February 20, 2012

I Scream Social

Hatched by Dafydd

I sent this as an e-mail to my favorite blogger; but upon further reflection, I think there is something of more general interest here. Hence I turn it into a cheap-jack freebie blogpost pithy observation of the unity of social and economic conservatism we need to oust the occupier from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

In John Hinderaker's Rick Santorum post "Are There Republicans Who Think This Is a Good Idea? Seriously?", he quotes Schieffer quoting Santorum:

RICK SANTORUM: But the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly, much less that the state government should be running schools is anachronistic. It goes back to the time of industrialization of America when people came off the farms where they did home school or have the little neighborhood school and into these big factories. So we built equal factories called public schools.

I agree that it's death for the GOP to run a campaign against Barack H. Obama mostly about social conservatism. But if you're interested, the bit from Santorum quoted above is straight out of Alvin Toffler's ten-years-later follow-up to his mondo best seller Future Shock, titled the Third Wave -- meaning the third wave of technology-induced cultural revolution: The first is the post-neolithic agricultural age; the second is the mechanical/industrial age; and the third is the post-industrial information age.

Toffler makes sense to me; it's clear that the modern (modernist) public-school system was indeed set up to mimic the factory setting -- a wonderful (at the time) great leap forward from the paltry and classist education available in the agrarian age. Toffler argues that "manufactory" schools have outlived their usefulness, however, and that we need the more individualized learning that computers now make available to every individual, or would if the teachers unions would get the heck out of the way.

But Hinderaker is quite right that a presidential campaign is not the proper venue for such Newt-like speculation on Santorum's part.

I perhaps part company from him -- or perhaps not, as his response indicated general agreement -- on one implication of the piece, perhaps a conclusion Hinderaker did not intend: That the campaign should be entirely about the economy and jobs, with no shred of social issues intruding. I think that is a great mistake; but it must be handled very carefully to avoid exactly what Hinderaker rails against in his post, that is, letting social conservatism drive the GOP, pushing economic conservatism to the back of the bus.

In particular, we must stay away from any social issue that is divisive -- theology, gynecology, school prayer, same-sex marriage, and suchlike. But we can make great inroads by spending about 15% of the campaign energy on issues that pit Obamunism against Americanism; e.g., arguing that Obama's policies, whether by design or incompetence, are anti-family and destructive of traditional American virtues, such as liberty (including religious liberty), individualism, and individualism's counterpart, civil society (churches, service organizations, and community activities, such as bowling leagues), and Capitalism, which has made us the most prosperous nation on earth -- even as Progressivist ideas have made us, at the very same time, the world's biggest bankrupt nation.

I believe a very effective pitch can be made to Hispanic voters, for example, by sending English and Spanish speaking Hispanics throughout Hispanic areas of the Southwest and Florida with the message that Obama is making war on Catholics and on the traditional family and on small businesses, in which Hispanics are very successful players... said message intended to counter the inevitable leftist attack on the GOP for being "nativist" and "racist" and wanting to deport all Hispanics (yes, I know that's a horrible distortion; but that exact distortion is guaranteed to be flung at us by Big Media).

And a pure pitch can be made for individual and family liberty by advocating, not the complete privatization of Social Security (despite my own preference for that very policy) and Medicare, but rather for collecting the payroll tax as usual... but keeping everybody's taxes in separate, family accounts -- under the citizens' own names -- so that the feds cannot raid the Social-Security funds to pay for more madcap spending; and doing the same with the portion of payroll taxes that currently go to Medicare, so that they may instead go towards paying for post-retirement insurance (like Medicare Advantage) instead of qualifying seniors for crappy medical care as second-class patients.

But unquestionably, 85% of the campaign should be about the collapsing economy, ballooning taxes, skyrocketing energy prices (due to crippling our domestic energy production) and other unconfessed inflation, unconscionable unemployment and underemployment, the cost of Obamacare, the Skimulus, and the arrogant, swaggering ignorance by Barack "Bubble Boy" Obama of the most basic and fundamental economic laws.

85% money stuff, 15% non-controversial social issues (liberty, family, community); that should be the big campaign picture. But not the specific stuff Rick Santorum is inexplicably yammering about.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 20, 2012, at the time of 10:25 PM

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