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by Christopher Chantrill
August 27, 2013 at 12:00 am
IT WOULD BE easy to critique Ross Douthat’s column “A Different Kind of Division” as lily-livered RINOism. He is gently, ever so gently telling his liberal audience that, fifty years after Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, today’s Obama race wars do not divide the country like Bull Connor’s dogs and water hoses in 1963. And really, he waffles, there are good ideas for reform from both sides of the aisle. Get this:
Meanwhile, in the broader socioeconomic landscape, the big story of the last generation in American life is that problems that were seen as specifically “black problems” in the 1970s and 1980s — persistent unemployment, especially for men, family breakdown and social disarray — are now problems affecting the pan-ethnic working class.
Do you see what he is doing? He is referring to Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report on “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action” and to Charles Murray’s Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010. Moynihan is unmentionable because he was so embarrassingly right and Charles Murray is unmentionable because long ago in a galaxy far away he wrote a book that allowed as how blacks scored lower on IQ tests than whites. Cue Noel Coward and “Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Lib’rals.”
Back in the good old days they used to advise rabble-rousers not to frighten the horses in the street. Today it’s important not to frighten the NYT-reading termagents of a certain age in the faculty lounge.
Allow me to translate Douthat’s gentle words. Liberals: You Suck! You’re the ruling class; you’re the evolved ones, the educated, the compassionate ones, yet you’ve been playing the race card, shamelessly and cynically, man and boy, for the last 50 years and now it’s like you’re on crack. You’ll do anything to rile up and harvest that 90 percent of the African American vote that you need to stay in the game, and with the Obama race wars you’re just about hitting bottom.
Remember? You liberals were the guys that said never again would the US countenance racist thugs like Lester Maddox and George Wallace. Today, in 2013, it is liberals that not merely condone but actually encourage the racist Reverends who go out every morning to remind African Americans that Jim Crow is just around the corner.
So it’s a different kind of division now? Are you kidding? Jim Crow got started after the dead-heat 1876 election because Republicans were tired of occupying the South. So Rutherford B. Hayes took office in a deal that allowed the white ruling class down south to resurrect a kind of slavery-lite for the next 80 years. Shame on the Republicans.
Fast-forward to today. The liberal administrative state has been exposed as an utter failure, from its failing schools, its failing pensions, its monstrous health-care, to its inflationist Keynesianism. Conservatives have been offering sensible, practical reforms for a generation, but liberals know better. Just like the defeated South and the Bourbons before them, they have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. They are the ruling class, to the manor born, and we once and future slaves better get down on our knees and obey the mandates of the latest 2,000 page omnibus bill to the letter, or they’ll sicc the IRS on us.
So what is the difference?
The difference is in what comes next. After the pride of Hubris comes the avenging sword of Nemesis. It’s all just a Greek myth, of course, but it’s telling that Nemesis was female, on the idea that Heaven hath no fury like a woman scorned by the pride of a ruling-class liberal.
We’ve got the recovery that isn’t. We’ve got the Obamacare train wreck. We’ve got the global warming that didn’t. Now we’ve got the #HATE THEM hashtaggers proudly broadcasting their racist thuggery on Twitter and acting on it. There’s your fundamental transformation.
We conservatives, if we were as mean-spirited as the liberals insist we are, could be setting up the bleachers right now to cheer on an epic political meltdown. But the truth is that we love America too much for that, and hate what is coming in the next three years, even if that’s what it takes to put a Republican president into office with a Republican Congress on January 20, 2017.
We know who will be hardest hit. It will be the folks that took the welfare bait and backed off their work effort. It will be the twentysomethings buried in Obama student debt slavery. It will be the government retirees beached by the dismasted government pensions. It will be the teachers marooned by the shipwreck of education.
The dream has become a nightmare.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300â€“301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America