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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Monday, October 27, 2003
(Also via Instapundit.) A nice long
article on the phenomenon that both parties seem to be missing out on (though the dems are a lot more clueless than the repubs.)
"Andrew Sullivan dubs the fans of all this cable-nurtured satire “South Park Republicans”—people who “believe we need a hard-ass foreign policy and are extremely skeptical of political correctness” but also are socially liberal on many issues, Sullivan explains. Such South Park Republicanism is a real trend among younger Americans, he observes: South Park’s typical viewer, for instance, is an advertiser-ideal 28.

Talk to right-leaning college students, and it’s clear that Sullivan is onto something. Arizona State undergrad Eric Spratling says the definition fits him and his Republican pals perfectly. “The label is really about rejecting the image of conservatives as uptight squares—crusty old men or nerdy kids in blue blazers. We might have long hair, smoke cigarettes, get drunk on weekends, have sex before marriage, watch R-rated movies, cuss like sailors—and also happen to be conservative, or at least libertarian.” Recent Stanford grad Craig Albrecht says most of his young Bush-supporter friends “absolutely cherish” South Park–style comedy “for its illumination of hypocrisy and stupidity in all spheres of life.” It just so happens, he adds, “that most hypocrisy and stupidity take place within the liberal camp.”

Further supporting Sullivan’s contention, Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice—a “punk-rock-capitalist” entertainment corporation that publishes the hipster bible Vice magazine, produces CDs and films, runs clothing stores, and claims (plausibly) to have been “deep inside the heads of 18–30s for the past 10 years”—spots “a new trend of young people tired of being lied to for the sake of the ‘greater good.’ ” Especially on military matters, McInnes believes, many twenty-somethings are disgusted with the Left. The knee-jerk Left’s days “are numbered,” McInnes tells The American Conservative. “They are slowly but surely being replaced with a new breed of kid that isn’t afraid to embrace conservatism.”

Polling data indicate that younger voters are indeed trending rightward—supporting the Iraq war by a wider majority than their elders, viewing school vouchers favorably, and accepting greater restrictions on abortion, such as parental-notification laws (though more accepting of homosexuality than older voters). Together with the Foxification of cable news, this new attitude among the young, reflected in the hippest cable comedy (and in cutting-edge cable dramas such as FX’s The Shield and HBO’s The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, which are unflinchingly honest about crime, race, sex, and faith, and avoid the saccharine liberal moralizing of much network entertainment), can only make Karl Rove happy."
Really, read the whole thing. It's interesting because it describes a huge population that is currently aligned with the republicans for want of something better. If the republicans get on the ball and start really playing to that audience they could continue to stomp all over the democrats for years to come. Of course that would mean pretty much abandoning the religious right, but they're a negligable force in politics anyway. If the republicans offered a sincere oureach to gay people, they could dominate the political scene. There are a lot of people out there who are into national security and personal liberty. The libertarian party is pretty much a lost cause, but if the republican party becomes more libertarian they could get a lot of votes. Of course if the republicans don't acknowledge and embrace that group, it's entirely possible that they'll be wooed away by someone else and the republican dominance will evaporate. I hope they're smart enough to catch on.

posted by Rachel 10/27/2003
. . .
more on the subject of the Angry Left.
"The group-think at Pop!tech cannot admit that the challenge of isolating and defeating Islamic radicals might be difficult -- or that it even has priority. They are certain that the world would be a peaceful, harmonious place if only the United States did not have a Republican President.
People can agree that it should be our goal to strengthen the forces of moderation within the Islamic world and yet disagree with the Administration on tactics. However, the approach of the group-thinkers at Pop!tech seems to be to give our President no acknowledgement of shared objectives, no benefit of the doubt, no margin of error, and no criticism that is phrased mildly enough that it could be regarded as constructive.
Political Trade Barriers
One could have a debate over whether the Angry Right came before the Angry Left. Regardless, I am not calling for an uprising by an Angry Right today. Quite the contrary.
I think that it would be a mistake to react to the current anger of the left by writing them off or by getting angry in turn. We ought to try as best as we can to discern the ideas of the group-thinkers, even if it means that we have to sift carefully through their rhetorical rubble.
I think that the main consequence of political rage is to shut out other opinions. I would argue that barriers against ideas are to politics what barriers against trade are to economics. An import tariff on goods hurts both countries, but generally does the most damage to the country imposing the tariff. Similarly, when one side puts up barriers to listening to the other side's ideas, then both sides are damaged, with the side that refuses to listen suffering the worst.
Open systems win. The Angry Left, because it is closed-minded, is in no condition to govern. Barring a catastrophe at home or abroad, I doubt that it will be given the opportunity to do so."
That is perhaps the best phrasing of the problem that I've yet seen.

posted by Rachel 10/27/2003
. . .
there you go. Don't shake hands, wash them.
"There is no evidence to suggest that SARS is an airborne virus, the World Health Organization said Monday in a report that also found health workers to be at special risk and children rarely affected.

The report, summarizing international research on severe acute respiratory syndrome, concluded that at all outbreak sites, the main route of transmission was direct contact, via the eyes, nose and mouth, with infectious respiratory droplets.

"The finding that each patient infected on average three others is consistent with a disease spread by direct contact with virus-laden droplets rather than with airborne particles," WHO said, noting that in airborne diseases such as influenza or measles, one person can infect an entire room by coughing.''
This will make any future news coverage featuring mask-wearing people a source of amusement.

posted by Rachel 10/27/2003
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