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Saturday April 19, 2014 
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Amerians are Anti-intellectual Because... 2016: Obama's America or Romney's

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Break the Chains, says Joe

by Christopher Chantrill
August 21, 2012 at 12:00 am

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THERE WAS SOMETHING charming about Vice President Joe Biden (D) playing the race card last week, singing the “They’ll put y’all in chains” number with a great big stage wink. After all, when you play the race card you are supposed to inject real fear into your African-American audience, not do a soft-shoe routine.

But perhaps the Vice President, diligently discharging his duties, was merely seconding Walter Russell Mead’s motion for a new Race Compromise, although the presiding officer of the United States Senate is supposed to limit his activities to breaking a tie vote.

In the current American Interest, Mead leads us through the whole shabby history of race compromise in the United States, starting with the Compromise of 1787, a Constitution that “effectively banned Congress from interfering with slavery in the states” but balanced that by counting slaves as three-fifths of a person when apportioning seats in Congress.

Then it was on to the shabby Compromises of 1820, 1840, and 1854 that renegotiated the territorial limits of slavery. Unfortunately for the spirit of compromise the brilliant Sen. Stephen Douglas (D-IL) overreached in 1854 with the Kansas-Nebraska Act and provoked the creation of the Republican Party and the Civil War.

Twenty years later, the political establishment crafted the shabby Compromise of 1877. The South accepted the questionable election of Rutherford B. Hayes, and the north ended Reconstruction, setting up 80 years of southern segregation and Jim Crow.

Fast forward to the decade of civil rights, with Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Acts. It ended, according to Mead, in the unofficial “Compromise of 1977” when Southerner Jimmy Carter was elected president.

One can call the post-civil rights era that began in 1977 a settlement or a compromise because, once again, it balanced various claims and demands. At its core, the compromise offered blacks unprecedented economic opportunity and social equality, but it also allowed for the stern and unrelenting repression of inner-city lawlessness and crime.

So we got Affirmative Action and majority-minority congressional districts to increase minority numbers in Congress.

But now the Compromise of 1977 is dead. It was well intentioned, of course. It Affirmative Actioned blacks into the middle class with government jobs and into affordable housing with Fannie, Freddie, and the Community Reinvestment Act. It elected the nation’s first black president.

But it ended in failure. Blacks have suffered disproportionately from the housing bust, and the first generation of blacks in government jobs is getting its pension just as governments go broke. Foreign multinationals stay away from minority areas, and the decline of manufacturing is worst in areas where blacks live. Hello Detroit.

The Compromise of 1977 has failed, and so, Mead gently suggests, a new compromise is needed because the end of the “blue social model” means that “given the special circumstances and unique history of black America, those who want to get past blue are going to have to reckon with black.”

Let’s see if I get this right. After the liberals screwed the working class by shoving them into unionized “good jobs at good wages” that priced themselves out of the market by the end of the 1970s, after liberals shoved blacks into the liberal Affirmative Action plantation that has now failed from general corruption and the law of unintended consequences, and after liberals shoved blacks into “affordable” housing that crashed around their ears, now we are supposed to pull the liberals’ chestnuts out the fire for them, with our money?

Forget it pal, because there is. No. More. Money.

Anyway, before we start compromising, what about all the other little darlings of the liberal welfare state? What about the government workers and their unfunded pensions? What about women and their right to own their own bodies with taxpayer-funded hormones and abortifacients? What about Hispanics and their DREAM? What about gays and marriage equality? What about the climate tipping point? What about the bundling crony capitalists? And what about grannie and Medicare as we know it? Don’t they have a right to peacefully protest and present their demands before the next fix is in on race?

It’s a little early to be counting on a compromise as the solution to our current troubles. The Compromises of 1877 and 1977 came when the political warriors were ready for a timeout after a decade or more of brutal political strife. Give us a decade of municipal bankruptcies, federal bailouts for California and Illinois, pitched battles on Medicare and ObamaCare, and a taste of sovereign debt default. Then people will be ready for the Compromise of 2027.

Meanwhile, don’t despair. Slow Joe Biden will save y’all from the chains of the next Jim Crow.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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 TAGS


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.


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


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, 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


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


Liberal Coercion

[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


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

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


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


Society and State

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


Faith and Politics

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


Never Trust Experts

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”


Conservatism's Holy Grail

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


Class War

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”


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