Tired. That is my overriding sensation as I write this. How to bang one’s first impressions of hell out on a keyboard? Let us begin a new day, in a new world, with a first principle of sorts — in this case, a negative principle. Here is a short list of words or turns of phrase that I never want to hear again.
(1) “America is a center-right country.” Center and right are entirely relative terms. The “center” between Lenin and FDR, for example, is very far to the “left” of George Washington. And political self-identification is a meaningless standard of judgment, even by meaningless current standards.
Many on the “right” are fond of reminding us that only twenty percent of Americans self-identify as “liberals.” I actually heard Brit Hume trying to squeeze this bromide out during the Obama victory post-mortem. But in a nation that embraced a vast social welfare system eighty years ago, and has expanded it continually ever since; a nation that for the past fifty years has moved inexorably towards the locus classicus of socialist egalitarianism, government-controlled health care; a nation that elected and re-elected a man who has openly self-identified as a progressive and advocated wealth-redistribution; and a nation in which the popular culture is dominated by artless harlots, pimps, and gangsters, a “centrist” is a person who embraces social disintegration and authoritarianism. To be “moderately conservative” in such a milieu simply means that one finds the latest music video about teenage lesbian orgies just a little over the top.
America is not a center-right country, whatever that means. It is — notwithstanding its still-sane minority (which includes almost everyone reading this) — a socialist-leaning nation that lags behind the rest of the progressive world only due to a slight residual guilt complex regarding all that old Constitution stuff. The events of the past couple of days suggest that even that little bugaboo has now been largely overcome by the majority, for whom most inhibitions about accepting their chains — and chaining their neighbors — are now gone.
(2) “Mitt Romney was only the nominee because of a thin primary field.” Phooey. He was the nominee because the entire GOP establishment threw everything it had at all the other candidates, in order to guarantee that it would get the candidate most likely to succumb to their advice and direction. As of September 2012, Romney was the only candidate left in the primary field whom no one had ever described as a conservative, let alone a constitutionalist. That, in short, is why he was the nominee.
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