Meghan McCain, INC. from GQ.
Like most of you, I have never met young Ms. McCain and, like many of you, I have such an admiration for her father’s character and service that I want to wish her well in her politcal career, as I do in her life. But, I feel forced to respond to Ms. McMcain’s snarky critique of us old school republicans in kind.
Launch the counter-snark: I shudder at the challenge of questioning the wisdom of a 23-year-old woman who has enough looks and star-appeal to be elected president (if she will simply check off that quick term in the Senate first). Yet, I shall risk it.
Perhaps it is the globe trottting that has made her dizzy.
“Republicans are scared sh*tless about the future,” Ms. McCain recently explained to the Log Cabin Republicans.
I am scared, not of the future, but of the way that the New-Left wants to revive elitism, authoritarianism and collectivism all rolled up into a neat, edible package called “hopenchange”. If people want collectivist authoritariansim that is quite one thing. It is quite another mess to see so many people convinced that there is anything new in the Obama adminsrtation’s policies when, in fact, they are leading American down paths that Jefferson, Washington and Cicero rejected.
In her zeal to be modern, Ms. McCain has indiscriminately swallowed the new-left’s uber-meme which powers and funds the democrat machine of today: they are progressive. The problem is, that is a lie.
While they will not be answered, I will still issue forth some questions for Ms. McCain:
1. What is “progressive” about high taxation rates? The United States has been down this road before –as has every other nation on earth– and, it one famous case it was a democrat, John F. Kennedy, who realized the error of high-taxation and issued a record tax-cut later mimicked by President Ronald Reagan. More disconcertingly, president Obama knows that raising taxes, like he has done and, will have to do –at record speed– to pay for hopenchange, hurts the economy.
2. What is “progressive” about ennobling the idea of going with the flow of what feel good at the time? Like Ms. McCain, I have gay friends and gay family members. I love them dearly. I want them to be happy. If they choose to form a union between they and one they love, I welcome it, as I welcome with all my heart, my dear family member’s partner of many years, a man I both like, respect and don’t get to see enough. That is not, however, a marriage; it is a union with a dynamic different from that of a man and a woman. This does not make me a regressive, that which Ms. McCain –never seen in less than decked out form one would expect from a hopeful actress auditoning to play the “slightly bad” good girl–fears being called by the cool kids. There is simply nothing progressive about changing the meaning of words or, more importantly, the predictability of laws and institutions. It is “changey” to do so but, not all change is progressive: ask Coke about New Coke, Microsoft about Vista or CBS News about Katie Courick.
Though Ms. McCain fancies herself “schocking” with her tattoos and glibisms, she stopped short of coming out in favor of gay marriage—though, from th very tone of her speech, I think the Log Cabin Republicans would be justified in feeling that she did. If she is a fan of that, I would geuss that Ms. McCain may well be a fan of judicial determinism –the most common way gay marriage comes to be– but, she will become an un-fan when what feels good to judges is something she dislikes.
What people who desperately want to be liked and applauded for their openness cannot seem to consider is the greater picture of what feelgoodism makes possible. Feelgoodsism begets a society where laws shift like the wind, a foundation upon which a functioning society cannot be built. The precedent we set by creating laws based upon feelgoodisms is law by personality, legal interpretation, law by way o fpop-culture narraritive, by way of popularity contest. Ms. McCain chastises people like me for having these pesky-principles, “Breaking free from obsolete positions and providing real solutions that don’t divide our nation further will [win elections for republicans]. That’s why some in our party are scared. They sense the world around them is changing and they are unable to take the risk to jump free of what’s keeping our party down.”
Really? I work for Michael Steele and, he does not come off as a man afraid to break free of what is really keeping our party down. The difference is, Chairman Steele knows we are a party because of–not in ansk-ridden rebellion against–our principles.
3. What is “progressive” about throwing away one’s principles in exchange for “modernizing?” The single most pogressive act ever achived in government is the creation of the United States for America, the tri-cameral nature of our power structures (quadra-angular if you count the States) and, specifically within that, the revolutionary recognition that we are born with rights God gvies us—not a politician or ruler. It was upon that basis that the wrongs that existed in our country–slavery, prevention of women voting as two examples–were corrected; it is upon that basis that we republicans stand in stark difference to the New-Left. There is nothing in that paragraph that the New-Left -which powers and funds the democrat party- respects or considers worthy of keeping in place. I assume that Ms. McCain, desirious of adoration for her wide-open-mind, will agree that these worn out relics should be put way so that we can be “modern.”
