Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rush Limbaugh Gets It

Right now the Republican Party is in one of its quadrennial cringes over its relevance and its outreach to minorities and women.  Republicans need to be more understanding about women's issues, about immigration, and about gay marriage.  But Rush Limbaugh pointed out yesterday that this outreach is a losing proposition. Because liberals will always come up with another issue to make conservatives and Republicans look like unfeeling monsters. Take gay marriage, he suggests.
What is it that's going on?  Well, same-sex marriage, homosexual marriage is just the latest way to portray Republicans as oppressors.  After they get same-sex marriage, it will be on to something else.  They always have to have a cause that is liberation related and it's the Republicans who are the oppressors.
Exactly.  Liberation from oppression is what leftist politics is all about.  It needs two things.  It needs a minority population suffering from oppression and it needs an unfeeling or hostile Republican Party or conservative movement to serve as the oppressors.

And if Republicans and conservatives think they will escape their troubles by conceding on the oppression causes du jour they are mistaken.  Democrats will always come up with a new one.

We need to understand the game.  There are two responses to the existential sorrows of the modern age.  One of them is the idea of freedom to break the chains of ruling class oppression.  It is the idea that responsible individuals, acting in the world, are the antidote to the injustice of government domination.

The other response is the idea of liberation from ruling class oppression.  It is the idea that an avant garde movement can liberate people from their chains and lead them to the Promised Land.  But have you noticed, says Rush, what leftist liberation leads to?
But have you ever noticed all of the left's solutions for more freedom always involve us giving to government more control over our lives.  We always end up expanding government.  We always end up giving up a little freedom in order to be liberated by the left. 
 I like to present the modern predicament as the battle between the People of the Responsible Self and the People of the Marginalized Self.  The Responsible Self is a chap who wants to live in responsible freedom, living free of government compulsion, but doing the right thing for himself and his family, his neighborhood, his city, his country.  The Marginalized Self is someone who is "owed" and oppressed.

You can see that the beauty of the Responsible Self is that it assumes that people can be trusted to do the right thing.  It doesn't require extraordinary government powers to right the wrongs of the world.

But the problems of the Marginalized Self can only be solved by big government.

When Republicans are playing defense on gay marriage, on immigration, on the "war on women" they are in retreat.  To turn things around Republicans need to be playing offense, on guns, on government corruption, on deficits, on taxes, on the war on the unborn, on government bullying from fatty foods to global warming to financial regulation.  In other words, Republicans need to be playing the game of the Responsible Self, not the game of the Marginalized Self.

The great injustice of the modern age is its ruthless discipline.  Your medieval serf, oppressed though he might be, could order his life as he chose.  But today we are all the abject subjects of industrial discipline, bureaucratic discipline, regulatory discipline, and subject to a thousand criminal laws of which we know next to nothing.

If freedom or liberation means anything, it surely must mean freedom and liberation from the whip of the disciplinary overseer, that lashes us to work in our subordinate jobs, that channels and directs us on the street and in the airport, and that taxes and regulates us to a fare thee well.

Maybe the People of the Responsible Self can get together with the People of the Marginalized Self to do something about the ruthless and oppressive discipline to which every person in this modern age is cruelly yoked.

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