Monday, November 19, 2007

Ron Paul and Mitt Romney: Why is Japan Killing the Whales?

By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 11/19/07

The 2008 Presidential race will bring an end to Clinton-era Soccer Mom politics. No longer will everyone get a trophy. No longer can just anyone and their wife, secretary or auntie be President, Senator, Supreme Court Justice or Attorney General. The price of incompetence mounts daily. Virtual disaster is at hand and there is real potential now for America to fall into third world status.

In Soccer Mom America everybody got a chance. Married six times? Outstanding bench warrants in Nashville? Sexual assault charges still lingering in limbo in Arkansas? Fail to pass the bar in D.C.? Don’t know how to file income tax yet? Hard time for trafficking in Florida? Not a problem. Everybody gets a trophy. You can even be President and with the proper stylist and consultants the fact that your only education was as a free-church preacher in the taking-up-serpents churches in the hollows of Appalachia can spin to your advantage: On that free-basing cocaine and dog fighting conviction you can play the Born Again card.

No more. Nature demands – survival demands – a return to the aptitudes and abilities of the very best among us.

Elsewhere, away from of the dreary night of politics, a sea change is being marked by astonishing gifted athletes Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker and the New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick who brought them together. They have changed football as Bob Dylan and The Beatles changed music. And likewise they will change our world and our generations. Necessity will demand that that same level of surly New England excellence that Belichick brings to football be brought to everything we do in the world including politics and government, lest we fall into a chasm between Asia and Europe.

And say what you like about him but Mitt Romney brings the same level of management to politics and government that Belichick brings to football.

But Romney will not turn the age although he is likely to manage it: Ron Paul will turn it.

Why are the Japanese killing the whales? Because no one cares what America thinks anymore. The U.S., riding the economic curve out of World War II and on to the end of the century, established post-war values in the world and if the world wanted to play with our football they would play as we played – there was no other option but the commies. Our values; that is, the things that we thought - through vanity possibly or delusion - were the good and great things of the world; from Jefferson and Madison to Cal Kline and Michael Jackson - created the climate the others were to bask in if they hoped to play.

No more. Now they will do what they like and it starts with the Japanese.

Japan understands subtle. Bunraku puppet theater is a masterful dramatic tradition in Japan where the puppets are all surrounded by shadows in black cloaks, which adds a spooky dimension to the action – the players are puppets; they are merely pawns to the shadows and forces unseen from the unconscious. All public action is contrived and symbolic puppet work, artfully placed. Japan acted in Samurai tradition when it yielded in submission to MacArthur; the vanquished in the warrior’s honor tradition submitting its will to the master and victor. They would do what the master demanded: They must become slave and subset to the master and be the master’s will. Play baseball. Turn Christian. Whatever. Stop killing and eating beautiful, sensitive and psychic humpback whales as sushi. Today, the warrior tradition yields. Japan leaves America and MacArthur behind.

Overt symbolism was always important and apparent in relations with the Japanese. Back in the early 1980s when Japanese management strategies became a fashion I remember a discussion by a Japanese diplomat on the McNeil/Lehrer news hour about America turning to the hollow aluminum baseball bats. The diplomat was urging the Victor to show his Valor and the resolute character and resilience which conquered him and his world. He was asking us to again seek excellence, and to be all that we could be. And get rid to the aluminum baseball bat, he said, it is hollow, empty and manufactured. Go back to the wooden and shamanistic Louisville Slugger which represented America when we rose to greatness.

In Robert Christopher’s book, The Japanese Mind, which helped explain Japan to America back then, Christopher made the point that the Japanese had only a few options for success in the globalist post-war world. The one was to tag along on America’s path as America demanded. Another was to find fellowship with a rising China. Today you might add Europe and Russia as well. Such conspicuous public symbolism as beginning again to hunt the humpbacks is certainly not accidental. It is Japan’s Samurai spirit saying to America: We are free from our burden of failure and atonement. You have failed in the Master’s Task: we no longer owe you fealty.

Was bound to happen. And of course, China – still fuming about all those Southern Baptist politicians suddenly madly in love with the Dalai Lama – will try to bring the slowest of deaths now by inching toward Russia and the revolutionary peasants below the border suddenly oil rich. Time to read Sun Tzu again: “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable: when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” Now they are dropping T Bills and dollars and trading up for euros and sterling and the world follows as if on the path of a trail of crumbs dropped in the forest. Even rap singers and supermodels are demanding pay in euros.

Ouch. The sudden friendship of the French should have been the tip off. Now the French like us. No one else does.

We are at the end of things and at the beginning of things. The tiresome thing about this Presidential campaign is that it is like watching TV reruns on the high stations; there is Frazier, Seinfeld and the Clintons; there is John McCain in his Old Soldiers uniform recalling wars of those old enough to be grandfathers and great grandfathers.

