Don't care for my politics? Here is a Wuxi Tony Update.
I haven't been so excited by the U.S. Mid Term elections since '94 -- I will never forget Rush Limbaugh whooping it up after the Republican victory on his t.v. show.
And so in anticipation of the 2010 Mid Term election results, I made a blog entry featuring a collection of some of my political thoughts:
I wonder why I even bother with politics. There is no percentage in it. But I can't help myself. Here are some thoughts I have about the current scene.
Obama versus Bush
I read somewhere on the Internet there a poll conducted recently revealed that Americans think, by 47 to 45 percent, that Obama is a better president than Bush. A year ago, Obama would have won this poll by a wide margin. Still, the fact remains that there is still a considerable portion of Americans who support Obama. They do this despite considerable evidence of his incompetence.
Why racists should vote Democrat
Why should an honest-to-god racist do these days? (Do real racists exist? I wonder). It sucks to be a black-hating racist in America these days because there aren't any mainstream parties or candidates espousing a policy of keeping the black man down. Speak openly about your racism, and you will be marginalized faster than you can say "Jackie Robinson". Watch sporting events and you will see black people enjoying success.
So what is a racist to do? How can he keep the black man down when he goes to the polling booth? I, if I ever felt inclined to help him, would advise him to vote Democrat. The Democrats, perhaps unwittingly or perhaps by cynical design, have ruined the life of many a black person and family through their policies which have made them wards and dependents of the state. They have brainwashed the black man into thinking that the world is so against him that he shouldn't bother trying to make something of himself. I would encourage the racist to vote for candidates who advocate all the "Great Society" programs that created slums for black people. I would encourage the racist to support affirmative action policies that judge people on the basis of their skin colour. And I would encourage the racist to revel in the the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. The people who voted for Obama, proved a big point of the racist -- race does matter. MLK's dream that it wouldn't hasn't come to pass -- thanks to the Dems!
When you label yourself as a middle-of-the-roader or a moderate, you are telling the world you can't think and aren't willing to entertain original thoughts. You sit on the fence and define yourself in terms of what others think. One party says red; one party says beige, and you say pink, never for once entertaining the thought that the people who say orange may have a point to make.
Do you love your parents moderately?
Austerity a bad idea?
A current talking point for the Left is that Conservative and Free Marketers are trying to push the awful idea of austerity. Apparently, the Left believes that government has to spend lots of money in economic downturns otherwise people will fall into poverty and despair. They believe this despite plenty of evidence that the kind of spending they advocate is what really keeps people in poverty and despair. They also believe that austerity is bad despite again there being plenty of evidence living within your means is the sure way to get long-term prosperity.
Seeing how the Left is using its "clever" muscles on this pernicious line of reasoning, I can't help but be further convinced of the Left's utter inconsistency. Apparently, expending resources is good if the government does it but is bad for the environment if the middle class and private industry do it.
Really, the economic problem is about how to best allocate resources. The economy needs to reallocate its resources which have been shown to have been misallocated. This adjustment while painful, is necessary; and to try to prevent it from happening would only bring on more pain, poverty, and despair.
The Tea Party and the China-Japan Spat
Being in China, I should be following the current China-Japan dispute, but I can't be bothered. No local would have any thing intelligent to say about it and I also have one anecdote that shows as well why I don't bother it.
I was teaching a company class, the discussion topic was fame and celebrity. I asked the students to tell me celebrities they really didn't like (I tell them about my despising Leonardo DiCaprio). One female student told me she hated the Japanese Prime Minister. Rolling my eyes, I asked the student to instead name a celebrity, they didn't like, who wasn't a political leader. The female student, after a moment, told me the name of some Japanese movie star. She obviously was stoked to hate the Japanese.
So with people here talking this way, I prefer following the American political scene and especially the Tea Party movement. The Tea Partiers give me hope. They prove that America is still an exceptional and most interesting country, unlike most of the rest of the world with its squabbles or squishy safety.
Conservative interviews a Liberal Lawyer
Conservative: Has your client been exposed as an illegal alien just so you can score cheap political points.
Liberal Lawyer: You know. I don't like that word "illegal alien". My client is a human being and not from another planet. She is an undocumented worker.
Accusing the conservative of bigotry, the lawyer tries to avoid answering the accusation that she has exposed her client to possible criminal charges and deportation. She also shows how the Left tries to control language, create a Newspeak, as it were. Does this lawyer really think that she is going to change hearts and minds with a petty insult, a playing of the bigotry card, and an obvious evasion. (*This lawyer was using dirty tricks to discredit a conservative candidate by revealing that she had an illegal alien working for her -- this alien had supplied false documentation to a hiring agency.*)
When I saw the Light politically
I was a Leftie/ NDP type till about my mid-twenties. Three things I remember helped me to see the light:
- Listening to Rush Limbaugh. I remember hearing what a scary person he supposedly was. But I found myself being impressed by his arguments which were reasonably and entirely fair to most Leftist people.
