Update on America and on the World

Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary by a big margin. I know that’s only South Carolina, perhaps the most conservative state. Still, that’s a major rebuke to serious candidate Romney. The speeches both gave after Gingrich won delineate clearly two major paths for the Republican Party. Romney’s speech was colorless, odorless, rich in platitudes. It was the kind of speech unfairly associated with “moderates” who deserve better.

Gingrich spoke incisively, precisely about what agitates conservatives like me who are not born- again-Christians nor any of the other stereotypes the liberal press has invented. We want a smaller government that’s not wasteful and that does not get us into debt for two  generations to come. Gingrich’s speech was well received for another reason: It spoke of simple pride in America, not of imperial pride, not of a wish to dominate, not of hubris but of simple dignity.

There is a pervasive feeling that we lost our national dignity during the three -year Obama presidency. It was not all his fault. Certainly, a major contributor is our large national debt that was already too large when he took office. However, it’s fair to charge Obama for this loss of dignity because he told us repeatedly that America should become a smaller, more ordinary country, and it has. If you tell Mom in anger, ” I wish you died” and she dies, don’t be surprised if your brothers are angry at you. And, President Obama, whose middle name is  still Hussein, bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, the grandchild of camel thieves who happens to have captured a lot of oil.

Gingrich’s rise will pose a problem for  conservative rationalists like me. On the one hand, his vision of American and of the world is mine. On the other hand, I don’t trust his temperament. It’s not the accusations of a bitter ex-wife that bother me. It’s the undisputed report that he has a half-million line of credit for jewelry. Why, I ask?

Ron Paul had an honorable showing, as usual. I keep asking his obviously sincere supporters to assure me that they are assured themselves that he is not preparing a third-party campaign, a sort of  “me or Obama” blackmail. I know a fair number of Paulistas. Some have heard my appeal. None has volunteered.

For the rest of the world, it’s simple. Europe continues to fall apart in a predictable manner and for predictable reasons. I can’t imagine what would stop the decline. The problem is that the continent mostly provides a comfortable life. The long-term unemployed will receive their welfare checks until the very moment when there is no money left at all in the till. I have been following the preliminaries to the French national elections on television. There is no sense of crisis dramatic enough to induce the desperate actions that are needed there. If you replayed the 1990s election tapes, I am not sure how many would notice. I spy on my young French nieces and nephews and on their friends via Facebook. At 25, most  don’t seem to think they will ever have to make a living. Of the ten or twelve I encounter on Facebook regularly, only one is acting like a go-getter. I knew her when she was fourteen. She was already exceptionally enterprising then.

Elsewhere, Islamists have been busy.  (I say, “Islamists.” That means  those who militantly want to expand the Muslim religion into the political sphere.) Egyptian Islamists took the revolution from the hands of the secular democrats who started it. They seem to have done it fair and square. No more gauche military tyranny there, it seems. Instead they may or may not establish something familiar to inhabitants of Christian countries: fourteenth century religious despotism. Unlike us then though, they will not burn people at the stake for their ideas. Rather, they will stone women to death for having sex outside of marriage. (That would reduce the female population of Santa Cruz by 4/5, at least.) In Tunisia, Islamists have won too.  A Tunisian acquaintance of mine just returned from a visit to his homeland reports that his mother said to him,” I did not know we had people like that in this country.” The man himself, I caught just as he was back, seems both perplexed and shaken by what he saw.

In Nigeria, Islamists are massacring  Christians. Elsewhere in the world, in Iraq, in Pakistan, Islamists are slaughtering other Muslims. Let’s be fair: Islamists almost always assassinate more Muslims than they kill anyone else. I don’t want to be labeled an “Islamophobe.”  So, I keep waiting for a Muslim organization with some credentials to show me the error of my simple perceptions.  I would pay attention if I found even a single sincere Muslim, also with credentials, to correct me. I am waiting for this to happen too. And waiting, and waiting.



About Jacques Delacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
This entry was posted in Cultural Studies, Current Events, Socio-Political Essays. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Update on America and on the World

  1. Michael Morrison says:

    Mostly all I want to say is “Excellent!”
    But I will also say that Ron Paul has been pretty firm in saying he will not run as an independent or “third-party” candidate.
    Republican presidential primary drop-out Gary Johnson, former two-term (and very successful) governor of enchanting New Mexico, is working hard now to win the Libertarian Party nomination, so I think — and I am by no means any kind of expert or authority — that pretty well precludes a Ron Paul effort there.
    After New Gingrich’s marvelous taking down of that oafish John King several notches, I have pondered the Republicans’ creating a “dream team” of Ron Paul for president and Newt Gingrich for VP. That would be in the tradition of “high road and low road,” that is, the presidential candidate would stick to principles, philosophy, ideas, and the veep candidate would sock it to the Democrats.
    Well, as the song says, “I can dream, can’t I?”

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Good clarification, Michael. Thank you. And, yes, you can dream.
      Although his ideas not related to foreign policies (plural) are the same as mine, I would not vote for Paul for President. That’s because I think he is cracked. I don’t know why other reasonable people don’t see it. I expect he would be a worse disaster for American than Obama who has, at least, the merit of selfishness.

  2. Terry Amburgey says:

    “There is a pervasive feeling that we lost our national dignity during the three -year Obama presidency”. Only among Obama-haters. In the rest of the world there is a pervasive feeling that we lost our national dignity during the 8 year nightmare of Bush and the neocons. Tally up the national debt and which party was in charge [spending lika a drunken sailor on a binge] and get back to us. Bonus question: which party put together the bank bailout [aka toxic asset relief program]? Republicans talking about spending restraint is like Heidi Fleiss talking about chastity.

