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Saturday, November 3. 2007
A conversation I heard yesterday on Sean Hannity's radio program was a stark reminder to me of what Conservatives and the liberty-loving are up against with the woman voter.
The caller was an obviously bright, cheerful, likeable, married young mom from Long Island. Sean was his usual polite and friendly self, but he did press her on her points. She wanted free medical care for her kids, and for herself. Then it evolved that she also wanted free day care, and then it became clear that she wanted free housing available too, and auto insurance and medicine. Sean asked her if she felt that the government should give her a free car, to which she said no, noting that the government already provides bus service where she lives - but her family has cars. She said twice that in Europe, people are "taken care of." I think Sean also asked her about free food, but I don't recall.
Sean was, appropriately, trying to find the limit of what she thought other people should buy for her. She believed that everyone should be taxed at 50% as a minimum, in exchange for "services." The notion of markets was irrelevant to her, as were such abstract notions as freedom.
I believe that this is a particularly female view of life, and related to my post of neo-neo's 2-part essay on marriage and divorce today. Women with kids want to feel safe and secure. It's the biological priority. In a world full of divorce, without tribe or the tight extended families of the past, it should be no surprise that women look elsewhere for security.
Women's Lib, with its leftist leaders, spoke about independence and autonomy and freedom but acted, politically, as if they wished to exchange dependence on men for dependence on the taxpayer: that has become the family farm, and the "village," and the "tribe" of the present.
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So just give us all the money in the federal, state, and local budget. Forget spending on the military, education, and infrastructure. What with Iraq, falling SAT scores, and that bridge collapse in Minneapolis, it's not like the military, education, and infrastructure are doing very well anyway. Besides, you don't have a choice. We are 80 million strong. That's a number equal to almost two-thirds of the registered voters in the United States. Do what we say or we will ballot you into a socio-economic condition that will make North Korea look like the clubhouse at Pebble Beach.
And that's the good news. Beggaring government is the least of the damage that we baby boomers intend to inflict over the next 30 or 40 years. What we're really up to is something more diabolical. Our generation is going to do what our generation has always done best. We're going to shape the American social fabric to our will and make the entire nation conform to our ideals, judgments, and tastes. It will be like the Clinton administration but much, much worse. (An interesting little irony since in '08 we're probably going to get a Clinton administration that's much, much worse.)
We're going to make all of you old like we are--old and dumpy and querulous and fuddled. We're achieving it already. Look at the hip young men walking around in their high-water pants, wearing stupid bowling shirts buttoned up to the collar. A bunch of 28-year-olds are going to Starbucks dressed as their grandpas. And what about teenage droopy drawers? That's gramps's other fashion-forward look, perfect for a weekend of crab grass killing and mulching the hydrangeas. Great big cushy, ugly sneakers--be they ever so expensive or young-athlete-endorsed--are nothing but the dread "comfortable shoes" that have been worn by the geriatric for eons.
We have rendered mere school children as dependent upon Ritalin as we are upon Lipitor and Levitra. And watch those kids go out and play. They can't so much as hop on a bike without being swathed in helmets, knee pads, shin guards, and elbow cushions. It's like seeing John Kerry skateboard. Then there's the Segway, which is nothing but a device to make an able-bodied person in the prime of life look as pathetic as if he were in a walker.
(the above is a snip from PJ O'Rourke's The (really) long goodbye of the Baby Boomers @)
i know--sorry. But it fits so well with Dr. Bliss' piece. the twin hammers of doom--Boomers and the 19th Amendment.
Neo-neo did an excellent job of outlining the historical transition from the late 1800's through the 1960's from a "factual" point of view. An expansion of the essay to include the socio-political impetus for the changes would have been helpful. Beginning with Plato's 'Republic', utopian visions (actually dystopian visions) based upon "reason" have dictated that destruction of the family and transference of responsibility to the state for child rearing ("education") as a necessity in order to "perfect" society. Hegel picked up the ball, Rousseau actually "lived the dream" abandoning his bastards at foundling hospitals rather indiscriminately, Marx promoted the concept and the Socialist movement of the 1870's - 1890's gained notoriety tharough its advocacy of "free love". Freud pitched in his far less than two cents worth with the development of a "new" theory of penis/vagina (rather than navel) gazing and the stage was set (in the US) for the Nine Old Goats discovery of an "emanation" lying quietly under a "penumbra" in the Griswold case. Toss in the pill and the theoretical "freedom" which accompanied it, leaven with "no fault" divorce stir briskly while adding abortion on demand and serve the dogs breakfast thus created to Esau's rightful heirs.