- Reading an article by P.J. O'Rourke on the Nicaraguan Election. I was disappointed by the results at the time because they were in fact a victory for Ronald Reagan. And I then had to admit the Ronald Reagan did deserve a lot of credit for the collapse of the Soviet union. O'Rourke's article also pointed out to me the silliness of the Left.
- Playing Devil's Advocate with an NDP type at Union Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Taking America's side in this man's tirade against America, it suddenly dawned on me that the real prejudices and bigotries were on the Left, not the right. And as time has gone, this has only become more and more so. Think of Bill Maher and that jerk from MSNBC: Keith Olbermann. I couldn't be part of a movement that has those people in it. And even the not-so-bad Lefties, on this count, are few and far between and would have to take lessons from Ann Coulter in civility.
Overheard on a Slate Podcast
I do listen to what the other side says when I can. So, I not only listen to right-wing podcasts -- I listen to the Slate Political Gabfest. I find myself, of course, disagreeing with all they say on this show. And I am always disappointed when they seem to ignore the talking points of the right. For instance, the Slate people have decided to talk about the crazy money in the election, like that is the reason that the Democrats will get their asses kicked on November 2. (How often, do I hear Republican candidates talk of union money backing the rival Democrat candidate.) They don't seem to want to talk about how incompetent Obama is. They don't want to talk about the unpopularity of all their legislation. They don't understand the Tea Party and prefer to think of it as being crazy or racist. They, of course, show their bigotry in hushed condescending tones -- I prefer it when Mark Levine calls his opponents "jerks".
One of the hosts talks about some Democrat or Obama making an intellectually solid case in their speech. He doesn't bother to tell us what the case is. These people assume they are smarter and more nuanced that their opponents.
Another host talked of reading a comic book or novel where the hero stops a plot by Wall Street to destroy America. Really?
The book review slash article linked above (in the headline) was a treasure trove of dim-witted progressive political thought. I have cut and past some of the choice quotes with comments:
"Simple ideology routinely trounces nuanced pragmatism, just as emotion so often beats reason and the varsity fullback will most likely deck the captain of the debate team in a fistfight." This statement could only possibly make any sense if you agree with all its assumptions and know exactly what the writer means by "ideology" and "nuanced pragmatism". I think the author uses those words to hide the fact that he has no ideas. I assume that an ideology is a strong belief in something. Isn't the idea that corporations are bad and greedy -- a simple ideology of sorts held by progressives? The last two clauses of the sentence, while probably true, don't necessarily support the obscure big-word sounding formulation of the first clause. Nuanced pragmatism, which I assume to mean that we can rationalize anything we do because "it works", is best practiced by people who have principles and have the courage to stick to them. In the progressive mind-set, principled people are always ideologues.
Liberals are also at a disadvantage because politics, at its essence, is about self-interest, an idea that at first glance seems more closely aligned with conservatism. To make their more complex case, liberals must convince a nation of individualists that enlightened self-interest requires mutual interest, and that the liberal project is better constructed for the demands of an increasingly interdependent world. Conservatives always complain that elections are often stacked against them because voters want the goodies the Democrats promise them. So this first sentence is simply not true. Conservatism is about self-reliance. The second sentence seems to suggest that Progressives are smart and care for everyone, while Conservatives are dumb and greedy -- talk about sophistication and nuance! To be nuanced it seems is to obscure the simplest of meanings behind feel-good goobly-gook. The second half of the second sentence is meaningless. What is the liberal project? What do they mean by an increasingly interdependent world? Fine sounding words for sure, but what in concrete does this mean -- more centralized government?
Senator Al Franken says of the Republicans: "Their bumper sticker . . . it's one word: 'No.' . . . Our bumper sticker has — it's just way too many words. And it says, 'Continued on next bumper sticker.' " Notice how he seems to make a point of saying that Al Franken, an unfunny and rude former comedian, is now a Senator. As for what Franken says about the Republicans using one word slogans, doesn't he recall Obama's campaign slogans "Hope", "Change", and "Yes we can!". And making the case for Republican positions is not as simple as Franken assumes. The arguments against many Democrat ideas requires a knowledge of Economics and other fields, and they often comes up with ideas that are at first glance counter-intuitive -- giving people money, without making them earn it, can make them much, much poorer in the long run. Does that fit on a bumper sticker?
In his Inaugural Address, Obama ... said, "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works." This is a sensible definition of modern liberalism... The answer of course is that government doesn't work. And notice how this definition is all about government and what it does, and not at all about what the people can and should do, as well as what other non-government institutions can do.