Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On False Unity

One of the big themes of the upcoming inauguration, and indeed Obama's administration (if media reports about his agenda are to be believed) is a concept of "unity." All Americans, we learn, are to unite around a "common purpose."

There's just one problem -- it's not so much "unity" as "collectivism." And sorry, Obama, but I'm not interested. And fortunately, neither are millions of other Americans.

First, there's the little problem that "unity" isn't really what these guys are interested in. Oh, sure, they'll invite Rick Warren (but not David Duke) to show that even people who dislike other groups and use laws to attack their fellow citizens are part of the Great Patriotic Union.

But if you're in an unfavored group, you're still lacking basic access to various legal statuses. "Unity" for you means, "sit down and shut up."

Then, there's the flip side of "unity," which is "sacrifice."

You didn't buy an overpriced house that you couldn't afford with money you didn't have. But since "we're all united," you'll be paying for others' who threw caution to the wind and signed contracts that they didn't bother to understand (or even read). Others who also voted to remove your 14th amendment equal protection rights. You see, you're a filthy fag, or a dirty Wiccan, or what have you, but we'll take your filthy lucre just the same!

You didn't take out huge home equity loans for Disney vacations, expensive cars, and designer furniture. But since "we're all united," the money you'd be saving for a down payment for a home of your very own will be taxed away from you to pay for others' vacations, cars, and furniture. You've got to help your fellow man, you know. We're united.

You didn't ask for, nor did you receive, risky loans on stupid assets from poorly managed banks. But since "we're all in this together," you'll be paying higher taxes on massive increases in debt to ensure that the executives of the top banks get to stay in their penthouse suites and keep their prior years' bonuses and payouts intact.

You never supported the invasion of Iraq, or endless wars overseas in conflicts that have nothing to do with you. But "united we stand," so more children will be maimed and murdered by bombs paid for with your tax money -- which "isn't really yours," according to one recent outburst by a Republican Congresscritter.

For so many of us, "unity" means little other than being good little citizens who sit down, shut up, pay up, and accept the "inspired micromanagement" of self-promoting politicians who have never had a real job in their lives. (And very few of them have ever had a real job -- not Obama, not Biden, not Frank, not Kennedy, not Pelosi, not Specter, not Casey, and on and on).

We are to subsume our own dreams to pay for the foolishness of others. Our responsible conduct in the face of an insane consumption economy is a designation for punishment. The fruits of the excesses were not ours, nor will they ever be -- but the pain is ours to share, the liabilities are ours to pay for, and the ill-gotten gains remain in the hands of those who took them in the first place.

So today, as a new administration takes power, I celebrate the shattering of the last barrier to achievement for black Americans. But I also celebrate the crotchety, rugged individualist who refuses to subsume his basic dignity and individuality under a false patina of "unity." Long may they flip the proverbial bird to those who would enslave them in the service of irresponsible and unAmerican fellow citizens.

10 comments:

Delaware Watch said...

Your error is a simple one, but in your rush to judge the Obama presidency negatively, it is understandable.

Unity is not the same as unanimity. You assume the former is the latter, but it's not.

But it was a nice try.

Brian Miller said...

You've illustrated my point perfectly, Dana.

Because I'm not a Democrat, my objections and assessments of Obama's policies and decisions are borne out of some "bad agenda."

Yet ten seconds later, you're going to insist we're "united."

I call bullshit, and your premise is bulging with it.

You and Team Obama are not "united" with every other American. You're not united with Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter. You're not united with Tyler Nixon.

Get real. Stop trying to shove this crap down our throats.

If you honestly expect me to "unite" with a group of people who would award the invocation of a first term president -- an honor bestowed only to 43 others in all of human history -- to a man who made his political name by nullifying my constitutional rights, you're completely bonkers.

And if you think it's unreasonable for me to "rush to judgment" over such an issue, walk a day in my shoes sometime.

But get off your high horse. The arrogance and condescension is making the air stale.

Delaware Watch said...

"Because I'm not a Democrat, my objections and assessments of Obama's policies and decisions are borne out of some "bad agenda."

Why did you put bad agenda in quotes. I never use that term. You are putting words in my mouth, attacking what I didn't say. That's called a straw man fallacy.

"Yet ten seconds later, you're going to insist we're "united."

