Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Am I Blue

The writing is on the wall. Patrick Buchanon called it correct: with the abeyance of the Cold War, political energies in the United States of America are now turned all but entirely to the Culture War. It's the Cultural Elite--those latte swillin', homo marryin', mutual fundin', Schubert listenin', french speakin', New Yorker readin', Aspen skiiin', rock climbin', Thai cookin', city dwellin' types--right in the crosshairs. And for at least the next four years, those people from those rectangular states are pretty much going to have all the power.

How to cope?

What's a guy to do?

Well, this isn't the first time in our history that such a thing has transpired. Let's survey strategies from decades past--such as the '20s, the '50s, and the '70s--when amoral folks like ourselves have felt themselves to be alienated from national life have done.

1. Go to Europe! With the unification of Europe, many believe that the American Century ended with... well, the last one. Europe is poised to become the economic, military, and (possibly) the cultural axis of the world. The Dow Jones could be a mere footnote to the Bourse or the Footsie (whatever that is). Marry a dutchman or a swede and you can become a true global citizen: a double national, and be able to live anywhere from Ankara to Aberdeen.

2. Go to College! Not to do something 'career-oriented,' but heck, haven't you always wanted to master Medieval Latin? Now's your chance! Pick a nice four year program at some sweet little college town with a nice live music scene, and find shelter in the Sacred Grove of Academe.

3. Substance Abuse! Although crystal meth has gotten a lot of bad press lately, the prospect of 'ruining your life' suddenly is not looking like such a bad alternative, is it? A word of advice though: don't deal to support your habit. That will get you into prison pretty quickly, and the pokie is not a good setting to deal with the onset of HIV and Hep C. But Turning On and Tuning Out is nothing if not time tested.

4. Join a Cult! The farther out the better! Do your best to pick one that keeps you fuzzy-headed with sleep deprivation and a low protein diet, and (verrrry important) limits your access to newspapers and the like.

5. Political Engagement Closer to Home. If'n you live in a Blue State, jump in! You'll meet scores of disaffected fellow travelers as you work to stop that Wal-Mart opening or convince your fellow humans to forgo wearing the skins of species not their own. This may be especially important if you live in New York. Fresh from their success in ousting Tom Daschle by pouring $30 million dollars on the unsuspecting heads of half-a-million South Dakotans, you better believe that Hilary Clinton will be on a national hit list when she comes up for re-election in two years.

And yours truly?

Well, I have to admit to being ambivalent. I am, and I long have been, both reassured and troubled by George W. Bush's religious faith. I am convinced that he is sincere in his faith, and not just going through the motions. I am comforted by this because Compassion is a very real thing to the President. And I'm troubled by this as well. Troubled because I am a Conservative. That which I value most highly is Liberty. I don't want government in my bedroom, my bank account, my bookshelf, or my back forty. And additionally, there is a repeating theme of Calling America to Greatness in the conservative wing of the nation. Doing great, bold things abroad and at home, while liberals seems to love nothing more than tinkering around intractable problems and only making things much, much worse. But it is because of my conservative ideals that so much of what Bush has done sticks in my craw. A little more faith in people to make their own choices here at home and being the protector of the world's weak and hurting and less the world's schoolyard bully abroad would be welcome.

So we'll see.

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