As frequently happens an online discussion in another forum inspired a new entry from me in my own blog.

Bingo!! Here we go again.

In today’s entry of Reg on Wry, the blog maintained by the erudite and witty and liberal Post Gazette editor, one fellow who uses the screen name Tourist (he’s currently living in Japan) made this interesting observation:

Here’s my sympathetic take.  When you learned Santa Claus’s secret identity, it was presented as trust.  You weren’t a child anymore.  You could handle the truth.

Debunking what an adult believes is trickier.  Children have room to learn and grow.  Adults are more locked in, fearful.  Expect panic.  Expect tantrums.  Expect cognitive dissonance.  Do not expect them to be good sports.

Sometimes they charge when they’re wounded.

This statement was partly in response to a link I provided on the site a day or so ago about libertarianism. The article I linked to is called “The Liberty Scam” and is on Slate.

The writer discusses libertarianism and the fact that its revivalist from the 70’s, Rober Nozick, later disavowed many of his own preachings on the subject. This is important because libertarianism is all the rage among GOP conservatives, especially the brand identified with Ayn Rand.

Rep. Paul Ryan, Boy Blunder of the deficit reduction idealists, is an Ayn Rand disciple, and her works, if I am not mistaken,  are required reading.

The problem is that many newer analyses of Rand as well as closer examination of her own words show that there is no Wizard behind the curtain (You go, Toto!).

Instead of a philosophy of free markets and individual liberties true libertarianism has been exposed as an immature, selfish approach to life where people have no responsibilities beyond grabbing all they can for themselves with no concern for the general welfare whatsoever. Naturally they gravitate towards little or no government interference.

Now that’s not to say a libertarian hasn’t any worthwhile ideas. Ron Paul, now becoming the Harold Stassen of the libertarian fringe, happens to have some notions I heartily endorse, such as ending the insane War on drugs, though I doubt our rationales for doing so are even remotely identical.

But Paul, and his son Rand, are the closest examples of true libertarians we have on the national scene. Moreso, what the conservative right promotes has libertarian elements economically but wildly veers from that ideal on social issues.

Getting back to the Tourist Santa analogy at the top of the page, there is a similar myth to telling kids that putting cookies and milk on the mantel will make Santa appear. That is the one that goes ” cut taxes on the rich and jobs will appear”.

It’s time for the conservatives spouting such nonsense to grow up and realize there is no Santa Claus.

I suppose there are liberal shibboleths of like ilk. But the difference between conservatives and liberals in this regard is that cons stick to their guns relentlessly while libs are willing to drop theirs like a hot potato when it is convenient to do so.

One would think that when David Stockman, the guru of trickle down economics under Reagan, the real god many on the right want to occupy the throne of theocracy, repudiates the theory, that more folks would pay attention to him.

But apparently there are too many doubting Thomases on the right who refuse to accept the rebirth of Stockman despite visible evidence of the wounds, not to Stockman’s hands and feet, but to the pocketbooks of the vast majority of Americans.

Likewise the right also attacks institutions and programs that are a nuisance to them, but not a danger to our American way of life, though their rhetoric would have you believe so.

Gay marriage will not kill the institution. If anything the thirteen wives of Trump, Giuliani, Gingrich, and Limbaugh are a testament to the resilience of the marriage ideal.

Abortion, while not desirable, destroys fewer babies and young lives, no matter the definition of when life begins, than does poverty and neglect and governmental policies pushed by conservatives that are designed to demean poor people and keep them beholden to the wealthy.

Foreign interventions are wrong period. Not just when a Democrat decides to follow in the steps of his predecessor who received nothing but kudos from the right for doing so. (My separate condemnation of Obama for his war-mongering is on record on this site.)

The government’s regulatory powers, though overreaching at times, far from discouraging business, instead level the playing fields so that the same players are not always up to bat.

So no, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus, just a plethora of conservative talking points that have been discredited on so many levels but that the faithful cling to even as they gradually surrender the other accutrements of chldhood.

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