Monday, April 27, 2009

Not helping...

Sometimes folks who agree with you are your worst enemy.  Consider this otherwise sound post by Julie Gunlock on NRO (a right wing magazine).
Consider, also, her campaign for a White House vegetable garden. Waters has been badgering U.S. presidents about this vegetable garden for years. In 2000, she wrote a letter to Pres. Bill Clinton about the importance of a White House garden, saying: “I can think of no more powerful way to ground your legacy than to leave behind you a kitchen garden and the compost pile to nourish it.” Really? A garden and a compost pile? Grounding President Clinton’s legacy in compost? Did she think about how this sounds, alongside Clinton’s other goals, such as Middle East peace, a secure and nuclear-free Korean peninsula, health-care reform, and Russia’s peaceful transition to democracy?

In Alice Waters’s wonderland, all is made better with the growing of vegetables. But regular Americans know better. Many enjoy buying organic, visiting their local markets, and gardening, but they also know that the purpose of food is nourishment. America’s robust agricultural sector has made food cheaper and more plentiful not just for our nation’s citizens, but for the entire world. Environmentalists may dismiss big, industrial farms, but it is these largely American innovations that are helping feed the world, and keeping costs down for coupon clippers like me. [More]
Right now the right wing is writhing as they deal with the torture issue and I think the agony of that guilt that bleeds through into other policy arenas.  Oddly, one of the NRO top voices, Victor Davis Hanson (is he a poet or assassin?), is a former, if not current agrarian.

I agree in substance with Julie, but not tone.  Her condescension to one of America's top chefs during a massively popular upswing in cooking and food is simply stupid.  It also betrays, I think, a fear that industrial ag has gotten it all wrong, just like the financial markets did as the right cheered.

She should have more faith in the arithmetic and simply common sense. The food movement constitutes no threat to my farm, or at least, not one I can't rise to manage.  I expect industrial producers to be undergoing some consumer-prompted makeovers in the next decade, to be sure.

However, by disparaging the opinions of others in the field of expertise, we raise suspicions that we are not all that respecting of individual rights to choose.  Or individual rights in general.

But we have looped back to the torture problem, I see.  Which is what is keeps happening for the right.

Consider this comment on Julie's post:
At the beginning of her critique, she mentions all the areas of the country where agriculture is a large, visible part of daily life. First: there are only a handful of regions like this in the country (for every Iowa, there is a New Mexico). Second: these regions are known less for their embrace of conservative agriculture than they are for their agriculture-based economy. At the end of her article she praise large scale agriculture for how it “feeds the world” and provides herself and many other stay-at-home moms - I suppose - the ability to save money.
There is very little conservatism in that last statement. Basically, we are to reject the movement of our food culture to more locally-based (hopefully home-based) organic crop-centric recipes, complete with one’s own cooking, because it is nothing more than a bunch of high-brow cultural pessimists who want to stop feeding the world. Thus, we are to accept mass-produced, buy-in-bulk supercrap food products that are heavilty subsidized by taxpayers and terrible for your health.
And people wonder why conservatism is dying. [More]

And indeed, if conservatism is measured by Republican party affiliation (which I do not accept, but many do), the commenter is accurate.

1 comment:

Ol James said...

Mr. John, I don't believe that conservative is wholly associated with the GOP either. I know a lot of Dems that are also. Or, as they say here, frugal, tightwad, skin-flint, cheap etc., etc..