Please forgive the rambling nature of this treatise, which was inspired by airforcewife's declaration that she is not a conservative, in this thread where we were discussing McCain and Giuliani. I'm not one either, I guess. Neither am I a liberal. I'm not just talking about liberalism as in being a Democrat/San Franciscan/whatever. I'm talking about the concept of liberalism that's discussed in the pages of VFR by Laurence Auster and New Sisyphus by Jourdan. As in, all the conservatives today are liberals, too. The disease of our times. Include me out.
I don't know if I'm a conservative or not any more. The older I get, the less certain I become of things I believed fervently just last year, or the year before. I started thinking critically about some beliefs and positions I took for granted, and suddenly half the stuff I read that I used to agree with seems like lazy, offensive, laughable, mindless propaganda. I am insulted and furious when I detect this stuff, and it's becoming a habit with me of noticing it. I can't not notice the agenda behind everything I read, and the lies I'm being told. Some of them very nice, flattering lies that I Want To Belieeeeve, lies about, for instance, how America's health care system is the greatest in the world. Furthermore, conservatives are selling out my country very effectively at the moment. I am terrified of the sinister military dictatorship in the East which is being coddled and fattened up and strengthened as it relentlessly re-arms and prepares to wage a terrible war on us in pursuit of its dearest goal, a total world dictatorship ruled from Beijing. They've been telling us how they want to get rid of us for thirty years now. Why isn't anyone listening? They mean what they say, they really mean it. But it's bad for business to point this out so conservatives rake in the cash and watch China usurp and prepare to destroy America. Oh well, at least profits are up this quarter.
There's no movement worth a damn to follow. I never was much of a conservative. Maybe the truth is that I'm discovering I'm a nationalist and a socially liberal open-minded person, and conservatives in this country aren't really very good nationalists, and I'm done compromising. If the Democrats get an F in Nationalism, the conservatives get an F+. Nobody has an acceptable and coherent position on the national question, which for me is: are we still a nation, and how can we hang on to it? What does it mean to say we are Americans, and this is America?
So-called conservatives appear at Spanish-language debates to pander to unassimilated foreigners who for some reason don't want to speak the national tongue but are allowed to vote in our elections. I don't care if they're citizens, if they don't speak English, they're not really American.
The war on terror is a joke. It was always a joke from the beginning. It was never taken seriously by the President of the Mall. "Go shopping, America". Thanks for the input. The masterminds of 9/11 got away. We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and left the true regional menace, Iran, alone. A trillion more dollars in debt to China and thousands of dead American soldiers later, we get nothing for it. I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt out of it. We're appeasing North Korea, a dictatorship that can't even feed its own people, and letting them get away with murder. Our military is being asked to fight two half-ass wars on a peacetime footing, and be a global police force, and the military's leaders are hell bent on shrinking it even more, so they can buy expensive toys and feather their nests and get lucrative jobs with defense contractors later. Who cares how much the air force has to shrink as long as we can buy new airplanes and retire good, working, unsexy old ones? Our leaders are hell-bent on constructing Islamic states in Europe and Israel. Why? I've lost all faith in those who presume to rule in our name.
Iran has gotten more dangerous and so has Syria. Iraq was already beaten and defanged. Bush and Cheney lied to us to get us in there, and we all bought it, out of an abundance of patriotism and naivete. We didn't suspect the horrible truth, which I'm beginning to believe is this: they went in there to get the oil on preferential terms for their oil company buddies, and enrich their mercenary buddies and their defense contractor buddies. They really did. I believe this now. What's a few thousand dead Americans when you and all your friends and relatives can get incredibly rich off a needless and easy war, throwing a shitty little defenseless country with lots of oil against the wall? Do I sound like a DU member yet? Good. You know what? The neocons are all creeps, but they were all being used anyway. They just give a thin veneer of respectability to Bush and Cheney's project of looting the treasury for their friends. They wanted to invade Iraq before 9/11. 9/11 was just the excuse they'd been looking for for so long.
The war on drugs is an offensive and disgusting joke, too. Conservatives love it, though. Bill Hicks was right. It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom. Why did it take a Constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, but it's OK for the government to ban a few hundred other substances, stroke of the pen, law of the land, go directly to jail? What's so conservative about preventing me from getting fucked up on the substance of my choice? People have been getting fucked up on plants and fungus for thousands of years. Millions of years, probably. The drug war has been around for sixty. All it does is give the government more power over you, your mind, your body, and your property. I love seeing court cases like United States vs. $164,000. Biggest prison population in the world, more people in jail than in all the world's repressive dictatorships, and most of them are there because they wanted to get high. And we make prison rape jokes. Knock it off.
