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Dem Political Poker The Reagan-Bush Era Is Over

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The Bonfire of the Multicultural Vanities

by Christopher Chantrill
January 15, 2008 at 11:43 am

DOES NEW York Times columnist David Brooks nail it, or does he nail it?  This contest for the nomination of the Democratic Party between a white woman and a black man is turning into a bonfire of the multicultural vanities, he advises. 

Both Clinton and Obama have eagerly donned the mantle of identity politics. A Clinton victory wouldn’t just be a victory for one woman, it would be a victory for little girls everywhere. An Obama victory would be about completing the dream, keeping the dream alive, and so on.

As we wrote here yesterday.  It was grand fun to play the race card when a black man was running against an eevil racist Republican, or play the gender card when a white woman was running against an eevil sexist conservative.  Serve those dead white males right.  But now the game of identity politics is turning into a civil war in the Democratic Party

The problem is that both the feminist movement Clinton rides and the civil rights rhetoric Obama uses were constructed at a time when the enemy was the reactionary white male establishment. Today, they are not facing the white male establishment. They are facing each other.

I know what you are saying.  It couldn’t happen to more deserving people.  Let the feminist sexists and the black racists slug it out.  They deserve each other.  That’s what Brooks says, more politely.  And then he delivers the payoff:

The interesting split is not between the feminist and civil rights Old Bulls, it’s between the establishments of both movements, who emphasize top-down change, and the younger dissenters, who don’t. Second, this dispute is going to be settled by the rising, and so far ignored, minority group. For all the current fighting, it’ll be Latinos who end up determining who gets the nomination.

That’s a good point.  We haven’t heard from Latinos yet.  In fact, I should think it is insensitive of the two racist sexist combatants not to have considered the feelings of Latinos.   It is demeaning to conduct the contest for the Democratic nomination purely in terms of sexism and black/white racism.

What about La Raza?  What about La Reconquista?  What about the identity of the folks cruelly conquered and enslaved by dead white Spanish conquerors?

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill