Strakon Lights Up, No. 62

Affirmatively acting Republicans:
Two observations


Observation number one

It's bad enough when Red Guard minorities cite corporate welfare in justifying antiwhite discrimination, i.e., "affirmative action." But it's especially aggravating to hear a ruling-class spokesdrone such as Colin Powell do so, as he did last night in his speech at the Republican convention.

As students of the "upwardly racheting" dynamics of government know, statists love to fall back on the "we license drivers, don't we?" argument — if you want to dignify it by calling it an argument — whereby one state intervention, grievous enough in itself, serves as the foundation for another, more ambitious intervention, and another after that, and on and on into an ever-widening, mutually supporting, high-torsion steel framework of totalitarianism. It's a framework that is architecturally unlimited once the first surrender is made by those whose opposition to state power is only sentimental and desultory rather than principled and unvarying. The whole process provides a wonderful education in the importance of principle in human affairs, for the few who have eyes with which to see, ears with which to hear, and brains with which to think.

Muddling the issue as spokesdrones love to do, Powell in last night's speech cited only tax breaks, which libertarians cannot oppose in principle because we want a 100 percent tax break for everyone. But from the standpoint of pure political-economic analysis, the kind of tax breaks Powell was talking about do confer special privilege in the sense of unburdening selectively, while state subsidies and barriers to competition confer special privilege in the sense of enriching selectively. It's as if a band of desperadoes were to stop a stagecoach and rob only some of the passengers, letting others retain their cash and jewelry. The analyst, seeing that some passengers are left better off than others, understands that they're going to have a leg up on their hapless fellow travelers once they get to town. The analyst wants to know why they got that break, and he may even start to suspect that, in some back room on Main Street, the robbers are going to be dividing the swag with those "lucky" enough to be unrobbed.

Powell said that "some" Republicans who oppose affirmative action emit "hardly a whimper" about "lobbyists who load our federal tax codes with preferences for special interests." ("Republicans Open Convention, Emphasizing Unity / Powell Calls for Inclusion of Minorities," by Richard L. Berke, New York Times, August 1) In other words, first Powell suggests that the whole structure of ruling-class plunder that supports his creators and employers, as well as the heroic field marshal himself, is a bad thing; and, second, he goes on to suggest that that bad thing somehow justifies affirmative action, which he considers a good thing. Does Powell call for dismantling the whole structure of ruling-class exploitation and rule? Starting maybe with "Pentagon capitalism"? Uh, no. Powell either doesn't think it's such a bad thing after all or doesn't care.

Colin Powell may not have learned much logic at the knee of his ruling-class masters in New York, but he has learned a lot of something else: Chutzpah.

Chutzpah comes easy, though, when the people you're talking to can't connect one thought to another. As we see with Powell's comments, the first intervention the state-builder cites doesn't have to be something that 99.99 percent of the population agree on, such as licensing drivers. It can even be something that many hate and would love to see repealed. The state-builder isn't out to repeal anything, though. Far from it. All he's interested in is pointing out that Group A over there has gotten its swag and demanding that group B over here get its swag, too. It's a measure of how degraded political discourse has become that he's never laughed off the podium as a case of arrested development who never learned to play properly in the sandbox.


Observation number two

Two years ago I sat down to write an article on the "death" of affirmative action, which the established media, all a-twitter, were claiming had suffered a couple of possibly fatal blows in court, especially with respect to college admissions. It seemed possible that our masters might retire affirmative action, given the fact that it was unpopular with so many powerful Jews — especially, again, with respect to college admissions.

My article drowned in a rain-forest wetland of detail, contradictory trends, and legal ambiguity, but I did struggle out of the morass with two conclusions. The first was provisional: that affirmative action was not being killed off but instead was being "reformed" to make sure it benefited other major client-groups, most notably Hispanics, who are destined to outnumber American Negroes by far in the replacement U.S. population. My second conclusion was firmer and more general: that it would be better to wait a while and see what happened. Soon, other analysts came out with some persuasive stuff showing that affirmative action was so solidly entrenched in the corporate world that we'd need a revolution to dislodge it, if not a giant-asteroid strike.

I don't think we need to expend any more mental energy mulling over the question. On the first night of a convention ostensibly devoted to sweet harmony — read: lockstep uniformity — Colin Powell was permitted to throw affirmative action in the face of all those grass-roots Republicans who despise it. Newt Gingrich isn't even going to be allowed to appear on the podium — as a "right-wing extremist," he's too "controversial" — but Colin Powell was permitted to repeat the praise for affirmative action that he so notoriously included in his remarks at the '96 convention.

It's no accident; it's not even a departure from lockstep uniformity. "The address by General Powell," the NYT's Berke writes, "and a warm testimonial by Mr. Bush's wife, Laura, about education and her husband's values, formed the centerpiece tonight of a tightly and painstakingly choreographed presentation by the Bush campaign and by the Republican Party...." Laura Bush — trying to repair the damage inflicted by Dick Cheney's disgraceful, utterly antediluvian Ku Klux record on the issue — promised that "George will strengthen Head Start." Conventioneers and C-Span viewers were even treated to "a live remote of a black preacher from a gospel church in South Philadelphia, followed by a performance of a gospel choir on stage in the hall." To quote this stuff is sufficient; it parodies itself.

Bush may penetrate the Hispanic vote to some degree — he's probably got most of the Cubans in his pocket already — but I'll eat my hat if he gets 10 percent of the Negro vote in November. So what's the point? I am happy (if a little alarmed) to report that the New York Times agrees with my take: "For the Republicans, it was not so much a matter of reaching out for the black vote, but part of Mr. Bush's determination to portray his party as tolerant and inclusive, in hopes of appealing to independents and moderate Democrats."

Let me be a little franker than the Times could be: The soccerites are in play once again! White soccer Mom and white soccer Dad out in the suburbs — traditional Republican territory — have to be reassured that Republicans aren't being nasty to the poor Negro, but nice.  As the U.S. population becomes darker and more alien overall, if the Republican party is to have a future as a wing of the duopoly apparatus it must hang on for dear life to the white soccerites.

But won't soccer Mom and soccer Dad start worrying, eventually, if little Brandy and little Zachary, with their down-market degrees from Upper Lower State, stay glued into their salaryman cubicles while little Kaneesha and little Pedro sail out of the Ivy League and land right on the junior-executive track? Won't they get so fed up with the System that they'll start staying home in droves on Election Day? Some already do stay home, but with the weak cards the G.O.P. is holding and will continue to hold, Republicans have to bet that most of the soccerites won't stay home. I think it's a pretty safe bet myself. Soccer Mom and soccer Dad have already digested a toxic river of antiwhite swill from Minitrue, so I don't expect them to start vomiting now. Barring a conversion to Judaism.

August 1, 2000

© 2000 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

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