Here is my Letter:
I am a little humbled, and pleased that you asked my opinion on Frum’s article. I take it as a compliment. On Frum; he is a conundrum for people on the right like myself. In preparation, I pulled Frum’s book “The Right Man”. The book describes Bush during his first term up to 9-11. He almost describes The Bush Administration as rudderless. Frum was a speech writer for Bush. He was a member of the speech writers that drafted the phrase”Axis of Evil”. In his own words:
“Since the tax battle, we had worked harder and harder on less and less – and since the loss of the Senate, the domestic agenda of the administration had filled up with gimmicks and dodges.”
Frum debated leaving the White House. After 9-11, he witnessed a Bush become a wartime President with clarity. Frum stayed on. In the following years, Frum has tacked to the left. Perhaps he was always center left. Frum’s role in the Bush Administration was extremely small. A writer in a stable of writers. In this latest edition of Frum’s thinking, he rails against his former employer, a conservative think tank. “We don’t pay you to think, we pay you to repeat.” I would hope that any think tank would welcome any cogent thinkers in its ranks. I also would wager some money that if Frum were a columnist for “The Nation”, and wrote an article lauding the private sector and against Obama care, he would be sacked. Perhaps The Office of the President only paid him “to repeat.”
Enough on Frum resume, and indulge me to dissect his argument.
One page one he states “I helped make the mess” and that the nation is in “the coils of a Great Depression.” Robert, you and I have never lived during a “Great Depression”. This is not even close to a great depression. Country wide, we are experiencing approximately a 9% to 10% unemployment rate. During the Depression in the thirties it was close to 25 percent. What this nation is suffering from is pockets of severe unemployment. From Flint, Michigan to Camden NJ, the numbers are higher than the national average. We are in a recession to be sure, but not even close to a depression. Perhaps we should look at the citizens of these areas and why the private sector does not want to invest.
On page two, Frum blasts The Tea Party. Frum’s belief is the Tea Party has candidates which they have endorsed and an organized structure to support them. It is clearly not the case. I know the head of the Democratic Party and the head of the Republican Party. I cannot name the (wo)man in charge of The Tea Party. The left wants to place a name and face with these people. It is just as bad as when the right wants to blame Unions, commies, and Che Guevara for the Occupy movement (I know Che is dead; but I am sure some right wing loony thinks he is in a bunker issuing orders for “the peoples microphone”).
The Occupy movement, and its predecessor The Tea Party, have two things in common and one thing different. The two in common, both are pissed and very unorganized. The Tea Party might be slightly more organized; they have better credit ratings to rent out halls and purchase tri-corner hats. There is one thing different. Their age. Look at the Occupy Wall Street movement, I am not talking about the aging hippies who visit from The Village, and saunter back to their rent controlled apartments with sushi and a bottle of white wine. I am talking about the people in their late teens to late twenties camping , smoking weed, and banging.
Yes the movement has a point. I just find it pretty misguided when The Occupiers are chanting to people walking to work each day. They yell at the wage slaves trudging to work each day. These people sipping their Starbucks are not the one percent. I think not. I will say this about the Occupy movement…. what a hell of a party!!!!
Now for “Frum 2012”. I gave it this moniker, it sound like a campaign platform. Frum wants to place the mortgage interest deduction on the table. We have this deduction to induce Americans to buy property. It is similar to Federal Government gives a deduction for children. It has been decided that certain decisions by people are good for the country. These decisions are rewarded. One of the reasons “renting sucks”, is the inducement the government gives to save and purchase a domicile. This in turn give people a sense of ownership not only for their homes, but the communities they live in.
If Frum desires to expunge this, then I say get rid of deductions for children. Not everyone one has children. The “Ethnic Competition” section on page 3 I find amorphous and lacking clarity. Some employers are hiring more foreign born workers. This is due to the fact that a large majority of these workers majored in math and the sciences. Some of the 9-11 terrorists had backgrounds in engineering. There is a necessity for people in these industries. For some reason, “whitey” is not majoring in the sciences. Frum makes it sound like white America is going on a lynching.
What he doesn’t cite is that black unemployment is higher than white unemployment ( http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/02/news/economy/black_unemployment_rate/index.htm
). The out of wedlock birth rate for American blacks is approximately 70%. I don’t think it is “white American” that is angry. It is the middle class that is angry. A large majority of the middle class is white. From “bailouts” to
“handouts”, we feel we are getting squeezed.
His rant on Fox news is a little disingenuous. As a writer, Frum should applaud that I can watch Bill O’reilly , and then watch Ed Schultz
on MSNBC (which I try to do). As much as it is myopic, people will always tune in to programming they agree with. Frum believes there is a “cadre”
of conservative millionaires behind the rise of the Fox news. One could say the same about NBC and the New York Times (millionaires on the left) . He writes that the pundits are whipping up emotions of the viewers. I agree. Is this something bad? Does Frum want apathy? Does Frum want to go back to the days of Cronkite? The days when Americans only had one nightly news source “they trusted.” Cronkite; that is another topic for another day!
In closing, people are upset, from the Tea Partiers to the Occupiers.
I don’t think the GOP has lost its moorings. There are people, like myself, who are concerned that we are traveling down the socialist path of Europe. A path that is self destructive for the future. Ask Greece and France.