One of the relatively sparse advantages of being of … ahem … advanced age is it affords one ample opportunity to read, snooze, reflect, snooze, meditate, snooze, and generally not contribute substantially to the GDP, the GNP or any other G*P’s that the bean-counters may have dreamed up. A favorite way to spend time, between snoozes, is to jump on the Internet and marinate my awareness in whatever admixture of wisdom and foolishness that pokes its head up out of the digital stew.
And so yesterday my computerized peregrinations took me to a place that really should be on everyone’s electronic Bucket List – a website-cum-blog known as “The American Spectator”. They feature common-sense politics presented by some of the best writers working today. I stop by there routinely and yesterday stumbled upon an article/essay likening current Republican heart-throb Chris Christie to Tom Dewey (yup – that Tom Dewey – the one who “beat” Harry Truman in the ’48 elections, at least as far as the Chicago Tribune was concerned).
The piece, penned by archconservative Jeffrey Lord (he is a former aide to both Jack Kemp and St. Ronald of Reagan), strikes a chord in this old reactionary heart, featuring salvos like
“… one Republican nominee after another has been obsessed with moderation. The pattern is always — always — the same. Make the election as ideologically content-free as possible…”,
“So, what to do in the wake of the defeat of the last moderate GOP nominee, Mitt Romney? Not to mention his predecessor, John McCain? Or, reaching on back, Bob Dole and Gerald Ford? All four the Tom Dewey’s of their day? Why of course! Let’s do it again!”
Lord aptly and with obvious relish eviscerates that species of politician who is devoid of both policy and ideology – the so-called moderate – whose only intent seems to be to offend as few people as possible. It was called “me-tooism” back in Dewey’s day and the characterization is still appropriate today. It is almost superfluous to note that such a vapid, vacant philosophy, the very negation of a robust and principled doctrine, is as verifiably ineffective as it is uninspiring.
One more quote from Lord’s piece:
“… to Establishment Republicans, moderation is an ideology. It is not too much to say Establishment Republicans are obsessed with the ideology of non-ideology. Those in the GOP who believe this are instantly recognizable because they speak in the Tom Dewey language of “pragmatism” and “getting things done.” The very language today of Chris Christie.”
To those of us who abhor wishy-washy “deal-making” and unprincipled compromise (also known as “surrendering”), stuff like this is mother’s milk, and I can’t recommend strongly enough that you go to the site [click here] and read the entire article.
And while I’m in the business of recommending reading, do yourself a favor and take a look at Rick Brown’s piece in the Kearney Hub a day or two ago. Rick is a friend of mine as well as of the arts here in the Midlands, and has done yeoman duty over the years to support, assist and defend not only the arts but the Heartland way of life. He recently took umbrage (justifiably in my opinion) at a snarky poem written by none other than former poet laureate Billy Collins, in which Collins poked more than a little fun (scorn, ridicule?) at Nebraska and, more specifically, the iconic Sandhill Crane.
Unlike the rest of us timid souls, Rick unhesitatingly entered the lists and put a pretty good smack-down on the Big City Poet. You can read his essay here and hear the actual poem here. Thanks, Rick, from all us flatlanders.