Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Many Colors of the Hypocrisy Rainbow

US Sen Rubio Sees New Hope for Venezuela Sanctions

[T]he lawmaker said more action is needed to punish President Nicolas Maduro's government.

"I hope we can achieve something much stronger than what the White House has done so far," Rubio, speaking in Spanish, told journalists.

Republican (and Democratic pundits) have been in love with Florida Senator Marco Rubio for a long time. He can bring new voters to the party. He can show the nation that the Republican party can be a party of inclusion! His last name ends in a vowel!

You'll notice no one blazoning Rubio bothers highlighting his policy platform. That's because his platform is a carbon copy of the pinker Republicans he is supposed to be the antidote to.

Rubio tows the party line on abortion.

Tows the party line on minimum wage

Tows the party line on domestic surveillance.

Tows the party line on gay marriage.

Same foreign policy as rich old Anglo Romney. As you've seen with his views on sanctioning Venezuela, or with staying tough on Cuba, his, uh, roots haven't softened his tone on engagement with Latin America.

So what makes him so different and refreshing? He's olive-ish. It is as cynical as that. Take a candidate who regurgitates everything Romney says, give him a tan and suddenly The Content of His Character takes a backseat (several rows behind Rosa Parks) to The Color of His Skin.

If the difference isn't race, what is the difference? A losing platform said in Spanish is still a losing platform.

As much as the Establishment Left accuses the Establishment Right of using racial whistle words, when it comes to unambiguous ethnic chauvinism, the Establishment Left talks more tribalism than a Jerry Springer Klan guest. The only reason Rubio, a clone of the "too white" Romney is a darling is because of his ethnicity.

The Left regularly asserts (with sometimes hilarious accuracy) that fierce "family values" advocates are secretly gay. You don't need x-ray vision to see that the fiercest "anti-racism" police are often the most race obsessed people of all.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Girl Who Probably Despised Dragon Tattoos

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is easily the most famous libertarian novel of all time, and if you take anti-welfare state/laissez-faire regulation to be conservative viewpoints, you could also call it the most successful "conservative" novel of all time. This despite the fact that it is over 1,000 pages long, is full of l-o-o-o-o-ng philosophical passages, and isn't a staple of school curriculums.

I'm thinking of this because I just turned the last page of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which reads like it was written by Tori Amos in the throes of an Adderall binge (though it certainly isn't a bad read). It has passages that are fairly unapologetic didacticism; all from a left-wing point of view. I'm a pretty avid fiction reader, and I cannot think of many right-wing/libertarian equivalents. Rarely do you encounter any contemporary fiction (or much past fiction, for that matter), particularly anything from a major publisher, that offers any alternative to the Progressive Consensus innate to nearly all editors, book reviewers, and literary professors (though they fancy this consensus to be obscure and rebellious). Maybe Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities; not a manifesto by any stretch, but it does at least lampoon some progressive hobby-horses. Maybe some of Robert Heinlein's novels*?

So if you're shopping for a gift for a nephew or granddaughter, and you're a conservative or libertarian leaning person, what exactly do you have to choose from? You have to stretch your brain to make even a short list, and if you're not a major fiction consumer, you could easily be unaware of the existence of writers like Heinlein.

Probably the only libertarian/conservative novel that is consistently on people's tongues is Atlas Shrugged (or Rand's The Fountainhead). Maybe that is part of the explanation for its truly astounding success; it has no competitors.


*Orwell doesn't count; everyone thinks Animal Farm and 1984 are about the people they disagree with.