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  • Important Reading

    Posted by David Foster on October 30th, 2008 (All posts by )

    Fouad Ajami on Obama and the politics of crowds. Excerpt:

    My boyhood, and the Arab political culture I have been chronicling for well over three decades, are anchored in the Arab world. And the tragedy of Arab political culture has been the unending expectation of the crowd — the street, we call it — in the redeemer who will put an end to the decline, who will restore faded splendor and greatness.

    Via Betsy, who has some interesting commentary:

    I heard Mark Steyn say the other day that so many schools today have posters with abstract nouns in the halls like Achievement, Effort, and Character and that it’s no coincidence that a generation educated among such posters would fall hard for a candidate of Hope and Change.

     

    6 Responses to “Important Reading”

    1. Sean F. Says:

      The WSJ read was very amusing. Popularity, of course, is only a problem when exhibited by a leader not of one’s party.

      And Mark Steyn: yes, people are so taken with abstract nouns we’ve had politicians declaring war on them with increasing regularity. Terror, of course, being a prominent example, but far from the only one.

    2. Shannon Love Says:

      Sean F,

      Popularity, of course, is only a problem when exhibited by a leader not of one’s party.

      Gosh you’re so wise and wonderful. Whatever would we do without you to drop by and expose our follies. I mean, unless someone has read at least one book on politics written between Thucydides and now, you will just blow them out of the water with your keen insight.

      Either that or your’re so mired in rigid thinking you can’t see a new phenomena, or an old phenomena at a significantly different scale, when it shows up.

      Take your pick.

    3. Sean F. Says:

      Shannon,

      The old ad hominem right away? Buttressed with a mere false dichotomy? Hey, it isn’t even working for McCain!

      Don’t worry, shan’t be troubling you with all that elitist liberal condescension and annoying use of logic and actual facts much longer. I’ve decided to stop commenting here.

      I’ve enjoyed my time on ChicagoBoyz. Although I disagree with almost all the posters, I do respect your opinions and have enjoyed your posts – thanks. Ginny, in particular, I shall miss reading especially. Sayonara.

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      Sean F,

      I think I speak for all of us when I say your trite observations will not be missed.

      Assuming you have the intellectual stones, I purpose a the following game: you make the argument that Obama’s candidacy represents something novel and disturbing and I will try to refute it.

      If you can’t argue both sides of issue then you don’t really understand it.

    5. Sulaiman Says:

      I used to post on this site but have stayed away for over two years. I check the site about once a week and I like your links. However, my rupture with the Right is best summed up in The Economist’s endorsement of B. Obama (I voted for McCain while holding my nose):

      “Somehow Ronald Reagan’s party of western individualism and limited government has ended up not just increasing the size of the state but turning it into a tool of southern-fried moralism.”

      Folks – the move from economic conservatism (or rather Classical Liberalism) to Terry Schivo conservatism (AKA Big Government Conservatism) did the Republicans in. Just before 2006 election we had a discussion on this blog and I expressed my concern about Republicans forfeiting the Congress to Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid because of Terry Schivo vote. Now we have to deal with B. Obama as the president, and combined with control of Congress by Democrats, the consequence of Republicans spending their energy on Terry Schivo instead of cutting the size of the Federal government will last a generation as Democrats start stacking the courts with judges friendly to their cause.

      If Republicans act like the party of an activist government in private matters, the citizens might as well opt for the real thing: Democrats. It is indeed tragic when you are blinded by religion and do not see your limit.

    6. Shannon Love Says:

      Sulaiman,

      If Republicans act like the party of an activist government in private matters, the citizens might as well opt for the real thing: Democrats. It is indeed tragic when you are blinded by religion and do not see your limit.

      Well, as someone who is socially liberal e.g. pro-choice and pro-gay marriage, I agree that relgious rights insistence that people behave responsibly hurts them at the polls. The left’s philosophy of “f*ck whomever you like and the rest of society will pick up the pieces” is obviously an easy sell, especially to the young.

      Everyone who has a moral vision and who decides to implement that vision through the violent power of the state imposes their personal morality on everyone else. Environmentalist value trees more than the welfare of people. Socialist values short-term economic equality over the benefits of long-term productivity. Individuals use their personal morality to decide what is a “fair” tax rate and then throw others in prison when they don’t agree.

      Like I said, I’m personally socially liberal but if you set down and run up a side by side comparison of the parts of your life that each side of the political spectrum wants to control you’ll see that the religious right wants to control parts of your sex life whereas the left wants to control your food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, transportation, entertainment and well everything but sex related matters.

      When it comes to parties, at least the Republican actually have a significant libertarian wing, the loss of which ruins their chances. The Democrats can’t even boast that.