Friday, November 07, 2008
  Nouveaux CCC



Author: It's obvious that McCain replicates Hoover, right down to the "Sound Fundamentals Of Our Economy" crap. But does Obama replicate Roosevelt? What do you think?

Polistra: Well, I was only visiting in '39, so I can't really tell how Mr Roosevelt looked in '32 when he was first elected. But I think Obama has a lot of the same raw material. He speaks in plain terms, stays in contact with reality and seems to understand the needs of the people. And right now he's proposing something like CCC. I looked closely at the CCC, and liked what I saw.

Author: I've been scanning through conservative blogs, and they're all showing a mindless allergic reaction to the idea, saying things like this: "When President Obama and company advertise volunteer service as an option equally as patriotic as military service — and make the goodies comparable — who will be left to defend our nation?"

Pol: If young people don't feel that the nation is worth defending, they won't join the military anyway. CCC did three important things in the '30s. First, it kept families from starving. A starving country isn't a patriotic country. Second, it gave young men a sense of dignity and usefulness, which was directly tied to helping the country. They were thus invested in the country as a whole, felt like it was built by their own hands. Which it was. We're still using their parks, dams and buildings. And third, it gave those young men the same sort of discipline and training that they could have gotten from the military.

Author: Well, we're not starving in large numbers now ... yet ... but we certainly have a lot of disconnected young men.

Pol: And they could acquire the same things from a modern version of CCC. Since black youngsters are the most disconnected of all, Obama has a unique chance to connect them, to bring them back into the national fold.

Author: Makes sense. You know, these bloggers are really missing one of the basic points of the conservative mindset. Conservatives are supposed to be the ones who start with human nature as it stands, while lefties are supposed to be the ones who see humans as an infinitely moldable blob of plastic. These conservatives think people ought to be loyal, and anyone who isn't loyal must be some kind of weirdo loser. They can't begin to understand the motives of normal people.


Pol: Look, those aren't conservatives by any meaningful definition anyway. They're whiny rich metrosexual New Yorkers who don't want to pay taxes. They're only loyal to the world of stocks and bonds, not to the world of nuts and bolts. The world of nuts and bolts has been drowning for twenty years, but they didn't notice until it rose to the level of their hedge funds. Suddenly they have a reason to feel insecure and disloyal, but the rest of us have been insecure for a long time now.

Author: To make it worse, the Brand-R establishment is holding these grand soul-searching sessions where they try to figure out where to go next. Their biggest idea is: "The conservative movement will become the opposition to Obama."

Pol: Not much of an idea, is it? Alf Landon tried that in '36 and lost everything but Kansas. There's nothing magic about small government, and anyway small government isn't what Bush gave us. He gave us a monstrous government that devours our real economy and generously feeds it to China and Arabia. If you're patriotic at this point, you do whatever's needed to bring the people back into a sense of security. Show the people that their work and their taxes are serving a purpose here, dammit. Not making a handful of bloated cigar-sucking Jewish bankers even richer, not making filthy Arab sheiks even richer. And if Obama's charisma plus Clinton's economic advisors can start to close the circle, help keep our work and money at home, then patriotism means helping Obama. It definitely doesn't mean advancing a set of ideas that the people associate --- correctly or not --- with our current disastrous situation. Frankly, if the brand-R bathhouse wants to come back to life, they need to worry about character before they start thinking about ideas. They need to eject from the House and Senate all of the old filth, all the Wall Street slaves, all the blackmailable secret homosexuals, and replace them with clean people. Granted, that will leave only a handful of the existing members in place, but it's the only way to move forward. The people aren't going to listen to any ideas until they feel that the party isn't a San Francisco Treat.

Author: Yup. But if it turns out that Obama is only continuing to enrich the Wall Street criminals, then patriotism will mean opposing him.

Pol: Aahhmm, maybe. If the opposition amounts to nothing more than good old "Zip Zero Nada Taxes", then it's a complete waste. But if the opposition actually aims to restore the real economy, then it will be wise and necessary. For instance, the congressmen of both parties who bravely said Hell No to the Goldman Coup, if they can form a sort of shadow government to oppose the criminals who lead both parties, then the opposition would be meaningful.

Author: Something like secession?

Pol: Yes.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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