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07-25-09, 08:17 PM #1
Has Liberalism "Jumped the Shark?"
The term “Jump the Shark” has been with us for a while. The clever metaphor is used for the moment when something of cultural significance begins to lose its luster, and descends into lameness. It is a reference to the T.V. show “Happy Days,” specifically the episode when Fonzie water skied over shark infested waters. This is the precise moment where the show began to decline.
Republicans and conservatives are dancing with glee every time a new poll comes out showing Obama’s poll numbers going down faster than a Hilton (Perez or Paris) after a nice dinner and a couple of cocktails. The support for things like Universal Health Care, closing Gitmo, and Cap and Trade are sinking even faster. Yet, that’s not the whole story. Something else is going on here. Something that begs the question: Has Liberalism “Jumped the Shark”?
Over the last sixty days or so, we’ve seen some amazing things. We saw a “wise Latina,” a self-described “affirmative action baby” claim that her statements were taken out of context or merely “meant to inspire,” and that race has nothing to do with her job performance. The White House has re-branded the $787 billion “stimulus package” a “stabilization package.” Our Vice-President, devious genius that he is, stated that we need to, “crazy as it sounds,” spend like lunatics to avoid bankruptcy. A gay blogger and gay civil rights champion called a black guy “the worst thing [he] could think of…a faggot.” We saw our government allow Iranian protesters, who peacefully challenged a rigged election, get shot in the street. Concurrently, we demanded that a tin-pot dictator be reinstated after his government got wise to his schemes and legally booted him.
All of these little vignettes, as well as countless others over the last month or two, do not bold well for our little leftist friends. They are examples of liberalism in action, naked and unfiltered. They are the equivalent of an “unforced error” in tennis. There is no opposition baiting these mistakes and revelations. This is in their own voices, not through the analysis of a Rush Limbaugh “teachable moment,” a Glenn Beck meltdown, or Hotair.com “quote of the day.”
It is liberalism unplugged, on display for all to see.
Identity politics, when viewed in its purest form, is racism. Keynesian economics, when distilled to its basic concepts, flies in the face of common sense. Re-branding political policy doesn’t change its ultimate effectiveness. Hypocrites are hypocrites regardless of the causes they support, or claim to champion. The U.S. should not be about “nuance” when it comes to foreign policy. We must always stand on the side of freedom and democracy.
For the first time in a long time even a casual observer can clearly see what modern liberalism is all about.
In an episode of “South Park” the boys encounter the Underwear Gnomes. They are a society of magical little creatures who steal your underwear in the middle of the night. When the boys ask the Gnomes about their motivation, they explain that they are doing it for “profit.” The first step is to steal underpants. The third step is profit. When pressed about the second step there is only silence. The Gnomes don’t know how to transform the stolen underwear into profit, but they continue to steal it anyway. They work tirelessly, stealing underpants in their quest for profit. But without that second step, they will get nothing. Hmmm, what does that sound like? Great goals, but no solid plan of getting there? That’s modern liberalism. It’s an ideology that lacks principles No step two. To make matters worse, most of the very mechanisms of liberalism (unions, racially segregated interest groups, attacks on capitalism) act counter intuitively to its goals.
I say its “jumped the shark” because, without a strong set of timeless principals to guide it, this political ideology is a fad. It’s had a lot of great, good looking, and popular spokespeople. Last November it had an awesome ad campaign (one so good, Pepsi apparently felt the need to steal it). It’s all style and no substance. And like the Spice Girls, Beany Babies, Cabbage Patch Kids, and the leisure suit it is destined to fade into obscurity.
Young people, you know those folks who haven’t lived as much as you but know better than you, have always been the bread and butter of hippie liberalism. But they have a very short attention span, especially the kids today. During the election, they were all about it. But now they are really into Adam Lambert and “Twilight”. Obama and Co. had hoped that the kids would stay in the mix, using the twitter and the Facebook to keep it real and spread their positive message of nationalization of private industry and wealth redistribution. Sadly, the kids have chucked Obama into the virtual trash bin, right next to the video of the Ally McBeal dancing baby.
Troll traffic on conservative sites is down. Look at Facebook, MySpace, YouTube etc. The number of political postings supporting hippie liberalism is almost non-existent. Even more remarkable, the message boards and postings on non-political sites is trending libertarian and conservative when political topics come up. Perhaps most humorous of all, the State Run Media has failed to make any recent conservative “scandals” or “revelations” stick. People just don’t care to hear it. They want results not more talk. Bush isn’t the president, Sarah Palin resigned, Rush Limbaugh isn’t backing down. Dare I say that people want to “move on”?
Make no mistake, they aren’t going to evaporate right away. Even “Happy Days” went on for 100 episodes after the infamous moment (and we got two seasons of “Joanie Loves Chachi”), but the end is nigh. At some point in the near future (probably in the lead up to the 2010 mid-terms) the pundit class is going to have to ask “can the Democratic Party relate to voters?” Can the party of Howard Dean, the Daily Kos and Keith Olbermann remain relevant?
With the kids bouncing onto the next big thing, and without any real successes to point to, the hippie liberals are left with their usual crew: trial lawyers, race hustlers, and unions. There are a few hard-core ideologues out there, but the true, honest liberals who are all about those lofty goals will soon abandon the freak show assembled in Washington.
With hippie liberalism “jumping the shark”, people are going to need a new fad. It has to be bold, fresh, and at least on paper, original. A new form of “pop politics” will emerge. The good news for everyone, is that the Republicans “jumped the shark” at some point in 2005. We are heading towards a whole new era in American politics.
Hopefully it will be more effective than this whole Pepsi, I mean Obama thing. I wonder what it may be...
07-26-09, 05:49 PM #2
OH!...how I hope that you are right.
Car 4I would like my country back. I used to believe that one man could never destroy this country. Not so sure anymore!
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