The Dangers of The Personal Being Political And Vice Versa *Open Thread*


One of our favorites, Jonah Goldberg, had a great column in the National Review on a host of issues. Goldberg does so with his inimitable style, with humor and his keen sense of language.

Before I get to the main issue of this post, though, I have to share with you the cutest story he told about an event including his dog. From National Review:

[…] Zoë Update: It’s been quite a week for the Mid Atlantic’s Dog (I figure it’s too soon for Zoë to go for Jasper’s title of America’s Dog). My wife and daughter took Zoë and both cats (the good cat and my wife’s cat) to the vet. Zoë in good shape. She now weighs 60 pounds (quite a difference from when she almost wasted away from parvo) and has tested negative for all the bad things. Except, she did test positive for the anti-bodies for Lyme disease (which doesn’t necessarily mean she has Lyme disease). The vet wants to do a follow-up test to make sure she’s okay. But they want us to collect a urine sample. This seems as easy as getting sample of Vladimir Putin’s back hair.

In other news, on Monday she caught a chipmunk. When I saw her come out from the woods with it, I assumed she’d already killed it. But no. She was merely looking for an open field to play with it, free of any possible chipmunk escape routes. It was a terrible scene when she dropped the critter on the ground and it kept leaping up to attack Zoë’s face, not least because Zoë clearly thought the chipmunk’s fight for its life was so hilarious. Fortunately — with the help of Buckley Carlson’s (brother of Tucker) dogs as distraction, I managed to save the critter’s life. Future historians may one day condemn me for it if it one day becomes the Hitler of chipmunks. […]

Ahahaha, how cute is that story? As was a quip he made further down in the piece about how much he talks to dogs. I can certainly understand that, and cats, too.

I can relate to his saving of the chipmunk recently. The other night, we had TORRENTIAL rains here, I mean heavy, record breaking in many areas, heavy rain. Well, the next day, I heard our cat, Punkin’ growling. Usually, that is a signal that Pippa is getting ready to pounce on her, a too-often occurrence and possibility since I had seen a black cat streak by. I jumped up from the couch (relatively speaking for someone with bad knees) to go break them up since wasn’t leaving where Punkin’ was. When I rounded the corner, Punkin’ was up on the hall tree with something in her mouth growling at Bou, Pippa’s brother. Punkin’ had a little field mouse in her mouth – well, a third of one, anyway. She had it from the tail end so I saw these little eyes pleading for help. I grabbed a tupperware container and tried to get Punkin’ to drop it. I got it out of her mouth and dang if it didn’t jump up on her back and ended up in a corner of the hall tree. I was able to clamp down the tupperware over it and slide the lid underneath it, all while it is just freaking out, poor little thing. I took it outside into the woods. Was it ever glad to realize it was free at last, free at last, and fortunately, no worse for wear after it’s cat encounter. We figured the rain drove it up to the porch. Bad idea since we have four cats, all of them accomplished hunters, primarily of little lizards (I have rescued a fair number of those, too).

But I digress in a major fashion. Just taking a page from Mr. Goldberg!

And speaking of, time to get back to the point of this post which would be Goldberg’s excellent point about “the personal is political.” Oh, and cheese, for that matter. From National Review:

[…] If I’ve made one point over the last 20 years, it’s that you can never put too much cheese on anything involving meat. Coming in a close second is that the reason I’m a conservative is that I believe conservatism and libertarianism are only partial philosophies of life. Obviously, this is even more the case for libertarianism than it is for conservatism, but both schools of thought set relatively clear boundaries for what politics should touch. Not so for what we call liberalism.

The progressive vision sees all of mankind as clay to be molded, sheep to be herded, a third-grade diorama to be diorama’d. There are no safe harbors from politics because the personal is political.

The problem with saying “the personal is political” is twofold: You politicize what is personal (“Everyone must celebrate my lifestyle!”) and you personalize the political (“Your opposition to the minimum wage hurts my feelings!”).

This is how you un-think yourself out of a civilization; When politics becomes a fashion choice and fashion becomes political. If you wear your politics on your sleeve, it usually means you don’t keep them in your brain where they belong. […] (Click here to read the rest of this excellent and often humorous post.)

Now I will admit, that back in the days of my being a rabid Leftie, I used that expression more than once. Okay, I bought into that mentality hook, line, and sinker.

