Friday, September 07, 2012


I think Andrew Sullivan is right:
... what Obama did last night was project a realistic optimism; and the constant harping on the recession by the GOP - though obviously totally legit - can come off as pessimistic. The Republicans need to avoid that trap. Optimism always wins in American elections.

Kurt Andersen says this:

Andersen's certainly right about which party is the party of declinism now: the Republicans, after accusing Democrats of declinism for decades. Consider the source from my post title, the Bush-Ferraro debate in 1984:
BUSH: ... I'm not suggesting there's no poverty, but I am suggesting the way to work out of poverty is through real opportunity. And in the meantime, the needy are getting more help. Human resource spending is way, way up. Aid for Dependent Children spending is up. Immunization programs are up. Almost every place you can point, contrary to Mr. Mondale's - I gotta be careful - but contrary of how he goes around just saying everything bad. If somebody sees a silver lining, he finds a big black cloud out there. Whine on harvest moon! I mean, there's a lot going on, a lotta opportunity.
But declinism suits Republicans now. It taps into the GOP base's NRA/Red Dawn/Tea Party thinking: gun absolutists regard themselves as America's last line of defense against both incipient totalitarianism and marauding hordes of the lawless, so they pretty much want society to break down to fulfill their Walter Mitty fantasies (or, rather, Red Dawn fantasies, or Tea Party "second American Revolution" fantasies) of saving America, and thus civilization.

Talk like that long enough and you don't even want to hear a happy warrior, even one from your side -- you just want to hear that the apocalypse is nigh. And that's what Mitt Romney is saying to his base.


Victor said...

That "declinism," is the symptom.

"Victimization," is the cause.

Whenever you feel that you're 'declining,' that 'decline' can't possibly be YOUR fault - it's the fault of "others," who are making you and yours, "victims," of that 'decline' - for THIER benefit.

Who, in their right mind, would DECIDE to be want to make themselves and theirs, decline?
It's always the fault of "others!"

Therefore - that decline is the fault of the people oppressing you, and making you into the victim of that oppression.

Freud and Jung, had some pretty good insight into these folks.

Not too much different from the ones forbidden from being mentioned by "Godwin's Laws."

merlallen said...

I don't use Red Dawn because that was teenagers, these guys just seem like Walter Mitty to me.