PARTY LIKE ITS 1999
Years ago I wrote about how I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh much any more. At the time I got a few annoyed comments and mentions on other blogs, but people more and more seem to be having the same reaction. It isn't that Limbaugh is any less informed or thoughtful, its that he's not as entertaining and is a bit behind the clock. Back in 1992 he was the cutting edge, but these days what he comments on 87 blogs have already written about by the time he's on in the morning.
In fact, Rush often these days seems to rely on blogs for his content, judging by his website. And I do check that often, because he had links and stories to check into for writing - since I wasn't interested in being first, but in analysis with a fuller picture. I still check his page once in a while for stories, especially just after the election. I was curious how he'd respond.
You see, a lot of bloggers and pundits are soldiering along as if this was just another election, a bad loss, but nothing final. Right Wing News for instance is still sending out polls (the last one was "who do you back for 2016 in the Republican Party). That's just ignorant, or deliberately blind. I guess I understand, its their job. John Hawkins makes money on all his websites, so he keeps chugging along for the dollar at least.
But Rush has been different. He's been dead on with several monologues and comments, pointing out that all the analysis by the usual suspects is trash. He asks them over and over: what do you think will change things? Becoming Democrats? Why vote for Republicans at all then? Pandering more? Look at the parade of women and minorities at the RNC, and how much difference it made. The official media, leftist, and Democrat operative line is that Republicans are all old white males, despite all evidence to the contrary. It simply doesn't matter.
None of it matters, not any more. The fact is, Republicans lost for two reasons, one of which is what happens when you allow the Chicago political machine take over national politics, and the other is all cultural. Rush keeps hammering this point, based on his website: you can't win this with elections, you can't win this by changing advertising or who you nominate. Others have picked up the same theme, such as Mark Steyn.
The truth is, America has fallen off that cliff. For a few years now, I've been comparing the nation to Wiley E Coyote running on thin air, chasing the Roadrunner, before he looks down. Well, we looked down. Now all that's left is the funny sign Wiley pulls out from behind him to indicate his dismay.
Everyone in the country knows something is not just horribly wrong, but doom is on our horizon. We all feel it, deep down; we sense it like that wet dust smell of rain before it starts to fall. That's where all the Mayan calendar and zombie apocalypse nonsense comes from. We joke about it but we know its all going terribly wrong. Even people who don't really understand the facts, who don't know much about politics or economics can tell something is awful.
In the past, the response would be to bear down, work hard, change leadership, and look for a way to cut back, sacrifice, and prepare to rebuild. That's what virtue and the Calvinist Work Ethic was like. Instead of whining that it wasn't fair or demanding the government fix things, people would roll up their sleeves. That's how we got through the depression. People hopped trains to find migrant work, sold apples in the streets, helped each other out, and did what they had to.
These days, the reaction is quite different. They demand everyone fix their problems, give up what they earned, share more, redistribute more, and government should make it all better. It all relates to virtues, and western culture hasn't just abandoned virtue but has become institutionally contemptuous to virtue entirely.
- Courage is how we make it through the hard times when it doesn't seem like there's any future.
- Fortitude is what makes people keep going when all seems lost or get back up when they're knocked down.
- Humility is why you help others and stand on your own feet instead of demanding others pay your way.
- Justice is how we understand its wrong to demand others give what they earned so we don't have to.
- Temperance is what lets you cut back and show restraint to avoid loss and waste.
- Wisdom is what gives you the ability to find a way through.
With those virtues, the United States built from a ranging frontier to the world's most powerful military, greatest economy, richest nation, and most potent industrial power in history. Through the work ethic, Edison saw 100 failures just 100 ways that didn't work, its how the US was the source of most of the greatest achievements in technology, art, science, music, and more for over a century.
The loss of those, the abandonment of any objective sense of ethics, and the rejection of tradition without a single effort to replace them has led to the grinding halt we're experiencing. The efforts of generation after generation working hard to do right led us to several generations of momentum, but it has been slowing and we're in the last shuddering steps before it all falls down.
So people are partying now. They voted to keep the party going than to make the hard choices to turn it around. They had a choice: cut their budget or cut the government's and they chose their own, then pretended they wouldn't have to because the government would get it all from rich people. Sal Traina calls them "Suicide Voters" fixated on their cause and caring nothing about what happens to everyone else.
The math doesn't add up, history proves its a lie, and I think deep down most people know it but they just don't care. They sense its all a lie but they'd rather eat, drink and be merry one more day because its too hard, too scary, and would require them to give up the last shreds of what keeps them from noticing the emptiness in their lives.
Because that's what its all about, distracting ourselves from how wrong we know it all is. In Rome Caesar would distract the people from their situation and the crumbling empire with bread and circuses. We do it to ourselves.