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Jewish World Review Nov. 7, 2000 / 9 Mar-Cheshvan, 5761

James Lileks

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Get ready to return
to the Dark Ages -- THE MOST LASTING LESSON of this election is the strangest: some liberals don't believe in democracy, after all. Oh, a vote now and then is fine to keep the coffers brimming, keep the core constituency in a pliable state. But we really can't have voting if it leads to the wrong outcome. Some things are too important to be left to the rabble. Gore must win --- otherwise, what's the point of having a vote?

Consider the recent pronouncements of noted political theorist Barbara Streisand. Since some people like to hear her sing, she seems to believe everyone wants to hear her talk. In an with ABC's 20/20, she informed the nation that Bush would imperil all the rights women have accumulated in the 20th century. Yes, that's the Bush agenda: tag every dame with an ankle bracelet that shrieks when the woman strays more than fifty feet from the kitchen, or puts on shoes while pregnant. (In a particularly cruel touch, the shriek will be one of the high notes from Barbra's early days.) Our daughters will pass among themselves crumpled old Virginia Slims ads, as reminders of the days when they were truly free.

Professor Streisand is but one of many distinguished political cogitators in the entertainment industry. Sir Elton John, for example, has predicted "a dark age" should Bush win. It's always nice when monarchist toadies lecture the dim, wayward Colonials on the perils of democracy. Director Robert Altman has threatened to waddle off to Europe, where tiresome meandering films are not only held in high esteem, but subsidized by the state. It's paradise: the state takes money from the salaries of the working class to pay for movies about the stupidity of the working class. Sharon Stone, who hasn't had a hit since she soldered her knees together, has let us know that she doesn't think Bush is capable of the presidency. Let's not forget the terror that seized the nation when Alec Baldwin supposedly threatened to leave these shores - an act that would have slashed our Strategic Baldwin Reserve by a third.

These squawks and shouts might convince a few folks if the GOP candidate was some glowering black-booted Generalissimo with a bullwhip in one hand and a Bible in the other. But they're hysterical about George W. Bush, for heaven's sake --- but a mild and friendly variant of Homo Conservatus.

In fact, most of the liberals who quake in fear of a Bush reign ought to be stumping for Nader. Melissa Etheridge, for example, has pleaded with her fans to abandon Nader for Gore --- ven though Gore's mid-80s speeches allegedly cast lesbians and gays in terms that would earn Dr. Laura a stoning in the public square. But if you're a devout liberal, you have to be a Naderite. He believes deeply in an activist, anti-corporate, regulatory state that uses the power of force to impose economic equality. It's the statist, group-rights, class-obsessed Democratic agenda taken to its logical conclusion.

He can't win, but he doesn't want to win. Nader's looking ahead. He's studied the races of McGovern, Dukakis, and Mondale; he's carefully balanced the appeal of Clinton's centrist postures, and noted how Gore's attacks on Big This and Big That don't really do much anymore. And Ralph Nader has concluded that the Democratic party must be yanked even farther left, so it can lose every election instead of just a few.

Liberal idealist, or a GOP mole sent undercover forty years ago?

In any case, Etheridge's pleas have been echoed by many. It is dangerous for Nader supporters to vote their conscience, because it might result in the Reign of Darkness. The other day President Clinton enlisted a variety of Black performing artists for a conference-call rumination on the perils of a Bush presidency. Clinton said that Bush would appoint judges "who want to drastically restrict the ability of the federal government to protect and promote the civil rights and human rights and basic needs of the American people."

That sentence, right there, is liberalism in a nutshell. Bill Clinton doesn't believe that the Supreme Court has the right to restrict anything the federal government does, if an administration has defined its action as "promoting" a "basic need." Judges who interfere with the actions of the Federal government -- regardless of their Constitutionality -- cannot be allowed to take the bench. Period. Why, the day might come when we decide that HBO is a basic need - you're going to need a nice thick stack of precedents for that one.

This can only mean one thing: Republicans, as a species, are simply too dangerous to be allowed to occupy office. If elections result in these maniacs getting power, perhaps it's time we rethink the way we do things. You get the feeling Barbra, Sir Elton and the rest would welcome a coup, if the right people ran it. And by "right," of course, they'd mean "left."

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


© 2000, James Lileks