Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wagstaff Manifesto

Just so there is no mystery about where Wagstaff is coming from, here is his manifesto. And now I promise never to refer to Wagstaff in the third person again.

Politically, I would label myself as a forward-thinking 19th century liberal.
Today, that passes for a Man of the Right.

If there can be such an animal that melds the philosophies of David Hume and St. Thomas Aquinas, of Adam Smith and G.K. Chesterton, then I am that animal.

I think that the government should stay out of the bedroom, and just as important, vise versa.

I don't care about the federal deficit.

I believe a singular, objective truth exists that is larger than any one man, and therefore he views things subjectively. The opposite would be not believing in any singular, objective truth but trying to view things objectively.

I believe Jesus loves gay people.

I never met a person who didn't impress me with at least some kind of intelligence.

I believe human life begins at conception. You might think that is a leap, but I think believing anything else is even more of a leap.

I think Henry James is a great novelist.

I think the Bill of Rights is listed in order of importance.

In a sense, I think western literature after Homer and the Bible is all downhill.

I think that a goose-stepping army is always bad news. Never trust an army that goose-steps.

I think that any song, no matter how awful, can be used effectively in a movie.

I give thanks to God for Martin Luther King Jr.

I love Bob Dylan as a vocalist.

I read Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager and I didn't relate to it at all.

I support every american war whether I agree with it or not. That is my carefully thought-out knee-jerk position.

I think you can be smarter than the average person, but you will never be smarter than ten average persons.

I think that every modern pop song is one minute too long.

I think that our current President is a lot smarter than anyone who calls him stupid. Yes, that means you.

I believe abortion is an abomination that should be restricted in most cases. I don't know how to do this.

I think Percy Shelley was a great poet, but in the battle of ideas between Shelley and Thomas Love Peacock, I side with Peacock.

I think a ruler who wears the same outfit every day is always bad news. Never trust a ruler who cultivates his own iconography.

I believe the South deserved to get thumped in the Civil War.

I think that generals Grant and Sherman were lovely, humane men.

I believe that if the material universe is in a state of entropy, then our mental universe is in a state of reverse entropy.

I think that the tendencies, prerogatives, and imperatives of each branch of the federal government will usually trump partisanship.

I think Ernst Lubitsch was the greatest movie director who ever lived, with Akira Kurosawa following close behind.

I think many of the greatest critics have been conservatives, but most conservatives make lousy critics.

I think that whether you believe in it or not, the story of Jesus in the gospels is by far the strangest, most original tale told by man.

I believe that sometimes it is just plain common sense to run with the herd.

I think it is not what you know, or who you know, but what other people think you know.

I believe that when Rome defeated Carthage in the Punic Wars, the good guys won.

I believe that Christianity as a religion makes the most sense. It also makes the most nonsense.

I think the best thing I ever heard about Franklin Delano Roosevelt came from Conrad Black, who said "third rate economics, first rate catastrophe avoidance."

I like what Winston Churchill said about supporting the church, but from the outside, like a flying buttress.

I think George W. Bush's foreign policy is profoundly unconservative.

I think a great thing about conservatism is that you don't have to be smart.

I don't think ratings codes and content advisory stickers constitute censorship.

I think pot should be legalized and probably all other narcotics as well.

I think you are fooling yourself if you think prolonged reefer smoking doesn't make you dumber.

I think if you can't make your opponent's argument better than he can, then you are losing the argument.

I think generations these days look back on the 50's as a period of normalcy we have deviated from or outgrown, but really the postwar consensus was one of the most abnormal periods imaginable.

I think most of the U.S. congress is a bunch of spineless boobies.

I think the most important fact about early cave paintings is that it was man who painted the animals and not the other way around.

I am not a purist of any kind. I keep my ideals pure only in the Platonic realm of ideas and not here on earth.

I am not a Platonist.

I think Aristotle was one of the smartest, most logical men ever to have walked the earth. He wrote the book on secular ethics.
I am not as smart as Aristotle.
Aristotle defended slavery as a matter of course.
I am a fool who flatters himself if I think I could have figured out slavery was evil on my own.

I think that Norman Rockwell was a great painter.

I believe the Iraq War is a war of necessity.

I am far more likely to be annoyed with Republicans and conservatives than I am with the President.

I believe marriage is marriage, but that we should have civil unions for everyone.

I support the President in most of what he does. I know that I don't have to.

I think that low voter turnout must mean things are O.K.

I think that just because your gay friend gave you fashion advice, it doesn't mean that it was good advice.

I believe that the deity might be looking at us through a one-way mirror.

I believe that becoming a Christian can be no easy comfort, on the contrary, it must stand as life's thorniest challenge.

I think you should forget about what modern critics say about Don Quixote being a loveable, foggy-eyed idealist. The book is brutal slapstick and that crazy son of a bitch is dangerous.

I think that Senator Joseph McCarthy was an ass.

I think that what Edward R. Murrow and the gang at CBS did was indeed a noble thing and good for the country, but what it wasn't was good journalism.

I think that the japanese internment camps during WWII were unconstitutional, but they might have been a better deal for japanese-americans than the alternatives.

I think it is a bad idea to try to hook Jr. High and High school students on reading by assigning them stories and plays that climax with mental breakdowns and suicide. What the hell are they thinking?

I believe that people will complain to those who listen; to those who don't listen they won't complain.

I think that military history should be part of the basic curriculum at every public High school.

I think that people who like pornography shouldn't worry. The government is never going to take your porn away.

I have never voted for a Democrat in my life, but I would vote for Joe Lieberman.

I think if you believe that a certain book, t.v. show, movie, music ect. can have a positive influence on someone's life, then you must also believe that a certain book, t.v. show, movie, music ect. can have a negative influence on someone's life.

I think that if history teaches us nothing else, it teaches that mankind abhors a power vacuum. If you have power and don't maintain the fight to keep it, there will always be someone in the wings ready to move in, single minded and with their eye on the ball.

I believe you should never write a letter to someone when you are drunk. You'll regret it.

I think that if you have ever seen something depicted by the media that you knew about or were involved in personally, then you will know that they got a lot of it wrong, therefore I think it is a safe assumption that they get a lot wrong when you see them depict something you don't know about or weren't involved in personally.

I believe we are all sinners, that is for damn sure.

Confucius defined wisdom as "To say you know when you know, and to say you don't know when you don't know." This sounds so simple, but it is difficult as all hell.

1 comment:

Duffy said...

More people should write personal manifestos. It can really clarify and help define where people are coming from. I never thought about doing one myself, but now I wonder just what would be on mine. Great exercise for everyone. Wagstaff's was clear, concise and funny, what more can you ask for - except more?