Some quick thoughts on Krauthammer's "sclerotic'

In an op-ed i've just read this morning, Charles Krauthammer described a conservative's view of Obama's vision for America as a "regulation-bound, economically sclerotic, socially stagnant, nanny state [like] the European Union.  

I 1) love that description, 2) see it as an accurate take on one of America's possible futures, and, 3) realize this "sclerotic" state is exactly what I want to happen. Allow me a couple of seconds to explain why I think this is a good thing:   

During the "Clintonian" period, Americans of both liberal and conservative stripes had to come to grips with our new relativistic culture.   The only people that truly benefited from this, it seems, were the scriptwriters of The Simpsons and Beck ("Black Culture," on the other hand, carried on with business-as-usual, but that's another blog post).   Everyone else was left awash in a society of no rules.  Reductively stated, the left responded by creating a new, almost religious dogma around a trinity of environmentalism, political correctness, and victimless society.  The right responded by loudly calling for the return of a make-believe golden era found on Leave it to Beaver.   

The result was a huge social vacuum in which nothingness existed.  Society seemed headed for collapse for the dualists, and moderate relativists like me had a hard time coming to grips with the disorder.  Well, the cure for everyone seems to be this regulation-bound, economically sclerotic, socially stagnant, nanny state.  

Now, having lived and worked in Massachusetts for three years, I could do without the "regulation-bound" part, but as far as the "economically sclerotic" part goes, America couldn't help but be a better place.  No, no one gets to be a trillionaire under this system, but on the other hand, people i know and like aren't dying of, say, untreated diabetes.  We also all of us wouldn't have to tighten our belts quite so much because a few thousand people couldn't seem to live without seven homes and a different pair of shoes for each day.  

As far as the "socially stagnant" part goes, everyone from the writers of The Simpsons to Fred Phelps greatly benefit.  Hey, nature abhors a vacuum, and no one but the most brilliant of artists thrive in those conditions.  No, we--I--need those boundaries.  Artists get to be truly rebellious and understood again and not just random or market-driven art stars. Conservatives get to have a foothold for both themselves and their ideas.   Culture loves a big wall.  It may be a moral convenience to some and a horrible impediment to others, but when there is no resistance, no ohms,  the power source burns itself out.  Just look at what happened to de-regulated markets. 

No, if a conservative's worst fear and liberal's fondest dream comes true, then America might get it's culture back, people actually might not go to bed hungry or sick at night, and our ecosystem and economy might just hold hands and chant Baraka.

1 comment:

Cate Bush said...

Walter, I hope you'll consider sending that into your local paper. We need more voices like yours heard!