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Rationality is in the Eyes of the Power Holder, And What That Implies

Ya know, I can’t help thinking on Billy Beck as I read Mark Levin this morning: [1]

Mark Levin [2]

Mark Levin

I’ve been thinking this for a while so I might as well air it here. I honestly never thought we’d see such a thing in our country – not yet anyway – but I sense what’s occurring in this election is a recklessness and abandonment of rationality that has preceded the voluntary surrender of liberty and security in other places. I can’t help but observe that even some conservatives are caught in the moment as their attempts at explaining their support for Barack Obama are unpersuasive and even illogical. And the pull appears to be rather strong. Ken Adelman, Doug Kmiec, and others, reach for the usual platitudes in explaining themselves but are utterly incoherent. Even non-conservatives with significant public policy and real world experiences, such as Colin Powell and Charles Fried, find Obama alluring but can’t explain themselves in an intelligent way.

Think about this phrase of Levin’s…: “abandonment of rationality” in light of another discussion on rational thinking, and the varied definitions of it that we’ve just had recently, [3] and you’ll understand what Levin is missing in the quote above. It may not be rational to him… or to you or I… But to the people he mentions, well, that seems to me a different discussion. And that touches the discussions of rationality I’ve had with Billy over the years, too, including concepts of education on such things. Levin gets that part right. That aside…

The thing Levin is not considering is that in the true sense, these were never conservatives in the first place. They were, and remain, centrists.

Colin Powell [4]

Colin Powell

Powell, as an example has had his conservative bona fides questioned since day one, and correctly so.  HIs loyalty to conservative ideals was never the best, even as observed by centrists like George Will, for example. (Which is why the subtle shock in Will’s voice when he declares the bloody obvious… that Powell chose Obama based on race [5]… (Video) is so laughable.

These Centrists, Powell among them, came in on the coat tails of a centrist named Bush and with the end of his kids’ second term, they see the exit signs glaring red in their faces. So, being centrists… IE with no real idealogical foundation, but rather being measured by a finger gauge in the wind, they move on to the next source of power for them. In this case, Obama. True, Obama… and Biden for that matter… come down to their left, but who cares, as long as they manage to have some power for themselves, that little thing about the country surviving really doesn’t much matter, right?

It should be noted that Powell, often the subject of hateful statements on the net vis a vie Iraq, is now suddenly elevated to a favorite son in the eyes of the same people. Suddenly he’s credible in the eyes of the left. (There goes that question of team playing over rational thought again.)

Their support of Obama at this stage is easy enough to explain… What finger-gauge centrist wouldn’t see that experience of Powell’s as a clue on how to maintain their power and influence after a change of party in the White House? Bottom line: Rational for who? The country, or their own position and power, in what remains of it?

[6] I should, perhaps, inject a little rational thought into this discussion, by making the point that this kind of irrationality is the kind of thing we open ourselves up to when we as Republicans fall in behind centrists who don’t really operate within the realm of what we stand for.  Remember, Reagan didn’t win over Democrats by becoming one of them, but rather by the weight of his arguments and actions… and by the national disaster Jimmy Carter wrought… were they forced to the right.

We got where we are by ignoring that lesson, after Reagan, when we elected Bush 41. Remember; Bush was added to Reagan’s ’80 ticket to give some centrist reach to Reagan, not because Bush was a right wing ideologue.

The last 30 years, or so, would seem to raise questions on the rationality of electing a VP to the top slot, simply because he’s held the second VP slot for eight years. Certainly the Democrat learned that lesson in ’68 with Humphrey, and again later on with Gore.

As to where to go, then, based on all of this; There is no doubt in my mind at all that John McCain is the lesser evil in the choice before us, and he has my vote on that basis. But… next time around… what say we offer actual conservatives? If the centrists want to ride along, that’s all well and good, but in no way should they have the leadership of the party again, if this country is to survive as such for long. Think of it this way; If center and left are all we have to choose from, and compromise is always the way of things, which way do you suppose the country is headed?