Give Me Liberty Not Sex Appeal
By: David Bozeman
Meghan McCain’s new book Dirty Sexy Politics may well be substantive, but her recent appearance on The O’Reilly Factor and her various public statements echo the banality of modern discourse in an age that demands passion, substance and maturity. Meghan, the daughter of 2008 presidential nominee John McCain, is a Republican, as well, but she finds the quickest route to the celebrity circuit is by distancing herself from such social conservatives as Sarah Palin and by positioning herself as a spokesperson for young Republicans, claiming that they are turned off by the rhetoric of the Tea Party movement.
Republicans who insist that the party adapt to their progressive leanings can be bought and sold in volume, but McCain adds coy to the mix, telling O’Reilly that, “The political process is sexy. And Republicans can start rebranding themselves as small government being sexy. . . ” You mean, like, FOR REAL? Where have you been, Meghan? Some of us consider Sarah Palin sexy, which doesn’t explain her following, but therein lies the danger of tying MTV-era sensibilities to a movement that should offer character over the cult of personality.
This summer, McCain, a columnist for The Daily Beast, interviewed The Jersey Shore’s Snooki, that infamous denizen of hot tubs, tanning beds and a courtroom to answer a charge of disorderly conduct. In a just world, New Jersey’s reigning celebrity would be Governor Chris Christie, who made the cover of National Review which lauded his steadfast commitment to his campaign promise to cut state spending. The portly Christie is no celebrity hunk a la Scott Brown, but it is Christie, standing firm for fiscal restraint over the objections of state employee unions, who is emerging as a leader McCain says the GOP sorely lacks.
Not as compelling as Snooki, perhaps, but could one not argue that the man is a profile, if not in courage, then in statesmanship? Granted, there is nothing new in the trivialization of national discourse — and no, Meghan, you’re not the first to blast the GOP for its fiery rhetoric — but that is one reason why America has devolved to ceding tiny liberties to the ever-encroaching state so as to channel all its resources against the larger incursions upon its freedom. The human tendency toward celebri-fication contributes to the reality of a President Barack Obama. Socialism and liberalism gained traction via the pronouncements and lifestyles of the beautiful, artsy-smartsy set, thus it is hardly surprising that Barack Obama soared to prominence with a wafer-thin resume on word of his staggering intellect, while a brilliant Constitutional scholar like Alan Keyes (defeated for the US Senate by Obama) remains on the political margins.
Perhaps Meghan and her disillusioned young Republicans should look beyond the gossip pages (she and O’Reilly noted that Henry Kissinger was quite the ladies’ man) and spend more time with ordinary Americans. They are the ones who keep this country vital, along with the entrepreneurs who, left unburdened, make our lives better. It is in them, in ordinary Americans in backwater states, that conservatism invests its faith. Their freedom, their livelihoods are at stake, even by Meghan’s tardy admissions, We’re in it for them, on a mission far removed from finding a right-wing version of George Clooney. Team Obama is relentlessly butting heads with America’s will, and only by building a movement on affinity for the freedom-loving American will conservatism thrive and set a model for generations to come.