|Labor and Leisure||That Bush Strategery|
by Christopher Chantrill
September 09, 2007 at 10:09 am
LISTEN TO the ladies in Iowa.
Stephen Spruiell did, and what he heard isnt good news for Republicans. Stephanie Frederick, whos always been a Rush Limbaugh listener, says of Sen. Barack Obama: A lot of what he had to say really made a lot of sense to me.
Of course, Frederick has a problem with Obamas position on abortion. Her friend Heidi Kelding, a self-described conservative, she said she was drawn to Obamas candidacy because We need something new, but that she would find it hard to get past his views on abortion.
These ladies are tired of the Republicans. For Kelding:
In addition to the usual gripes about Bush, she added that Romney seemed arrogant and out-of-touch, McCain was too old to be president, and Giuliani had done amazing things in New York City but wouldnt know how to solve Americas problems.
Woman is fickle, sang Luciano Pavarotti, now departed. But women are not fickle about the things that matter to them: relationships, children, health care, houses, and education.
Its interesting though, that if we try to enumerate the big domestic problems in America, leaving aside minor problems like uncontrolled immigration and terrorism, they would be marriage, neglected children, sky-high medical costs, ruinous house prices, and useless education.
Perhaps women have failed to pay attention to the things that matter because, in the last half century, they have listened to teachers like Simone de Beauvoir. They have been taught that the essence of life was shaping the world through participation in productive labor in the public economy as recommended in The Second Sex.
Only in the special world of Beauvoir where womans maternal role makes her the victim of the species does this make sense.
Generation X women are starting to walk back from the feminist fantasy. Penelope Trunk, Brazen Careerist from Yahoo Finance, tells it like it is.
Generation X knows that... girls can grow up to be anything, and boys can start companies and become millionaires. But theres a limitation that no one talks about: Two parents working more than 60 hours a week each is bad for the marriage and bad for the kids... Gen X takes care of family at the expense of top-tier careers, and its paying off .
The challenge for conservatives is to learn to speak the language of the new Generation X-ers. Because what we offer gives them what they want. If families and children are returning to first place in the hearts of womeneven educated womenthen its time to conduct a national conversation.
Why is it that women, who know that no two children are alike, can abide one moment longer the failing system of government education devoted to the principle of one-size-fits-all?
In his Ways of Seeing, lefty John Berger sneers that in western art [A] womans presence [in a painting] expresses her own attitude to herself, and defines what can and cannot be done to her.
Apparently what you can do to a woman in 2007 all across the world is take her children from her and dump them into a barely functioning government school for twelve years and all she does is lie back and think of England.
Even slum-dwelling mothers in the Third World have more self-respect than that. In Newsweek Jason Overdorf writes that
In Hyderabad, 60 percent of the schools serving poor neighborhoods are private. None of them get state aid, and two thirds are not recognized by the government at all... In Lagos, in three different slums, the figure jumped to 75 percent.
This means that 60 to 75 percent of poor slum-dwellers are paying private school tuition! Can Gen X mothers be far behind?
The conservative independent women of Iowa tell us that they are not listening to Republicans this election cycle. It looks like they will get a President Clinton, a Speaker Pelosi, and a Majority Leader Reid.
When these ladies are ready to listen to Republicans again, and it may be sooner than we think, we had better be ready with a story that women want to hear. Republicans want what mothers want, an education system that responds to the individual needs of every child.
When mothers get to send their children to the school of their choice then other beneficial things start to happen. Parents wont have to move to the high-priced suburb to get good schools; that means they can save on housing costs and spend more time with their children. Women will be able to open their own neighborhood schools and teach neighborhood children. Adults in the neighborhood would regain authority over the neighborhood children. Maybe rich philanthropists will start endowing ordinary schools instead of plutocratic universities.
Then we can say that America respects its womenas mothers as well as productive laborers.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel