Skip to comments.It's Not Xenophobia, It's Xenonausea
Posted on 03/16/2006 11:57:00 AM PST by WatchingInAmazement
For a political junkie, the Dubai ports debacle has been a bit like the movie Pulp Fictionjust one freaky story inside another, unfolding at a rapid pace and leading to an unexpected ending that made no darn sense and yet was really quite satisfying emotionally. I give it two thumbs way up.
Unfortunately for the President, he played the part of Marcellus Wallace in Port Fiction. He talked tough at the start of the whole thing, but really took it hard in the end. (Bada bing!) And along the way we got to see Chuck Schumer support racial profiling, Hillary Clinton claim to be concerned about national security, Lawrence Kudlow play the (Arab) race card, Fred Barnes complain that some conservatives were too cantankerous, and Rush Limbaugh congratulate his own audience for defeating him. Now thats a movie that should have got an Oscar!
Two of the subplots really stood out in my mind though. One was how eagerly the disciples of free trade took to attacking the conservative base as a bunch of xenophobic ignoramuses storming the harmless castle Globalstein with torches and pitchforks. That sort of animosity couldnt be over just one relatively minor business deal for Dubai. Im sensing that the Beltway Boys and the Wall Street Wonks have been entertaining some animosity against Main Street and the Heartland for some time.
Whatever their motivation, they came across as nothing less than petty and absurd. The restructuring of the world economy and the American legal landscape by the proponents of free trade over the last two decades has been nothing short of a revolutionand it was all made possible, ultimately, by the votes of the fly-over country conservatives with whom Kudlow and company have shared a big tent for so long.
And yet at the first sign of hesitation or reluctance to indulge further on mom and pops part, the free trade faithful turned on them with epithets and disdain. According to some pinstriped pundits, the most open nation on earth, at the most internationalist time in its history, is suddenly and dismissively labeled xenophobic, isolationist, protectionist, nativist, racist and ignorant of the fact that world is global, or some such insight. Given 99% of everything they want, some free traders turned petulantly on their enablers over the 1% they didnt get.
This behavior is very familiar to anyone who has small children. You can take them to the park, the mall, the museum, a game, an arcade, an ice cream shop, McDonalds and Chuck E Cheeses, then after spending the whole day and $200 on them, you tell them its time to go home and they explode into tears and theatrics while flopping about on the floor calling you a meanie, which is like xenophobic, but without the overeducated pretense.
And what was the tone-deaf expectation behind conservatives of any stripe, pin or otherwise, playing the race card in an internal political debate? Perhaps, like an abused child who grows up to be a child abuser, the name callers thought that they might get the same sort of instant capitulation from their base that they are used to giving to Democrats and the media when they themselves are accused of racismor of just having used the word niggardly in a college essay once.
Way to solidify the base! Why not just say that Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party," or "The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people"? When some in the party start sounding like Howard Dean while bashing the rest of it, it could be time to take a deep breath.
The second subplot that really stood out to me, is how clueless many in the Republican Party are to the true source of public misgiving about the port deal. This does not bode well for avoiding a repeat of the debacle in the near future. Im going to go out on a limb here and say that the average voter does not normally concern himself with the minutiae of cargo management and port personnel. So why the big opinion all of a sudden over Dubai Ports World?
Well, in my opinion this is sort of like an argument in a marriage. It may have started over a specific incident, but its really about something else and has been building for a long time.
This minor uprising was about a general feeling that, whatever merits free trade, open borders, and corporate globalism may have financially, they are often not good for the nation in many ways that fail to be accounted for in the theoretical models of economists. Free trade fails to take account of cultural consequences, and it places no value on concepts such as national loyalty. To the value-free traders, labor is simply a commodity, and people are interchangeable parts. And they are entirely correcteconomically speaking. A widget is a widget, and the cheaper you can get them made, the better.
But the problem is that all nations are more than just economic systems. They are each somebodys home. And each has a culture, and a language, and a set of common ideals that they want protectedeven more than they want another 0.3% added to next years GDP. Some things matter more than the economic opportunity cost we pay for having them. The American Revolution, for example, was bad for the economy while it was under way. But that was not really the point of the whole thing, was it?
The emotion surrounding the ports deal, and illegal immigration, and outsourcing, and homeland security and a dozen other aspects of breakneck international economic integration is no longer simply a quiet misgiving. It is rapidly being formed into a single coherent message from average citizens to those in powerboth on the right and on the left- that see it as their job to make sure the inevitable rise of a single world economic entity actually happens. People are saying, Stop!
Theyre saying OK, weve tried it your way and it never seems to end. No amount of globalization, tolerance, equalization, outsourcing, internationalism, interventionism, human smuggling, and security risk is ever enough. There is always a push for moreeven before the last round has proven itself wise or foolish. Treaty piles upon treaty, migration upon migration, integration upon integration. Now people want a break and a reassessment. Theyre not sure they are against it all. Theyre just no longer sure theyre still for it.