Sean's pathetic caller is part of the demographic (women under 45) which will actually decide the '08 election. They are the group which both parties must assiduously woo in order to gain power. We just saw (in the SCHIP Feckless Family saga) one attempt to purchase their votes, using the 'fear and entitlement' mix that Sean's caller exemplifies. There will be others - the bidding war to 'help' the liars sitting with mortgage contracts that no longer make sense is going to be a sight to make a brothel owner blush.
If you would do the world a favor today - shoot an idealist.
Grruerulously, buy her a cat...
...leave it at that.
Dr Bliss points up the lady's imperative will find it's goal, by hook or crook, through foxy wile.
God love the all.
Women with kids want to set a good example to their children. They want their children to feel safe and secure. Many of them will suffer enormously personally if they think it will make those kids' lives even an iota better. Maternal love and commitment seems to have been completely missed in the sad and thought provoking links you cited. Marriage is primarily about the children, not about the happiness and fulfillment of the parents. At least in the marriage vows I took, from the 1662 BCP.
It is not just men who are afraid to marry these days. Even loving, intelligent, attractive, well-adjusted girls with excellent characters are daunted by what they see of our generation's marriages. I do not mean to cast stones at others here. I am simply speaking as someone who has loved and worked with children and young adults for thirty years.
It cannot simply be attributed to narcissism, bad character, selfishness, frivolity etc. What the rising generation sees of most of our marriages doesn't inspires hope or confidence.
By contrast, my own parents fell in love and were engaged within two days, married in five months, survived long separations because of military service, corporate travel (one essential ingredient to marital success?) and stayed married 52 years, with varying degrees of being in love, grimly committed, joyful, resigned, two oxen yoked to the plow together, always put their marriage ahead of everything else: work, financial security, kids' welfare, extended family ties, etc.
They were not ever religioius believers except externally conforming sporadic churchgoers--the marriage vows were the central commitment of each of their lives.
We children alternated beetween being inspired by this, reacting against it, and vowing never to do to our own children what they did to us (will spare you all) at times. We were surrounded by other families started by couples in lifelong marriages, who also survived unemployment, vocational earthquakes, illness, financial reverses, but whom we thought (typical obnoxious adolescents) were cooller or nicer than our own parents and who certainly treated their kids better. All of us children wanted to and did get married and have kids.
But not a single one of our own children wants to get married (a couple of them do want to have to have kids). This despite the fact that all the rising generation of cousins are devout Christians, tenderly reared by parents who put them first, tho continuing with WASP family traditions of demanding a lot academically, not spoiling, etc.
I think the difference is that every single marriage (this holds for all my cousins, too, not simply my siblings and I) has been miserably unhappy. Most of the marriages have lasted. The chief difference from our parents' marriages has been the chronic job insecurity of the males. All as well educated and smart as their dads, most equally diligent, but all having had to work harder, for bosses and companies who have treated them worse, and suffered a variety of physical stress related ailments that their dads never did. The women have all rolled up their sleeves, gone out to work in menial jobs that left them free to meet their domestic responsibilities after school, to support the families when the men could not, and the men's careers have languished. You will perhaps sneer at our being wacko or chronically depressed or failures for this, but we womenfolk have tended to seek out friends who encourage us to stay loyal despite minor details like feelings, with exhortations like a friend from church's who embraced me the other day and said "It is more important to have an enduring marriage than a happy one!
I believe that the children feel more loved and more secure than any of us ever did, but it saddens me that none of them seem to have any hope of finding lasting love. They see marriage as an endurance contest with few rewards.
I used to work with inner city teenaged mothers in my youth who viewed men as useless and unreliable, good only for sex, and I know many carefully reared white suburban girls these days who have a similar view. Very sad.
For years, I have searched in vain for even one happily married couple I could expose my children to so that they might be more hopeful about their own futures.
A great puzzle. If I blame anyone, it is myself. And so I have struggle to at least fake it in my marriage, so as not to discourage them(not successful--kids can figure it out early). I go around like Woody Allen in "Annie Hall" asking people who appear content "What's your secret?" but still chuckle over the movie 's reply "Well, actually, I;m just shallow and superficial...and so am I?" or whatever the exact words were.
