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7.8.08

Jindal, "closest thing to a minority," may perturb liberals

As it appears Gov. Bobby Jindal is getting the prime speaking slot at the Republican national convention, of course this causes no end of consternation for liberals.

Perhaps a little luster is off Jindal’s shine courtesy of tax-cutting and absurdly high legislator pay raise waffling, but if Jindal aspires to higher office, he’s got a few years to regain it and polish it with a solid conservative agenda and record. Making the keynote speech at a convention offers a prime opportunity to continue this process, and history shows it can be an important stepping-stone for a party politician with national ambitions.

This is not a welcome development for liberals, who regard Jindal as one of the most dangerous conservatives around to tear down their playhouse of governing. His unabashed, thoughtful argumentation for conservatism is damaging enough to expose the bankruptcy of liberalism, but worse is he’s the “closest thing to a minority” on the GOP side.

At least that seems to be the line now coming from one prominent Democrat, former Gov. Kathleen Blanco operative Bob Mann who bailed out of that job into a cushy academic sinecure. The change in profession doesn’t seem to have sharpened Mann’s demographic and/or reasoning skills: 2006 estimates of a U.S. population of just under 300 million show that 19 million call themselves other than white, black, Hispanic, Asian, or native Indian, which includes southeast Asian Indians of the same ethnic stock as Jindal. By any real definition southeast Asian Indians like Jindal are not “close” to being an ethnic minority in America, they are.

But liberals like Mann can’t allow themselves to think that way because to them a “minority” is a group who is “disadvantaged” in an economic sense and, frankly, Asians of almost any ethnicity do decently in America. No, to them a “minority” is “disadvantaged” because they are being “oppressed” in some way, by virtue of race, gender, class, or whatever suspect category and thus deserve some kind of preferential treatment. (Why Asians escape “racism” to allow them to prosper, liberals never can say.)

Naturally, Jindal subscribes to none of this nonsense, realizing the locus of success or failure economically resides in the individual, not from “racism” institutionalized in our societal institutions (any impulses of which are suppressed by law), or any other aspect of the economic system. Liberals cannot allow this to be understood because their whole hustle is on the idea that only they and their policies can empower people, whereas Jindal believes accurately that individuals empower themselves – if government stays out of their way and lets them.

So maybe Jindal will get a chance on the big stage and, if so, liberals are just going to have to hope he bombs it – although even that doesn’t guarantee stopping a future president. A stinker of a keynote speech was delivered in 1988, leaving those seeing and hearing it wondering what all the fuss was about this guy – future Pres. Bill Clinton.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do believe that, within the GOP, Jindal really is the only major elected official -- governor, member of Congress -- who is non-white. If you don't count Colin Powell -- who seems ready to jump to the Dems this year and back Obama -- Condi Rice may be all the Repubs have in the way of a prominent minority or people of color. That being the case, why wouldn't they showcase Jindal? Talent or not, decent record or not, the GOP desperately needs to show that they aren't simply a collection of rich white people. I believe something like 98 percent of their convention delegates last time were white. Jindal, especially as a keynote speaker, could be a good antidote to a potentially damaging perception -- if only for one news cycle.

Daniel Z. said...

As a "liberal" I would actually be thrilled for Jindal to give the keynote address. The more jindal gets national media attention the more he will be placed under the microscope (something that never really happened in his last 3 elections).