I read a lot of conservative blogs, some for their humor value, because the people writing them are so insane that they make me laugh; some so I can keep track of how serious these people are when they talk about a war on Christians even though, what, 80% of the country is Christian, or how the liberals run things in the country when the Republicans control all three branches of government and homosexuals still can't get married and South Dakota is telling women they aren't in control of their bodies; and some because they're truly scary.
And then there's T.
T. is conservative. T. pisses me off, because he posts very intelligent, articulate, interesting things and he always has something insightful and honest to say about it. He comments a lot over at Comics Should Be Good,
too, and he has very good thoughts about the heroic ideal and how DC and Marvel are killing it.
So why does he piss me off? Because he posts these really interesting things, and I disagree on almost every single thing he writes. It's bizarre. He seems like a nice guy, he obviously has a lot on his mind, he backs up his arguments - and I disagree with his opinions pretty much all the time
Like for instance, this post.
T. offers no commentary about the link (I'll get to that), but I have to assume, from his other posts and the fact that he doesn't rip this guy a new one, that he agrees with it. Then I read the article at the link and I almost rip out my own eyes in frustration.Here's the link.
Go read it; it's quite interesting. I'll wait.
This is a speech that was given in 2004 by Richard Lamm, the former governor of Colorado. He outlines eight methods on how to destroy America - "they" are working on it, according to Lamm. Who "they" are is unclear, but because it's a conservative, it doesn't matter - "they" are probably dope-smoking hippies who force Christian women to have abortions while they televise porn during the family hour on network shows as they sodomize each other and invite illegal immigrants into the country. Bastards!
Lamm says that first we need to turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual or bicultural country, because history shows that no country can long survive this horror. There are a lot of examples of countries that have failed at this, but I would like to point out that the Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire, two of the most successful states in world history, were multi-lingual and multi-cultural.
Second, "they" invent multi-culturalism and claim that all cultures are equal. Then he says that "they" say there are no cultural differences and that minority dropout rates are solely because of discrimination and any other explanation is verboten
. Do you like what he does there? "All cultures are equal" and "there are no cultural differences" are not antonyms - not necessarily. What conservatives want to do is claim that white American culture is better
than any other culture, not different. Of course cultures are different, but "equal" is a loaded term, because it implies a scale of goodness and badness. All cultures are equal in that no one culture is better than any other. Every "culture" has horrible things that should be eradicated from it. White American culture thinks tying gay people to fence posts and beating them to death is okay. White American culture thinks that if you're not Christian it's okay to kill you. White American culture celebrates movie stars, athletes, and performing artists over teachers, scientists, and doctors. Are these things okay? Maybe Lamm thinks so. "Culture" by itself has no value judgment attached to it. So saying that "they" encourage immigrants to maintain their culture is not a bad or a good thing - it's neutral. Lamm, like Lou Dobbs, must want to end all St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Can't have those damned Irish immigrants maintaining their popish culture!
Lamm also says that if we encourage all these various cultures to keep their own languages and that if we emphasize our differences rather than our similarities, that will destroy America. I hate to tell Mr. Lamm, but Americans have never assimilated people very well. Any immigrant group that came here did not necessarily give up their culture of their own accord - they were brutalized until they did. Lamm mentions this, and thinks it's a damned fine idea. Lynchings of Mexicans will commence until they start speaking English, damn it! Sure, the other groups assimilated eventually, but it took a while. Lamm wants it done today!
His fourth point pisses me off to no end, considering I used to teach. He thinks that in order to destroy America, "they" should make our fastest growing demographic our least educated and create a second underclass of "unassimilated, uneducated, and antagonistic to our population." "They" would then have that underclass achieve a 50% dropout rate from high school. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - achievement in school takes a commitment from the federal government, the state government, the local government, the community, the parents, the administration, the teachers, and the students that we simply do not have. Don't simply blame the students. When the damned liberals and their hippie ways take over our government, blame them. Right now, I blame the ruling party - the idiot conservatives. My students were no more antagonistic toward the United States than any other angry, pissed-off teenagers are. They were far more antagonistic toward authority figures, because they were kids. And those authority figures were failing them.
