October 9, 2010
On the Dismal State of Political WitBy James Lewis
This is a time of heated political arguments, which is not bad in itself. It means most Americans are finally waking up to the shaft that is about to hit us -- trillions in inconceivable deficits, new taxes, high unemployment, regimented medical care, economic stagnation, and a shift of power from the producers to the parasites. If that didn't rouse America, we would be dead and gone. Ben Franklin would have known what to do. So would Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, Edmund Burke, H.L. Mencken, G.B. Shaw, and Winston Churchill: Destroy the opposition with wit and ridicule.
The brilliant minds on the Left seem to confuse rage with humor. Like male chimps, they simply tear off leaves and branches, jump up and down, bare their canines, and scream a lot. But that isn't funny. Americans know the Left doesn't have any ideas, just rage.
Obama is a classic butt for jokes, a guy with his head orbiting the Mothership, still living in Dreams from my Father -- which turned his father's Kenya into a bloody nightmare -- and always stepping on the most malodorous and juicy cow pats that litter the ground in D.C. He has no sense of humor. The Messiah does not tolerate laughter, which makes him a natural target for comedy. The One is skinnier and taller than Alfred E. Neumann, but his slogan is the same -- "What, Me Worry?"
Lousy unemployment? "Green jobs will save the economy." Iranian nukes on the way to Israel and, soon, the U.S.? "We are banning their pistachio imports." The panty-bomber stopped by a miracle in the air over Detroit? "The system worked."
Now, those are natural laugh lines. Groucho Marx would have killed for them. But the Left is living in fear and rage; they are mad at Obama for not losing Afghanistan fast enough. Other than a precious few profound wits like Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Miller on the radio, Mark Steyn and P.J. O'Rourke in print, and the multimedia presence Ann Coulter, the mainstream Right is just beginning to look for its funny bone. Where the heck did we leave it?
Britain used to have a great tradition of political wit, honed to a fine point by Oxford and Cambridge undergraduates who spent their idle hours in pubs, making up put-downs for each other and their professors. It became a high art, polished and refined over generations. But under socialism, even Oxbridge wit has turned into an intellectual slum, intimidated by the dumbed-down BBC. Like Queen Victoria, the Beeb is never amused, and certainly not by humor directed against its lowing herd of sacred cows. Socialism is above criticism, and when socialism spreads to every part of life, there's nothing left to laugh at. Suicidal immigration policies are untouchable. Sexual deviancy can't be discussed honestly. It's Reverse Victorianism, and it's still run by control freaks. If you shut down rational discourse, you can control any country.
Obama is pure Eurosocialist. He has no sense of humor about himself, no matter how silly he looks. Remember how he was going to stop the riiiiising of the seas? Yes, indeed.
Dinesh D'Souza describes Obama as an anti-colonialist. Obama and his buds have a none-too-subtle contempt for white folks and for all the historic achievements of Western civilization. The U.S. Constitution is the crowning achievement of Western political thought, because it aims to limit that greed for power that was the norm for most of human history. The Roman Caesars were no better than the Ottoman Sultans, the Russian Tsars, or the Emperors of China and Japan: They were so seduced by their own absolute power that they lost touch with reality. As their tastes became more extreme, they indulged their fantasies more and more. They murdered and exiled their own family members who might compete for power.
The United States Constitution was written to limit the egomania that the Obamas express so innocently. The fact that they never understand that shows how far they are outside the American political tradition. They are oddly foreign, and they would be even if they could find that damned birth certificate.
Obama is stuck in anticolonialism, all right, but there's a twist to that tale, because "anti-colonialism" is nothing but Eurosocialist imperialism. Scratch any of the "anticolonialist" heroes of Asia and Africa and you find a Marxist (Marx was a Prussian ideologue) or a Leninist (Lenin was Russian fanatic) or Fabian socialists (bloody-minded professors, every single one). Anticolonialism was European imperialism in light disguise. It was always a fraud.
Obama is stuck in an ideology that's fifty years out of date, and even then, it was self- deluded. It's your Democratic Party at work, folks.
India's Prime Minister Nehru was an anticolonialist, educated at Britain's best and most Leftist universities, who led his nation to decades of stagnation and mass poverty. Mao Zedong was an anticolonialist who killed 40 million of his own people in a fit of revolutionary madness. Pol Pot was an anticolonialist who killed two or three million Cambodians for counterrevolutionary acts like wearing eyeglasses. Anyone see a pattern here?
This is the creed our president is stuck in. At a time like this, jokes are the only way to sanity.
Anticolonialism is so retro in the real world. Today, India's prime minister is a free-market economist, and his country has grown at astonishing speed. Israel is a model of liberalization after its socialist beginnings. China is trying to have a free market and still keep the ruling class in power. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan practice capitalism with some mixture of social welfare. The Europeans don't talk about it, but they know what's up, and the Germans and Brits keep adding more freedom as their economies start tipping over. Sarkozy in France and Berlusconi in Italy are free-marketeers with a socialist veneer, and they are struggling with the rotten establishment of the Left every single day. In the entire world, only Obama hasn't figured it out. But Vladimir Putin knows.
Somebody should do a comedy skit with Putin explaining how capitalism works to Obama.
Putin (with heavy Russian accent): Power corrrrupts. Absolute powerrrr corrrrupts absolutely.
Obama: Where'd you hear that?
Now, that could be funny. But where is our Winston Churchill to skewer the opposition with words that sting? Where's our H.L. Mencken to set fire to their shirts? Economic times may be bad, but the opportunity for great comedy is being wasted.
What are we waiting for, a laugh track?