Monday, March 8, 2010
Birdcage Brooks’ and Fat Mikey’s (Straw) Man Crush
In recent coinage, both David Brooks and Michael Moore have blathered in one form or another about what Tea Party people and/or conservatives are, want, and that in which we believe.
Brooks, of course, at least does it a GREAT deal more intelligently (if being absolutely wrong can be “intelligent”; he does it VASTLY better than Michael Moore could).
Brooks' straw-man is some weird depiction of Tea Party people as akin to the “New Left”; which is about as far from reality as possible, in my experience with Tea Party events and the people at them. The people I met were on the opposite end of the spectrum of doing and thinking. I kinda know, having been all over that spectrum in my decades of life. Tea Party people BELIEVE in moral good, progress, development, and…yes, Virginia…GOVERNMENT. Government kept within bounds; NOT chaos and NOT anarchy. Remarkably fine invention, that. The conceptual thing that allows people to work within a known, rational, comprehensible, effective, and predictable set of rules, while at once remaining free to choose to the maximum extent possible.
Conversely, you can SEE actual New Leftists…both the old and young…at work all about us. By-in-large, they are the proverbial “rent-a-mob” that you can expect to see reeking and wrecking in protest of anything capitalistic, military, or global (except disarmament or socialism). They certainly LOVE government…huge, illimitable and collectivist. Freedom is not a priority. One could not manage to confuse Tea Party people (I speak in generality here, as a Tea Party is the very embodiment of the “public square” and you can find ALL kinds of people at a rally) with New Leftists. The first has spent a life-time (long or short) trying to build; the other has, as an article of faith, sought to tear down cultural structures they regard as foul and impeding.
But it is SO much easier to depict people you don’t comprehend as something they never approach being, isn’t, Mr. Birdcage? The energy you spent in concocting the nonsense you put in print would yield bounties if you got off your dead butt and listened to people in the hinterland (if either is possible).
Likewise, the great liar that is Michael Moore finds it fun to joust with targets of his own construction. He recently alluded to the damage in Haiti as typical of a Republican dystopia, where there were no regulations.
What? This is surpassingly stupid, even for Fat Mikey or anyone who finds him with something to say.
A little thought experiment; Haiti, under a Reagan-style governing philosophy for a decade or two. Law and order; better or worse? Enterprise; better or worse? Neighborhoods cleaner and more prosperous; yes or no? Orange County or Detroit? Houston or New Orleans?
But you don’t really need to imagine. Look instead at New York City pre- and post-Giuliani.
The straw-man of conservatives and/or Tea Party supporters as anarchists who hate all government is stupid. One has to wonder about those who find themselves in a straw-man crush with their own hand-crafted nonsense.