”; “neoconservatives speaking like Tocqueville but acting like Robespierre”; “neoconservatives standing athwart every valid form of American conservatism yelling stop.”