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Picking on Piketty 10 Questions for a Liberal the Week after Mothers Day

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Let's Look on the Bright Side

by Christopher Chantrill
May 13, 2014 at 12:00 am


THINK BACK to the good old days of McCarthyism when America kicked people out of their jobs because of their political beliefs. What was the problem? The problem was that the Democrats had won the US presidency for four straight elections and Republicans were beside themselves. There had to be a conspiracy!

It was after the McCarthy era that Herbert Marcuse in “Repressive Tolerance” (an essay dedicated to his students at Brandeis University!) developed his theory of liberating tolerance that “would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left” and Saul Alinksy developed his community organizer Rules for Radicals. The assumption was that progressives were poor helpless victims that had to use extraordinary measures to advance their cause against the Moloch of advanced capitalism.

Now we have liberal activists Marcusing everyone in sight, from Brandon Eich to the nubile Donald Sterling and two Liberty University graduates in the home remodeling business. What will be the end of it? Will liberal prosecutors start sending the cops on no-knock raids on conservative activists in the middle of the night? Will Obama cancel the next election?

Here’s why I think that things are turning around. I think that liberals have made a strategic mistake.

Since winning the presidency in 2008 liberals have inverted Churchill’s advice: in defeat Defiance, in victory Magnanimity. It will turn out to be the biggest political error of the century.

In 2009 Obama should have implemented his agenda with bipartisan majorities; he should have heard Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s advice, that big legislation like Obamacare needs a 70-30 vote in the Senate. He should have extended the hand of compromise to his adversaries. And he should have kept his crazies in check, all of them, class, race, and gender warriors, with a kind of avuncular regret that “boys will be boys.”

The thing is that the liberal commentariat is convinced that Republicans and especially Tea Partiers are all racist sexist homophobes. Check Jonathan Chait if you’re not sure.

Suppose they are right. So what? The sons of Irish Jewish and Italian immigrants are supposed to pay reparations to African Americans because rich plantation owner Thomas Jefferson kept slaves? Let’s not forget that it’s the white working class that’s had to pay for Affirmative Action; liberals have thrived on race politics.

Yes, the worriers say, but how can the GOP succeed unless it reaches out into minority communities? My answer is simple. Since the Republican Party lost the votes of the pensioned veterans of the Civil War it has never succeeded in “reaching out” to anyone. Republican success instead has come from a million Reagans: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.”

The reason for this is simple. The Democratic Party is the party of tribal people; their identity is collective with their class, their race, their gender, their sexual identity. That’s why the Democrats are banging away with the race card on Sterling, the class card on the minimum wage, gay card on Brandon Eich, and the eternal War on Women. That’s what tribal leaders do. Then there’s the fake tribalism of well-to-do feminists and well-to-do gays, and the tribal religion of environmentalism. Gotta get in on that tribal action.

The Republican Party is the party of responsible individuals. We have left the tribe and its mindless conformity, left the countryside and its patronizing landlord, left the neo-tribalism of the immigrant city ward and its patronage culture, rejected the faux-tribalism of feminism and LGBTETC. We accept the city on its own terms, its money economy, its employment at will, its profits and losses, its credits and loans, its booms and busts. We are sustained by a faith, that by serving others we can serve ourselves, and that we should trust anyone, of any race, creed, or color, that demonstrates their trustworthiness. Anyone that believes that stuff is welcome to join the GOP.

Here we are, approaching a second mid-term that is shaping up as a classic nightmare for the incumbent party. After another two years of Obamacare horror stories, we could easily be looking at a Republican president, a 55-45 Republican Senate and a solid Republican House majority. The last time the US had that kind of government was back in 1928.

And we know who to thank for this glorious prospect: Barack Obama, the worst president ever.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006

China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing

Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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