Friday, October 27, 2006

Salon Interview with Camille Paglia

For the life of me, I don't get this woman's devotion to the Democrat party. She must be an optimist, since her list of grievances (and it is long) will likely never change.

She articulates clearly the average American's (who she identifies as small-business owners who dislike the "nanny state") distrust of all things Democrat:

  • No cohesive world-view--simple-mindedness on world geopolitical complexities
  • Willingness to destroy their own ideology for power--Foley
  • Elevating the profane as art
  • Using pseudo-intellectual condescension in the Art realm leading people to believe art is for snobs and the superficial--Warhol PBS Documentary
  • Clinton acting like the "shadow president" and making an ass of himself during the Fox interview with Chris Wallace
  • Press collusion with Democrats over whatever suits them--in this case Foley
  • Hollywood elite showing contempt for people--Barbra Streisand being Exhibit "A"
She paints a fairly accurate and miserable picture. She also rightly identifies the Bush constituency's frustration with border patrol and illegal immigration, the Iraq war, etc. She worries that Bush's locution reveals his inability to think in big ideas.

She sees Nixonian paranoia creeping into Bush's style. This last observation, I must say, seems a stretch. If I were him, I might be paranoid. I've mentioned this before. I'd be paranoid because everyone does seem out to get me--from lies to damn lies to leaks to betrayal--this President has been on the receiving end of scorn and deceit not only from the usual subjects but from his own. It almost boggles the mind. If he's getting a tad testy that would seem rational--not irrational. I do agree with Paglia that this defensive position is not good for America. And I wonder if Bush's fatigue at being incessantly pummeled is why he's going all rubbery on Iraq.

The whole interview is worth a read. I think she pretty well sums up America today. While America will survive non-funding of the arts because liberal elites refuse to involve the unwashed masses in the culture conversation, America won't survive the relentless drive to destruction because of dithering and debating our value as a country.

Perhaps the most important thing that she doesn't mention, is her own party's self-loathing. How to be an intellectual on this world stage and love America? Evidently, holding those two notions simultaneously is too much for a progressive. The elite seem to be willing to trade their love of country for personal aggrandizement--to be loved by the "thinkers" of the world. They show utter ingratitude and a profound lack of perspective for what America is and has given them.

This contempt for America, epitomized by the deluded Dixie Chicks, plays poorly, to say the least. No one believes that America is above criticism. No one believes Bush is above criticism. Paglia herself cites the areas that conservatives differ with their representatives--especially Bush. This sort of anger and resentment is a whole different kettle of fish than artists humiliating the President, bad-mouthing our country on foreign ground, etc.

I would like to see the Democrats get their acts together, but that would mean a total change of perspective--putting the country first over petty personal desires. The Democrats need to "get" that if America ceases to exist, these silly slap-fights won't matter anyway. It's time for the Democrats to grow up and get serious.


Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Good post!

I happen to agree with Paglia on a lot of things and disagree on others, but in the end, I don't fault her loyalty to the ideals and principles of the Dem party- as they once were.

Paglia is holding onto the classical liberalism of yesterday- the party of Scoop Jackson, Patrick Moynihan and even Hubert Humphrey.

Given that now the Dems party has been become leftist, as opposed to real 'liberal,' none of those patriots could be elected today.

They were all staunchly anti communists, they were all pro family- in every sense of the word- and none of them would have the darlings of the left today.

Paglia is missing the 'old days.'

Can you blame her for wanting them back?

Anonymous said...

we're going to have to defeat today's liberalism much as we have to defeat islamofascism. I just got back this am from a local Allen Rally. The Allen rally folk were protested by 'pro same sex and whatever the H else comes down the pike' folk, and they weren't nice. They were loudmouthed, confrontational, obnoxious, pushy, intolerant of any opinion not like theirs. They are incapable of civility or saying or recognizing truth. Yeah, the old liberals are gone. These new ones are dangerous to the country and themselves. c

Anonymous said...

Q: What's the difference between the Democrats and the old Communists?

A: There's a difference?

Antoinette said...

I live in California and Camille Paglia is a dime a dozen here. I know so many women like her. They are angry about illegal immigration, they are angry about criminals being let out on the streets, they worry about their children being abducted by predators, they are resentful of their tax dollars going to women who have babies they know they can't afford, they want traditional classes the 3rs taught in school not Heather and her mommies. And they are Democrats! Don't ask me why, I gave up trying to talk to people like that a long time ago. They vote for a party they THINK the Dems are, then they complain endlessly about all that liberalism has wrought. Makes me nuts. So does Paglia, I can't read her without wanting to smack the silly out of her.

David said...

It is very, very dangerous to feel loyalty to an institution when the things that institution stands for have greatly changed.

I read somewhere about Jews in a remote small town in Russia in 1941 who looked forward to the arrival of the German troops--they remembered the civilized and "correct" German officers from the earlier war, who were much preferable to the local anti-Semitic officials. They didn't understand that "Germany" in 1941 meant something very different from "Germany" in 1914.

Dr. Melissa said...

Over at RightWingNews someone asked about the point of two-party systems. The Democrats need to come back to their senses. We need thoughtful, adult ideas about the hows of solving the big problems of our day: terrorists, energy reliance, immigration, etc.

The problem is that the Democrats insist that those aren't big issues. No, the big issues are gay marriage and global warming.

The notion seems to be lost on them that if we're all vaporized, we won't be married or enjoying the trees.

Anonymous said...

Look, all makes much more sense when you realise that, compared to the rest of the world, most of you are borderline retarded.

The first step in recovery is acknowledging the problem.

Dr. Melissa said...

I love it when the enlightened drop by. It is always illuminating.