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The True Fail of the GND

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The host began the show on Friday as I blogged on Thursday afternoon – mocking the GND.  Kimberly Strassel wrote Thursday:

The Republican Party has a secret weapon for 2020. It’s especially effective because it’s stealthy: The Democrats seem oblivious to its power. And the GOP needn’t lift a finger for it to work. All Republicans have to do is sit back and watch 29-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez . . . exist.

What’s not to mock?!  The thing is truly laughable.  Yet, as I tried to intimate Friday, before I had listened to the show, but after it had aired, too many people are taking this thing too seriously.  By the end of the show on Friday, the host was sounding cautionary notes with Arnn – notes that continued on Twitter yesterday.

This document…movement…resolution…whatever the heck is going on here, is a fail on a lot of levels.  (OKAY – in the end this thing is a manifesto; best word I can come up with to describe it.  Have we ever had a manifesto introduced to Congress as a resolution before?  Historians – sing out.)

Consider the education failures represented just by the grammatical errors, typos and misuse of Latin abbreviations.  But those things have also become par-for-the-course on the Internet.  Lord knows my typos/misspells on this blog are legion.  But there are deeper educational fails – the lack of presenting a reasonable argument, the lack of research involved.  As the host said on the show, “Someone just did not put in the work.”  Am I surprised?  A bit – sure I see the local kids in my neighborhood making videos instead of writing papers for their “term project” and I worry.  There is no substitute for the reason and logic learned researching and organizing an actual paper.  Video can be quite persuasive, but its powers of persuasion are not necessarily those of reason and logic.  A PowerPoint presentation is not a paper either.  But I figured the system would weed out the nonsense.  Yet here we are with the nonsense on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Consider the failure to inculcate at least one, and probably several, generations with normal American values.  The host in the tweet quoted above points out how deeply coercive the manifesto is.  It does away with freedom almost entirely.  It devalues hard work – earning.  It is, as the host has said, communist in nature.

Consider the failure at character formation.  At first I wrote this thing off as the enthusiasm and arrogance of youth.  Consider the widely attributed statement, “If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain.”  But the mocking, a normal technique for helping the young learnt the folly of their ways, is all on one side of the political spectrum.  Many, and some even credible, Democrat candidates for the presidency have already “signed on” to this steaming pile of youthful mis-think.  Thus we see the arrogance inherent in this thing mainstreamed.  Thus we see the worst in our character normalized.

Further we live in an age that confuses celebrity with gravitas.  I am struck by the parallels and the essential differences between AOC and the president.  Both have turned celebrity into political office and both have done so by doing what celebrities do best  – figuring out how to dominate media.  But the president did so purely stylistically – he has governed, in that unusual style, as a more-or-less mainstream conservative.  AOC, on the other hand, with this her first governmental action, is out there politically – way out there.  The president’s style lessens his gravitas, but his governance restores it.  This action by AOC should simply drain all the gravitas from her – all of it.  But instead her celebrity is so confused with gravitas that people are talking and talking and talking about this thing.  That the American public cannot tell the difference is a huge fail.

Finally consider the media failure.  This thing exists and has the legs it does because it is the media that makes celebrity.  Social media dominance can only get you so far.  The mainstream media mines social media for its next “star” and AOC is a classic case of that.  But look at what they have wrought – a communistic manifesto in environmentalist form under serious discussion.

It is fine to mock the GND.  It is the most mockable document in widespread public circulation that I have seen in a long time, and certainly outside of academia.  But we cannot content ourselves with that mockery.  The very mockablity of the document is revelatory of our failures.  We have to get serous about fixing them or else the mockable will become reality.

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