But things begin as well. I think it is fully possible now for Barack Obama to win this Presidency and I hope he does. I want to see a man whose grandfather lived in an African village become President of the United States. Paul and Obama were the only candidates to instinctively oppose the neocon fantasy in Iraq. Everyone knew it was smoke and mirrors. The politicians Clinton, Kerry and Edwards simply yielded to war fever. It was the first test of management in our century and only Obama and Paul passed.

And in the Senate, only Obama instinctively knew and understood that habeas corpus is the basis of the white man’s long journey from the 12th century to the millennium. He understands in his most primary nature that torture does not call for cutesy comments to the moderator like Hillary’s spine-chilling retort that she’d talk to her husband about his position. (As Alan Dershowitz has pointed out, Bill Clinton’s position on torture was the same as his and as Rosa Brooks pointed out in the LA Times last year, Hillary’s was – surprise – the same as her husband’s.) And like Jack Kennedy and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Obama is the only candidate with an unquenchable smile and one which shows a primary life force of joy and belonging.

If Obama does win, he will be a curing, healing President. A President who brings élan and world spirit like a Jack Kennedy or Bobby. Or like the folksy Sunday-school teacher who returned us homeward to ourselves, Jimmy Carter.

But Ron Paul brings a sea change. Never before have ideas like his held sway in America and those ideas have been around for a long time. And never before has New Hampshire seen such a scene with a politician.

The Concord Monitor, in describing the aftermath of a September campaign rally in Manchester, wrote: “Members of the audience chanted his name. Several jumped up and down. Descending from the stage, [Paul] found himself surrounded by supporters snapping cell-phone photographs. Two women turned so Paul could sign the backs of their T-shirts.”

The decline of the dollar and the descent of the American economy into a valley between Asia and Europe brings the end of America’s globalist economic arc in the world. Bush killed it, possibly intentionally. Perhaps he is a closet Libertarian and prefers the city-state or nation-state to world government and globalization based out of Wall St. I’m about 70% thinking he does.

But when things end they don’t die. They turn into something else. And Paul’s popularity is rising because his ideas on economy and culture are suited to the times and suited to the times ahead.

Paul might be what anthropologists call a Monkey King; he is the creator of a new era and inspires new leaders and new paths of leadership. The generation or generations which follow look first to Monkey King. History often forgets their names, like firebrand James Otis who inspired John Adams to revolution or Theodore Parker, the fiery Massachusetts preacher and Yankee crusader who egged Lincoln on to warfare. The leaders who come now in the fourth post-war generation will look to Paul.

And given time, I believe Mitt Romney and the best minds in the Republican Party will look to Ron Paul because the Republican Party has split now between the Paul faction and everybody else. Paul is a natural for the South and Southwest and vocalizes much they have long felt. Paulites and Paulines will rise and advance in red America and in states where small government and states rights are taking new meaning. This is a new historical path and one more suited for the U.S. in the century ahead. It is suited to an America fully formed with rich and indigenous regions which increasingly over the decades will have a less and less need for a federal government, and as California and the Eastern States have directly expressed recently, find the Hamilton tradition of federalism to be an impediment to their progress and prosperity. It is an impediment to excellence.

There is a widely held misunderstanding about Romney – one reflected in a poor article this week in the Washington Post. It is that Romney, because he is a Mormon, will not accept new ideas. I wonder if these people actually watched the 2002 Winter Olympics which Romney took over as President and CEO and rescued it from incompetent leadership. The entertainment was largely run – it seemed to have been commandeered – by Robbie Robertson, a Monkey God of my own generation, who brought the world Woodstock, The Band and Bob Dylan in various guises. Robertson brought in a whole bunch of Canadian First People; women primarily, and had them waving herbs and shouting Indian blessings at the athletes. He brought in great singers and entertainers like Rita Coolidge from the Sixties period. Indeed, it was all a great hippie show leading up to an “Oklahoma” style dramatic presentation on the celestial rise of the White Buffalo, a Native American Indian harbinger of the rising Age of Aquarius.

To the contrary; there may indeed be a positive management aspect of being a Mormon. Here in Massachusetts Romney felt no inherent conflict between Irish Catholic and White Glove Unitarian; a Curse greater than the New York Yankees which had fated the region since Emerson and Parker.

Paul and Romney are fully at odds over Iraq and many other things. But what Romney can do like no other is take a fresh idea and form it, fill it in and contour it to suit the day. We are seeing now in Ron Paul ideas which may not have worked 30 or 50 years ago. But they may be perfectly suited to the times ahead.

Romney’s staff has stated that it is still looking for the single idea as keystone to the Romney campaign and a Romney Presidency. Possibly he will find it in Ron Paul.

