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.
I stumbled onto this old Auster review on the View from the Right yesterday. He reviewed Brookhiser's The Way of the Wasp, (which I read when it came out in 1991, with the hope that I might understand myself a little better). America has been historically a WASP culture, in the best sense of the term, and that is why it is such a fine country. Does anyone doubt this? It's the culture that dares to interrogate itself.
One quote from Auster's piece:
In his account of the degeneration of this pattern of useful virtues into an opposite set of vices, Brookhiser illuminates our current disorder. Conscience, the monitor of the self, has given way to the untrammeled self, along with the attendant liberationisms; lower-class welfare mothers and upper-class S&L con artists are equally products of a culture that has thrown away the constraints of conscience. Instead of industry rewarded by success, we have ambition striving for gratification. Civic-mindedness has been displaced by the group-mindedness that now dominates our politics, while the objective test of use (which implies a moral standard derived from nature) has given way to diffidence: "[Things] are, therefore we defer to them"--a neat characterization of America's timorous response to every minority demand.
Consider reading the book, or at least Auster's review, whether WASP or not. It's the story of America's strength and freedom and traditions and manners, all based on stern Protestant moral codes of modesty, duty, sacrifice, self-sufficiency, courage, self-denial, integrity, work, respect, honor, and emotional restraint. With a strong, monitoring, rather punitive conscience to watch over it all. It is impossible to be a nation or a community without shared behavioral codes, and these are still the core of our culture, despite endless assaults upon them from a variety of directions. It's just too damn bad if these codes aren't always fun or instantly gratifying or ego-enhancing: They are for the grown-ups.
The adults are being overwhelmed by a hoard of bitter, entitled, wards of The State. Unlike the story of The Little Red Hen, these barnyard animals don't just "offer" to help eat the fruits of The Hen's labors, they DEMAND it. Then they complain about the size of their "share", the frequency of delivery, the attitude of The Hen and her brood, etc. When the Democratic Presidential nominee spends 20 years in a group that espouses denial of America's founding principles and of its economic values, the adults have lost control. The Lord of the Flies comes to mind at the moment. Unfortunately for them, the childish will have to live with the outcomes of their petulance. The adults should not be too quick to help them clean up their mess, if they stay around to survey the damage. The word "expatriate" is becoming very attractive.
Totally agreed, except for the self-denial stuff; that's just not possible, psychologically or physically. This country was built upon aquisitiveness, not denial- for which I'm thankful. Enlightened self-interest is what it's all about, and always has been.