When I first read Riders of the Purple Wage in 1967, I thought it was crude, vulgar, rowdy, absurd – and unlikely. And most of that still applies. Now, though, my first thought is, “How did he know?”
At this point in the presidential round, one listens to what they say, not that they’ll do stuff, but that you hope to get a hint of the character they might bring to the job. I’ve never understood Hillary’s assumption of entitlement, but that’s ok. Bernie reminds us that the problem with Socialism is Socialism. Isn’t there some obscure ex-gov running around on the Donk side? That’s it? Pending Handsy Joe Biden’s entrance, of course.
It’s hard to keep track of all the Heffalumps. Most of them might be ok in the job, especially for folks like me who would like to see a government of more modest scope. Do we actually need Rabbit Inspectors? I like Ben Carson; he’s a decent man. I think we may need someone with more skill in the foreign and military areas. I enjoy listening to Carly talk; she knows how to turn her interviewer’s attempted trap questions inside out. She’s well prepared, and that’s different. And I enjoy the spectacle of the dominant media trying to turn Scott Walker’s reasonable answers to loaded questions inside out. They’re worried about him. Fun. Rubio is likeable and works hard, Kasich decent and sensible (if dull. But a dull president has a place, too. Maybe dull would be good), and Cruz is smart and interesting, but he might have too much fun in the job.
But Trump worries me. He has no visible character, no policies that are not of the moment, and his public presentation reminds me far too much of bygone, strutting European politicians. I’ll refer you to the first chapter of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. His hyper-masculinity, rudeness, and brazen manipulation of media and public worries are too familiar; he turns his ignorance into an asset, too. “See? I’m not like those guys, those politicians.” These are a bundle of traits that are often appealing in overstressed democracies. He’d be a disastrously bad president.
The speculation that he was planted by the Clintons – they were at his most recent wedding, remember – as a sort of disruptive clown has some plausibility. Trump has been an expert manipulator of crony capitalism, a deal maker but not a producer, a skillful user of media. And completely without any trace of character or principle. He’s pretty much the epitome of the RINO. He’s running against the Republicans: compare him with Carly, he’s made herself sort of a Hillary-seeking missle. Jeb Bush, to his credit (and no, we don’t need dynasties), seems to be taking on the task of going toe-to-toe with Trump. Good for him.
I went to a mall yesterday. I get to malls maybe 6 times a year. Saw a movie, in Grandpa role. It’s one that has drawn lots of oohs and ahhs but I didn’t like it that much, for myself or for the Grandcutie. Not bad, just over-advocated. But that’s not the curiousity. Maybe I should change the name of this blog to Cabinet of Curiosities. Is anyone using that?
The curiosity was in the car I was parked next to. Someone loved the presidential incumbent enough to change the license plate to BHO with a number. Hope & Change stickers on it. And now, this.
The Law, we know, cannot bring righteousness, nor life -but when you choose to live without the law, you have – lawlessness.
Of course, a culture that doesn’t blink at the death of a million or so children every year is likely to develop a certain moral crudity.
Odd spring. Cooler than usual. if there is such a thing as “usual,” but my roses and peonies bloomed a little early. Here’s a pic of a favorite but somewhat tender rose – even planted next to the house on a south wall it dies way back every winter. But the last two winters have been brutal.
It’s a pretty rose, though, a floribunda, heavily scented and delightful.
There’s some sort of kerfuffle amongst the barbarians because some Italian clothing makers deviated from the party line and wound up some Brit pop singer who reflexively called “Boycott!” Now it’s the easiest thing in the world for me to boycott these guy’s clothing – I’m no where near their target audience or for that matter, size – just as I wouldn’t voluntarily listen to the singer’s product. But why on earth we should be expected to look to either for moral instruction is beyond me. Even more mysterious, that they should expect us to.
A very little thought, maybe. I’ve been reading The Everlasting Man for the first time in ages. I’m struck by two things. First, that criticisms and complaints haven’t changed much since Chesterton wrote. Second, that it might be interesting to read this very closely along with CSL’s The Abolition of Man. Three things. Third, that it might be very interesting to use these two books as texts for a discussion with a group of, say, 18- to-20-year-olds, to learn what equipment they bring. Hmm.