Wednesday, September 03, 2008

#444 Celebrating Mediocrity

#444 Celebrating Mediocrity

To paraphrase that raging liberal, Ayn Rand: you want to kill greatness? Then enshrine the mediocre. It'll crowd out real greatness the same way cancer cells crowd out healthy ones. Turn people like Sarah Palin into a saint -- which is what the U.S. Baath Party is doing, and no real saint will remain visible.

The Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States? We don't have to enumerate her shortcomings here. These are well known and word of them is otherwise wide-spread. So let's focus on the people who've nominated her for sainthood.

They are the nuts and bolts "thinkers" of a party that has gradually evolved from a political party to a denomination. They are the nuts and bolts operatives of what was once a reasonably respectable vehicle for political action into a cult. And like any cult, they need a leader. This cult goes one better: it's leader, Ronald Reagan is dead. Right now, the disciples are busy trying to convince you of his holiness and freeze the unoriginal ideas that lofted him to power into a form of fundamentalism that makes guys like Jimmy Swaggert or Pat Robertson look like the cheap rack at Marshall's.

You pick a Sarah Palin as a candidate and you add to that cheap rack anyone who's ever worked his or her way up through any system -- political, corporate, academic, military, philosophical or scientific. You label Palin's "accomplishments" as foreshadows of greatness and you take every great work of politics, business, scholarship, diplomacy, art or science and demean it.

You take a Sarah Palin seriously and you demean and cheapen everyone and anyone who's spent a lifetime building anything.

Forget that she's barely legal, that she advocates the teaching of creationism, that she regards abstinence as the only kind of permissible sex education, that with all this holier-than-thou-ness that she's the mother of an underage girl who's pregnant (some teacher!) Forget all that and what do you have? A right wing ideologue without a track record. You have a Harriet Miers, an Alberto Gonzales, a Clarence Thomas, a Dan Quayle, a Bernard Kerik. No one. And a potentially dangerous no one.

On this, you can bet the ranch: when the saints go marchin' in, Sarah Palin won't be among them. But her handlers and boosters may be.

Shrapnel:

--The notebook computer has seen better days. But every time I go to one of those electronics or office supply places to look at what's available I get confused by the sheer volume. So, I buy nothing.

--Finding a new car is much the same. So many brands, so many choices, so many options. Who can make a decision, even after checking out Consumer Reports, Edmunds.com, the better business bureau, the SEC and a bunch of neighbors who are already driving some of the candidates?

--Opening an account a new bank, the manager wants to make sure I'm not a terrorist. It's his bent, and it's the law. But how can he tell from looking at a driver's license and taking the customer's word on the Social Security number?

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(R)
(C)WJR 2008

3 comments:

John said...

Let me say: well said. You hit the nail exactly on the head.

I don't want a leader that's 'like me', or that I can relate to or have a beer with. I want somebody a hell of a lot better.

The party has an internal cancer: evangelical fundamentalism, and the old conservatism has been replaced, the meaning of the word forever bastardized, by these new thieving hypocrites that put the party above their countrymen.

John said...

Let me say: well said. You hit the nail exactly on the head.

I don't want a leader that's 'like me', or that I can relate to or have a beer with. I want somebody a hell of a lot better.

The party has an internal cancer: evangelical fundamentalism, and the old conservatism has been replaced, the meaning of the word forever bastardized, by these new thieving hypocrites that put the party above their countrymen.

pipskippy said...

Well, while we're talking Rand, a relevant Shrugged quote below. I'm not sure that the word victim applies here.

"The only real moral crime that one man can commit against another is the attempt to create, by his words or actions, an impression of the contradictory, the impossible, the irrational, and thus shake the concept of rationality in his victim."