By Curt Mills
Adapted from an address to the National Conservatism Conference 2021.
ORLANDO– At a bar in the Magic Kingdom I am re-evaluating my life.
My dealer’s-choice compatriots in imbibement are dropouts, strip club bouncers, MMA fighters, and the owner of some sort of shipping company now on the business end of the backlog out of Long Beach I witnessed last weekend in California. My main amigos are 31 and 25, two kids apiece, and as I sheepishly ask for receipts for a future expense form, they pay in real American money (which they apparently have slabs of). This for-whatever-it’s-worth magnet high school graduate is wondering if he’d have just been better off a North Florida high school quitter.
As one in my line of work brutally—though apparently welcomely—does, I query my (bar top) left flank on their thoughts on our esteemed body politic. Donald Trump has changed Palm Beach, the strip club bouncer can report, and in his larger-than-life day job as an MMA fighter, he’s sanguine about his league’s lack of a vaccine mandate. Say what you will, this is a man who definitely puts his mouth where his money is. This all while the Gatorland business magnate explains that Mr. Trump, had indeed, been the “greatest jobs president God ever created,” as the future president famously guaranteed in 2016.
He thinks Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping sleep more soundly at night because President Joe Biden, unlike Trump, had never run a business. Trump’s commercial bankruptcies are a sign of backbone, not belligerency. And as if it’s at the tip of everyone’s tongue, my man declares, that’s because, and I quote: “He came back.” I try to keep the chit-chat geopolitical, and I show the duo a picture of Boris Johnson, and they think I’m pulling an outright fast one on them that the man is a world leader. My credibility is only sealed by my blue-check status, so charmingly and instantly verified: I am, indeed, a knight of the roundtable.
But then it gets interesting.
As the Wu-Tang Clan (not Chinese) grimly concluded of American life back in the Clinton administration, Dogecoin rules everything around us. The man of commerce, clad like a veritable local nobleman in an actually-great Planet Hollywood sweatshirt (another Bill Clinton years throwback), confirms as much. He says he didn’t need that PPO loan two springs ago. He says, as Theodore Roosevelt said of William McKinley, that the kids younger than us are soft as chocolate eclairs. No one works. His prospective employees live off Mountain Dew and Nerds Rope paid by EBT cards in the heart of Covid-19 American Empire. Just when I think I’m about to get a Galtian masterstroke of a close, he confesses: Money is the root of all evil, but he just wished people worked.
This is all to say, that life is complicated, man. (All due respect to my fellow panelists.) It is poorly suited to neat philosophical tie-ups: If such a thing exists, “real” American life is …read more
Via:: American Conservative
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