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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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WWW Pull On Superman's Cape
Superman's product of the century (so far):

March 26, 2008
No race but the human race?
Filed in: Current Affairs, It feels so wrong so it's gotta be Wright, Politics

One response to Barack Obama's Philadelphia speech was that of Michael Meyer, the executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition.

This is an appealing piece, because it correctly points out that Obama:

settled on merely "explaining" so-called racial differences between blacks and whites -- and in so doing amplified deep-seated racial tensions and divisions. Instead of giving us a polarizing treatise on the "black experience," Obama should have reiterated the theme that has brought so many to his campaign: That race ain't what it used to be in America...I waited in vain for our hybrid presidential candidate to speak the simple truth that there is no such thing as "race," that we all belong to the same race -- the human race. I waited for him to mesmerize us with a singular and focused appeal to hold all candidates to the same standards no matter their race or their sex or their age. But instead Obama gave us a full measure of racial rhetoric about how some of us with an "untrained ear" -- meaning whites and Asians and Latinos -- don't understand and can't relate to the so-called black experience.

Meyer is right to point out a call to human unity as advisable. We need some of that in terms of dialog in the public square and fundamental resolution of the founding assertion that we are all created equal. It is a point. But it's not the point - not the only point.

Because we err, as well, to issue a call to absolute sameness. Down that path lies the collective and if we embrace it in the extreme we end up not being individually identifiable.

[I regularly travel to Japan. I love that country and its people. But if you want to see the closest thing to a human hive, that's one place to observe. And it isn't America or what I think we want to be.]

It's perhaps a subtle or nuanced point - as Americans we are called to celebrate both our sameness and our differences.

It's intellectually dishonest to say that we aren't in reality different in many respects or that groups of individuals are wrong to desire to celebrate some cultural - or even racial - distinction. Some aspect of each of us is tribal, and ethnic, and individual.

Color-blindness and culture-blindness in the extreme leads to a homogeneity that is not healthy and once we think through it, not something that any of us would really want. We are a country of people - all members of the human race - and many more or less identifiable with any number of groups in which we have something in common.

In this country we have a long tradition of honoring and celebrating identity. We once were Male and Female, Quakers and Puritans, Deists, and Calvinists, Virginians, Loyalists, and Rhode Islanders, Whigs, Tories, and Democrats, Irish, and Italian, Immigrant, and Indian (among many more). We have now become identities too many to measure or conceive and it is our destiny perhaps to become as many identities - and more - as there are souls.

America's traditional message to identity has always been - go and do your thing! Celebrate your identity, celebrate with those that you hold common interest, or culture with.

The error of identity politics enters when identifiable groups assert that their differences have some innate characteristic that demands especially favorable treatment by the "other" - it doesn't matter whether the rationale is because of oppression or the superiority of royal blood or anything else. It is this error that ironically belies the American conception of everyone created equal and makes exception rule.

Identity politics is the bane of our culture. It ultimately leads to a multicultural nihilism - where identities descend to infantile hubris and demand servitude from the "other" - a cacaphony that, even now, runs amok among us.

Perhaps it is the final destination of the addiction to the self.

And so we must walk that razor's edge, the edge that allows us to accept the universal equality of mankind and the identity or identities to which we - and to which others - belong. We can be Greek without demanding special treatment from Cowboys.

As well, it's certainly permissible for an identity group to be insular. I don't like many of the things that Jeremiah Wright has said - but it is his right to say them. He may be offended by my very existence and he has that right as well. His church may not welcome my presence. He and they can possess and celebrate that identity for all they care because this is our beloved country. It is when that identity demonizes the "other" and demands some reparative attention or some special provenance unwarranted by anyone else that the descent befalls. They can keep it in, but they can't let it out. 

It is my hope that we will always be able to hear the lilting Cajun patois in the southern Mississippi basin, that we can always go and buy a painted silk fan or paper lantern in the nearest Chinatown, that we can attend the Greek festival and enjoy those grilled lambchops, listen to the sorrowful blues in a favorite dive, rub shoulders with the brokers on Wall Street, watch the latest incarnations of Beethoven thrash their modern lyres, and any other of the myriad of identity celebrations that characterize our culture. Let us not be so humane that we lose who we are.

Oh, and God grant us the providence to root out the political disease that has befallen us. May we learn to come together as equals in the public square and debate the provenance of government as equals without regard to what sheaths our bodies or how articulate the noise we make with each other may sound. May we not elevate nation above identity, but hold again that we are a nation of laws and not of identity perspective.

H/T: Dan Collins for the Meyer article.

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People Pulling

Nice job, that was very well said.

Posted by: jan at Mar 26, 2008 7:03:07 PM

Why thank you Jan.

How's pics?

Posted by: MC at Mar 26, 2008 7:28:21 PM

Been sick for the last three days, so no pics for me. Pleh, virus bad, no want...

Posted by: jan at Mar 30, 2008 9:42:48 PM

Sorry about that! Get better and get back to master photos! Please!

Posted by: MC at Mar 31, 2008 3:23:26 PM

My Photo
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