It is not Xenophobia. It is Xenonausea. People are sick of having the whole world shoved down their throats at once and being told it tastes like ice cream. They are sick of every street corner and parking lot being filled with criminal aliens waiting to work off the books and outside the laws that are applied so enthusiastically to actual Americans. They are sick of pressing 1 for English. They are sick of being at war with foreign terrorists and simultaneously being economically and demographically bound more tightly to the nations producing these terrorists. They are sick of being told that the world is global or flat or smaller or at their doorstep or all coming for dinner on Tuesday.
They are sick of hearing that America is just an economic opportunity zone and not a distinct nation, a culturetheir home. They are sick of being told that human beings are interchangeable parts, that the nation-state is passé, that there are some jobs that Americans just wont do, that there are some contracts that Americans just wont bid, and that any cost that cannot be measured in money cannot be very important. They are sick of having the world purposely knit together in a tighter tangle everyday and then being told we are so entangled that America must now run the whole world and solve all its problems. And they are sick of being called ignorant and racist and xenophobic just for having the temerity to raise questions when abstract trade theory conflicts with their common sense.
And they want a break. They want some breathing room and some limits; and they dont want to hear elitist children cry themselves hoarse after all theyve been given already.
If absolute globalization really is inevitable, it doesnt need such a vociferous lobby. It will happen at its own organic pace. Trying to force it prematurely will just cause a backlash here and abroadas it already has from Van Nuys to Venezuela to Vladivostok.
And if it is not inevitable, then it needs to be justified beyond the boardroom and the lecture hall. It may not be something that everyone wants to pay the costs of, whatever benefits it may bring to our bank accounts and stock exchanges.
Soon, Congress will consider a new illegal immigration bill. Failure to acknowledge the new mood in the country could break the Republican Party.
Mr. Johnson, a writer and medical researcher in Cambridge, MA., is a regular contributor to Human Events. His column generally appears on Mondays. Archives and additional material can be found at www.macjohnson.com.
Not a subscriber to HUMAN EVENTS? Sign up now!
more from Mr. Johnson
I'm not even going to comment here!
Nice essay. Thanks for posting it.
Pretty much sums it up.
Yet the same yoinks drive Japanese and Korean cars and often have a full house of Chinese and Taiwanese made electronics, toys, appliances, clothing, etc.And then they complain about "globalism".
The BIG gift to us is the TONS of pollution they will be bringing to our communities here, caused by junk trucks that...guess what? WILL NOT HAVE TO COMPLY WITH THE SAME SMOG STANDARDS THAT OUR VEHICLES DO!
Someone tell me WHY third world dump Mexico is suddenly king of America?
Thanks for the post!
Great post! Thanks.
You can't reach these globalist kooks because they live in their own little world disconnected from the rest of America, and they would rather play house with the Clintons in their fantasy world than act like Americans who love their country not their ideology.
Yes they will, stop shouting. What was that about xenophobia, again? [chuckle]
For me the whole ports fiasco along with the Meiers argument a few months ago should go to show friend and foe alike that conservatives are first and foremost NOT a bunch of lock-step mind-numbed robots. Secondly, when we feel the supposed leadership of the movement are off their collective nut, we'll call them on it and damn the consequences. You were elected by conservatives because you ran as conservatives. Govern as squishy moderates and we'll throw you out on your asses.
No, they don't.
Well, it didn't take you long to find this tread. [Chuckle]
Hey, where is Toddsterpatriot?
You're wrong - their trucks will only have to meet the standards that were in place the year their vehicle was made - far below current standards.
According to whom? The Teamsters? Ralph Nader's group? That case was dismissed.
Funny, ain't it?
Like trucks in the U.S.? What was this about different standards, again?
He's probably off somewhere laughing at someone who's claiming NAFTA or CAFTA banned vitamin supplements.
And as far as being accused of racism, most Americans are not, but we ignore the fact that ALL of the 19 9/11 hijackers were ARAB MUSLIMS to our own peril. As Ronald Reagan once said, "trust but verify": it's dereliction of duty for our government to NOT profile ARAB MUSLIMS in America, and at least develop contingency plans for their internment and/or deportation.
LOL, they post here every day.
you tell them its time to go home and they explode into tears and theatrics while flopping about on the floor
But what about the shareholders? Waaaahhh!
Great article, thanks for posting it.
Xenonausea... I like it!
Yeah. Can you believe how stupid, bigoted, lazy and worthless Americans are? Just a bunch of no-nothing rednecks who can't build a thing, can't run a business, constantly complain about losing jobs to Bangalore and Calcutta, and are just too darn ignorant to appreciate the wondrous benefits of outsourcing, globalism, and turning over the front-door keys to benevolent, Muslim dictatorships dressed up as capitalists.
Its really a shame they have the power to vote the "elites-who-know-what's-good-for-the-little-people" out of office.
Then again, maybe its not.
They are pretty stupid, and largely hypocritical.
But, that's a condition of humanity, to say one thing and do another.
I was going to just open this thread to make a joke about it being wise to be afraid of Lord Xenu, but that was a very good analysis.
He left off Europe from his list of backlashed countries. The failure of the EU constitution was a fairly significant message to send to the elites in Brussels.
I think elites should go to the bottom of the sea whether rat or pub. None of 'em are worth a hoot in hell.
