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In the Age of Whatever Works

Latin America faces a crucial choice between liberty and tyranny, as always, just like the rest of us, and the President of the United States’ advice is that it go with “whatever works.” Barack Obama actually said that nonsense in a speech to the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative while on his recent south-of-the-border tour, and although that also included him doing the wave at a baseball game with the communist dictator of Cuba and embarrassingly doing the tango for his Peronista variety of fascist hosts in Argentina while the capital of the European Union reeled from yet another terror attack it was probably the low point of that disastrous vacation.
Any President of the United States worthy of that once-august office would be making the plain case that liberty is the only thing that has ever worked in the entire history of organized humankind, and that tyranny has never worked out, but these days that is apparently too much to ask for. The runaway winner of five of the last six state contests in the Democratic nominating process is the self-described socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who worries that there are too many kinds of deodorants on America’s supermarket shelves and prescribes the same solutions that have resulted in toilet paper shortages in Venezuela, and the party’s putative front-runner struggles to explain why she’s not a socialist. Meanwhile, the putative Republican front-runner is issuing threats that his press critics will “have problems, such problems” and “tweeting” like a South American caudillo and promising nothing but “better deals” with all these pesky foreigners, which sounds to us like pretty much like the equivalent of “whatever works.”
The sole remaining long-shot possibility for the leadership of what was once called the free world is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose much criticized father endured the tortures of the same communist Cuban dictatorship that the “whatever works” president was doing the wave with, and went on to a formidable career and as a legal and Senatorial advocate for the conservative cause, and he strikes us as a full-throated advocate of liberty and the Judeo-Christian tradition and red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalism and other higher values than whatever might work. He’s bogged down with a report in the front-runner’s buddy’s National Enquirer, though, and is just within the margin-of-error in the polls in the important states of Wisconsin and California. We’d love to see a match-up of Cruz’ hard-edged advocacy of capitalism and constitutionalism against Sanders’ unabashed socialism and whatever works, but such stark choices are perhaps too much to wish for in an age when people are more concerned with whatever works for them, if not necessarily everyone else.

— Bud Norman

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One response

  1. I hate to say it but the ideologically pure Conservative candidate I would anoint President if I were Emperor – Ted Cruz – and his opponent for the Republican nomination, the pugnacious and populist Tribune of the Plebs – Donald Trump – have now attracted supporters who are so rabid in their hatred for the other that it may be impossible for their many fans to vote for the other. Making the better the enemy of the good.

    As you know, I hate to point fingers but I’m afraid that the people who are responsible are the leaders of the Establishment and those who continued to believe them. They viewed the Republican Party as a private club, membership to which was by invitation only. But no one who wanted to join was ever permitted to apply for an invitation. It’s obvious that the problem they had with Trump was that he was gauche and crass, not To-the-Manor-Born, a mere tradesman no matter how much money he had. His was not a political family; he had not spent his time climbing the political ladder, the modern day version Cursus Honorium of the Roman period. He was what they called a “mushroom.” When they found out that he was actually popular with the Plebs they decided on a course of action which may well end destroying the club they were so anxious to control.

    In the end, it will be telling if they were so foolish that they were incapable of seeing what was so obvious to the people looking in from the outside. And as the knives are sharpened for the meeting in the Forum, the barbarians are already within the gates.

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