What's so funny about prison rape? And why can't the authorities stop it? Because they don't want to. Because they use it as a tool, unofficially. Prison rape exists because it is allowed to exist by the same authorities. How dare any elected official like Bill Lockyer threaten a citizen with being raped in prison, and how can he keep his job? Bill Lockyer should have been lynched for it, I swear to God. Every time I remember it, I am enraged all over again. How the fuck does he dare? What kind of country is this? I am not an authority-worshipper. I am a free man and will remain a free man in my own mind no matter what happens. But a lot of what I'm observing happening in my country is killing me inside. Do you think Abu Ghraib was an accident? I don't. I think it's an embarrassing reminder of how fucked up our country's prison system is. What an embarrassment and what a shame and what a disgrace. Those West Virginia bumpkin rapist/torturers were all regular American prison guards in civilian life. They were just giving the Iraqis a taste of the authentic American jail experience. Think these guards didn't ever arrange for one of their fellow Americans to get raped in prison, or turn their head and let it happen? Think again. The rapists in prison are in cahoots with the authorities. Either they help them or they ignore what they're doing. It needs to stop. The authorities are letting us down and letting this continue, because it gives them a little more power to scare you when prison rape is rampant. Think about it. We are now in a situation where it is good for the authorities to allow a rampant prisoner rape situation.
Is that really the bargain in this country now? This is the new deal? Obey and conform or be sent to prison and raped? Welcome to the New Deal. I want to renegotiate the social contract if this is where we've ended up.
The free market is not everything. It's not a religion. A free market is a good way to organize some, maybe most areas of the economy. I care about my country. I am a fierce nationalist. I'm not a globe-trotting global citizen and I never will be. I won't even set foot on Mexican soil because they don't have the Constitution and the bill of rights, and I'll be goddamned if I let some goddamn Mexican cop jail me or force me to bribe him. I have too much self-respect to bribe anyone. The only country I've been to other than the US since I came home was Canada. I liked it. It's a nice place but it's not America. I don't know what I believe in any more, you guys. I really don't. I guess I believe in an America that doesn't exist, one that our own elites don't believe in. Our politicians and businessmen, they're all UN citizens, not US citizens. We the People are We the Fucked and Betrayed, over and over.
I'm sick of these corporate traitors and their police state and their war on personal freedom and their prison rape conformance-inducing machine. I'm sick of all the ninnies and nannies who want to tell me what to eat and what to listen to and what video games should be censored and what to think and what to read and to shut up and not ask for ingredients to be labeled by country of origin. I want to know what I'm eating. It's going in my body.
Hey, remember how Americans used to point out that you don't need an internal passport to travel in America, and that needing one is one more reason why Russia is a horrible country? Guess what? Surprise! We're getting internal passports now. "Real ID", and you can't fly without it. I think that starts in 2009. Whatever.
So what's a guy like me supposed to do? Keep reading New Sisyphus and VFR and fuming about everything? Why are there no serious leaders with serious thoughts and substance any more? I guess people like me are doomed to a lifetime in political wilderness, railing against a system that doesn't notice and doesn't care. They're buffoons on the left and buffoons on the right, and they're all my enemy because they're the enemy of my country. You know how Ahavat Yisrael is a mitzvah for Jewish people? Love of one's fellow Jews and Israel? Why don't we have any politicians who have Ahavat America and Americans? Isn't it crazy that so many of our politicians were declaring us to be racists and rednecks, who need to be shut up, when we got mad about the illegal immigration amnesty bill they were trying to railroad through? What's so horrible about liking being American and liking America and wanting to preserve it? Why doesn't anyone in power truly love America, Americans, and American ideas? Why are our leaders a bunch of jetsetting citizens of the world who want to rule Mexicans and Somalis instead of Americans? Can we toss them out and get some American leaders instead? Did we do something horrible, and God is punishing us by depriving us of good leaders? It really feels like that, surveying the field of would-be Presidents on both sides. I am not a citizen of the world. I came to America to get away from the world. I want Laurence Auster for President and Jourdan for Secretary of State. Or both for dictator. Whatever they want.
I'm afraid to publish this post, because it seems stupid and embarrassing to be free-floatingly angry without having any good answers. Oh well. Does anyone have good answers?
I'll leave you with the most depressing quote I've read recently. I don't know who said it, and the internet can't tell me for sure. But ever since I read it, I haven't been able to shake it. Here it is: When small men cast long shadows the sun is going down.
3 PM, 1/21/08: an excellent, powerhouse response at New Sisyphus, and a grateful reply from me in the comment section.