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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Alienation


    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar
    
    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
    
    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us-if at all-not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.

       -TS Eliot


It's a strange environment. Coming to the realization that all the things that are wrong with our country are now the norm puts one into a state of alienation unlike ever before. The notion that we are a free people is destroyed by our inability to choose our own healthcare and insurance in a free market that offers choices. It's destroyed by anvils of regulations that sit on American businesses and energy producers. Even the banking system has changed beyond recognition with capital being choked off by the burdensome rules placed on it by our ever growing government.

Where am I? I don't even recognize the place anymore.

I saw America under Ronald Reagan. It was the beautiful shining city on a hill that we all hear about. My philosophy is based in the endless optimism and the gleaming infrastructure of a country that was moving from the post war era into an era of unprecedented prosperity. Applying that philosophy to what we have today ended last night with the re-election of President Obama.

We've gone from shining city to trailer park. We've gone from the land of abundance to the hood. We look more like Detroit than we do Manhattan. I don't even recognize the country anymore.

The decaying future ahead will require adjustments on my part. Having been accustomed to driving on a smoothly paved three lane highway, I will need to learn to drive on narrow cobblestone roads. Adjusting my approach to life doesn't mean adjusting my values or core convictions; it just means adjusting how I actually navigate outside of my own mind and soul when interacting with the rest of a nation as we begin our journey into the thousand years of darkness that Ronald Reagan warned us about.

This means recognizing incompetence, selfishness and the common denominator mentality as the new norm. The idea of self reliance, free enterprise and family values have gone the way of the horse and buggy. We live in the new world that accepts mediocrity. The sheep are sheep no more. They are now pigs.

It's normal to see everyone using EBT cards at supermarkets as they hold up the line while they try to keep their children - many of whom were born out of wedlock - under control or because they are kibbitzing with the checkout clerk (oblivious to the growing line behind them - "I'm here to get what's mine, what I'm entitled to.").

It's normal to see people closing up businesses and feeling no shame in their failure. The government that takes care of all of our needs also takes care of all of our excuses. It's okay, you can go on food stamps, too.

Less people work today than four years ago. Population growth doesn't mean more people working. It just means more people on the dole. Obama's giving us free phones! Obama's paying for our education! Obama is feeding us, clothing us, wiping our asses for us. We don't have to worry anymore. This is hope and change! There is no decency anymore.

James Lewis at American Thinker sums it up best:
No -- the balance of decency in America has changed. Every society has normal, decent people and the other kind. The America we grew up in was fundamentally decent. Decency was the expected standard.
Now the balance has changed.
The evidence for our sleazified culture can be seen all around. It is in our pop music, which has lost melody and now just has rhythm. We have a President who won on revenge against middle class values. That's what he meant by telling his people to vote for revenge. And they did -- showing us exactly who they are.
We are now a society divided between the makers and the takers, and the takers are on a campaign of theft and revenge.
Yesterday, 60,652,149 Americans raided the treasury by pressing a button, pulling a lever or punching a chad. Getting handouts used to require paper work and trips to the Department of Social Services. Now, it simply requires going to the polls and voting Democrat.

We all know how this movie ends. As our debt continues to pile up and the producers no longer have the incentive to produce, we will run out of other people's money. When that time comes, I dare a liberal to get in my face and blame it on George W. Bush. It won't even be Obama's fault. It will be the electorate's fault. For it is in the election results that the dumbing down of America has manifested itself.

Selwyn Duke at American Thinker explains:
But let's start with a simple fact: Mitt Romney is a photogenic, articulate, moderate Republican who was up against a scandal-ridden, leftist radical presiding over a listing economy and foundering foreign policy. Still he couldn't win. 
Or, I should say, voters chose to lose.
Because what the American people were before, they are no more.
I know, I know. The media deceived the citizenry. Romney started playing not to lose instead of to win. There was vote fraud. There was that storm and Chris Christie playing Misty for Mr. Limp Wristy.
Rationalization.
Oh, it's not that the above isn't true. But no candidate is tactically perfect; Obama certainly made his share of mistakes. There also will inevitably be unforeseen events during any campaign, and they don't matter when enough people can distinguish good from evil. And the left does steal hearts and minds through the media and votes through electoral sleight-of-hand, but this merely reflects our cultural decay. And it's only getting worse.
America has changed. Not only have the demographics changed, but over the course of the last several decades, the progressive movement has gained their foothold. Taking the country required generations of indoctrination (read the article). You'd have to think that even Ronald Reagan couldn't win in today's America. If we can't elect a "normal" candidate over a radical socialist, it says something about our country.

This is not pessimism. This is reality.

As optimists, we believed that four years of Tea Party politics, Breitbart journalism and the proliferation of conservative new media could trump over 50 years of progressive infiltration into our media, our academia and our pop culture. We are still right to use their playbook in taking it back. We were just wrong about the time frame. It will take decades, probably centuries to undo what has been done to this country - and this is assuming we don't collapse, Balkanize or go the way of Ancient Rome before then.

Conservatism is not dead. It's just going to require a different approach to getting it back into the governing philosophy of our nation. We must move ethnic groups to stop the group thinking and begin to question philosophy individually. There is no way you can convince me that 93% of black people all think alike. The same goes for the Hispanic and Jewish vote. We need to encourage them to stop falling into the trap of group think and start getting people to think for themselves so they can treat themselves not as a member of a racial group but as a member of a diverse country instead.

But the task gets even more laborious. Can we ever reverse the decline in decency? What is it going to take to clean up our cultural sewer?

The proliferation of conservatism is not about having more white people in the electorate. It's a much more daunting task. Four years ago it was about teaching sheep to be sheep no more. Today and into the future, it will require teaching pigs how to not be pigs. Taking away an Obama phone and food stamps from a spoiled voter will not endear them to you. It will only be when they run out of money because the economy has collapsed that they will join those of us who have already been financially devastated by the destruction of the capitalist system. Only then, will we be able to get them to understand what we are saying.

Therein lies the rub. By not taking our medicine and suffering the pain that was masked by the methadone of bailouts and stimulus four years ago, we will all die a political, economic and cultural death at the hands of the cirrhosis of our financial liver that could have been avoided had we gone cold turkey in 2009 and 2010 and rode out the sweats and the shaking.

But we are not like the greatest generation. They sacrificed their lives for us in Europe and Asia in order to save our country. Today's Americans couldn't even sacrifice a few big screen TVs or phones with gadgets on them to bite the financial bullet for the few short years necessary to reset our economy. Instead they wanted more. They pulled up to the trough of government and gouged themselves when we needed restraint the most. All of us, Republicans sooner and Democrats later, will pay for the inability of the American people to look past the novelty and culturally exciting prospect of having Obama as president. 

The American people showed us yesterday by their votes that collectively we are slobs.

Just as T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men" ends with a whimper instead of a bang and just as "The Waste Land" ends with a man sitting on the shore coming to peace with the emptiness around him, we now must come to terms with our own lives and the future of our country. It's not like wealth and abundance is on the map anymore. Even normalcy may now be a pipe dream. From here forward, we navigate the new normal. Like domesticated animals thrown into the wild, we will have a hard time at first. Co-existing in the jungle of a liberal America with its overwhelmingly massive government and maze of bureaucracies will not be easy. But survival often isn't.

Life is not about comfort. It's about holding on. It's about survival. 

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