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« Reality TV and the GOP presidential race | Main | Peter Wehner's creative table-turning »

May 26, 2015



Someday Bernie's rhetoric absolutely will be mainstream. Western cultural values since the 16th century are generally recognized to have spread from Scandinavia and Northern Europe throughout the rest of the Western world, mostly in terms of The Enlightenment but also including other social values. To see the structures of the societies there is to see them in the American future. The United States of America, despite the notions of some, is itself based on Enlightenment philosophy, greco-roman history and English Common Law. What has slowed development here for the last 70 years or so is the anomalous success of the conservative movement. One of its leading lights, William F. Buckley, wrote "A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it." He made it the mission statement of the National Review.

Yelling "stop," no matter how cleverly and with what sophisticated propaganda tools, can only resist the urges of human nature for so long, and that time has nearly run out. According to some reports Bernie is starting to attract 'Draft Warren' supporters who are coming to grips with the possibility Elizabeth won't run. Evidently the term "socialist" doesn't scare them, as it increasingly doesn't scare millennials and some of their elders keenly aware of the failures of unrestrained capitalism.

Since Bernie brought up Pope Francis I'll admit to some past ignorance expressed here. He's the first Jesuit to fill the position, from the scholarly order of The Church. Their tradition includes training in classical studies as well as theology, and they have been the philosophers as well as teachers of sciences and arts. They were the astronomers that invented the Gregorian calendar around 1582 which, except for a few later tweaks, has served us ever since. Of course he does still represent a highly conservative institution. And some of his practices like foot washing are still a bit garish, but then I've never been attracted to pumps or stiletto heels as things on their own, so maybe my brain matrix just lacks imagination for foot appreciation.


Sorry - Greco-Roman. Stupid dictionary.

Peter G has a deceptive head line. Spoiler: it isn't crazy at all.

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