We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our age has seen political disdain become seamlessly integrated into cultural disdain. The prominent novelist E.L. Doctorow showed the way in 1980 when he wrote that Ronald Reagan had grown up in "just the sorts of places [small towns in Illinois] responsible for one of the raging themes of American literature, the soul-murdering complacency of our provinces.... The best and brightest fled all our Galesburgs and Dixons, if they could, but the candidate was not among them." Reagan did attend college, but not the kind that would have given him some exposure to the world outside the soul-murdering towns where he grew up, and to moral ideas calling into question his parents' religion. Instead, wrote Doctorow, a "third-rate student at a fifth-rate college could learn from the stage, the debating platform, the gridiron and the fraternity party the styles of manliness and verbal sincerity that would stand him in good stead when the time came to make his mark in the world." Achieving success in his first job out of college, as a radio announcer in Des Moines, Reagan made a number of local speaking engagements, "giving talks to fraternal lodges, boys' clubs and the like, telling sports stories and deriving from them Y.M.C.A. sorts of morals."
We see here all the basic elements, employed for the past 28 years, of liberal condescension. Every issue of the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, or Rolling Stone makes clear that the policy positions of George W. Bush, Republicans, and conservatives in general are wicked and stupid. The real problem, however, is that everything about these people—where they reside, what they believe, how they live, work, recreate, talk, and think—is in irredeemably bad taste. To embark on a conversation with one of them, based on straight-faced openness to the possibility of learning something interesting or important, would be like choosing to vacation in Wichita instead of Tuscany.
The phrase "Y.M.C.A. morals" says it all for me. All that humdrum nonsense about keeping your word and doing your duty: it's not at all picquant, sophisticated, or daring. And it's SO mom and dad. Obviously it's a matter of psychological survival to eradicate THEIR pernicious influence.
One of the things I have noticed in doing disaster relief work is where the aid workers are from. The local community obviously, but those who come from elsewhere tend to be from the South, the Midwest and the Rockies. These are people who truly feel themselves as American and not as citizens of a major city-state disconnected from the country. The military demographic. People who can find Wichita as worthy as Tuscany.
I'm with you on that. Wichita has it's fine points and I wouldn't sneer at somebody who chose to spend a few weeks there, but it's not my pick. And personally, the Wichitan's I've known would probably go to Tuscany as well.
We tend to create our own schism's, don't we. One of which is absolutes, both sides guilty. That whole sentence should have been red-lined, really. Is there a tent, or not. That's not the way to erect one.