|Labor and Leisure||That Bush Strategery|
by Christopher Chantrill
September 09, 2007 at 4:09 pm
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 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
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.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[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
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
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
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
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
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
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
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
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