CNQ Wonders How Kurt Schlichter Sleeps At Night
Something to think about, at least.
Now, full disclosure: I've always identified with progressive movements, liberalism, and am a self-professed fellow traveler, despite my love affair with our modern consumer culture.
Nevertheless, I clicked the link and read the article. Robert Anton Wilson said that once a day, you should read something you disagree with. This townhall.com article, written by conservative commentator Kurt Schlichter, is mine for the day.
I do not disagree with his sentiments regarding the need for the dissolution of the status quo and crony capitalism in the highest echelons of our government. I do, however, disagree with how he presents the problem, as a stereotypical rift between "liberals" and "conservatives," which are two very generic labels that cover a broad swath of opinions within each group.
Per his bio on townhall.com, Schlichter is "a successful Los Angeles trial lawyer, a veteran with a masters in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and a former stand-up comic." Why does it specify 'successful'?
Schlichter's article starts off with a quick re-cap of punk rock lore for those not in the know, borrowed from an old Greil Marcus piece: rock'n'roll was a bloated corpse in the 70s, and the Ramones came along and were so punk that it like, brought rock and roll back to life from being a bloated corpse. Tho I think the Greil Marcus piece I'm remembering was saying that about the Sex Pistols. I'm not going to look it up.
I just realized, wouldn't that narrative then make rock'n'roll a zombie, or some similar fell undead thing? Because that's pretty cool.
Anyway, Schlichter uses that bit of borrowed narrative about the birth of punk rock as an analogy, or metaphor, for what he believes conservatives are doing to the United States - injecting life back into American politics and culture. He also equates liberalism with the old guard and the status quo of rock and roll in the 70s. Greil Marcus used the Who as his example in the article I remember, but Schlichter uses Foghat, so he can get a sweet "Slow Ride" pun in his first paragraph.
The article, since it's written for a conservative niche website, doesn't bother with explanations as to why the status quo and liberalism go hand in hand, but I guess if I would follow townhall.com long enough I would begin to understand. But let's get real. This is a fluff piece and propaganda for a conservative website, and Schlichter should be ashamed of himself for attaching his name to it.
Schlichter's thesis for the piece is that, unlike the young punk culture of the 70s, today's youth support a "liberal status quo that keeps them down," and that millennials are "eagerly complicit in their own serfdom."
Note that Schlichter has just taken a very broad, and ill-defined segment of the population - per Wikipedia, anyone born between the 1980s and the early 2000s - and said they are all, unequivocally, every single U.S. citizen born sometime after 1980, liberal adherents to the status quo, "complicit in their own serfdom." I do like that phrase, it's very punk rock.
This is directly from Schlichter's piece:
"Dead-end jobs, innovations like Uber sacrificed to protect established Democrat corporatist allies, and tons of student debt for their degrees in Feminist Interpretive Dance – you Millennials have been, and will be, fooled again. And again and again."
Okay, so, despite that he does not clarify the fact, let's say Schlichter is not referring to all people under the age of 35. Perhaps the above vitriol is meant to indicate he's only referring to people under the age of 35 who: A) have dead-end jobs, B) invent apps, C) have liberal arts degrees; or a combination thereof. One assumes he's implying that any other degree would immedietly get you paid so you can pay off that massive debt. How A,B, or C protects the "established Democrat corporatist allies," remains unclear. But by specifying "Democrat," is Schlichter arguing that Republicans are not part of the crony capitalist status quo? For a conservative mouthpiece website? Surely not.
So then Schlichter uses a rock n roll metaphor to bash Hillary Clinton, accusing her of crony capitalism and being in the thrall of big business. It is my contention that the majority of politicians in Washington, Democrat or Republican, are on the take. You may not agree with me, and believe that most folks up there deal honest. Show me who has a track record of not kow-towing to big business and money at every step of their political career and I'll count that person as a friend of the people, no matter if they're the staunchest Republican or a middle of the road Democrat.
I understand that Schlichter is just pandering to his audience, and his piece is fluff, devoid of meaning and intended only to make people who watch a lot of Fox News nod their heads and say "yep" without having to think too much. And maybe it gives some Tea Party asshole an excuse to say "I'm a punk rocker!" like when Ted Nugent said he was a bigger n-word than Russell Simmons.
Schlichter goes on to equate liberalism with the status quo, fascism, bureaucracy, political correctness, and control in an Orwellian sense. He plugs his conservative themed sci-fi book, which I bet is about a new civil war in the U.S., but I'm not going to bother confirming that. He says conservatism is like punk rock because the original punk rockers wanted freedom, and "the liberals want the opposite."
When you speak in generalities like Schlichter does in his article, and do not give specific examples, you are propagating unreal stereotypes, which isn't helping anybody. If Schlichter really loved freedom, he would get past this facade that there are liberals who believe X and conservatives who believe Y and never the twain shall meet, and instead write about what the majority of us agree on: that our two-party system is corrupted by the influence of big money and this needs to be corrected.
To focus on one party or another is divisive, unproductive, and, in my opinion, unpatriotic. I find it especially egregious that it's clear the only real purpose of Schlichter's article is to plug his sci-fi book.
Schlichter does a little woman-baiting, because race-baiting is gauche:
"The quintessential liberal isn’t a free-spirited manic pixie dream girl but a grim, bitter nightmare crone enraged because having gender-specific bathrooms in her dorm is history’s greatest hate crime."
Whatever, man. The 17 short-paragraph article goes on like this. Schitlicher makes crumby rock n roll analogies and then tells his audience what they want to hear: Liberalism is for "more regulations, more taxes, more dough for public employee unions, more stifling of innovation." Without any specific examples. Show me specifics, and then I will decide if I agree with you. Otherwise, you're just spouting rhetoric and propaganda that only serves to debase our fine Republic.
And as an aside, when it comes to liberals stifling innovantion, what about the innovators who created Uber, which Schlichter mentions in the beginning of his article as part and parcel of the liberal status quo? I guess he means those other innovators. Which ones, who knows, because above all, the author keeps who he is referring to general and vague. That way it's easier to villify them.
Schlichter blames Obama's pull-out in Iraq for the ISIS insurgency. And you know what, I think yeah, if we had kept U.S. troops in country, then this shit with ISIL wouldn't have happened. We could keep U.S. troops in that country for fifty years and it would stave off that inevitable. But an eventual pull-out would happen, no matter if a Democrat or a Republican ordered it, and the resulting strife in that region would then occur as a result. No matter when it happened, no matter what political party ordered it. Schlichter then makes yet another generalized, vague statement, that all conservatives in the U.S. want to go to war with Russia:
"Conservatives, on the other hand, know what to do. Take Putin. While Obama calls for yet another investigation to confirm what everybody knows, thereby kicking the can down the road so he doesn't have to make a gutsy call, us conservatives want to beat on the brat with a baseball bat. That’s how we won the Cold War, no thanks to liberals."
I mean, Mr. Schlichter, I know you get paid to write this nonsense, and that must alleviate your conscious somewhat. But does the paycheck you get for writing this divisive, ignorant propaganda, which only serves the very status quo you pretend to rail against, make you able to sleep at night?
I maintain the real issue at hand is not the lame narative of conservatives versus liberals, but the majority of the U.S. population versus the wealthiest individuals and corporations, and the politicians, be they Democrat or Republican, which this wealthiest elite of this country hold in its back pocket.