Not that is just bizarre. I never said anything such thing nor would I. Again you commit the straw man fallacy.

"You and Team Obama are not "united" with every other American. You're not united with Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter. You're not united with Tyler Nixon."

You really think there are no shared values that bind most decent people together? Are you really that alienated and anti-social? So I'll will pass on walking in your shoes. They seem to go to only lonely and isolated places.

Brian Miller said...

You really think there are no shared values that bind most decent people together?

Define "decent." I suspect it means "agrees with my agenda."

And I love the little passive-aggressive digs slipped in there. If I disagree with your efforts to portray those who disagree with you as "indecent," that makes me "alienated and anti-social."

Though if Rick Warren wants to compare queer folk like myself to child-rapists, that's just diversity of opinion and I'm even more anti-social for objecting to your party's elevation of him to one of this country's greatest and rarest honors, right?

Hurray, "unity."

Brian Miller said...

I'll will pass on walking in your shoes. They seem to go to only lonely and isolated places.

Of course you will skip on it. The queers are always dispensable, when push comes to shove, and like most typical Democrats/liberals, you're unwilling to explore the significant role that you and your party have in isolating and disenfranchising groups of Americans yourselves.

The truth hurts, after all, and you've got power to accrue for yourselves and big government checks to vote for yourselves. So it's no big deal if your party breaks up families, overrules people's 14th amendment rights, or even overlooks a little Gitmo action.

It's all for The Greater Good.

Tyler Nixon said...

FWIW, Dana is no defender of the Warren inclusion by Obama. Quite the opposite, as far as I konw.

But I have to say, Dana, it is odd for you to throw the straw man response out there, considering I answered you with it earlier as the fallacy of the day for Obama and you, specifically in your post on the size of government.

Your responses to what I have written here and elsewhere today have been rather personal and one-dimensional, boiled down to angry accusations of "red-baiting".

Honestly, you take a very dismissive and simplistic view of legitimate concerns some of us have expressed as libertarians or as questioners of central state power run amok.

Perhaps rather than mis characterize or psycho-analyze our words, you might offer a substantive response as to why our concerns are misplaced - beyond our suspending our disbelief for this fairy tale news day filled with an incredibly profligate spectacle.

Tyler Nixon said...

Brian - for God's sake, please (if at all possible), never put me even in the same paragraph with Hannity or Coulter or the life!

Was that meant to analogize me to them?

God, I hope not. We may now be similar in questioning Obama, but like you my questioning is a continuation of my condemnations of Bush's federal messianism.

Much obliged in advance.

Brian Miller said...

Dana is no defender of the Warren inclusion by Obama. Quite the opposite, as far as I konw.

When push comes to shove, when it matters, he's on the wrong side and defending Obama.

Anybody can be politically correct and say "I disagree with that." It takes real courage to recognize the humanity of another when one's own political agenda is based in part upon denying that humanity.

In this endeavor, the Democratic Party has flunked in this inauguration -- and all the pomp, "excitement" and "goodwill" cannot cover up that rotten odor.

Bowly said...

Dana: You really think there are no shared values that bind most decent people together?

Brian: Define "decent." I suspect it means "agrees with my agenda."

It bears repeating (it's not my line, but I wish it was): the principal ethical defect of socialism is that it substitutes some peoples' values for other peoples' values. And then, as if on cue, here comes Dana ready to impose his values on those (presumably indecent) people who disagree with him.

Brian Miller said...

Yeah, and this Inauguration (copyright 2009, Home Box Office Inc.) pissed me off more than anything since the Prop 8 passage.

The whole tawdry Rick Warren thing, followed up by the selling of the concert, followed up by the censoring of Gene Robinson even as he carried water for Obama, built up.

But the endless adulation of "a new generation of tolerance and compassion," and "an end to the old cynical politics" and on and on was so friggin' dishonest. Inviting Rick Warren and giving him that speaking honor was Old Politics at its worst.

I will not forget, I do not forgive, and I will not overlook. Not that that's so important to Obama and his gang, but I call bullshit, and most of the rhetoric around this inauguration ushering in some new era is BULLSHIT.

As usual, it's a false unity built on the backs of a few people. Obama and his backers sacrifice nothing -- they demand others sacrifice their dignity -- and then they pillory those who refuse as spoilsports.

Yuck.