Jewish World Review May 24, 2002/ 13 Sivan, 5762

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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Consumer Reports

Should I embrace liberalism? | I'm considering becoming a leftist. Leftists lead the life of Riley. Of course, such ethnic idioms must cease. Leftists hold the best real estate. San Francisco, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, and Seattle are havens for the tolerant elite. Honolulu has so many leftists that it ranked 199 in Forbes' analysis of 200 places to do business. Balmy breezes and pineapple do not abide capitalists. Leftists aren't in Phoenix with 110-degree summers and 110,000 scorpions or Fargo with wind chills that freeze fillings.

And, oh, the leftist crowd and glitterazzi do commune. Chelsea Clinton sat with Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna at the Versace spring fashion show. A Bush daughter with fake ID and a real Prada backpack couldn't crack that social ring. Dick Cheney has succumbed to celebrity leftist temptation. He will travel to Africa with save-the-world Bono. Neil Simon had no odder couple, but Cheney's flesh was weak.

Leftist parents don't spank, they mollycoddle. The parents of that daft, smiling mailbox teen bomber, Luke Helder, who idolized grins so much that his targets formed a smiley face, are pieces of work. The father assured that their beloved lad with the pipe bombs "is not dangerous" and bemoans their lack of understanding as his parents.

You can spot leftist parents from a zip code away because they spout platitudes of friendship with their felonious progeny. Leftist parents follow the path of least resistance, in awe of youthful exploration, even when it involves death or dismemberment.

Those of us out here using corporeal punishment, and living with grumpy children forced to tow the line, grow weary of our unpopularity. When John Walker Lindh's mother saw him upon his return from Afghanistan, she pledged her love and support. A local talk radio host said, "What mother wouldn't do the same, even for a traitor?" Whereupon my oldest son chimed in, "Right here. My mother would meet me at the plane with a paddle. Jail would look good."

The popularity of leftist parents is exceeded only by the popularity of ex-presidents of the leftist genre. Enter Jimmy Carter, stage left Havana, courting a Nobel by cuddling with fascist Fidel. How pleased the folks chained in prison and those destined to become shark bait as they make the freedom trek to Key West must be to see their oppressor embraced by a peanut farmer whose greatest presidential act was leaving.

What is it about Cuba that charms celebs and other leftists? Alanis Morissette says she found herself there. Among the children with no milk and humans with no rights? Sen. Barbara Boxer took Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead drummer, another odd couple, with her on what has become the pop pilgrimage of the ribbon-lapelled crowd- Cuba through Castro's delusional eyes. It's ever so chic to "hang" with Castro, as Mr. Hart describes it. Political prisoners hang with Castro, too, in the literal sense.

Leftist skills in selective oblivion are unsurpassed. Despite temptation, I cannot surrender the profound conviction that distinguishes conservatives from leftists. We conservatives will not be suckered, except occasionally by televangelists with bouffant hair, of both genders. The central plank of the conservative platform is that principle trumps all and tough love stops licentiousness. Principle earns Mr. Bush grief from his own party. Leftists couldn't bring themselves to condemn Clinton for adultery in the White House, perjury in depositions, and money changing in the Map Room, but conservatives jump all over Bush for a weak education bill and weaker support for Israel.

Castro opens his doors and Enron-like facade to any drummer, star or San Francisco lefty for the very same reason celebrities open their homes and hearts to Barbara Walters. There will be no hardball.

Castro can spot a rube from an island away. And Jimmy Carter is a big one. He has been a PR tool for Arafat while his foundation rakes in Arab funding. Carter was also a fool for that charmer Daniel Ortega, playing his hammer and Habitat for Humanity card to help a cruel and unusual dictator. He jumped in, unsuccessfully, to aid the Sandinistas in Managua. Is it a surprise that Amy Carter is a mess?

Dangerous leaders know leftists are gullible egotists who make ideal patsies because they ask no questions and bring along their media friends for positive press. Children play leftist parents for fools in the same way. In the parent/leftist mind, children and dictators can do no wrong.

Leftists are like Susan Johnson, fiancée to Arthur Bach in the film, "Arthur." She says, "The right woman could stop you from drinking." Conservatives are like Arthur who responds, "It would take an awfully big woman." Playing the anti-leftist role is a tough, lonely job that mandates a flag on the lapel, a dose of honesty and more than an occasional rebuke - of brats and dictators, which is what brats become and remain, with help from indulgent leftists.

JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.


