Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ambition, Not Ideology

Because I am fundamentally unserious:
My opinions of U.S. foreign policy, especially in the most recent Iraq war, are nuanced. It is my staunch belief that no nation ever benefitted from military defeat and that the unquestioned invincibility of American arms ought to be the greatest security of our peace. Yet it is also my belief that Falkland's great conservative dictum -- "When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change" -- might also be applied to Arab despotisms. If we wish to overthrow vicious dictatorships, why not begin 90 miles from Key West? Cuba is an island, our Navy is up to the task, the Marines are ready, and such of the occupation troops as were not content drinking rum and Coca-Cola with the local jiniteras could take their weekend R&R passes in Miami.
Free the Cohibas! (What are you, some kind of un-American?)
The reader apprehends at once that it has never been my aspiration to be a "senior policy adviser" to any candidate, nor do I aspire to a Cabinet post or a think-tank fellowship. Je suis un journaliste, if I may be permitted what Dreher calls "faggy French." Others, alas, are not content merely to write for a living, but fancy themselves called to much higher avocations. It is this factor of ambition, not ideology, which accounts for the attacks of Dreher and Frum against Levin, and also against Rush Limbaugh. . . .
Read the whole thing, and keep one ear open for the sound of laughter.


  1. It may be true, but as Marc Antony pointed out back in the day, just because people say you're ambitious doesn't mean you're wrong.

  2. It has been made clear to me that my favorite writers are not over-educated Ivory Tower types - they've actually held jobs in the world most of the rest of us inhabit.

    It shows. Thanks.

    ps - my best friend is from Rome, Georgia!

  3. Link doesn't seem to be working.

  4. Here is a better link

    Great piece. I am also happy to see the phony conservative elite declining, but what we really need to do is work on putting something better in its place, where real conservatism reigns again.

  5. Just because you've worked in a warehouse or have come from a small town, that doesn't make you any more righteous or morally elevated than someone who has not been placed in those environments.

    I grew up in a small town and have never lived in a city larger than Anchorage, Alaska, so let's just say that my view of small town folk--the regular, authentic, "salt-of-the-earth" types--is, well, nuanced. The elevation of the so called hard-working, "common man" from small town America is tiring. It also has a Marxist flare to it, which is just creepy when it comes from right-wingers.

  6. I agree with Cody. I'm a small towner, an exurbanite born and bred. I work construction and landscaping with other Main Street style lower middle/middle middle classers. Have to say, Mr. Ordinary American tends to bore or annoy.

    Me, I'm an anti-populist I. know the little guy well enough, but he doesn't spark anything with in. To hell with that Working Class Hero nonsense. And, as Cody noted, the Right's fetishization of the masses is frighteningly leftist in both tone and substance.

    Although . . . I've no affection for the cosmopolitan elite, either. Guess, really, that I don't much care for anyone besides my friend and family. I'm a small country patriot. My republic is neighborhood-size. My compatriots are blood and buddies.


  7. The two visitors don't seem to understand what RSM's talking about. What you two dorks don't get is that however bad the small town jerks are, the elitist Ivy League jerks are ten times worse! It's because they have been given power without earning it, merely because they punched the right tickets when they went through high school, college, and their first couple of jobs.