Saturday, June 07, 2008

Let’s Organize Our Hatreds, Shall We?

From the Virginia blog, Tertium Quids, here is a short explanation of American Conservatism and why political parties even exist at all.

I’ve read that quote from Adams many times and never seem to retain it. Perhaps this time I will.

Note: American readers will get the references (though I don’t understand the introduction since they are referring to a TV show), but European readers may get a sense of the flavor of U.S. political discussions, even if the particulars are murky.



[post ends here]

9 comments:

The Average Joe said...

For our European friends, Steven Colbert is a clown who parodies conservative views in America.

George Will is a long standing conservative commentator and columnist.

In this exchange George Will hands Colbert his own head.

To his credit Colbert recognizes Will as "a formidable opponent." This is the closest any liberal will come to admitting that he has just got his a$$ kicked in a debate.

Dymphna said...

Average Joe --

Thanks a lot for being willing to provide the context that I could not. I realized that Colbert was being sneakily snarky, but I hadn't a clue who he was.

What ever is that red plastic bracelet on his wrist supposed to be showing Colbert's support for? I lose track of the cultural signals without a TV to explain them.

Of course, Will was there to promote his new book, so I will do the same:

One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation

From Amazon's editorial review:

Will crisscrosses the country to illuminate what it is that makes America distinctive. He visits the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor and ponders its enduring links to the present. He travels to Milwaukee to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of an iconic brand, Harley-Davidson. In Los Angeles he finds the inspiring future of education, while in New York he confronts the dispiriting didacticism of the avant-garde. He ventures to the Civil War battlefields of Virginia to explore what we risk when we efface our own history. And on the outskirts of Chicago he investigates one of the darkest chapters in American history, only to discover a shining example of resilience and grace – the best the country has to offer.

The essays in One Man’s America, even when critiquing American culture, reflect Will’s deep affection and regard for our nation. After all, he notes, when America falls short, it does so only as compared to “the uniquely high standards it has set for itself.” In the end, this brilliantly informative and entertaining book reminds us of the enduring value of “the simple virtues and decencies that can make communities flourish and that have made America great and exemplary.”


I like Will's sentiments, though I don't always agree with his prognostications. And he must have one heck of a research team...he throws out quotes like a drunken sailor tossing dollar bills to his drinking buddies.

However, coming up with Adams' bon mot about politics being an organization of hatreds was most apropos, given our particularly twisted election shenanigans this time around. This is the first election campaign that has ever creeped me out.

no2liberals said...

Dymphna,
Don't let it creep you out, you just need Obama On Your Shoulder.

I went with out a TV, years ago, and don't think I missed out on much. Today, I couldn't exist without it. I watch the History channel a great deal, the Military channel, and often catch some interesting movies, or record them on the dvr for later. For example, I recorded Sanshiro Sugata early this morning, and will have that to look forward to one evening.
Plus, I have become very fond of the Simpsons and South Park, and collegiate and high school sports are something I can't live without.
It's not all trash, though there is plenty of it.

randian said...

I love George Will.

spackle said...

I too love George Will but doesnt his persona remind you a bit of Mr. Spock. The man has one facial expression.: )

Cugel said...

George Will is quite brilliant, an intellectual who can participate in such a plebian forum as a narcissistic television comedy show and, with a little quick and clever jujitsu, insure that some sound conservative ideas get a public airing.

Profitsbeard said...

Will is promoting a new book.

Otherwise, why bother tolerating such a sleazy, classless squib as this hysterically banal "Col-behr".

Saharians said...

Why all the love for George Will? Will is an Establishment Conservative and NeoCon. He's part of the problem! I admit, I don't watch Colbert too often, but he comes across as a comic subversive with rightist tendencies. His recent "interview" (if you can call it that) with Pat Buchanan was quite good.

Rachel said...

Great clip! I thoroughly enjoyed that.
By the way, here's some useless American cultural trivia for you, Dymphna. The red bracelet Colbert is wearing is "WristStrong", mocking all the trendy yellow "LiveStrong" bracelets worn by people who don't care about cancer research and just want to look cool.