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by Christopher Chantrill
July 22, 2014 at 12:00 am
WANT TO GET a new angle on Obama’s Hope and Change mantra? Longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote the book about it before Obama was even born: The Ordeal of Change.
[E]very radical adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem... It needs inordinate self-confidence to face drastic change without inner trembling.
“Action,“ writes Hoffer, “is the most obvious way by which to gain confidence and prove our worth... [but] there must be an abundance of opportunities, and there must be a tradition of self-reliance“ for a program of action to work. And back in the 19th century when the first great wave of immigration hit the shores of the US, there was.
But Obama offered the US change without ordeal, gain without pain: don’t worry, be hopey, he told us. It worked for a while, until people woke up to the fact that the reality of Obamaworld was no hope and no change.
Obama’s change could never work anyway, because he forgot to provide Hopper’s secret ingredient for successful change: “abundance of opportunities... and self-reliance.“ Obama doesn’t believe in opportunity and self-reliance: you didn’t build that.
What happens to a time of drastic change without abundant opportunities? It’s not good. People grab for substitutes, like the Germans did in the 1930s.
When a population undergoing drastic change is without abundant opportunities for individual action and self-advancement, it develops a hunger for faith, pride, and unity... it creates a proclivity for fanatical attitudes, united action, and spectacular manifestations of flouting and defiance; it creates an atmosphere of revolution.
Hello liberals in 2014! All the noise, the faith in climate change, the pride in “marriage equality“ and the unity over the “war on women:“ These are cheap substitutes that your leaders are cynically feeding you.
But we are conservatives; we accept no substitutes for abundant opportunity.
We see that Eric Hopper points past the liberal dead end to the truth of the post-Obama age. When Obama finally goes on permanent golfing vacation we Americans know we’ll have to endure a period of wrenching change to get the economy moving again and the society back together again, and the world thugs back to their lairs.
And we know that we must clear the decks to open up abundant opportunity for our young people.
On Hopper’s analysis you can see why the Reagan years worked. Sure, it was a period of wrenching change in the economy after the follies of the 1970s, but try as they might with their media amen chorus chanting Trickle-down and Me Decade, liberals couldn’t get the American people to sing anything but Morning in America, because the 1980s were years of abundant opportunity for millions of individual Americans and Reagan personified self-confidence and self-reliance.
Now it’s time to do it again. Indeed we must do it again, for the children. We’ve got to get the Millennials into full-time work, get them out from under their unjust student debt burden so they can start to believe in lives of opportunity and then have time for wedding rings and things, all over the world, just like the old WWII song said.
The wonderful thing is that we know how to do it. Cut government spending. Replace Obamacare. Cut regulations. Cut tax rates and close crony loopholes. Curb crony capitalists. Drill, baby, drill; frack, baby, frack. Stop crony green energy and “carbon pollution“ madness; stop bike paths and bullet trains. Stop just about every liberal self-indulgence you can think of.
And then hold on tight, because just like in the 1980s it will take a couple of years from the dread of Obama’s night to get to the happy dawn of the Second Morning in America, and in every uncertain moment of that transitional ordeal the Democratic operatives with bylines will be sneering and jeering with retread arrangements of the golden oldies from the Eighties like Mean-spirited and Amiable Dunce, not to mention that early 2000s Pelosi favorite, Jobless Recovery.
Here is my fantasy. Everywhere he goes in the year that America yearns for a brighter, better future, the 2016 Republican nominee for president gets introduced by a singer singing Vera Lynn’s WWII song:
When the lights go on again, all over the world
And the ships set sail again, all over the world
Then we’ll have time for things like wedding rings and free hearts will sing
When the lights go on again all over the world.
OK, so the song is sappy and sentimental, but I have a sentimental yearning to liberate the Millennials and many others from their hellish Obamist ordeal into the freedom of independence and career and marriage and bouncing babies and homes of their own.
Imagine the apoplectic fury of the Democratic operatives with bylines if this song went viral and the whole crowd at every speech joined in.
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 300–301, 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