The State of the Union is “batshit insane.” There’s no other way to describe a world where fully grown men and women yell about global government and other assorted conspiracies while proclaiming themselves agents of God or defenders of scientific truth where the only “scientific truth” seems to be “there is no God.” A good way to see that the US is nothing but extremists screaming at each other is to look at the abuse hurled at President Bush:
- Assassination Fascination, Michelle Malkin (yes, I’ve linked to the Google cache only. I do not endorse reading Malkin except in one or two specific instances, this one is a round-up of an incredible amount of Bush hatred)
and, of course, the treatment of the current President is reaching those proportions, if it hasn’t done so already:
- Effigy of President Obama found hung in Georgia
- Image of President Obama shining Sarah Palin’s shoes deemed not racist (!) by prominent right-wing blogger Instapundit (h/t LGF); also deemed to not have anything to do with the right, even though it appeared on a host of right-wing blogs, by Patterico
So let’s move away from common opinion about politics for a second, because common opinion is not to be trusted. When the history of this age is written, none of the issues currently making news may be included. They are based on our insight, and we only see as far as our wallet and television set will let us. What we have in DC right now is an administration and Congress that are very Left-of-center compared to the rest of America. That’s a simple fact – urban elites are in charge, and they’ve been educated in a host of ideas of which middle America is distrustful. Some of those ideas are probably wrong: I think VP Cheney’s criticism of the administration’s approach to terrorism and foreign policy has to be taken seriously, and not dismissed as partisan, because he sees things the rest of us don’t. And I think anyone looking at the amount of spending with regards to the stimulus and health care reform should be incensed.
But some of their ideas are things perfectly reasonable people can disagree on, if they’re not exactly correct about. Every conservative should be concerned that we are not a post-racial society – the stuff being used to attack the President is beyond ugly; it’s borderline violent, when not accompanied by threats of actual violence (again, h/t LGF). And the hypocrisy of many conservatives has to be pointed out, especially as the more vocal ones who expressed their distaste for President Bush in the crudest manner are now are extending that behavior to the current President, and on top of it all saying that they’re the only moral, God-fearing people in America. The Left was exactly correct about how little progress we’ve made racially and rationally; it is an open question whether public schools are progressive enough, given what we’re witnessing.
Moreover, we’ve seen the emergence of a new sort of insanity that crosses Right and Left: the Tea Parties, with what I will charitably call a “libertarian sentiment.” I really don’t want to call it libertarian, just as I don’t want to call the racists who slander the President conservatives. If there is a difference between this group and the ones above, it may be that if the “conservatives” reminiscent of the “good ol’ boys” in “The Blues Brothers” are unwilling to be educated, this group thinks they’re educated. They’re for science! For progress! They’re “Goldwater conservatives!” Oh yeah, they spew hate too, and practically speaking, are completely unable to be differentiated from the idiots above. It isn’t always as conspicuous as the outright racists, but it’s still plenty mean. Sometimes that hate is fired at those who are more religious; sometimes it is fired at the Left. Oftentimes, it is fired at each other: someone gets attacked who hasn’t read Ayn Rand or whatever book about the Bilderbergs they found in a dumpster while looking for their brain. I would imagine numbers of these people do not identify as Republican, because John McCain is a liberal traitor to them. I’m very happy this trash does not willingly use the label Republican: if there’s one person I’ve grown to respect that much more nowadays, it is John McCain. I do not know how he deals with this; I know there are people that do not deserve the privilege of living in America.
What makes all of this worse is that no one on the Left has grown-up: I’m not actually talking about President Obama here. It’s more the opinion-maker class, people like Kos, sites like HuffPo (although: the corrupt excesses of the Democratic Congress are not helping either. Not one bit). Right now, the Right is so excessive that they don’t have to lie, smear and distort in order to have a solid critique. But hate is still hate; what they expressed for many Americans they disagreed with during the Bush years still exists, and I don’t know that if we had a credible conservative movement that they could be trusted to engage it properly. They’d rather see the Right burn itself down and the Left “win” on legislative issues than have a country they could be proud of.
I dunno. Part of me just wants to put a “donate” button the blog and make some money from writing, and use that money to live someplace I really liked, such as Montreal. The sense “we’re all Americans” is slipping away the longer this factionalism – it is not dignified enough to be called “partisanship” – continues, and the deep problem is that I don’t see how minds can be opened. Teaching isn’t just “I have lots of information and I give it away and get a paycheck;” it’s important that the people you teach will be better for being taught. And no amount of good acts – and Americans do plenty of good things, plenty of amazing things that shame me and make me look like a terrible person – can account for future virtue. What I need to see is a commitment to the good. What I see instead is “they started it” followed by “fight fire with fire;” for conservatism, this is nothing less than a death-knell, for the few claims conservatives had upon traditional morality cannot be upheld by any serious scrutiny. That liberals would snicker at this instead of working to preserve diversity in the best sense speaks volumes about why I have to stay on the Right.