Skip to comments.THE BRAVE NEW RIGHT... THE "SILENT MAJORITY" IS TALKING
Posted on 12/16/2001 6:18:02 AM PST by SemperFidelis
THE BRAVE NEW RIGHT... THE "SILENT MAJORITY" IS TALKING
After forty years of leftist neo-socialist propaganda being forced down the American people's collective throats, finally, in a long-overdue renaissance, we are starting to display an understanding of common sense. My generation, the so-called "Gen-X" has been twice disillusioned. We wanted the material successes of our parents' generation but without their turmoils. We were the children who grew up in the wake of "free love," and we discovered that it was neither free nor love. We have been left to discover for ourselves how empty and shallow and false the promises of the "Great Society" are. We are the ones who have to attempt to repair the past forty years' worth of damage- we must find solutions that will repair a broken culture and a failed educational system. We are also the ones who are challenged to find an alternative to the current entitlement state in which all one has to do to be "more equal" than the other "animals" is to claim to be a member of an oppressed group.
Why are "Gen-Xer's" taking a hard right turn? Our early indoctrinations often made no sense. Many of us were frustrated by school systems that often as not punished displays of excellence, discouraged intelligent discourse, and attempted to subjugate all students in a perverted effort to mold every mind to one standard of mediocrity. Stay behind with the rest of the class? This phrase is the summation of the "Great Society" and of the leftist movement. In the Marxist mindset there is no call to excellence, no reward for merit. Yet humans are driven by an innate desire to succeed in their endeavors. The satisfaction of accomplishment, once experienced, is often its own reward. The error in Marxist thought is that the concept of meritocracy does not exist, that equality lies in being the same as others instead of in equality of opportunity- the freedom to achieve, and reap the rewards of one's labor, according to one's talent, willingness to work and desire.
President Reagan once said that the difference between a Communist and an anti-Communist is that a Communist reads Marx and Lenin, but an anti-Communist understands Marx and Lenin. We "Gen-Xer's" understand Marx and Lenin- we had Marxism shoved down our throats. Many of us now understand, through the reality of getting along in the real world, that liberty is not in "equal outcomes" but in the freedom to choose, the freedom to succeed or fail. To each according to his or her own abilities and effort- this was a truth we had to discover for ourselves.
We are not our parents' generation. The climate of the 1960's challenged all facets of conventional wisdom. We as a nation questioned our purpose, we asked "what are we fighting for" when our military was trapped in a political quagmire throughout the Vietnam war. Our parents' generation became cynical and rejected the entire cultural and social order. Love of country along with conventional wisdom, standards of decency and strong families, went out of vogue as young men burned their draft cards, young women burned their bras, and both genders tuned in, turned off and dropped out.
The wounds created in the wake of the failed cultural revolution of the 1960's, the fallout of Vietnam and the failure of the "Great Society" are slow in healing. Both the political Left and the Right have made mistakes- the Left in going over the deep end from a liberal republican philosophy such as that of Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Payne, to a psychotic mix of the philosophies of Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky. The Right has failed in many ways also, in allowing themselves to be portrayed as callous, self righteous religious nuts or as bigoted racists. Yet despite the faults of the Right and the folly of some of its more zealous factions, the essential premises of Right wing thought- today's Conservatism- make more sense and offer far more practical solutions than the empty platitudes and failed "feel good" philosophy offered by the Left. We learned important lessons in the 1960's- civil rights being the most important of those lessons, yet the Right differs from the Left on the interpretation of civil rights. We believe that equality is truly color blind, and accessible to either gender, and that everyone is free to earn his or her own rewards.
