I have read the article with an increasing feel of helplessness.
The author fails to address one crucial point: the average person
apparently cannot comprehend scientific or political facts and
theories, and is unable to decide on these topics. This has been
demonstrated countless of times. As a researcher I find the idea a bit
offensive as well. As soon as your “average” person knows what the
String Theory says about our universe, I’ll concede. But let’s not
forget that overwhelming majority of the population believes that
evolution is a lie, that the earth is only 6000 years old (and, in
some cases, flat). People believe that Obama is a socialist (which
goes to show they have no idea what socialism is), that he is a
Muslim, and a foreign born citizen. Interestingly, I would hazard a
guess, that most of these people are affiliated with the Tea Party.
And I would not really trust them with a war with Iran, either.
Jingoism, as it was shown time to time, combined with misinformation
is the perfect recipe for war. Add the bolstering nationalism
(“American exceptionalism”), along with some racism (all those brown
people), and religious intolerance, and you end up with a population I
would not trust to drive a wheelchair, not to mention make choices
about life and death.
The sad fact is that we need the “elite”. Because the same way I would
not trust Joe the plumber to perform brain surgery, I’d prefer having
people who actually know what they are doing both in science and in
politics. The purpose of the press in this ideal world is to keep
politicians honest. The press failed in 2003, and apparently, it is
failing about Iran, too. So far I have not been presented with any credible proof about an ongoing nuclear weapon program in Iran.
Maybe getting facts right would be a good first step.
Mr. Mead, you’re something else.
You write, “Compared to the Jacksonians during the Truman administration, today’s are less racist, less antifeminist, less homophobic, and more open to an appreciation of other cultures and worldviews,” and in doing so you imply that the Jacksonians are still racist, albeit less so.
Actually, it is the effeminate snobs like you see in today’s Ivy League who are true racist. They do it in their condescending and patronizing attitudes toward the Negro and making sure the Negro is never held accountable for any short comings.
Affirmative action (racial quotas) is inherently racist, yet the elite employ and defend it. You’ve seen AA in action, haven’t you, Mr. Mead. Sure you have. Do you endorse it?
And here’s an assignment you may wish to assign to the kiddies in your class. Ask them what their definition of a racist is. Then post the unedited results. Even you might earn something from such an exercise.
I think that this is an interesting perspective that you have taken on a movement that, tends to be characterized by both folks on the American right and the American left, as being nativist, racist, backwards or ignorant. The Jacksonian stirrings in the movement are best reflected in an area that gets little notice when talking about foreign policy matters–government spending. It’s very simple: the government that is in debt to other powers cannot project force effectively in the world. And while no Tea Party activists are currently expressing this sentiment, I, much like you, sense the rumblings of this at the bottom of the movement. As to the Paulites, much like the John Birch Society folks before them they are gradually on their way to being exposed as the foreign policy “hacks” that they are. For evidence of this, see their recent, behind the scenes drubbing at CPAC. I, for one, look forward to seeing what non-elites can do in the world of American foreign policy, considering that the ivory-tower intellectuals have gotten us into all kinds of messes since Wilson.
Peter, you are something else too. It seems that you are just another white person who is disgruntled about AA programs in the US, that have in fact advanced the opportunities, in school and at work, for many African Americans.
To deny that the current tea party movement is devoid of racist elements is to ignore reality. And you are doing just that.
I’m more in favor of the Jacksonian FP in this essay:
The Declaration of Non-Dependence: In Which America Announces It’s Going on Sabbatical
So, I’m a Palinite or is it Palinian, in any case I love all your coining of these new words. It is adding significantly to my own self understanding and no doubt to many others as well.
As a Jacksonian I am disgusted by the multiculturalists, and believe that while individuals are created equal, cultures clearly are not. It is easy to tell the superior culture, just look for the most successful, as “there is no arguing with success”.
I would especially like to see Islamic Culture dealt with in the harshest way. I would start by a strategic bombing of Iran’s entire energy industry, every Power plant, Pipeline, Refinery, Tank farm, and Tanker. These are all fragile soft targets that mostly destroy themselves once you light them up, and I wouldn’t stop bombing until they were all “On Foot and in the Dark”. As Islamics they didn’t develop any part of the civilization they enjoy, and clearly don’t deserve it. By using stealth and UAV’s no Americans need even be endangered. This demonstrated level of dominance and willingness to use it, would threaten every enemy we have, in particular the vulnerable Authoritarian oil producers. If you never use the Big Stick, your enemies will think you lack the strength to. In any case we should demand they adopt the US constitution in its entirety, and refuse to take the boot off their neck until they do.
