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Labor and Leisure That Bush Strategery

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Women are Fickle, You Say?

by Christopher Chantrill
September 09, 2007 at 4:09 pm


LISTEN TO the ladies in Iowa.

Stephen Spruiell did, and what he heard isn’t good news for Republicans. Stephanie Frederick, who’s “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 Obama’s position on abortion. Her friend Heidi Kelding, “a self-described conservative,” she said she was drawn to Obama’s 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 wouldn’t know how to solve America’s 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.

It’s 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 woman’s 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 there’s 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 it’s 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 women—even educated women—then it’s 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] woman’s 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 won’t 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 women—as mothers as well as productive laborers.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[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

US Life in 1842

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

Taking Responsibility

[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

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David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008

Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values

Responsible Self

[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.

Religion, Property, and Family

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F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Racial Discrimination

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Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
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David Martin, On Secularization

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