Thursday, June 12, 2008

Six from Taki
  • Rear-view mirror conservatism.
    By the end of World War 2, the Protestant elites of North America were losing interest in traditional Christian orthodoxy even as they were eagerly embracing technocratic rationalism, with only a hint of the old puritan work ethic that had historically initiated the rise of capitalism — all this Grant surmised long before the term “Protestant Deformation” was coined. In short, Protestantism may well have paved the way for the end of conservatism.
    Actually the top classes lost interest in it during the 1700s ‘Enlightenment’ when the US was founded. (The first Latitudinarians/Broad Churchmen.) To spin the conservative Anglican taunt of liberal Episcopalians, ‘Don’t believe in that crap? Neither did they!’ — Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and their friends. Great political thinkers, terrible theologians.

    As right as Lew Rockwell is on the benefits of capitalism (and Helen Rittelmeyer on romantic hyper-localists who diss cities) the hippies were right to rebel against that technocratic rationalism as perceptive traditionalists like Orthodox Fr Seraphim (Rose) saw (more). The trouble was they suffered from the same lack of good first principles as their parents. The punch-line is Easy Rider is a conservative movie as Joshua Snyder quotes others saying.

  • George Grant.
    “Conservatives,” who had once stood for the defense of traditions, have become chief advocates of technology and of militarization and even of populism, all in the name of “Progress.”
    Populism isn’t necessarily a dirty word but yeah.

  • Lukacs the Tory.
    One favorite target of Lukacs is American Christianity, a toxic blend of Puritan fanaticism and technological will to power that is incompatible with the restrained Christian faith which Lukacs finds characteristic of European culture.
    Protestantism on steroids.

  • Modern liberalism does not permit a non-liberal definition of the good.

  • McCain-Clinton ’08 would make sense.
    Who better to attract white working-class voters to McCain than the woman who was winning them in contests with Obama when all was lost?
  • How Obama won and how he can win.
    A new face in the game, Barack opened with three aces. He opposed the Iraq war, the defining issue in a party that had come to detest the war. He was an African-American. Thus, as the hopes of millions rose that he could be the first black president, there were surges of black voters whom he begin to sweep 90-10.
    Of course the first ace is why I’ll honk for him in November. My pennorth on the second.
    Lastly, Barack is a natural, a Mickey Mantle, a superb political athlete like JFK, who has looks, charm, youth and a speaking style that can move crowds to cheers or laughter.
    All true. I’ve seen him in person.
    Barack was thus able to unite the McGovern wing — young, idealistic, liberal, antiwar — with the Jesse Jackson quadrant of the party, black folks, and defeat Hillary’s coalition of working-class [Roman] Catholics, women, seniors, and Hispanics.

    Yet, national polls show McCain-Obama a close race, and the electoral map points to critical problems for Barack.

    What is Barack’s problem?

    In Pennsylvania, a goodly slice of Democrats knew Barack had said they were “bitter” about being left behind and were clinging to their bigotries, Bibles and guns.

    He does not like or understand Middle America or its values.

    “He is not one of us.”

    And if Barack cannot erase this hardening perception in the American mind, he will not be president.

    Democrats may talk of making the economy the issue this fall, but Republicans are going to make Barack the issue. Story line: We cannot entrust our beloved America, in a time of war, to this radical and exotic figure who has so many crazy and extremist associates.
    What would go a long way towards dispelling that, Pat Buchanan suggests, is to do what worked for Reagan and Bill Clinton (Obama is essentially re-running Bill’s 1992 campaign: the Man from Hope and the Audacity of Hope), making his natural strengths (his likeability) work for him. Steve Sailer’s right: instead of being oh so serious about race, face it head on (like Jack Kennedy joking about his daddy buying him a landslide), go on Leno or ‘SNL’, say ‘Hi, I’m Barry Half-White’ and flash one of those million-dollar grins. He wouldn’t lose either of his fan bases and might make a lot of new friends.

    I literally don’t care what colour he is.

    But he’s a statist and an interventionist in principle just like McCain as well as a ghoul on abortion so no vote.

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