Thursday, November 6, 2008

The "corporations" left and the baby boomers

I hesitate to post anything related to my personal life on the blog, if only because I feel references to one's personal life cheapen serious discussions and sidetrack them into being about feelings rather than objective ideas. But sometimes one's personal life provides such a perfect example of what one wants to talk about that I feel it's acceptable.

Vanishing American recently had an entry on the Baby Boomers and how they're blamed for allowing our nation to start down the wrong path. My parents are Baby Boomers, and in many ways they represent the worst of that generation. They rebelled against "the system," they tuned in, turned on, and dropped out, they shacked up together before marriage at a time when it was still scandalous to do so, and the cumulative effect of millions of people doing so, starting with their generation, has led to the practice being totally accepted today. Still, like many if not most people, they have always been somewhat apolitical pragmatists. As someone with strong philosophical views, I've never understood how people can vacillate between the two major parties, sometimes voting Republican, sometimes Democrat, yet that is what my parents did in their younger years. My father, however, has since gone off the deep end, something I'm reminded of every time I talk to him.

He was a Reagan supporter in the 1980s, on the basis of limited government, wanting to keep more of his own income, and the idea that welfare was bad because we shouldn't have unproductive members of society leeching off productive people's money. I think he voted for George H.W. Bush in 1988, though in the subsequent elections he was a Clinton supporter. Now, however, he's become a raging leftist, and seems to be reading through all of Kevin Phillips' books. Again, this is something I have trouble grasping. How can one's views change that drastically? When that happens to someone, is it a sign that they never really held their old views deeply to begin with?

He is not, however, the kind of leftist often discussed at traditionalist websites: the kind whose main motivation is culturally left-wing philosophical views, for whom everything revolves around the notion that America, whites, and the West are racist and guilty and are oppressing "diverse" peoples. In fact, he has the makings of a race realist: he recently remarked, only semi-facetiously, in reference to the state of South Africa, "you can't put black people in charge of anything!" Rather, he's one of these "corporations" people--you know, the soak-the-rich kind, the kind for whom everything comes down to money. Our society is run by the rich, they're the movers and shakers, the people who pull the strings behind the scenes, and they've got everything rigged to benefit themselves and screw the rest of us, and the politicians are all in bed with them, their congressional votes bought with lobbyist money, buying themselves tax breaks and corporate welfare, etc. Everything comes down to money. Everything the rich and corporations do, they do it to enrich themselves; everything politicians do they do for bribes from the rich; meanwhile, it is foolish and wrong for the non-rich to consider anything other than their own short-term material gain (i.e., there is something the matter with Kansas.)

And it's impossible to argue against this; anytime I say anything that conflicts with this view, he insists it all comes down to money. I mentioned the mental health regulations that had been snuck into the bailout bill, and his immediate reaction was, "who paid for that?" I replied that I thought it was cultural; the left just thinks mental health is so important, and a great injustice is being done to so many people who are being denied the essential mental health coverage they so desperately need, and so on. He insisted that no, someone must be paying for it, there must be some lobby, someone must stand to get rich off of it and that's why it was in the bill. He reiterated his support for universal single-payer health care, saying that every time the people are polled, the people want it, but we don't listen to the people in this country, we listen to corporations. He said that McCain accused Obama of supporting single-payer, which he does not, meaning Obama's not leftist enough. He said that the powers that be are so entrenched that Obama doesn't represent enough change; he was disappointed with the Rahm Emmanuel pick because Emmanuel is an insider; what we need is another FDR who will get in there and make sweeping changes and say, "I don't care that this is illegal, it's what needs to be done." So he wants the executive to push the country so far to the left that he breaks the law in doing so. And Bush is the "imperial president"?!

Again, how does someone go from being a Reagan supporter to this, in 20 years?

A potential answer is in Aesop's fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper. My father has spent his life self-employed, and has never been good at managing money; not much of a businessman. (A trait I seem to have inherited, and one that perhaps shows there are different aspects of intelligence--despite having scored in the 99th percentile on the MCAT, I can't begin to fathom how people do things like play the stock market or manage a successful business.) In the 1980s, he was doing OK financially, supporting a family, and wanted to keep more of the money he earned. Now that he's near retirement age, however, he wants the government to wait on him hand and foot. Since he lived paycheck-to-paycheck and has no nest egg, now it's suddenly not fair that there are rich people who have more than he does. If true, this explanation shows how the everything-comes-down-to-money view feeds back on itself.

But I still can't quite grasp how someone can be so unprincipled. And while I do blame the baby boomers, I also blame the generation that raised them: the so-called "Greatest Generation," the one that elected and supported FDR. After all, they didn't actively turn against Western culture the way the baby boomers did; they were shocked and horrified at their children's rebellion. But they did pave the way for FDR and his New Deal, the introduction of socialism into the policy of the federal government, thus making it possible for FDR to be considered a hero today for ignoring the law to force economic redistribution and social welfare on the nation. And I wonder, if so many people are so unprincipled, if so many, however little they care for the culture of the West, care even less for the founding American principles of private property and self-reliance, can we really ever take this country back?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Safety in the wake of the election

I'm reasonably certain that Senator Barack Hussein Obama will be elected the next President of the United States of America on Tuesday. As for whom I will personally vote for, I am still undecided, unlike the vast majority of my fellow medical students, who took advantage of the disgraceful early voting apparatus they so passionately support and have already cast their votes for Our Savior Barack Hussein Obama. I had been planning to vote for either a write-in candidate or Chuck Baldwin, but I've started to find some of the "existential threat" argument from commenters at View from the Right convincing. A Barack Hussein Obama administration, coupled with the cooperation of a Democratically-controlled Congress, may cement leftist rule in America for all eternity. I live in a swing state, so I can't distance myself from the mainstream candidates and cast a third-party vote on pure principle. One thing's for sure: if I do decide to vote for McCain, I will be holding my nose harder than it's ever been held before.

What I already do know I will do, is stock up on at least a week's supply of food before Tuesday, since there's no telling how some of the residents of my, uh, diverse neighborhood will comport themselves in the event of a McCain victory, not to mention what kind of service I'll be able to expect at the grocery store across the street, which is staffed primarily by those same individuals. Of course, conditions may not be much better in the event of a Barack Hussein Obama victory, since it will be, to paraphrase Thurgood Marshall, their turn now.

As for self-defense, I've heard that some people are arming themselves to protect themselves from black rioters, but I won't be purchasing a gun between now and Tuesday. Though it's a weakness in my conservative credentials, I've never fired a gun in my life, and this being exam week, I'm certainly not going to learn enough to make an informed decision about a handgun purchase in the next two days. So, I will have to hunker down with my week's supply of food and hope for the best.