THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 855, January 17, 2016
As usual, our problem is that we're too damned polite.
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
I confess that I haven't been paying quite as much attention to this year's General Election festivities as the media (and their advertisers) would like. I haven't heard a single debate. Between the utter inability of the candidates to speak to a single issue that's important to me, and the fact that none of them has promised to reverse a single travesty of the nasty Obama Administration, as a libertarian, and a human being, I simply don't give a damn who gets the nomination as long as he or she can grind Hillary Clinton into the mud.
However I did hear about it the other day when Ted Cruz warned voters about Donald Trump's "New York Values". Apparently this made the Donald very mad, although I don't know why it should. He sounded to me like a thin-skinned politically correct fat guy complaining that somebody had referred to him as "corpulent". Or a mustachioed Latino whimpering because somebody had correctly identified him as Hispanic. Or any of the new crop of college sissies we have somehow spawned over the past twenty years or so, blubbering over each willfully-imagined slight.
I understand they call them "crybullies".
As a veteran freelance novelist who has been dealing with them for more than thirty years, allow me to attest that there are, indeed, distinctly New York values, and, ethically speaking, they are not a very pretty sight. You first learn about them, somewhat unbelievingly, at the end of a long colorful string of lavish—and invariably broken—publisher's promises, when you're informed, "Hey, it's just business." If you come from generations of pioneers for whom a spoken word and handshake was a contract, that can be a fairly hard thing to take.
New York Values were in full glorious play back in the 1970s when famous police detective Frank Serpico (go rent the Al Pacino movie) found out so many of his fellow cops were "on the pad"—collecting bribes and protection money—and they are still just as bad, he says, today. It was a similar putrescently corrupted frame of mind that caused out-of-town 9/11 responders to be rejected—sent home—when it was discovered that they weren't union members. Really. You also get the impression that New Yorkers think they're the only Americans ever to have a hostile and violent act carried out against them.
It's a disease.
A great many of my problems (and yours, as well) were generated in 1942 by author Rex Stout (creator of Nero Wolfe), dozens of his fellow writers, and the Roosevelt Treasury Department, which together founded the Writers' War Board, which has been called "history's greatest propaganda machine". Among the other things it did, with its murderous stranglehold on stringently rationed ink and paper, it forced all book publishing, which had been a nationwide thing, to become centralized in ... where, else? New York City, a mess we are only getting over now.
My book publisher, Arc Manor/Phoenix Pick, is in Maryland.
New Yorkers are often accused of being blissfully unaware of, or bigoted toward the rest of the United States of America. A famous New Yorker magazine cover in the 1970s showed the world as seen by denizens of that literally insular city, as little more than an edge on the horizon, and the rest of us are said to be living in "flyover country".
I was all too well aware of the biases of New York movie and stage writers who were responsible for Oklahoma and similarly insulting and patronizing distortions of the West and Western values. But even I was startled to see the 1950 musical comedy Summer Stock recently. Its portrayal of county people with missing teeth and gigantic bare feet would cause a lawsuit—or a riot—if it were about blacks or Hispanics, instead. As usual, our problem is that we're too damned polite.
I have come to believe that this bias—these solidly New York Values—are at the evil, necrotic heart of the political movement to disarm Westerners and the Productive Class, and that it is no coincidence that New York Senator Charles Schumer is that movement's leader. Sadly, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famously hated and feared the countryside, but Thomas Jefferson detested and distrusted the nation's cities.
I have no favorite in the current Presidential race. They'll all tax me and try to limit my freedom. Most of them can't keep their religion in their pants; their flimsy excuses for working around the First Amendment sound exactly like the Left's flimsy excuses for working around the Second. On the other hand, they're all a lot better than either Clinton or Sanders. But I wish there was a simple symbol that was the equivalent of the heart-symbol we have come to use for "love".
So my car-bumper could say "I hate NY".
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