Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Tea Party for Liberals?

Yesterday's Denver Post contained this headline on page 6A: "Liberals work to start 3rd party". A group of liberals in North Carolina, frustrated by three Democratic congressmen who voted against health care reform, is gathering signatures to put a third party, North Carolina First, on the ballot for the November mid-term election. Notwithstanding the fact that, if successful, the result of their effort could well mean that the defeat of the three conservative Democrats would accrue to the benefit of the Republican alternatives, these would-be Tea Partiers of the Left say they do not care; they are made as hell and aren't going to take it anymore.

Such self-defeating foolishness reminds me of the central character in the book and movie, Into the Woods, Christopher McCandless (portrayed in the film by Emile Hirsch). Finding himself completely alienated by the superficiality and materialism of his upper middle-class parents, this college star athlete and scholar gives his entire life savings to charity, abandons his old clunker of a car in the desert, and hitchhikes his way to Alaska, where he plans to live in the wilderness where he can eat what the animals eat and live a life of purity and aestheticism, next to nature and all its beauty and what-you-see-is-what-you-get honesty. Availing himself of the kindness of strangers along the way--average folk for whom he seems to have little patience or time--and an old, decrepit school bus formerly used as a base camp for a group of hunters, Chris at last finds his nirvana, surrounded by mountains, streams, and tundra.

I won't give away the ending--this truly is a movie worth seeing, as was the book a fantastic read (or, so I'm told). Let me just say that the life the self-righteous isn't always as gratifying as it's cracked-up to be. You may feel that you are teaching the world and all the bastards in it a huge lesson and that may feel very comforting, for a little while. But the law of politics, like the law of the jungle, is that you either eat or get eaten. And you never--EVER--eat your own.

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