Christie Critics Versus
the Popular Front for Liberty
posted at 7:36 pm on September 3, 2012 by Dafydd ab Hugh
Sorry for the tardiness of this post (it’s sooo last month now!), but it’s spent quite a long holiday in “pending” purgatory. With some modifications, I remain hopeful it will finally be posted. (And if it doesn’t, you’ll never know it, will you?)
Several people have bashed
yesterday’s [actually, six days ago now] convention speech by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; I name no names, but you know who you are. (Yes, I’m talking to you, Chris Wallace, and you too, Juan Williams!) The argument is that Christie spent too much time talking about ideas, philosophy, the future, and his ample self, and not much time at all savaging Barack “You didn’t build that” Obama or buttering up the actual nominee (official now), Willard Mitt Romney.
I say that’s all a bunch of hogwarts. That criticism tells me only that Messrs. Wally and Willy utterly fail to understand the extraordinary and irreversible change wrought, not by tea partiers (they are only one manifestation of the movement), but by the popular front for liberty that coalesced on February 19th, 2009 — just thirty days after President B.O. was anointed, adored, and installed upon the Hog-Butcher Throne.
On that day, CNBC business editor Rick Santelli denounced the Obamic scheme to refinance defaulted mortgages. George W. Bush had pushed through Congress a plan to re-value the “troubled assets,” mostly mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) that banks were holding as reserves, but whose values were a complete mystery, even to the banks themselves. But Obama radically altered that sensible plan in favor of a populist, Progressivist scheme to reward something-for-nothing borrowers for buying far more house than they could afford, and taking out mortgages they couldn’t possibly repay.
Santelli exploded on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (how apt!), railing against the loss of liberty, individuality, personal responsibility, truth, justice, and the American way. To whoops and cheers among the CME traders, he even called for them to hurl those debased and valueless MBSs into the Chicago River, à la the Boston Tea Party.
Santelli didn’t start the fire; individual flickers, flare-ups, and hot spots had hissed and spit over the previous decade. But on that day of freedom, he pulled together all these slow-burning fuses and bound them into a true popular front for liberty, independence, Capitalism, and Americanism. He sparked a simultaneous explosion of revulsion at crony capitalism (its other name is “Liberal Fascism“) and an explosive determination to rebuild America — not via yet another radical socioeconomic “revolution;” more like a religious revival, restoring what the United States had been missing since some time before the “Progressivist” era of anti-Constitution, anti-Founding Father Woodrow Wilson. Americans began to crave more liberty and less government.
Since then, tea-party movements have erupted in every state of the Union. They seized control of the Republican Party in the 2010 midterm elections (and particularly in the primaries that preceded the general), and now the popular front for liberty looms large to take the country itself by storm on November 6th.
Personally, I love this movement; it’s just what has been lacking in all previous attempts (including Reagan’s) to roll back socialism and Progressivism and return to individual liberty, self sufficiency, and honest Capitalism that Alexis De Tocqueville extolled in Democracy in America.
I have writ rhapsodies in red about the popular front for liberty stretching back to February 20th, 2010 (almost on the anniversary of Santelli’s revivalist rant), encompassing nineteen blogposts since then (
see below [voluminous links excised to prevent being returned to the penalty box]). But those critics of Christie’s speech — did you think I’d forgotten the subject? — have fallen into the trap of “same as it ever was.” They cannot break free of the red meat, attack dog paradigm of twentieth-century campaigns.
Wally and Willy pooh-pooh the Christie speech because he didn’t rake Obama over the barbecue pit personally, by name; Christie didn’t run down his policies, peculiarities, and pomposities; his diction, gait and sartorial sense; his patterns of pronunciation, prandial pleasures, haircut hilarities, taste in tobacco; his earballs and earmarks, and every word he has ever uttered, including “and”, “of”, and most especially his very favorite word: “I”. (There’s no “we” in “narcissism”!)
The speech crickets want to make this contest, every contest, a clash of titanic personalities. They don’t understand that this crucial election is not a choice of chumps; it’s a long-overdue Armageddon of axioms and ideas.
Christie very ably (and subtlely!) articulates the ideology of the popular front for liberty: self-reliance, traditional American virtues, American exceptionalism, Capitalism, limited government (limited in size, scope, and especially reach), balanced budgets, low taxes, and even lower spending.
He did not need to throw Obama under the Romney campaign bus. Christie stakes his argument on the moral clarity of tea-party ideas and ideology.
Over the past few months, Barack Obama’s character-assassination squads have spent hundreds of millions of dollars (quite literally) portraying Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Republicans in general as bigots, racists, one-percenter plutocrats, and homophobes; bitter-clingers, furiously waging a war against all women; a war driven by rage, impotence, misogyny, and seething hatred.
Many undecided voters must have tuned into the Republican National Convention with trepidation, wondering if they would see howling jackals slavering over their raw meat and bloody petrodollars. After all, that’s what the President of the Untied States warned them they would see.
So the last thing in the world we need at this convention is an angry, denunciatory speech attacking Barack Obama. It would play right into his clenched fist.
The time for that raw anger has come, and it has gone. Now is the time for up-tempo, upbeat speeches of hope — real hope founded on a workable plan to defibrillate the economy and jumpstart the job market — and change… change back to what has made America unique ever since its founding: We are the only country in the world founded on the basis of a capitalist economy and an ideology of individual liberty, utterly unlike the mass, interest-group, faux “liberté” of the French Revolution, which perverted the very idea of true liberty.
Liberty can only apply to individuals, not marching mobs; that true liberty is what has made us the greatest nation that has ever existed, not only in power but the most moral national as well; whence comes our powerhouse economy (even today), and why we have universally, if sometimes grudgingly, been accepted as the last resort of conscience against tyranny in the world.
But the advance of liberty is occasion for joy, not ugly rage: The speeches at the RNC must be uniformly positive, futurist, and Reaganesque.
If they are, Americans will be stunned by the chasm between what they’re watching on the screen, and the vile distortion and caricature they were sold by the Democrats. Voters will finally perceive how they have been lied to and disrespected by Obama and all the president’s men. Barack Obama will bear the brunt of that backlash, and the election will become a referendum between Reaganesque and Nixonesque.
That will be the tipping point, where a narrow victory for Romney, without coattails, turns into an utter rout of Progressivism — with a firm mandate for the popular front for liberty.
Chris Christie’s speech may not be the “same as it ever was,” “usual suspects,” red-meat affair that liberal Democrat Juan Williams hoped to see; instead, it is an extremely effective “new way” argument for the twenty-first century. It carries the virtue that even folks who like the Big Stick as a person can nevertheless reject his ideas in the ballot box. With clear conscience and no lingering taint of racism, voters can punch the chad for a return to the Constitution-based politics of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.
To which I can only say, about bloody time!
Cross-posted on Big Lizards…