I’m back. For the few of you that noticed, I “went Galt” after the re-election of Barack Obama, deciding it was best to take some time to reflect. To be honest, the election results were as upsetting to me as the first time I was dumped by a girl because some other guy “swept her off her feet.” Like many, I thought Romney had a good chance to win, and he did have a very good chance. Some 407,000 particular swing-state voters held that fate. Alas, it was not be to, and while I convinced myself that I was prepared for such a result, I wasn’t. A deep depression ensued on that foul Tuesday night and it took me a few days to get out of the worst of it. The Five Stages of Grief are not linear, my friends. You bounce from one to another like a pinball: depression, anger, acceptance, anger again, denial, more depression, wheeling and dealing, ANGER!, and so on.
During this time of reflection I had to grapple with the basic question of what place I hold in American society. I’ve always been a non-conformist of sorts; on the fringe but with a foot planted in the mainstream. However, finding out that I’m truly in a minority was jarring. Pundits will debate whether this is a center-left or center-right country, but I would argue it’s neither. This is a center country. It’s a center country because a majority of the populous has it both ways. They live much of their lives via conservative or libertarian values while other aspects are socialist in nature. The vote on emotion. They vote for and against their self-interests. They vote for tradition. They vote for change for the sake of change. They want an end to partisanship, but they vote for gridlock.
For many of us on the right, our major worry going into the election was whether there were enough people like us who would vote logically. Would Mitt Romney be able to convince enough people who love to say how they don’t see a difference between the two parties that he was the lesser of two evils? In the end, he wasn’t able so to do. In fact, Byron York I think has the best explanation for Romney’s loss:
There are several theories about those missing white voters, but the most plausible is that the ones who were undecideds or weak Republicans were deeply influenced by Obama’s relentless attacks on Romney in May, June, July and August. A steady stream of negative ads portrayed Romney as a heartless, out-of-touch rich guy, and Romney didn’t really fight back. The missing white voters didn’t like Obama but were also turned off by the Republican, so they stayed home. That’s the theory, at least; Republicans will know more when they actually interview lots of those nonvoters.
Whether this was the ultimate reason for the loss remains to be seen, if it can be seen at all, but no doubt this is the thinking of a large portion of the populous and it is the Taj Mahal of stupid. The only way to appeal to these people is through shallow, personal attacks and playing up ancillary issues like free birth-control. Oh, they’ll tell you that hate personal attacks, yet they vote for the man that accused his opponent of giving a woman cancer.
So the question becomes: Have we lost the country? I would say, yes, we have, but that needs some dissection. We’re still alive. We still have our homes, our cars, our TV’s, iPhones, etc. We can still count on football on Sunday, a new movie blockbuster on any given Friday and traffic lights that go from green to red and back again. But the country will never be the same as long as its people are encouraged to accept a European-style welfare state. Liberals hate Walmart, but soon Walmart is all that will be left. Rather get your bread from that corner bakery? I suggest you get it now. Small businesses are the new Vaudeville. Unions killed the Twinkie. The rest of Americana is in the cross-hairs.
So if I’m in the minority and I think the country may be lost, why write? why blog? George Orwell chimed in on this in 1946:
From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books.
I’m no George Orwell, but I relate to his notion that not writing is an outrage to my true nature. I didn’t know from an early age that I wanted to write, I had no idea. For most of my life I’ve had no idea what I should be doing, so I spent decades trying either to run with the herd or to hide from it until finally I realized my inescapable nature is to speak out, to question, even if no one is listening. Orwell lists four reasons for writing:
- Sheer egoism
- Aesthetic enthusiasm
- Historical impulse
- Political purpose
Number one is self-explanatory and usually holds the lion’s share. Number two involves the love of words, but as far as blogging goes, numbers three and four are highly relevant:
(iii) Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.
(iv) Political purpose. — Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.
Whether you like to write 1,000 page novels or scribble on bar napkins, Orwell’s essay Why I Write is a must read.
So let’s get down to business. I have made some changes. Number 1: the Libertarian Popinjay is no more. It was a cute nickname, inspired by a George Galloway insult hurled at the late Christopher Hitchens, but I just feel it has outlived it’s purpose, if it had any at all. I’m just Jim Rose, blogger. However, the website does have a name: Thus Spat Zarathustra. Yes, I’m a philosophy nerd…sue me! Background on that is here if you’re interested.
Also, I’ve changed blogging platforms. I’ve moved from Blogger to WordPress. Blogger was great, but the limitations of the interface grew tiresome and let’s face it, Google (owner of Blogger) is evil. I’m sure WordPress will have its share of headaches, but a change was needed. So, if your bookmarked link to my blog is jim-rose.blogspot.com, it will need to be changed to either thusspatzarathustra.com or jim-rose.com. Either one will take you to the same place. (Twitter handle is @tszarathustra)
With that, I close with a warning. Going forward this will be a take-no-prisoners blog. I will be blunt, sarcastic, and sometimes just downright mean. I see no reason to prevaricate in the post-American era.
Thus Spat Zarathustra