Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Warriors

(fm the BC thread "At the Summit")

Papa Ray,
The Warriors I know are not optimists

Even in combat it does not hurt for a Commanding Officer to crack a smile at the right moment. Politics has its own rules. America is a nation of optimists that believe in the future. Our most successful politicians, no matter how ruthless behind closed doors, always projected a sunny disposition. Go down the list of the 20th century's Presidents, from Teddy Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan only the duds Wilson and Carter were humorless. Hoover, the first Engineer could have used a more positive image. He tried by asking for a song to make people forget the Depression. He got what became the theme song for the Democrats, Happy Days Are Here Again.

Millions of Boomers grew up watching the original Happy Warrior, Hubert Horatio Humphrey sing it in the annual Democratic telethon. Humphrey lost the 1968 election and the bitter and angry extremists captured the Democratic Party machinery but they did not capture America's heart. Humphrey's vision became the consensus position that the public supported for a liberal domestic agenda.

Reagan understood that he needed to radiate confidence. Being of good cheer did not mean that he failed to understand reality or did not appreciate danger. When he was shot and he said to his wife "Honey I forgot to duck" and asked the doctors if they were all good Republicans millions were comforted. That was a man you could follow. Who would want to face the prospect of taking a bullet for a prig like Hillary Clinton or Obama? In 2008 the Republicans, among their many failures, were unable to communicate just how unfunny and snarky and nasty Obama was. Now that the American people have gotten a look at him it is a theme that should be ruthlessly hammered home.

(who seeks an immediate existential response to perceived threats)
How long? 100 years ago the Ummah was an impoverished backwater that posed no threat to the advance of civilization. The current problems are I believe transient and the result of specific conditions. If we use our heads we should achieve a victory that reestablishes the primacy of a wealth and knowledge and spiritually uplifting civilization within a period of time no greater than that of the recent expansion of the problem.

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