Those of us who are struggling would listen to helpful advice or encouragement. But what we mostly get is either lying bragging "well, I still keep myself looking as hot as one of Theo's babes, and you wouldn't believe what he did to me on the kitchen island the other morning.... I have been able to practice the profession I trained for, my husband is a gazillionaire, and all the kids are at Ivies....do you want a referral to my colorist?`' It would be so much more useful if people would simply share their own successes in marriage, what has worked, what has kept them going, what they love about their spouse, how life is better with them. Small victories in real life encourage and motivate more than lying PR.
heh--damn you're good, RB--but let's not shoot em' (remember the old joke, masochist-to-sadist, "please hurt me", sadist-to-masochist, "Uh, no"), instead let's disappoint 'em.
I stand with Burke regarding the necessity of compromise in life. Let's shoot utopian idealists in the left foot.
As many times as necessary.
--yes, it's difficult to compromise on compromise. Meet halfway between two ideas, one of which promotes survival, and the other which promotes extinction, and whaddaya got? Beats me.
strong post, R. Tough stuff--but needs to be thought through, for sure.
I sure wish I could improve on this post but you folks who have already contributed have done a heck of a job . You've covered acres of territory, posed the dynamics, and ID'd the major shortcomings. Great job!
I guess all I can add to really round out the Boomer Generation wrecking ball is:
Grab the boda bag of wine, roll up a fatty,snort a few lines of coke, drop some acid, turn up Grace Slick and White Rabbitt and go have meaningless sex with a total stranger. Did I leave anythiing out?
No seriously ya'll all did a great job on this thread and thank you Dr. for it's presentation.
Since 1986, I have been aware that women in academia were teaching the younger gals coming up through graduate school that it is ok to steal from a white man. An acceptable action because of the centuries of abuse. Now of course that these younger gals are tenured faculty you can imagine the quality of their contribution. Their only recourse is to threaten white men with accusations of misbehavior (usually sexual), or they can network to force white professors to include them in work, or on research projects for which they are neither qualified--nor particularly interested. HOWEVER, and this is the important issue today--where do heterosexual,anglo/saxon males go in order to organize to defen themselves? Who has a group going that will help women like retriever: women who just want to be treated equally and to have a fair chance in the work place, living under the Constitution/Bill of Rights, and doctrines of her own religion? Where do these independent gals go for support?
A3, here's a thought:
Have you given thought to the thousands of women who came through school affiliated with a sorority? How these women network, organize, and strive for the ultimate goal--total control.
For insight into the current state of women's leadership look up "Odd Girl Out" a book that is the outcome of a doctoral thesis examining young women's gang behavior. You will notice a chilling resemblance to today's HIllary, or the gals who have taken over the Episcopal Church. Their way or no way! And they don't just walk away--they destroy!
Take heaart--Emerson said if the taxes get too high, the people won't pay.
Remember Howard Jarvis and Prop 13 ? C'mon, California, do it again--not to save a few miserly pfennigs for the self, but to deny more power to the voracious slobbering Leviathan.
A woman's tongue is her sword and she takes care never to let it rust.
There's a good song by Sting from Mercury Falling about the plight of the poor dad in a modern divorce..."I'm so Happy..." Very poignant, but then he could sing words out of the telephone book and make them sound good...About to watch him play Feyd-Ratha in "Dune" for at least the sixth time with the kid...
Trying to persuade other kid, just of voting age that it will make a difference to vote. But depressing having to agree with her that all the candidates are disappointing, and it will be a matter of voting against the Wicked Witch and her ghastly flying monkeys....
With all the awesome Americans in this country, you'd think we could have a better race. It's as if one lived in a community where everyone kept wonderful hunting dogs that worked hard, were a credit to their species, but the only dogs that appeared at the dog show were snarling pound pit bulls....not to be trusted, vicious, reactive, ugly.
''...Wicked Witch and her ghastly flying monkeys'' --apt image prize goes to R.
Mitt the Mormon, immaculate, articulate, magical with money, a trekker, honest as a western oak tree, visionary, optimistic, uncorruptable, faithful in marriage, constitutional defender, your guns are safe with Mitt, and a god dresser.
dammit, that should read good dresser. I don't know what a god dresser is, excepting maybe the celestial underwear. I like the cut of Mitt's cloth. And I'd wager he has well cut celestials if he is into that, as he well may be.
I agree. I could vote for Mitt or Rudy either one. Mitt does for a fact have a helluva good record, in all respects. If he dresses God, heck that'd a good thing for the country, one would think. "So, God, it's a bit chilly out this morning--wanna go with the plaid cardigan?"
Whenever my husband does something I want to make a truly snide remark about, I remember that I have to sleep with him for the rest of my life. Whenever I do something he wants to snark about (I'm sure rather more often since I'm a less likable person) he remembers that he wants to sleep with me for the rest of his life.