According to the CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD. Otherwise known as the experts on this issue.
According to the CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD.
Otherwise known as the experts on air quality issues for the state.
This mornign driving in to work in Downtown Houston. I was behind a compact car from Mexico, it was a modle not available in the US and it had Mexican plates. It was smoking like my BBQ cooker doing ribs. It is nto the first Mexican plated vehicle I have seen this way and it will not be the last.
That discovered older trucks are "dirtier." Why don't the citizens of California get together and ban old trucks, if that's the problem? Oh, wait . . . that's not the true purpose.
Probably not, if the Houston cops look the other way.
This thing was smoking a lot, but it has Mixican plates. It was some little itty bitty car called a Chevy. You could fit it in a suburban.
If we had a sense that the goobernment was doing their job in securing the ports and securing the border, I doubt if we would have had much of a problem with DPW. Given their arrogance and denial up to now, this was just pus icing on a turd cake, and they shouldn't have been surprised when we said "no thanks."
And if Schumer made points off it, and if the rats get elected because of it, that's not our fault either. Hell, maybe I'd LIKE to see them control the congress and stick a flashlight up George Bush's butt 24/7 for two years. These pubs have made me remember gridlock fondly.
So stupid, in fact, that "they" have managed to create and maintain the most productive economy and dynamic democracy the world has ever known. Odd, isn't it?
Odd that they would bitch about it, and think that that strong economy can be damaged by global trade.
But, that's what many of them think.
This writer is in Massachusetts? And not just anywhere in MA but in Cambridge?
We should organize a party to free him, no?
Maybe because that was what the Port Deal Hysterics were. And yes you arrogant children it IS YOUR FAULT. YOU were told and simply screamed down anyone who did not mindlessly regurgitate DNC talking points to validate your in the closet bigotry and hysteria. The Port Deal hysteria was the most disgraceful display of chicken little panic and economic ignorance in Modern US History. HERE is what the Port Deal was about. Way to go "Conservatives". Way to do the Democrats PR dirty work for them.
And was it not just the sweetest little Influence for Hire scam.
Eller & Co , run by fat cat Democrat Donors, got beat out for the P&O deal by Dubai Port World. They hired a big shot lawyer and filed a lawsuit. They knew the Lawsuit was crap so they scurried up to Capitol Hill to cry for help. The Unions also hated the deal cause they knew in new Union Negotiations with the new company they were going to get seriously squeezed by demands of labor saving technological improvements. Chucky Schumer, head of the Democrat Senate Election Committee, took the lobbying info and ran with it. It allowed him to do a number of things. It allows Democrats to nuke their "weak on National Security" PR vulnerability. It gets him a big wet sloppy kiss from the unions in terms of money and foot solider for the Senate campaigns. It gets him big dollars from the Port Terminal companies, it drives a wedge into the Republican base, and best of all he got Know Nothing Talking Heads like Sean Hannity, Mike Savage and Laura Ingraham etc. to do the PR dirty work for him.
The best thing is he can walk away a big winner now, OR he can go to stage two and lobby that the ports be "nationalized" like they did with the Airline Screeners. The Congresscowards, their usual gutless selves, simply looked at the polls and panicked. NEVER even thought that they should stand by the President and fight for the truth. They simply panicked and rolled over for the Dem's AGAIN.
No national security implications, no nonsense about "turning our ports over to Arabs" simply a business deal where the losers went to Congress to buy the influence to reverse the deal. The same Americans running the port terminals now would of been running them after the deal for Dubai Port World. The name on the outside of the terminal and the name on the paycheck given to the American terminal workers would have change and that is about it.
Simply amazing that the same people who whine endlessly about "Bush big spending" and "Big Govt Republicans" now have seen to it that there will be an expansion in the cost, scope and reach of the Federal Govt over the Private Sector. That's the REALITY which the Whine All The Time Choir just screamed down rather then admit the knee jerk nature of their "I'm mad at Bush" hissy fit about the Terminal Deal.
U.S./China -- Skepticism surrounds Schumer/Graham trip to China...
Posted by Zon On News/Activism 03/16/2006 1:18:04 PM PST · 1 reply · 5+ views
MarketNews International ^ | March 16, 2006 One non-U.S. Trader eyeing the Schumer/Graham trip to China and wondering why the two Senators would risk a trip to that country and taking a stance on currency and trade that likely will irritate if not offend their reluctant host. That trader and others remind of the protectionist message the trip sends around the world and they remind that with China the second largest holder of FX reserves in the world messrs Schumer and Graham need to tread lightly amid concern that a shift in China reserve management could upset a now fragile greenback and a U.S. deficit funding...
Can we use Homonausea, too? :)
Arrogant children? That's the way Hillary views the American people. In the closet bigotry? That's another Dem gambit - playing the race card.
So in your attempts to try and associate us with Chuck Shumer, you engage in the worst of Dem tractics yourself. Boy, that will really bring people about to your point of view.
But I won't rise to your sorry flame-baiting and respond in kind, since that seems to be all you have left and seems to be all you seek to contribute to FR - DU-level incivility.