(UPDATE: join the discussion about this sorry development here, at my Examiner.com page.)
Well, it’s a sad day for the nation when one of its most brilliant polemicists goes all loopy, and one is obliged to — yes — fisk PJ O’Rourke.
Here, O’Rourke makes some vague motions in the direction of Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act as the reason we lost the White House. He’s a bit cryptic but he’s suggesting Goldwater’s “no” cost the GOP the black vote forever — an old liberal line, poorly argued.
Odd. First: It was Southern Democrats, not Republicans, who voted down most civil rights legislation.
Second, Goldwater was right — and this election simply proved it.
He pointed out the unpleasant fact that the Constitution enshrined the right of “free association” — and that right supposed the right not to associate with people we might not care to, even if we are idiots for being so inclined.
(Goldwater, a white member of the NAACP, was personally was a desegrationist long before the word existed, having ordered the desegration of his family’s businesses and the Phoenix public school systems to name just two examples.)
He rightly feared, however, that forcing other people to be like him, to enter into contracts with each other whether they honestly wanted to or not, would undermine the very fabric of liberty, freedom of conscience and capitalism — capitalism being based upon the natural inclination of private individuals to freely enter into contracts with each other for goods and services, and freely decline to enter into those contracts when they find the terms unappealing.
When the “freely” part gets surgically removed by the State, bad things are bound to occur. Good intentions NEVER innoculate us from bad results.
It’s a little weird that O’Rourke, whose last book is about Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, either doesn’t know that this is what the whole book is about or, more likely, doesn’t care.
If one has to choose between the Founders’ words in the Constitution, and the hurt feelings of some victim group who are petulantly demanding eternal restitution for a crime no living America took part in — that this is even a contest shows how far the nation has deteriorated.
“Nobody with kids is a liberal?”
O’Rourke is the only sentient being unfamiliar with future Secretary of HUD, Peggy Joseph.
“Everybody wants his or her children to respect freedom, exercise responsibility, be honest, get educated, have opportunities, and own a bunch of guns. (The last is optional and includes, but is not limited to, me, my friends in New Hampshire, and Sarah Palin.)”
Actually Peej, that your kids “own a bunch of guns” may be the only thing you and Peggy DO agree on.
He seems to equate “being liberal” with being white, but then blames Goldwater (?) for “making” blacks turn liberal.
He says “the law cannot be made identical with morality” when talking about abortion, but again: what else is the Civil Rights Act (or any number of laws on the books) but legislated morality?
Oh I forgot: it’s not about sex, like laws against abortion and gay marriage are. And worldly, sophisticated “that Hugh Hefner really did accomplish something” boomer men of all political stripes get very nervous when someone dares to suggest that once in a while, they might wanna sorta consider the possibility of keeping their pants on.
There’s a lot of good stuff in here, but you have to pick away at the spray-on glib. Uncharacteristically, O’Rourke is being snarky here for snark’s sake instead of using it to forward his argument.
“Our attitude towards immigration has been repulsive”
Spoken like a man who hasn’t mowed his own lawn in 20 years. Yes, I’m sure all the little O’Rourkes attend a South Central public school, eh Peej? One with all those La Raza teachers and supers?
He even plays the tedious “what about all the great restaurants?” card which, I’ve come to learn, is the surest sign that your debate partner is a liberal, no matter what he calls himself.
Then average Americans will learn the wisdom of Ronald Reagan’s statement: “The ten most dangerous words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the federal government, and I’m here to help.’ ” Ask a Katrina survivor.
Yes, why not actually ask a Katrina survivor, O’Rourke? I doubt you’ve ever met one, since they’d rather collect welfare than mow your lawn, which is why you need that Mexican.
Katrina surviors complain to this day that “the guvmit” didn’t do enough for them, fast enough, politely enough. Gave ’em only $1000 debit cards to spend on lap dancers instead of, say, $5000. Made ’em move all the way to Huston where they were welcomed with open arms — and promptly doubled the murder rate. Gave ’em yucky trailers — damn it, why is the State giving people trailers in the first place, and double damn it, you people lived in yucky trailers in the first damn place. Under frickin’ sea level.
And yes, I meant to write “you people”, thanks.
This election was the Katrina election. Katrina frickin’ won, dude. Are you retarded?
Under constant political pressure, which went almost unresisted by conservatives, a lot of lousy mortgages that would never be repaid were handed out to Jim Jerk and his drinking buddies and all the ex-wives and single mothers with whom Jim and his pals have littered the nation.
Memo to Peej: these guys don’t tend to be named “Jim”. “Jamal” is more like it. But for all your bluster, you don’t have the balls to write that. You are in fact illustrating the same fears and attitudes you are criticizing “other” conservatives for, those who wouldn’t “resist” that “constant political pressure.” You can’t resist the politically correct pressure either. Hence the inexplicable “Jim.”
Look. In. The. Mirror.
Anyway: disheartening stuff.