Wednesday, September 2, 2009

There’s Something Happening Here

The title of this post is a lyric from the song “For What It’s Worth” by the Buffalo Springfield. I thought of that as I looked at some Web traffic having to do with current events.

On Pajamas Media, was a piece by Dr. Paul Hsieh co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM). His article was titled “The Free Market is Not Another Form of Rationing.” It was a rejoinder to the argument that the dreaded “rationing” in health care is already being done through pricing mechanisms.

On Pajamas TV was a piece by Bill Whittle refuting an assertion by President Obama that there is nothing special about “American Exceptionalism.” In Psychology Today, Dr. Barbara Oakley, a Professional Engineer and Associate Professor of Engineering at Oakland University, blogged about Journalism and Objectivity. She has a unique point of view, having spent time with the Soviets as a Russian translator.

Barbara Oakley on a Russian TrawlerThese were all articles by professionals: people with specialties in medicine, history and engineering. In each case, they used their expertise to evaluate issues of conventional wisdom; issues where our culture tells us the proper perceptions to hold. To their credit, they pointed out misconceptions that did not stand up to the hard test of reality.

I liked that. It made me think that America has some great people in its midst.

Keep in mind that these are not the great political leaders of our time. (Those pontificators work through a different channel of communication.) These people work through the Internet.

The Internet has its own hierarchy. The “rock stars” are sites like Instapundit and Power Line. These sites direct our attention to the issues that are impacting us, along with those that may be more personal (nanotechnology, recipes and photography in the case of Glenn Reynolds; soccer, beauty pageants and music for John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff). The sites perform the role of the 18th century “Town Criers.” They tell us what is happening and what’s worth watching.

The secondary tier of the Internet includes sites like William Katz’s Urgent Agenda and Hugh Hewitt’s TownHall site. These are professionals who have a more narrow scope of interest, but have established sources and great insight into the areas they cover. They have opinions that can make a difference!

The rest of us are in the dynamic milieu that is the world of blogging. Here we have blogs that are gaining popularity, and ones that are moving down. The keywords here are “movement” and “churn.”

Blogs are a diverse mass of humanity, and the encouraging thing is that people are making their voices heard. Another good thing is that many of those voices are from Republicans. The spirit of their blogs makes it possible for you to sense their heart and soul. Here are two examples:

Frances Rice is the chairman of the National Black Republican Association. She grew up in the South, joined the U. S. military, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of active duty in the Army. She has a law degree from the University of California, and is a lady who is not afraid to speak her mind.

She knows that our American culture says if you have dark skin tone, you can’t be a Republican. It is a “profiling” burden that most of us don’t understand: a problem where people assume they know how you think simply because of the way you look.

Ms. Rice is working to dispel this stereotype by bringing needed attention to Republicans who have dark skin tone. Her most interesting work is associated with the task of getting Americans to understand that Martin Luther King was a Republican.

That borders on (gasp!) heresy in our anti-Republican culture. However, Ms. Rice doesn’t back down. She even makes a point of showing that the Democratic Party felt so strongly about keeping slavery alive in the 19th century that they tried to break our country apart and even started a war! This is a lady with a strong message and lots of courage.

Another strong individual is Dan Blatt from Gay Patriot. Here is a person who has a similar problem to the one being worked by Ms. Rice. If you are a gay person in America, you are assumed NOT to be a Republican. In fact, it’s a bit more militant than that. If you are a Republican and gay, you are vilified.

It is almost as if gay Republicans must wear a gold star of identification. (See the recent movie Defiance with Daniel Craig for an example of this effect.) In America, if you are a Republican and gay, you are supposed to be a Log Cabin Republican. But what if you just want to be a Republican without joining an organization? This is where the cultural aspect becomes an irritant.

Our culture should not be putting us into boxes based upon some sort of perceived identity. Dan lets Americans know that our culture needs to accept people for the identity they choose to celebrate, not one scripted for them by our culture.

These are bright, capable people making their voices heard. The Republican Party (The GOP) may not be anything to write home about, but these Republicans are doing us proud.

Wouldn’t it be fun to see these people attend a fantasy meeting with our Founding Fathers? The subject of the meeting would be, “Can This Culture be Saved?” The passion and energy of the meeting would be a thing to behold.

I would have to recommend Stacy McCain as the reporter-on-the-scene, where he would capture the verbal fireworks in his distinctive and singular manner.

How sweet it would be!

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