Jewish World Review March 3, 2005 / 22 Adar I, 5765
An award show for perpetrators of the New Order
WASHINGTON, D.C. Recently, the Milwaukee-based Bradley
Foundation put on an awards fete in Washington that turned out to be a
stupendous evening. Daniel Rodriguez, the "Singing Cop," sang. Jennifer
Holliday sang and danced. The foundation itself gave awards, four in all,
each worth $250,000, to public persons whose "achievements ... are
consistent with the mission statement of the foundation, including the
promotion of liberal democracy, democratic capitalism and a vigorous defense
of American institutions."
The awardees were indeed worthy of distinction. Applying
objective standards to George Will's writing, the scholarship of Robert
George and Heather Mac Donald, and Ward Connerly's public service leaves
each individual elevated above the rank and file. Yet, I noted a sniffiness
in the major media's reportage of the event. The point seemed to be that
this was all very self-congratulatory of the conservatives.
So now we shall sit back and watch the rest of this season's
awards ceremonies. We have already seen Hollywood at work with its Oscars
and Grammys. Soon we shall see the Pulitzers and the National Book Awards.
All these awards have become orgies of onanism. Some would say they are
laced with liberal prejudice. My only objection to that observation would be
that what passes for liberalism in America today is not very liberal. It is
a chaos of tortured, incoherent conceits. It is better described as
political correctness, PC.
Whatever one calls the value system that supports these other
awards, the awards themselves have become very political. If one does not
share the political values of their bestowers, one is not very likely to be
recognized. That is why the Bradley Awards are important. They recognize the
achievements of a new political order, the libertarian conservative order
that is sweeping the world. The tectonic plates of history have shifted.
Free markets, free minds, democracy and, at least in the case of the Bradley
Awards, intellectual excellences compose the New Order. The adherents to the
PC culture are befuddled and angry. This historic shift has left them
without a clue.
In a new biography of that giant of the Old Order, John Kenneth
Galbraith, the obliviousness of the Old Order to history's latest turn is on
wondrous display. In reviewing "John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His
Politics, His Economics," one Will Hutton in The American Prospect, an
archaeological dig of PC thought, writes: "The story of our times is the
ongoing rise of American conservatism." Hutton laments that Galbraith has no
successor. He, like Galbraith's biographer, is mystified as to why an
economist of Galbraith's persuasion has not gained "stature" today. The
thought that Galbraith is passé because Galbraith's economic and political
positions failed never is even considered by reviewer or biographer. Both
agree free markets and growth economics are ascendant solely because of the
"power" of corporations.
"The ongoing rise of conservatism" is a con. Every PC reviewer
of this book agrees on that. What they are living through is not a period of
sound economic growth. Rather it is, as Hutton writes, "the rise of a set of
economic theorems palpably false and obviously self-serving." So the
economic growth ushered in by Ronald Reagan's tax cuts is a fraud. So is the
spread of democracy and the collapse of Marxist-Leninist tyranny. Doubtless,
there will one day be hell to pay for the democracy arising in the Middle
As I say, the PC adepts of the Old Order are oblivious. They
will continue to whoop it up for their passing heroes. They will confer
awards on their present paladins of virtue, Michael Moore, Dr. Howard Dean
and, forget not, the former Enron advisor, economic visionary and scold of
corporate power, Paul Krugman. That last fellow has to be an economic
genius. Everything he says about economics is ignored by government and by
entrepreneurs. Enter that brontosaurus in the Kentucky Derby.
So if one wants to get a sense of the drift of our time, forget
this season's awards series, unless, of course, one is discussing the
Bradley Awards. They go to the perpetrators of the New Order.
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© 2001, Creators Syndicate