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the monochrome rainbow

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 26, 2007

Harvey Mansfield famously wrote that, for his colleagues at Harvard, the term "diversity" meant "a fellow Leftist in a skirt." Mark Steyn remarks on the paradoxical distribution of diversity among the presidential candidates:

As National Review's Jonah Goldberg pointed out, the mainstream media are always demanding the GOP demonstrate its commitment to "big tent" Republicanism, and here we are with the biggest of big tents in history, and what credit do they get? You want an anti-war Republican? A pro-abortion Republican? An anti-gun Republican? A pro-illegal immigration Republican? You got 'em! Short of drafting Fidel Castro and Mullah Omar, it's hard to see how the tent could get much bigger. As the new GOP bumper sticker says, "Celebrate Diversity."

Over on the Democratic side, meanwhile, they've got a woman, a black, a Hispanic, a preening metrosexual with an angled nape -- and they all think exactly the same. They remind me of "The Johnny Mathis Christmas Album," which Columbia used to re-release every year in a different sleeve: same old songs, new cover. When your ideas are identical, there's not a lot to argue about except biography.

Take the issues one-by-one: the war in Iraq, abortion, gun control, illegal border crossing. For the most part, conservatives believe those who disagree with them on a particular issue, in virtue of their disagreement, are wrong. For the most part, liberals believe those who disagree with them on a particular issue, in virtue of their disagreement, are wrong and wicked. There are exceptions on both sides, but it's easy to see why the former attitude allows for cooperation along a broader political spectrum.

Now think back to the 1990s, when prominent Democrats hailed Bill Clinton as "America's first black president" and insisted that Clarence Thomas, because he opposed affirmation action, wasn't really black at all. The point is that liberals generally believe that their political stances eo ipso confer moral superiority upon them, and Left-liberals believe further that race and gender are ultimately political constructs -- whence it makes sense (on their terms) to congratulate Clinton as a black honoris causa in recognition of his ideologically righteous convictions, and to revoke the same dignity from Clarence Thomas because of his political sins.

So which side is better equipped to cope with difference?

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 27, 2007 8:05 PM ET USA

    Don't you know that the major Democratic candidates speak constantly of "change"? They mean elect us, of course. But what are they actually eager to change? Your article states is well. Nothing. They are still living in the Dreadful Decade (1965-75).

  • Posted by: - Nov. 27, 2007 10:04 AM ET USA

    I certainly can relate to the last paragraph -- as a woman in the military, anytime I oppose the idea of women in the combat arms or close quarters with men (e.g., submarines), the feminist mafia shoot me looks due a defector! (and when I back my position by referencing one of the great generals in the history of warfare—Jeanne d’Arc—it rankles them more than a little, because they have to admit to knowing almost NOTHING about her!)

  • Posted by: - Nov. 26, 2007 8:17 AM ET USA

    Well whaddya know? It turns out that the Democrat "Party of the People" is the party of very rich (Hollywood) people. Except for Steve Forbes who used his own money running his Republican presidential campaign, the top individual political benefactors since 1999 contribute mostly to liberal Democrat causes. Look for yourself (and bring a calculator): http://www.campaignmoney.com/contributors.asp?pg=1

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