By David Beilstein
CHEESE enthusiasts, beware.
Having written about Mr Andrew Sullivan before, the dropping of this seems a good time as any to discuss his influence and work. Mr Sullivan is biased. Nothing wrong with that. I’m bias, and thank the Lord for it. The few readers I do have can thus know where I’m standing and sitting. But Sullivan left the field of battle of balanced a long time ago. Seduced by the sensuous perfume of cultural relevancy and media acclaim, such temptations warred against the better judgments of Mr Sullivan’s fertile mind.
Mr Sullivan, it seems to me, is again, another product of the Bush Years. A conservative who was blown away by an inarticulate, less-than-culturally aware Bush, who flummoxed a nation into the Iraq War and spent trillions, neither America (or taxpayers) had in the kitty. A justification can certainly be made from conservative, even a Jeffersonian point of view, for the Iraq War.
The late Christopher Hitchens made it solidly. The Bush Administration tried too, but failed. Nevertheless, good case or bad, the Iraq War was seriously mismanaged, costing lives and treasure it need not have.
When we are glancing at that – we’re being honest. But to turn from the Bush years and become aroused (the way Sullivan and a host of others did) when Barry Obama came on the scene was inexcusable. The stitching on the fastball (if paid attention to) predicted Obama would spend more than Bush; would increase the scope of the Federal Government too. An economy stumbling off the canvas in 2008 would further etiolate with bloated progressive government erected by a community organiser-turned saviour of the world. Moreover, presidential nominee Obama would see also the proper function of the individual as servant to the state – needs and wants fulfilled in the mission of the state.
Nothing about that is conservative, no matter what good points Sullivan – now purple with sentimentality – could make. But because Obama is culturally en vogue, folks like Mr Sullivan gave Obama a pass for the same things they scourged Dubya about.
Worse, Sullivan intimates a deep abiding love for President Obama. Sullivan broke down sobbing, on keyboard when Romney proverbially thrashed Obama from post to post in the first presidential debate. Sullivan then, not wise enough to fool me, played the race card when polls seemed to indicate Obama was headed for defeat. It was the old southern ticker Mr Sullivan cringed to. Republicans were the old confederacy; Democrat’s the liberal (in the classical sense) party of the North, feigned Mr Sullivan, acting the fool to George Will’s eloquent counter.
Nothing stirs my blood more than a progressive leftist trying to make dog excreta look like a $75 steak. Worse than that is a white progressive no less – sentimental beyond help – attaching himself to the race card. These kinds of emotions Mr Sullivan is regularly privy to now are the same kind that have gone sight unseen at the wrecking ball statism has down to the most vulnerable Negro schools in the country. No, Mr Sullivan has forgotten that sentimentality never increased skill sets; never gotten or maintained a job – never enriched impoverishment; never reduced where hunger lurks.
Of Mr Sullivan’s trajectory all that can be said… it is odd. Sullivan’s explication of conservatism at a Harvard symposium resonates; he understands, and ascents to conservative philosophical moorings. But he does not trust upon nor rely on them. In evidence, when it comes time for Mr Sullivan to apply those philosophical underpinnings to the house of politics, however, Sullivan turns statist, employing an out of control government with more power than it already has.
If confused, Mr Sullivan ought to know he is not alone in thought when he opines the GOP or conservative movement, generally, has much animus with the consequences arriving from a classical liberal paradigm. There are cultural changes and behaviours of men and women, classical liberalism is tolerant too, many modern day so-called conservatives are not (cough, Santorum). You do not need to be a happily married gay man to realise such notions. No, you can be a confessional Presbyterian, heterosexual black man, to understand that.
Such is why creating Crede, ut Intelligas sounded like a good idea to me. I got too sick of it, frankly.
My reading introduced me to things, which sucker-punched me and changed my thinking on many another issue. Such as it was, the more I read of conservative, slash consequentialist libertarian thinking about government and society, the more I saw a myriad of what calls itself conservative in America today to be in error. So it is reasonable to suggest – like much in life – a barnyard reactionary traditionalism, slash authoritarianism, calling itself conservative, was good reason Mr Sullivan ditched a limited government, personal liberty paradigm long ago, for the comfy couch of Obama apologetics. It is sad. Mr Sullivan is an erudite and talented writer. At one time, he was a critical thinker who strayed from the conventional horse manure of the stale and banal.
One does pray Mr Sullivan returns to a classically liberal chalet. It’s warm and cozy; a home for the pure individual – one respecting the individuality Mr Sullivan has expressed in unique ways in the past. He is, er, was [pick one] a talented man and writer. As limited as my own brain capacity is; I do know this: What is possible in life is sundry; what is probable is more limited.