Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Buckley Cuts Through the Cant

In an op-ed at Yahoo! News, William F. Buckley Jr. says:

Thu Oct 14,12:05 AM ET

By William F. Buckley Jr.

Teresa Heinz Kerry's reference to "greed for oil" can be passed over, and is being passed over, as routine political hyperbole. But maybe the time has come to examine the words and their meaning. This is so because "oil" is widely used as the great engine of human avarice. In years -- and centuries -- gone by, the devil word was "gold." It was gold that brought out the reserves of evil in men. It ranked with and even exceeded love and sex. Oil could not, of course, go through hobgoblinization until its uses were discovered. But now it is used as the commonplace agent of evil.

What needs to be said about oil is that it IS worth fighting for. We would all agree that air and water are necessities. Without them life instantly ends. Without oil, life does not end, but life radically changes....
Only the super-rich can afford to be haughtily condescending about things like oil (evil incarnate) and the environment (to be protected regardless of the cost in jobs and GDP).

Mike Brock takes out similarly minded lefties who begrudge any signs of happiness among Teresa's "common people":
[T]his morning, I had a discussion with somebody at a local coffee shop....

“Do you know what really bothers me?” he says, “all of these middle-class people making $40,000 a year, living out in the suburbs thinking their lives are so great. They actually think because they have a house and two cars in the driveway, that they are living on the up and up”.

“Are you aware that you are evil?” I asked him. He responded only with a blank stare.

“You resent that people have found relative happiness in their lives. You would seek to convince them that they should be depressed,” I said to him straightly.

He then announced his theory that the only reason they were happy, is because the bourgeois and corporations had brainwashed them into thinking that they were happy, when they really are not.

I’ve only recently started to pay attention to this mindset among left-wingers, but now that I’m really looking at it, I realize just how evil and shallow some people are. How can you resent somebody for finding happiness on a modest income? What the hell is wrong with these people?...

These people will only accept the happiness of others if it’s happiness in the context of what they deem to be an appropriate way of living. The fact that Joe Anybody doesn’t complain about working 8-hour days, 5-days a week, and enjoys his weekend doing home improvements and going out to dinner with his family, bothers these people deeply. They don’t want these people to be happy. They want to remind them that they live a meager lifestyle, and they are slaves to capitalism, and that they should be resentful of our society....

These people...seek only to lower the spirits [of] and bring grief [to] the average person, in order to satisfy their own personal insecurities.
Yep. Insecurity (emotional if not financial) breeds an unfounded sense of superiority.

(Thanks to Megan McArdle for the tip about Buckley's piece, and to The Monger for the tip about Mike Brock's post.)