05/20/02: Some passion about Israel
05/09/02: A mother who cares enough
05/02/02: Go ahead, pass judgment
04/29/02: The irritation of the modern wedding
04/18/02: Claire's life
04/15/02: Harvard takes off its pants one leg at a time
04/09/02: The Clinton legacy: Politics of personal destruction
03/31/02: Oscars' subtle bigotry was embarrassing
03/22/02: Blame Oprah, Rosie, Sally, Ted, David
03/14/02: The costs of women's feeble choices
03/08/02: Botoxic faces
02/28/02: The dangers of organized philanthropy
02/25/02: Don't take the gold
02/14/02: Ease up on the brothers and sisters
02/11/02: Because I was courted
02/05/02: Fat fault
01/24/02: Tolerance does not mean stupidity
01/17/02: Too old too soon
01/10/02: Ethically challenged firms
01/03/02: The year that was
12/27/01: The Twelve Days of inconsistency
12/20/01: Free Speech and the political spectrum
12/13/01: Curbing brats
12/06/01: Power to influence
11/29/01: The disappearing art of grading
11/21/01: The Big Two-Five
11/13/01: You can never find a lib when you need one
11/01/01: Unlucky in sports
10/26/01: An epidemic of counselitis
10/16/01: A touch of class
10/12/01: Of human nature and monsters
10/05/01: Sensitive man
10/01/01: Post-September 11 security
09/20/01: No tinhorn terrorists can frighten us
09/06/01: If there is no honor in youth sports, it is because of the adults
08/27/01: The draw of Condit
08/23/01: Lowering expectations and flying high
08/17/01: Thoreau, Walden and stems cells
08/13/01: Our masters: The animals
07/30/01: When principle hits too close to home
07/13/01: Rage born of sublimation
07/06/01: Patient's rights and the Valley of Death
06/29/01: There is no excuse
06/21/01: I want an eternal soulmate, but the marriage thing is another issue
06/14/01: Which way maverick McCain? An Arizonan's perspective
06/07/01: No stroke of genius
05/30/01: The lesson of the Mr. Green Jeans senator: 'Moderate' is a classy term for wishy-washy
05/25/01: Baseball has not been so good to me
05/18/01: Clothes make the woman
05/11/01: Selective precaution
05/04/01: Grades: Equality of students, by students, for the students
04/27/01: The Horowitz revelations as seen by a college professor
04/20/01: First, let's kill all the tests
04/13/01: The continuing mistake of underpricing electricity
04/06/01: That pill, Julia Roberts
03/29/01: If it weren't for the parents, we might accomplish something
03/23/01: The melt down of the academy
03/15/01: Columbine redux: Moral infants
03/09/01: The lessons of Tom and Nicole
03/01/01: Pardon the temporary outrage
02/23/01: In defense of homework
02/20/01: A Message for faith-based organizations: Don't take the money, just run
02/06/01: Enough already with the Clintoons
01/26/01: The challenge to be better than we have been
01/19/01: Where have you gone Frieda Pushnik?
12/29/00: The year that was
12/23/00: Litigation: It's the American way
12/15/00: In defense of rhetoric
12/06/00: The company we keep: Lawyers and elections
12/01/00: Liberals' art of trashing of women
11/20/00: Put me out of my misery
11/17/00: On being a statesman
11/13/00: When it's broke, fixing it wouldn't offend the Framers
11/08/00: ELECTION 2000: I SURRENDER
10/27/00: Al in the package? Memo to women: Choosing presidents and husbands
10/20/00: Ten things the gay community should understand
10/13/00: "You Have a Lump."
10/06/00: The government as the pharmacy: Don't
09/29/00: The capacity for truth
09/22/00: Charity with strings and an agenda
09/15/00: The taming of the shrew: Gloria Steinem takes a husband
09/09/00: Why rich folk don't bother me none
08/28/00: Survival of the not-so-fit but conniving
08/25/00: Conventions: A study in contrasts
08/18/00: Resenting the accusations of racial prejudice
08/04/00: Women: Their own worst enemy
07/21/00: Hillary: Our longshoreman First Lady
07/21/00: SUVs: The root of all evil
07/14/00: The basketball gene and white men not jumping so well
07/07/00: I wanna be around
06/23/00: The liberal conversion
06/14/00: Sex and the City: The shallow but vulgar female
06/08/00: No excuses schools
06/02/00: Oh, Canada: Our Nutty Neighbors to the North
05/23/00: The new mollycoddling coach
05/16/00: On adultery and leadership
05/12/00: Taking your lumps
05/02/00: Elian: There's never a liberal around when you need one
04/25/00: Life's circle and tenderness
04/18/00: Womyn who want it both ways
04/11/00: The monsters we're raising with the ergo proposition
04/05/00: Endowing the Hooters Chair for Literature Appreciation
03/28/00: Dr. Laura: The passive/aggressive kid's mom
03/21/00: Dough and campaigns
03/14/00: The volunteerism of conscription and pomp
03/07/00: Hope and pray that religion remains a force in politics
02/29/00: Ditzes in TV Land
02/22/00: Cranky nitpickers make writing a [sic] experience
02/15/00: Those chameleon 60s activists
02/08/00: McCandidate McCain: Flirting with principles
02/01/00: The demise of marriage
01/25/00: Stroke of the pen, law of the land: Clinton's Camelot
01/18/00: Off the Rocker Rorschach Test
01/11/00: Oprah's lemmings
01/04/00: Struggling mightily amidst the comfort
12/23/99: Confused fathers
12/14/99: Drop-kicking the homeless
12/07/99: Turtles and teamsters, side-by-side in Seattle
11/29/99: When conservatives behave badly
11/22/99: Compassionate conservative: Timing and targets
11/18/99: The elusive human spirit and accountability
11/11/99: Succumbing to the intellectual child within with the help of crackpots and screwballs
10/28/99: Live by litigation, die by litigation
10/22/99: Jesse, Warren, Cybill, Donald and Oprah
10/14/99: Inequality and injustice: It's the big one
10/05/99: Dan Quayle, morals and schoolyard bullies
09/30/99: The monsters of epidermal parenting
09/21/99: The Diversity Hoax
09/15/99: Waco Wackos
09/09/99: Selective censorship
09/01/99: The village, the children, judicial imperialism and abortion
08/24/99: Naughty Newt?
08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
08/10/99: Ruining the finest health care system in the world
08/03/99: Nihilism and politics: ethics on the lam
07/26/99: Of women, soccer and removed jerseys
07/23/99: Not in despair, a mere mortal doing just fine
07/20/99: "Why me?" How about "Why us?"
07/13/99: Bunk, junk & juries
07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
06/24/99: Patricia Ireland eat your heart out --- but check out the recipe in 'women's mags' first
06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

© 2002, Marianne M. Jennings