My wife watches Jon Stewart every night. It’s payback for, well, a lot of things.
She mercifully tapes the show so she can watch it around me, generally while I’m punching out a last item for this page in an office off our bedroom. But I can hear the guy. His voice cuts through the wall, rather like a chain saw.
What bugs me most is when he makes me laugh. Because he is hysterically funny at times, and I get mad at myself when I succumb to his humor. But its tough: he’s smart and quick-witted. Not quite Dennis-Miller-quick, but close and with his own enviable style.
But while involuntarily listening to Stewart over the past few nights, and in reading opinion pieces by leading thinkers of the American Left, I can’t help but notice how very off the mainstream American script they are beginning to read. They have become utterly unconvincing in their arguments.
I’m generally confident about my political opinions. But I’m rarely 100% sure. I’ve been wrong about far too many things over the years, and certain certitudes of my youth have attained a hue of grey over time. But the Stewarts of the world are making me feel a whole lot better of late.
The issue that marks them as most unreasonable, indeed, irrational, is U.S. debt. Some refuse to acknowledge it as a valid issue; some say it’s normal, even healthy, like a mortgage or a car loan, and all of them point to the richest Americans — that greedy one percent that already pays almost half the income tax in America — as the dastardly villains of American decline (never mind that if the government expropriated the wealth of every one of them, it would barely dent the federal deficit.)
The Left is calling for higher taxes and more spending at a time when the average American instinctively sees higher spending and taxing as an existential crisis. This may be the worst moment in U.S. history to make that argument.
The Paul Krugman’s of the world tell readers on a daily basis how stupid they are: “We’re all broke,” they shout. “Spend! It’s the way forward. Keynes said so.” The academics know better. They learned counterintuitiveness at Harvard.
That’s the bottom line. The Left is calling on Americans to abandon the reason and common sense hardwired in their brains, to head deeper into the dark tunnel rather than into the light in the distance. They want us to ignore our instincts and listen to them at a critical time in our nation’s history.
All I can say is “good luck with that.”