Posts Tagged ‘culture’
March 29th, 2014 at 2:09 pm
The Obama-Ryan Double Standard

“Is something less true if a white person says it about black people?”

That was the question liberal comedian Bill Maher asked on his show in relation to Paul Ryan’s recent comments about the link between poverty and culture.

Just prior Maher read a quote which he attributed to Ryan “about how lazy kids are these days and how they need to aspire to be more than ‘ballers’ and ‘rappers,’” reports Mediaite. But then Maher revealed he was quoting Michelle Obama – not Ryan.

The point Maher made was that black political figures get a pass for speaking hard truths on certain issues while their white counterparts do not.

Rich Lowry gives even more examples of this double-standard by quoting then-Senator Barack Obama.

Imagine the reaction from liberals if Ryan had said the following instead of the current president: “We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households… We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of school and twenty times more likely to end up in prison.”

Anyone who follows politics knows that had Ryan said this, the statement and the (completely unmerited) backlash that would greet it would likely define and limit the rest of his career. Aside from Barack Obama’s speechwriter at the time, no one else probably remembered he ever made these remarks until Lowry unearthed them.

The irony of the identity politics double-standard is that neither Barack Obama nor Paul Ryan has been able to speak truth to power and get results. Instead, Obama is ignored while Ryan gets flayed for motives he doesn’t have. The only way to break the logjam is for the president to defend Ryan’s diagnosis, even if he doesn’t agree with the House Budget chairman’s remedy.

Certainly then America would sit up and listen.

November 9th, 2013 at 5:58 pm
Obamacare and the Culture Wars

Among other social-engineering priorities, Obamacare’s drafters decided that pricing insurance policies for men and women in relation to the services each group is likely to use is discrimination, since women, unlike men, need access to costly reproductive services.

The solution to this perceived problem is to mandate that all people purchasing insurance under Obamacare – including males covering only themselves – must pay for services like maternity care that they cannot use. The result is another HHS mandate that significantly raises the cost of health insurance on one group (men) for the sake of making it more affordable for another (women).

For a glimpse of where this comes from and where we’re heading, consider the Obama 2012 campaign’s much-maligned “Life of Julia” web video. It shows how a young girl in America progresses through adulthood without ever forming a family. Instead, her entire life requires a series of massive interventions from paternalistic government, including the likes of Head Start, public school, college loans, small business subsidies, child support services, as well as health and pension payments. The creators revel in the fact that all of these programs allow their heroine to live a life completely unimaginable absent such government-coerced public assistance.

My hunch is that many Republicans aren’t brave enough to denounce the Democrats’ “War on Men,” for fear of a feminist backlash. But if no protest is lodged, then the Party of Dependency will be encouraged to continue enacting policies that force traditionally conservative constituencies to pay for the lifestyle choices of consistently liberal voters.

August 26th, 2011 at 1:52 pm
Against Identity Politics and Cultural Reverse Snobbism

Conservatives have a serious problem today. They tend to circle the wagons around people for the wrong reasons, namely because candidates seem “one of us,” culturally speaking, even if the candidates aren’t very impressive or very accomplished. I could name a few Senate candidates from recent years, but won’t. But it really is absurd to think that just because the “establishment” attacks somebody, that the person is therefore worth going to the mat for. It is just not true that the adversary of my adversary is my friend. In truth, the adversary of my adversary can be friend, foe, or something on a wide spectrum in between. An attack by the known adversary on somebody who merely seems to share one’s cultural characteristics is not a good reason to make the attacked person into a hero. It’s illogical to do so.

Hence, I really like Jonah Goldberg’s column today — not because I have any idea yet whether Rick Perry is a great choice for president, but because the attacks against him do not define him, or at least should not. What matters is record, character, philosophy, and competence. Anyway, read Jonah’s piece by clicking this link. Good stuff.

September 9th, 2010 at 7:27 pm
How Greeks Killed Their Own Civil Society

It isn’t often that we in America get reminded about the importance of reasonably enforcing tax laws.  Thanks to the Greek experiment in systematic tax evasion that undergirded that country’s financial collapse, we can all rest assured that a sustained culture of lying leads to the death of civil society.

The Greek state was not just corrupt but also corrupting. Once you saw how it worked you could understand a phenomenon which otherwise made no sense at all: the difficulty Greek people have saying a kind word about one another. Individual Greeks are delightful: funny, warm, smart, and good company. I left two dozen interviews saying to myself, “What great people!” They do not share the sentiment about one another: the hardest thing to do in Greece is to get one Greek to compliment another behind his back. No success of any kind is regarded without suspicion. Everyone is pretty sure everyone is cheating on his taxes, or bribing politicians, or taking bribes, or lying about the value of his real estate. And this total absence of faith in one another is self-reinforcing. The epidemic of lying and cheating and stealing makes any sort of civic life impossible; the collapse of civic life only encourages more lying, cheating, and stealing. Lacking faith in one another, they fall back on themselves and their families.

To read more about the fantastical confluence of events that bankrupted Greece, read Michael Lewis’s Vanity Fair article here.

August 22nd, 2010 at 2:57 pm
Baby Boomerism, Reexamined

In a fascinating article published in today’s Guardian (UK), British newsman Will Hutton gives an eyewitness account of how the free love socialism of the 1960s ultimately led to the unfettering of the Western financial industry.  Faced with the decision of managing capitalism or destroying its constraints, Baby Boomers chose chaos over order.

It was an inevitable victory, but it meant that the movements of the 1960s no longer had a political champion for industrial and economic change from below. The liberalism of the great social movements would transmute into economic liberalism – and when Labour lost the 1992 general election the rout was complete. Capitalism had lost every check and balance. There was no Labour movement and no idea of socialism. There was no political party committed to reforming capitalism. There was not even the cultural acceptance of restraint, the need for rules and proportion. (Emphasis mine)

The result has not been pretty.  Short-sighted policies in the housing and derivatives markets fueled the excessive tendencies of an entire generation.  The spike in paper wealth ushered in the kind of largesse only a self-defining rich nation thinks it can afford: lavish public pensions; diversity czars; a McMansion for every college graduate.

Though he ends his article with the wistful hope of a purer form of new socialism, Hutton strikes upon the deeper current driving the waves of voter discontent in the Western world.  The collapse of the economic order was the tipping point that made people aware of how much the rise in wealth over the last twenty years papered over the decline of Western culture.  No nation is immune.  After two decades of enjoying money for nothing, citizens of the West are finding that what they really have is nothing to show for all their money.