Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Clyde Wilson

  • At LRC: why save the Republican Party? They never were really our friends anyway.
  • At Chronicles: Questions for people of my venerable age or even younger, down to about 50.

    Did you ever think you would see...
    • Obscenity and vulgarity beamed into every home 24 hours a day?
    • Large numbers of people walking and driving about holding little machines to their ears and paying no attention to their surroundings?
    • Two Muslim-friendly presidents (me: almost) followed by a Mormon?
    • New York skyscrapers and the Pentagon blown up by dimwitted foreigners armed with plastic tableware? (Those who lived through WWII and the Cold War would not have been surprised by an atomic bomb or invasion by hordes of Chinese. But this?)
    • Wars lasting decades in eastern places nobody can find on a map?
    • People with unfortunate sexual tendencies publicly flaunting and bragging about their affliction and demanding special government privileges?
    • Government control of medicine with the consequent astronomical costs?
    • Your privacy invaded by calls from some creep in Calcutta who can barely mouth English and wants to cheat you with some phony prize?
    • A college degree almost worthless and the rising generation of Americans certain to be poorer than their parents and lucky to have any job at all?
    • Picking up a girl at her house and meeting her parents would be replaced by “hooking up”?
    • The complete disappearance of teenagers eager to earn pocket money by doing odd jobs and delivering newspapers?
I’ll add the death of newspapers even though I don’t miss them.


  1. I would not have quoted Mr Wilson's ignorant xenophobic rant if I were you.

    Obscenity and vulgarity beamed into every home

    Last time I checked, owning a TV and subscribing to cable were voluntary; and even if you do subscribe, you can always change the channel.

    people walking and driving about holding little machines to their ears and paying no attention to their surroundings

    There are stupid and thoughtless people in every generation. They are not produced by iPods and smart phones.

    Muslim-friendly Presidents

    I am an orthodox Lutheran and I have no problem being "friendly" to the Muslims I know; and I have no problem with the President being "friendly" to Muslims and Muslim-majority nations. Being friendly is a good thing.

    If, however, Mr Wilson is suggesting that recent Presidents are "friendly" in the sense of compromising American national interests in favour of countries associated with Islam -- and especially if he is suggesting that our national interest requires hostility to Muslims as such -- then I firmly disagree.

    dimwitted foreigners armed with plastic tableware

    Someone who can bring down the World Trade Center while remaining almost unarmed is possibly crazy, doubtless evil, but certainly not dimwitted.

    Wars lasting decades in eastern places nobody can find on a map

    I carry no brief for decades-long war in "eastern places," but I have no problem finding those places on the map. If Mr Wilson cannot find them, it seems to me that he is glorying in his ignorance.

    Arrogant or sullen foreigners swarming everywhere you look in your own hometown

    The immigrants that I know (one I work for, many that I work with, and some few that work for me) are friendly, quiet, hard-working, solid folk. I haven't noticed a single one of them "swarming" (though perhaps they are all swarming like crazy as soon as my back is turned).

    I could go on, but the point is clear. Clyde Wilson is an ignorant xenophobe who seems to be proud both of his xenophobia and his ignorance. What possible value did you see in this that made it worth quoting on your blog? I thought you were a libertarian.

  2. Good point (freedom) on TV obscenity but I agree with Wilson and other social conservatives that it's 'everywhere'. Good calls too on 'Muslim-friendly' and 'dimwitted'. Islam's a false religion out to destroy Christianity but regular readers like you know I blog against the neocons' wars in the Mideast, as Wilson does in the quote. Militarily 9/11 was genius. But one of his points might be that those countries are backward. I think 'nobody can find on a map' means those countries aren't a threat to us so leave them alone. You're also right about the 'arrogant or sullen foreigners' line, which is why I didn't quote it here and pasted an edited version of Wilson's post instead of a link. I know enough history, such as in living memory, to remember when the foreigners were Italian for example. I like Steve Sailer's citizenism — a country can only support so many, and owes its citizens first, which César Chavez agreed with by the way, opposing illegal immigration — but, remembering the Catholic experience for example, I and others say, if you want to work, and abide by our do-no-harm rule, then welcome. Defending immigrants' individual liberty, balancing it with citizens' rights. Wilson's points are a true conservatism (small-government and 'isolationist' though peaceful trade with other countries is arguably more internationalist than bombing and invading them) based on Anglo-American, commonly called white, culture is good. That culture about 50 years ago had made America great, so Anglo-Americans like him should be proud of being Anglo-American. An idea: we overcame Protestant nativism/anti-Catholicism because the Protestants are an offshoot of Western civilization while the Catholic Church is Western civilization. Broadly speaking we had the same culture. So we fitted in naturally; by around 1950 we were almost entirely accepted. The flip side: against the misgivings of some of our own thinkers, including Popes, we can live in and will flourish in a system with religious liberty.

    1. I think you are reading Wilson through the lens of your own politics, re-interpreting what he wrote so that it bears your message. Of course I noticed that you redacted his "arrogant and sullen" remark, but that passage makes clear the animus that drives the whole piece. It's no accident that he makes the statement twice: it's the first point on his list, and it's the last point on his list He could not be clearer that this is his central point.

      if you want to work, and abide by our do-no-harm rule, then welcome

      Of course -- that's the Young Fogey that I have come to know. But it is the opposite of Wilson's attitude.

  3. A libertarian polity would have more borders, not fewer.


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