The trouble with George W.
This is an outstanding article by J. Peter Mulhern that appeared a couple of days ago in the American Thinker. It's probably the best piece of writing summarizing the entire situation with George W. and the war on terror that I have read in all these years. It's clear, concise, and precise, with a brilliant theme that clarifies the problem and is carried throughout the entire piece, helping us to view the situation in a new light.
Indeed, this is precisely what we have been grappling with and attempting to put into words when it comes to defining the trouble with George W.
As the author says, Bush is a captive of conventional wisdom. You can call it whatever you like, but his need to get approval from the other side has been his downfall all along. That's where Ronald Reagan stands alone -- he marched to his own drummer. We now have accomodating, vaccilating bureaucrats eager to please all sides and disappointing everyone as a result.
The author rightly calls Bush to task on the ridiculous "bring them to justice" mantra. I get sick every time I hear that -- as if he's some sheriff who's going to bring in a few pesky outlaws who are stinking up the town.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the president holds Ramadan dinners in the White House and instructs that huge mosques be built at Quantico.
Yes, unfortunately George W.'s background makes him think that the world can be run like a gentleman's club, where opposition can be publicly espoused but back-room deals in (formerly) smoky rooms take place with lots of back-slapping and hand-shaking. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with the UN and the Islamists, you get nothing but back-stabbing in those smoky back rooms, while the Islamists and one-worlders glad-hand the administration and pledge to be good boys next time.
It doesn't help that Bush's family is heavily into oil, and so they have deep social and friendship and business ties with the sheiks and millionaire tyrants of the ME.
This conventional wisdom that holds that we can cooperate with the left and the media and get them to like us and consider us "worthy" of their attention is also where I part company with the many conservatives among us (notably men) who go out of their way to publicly rebuke and berate people like Ann Coulter, without having even bothered to read her book. They are so desperate to be considered legitimate (by whom, is the operative word) that they gladly throw their own to the wolves to prove their "bona-fides" as players who don't take sides but condemn right and left equally. I suspect that those who feel this way secretly are ashamed of being conservatives or are vaguely uncomfortable with conservatism because in some way they have internalized the caricature of ignorance that has been foisted on us by the liberal and mainstream media.
You have to be unashamed and unafraid when you know you are right. And I might add -- it is women in so many parts of the world that are standing unafraid against society and oppression -- think of it -- Oriana Falacci in Italy, Brigitte Bardot in France, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ayan Hirsi Ali in Holland (and now the U.S.) -- and in our own country we have Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Phyllis Schlafly and yes -- in her own way, Peggy Noonan, who dare to buck conventional wisdom and tell it like it is.
It seems that it is women who are finally standing up on their own and demanding justice and speaking the truth -- after failing to get men to start acting like men in this country, and around the world, and to do the job that nature intended for them -- defending their family and their country and their honor. I will have more to say about the role of women and dissent in a future post.
To take this idea of male-female roles a bit further, we might look at the fact that Bush is surrounded by many powerful women, but unfortunately the lesson he seems to have learned is to attempt to please in order to get along rather than stand up for himself. (Although I would argue that his alcoholism as a youth was a passive method of being rebellious and bucking authority -- also his fraternity misbehavior that seemed to characterize his early years.) Similarly, his patrician upbringing has also led to his passive inaction on many fronts, with George the Elder always cautioning restraint and gentlemanly courtliness over tough action.
Ronald Reagan had Nancy, and the little world they occupied together, but I don't for a minute think he was cowed by her in any way. But Reagan did not strike me as an "old boys network" type of man. I couldn't picture him as a "frat boy" type -- while we know that this has been the template of George W.'s life. Reagan was an individualist, and perhaps one of the last true Americans in public life. He walked to his own drummer, he listened to his own inner voice, he disdained and was simply unconcerned with public approval or mainstream thinking. He knew his own mind. He was the quintessential individualistic American. He came from simple, small-town origins, he was self-made, internally guided, and had a deep and abiding love and belief in the American dream, and a distrust of the back room and the old boys network. And against all odds, he prevailed and rose into the sunshine to lead our nation out of a time of malaise and seeming inevitable decline. We shall not see his like again, and there's the real danger.
