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.
The Journals of the late Arthur Schlesinger have received a good deal of attention, but most of it has concerned Schlesinger’s writing style, personality, or the broad topic of keeping and publishing diaries. The strangely neglected question of Schlesinger’s politics is finally addressed by the New Yorker’s George Packer, writing as one liberal assessing another. “In [Schlesinger’s] long record of speeches, conferences, lunches at the Century, and dinners at Mortimer’s,” observes Packer, “there’s an unmistakable sense that liberal politics belonged to a small group of the rich and famous who all knew one another and knew what was best for the rest of the country, while knowing less and less about the rest of the country. . . . It’s possible, even if you agree with almost every position Schlesinger held, to find the smugness and complacency not just annoying but fatal. His crowd made liberalism a fat target for the New Right; Reagan and his heirs seized the language and claims of populism from liberals who believed that they had had permanent possession [of it] ever since Roosevelt.”
One can see this now most clearly in the phony egalitarianism of say a Clinton, Kerry, Kennedy or Edwards, along with the self-adoring Leftist crowd from academia, entertainment and the media. To them the rest of the country--meaning us red-staters in fact or in heart--are but the peasants, the tolerated hoi polloi, good for votes and polls, but otherwise fit only for sleeping, feeding and hoarding.
And those that vote for these hollow men (and women) are but covetous parvenus desiring the amoral touch of narcissism upon their lockstep liitle lives.
If good ole conservatism = it ain’t broke don’t fix it,
and good ole liberalism = lets tinker with stuff using new and nuanced ideas,
then pro-life being seen as strictly a conservative position seems screwy to me.
I’d think pro-life conservatives would be arguing for the logic of the way things were before 1973, while pro-life liberals would be arguing for the logic of “politically correct” methods of limiting abortions, or something.
But as it is, it’s “lets keep this color vs. that color” so we (the insiders) don’t have to produce any results at the end of the day.
OT, but I thought I’d get THAT off my chest.
No idea what you're trying to say although I'm sure it's deep, profound. (What time's the bar open?)
A. Bipartisanship = political gridlock.
B. Why is it that team conservatives or team liberals suddenly subscribe to all 100 tenets of their teams beliefs, even if they’ve just recently switched sides?
C. Pro-lifers screwed themselves by putting all their eggs in one basket.
D. Gib me yer address der.
hic...scuze me. when b/s becomes nuance you're cut off.
Mr. Schlesinger was not an easy man to understand, and we miss many of his good points and only see the results of his negatives without understanding how the man could hold both at the same time.
To those that have forgotten: he was a Nationalist, American Exceptionalist, anti-Communist.
He was against multi-culturalism and would stand by American culture, even when he did things that would cause it to erode. From what I have read he was somewhat dismayed at the way things were going but kept to those things he had held throughout his life.
To me his greatest flaw was in forgetting that it was the People of the Nation who set its good to support government... not Government to set the good to support the People. In professing exceptionalism he stood by projects that would cause an erosion in the foundation of that very exceptionalism and in joining in that liberal project he would set in motion the long term problems that now endanger the Nation.
The measure of his life does not start or end with liberal attitudes, and we miss the staunchness of defense of America even while we scrabble hard to deal with the problems created by endangering liberty via handouts. Even when the party he adhered to went too far, he would stick with it and attempt to give voice against those things he disliked. That voice was lost, however, as those who saw as he did walked away from the party because of their feeling of betrayal.
I admire that in a man, even when I think and see that it is wrong-headed: he would not betray those who he thought were his friends. My estimation dropped due to the outcome of his weaknesses, not due to the culminationg of his strengths. Men like him would make ending the Cold War possible, even as American Exceptionalism shifted to an 'Entitlement Society'.
No simple labels takes him in... he made his own way and now should be judged on those things that he did and did not do, so that we can learn to be better Americans in that understanding.
All good points although Mr Schlesinger did change as the party changed. His attachment to New Deal liberalism is one flaw, particularly for an historian. He might be thought of as no less contradictory than the evolving contemporary liberalism he tended to support almost as a reflex. His criticism of Ronald Reagan as the president was closing out 40 years of bad policy toward the Soviet Union speaks volumes about Schlesinger's bascically mistaken attitude. Ideologically rigid historians aren't really historians at all.