Am I scared of the wholesale abondonment of these principles? Yup. And, when feelgoodism strikes against her personal likings, Ms. McCain will be as well.
The Obama administration has made it obvious to everyone that the very idea of any restraint upon their powers is noxious to them. From memos in which the Homeland Security Department warns local police to be on the lookout for people who “cling to state’s rights”, to David Axelrord, one of the President’s two whip-smart street -fighters (the President’s ”brains” in the nomenclature of the New-Left), calling the Tea Parties “unhealthy”, to the President’s refusal to allow healthy banks to return, with interest, the money the president took from the shrinking population of actual taxpayers.
Nancy Pelosi, the president’s parlimentarian, saw fit to write language into the massive borrowing bill which allowed the Federal Government to sidestep working with a state’s elected governor, should they reject their part of the pirate’s booty of “stimulus” and go straight to the legsilature. That blatantly violated the 10th Amendment.
Societies have already walked down the path of throwing away laws for expediency, and principles for modernism. Our Founders studied those societies, so can we. It was very modern for the U.K. to set-up separate treatment for their Muslim citizens and, as the Telegraph notes, that has extended to a separate legal system of Sharia Courts. Ms. McCain would have to like that–it is modern, it casts away obsolte positions such as the entire jurice-prudential underpinnings of English Common Law–but, her father, Senator McCain, is far too level headed, smart and moral to forget what Sharia law does to people, women in particular; Sentaor McCain, I wager, would argue against abonding the entire legal foundation of our Country—no mateter how hopenchangie it might tatse.
All snark aside, an opinionated, passionate, ambitious, shrewd and clever woman like Meghan McCain would, I think, have to stop applauding progressivsim and feelgoodism at the point where women are sentenced to stonings. Yet … some “progressives” will not stop there, some of them apparently hold office in the U.K.
4. How does one have a small, accountable government run by judicial fiat? You don’t; and that encapsulates the problem with Meghan McCain’s feelgoodism: it’s so terribly easy to be “for” being modern and, as a result, be loved. Ms. McCain wants to be package herself republican-with-benefits, but, at the same time, she appears to have a frail understanding of why being republican means making the hard choices; the ones that, at first blush, don’t feel warm & fuzzy but, upon deep reflection, create a society of real law, from a fair and predictable construct with clear steps to changing them when thet go wrong. They create a scoiety of real fairness. In other words, real republicanism delivers what Ms. McCain claims to want from government: accountability. When society perceives an ill, as it did with racism and women’s right to vote, society can change them within a legal construct that delivers a unanimity, certianly not of heart, but of genuinely arrived at compromise; it delivers the type of acceptance that will never come from judicial fiat. Abortion is rightfully the most emotional of topcis, made more so because it was a “right” invented by a court. Yet … there I am, praddling on about principles and process when I could simply opt for the Soma of feelgoodism.
At the end of the day, Meghan McCain is very clearly in this for MegPAC, or whatever she will call her funraising mechanism; she gets to make the mouth moves of a “conservative” (she claims to like a small government), while, at the same time being that very thing the media is most apt to report: the republican who reognizes the fallacy of beleiving in the tired principles of Republicanism. It is smart packaging, a great political narraritive, almost like it came from Hollywood. In this, Meghan McCain is verifiably modern. Yet, Ms. McCain–despite her years of consuming “dounts and Red Bull” along side her father—seems to have an utter misunderstanding of just how ho-hum her shock and awe ploy is to real conservtaives. To wit: no republican I know would be shocked–the way Ms. McCain would hope they would be–by hearing her say, as she gushed, “I have gay friends.” So do we. The difference is, we can really care for people while being honest enough to say that their desire for a marriage, at least by judicial whim (and maybe at all, by that name), does not fit within what we think makes for a society based upon predicatable laws and, as part of that, definitions. Being republicans is not easy; it requires honesty and rigor.
But, Ms. McCain does have tattoos and wear black and, at that, all of us stodgy, cramped-up republicans shreak in terror. Or not.
As I finish this piece, I find myself liking Ms. McCain and betting I would have a good laugh with her. But, I wonder if, as hindered as I am by my obsolte principles, she would be able to join me in having a good laugh at them, the New Left, or whether she would find herself uncomfortable around someone with such defined ways of thinking. Well, I shall risk it: if Ms. McCain finds herself in D.C. to see the Senator, I will buy the drinks: tea for me, perhaps one of those micro-brews all the kids seem to like for her; it is, afterall, a big tent and she is, you can bet, going to be a bigger part of it than will I.
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