Another reason for "Gen-X" acceptance of the Right is in the glimmer of hope we saw in Reaganesque optimism. Many of us remember President Reagan as "our president," the one we think of when we envision the office of the President. Like Reagan before us, we're the ones who are now tired of complicated explanations for failures. We're tired of relinquishing half of our paychecks to pay for social programs that we are not likely to benefit from. Despite our cynicism, we want to believe in America again, we want to realize the vision of the "shining city on a hill." We know what doesn't work but we're willing to keep trying until we find solutions that do. We know that taking from the middle class to give to those unwilling to work is a sure recipe for disaster- "gimmies" only serve to give a false sense of entitlement for those who choose ignorance and sloth, while fostering a profound sense of resentment within those footing the bill. "Equality of outcome" is inherently unfair. Where is the incentive for individuals to achieve if they are punished (excessive taxation) for doing so? Where is the incentive to achieve if individuals are guaranteed the same outcome whether they work hard or do nothing? While it seems so lovely on the surface to assert that no one will ever suffer poverty again is it not more in keeping with the intent of the Framers that instead of holding all people to an ever declining standard of mediocrity that we create opportunity for those willing to take advantage of it?
It is possible and necessary to return to the vision of the Framers. Our message is not one of defeat and despair, but one of hope. If we can learn from the mistakes of the recent past, we will find that social engineering is a failure, much as we learned on a dramatic and graphic scale the failure of Marxism in the fall of the Soviet Union. Socialist ideas have failed in every instance in which they have been tried- even the "social democracies" such as Britain and Canada have experienced huge drains on their economies, a decline in the quality and availability of health care and overall economic stagnation and decline. It would be folly to emulate those mistakes.
It is a brave new day, even in the light of recent events- especially in the light of recent events. In this light the rats and other vermin that have polluted our society and government have been exposed for what they are. Mainstream America is finally acknowledging that there is a liberal bias in media. People are turning to alternative news, especially to traditionally Conservative forums such as talk radio, so that they may hear the true story. Hillary Clinton has been exposed for what she is- an unreformed 60's Marxist and power hungry harpie. It is impossible for her to deny the expression on her face as President Bush addressed Congress following the September 11 attacks. Instinctively she knew that her presidential ambitions for 2004 were now a hopeless pipe dream, as is the rest of her philosophy and her dirty political tactics. In the face of war, the world has little use for dreamers and social engineers but much use for those who are called to action. Others of the "rat pack" have been ridiculed for their failure to cooperate with President Bush in matters of national security. Senate "leaders" who question the Constitutional authority of the Executive branch in the use of military tribunals to prosecute terrorists are the last ones to let the Constitution stand in the way of pork barreling and social engineering. Their smear campaign on the President is an abysmal failure as it appears the Attorney General and the White House have a far better grip on the Constitution than Tom Daschle or Ted Kennedy ever will.
There will always be opposition and discourse- our opponents will not simply go away or magically be converted to the side of reason. Yet the "silent majority" has finally begun to speak- in opposing "political correctness" which is merely a code phrase for censorship and a lack of tolerance for Conservative views. The "mainstream media," CNN in particular, has admitted to "ill-serving the Conservative point of view." These are steps in the right direction- not that the Left will be "converted" but that Conservative views will at least be open publicly for acknowledgement and consideration instead of reflexive derision.
"As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves."- James Madison, the Federalist, #10
There will always be discourse in political life- liberty will contribute to that dissent. Yet the tide has changed- the Right is no longer the side of intolerance, of predictability and privilege, but the political Right are the last advocates of the preservation of liberty. Liberties that have been eroded in the name of "political correctness" need to be restored. The philosophy of entitlement must be re-examined, as must our educational practices. These are the challenges of the "Brave New Right" are we up to them?
But, as is usually the case in political criticism, the criticism is better than the proferred solutions.
The author is a little light on criticism of the Right. When it is dominant - although it begins with the idea of meritocracy - it usually slides into the mistaken identification of wealth as proof of merit and abandons the idea of noblesse oblige - which is necessary in any decent society - in favor of unfettered greed.
At that point the Left rises and the cycle begins anew.
(Check out Mark Steyn posted just above yours)
The Gen-Xers can see the world 'more clearly.' And that means more conservatively.
