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    We Are Not Exceptional. Get Over It.

    We Are Not Exceptional. Get Over It.

    I was asked by Voting Female to comment on Peggy Noonan’s recent op-ed at The Wall Street Journal, America Is At Risk Of Boiling Over.

    The central thesis of Noonan’s column is that our political leadership does not understand the rupture in society and growing anger caused by this phenomenon:

    The biggest political change in my lifetime is that Americans no longer assume that their children will have it better than they did. This is a huge break with the past, with assumptions and traditions that shaped us….

    But do our political leaders have any sense of what people are feeling deep down? They don’t act as if they do. I think their detachment from how normal people think is more dangerous and disturbing than it has been in the past….

    When the adults of a great nation feel long-term pessimism, it only makes matters worse when those in authority take actions that reveal their detachment from the concerns—even from the essential nature—of their fellow citizens. And it makes those citizens feel powerless.

    Inner pessimism and powerlessness: That is a dangerous combination.

    I think Noonan is well-intentioned, but I don’t think she gets it, or at least if she does, she’s not willing to go the last yard.

    The equalization of resources in which success is punished is part of the plan. It’s a feature not a bug.

    If diminished expectations create a social crisis, it’s just another opportunity to accomplish things that could not otherwise be accomplished.

    On our current trajectory, success will be judged by political connections and correctness, not individual effort and hard work.

    We are not allowed to be exceptional. And neither are our kids. Get over it.

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    “Steal This Country”

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    Noonan still doesn't get it: She's part of the problem, inasmuch as she remains one of the too-urbanized conservative voices who have become too addicted to style to recognize distinctions of substance.

    The urban conservative blends in with his environment over time to become urbane; his protective coloration is one of professorial vocabulary and genteel blurring of all hard distinctions. He is the city-mouse, all sophistication.

    By contrast, the rural or suburban conservative retains all his bright red coloration. He is the country-mouse, and is thought a rube and an embarrassment by his city-mouse cousins, even when they agree with him politically.

    Now when the city-mouse conservative is counting votes, he needs all those country mice. But he only welcomes them so long as their blunt, direct, and unsophisticated phrasing of their shared conservative principles doesn't become more audible than his fuzzy, muted, oleaginous phrasing of the same.

    When the blunt rural phrasing becomes audible over the din, the city-mouse conservative recoils in horror and apologizes to the left for his cousin's lack of urbane mannerisms.

    Noonan is a city mouse.

    She probably can't help that, given how long she's been ensconced inside the D.C.-N.Y. journalism circles.

    But her instincts are dulled as a result. She was complimentary of Obama when other conservatives knew better. Why? Because his professorial mien matched her urbane cultural preferences. Palin as McCain's running mate horrified her, because of the lack of same.

    Yet the latter is obviously preferable to the former in an office of trust under these United States. Neither was fit for the office, really: But better an unfit person with the right political philosophy, than an unfit person with exactly the wrong political philosophy.

    But Noonan couldn't see that: Style clouded her perception of the more important thing, substance.

    The Europeans know better than the average American how the economy works. They just don't seem to put it in practice. As such, they desire just as much as we do for a return of perceived Republican values and that Nov. will hopefully return the Republican's to power. What they don't seem to be able to appreciate is that the Republicans are little better than the Dems. When this is pointed out to them and the likely coming violence, they act as if this is the first hint of any problem. Very much like our political elite act.

    One of the most insightful and delightful laughter-inspiring comments I have read in a long time.

    Such on-the-mark sarcasm is a rare dish few can serve with such aplomb and is one of many reasons I also enjoy reading Professor Jackobson's essays; the cut of which is deeper than any steel could make.

    I salute you, sir.

    paul a'barge said…

    Peggy Noonan is the Blanche Dubois of the punditry class.

    Avert your eyes and simply walk briskly by her.

    This is the Sovietization of America.

    Where are John Galt and his engine when you need them?

    pasadenaphil, I completely agree – the competent and rational are shifting their attention from the private sector to the government because they can no longer avoid it. The Northern Alliance Radio Network crew have noted more than once a common thread in many of the conservative candidates they interview… a sense of duty and obligation to run, to try to fix things. That they 'couldn't live with themselves if they didn't.'

    We've let the inmates run the asylum for too long. Pretty much whatever it takes, we have to restore sanity. We just have to hope that enough people are not yet addicted to the welfare-state opiate to gladly and vigorously reach for true liberty when it's offered to them.

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