  3. jacquesdelacroix says:

    There isn’t much point in responding to most of what you say, Terry. That’s not because it’s worthless. On the contrary, it’s exemplary. I would need several pages to answer well going over territory most of which if familiar to most people coming on this blog. Feel free to develop here. To answer your deadly question: The first bailout was put together by the Bush administration.

    I have a question myself that should be easy to answer, that should not take much space:

    What do you mean by “Obama hater”? Is this like “Bush hater”? I ask because I hardly ever come across expressions of hostility against Obama, the person (and I listen to Rush Limbaugh). I hear many times a day the sentiment that Obama is a disastrous president. That does not necessarily correspond to hatred. It was the same with Carter and few hated him. In both cases, we have gross incompetence in the pursuit of goals alien to this society. That’s pathetic, not deserving of hatred.

    Or do you mean something else? Are you using “Obama hater” as a code for something else? Please, look a little into your heart before you answer.

    PS I, personally do not hate Obama; I hardly even dislike him. I wish him well. I hope he soon gets a job as Ambassador at Large for the Greater Chicago Greater Metropolitan Area.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Your obsessions are a little strange.

      Just out of curiosity, what’s your military budget source. I am not arguing against it, just curious.

      I am glad you noticed Paul’s babbling. I think it’s because he lives in an imaginary world. See the minorities military casualties, as one recent example.

  4. Terry Amburgey says:

    “What do you mean by “Obama hater”? Is this like “Bush hater”?” Yes. there were [and still are] people with a visceral hatred of George W. Bush that had/has nothing to do with any particular policy or decision. I’m a convert. I liked the notion of a compassionate conservative as a president. A uniter. I voted for Bush with some relief after 8 years [with good economic outcomes] with the perjurer-in-chief. Then I realized that the neocon lies were more frequent and more consequential, just not under oath [with the exception of Scooter Libby].

  5. Terry Amburgey says:

    Le silence est un aveu

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Terry:It’s not a confession except of being busy elsewhere.

      You raised the issue of Pres. Bush’s effect on the US reputation on the rest of the world. You seem to take it for granted that it was terrible. I am sorry but this is yesterday’s episode. Everyone has made up his mind, at least for the next twenty years. There is not much point in beating that dead horse all over again, I think.

      I note that you seem to be thinking in terms of love for the US. For me and for many other conservatives, love is small part, a very small part of the matter. I don’t expect the Red Chinese mafia to love us. I hope they think and will keep thinking that when you kill Americans, bad things are likely to happen to you.

  6. Bruce says:

    It’s time to get onboard for Newt. As a Florida resident that’s just what I plan on doing a week from now. Obama needs to have his buttocks spanked on national television for the whole country to see and the Newtster is just the guy for the job. How refreshing will it be to have a thinker in the White House who loves America. I know to some Obama is the best president since Jimmy Carter, and my comments might offend them. I refuse to apologize. That’s exactly what excites me about Speaker Gingrich, he refuses to apologize for America’s greatnesss. Bless his heart. Mitt is too soft. Santorum never got any traction. Paul would have been an excellent choice, a hundred years ago or so. I like the fact that Newt has had some issues with the women in his life because I have as well. I think the ex-wife stuff blew up in the main-stream media’s face. Instead of putting a new spin on some old news, it was no spin on a woman scorned and he hit it out of the park. Oh yes, thank you Bill Clinton, you did more to undermine the radical feminist movement than any Republican could have dreamed of doing.
    As far as the financial dealings Newt had after he left elected office, good for him. When we start telling people how much they can earn in the private sector we start sounding like Obama (the class warfare kid). By the way, all those charges against him in the Congress were dropped, so I don’t want to hear about them. Thanks again to Bill (where did my license to practice law go?) Clinton. It’s time for a change in America, Newt is the man! Time to relieve the Commie-Bama and Michelle Antoinette and get a real man in the chair. Take Michele’s mom too!

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Bruce: Plus, in three years, Obama still did not buy his brother in Kenya a flush toilet!

      I had forgotten the final disposition of congressional charges against Gingrich. Please, give me the reference if you have it.

      You are right about the ex-wife. It’s getting so that if you are a male politician and there is no angry woman anywhere in your past, you will be suspected of being a closet homosexual.

  7. Bruce says:

    The House Ethics Committee had it in for Newt and charged him with 84 violations in shotgun fashion to see if any would stick. 83 were dropped entirely. They had to settle with having one to reprimand him. He had claimed tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes. That cost him $300K. As far as I’m concerned, it was just a witch hunt. I wish Romney would not give Pelosi any traction for bringing up this old news, but he will clearly do whatever it takes to win the nomination.

  8. Bruce says:

    IRS Clears Foundation That Aidid Gingrich Course, Associated Press, Thursday, February 4, 1999; Page A05.

  9. Michael Morrison says:

    Newt Gingrich labeled Bob Dole “the tax collector for the welfare state,” but borrowed the $300,000 to pay that “assessment” — it wasn’t a fine; it was alleged to be to pay the costs of the kangaroo court — from Bob Dole.
    Gingrich himself went on to be the tax collector for the welfare state.
    Recently a book has been published with a lot of quotes from Gingrich attacking Ronald Reagan, the very same man he now claims to be the clone of or at least heir to.
    Political rule almost number 1: Don’t trust Newt Gingrich.

  10. Pingback: Update on America and on the World « Notes On Liberty

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