A nonsensical statement. Did they, for example, have to put their names on a waiting list and then wait 15 years to get an apartment? Did they have to stand on line for 2 hours to get toilet paper? Where they ever interrogated by the KGB? Where they sent to gulags because they where Jews?
Next we'll hear how they lived through a depression.
You have confused communism with the Soviet Union.
Over the past 40 years we've had lots of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need". Look at the social programs in the US. Look at the class envy politics of the Democrats. Look at the slippery slide toward an ever bigger government. The fingerprints of Karl Marx are everywhere.
Copeland credited Paul Fussell's book, Class. Professor Fussell wrote a popular book sometime in the mid-eighties dividing American social classes into hidden upper, upper, high middle, mid-middle and low middle. He then added two classes of proletariat, one of the destitutes and a final of the hidden bottom. Sort of as an afterthought, and to make himself feel good, he added a class he called "X". Allegedly, this group avoids class distinctions and is quite independent (just like liberal college professors). I would rather be a drunk like Kingsley Amis than a member of the "X" class.
Fussell's book IMHO is worth a read if you keep in mind he is a classic Northeastern liberal with an exemplary war record in WW II.
It is always worthwhile to hypothesize about groups; however, it is also always dangerous since there is a class consciousness and criticalness that fails to account for wide ranges of individual behavior.
Although in a sense you're right. What we saw in the Soviet union was actually Stalinism. Still, I think the sentiments expressed in the article are overblown and self-pitying, and PC is alive and well anyway.
We have all have this nonsense shoved down our throats daily in this nation for many years. The liberals/leftists have had their way for long enough. And you don't have to have lived in Russia to say this.
Let me start with your main point.... You make the mistake of viewing Marxist economic theory in a vacuum.
That is the only way you can treat Marx, since his theory
is purely intellectual; having no practical application.
Explain this to me! I think Gen-X'ers are also fed up with psychobabble! I know I am!
There are plenty of socialists on that side of the aisle.
Ever since the internet we have become an information society and we are hungry for truth, now we can find it at our finger tips all around the world. The silent majority includes all political persuasions
Is this brain-washing? No. I raised them to think for themselves.
My son voted for Clinton in '91 - making up his own mind, listening to the sound-bites but not looking at the facts. It was a bitter lesson for him, he is still ashamed and has looked at the facts almost rabidly in the two subsequent presidential elections.
Maybe this is another lesson that some Gen-Xers have learned - learning from their mistakes.
The most perfect meritocratic element of our society is professional sports. In that world a few superstars are showered with enormous wealth, a larger group make a decent living, and the remaining athletes of the world have to find some other way to survive. Without some form of redistribution - noblesse oblige or taxation or you name it - you'll get that kind of distribution over much of society.
How do the GI bill, Hoover dam, Social Security, the National Highway program, the Space program, Enron, LTCM, the Great Depression, the Internet Bubble, etc., etc.? fit into your ideological straight-jacket?
Forgive my French, but, that is one hell of a soundbite!
With your permission, I'm going to use that as a saying to be frequently used.
I agreed with you in part. Now we must part company.
In a liberal market economy failure is allowed and keeps
it honest between the contenders and pretenders. However,
socialist programs are a monopoly, so we have no point
of reference. We only realize their utter failure when it is too late.
Remember government rewards failure with a bigger budget, i.e. higher taxes.
You're point about the self-correcting feature of capitalism is well-taken - which is one of the reasons I am a capitalist rather than a socialist.
However dramatic business cycles are part of capitalism and George Soros - among others - argues against its inherent stability. And there are plenty of modern examples of great falls with huge consequences. So one can say the self-correcting feature is far from perfect.
Also, while it is true that socialistic endeavors can have plenty of adverse consequences, they can also work very well - and have in areas that for one reason or another are not suited to the capitalist approach.
I realize that we are both speaking in short-hard due to limitations of space and time. I hope I've been successful in making myself clear.
I regretably voted for Carter. Boy did I learn.
You have no idea how this article has effected me. Thankyou for the post.
You have brightened up my day and given me hope for the future.