January 24, 2020

Authenticity Macht Frei

One of the interesting things about getting older is you wake up one day in an entirely different culture. A generation or two comes of age under much different influences. Education has always been passed down in erratic and precarious ways, especially of late once the teaching profession became an arm of the Democrat party. The idea that socialism is a good idea, for example, would’ve been foreign to me when I was in my 20s.

So some guy named Rogan, apparently a major influencer, said he’s voting for Bernie primarily on the basis of his “authenticity”. And I think that explains part of the thirst for leaders who are increasingly unexperienced: from Obama to Trump to that Greta girl, the idea is that if you can find individuals who have not been corrupted by the political system they are seen as legit and authentic.

Charlie Kirk said something on a radio show that resonates:
“I’ve been trying to warn people that young people, in particular, will vote for Bernie Sanders and clueless people will vote for Sanders because they think he’s authentic. And there’s an authenticity crisis happening right now in America politics. People believe that politicians espouse certain positions only because they are paid to do so and that money in politics is the number one issue. Republicans and conservatives are on the wrong side of the money and politics issue.”
This would help explain Trump’s rise - he boasted in ’16 he was spending his own money and wouldn’t be beholden to the system - as well as the shocking recent poll that Mayor Bloomberg has somehow bought himself a fourth place ranking among Democrat voters nationally. He, like Trump, is supposedly too rich to be bought off. The only legit sources of money nowadays become self-funding or grassroots Bernie-style. Which means populists or billionaires. Narrows the field a mite.

At root it reminds me of what Yuval Levin says in his latest book about the hatred of institutions and anything formational.   To have governing experience, to learn how to govern, is to be corrupted by it. (Bloomberg, tellingly, isn’t telling anybody in his ads he was a mayor, at least that I can tell.) The fiction is that the only free person is one who has not been formed when actually it’s only formed people that are truly free. It goes back to whether you see human nature as needing to be freed from constraints to be good or that we need constraints precisely because of the nature of human nature.

No comments: