Change You Can Believe In


This is the first post of the new version of the old Barack’s White Lies. I’m moving onto a broader forum, which will eventually drop the old name and be rebranded as Real Clear Thinker. Here’s a bit of explanation.

I took it in stride when Barack won, and decided that this is a time to adjust – we must accept his victory and learn the lessons that come with it. America has changed, and in order to be effective in doing political analysis, as well as affecting the course that the nation is following, it seems to me that you have to be here, in the moment – not stuck in some dream of the past.

If you’ll permit me an analogy, think of those of us who enjoy the political process, study it, and try to move people’s thinking to a better place, as singer/songwriters. We perform songs about the world we live in. While singing songs from the sixties might draw an audience – heck, it would even be fun – I don’t want to be an oldies act. Singing nostalgia is valid because it offers escape, but I don’t want to engage in escapism, I want to be relevant to now. I want to grab hold of the moment and say, “it’s moving in the wrong direction, help me get it back on course.”

So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.

In order to do that, I decided it is necessary to let go of some things. I’m not going to worry about Barack being too young and inexperienced, I’m going to try to trust that he is a gifted enough person that maybe he can rise to the occasion. I’m not going to wallow in the cruel hoax of turning to the people who are dismantling the American experiment and asking them to save it – I want to accept that Democrats have won because Republicans screwed up, and that’s how it goes in the toggle mentality of a two party system.

Their worst goals must be resisted, yes, but as an optimist, I will trust that the flaws of liberalism, when seen up close, will reaffirm in America it’s basic conservatism. We must help them be the tools of their own demise.

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.

I also think we must accept that America has been altered inexorably – this is not the European culture we grew up in, the forces that sought to minimize it’s whiteness and make it a multi-cultural place have succeeded. That’s not a bad thing, per se, it’s just a different thing. It only hurts when you fight it. At the same time, we must make sure that the new America loves and respects that which is America, that it isn’t here just to enjoy the benefits without respecting the underpinnings that made the spoils possible.

In other words, if new people are going to be in charge, I can live with that. I don’t care who is in charge, I care what is in charge. What philosophies are going to guide us, what are our values going to be? Bad values can be pushed by people of any culture or race, as can good ones.

So I decided that I had to accept the tipping point that Barack’s election represents. Power has shifted to the new guys. Fighting that would be like trying to fight the British invasion of the 1960’s. The Beatles were not the revolution – the forces of change were unstoppable – they simply rode the wave created by the enormous demand for change. Television, and access to money, gave kids a new voice in the marketplace, and we used those tools to, for better and for worse, adjust the world to meet our tastes.

An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
It's only people's games that you got to dodge
And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.

The same has happened now – we have raised a couple of generations of suburban kids whose lives haven’t known the struggles of necessity. It is foolhardy to expect, for a moment, that they would view life the way we do. How could a twenty-something professional of today, earning a comfortable upper middle class living while sitting at his computer in Starbucks, have even the vaguest notion of the life that formed the Greatest Generation? We must stop expecting the impossible.

I’m not arguing that the fight is over – the struggle between conservative and liberal values is a permanent one, as is the political fight between the groups aligned, however loosely, behind those banners. I’m just saying that we have to realize that some things have already been decided – that liberalism has, to a large extent, already won, and we must map carefully the piece of land we’re standing on so that we can best defend, and perhaps extend, our ground.

It is in this spirit that I begin a gradual relaunch of Barack’s White Lies. A new look, a new location, a new name. While I liked the edginess of the name for the election – I enjoyed that it made liberals uncomfortable – my old fashioned conservative sensibilities lead me to feel uncomfortable calling my blog Barack’s White Lies.

I don’t wish to be disrespectful to the office of the President of the United States, which, hopefully, will always be occupied by a person who loves the ideals and the brilliance of the men, and the document, that created it.

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.

The blog will live on under the name of Real Clear Thinker. It’s an amalgam of the names of a couple of my favorite places to read – Real Clear Politics and The American Thinker – not so much inspired by them as absorbed and reconstructed.

When shocked liberals ask how I have come to a particular conclusion, I just tell them that I thought about it. And that’s the truth. I like thinking clearly, and I believe that if others engage in a similar enterprise, they’ll come to conclusions that are pretty close to mine.

That’s what Real Clear Thinker is all about.

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