Thursday, December 2, 2010

Devil in Disguise

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The Book of Genesis, 2:16-17
I don't spend much time wondering about who will head the Republican National Committee, but I did happen to glance through this article. And was rewarded with these utterly stupefying remarks from former ambassador to Luxembourg and would-be RNC Chair Ann Wagner:
I left after four years of living in and around socialism. What it really did on a daily basis for me and my children, and my husband...it deepened our love, our appreciation, and our respect for America. I believe in American exceptionalism. I believe in the soul of America and the things that make us, not better, but unique.
Think about this for a second. Four years as the American ambassador to one of the smallest and most easily traversed countries on the continent, and she can't tell the difference between socialism and a constitutional monarchy.

The half million people living in Luxembourg would no doubt be surprised to discover that their application of democratic capitalism is in fact a socialist worker's paradise. Many of them, though, might wonder exactly what Ms. Wagner finds so threatening about an unemployment rate of 6%, a deficit of 5%, the 16th-best health care system in the world, the third-highest GDP per capita in the world, and an income per capita of nearly $61,000. If this is socialism, we should welcome it with open arms.

Not that I really think that Ann Wagner or any of these fools know what socialism is. (But an ambassador? Even a Bush appointee?) It's become one of many meaningless catch-alls for "not like us," another casualty in the right's assault on the English language -- in its assault on meaning itself. That is, I think, at the root of right-wing paranoia: The fear of knowledge and the dread places it might lead. To them, knowledge is not a path to enlightenment, but the road to uncertainty and doubt. What to any sane person is the signal trait of humanity is to them the devil in disguise, with the black president nothing less than the beguiling serpent in the Eden of America.

They'd like nothing more than to return the apple to the tree. Try as they might, though, it's been plucked and we're the better for it.

9 comments:

Sylvia K said...

All I know is that they all scare the crap out of me!! My frustration with politics has reached new all time levels!! Have a great weekend, K!

Sylvia

Bill said...

I dunno, I'm pretty sure that they speak French AND German in Luxembourg. They can't be up to any good...

Steven said...

"I believe in the soul of America and the things that make us, not better, but unique."

Oh boy! We're certainly unique these days and definitely not better. She's absolutely amazing!

Roy said...

American conservatives have the hardest time telling the difference between a welfare state and a socialist state. The welfare state is best exemplified by most of the countries of the European Union, none of whom show any signs of being socialist states - government ownership of the means and results of production, ownership of all property, etc. In fact, the welfare state can only exist in a capitalist economy, because it's the only kind of economy that can raise the amount of capital needed to support a welfare state.

But then nobody ever accused these people of having an overabundance of intelligence or education. As Forrest Gump's mama said - "Stupid is as stupid does." Ain't it the truth!

Great to see and hear Chris and Gram and Sneaky Pete again. Thanks!

And I like what you'relistening to. Did I tell you that I have both of the New England Christmastide CDs? Back to the basics has always been my approach to the Winter holidays.

TAO said...

Now, now...

As Ambassador she got free healthcare and for sure she made more than $61,000 a year.

Oh, and we are truly, an exceptional country...

Where the hell else can someone as stupid as this woman rise to the level she has?

She probably deplores the idea that there are no gated communities in Luxemburg...

paula said...

I don't know what the ambassador saw in Luxembourg that was so distateful. I've been to that country twice and all I saw was wealth, much of it casino-generated. In the US, Republicans and super conservatives are the ones who generally favor casinos, right? (That's an odd way to fund socialism, don't you think?) Soak tourists and gambling addicts then pass the money around, instead of letting the spoils fall in the hands of only a few. Oh yeah, that would be sooo much better!

K. said...

Sylvia, the zombie and vampire book craze seems apt right now, that's for sure.

Bill, French and German is definitely a bad sign. We should all beware of the creeping Luxebourganism of American life.

Steven, ditto. Did I say ditto? Ditto.

Roy, you'll glad to know that GP is a favorite of my younger son. And the New England Christmastide albums are two all-time holiday faves. I still have my vinyl of the first.

TAO, well, she is from Missouri...

Paula, you make L-bourg sound like a Republican paradise.

nursemyra said...

Gram Parsons really knew how to rock a suit didn't he?

K. said...

Believe it or not, they're called Nudie suits, after the designer. More here.