I do think it is important to know how politics are going to impact one’s life, and to be informed in general. But I have long since learned the dangers of being a one issue voter and the value of seeing the bigger picture. That is to say, the necessity of using the old noggin when considering politics rather than being a fashion plate and making it ALL about our singular, particular issue du jour.

Anyway, I think it is an interesting perspective on this ideal by Goldberg. How about you? Feel free to discuss this, or anything else that is on your minds. This is an Open Thread.


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19 Responses to “The Dangers of The Personal Being Political And Vice Versa *Open Thread*”

  1. insanitybytes22 Says:

    “Now I will admit, that back in the days of my being a rabid Leftie, I used that expression more than once. Okay, I bought into that mentality hook, line, and sinker. ”

    Me too! It’s not a bad thing to be a bleeding heart, to care deeply and personally about what’s going on in the world, but it does become problematic when we lose our objectivity and personalize everything. That’s no way to go about truly solving problems. Also, the political becomes very personal and sure to cause offense and that’s just not healthy for anyone.

  2. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    I had a comment at the former post abt the secret 500 besties party the Obamas threw that was only leaked because of Al Sharpton’s big mouth, you know, the major tax fraud and race baiter. Goes to show you even he can do something right once in a blue moon even if it was an accident. Anyway, I noted that it shouldn’t be secret if we are paying for it.

    Well, Josh Earnest, that bastion of truth-telling (cough, cough) claims the Obamas paid for this themselves. Oh, I so believe him, don’t you? Here’s more:

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    As you know Jonah Goldberg is one of my favorites too. And this particular sentence is one good reason why:

    “If you wear your politics on your sleeve, it usually means you don’t keep them in your brain where they belong”.

    Making his point with humor is his signature and he’s very good at it.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Indeed – I thought of you immediately when I saw this article! He is such a funny, self-deprecating guy – love him!

      And yes, that quote sums it up BEAUTIFULLY, doesn’t it?

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    And then there’s this:

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    John Hawkins presents 20 things that came directly from Hillary Clinton’s mouth that show she would be a disaster as POTUS.

    Not that it will matter to her supporters that are too ignorant to be able to read or ignorant enough to vote for someone based on gender.

    20 Hillary Clinton Quotes You Should Read Before Voting For Her

    1) “Many of you are well enough off that the tax cuts may have helped you. We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” – Hillary Clinton

    2) “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” — Hillary Clinton

    3) “You know, we can’t keep talking about our dependence on foreign oil and the need to deal with global warming and the challenge that it poses to our climate and to God’s creation and just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.” – Hillary Clinton

    4) “I can’t worry about every undercapitalized business” — Hillary Clinton testifying before Congress on the effects of Nationalized Health Care.

    5) “Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” – Hillary Clinton

    6) “We are at a stage in history in which remolding society is one of the great challenges facing all of us in the West.” — Hillary Clinton per Barbara Olson’s Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton

    7) “There are rich people everywhere. And yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries…..They don’t invest in public schools, in public hospitals, in other kinds of development internally.” – Hillary Clinton

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, if only those who will vote for her WOULD read this. What a great list, Marge. But we know they won’t. They can;t allow facts to sully their opinion of the woman they want to be first woman president because she’s a woman (yes, that is circular logic). Sigh.

      But it is a great list and encapsulates the issues with her nicely.

    • mcnorman Says:

      Don’t you wonder how soon all of this will be scrubbed like it was for teh won?

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    ‘Just quit now everyone else’: Donald Trump proposes Oprah Winfrey for his vice president

    Just. Kill. Me. Now.

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

    Good post by Walter E. Williams. Nothing liberals would be interested in because it contains facts instead of name calling.

    Culture and Social Pathology

    A civilized society’s first line of defense is not the law, police and courts but customs, traditions, rules of etiquette and moral values. These behavioral norms — mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error. They include important thou-shalt-nots, such as thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not cheat. They also include all those courtesies that have traditionally been associated with ladylike and gentlemanly conduct.

    The failure to fully transmit these values and traditions to subsequent generations represents one of the failings of what journalist Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation.” People in this so-called great generation, who lived during the trauma of the Great Depression and fought World War II, not only failed to transmit the moral values of their parents but also are responsible for government programs that will deliver economic chaos.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much for this, Marge. What an important piece by Williams.

      And the cartoon is perfect!

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