It’s about gridlock, again. I just wrote about it. It takes on Beck, kinda, but it’s not really my point. I’m not cheerleading gridlock, at all. I just don’t see how who wins elections will make any difference. And so I don’t care. And I’ll continue to not care. I’ll preach not caring, and if I shall stoop to advance anything, it will be to bring on the worst.
In my continuing experience with human behavior, with all the facets of business, and with the financial markets, I am increasingly convinced that large moves come only with large and unambiguous motivation. So let’s just get on with it. Bring on your worst, and let’s just go from there.
Beck is right that gridlock is not an idea. That’s critically important to understand. The following is some of his best in a classic way. It’s way, way too good to relegate to a comment. Read it a couple of times, or more.
"Libertarians choose the battles they think will
maximize liberty, within the set that they view as realistic options.
The options you categorize as realistic simply aren’t seen as such by
most. Until that changes, you may as well be charging at windmills for
all most people can tell."
I do not believe for one second that you would deliberately set out to insult me.
And I cannot tell you just how god damned bloody outrageous is what you wrote there.
I am busting profanity regs at this place where they’re right up in
front of my face as I type this, but I swear to god: this is necessary,
and I have to do it.
You talk to me about "realistic". Bruce does it, and everybody does it. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You are avoiding reality as hard as you can, and you bloody come on to me with what’s "realistic".
I am convinced that you people do this because you flat don’t believe that what is going to happen and what is happening right now
in front your eyes can actually happen here in America. You guys
constantly — very reliably — use that word and the very concept of
"reality" to ward-off reality. Now, here is something that I
know about the philosophical/linguistic aspect of this: when you guys
do that, you’re only indulging a mass-popular inclination for symbolism
and metaphor in language that’s been especially prevalent since the
1960’s. No matter any of that, however, there is nothing that violates
reality in the things that I say.
The fact is that I often talk about things that are so difficult and heavy in their implication that almost nobody has a taste for facing them.
Did you see my remarks over at "Mike’s Eyes"? One person said, "Your comment is depressing." Well, I know
that. And some people find it depressing when the weather-radar shows
them rain, but whether it’s "depressing" or not has nothing at all to
do with the fact that it’s bloody raining.
ever heard me say that any of this was going to be easy. Look: a goodly
percentage of the people who’re going to see these remarks are simply,
summarily, disqualified from this discussion. All the lefties and even
most of the "moderates" that this place sees in its comments: they are
not interested in freedom — at all, in any way, no matter what they
mouth — and they will not and do not get the time of day from me. I know
this: that set of facts right there means that the line of enemies on
the other side of the field of battle enlarges from horizon to horizon.
"Mona"? Forget about it. There is simply no talking to her
because what she says is utter gibberish without reference to
"reality". (C’mon, man; there’s an issue: you people put up with her
rubbish, and I know that nobody of any account does it sweetly, but who
slaps her in the head with that "reality" cudgel?)
I know full well something that you guys don’t say, which is that this is going to be a desperate
fight. I know that just putting it that way invites all kinds of
ridicule from smiley-face types (e.g.; Glenn Reynolds, although he
would never condescend to ridicule me because it would be far
beneath his now finely established net.dignity). And yet you talk of
"tactics" in this "gridlock" approach. None of it looks past the
tomorrow that everybody knows is coming every time Field Marshal Rodham
opens her mouth. To those of you here worth talking to, the questions
will not go away: what are you going to hope for when her half of the
"grid" is "lock[ed]" up and you know damned well that nothing about it
will be relinquished from it? Meanwhile, the conservatives keep on
compromising what is yours to begin with: the only
manifestation of individual liberty this world ever saw proclaimed
explicitly on that principle, and they’re giving it away piece by
piece, election-cycle by election-cycle.
My god. Is that what constitutes "hope" for you people? Do
you have any hope at all, or are you really, simply, content to cast
your lot with a "tactic" that runs between every other November?
…which means that it’s as short a lifespan as can be managed in a
videotape editing suite under Katie Couric’s direction or shipped from The New York Times’ loading-dock directly to the floor of your parakeet-cage.
This has to begin with ideas, men. And you guys are doing everything you can to not think about it. And then, you throw up your hands and say it’s hopeless because nobody wants to think about it. That is what this…
"…but what percentage of the population is ready to combat that philosophy of which you speak?"
…means. You guys are huddled-up around this "gridlock" non-idea (anti-idea), completely without the intellectual or (yes; it must be said) moral initiative to understand — or explicitly admit — what it really is.
And you have the nerve to lecture me on "reality".
Let me tell you something, Wulf: if this thing can be saved, then, someday, the generation that actually gets up and does
it will curse us. It is very possible that we will not be here to know
that, and I suppose there is a feeble little hope in that — that we
won’t have to listen to that condemnation. But someone will absolutely
someday point out all the generations gone past who did nothing real to save it, and they will mark us for bloody cowards for passing on the necessary task, which will only become more and more difficult as it rolls on.
I suppose it’s easy for a lot of people with the right thing in their hearts to live with that.
But it shouldn’t be.
I think that, with the courage of conviction that history has
demonstrated as not only possible but eminently worthy in our species,
enough of you could be far better than that to do what will have to be
done, sooner or later.
Gridlock is a short-term finger in the dyke. It’s not an idea or a political philosophy. My point is that I just don’t care, anymore. Well, actually, I do care, but not enough. Honestly? I’ve got a single, brief life to live, and quite frankly, I am able to submit my way through it to some level of enjoyment that is better than certain alternatives that would surely leave me poor, in prison, both, or dead. And I would not have the pleasure of much, if any, company.
In short, I’ve got way too much to loose, and I owe no one — not you, Billy, or future generations — my sacrifices in the very vain hope that they might enjoy what I enjoy without bending over, like I do.
Frankly, and I think I’m being honest, it’s not so much that I lack backbone as that I lack motivation. Why risk or destroy the little enjoyment I have when I don’t really need to? If I’m fortunate, I’m about halfway through this life, and I consider that my best years can still be ahead of me. I’ve got maybe another 40, 45 years. Even if we become indistinguishable from Europe, I can still achieve a lot of the things I want to achieve in this life, before it’s gone for good. And then, frankly, I just don’t give a shit. I’m really sorry, but I’ve got plenty to concern myself with and I just can’t be bothered with "future generations." I have never understood that particular scam, or why anyone falls for it.
But here’s where this all comes together. The moment that I’ve got nothing much to live for? I’m all in. Trust me. So, you want a piece of me? Make it worth my while.