Friday, November 27, 2009

On Lou Dobbs' Political Aspirations

Lou Dobbs is exactly the kind of guy I don't want in politics, and I hope his quixotic musings about entering the fray are designed to support a book sale or some other business proposition.

I have two basic problems with Dobbs--his attitude and his politics.

1. Dobbs is the quintessential angry white man. I mean this from the standpoint of temperament, not politics. On the occasions in which I've paused long enough on his former show to evaluate him, I've come to see the furrowed brow, the agitated tone, the "who should we blame" approach. This man does not inspire; he does not lead; he does not evoke the "better angels" of his viewers nature. He whips them into an emotional frenzy of blame, anger, and negativity. He does a fine job of letting "us" off the hook while blaming "them"--whoever us and them may be. America does not need politicians who play to the crowd. America needs politicians who lead the crowd. Sally's fine job analyzing the 2009 Virginia Governor's race here on this blog (re)introduced us to a politician with solid conservative instincts AND a positive message of progress in Mr. McDonnell. We need more McDonnells and fewer Dobbs.

2. Dobbs is what Ross Douthat calls a "radical center populist"--you know what I call a "radical center populist? A political weather vane. Radical center populists stick their finger in the air, test what is popular with the electorate, and ride the wave. They have no fundamental, unshakable political beliefs from which enlightened policy springs. This is a particularly dangerous brand of politics, as one comes to surf the wave-tops of whatever passion is currently animating the masses without ever really moving in a substantial policy direction.

I'll not be jumping on the Lou Dobbs bandwagon, friends. Would be interested to read opposing viewpoints.

3 comments:

Tom de Plume said...

Hell, we got an angry (half) white guy as President, why not one for Senator from New Jersey.

John S. said...

CW, you nailed it.

Greg "The Hammer" Dail said...

Exactly Tom. We need some angry white men rather than scared compromising little ass-wipes. Remember, anger (desire) and fear are opposites.

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