“Messiah” is of course too strong a word to describe the poster girl for American exceptionalism. I doubt that Mrs. Palin would present herself in that frame; I even doubt that she intends to run for President anytime soon.
You are quite right about the Jacksonians, and the world would do well to understand how they react to what they consider existential threat. They don’t back down, they don’t submit, and they will go as far as necessary to make sure that their people survive. They are good to have as allies and bad to have as enemies.
Neither will they accept the idea that public affairs should be the exclusive domain of some segment on the intelligentsia. It is preposterous to think that they will somehow forget that the essence of democracy government is the right to vote on great matters. In a representative government, they cast their policy vote by choosing representatives who share their values and perspective. In the simplest terms, the voters are sovereign over the government. To allow the greatest matters to decided decided by a minority of “experts” (whether actual or soi-disant) in defiance of public opinion as expressed at the ballot box is courting disaster, because at that point you have made the greatest political right–the right to vote–a nullity. This right is what separates political citizens from non-citizens. The Jacksonians will not give up the substance of that right without a fight.
A. Don (a “researcher” in some area so special that it’s name may not be revealed, even whispered) it would be enlightening to all of us average people if you would explain (just a couple of sentences we all have short attention spans) how you self report scientific expertise yet your article lacks substantives or any verification of your sweeping generalizations. Someone less generous than myself might refer to them as mean-spirited smears.
I also wonder how you can accept that such degraded individuals even have the right to vote. Hmm, I hit on something there didn’t I?
Ah, yes, the “needed elites”. As in the elite assertion of anthorpomorphic warming perhaps? Save any further declarations in the area I beg you. Instead amuse and instruct us with your understanding of the scientific method. The method is simple so a man of your background should be able to do so in six sentences, ten at the outside and I assure you ‘we’ await your words, breath, bated.
Waiting, I am forced (the devil makes me do these things you understand) to mention eugenics: conceived by, promulgated and carried out by American ‘elites’. Some years ago I read that the Nazis asserted that they modeled some their laws in the area upon those of Wisconsin. Gag!!
Please, please respond. I haven’t had this much fun since we tipped over the preacher’s outhouse but for now its to bed so I might rise early and work at my craft, vulgar though it might be.
In other words, Mr. Mead approvingly notes that Palin’s followers will continue to be willing dupes (perhaps not dupes, see below, they watch their own backs) for the powers that be. The tea party newbies in Congress who backed 400 million dollar budget for Afghan infrastructure are a perfect example of this.
What Mead does not note, however, is the generational aspect of the cleft between the so-called Palinites and the Paulites. Paul’s mostly young followers realize that they are on the hook for the profligate ways of the US elites and Palin’s independent patriots, many of whom are recipients of various pension programs: Social Security, VA benefits, and Medicare. In other words, cut funding for US roads, schools in the US (we should destroy the Dept of Ed, btw, but not in order to free up more money for war-mongering “defense” corporations and foreign thugs, i.e. strategic partners and allies), pay for giant boondoggles abroad, and keep your hands off my Medicare.
Palin’s promise is the political philosophy of a group of easily frightened, greedy, elderly curmudgeons with a strong sense of entitlement thanks to 60 years of US government big-spending and semi-official agitprop telling these people how great they are. I’m old enough to remember people born in the 1880s and 1890s, they weren’t like the circa 1920-1965 crowd. They weren’t as narcissistic or as entitled. For them old age was a time of sitting in the corner and quiet reflection while they waited to die, not wheeling their medicare provided rascal scooters to Tea Party rallies. Could you imagine the first generation of Social Security recipients acting so cocky? Imperialism, Faux-populism and the New Deal have been the ruination of this country. And the Tea Party? Ron Paul can try to defend it, but it’s the Golden Girls meets Rambo, a maudlin plot brough to you by a corporation.
Palinites are favored to win because Jews own the media and control American minds. Also, Jewish money substantially funds both parties, and it’s certainly not going to Ron Paul, who opposes slavish devotion to Israel and AIPAC.
Peter @ 2, WRM’s historical and antecedent use of “Jacksonian” provides foundation to categorizing ideological beliefs, sentiments, points of view, and ideas held since 1830s by some Americans vis-a-vis U.S. domestic and international policy orientations. In using “Jacksonian”,WRM
infers neither denigration nor accusation but provides historical context to Americans identified as tea partiers, Paulites, Palinites, etc. Americans whose ideological roots(1830s)comprise biased accustomed social/economic arrangements modified via the American experiment; yet Peter, what must a contemporary American think about your use “Negro” and other “ad hominem” descriptions while proffering your point of view?
For Jacksonian Libertarian:
Please stop referring to yourself as a Libertarian in any shape or form. That was the most crypto-Fascist thing I’ve read in a while.