Wednesday, November 03, 2004

It begins...

Yes, everybody's favorite prudish ethicist says that we've entered, quoting Tom Wolfe, "The Great Relearning" that will rebuild our society. Bennett took delight in a marijuana decriminalization law's failure in libertarian-leaning Alaska. He proudly proclaimed that Church-going African Americans are angered by people who think that same sex unions are a civil right and he lauded the 11 states who seem to agree. He wrote, I'm guessing with a straight face, that George Bush "restored honor and dignity to the White House."

Bennett claims Bush has a mandate. A lot of people on the right will be claiming a mandate. Heck, they claimed it in 2000, so why not now? Bennett is unclear about what he wants, exactly to do with this mandate. His implication is that he wants to use Washington and the courts to legislate his brand of morality. He believes it will create a "long, cultural renewal."

That America needs cultural renewal is one of the points I'll grant Bennett. But it doesn't work the way he thinks it does. Bennett wants to regress and stagnate. Culture's only grow, however, through the power of radical ideas that empower an (obviously metaphorical) creative destruction.

To end this on an optimistic note, it is possible that this cultural rebellion from the right is just the last gasp of some old, faded ideas. We can hope. But most of all, we'll have to argue them on every point.

2 Comments:

At 6:20 PM , Blogger tifanie said...

Oh, my friend, I am glad you can still hold hope at this moment. Pessimist that I am, I fear that the "right" is mightier than ever, or at least Diebold controlled voting machines make it seem so. It appears that we have several distinct moral countries within America, but does the left have the energy for a civil war, or even to oppose the loss of civil liberties with a Republican President, Senate, Congress and soon to be Supreme Court in place?

scared

 
At 11:14 AM , Blogger Jessie said...

I think this is the part when Gandolf dies and we all look back in shock and awe waiting for him to reappear only to slowly realize that his might and magic really really failed this time. But as memory serves, the wizard reappears and we love him all the more and good prevails. No, I'm not trying to be flip and compare a confusing reality to mythology but I think Mike makes a good point - we're reeling from definitve cultural events and it's up to the fellowship to journey on believing only the best.

 

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