I wonder if there are still individual thinkers among us. The "conventional wisdom", which can also be called the all-encompassing and prevalent concept of political correctness, has seeped into our very veins, and most people are afraid of bucking this "conventional wisdom", and are afraid of sticking their necks out. We have become a conformist society, slapped down as we are at every turn by a nanny press that tut-tuts every time someone (other than a democrat) says a cross word. And the right has fallen right into the trap. We have been conditioned into acquiescence by the relentless barrage of humiliation and public abuse that is heaped on those who transgress and deny the holy writ of leftist cant. It is what happened in Chinese communist culture, with those public shamings -- only we have a press that does if for us without any government edict. And those who cannot take the relentless abuse get gunshy and start to duck and weave, appeasing and accomodating at every turn to avoid the coming inevitable blow, like an abused spouse who has lost all ability to fight back, or the abused child, that is beaten into submission and fear.
We have become tamed. Or at least the political classes have become tamed. Only the American people as a whole have not been tamed. That is why we see the outrage over illegal immigration from the average American, who still has his individuality and his pride about him, while from the political and nattering classes all we get are mealy-mouthed words of accomodation and compromise and "can't we all just get along".
Our only hope to survive as a culture and as a civilization is for the true Americans to take back their country from the hacks that have stolen our heritage. As much as we hate it, as much as we are disgusted by it, we cannot abandon the political process. We must get out and attempt to wrest control of our party back from the Rockefeller wing of the sell-out Republicans who currently occupy the seats of power. Reagan did it - they tried to thwart him and did on several occasions. But he kept on coming back. The trick is to find that Reagan out there -- the one true American politician that will still stand for what makes this country great -- and who's not afraid to fight for it! I hope it's not too late.
At 1:19 AM, verity said...
Great post, Aussiegirl, I agree with much of what you have said.
Mulhern's article is an important one, and he is on target for the most part.
The problem with most of our 'respectable' Republican leaders is that they embrace a liberal worldview, when you come right down to it; they may posture as 'conservatives' but they share many if not most of the presuppositions which shape the liberal mind. For example, the idea that 'people are all the same' drives the rationale behind the attempted democratizing of Iraq.
Many of our pundits as well as politicians believe the liberal platitude that 'everybody wants freedom' which in a vague sense is true, but they refuse to see that people are not all the same; 'freedom' has a very different meaning to a Moslem than to a Western Christian or to a Western secular liberal or to an Asian Buddhist. All peoples and cultures are not the same; whether this is a product simply of culture or of genetics or some combination thereof, the fact is, there are differences, and only liberals insist on denying those differences.
The fact is liberalism constitutes much of the 'conventional wisdom' as you imply, and the political debate in our country has moved so far leftward that even Republicans and so-called 'conservatives' embrace the liberal faith to some extent, possibly without even realizing it. One way to verify this is to read the writings of conservatives of a generation or two ago, examine the beliefs and tenets they held, and compare them to what passes as 'conservatism' today. Some will argue, in response, that we have 'learned' since then, that the 'world has changed, and we have to change with it' -- yet those arguments in themselves are essentially liberal. Liberals believe that we are by definition more 'advanced' and 'enlightened' than past generations, and that change is by definition good and desirable. True conservatives, by contrast, would seek to preserve the wisdom of the past and to act as a brake on the innovation and rebellion of the liberals. Too many Republicans have renounced conservatism in favor of liberalism lite. This is the essence of the problem with our party leaders; they are not leading but following the Gramscian march to the left. We need a return to the traditional constitutional tenets of conservatism; we don't need two parties which are just left-leaning vs. right-leaning liberals. Both these groups are willing to compromise our sovereignty and our country in the name of ideology.
At 11:57 AM, Timothy Birdnow said...
Great piece, Aussiegirl!
Your point about how women are often the ones fighting for freedom around the world makes good sense; women, as the nucleus of the family, bear the brunt of the suffering imposed by tyranny and leftist dogma, while men-especially the emasculated, irresponsible, disassociated types favored by leftists the world over-can walk away from the mess. A woman with children has to face what is happening and fight against threats to her family. I think many women are realizing the bankruptcy of liberalism, and are starting to take action, while too many men are trying to be popular.
Bush epitomizes this; his ``new tone`` is a ``big man on campus`` strategy designed to get him elected to the student government, not a serious policy. He doesn`t understand that his political enemies will hate him, and, in the current climate, stab him in the back no matter what he does. Even the security of the Nation plays second fiddle to politics in the current era (because the left has found themselves on the outside looking in) and Bush`s ``new tone`` is more of a new tomb for him.