Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Evita of the nerds

That epithet of Michael Lind's for Ayn Rand by itself makes his piece in Salon worth reading.

The media is building [Paul] Ryan up as a serious thinker. Build him up even more, I say. Give him a Nobel Prize, like Obama's. Make him the face of the Republican Party. Progressives should want Ryan and [Ron] Paul and the Cato Institute to define the next American right. That will ensure its minority status for decades.
Lind thinks conservatives divide into three factions - neocons, the religious right, and libertarians. My very similar division is more blunt - bullies, fundies, and wealthies. No surprise Lind and I see the same three-headed dog guarding the hellish right. It's right there in front of us.

But Lind makes two errors. He thinks the culture war is over:
The Protestant religious right benefited from a backlash against the cultural liberalism of the 1960s on the part of working-class and middle-class white Americans. That backlash, however, appears to have been a generational phenomenon. Younger Americans are less racist, more educated, more secular and more liberal on social issues. Archie and Edith Bunker have passed away, and Gloria and the Meathead voted for Obama.
Demographic hope is not a plan to win the continuing culture war. This war is a long war, and the social reactionaries are playing for a war of attrition and constant social pressure. They're willing to stupidify our schools to maintain the chosen Bible-literalist ignorance of our children, our culture, and our polity.

Lind also thinks that the strong and visible libertarian strain of Republicans dominates the economic conservatives, when in fact it's only their rhetoric that dominates. The Republican Party of Paul Ryan is about enriching the already rich at a cost of beggaring the middle class. Libertarianism helps them do that, but if it got in the way for a second - as it did under Duhbya - it would be like Christian scripture demanding stoning to death for eating shellfish. Forgotten.

1 comment:

The Conservative Leftist said...

"Bullies, fundies, and wealthies"...I like it.