He moves on to the culture of the "victim," and that we should teach minorities that it's not their fault that they're kept down, that it's the fault of the majority. I get so angry at people who think that there is nothing keeping blacks and Hispanics from achieving. It's the same thing with Barry Bonds - there's no failed drug test, but everyone knows he used steroids. There is very little institutional racism anymore, because it's against the law. What's not against the law is a cop pulling over a Hispanic kid for speeding instead of an older white man. He has to choose, right? There are plenty of people speeding on the freeway, and who should he choose? Of course there is prejudice and discrimination in our society, and of course it's leveled against minorities. I used to ask my kids (the good ones, that is) if they ever shoplifted. They said no, and for the most part, I believed them. I then asked them what they had to do with their backpacks when they went into 7-11, and they answered without hesitating, "Leave them outside." That's discrimination, because they were teenagers. To say that discrimination doesn't exist is idiotic. Of course it's not an excuse, and I would hope that my students would work hard and prove the racists wrong. But it's there. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away.
Lamm then claims that "they" want to celebrate diversity over unity (anyone else notice a theme?) and stress differences rather than similarities. He again claims that no society in history has been successful when celebrating differences rather than unity and that people who celebrate diversity end up killing each other. Well, yeah, but a lot of cultures that were united failed too. Where's the condemnation of unity that brought about Hitler's Germany? Pol Pot's Cambodia? Stalin's Russia? We can go back further into the past, but those three societies were pretty damned culturally united, and that didn't stop them from slaughtering everyone who disagreed with them. Again, I'm not trying to make the point that one culture is better than another. It's all about how you live in that culture and how you interact with each other. Al-Andalus, the Muslim regime in Spain, lasted more or less 700 years, and they welcomed other cultures to share what they had. I know we're not supposed to praise anything those filthy Muslims achieved, but that state lasted longer than the United States has, and they were pretty culturally diverse.
"They," of course, must then censor any talk about this "problem." Anyone who brought it up would be labeled a racist and a xenophobe and "they" would make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. Again, where do we place the blame for that? At the feet of our federal government, which is run by conservatives. Lamm finishes by saying he would censor Victor Davis Hanson's book Mexifornia,
which is apparently about immigration reform. I haven't read it, so I can't speak about it, but apparently banning The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
wouldn't destroy American, but banning this book would.
This kind of idiotic shit makes me angry, because I doubt if Lamm is, actually, an idiot. Have you ever noticed that the things that are destroying America are the things that one person just doesn't like? Other things that could have destroyed America: giving blacks equal rights, giving women the right to vote, demon alcohol, television (TV is still working on it, so give it time), electing a Catholic president, allowing American citizens of Japanese descent to wander around during World War II, and the Democratic-Republicans of Thomas Jefferson during the 1790s. Oh dear Lord, the horror!
Here's what I think is far more likely to destroy "America" as we know it than "celebrating diversity": Apocalyptic Christians hell-bent on converting everyone to their own brand of Christianity before the Rapture comes; giving a president dictatorial powers and allowing him to continue with them even after it becomes clear that it's a bad idea; making sure that women are once again second-class citizens; ignoring science that says we're killing the planet in favor of accumulating more insignificant green pieces of paper; allowing companies to merge into super-companies, thereby ruining our free-market economy, which was one of the things that made us "great" in the first place.
I'm sure I've missed some things, but the point is that I think those things are a lot more significant than the fact that a bunch of Mexicans don't want to learn English. Listen, countries fail. They always have and they always will. One of my favorite authors, Robert Kaplan
(a conservative, by the way), wrote in An Empire Wilderness
that he wouldn't be surprised if the U.S. fell apart quite soon. He made the point that Portland and Seattle have much more in common with Vancouver than they do with the rest of the country, and that it would be logical for the Northwest and the west coast of Canada to combine to create a state that was much more Pacific Rim than North American. The point is not that we need to keep the United States together at all costs, but that we need to reach for the ideals of the Constitution at all costs. That doesn't necessarily jive with keeping the country together. The ideals of equality among men is an eternal concept, while the U.S. is an ethereal thing.
People like Lamm make me angry not because I disagree with him, but because he presents his arguments in such apocalyptic terms. We disagree - fine. But how can you debate someone who uses this kind of language? It's the same thing on the left, and I agree with Lamm on that point - how can you debate immigration reform with someone who simply calls you a racist? But in condemning this, Lamm falls into the same trap, and all debate is squashed. It's a shame.
T. is black, by the way. Or at least I'm pretty sure he is. I seem to remember him mentioning it once. I would LOVE to see him do a post on racism and what he thinks about it. I'm sure I'd disagree, but at least it would be thought-provoking!
Labels: Americana, Culture, Education ranting, Illegal immigration, Politics, Religion