The idea of small government in particular, has never been fully formed. Ron Paul speaks to it as did Reagan. As the coffers shrink in big states like California and throughout the U.S., smaller government will become a necessity. But since Reagan, “small government” has meant only thin government. If governments are to lose their wealth and weight, the shape and packaging of government must change.

Government is almost exclusively about packaging. But like the puppets in Bunraku theater, ideas about government are surrounded by spooks and dark shadows - and regionalism conjures ghosts from 1865. However, a regional council for the Katrina region for example, would at least temporarily manage the multifaceted issues of repair, environment and law enforcement that need to be handled together. Only Romney has recognized that “one size fits all” federalism brings widespread incompetence to problems of poverty and prosperity. This begins to travel the path of Paul.

Up here in New Hampshire, the Free State Project people, who I admire and respect, have a simple plan. As one mountain independent put it on her blog, their issues are uncomplicated: “legalize marijuana, end the war, Hillary is a commie . . .” They would have no problem with George Kennan’s desire expressed in his last days, of seeing America divided into 12 working regions. People expect us to behave like that up here; if they tried it in other states the Homies (that would be the Homeland Security) would be on their tails.

But regionalization, seen without spooks and shadows, in no way challenges the entity and essence of the United States, it simply shifts the responsibilities for solving problems to states and regions. It is simply a way of building matrixes for small government; of defunding federalism and repackaging appropriately to the various cultures on the continent without causing chaos and difficulty. It is simply a better package in a continent fully culturized; a matrix for community tier economy and a Jeffersonian vision of family, community and culture.

In truth, community cannot hold in Hamilton’s view in which corporation is primary and its main cell of energy is the individual. In Jefferson’s view it is family, church, region and community tier economy. It is a difference of Particle and Wave, and as we learned from the physicist/shamans of the 1920s and 30s, one can be either a Particle or a Wave, but not both at the same time: In a word, Hamilton and Jefferson are incompatible, but they can alternate, and the one best for some conditions is worse for others. The Jefferson path – the Paulist path – could well be the better package for our rapidly arriving century.

The days of the Soccer Mom are quickly fading. Necessity returns us to excellence as it returns us to our truest nature in the darkest hour. I first spotted the first slouching return to competence and excellence on the TV show House; it is an auspicious harbinger of the age ascending. Dr. House is a genius intuitive with skill derived from his own knowledge, perseverance and experience. He is Master in a sea of self-assured, incompetent, group-think professionals born of management theory and Best Practices conferences. He is universally despised by Organization Man and even crankier than Bill Belichick. He is a cripple, a freak and an outcast in an autonomous and self-sustaining management culture in which everyone is used to getting a trophy.


Dreepa said...

Nice mention of the FreeStateProject.
Ron Paul has the highest per capita donations here in the Free State. He spoke this year at the 2007 Liberty Forum. Come check out the 2008 Liberty Forum for surprises this year:

Anonymous said...

Great Article.

I share much of the same opinion.

I feel that American Government must be changed, Not Managed.

Government does nothing well and centralization of power results in power brokering to who ever has the most money.

Ron Paul is my choice.

I will do what I can to spread the message.

The Message Is More Important Then The Man.

Bob Kincaid said...

A fine essay. I found you via your comments on Norman Mailer in the Cavet article in the NYT.

While I both understand and agree with much of what you write, I must ask a question regarding this one passage:
"Paul and Obama were the only candidates to instinctively oppose the neocon fantasy in Iraq."

Bob Kincaid said...

A fine essay. I found you via your comments on Norman Mailer in the Cavet article in the NYT.

While I both understand and agree with much of what you write, I must ask a question regarding this one passage:
"Paul and Obama were the only candidates to instinctively oppose the neocon fantasy in Iraq."

Bob Kincaid said...

A fine essay. I found you via your comments on Norman Mailer in the Cavet article in the NYT.

While I both understand and agree with much of what you write, I must ask a question regarding this one passage:
"Paul and Obama were the only candidates to instinctively oppose the neocon fantasy in Iraq."

Bob Kincaid said...

And now the question:

Are you implying that Dennis Kucinich's opposition was non-instinctive? Are you implying that Kucinich is not a "candidate?"

I would suggest that you are mistaken on either count. At the time in question, Dennis Kucinich led the opposition to the war from his seat in the House of Representatives. Obama wasn't even in the Congress at the time.

I don't believe that one could credibly assert that Kucinich's opposition to the "neocon fantasy in Iraq" was a product of some cynical political calculus. What makes Rep. Kucinich so appealing is exactly the opposite: the sense one gets that one is dealing with a person who operates from a moral center that not only informs, but determines his politics.

What is it about Paul and his same old tired libertarian hokum (pot smokers who hate Social Security till the start collecting it) that makes him more intriguing or visionary for having opposed the war by being right for all the wrong reasons?

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