The Hairsprayed Ones

Maybe it’s because I’m bald, but I’ve never trusted a politician who teases his hair. You can’t count on a man with a low-rise beehive. Especially if he started political life as an aide to Nelson Rockefeller.

“GOP Embraces Sharing of Wealth,” said a Washington Times headline. Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) – Southern field man for the Rockefeller for President organization – was sponsoring a cable TV show also featuring HUD Secretary Jack Kemp. Another guest, Jesse-Jacksonite Polly Williams, said she “ain’t going to hold it against conservatives if they happen to feel the same way we do. ” About the welfare state, that is, for everyone advocated “transferring wealth.”

We need “a very active government,” said Gingrich. Criticisms of “the bureaucratic welfare state” are passe. “We have an obligation to govern.”

Governing. That must be why Gingrich engineered the colossal Congressional pay raise, and agreed to deep-six any Republican candidate who used the issue against an incumbent Democrat. Gingrich champions more welfare and civil rights (a tautology these days), while opposing a Social Security tax cut for people who work.

Kemp, who shares Gingrich’s love of teased hair and big government, calls for more public housing. He also wants to send every member of the underclass to college, no matter what the cost to taxpayers. We have to “apply resources – real government dollars,” says Kemp “As a society, we have the money.”

Gingrich and Kemp are “changing the face of conservative politics forever,” says columnist Don Lambro. Well, excuse me, but I liked the old look. In fact, I’d like to sue the plastic surgeons.

These “ambitious conservative leaders” want to gain new followers “among inner-city minorities,” says Lambro. How? By dressing LBJ in a Republican suit, teasing his hair, and hoping we think he’s a conservative.

The Washington Post is delighted by all of this, which ought to be all we need to know. Spiro T. Agnew said it best: the Post belongs at the bottom of a birdcage. “These conservative activists are at the cutting edge” of a movement to “launch a new War on Poverty – a conservative war,” says the Post. Yeah, and the bombs are landing on our families and our wallets.

With liberal Democrats, what you see is what you get. The scum floats on top of the pond. But big-government conservatives had to disguise their deviant ideas. Movement pressure kept them in the closet. Now they practice their vice openly.

There have always been American conservatives who rutted in the cellars of Europe, who spurned Taft and Goldwater for Disraeli and Bismarck. Now they lust after the United States of Welfaria, with bloated transfer payments, shrinking property rights, and manic egalitarianism.

Ever since the New Deal, conservatives have fought the welfare state as morally evil, economically disastrous, and socially corrupt. How can anyone took at America’s inner cities, social laboratories of welfarism, and call for more of the same? Yet that is exactly what Gingrich and Kemp do, no matter how they dress it up with talk of “values.” “Transferring wealth,” i.e., theft on a massive scale, is some value.

Before the New Deal, race relations were imperfect, but they weren’t the hate-o-rama they are today. The streets of Harlem were safe at night for blacks and whites. Even in poor areas, men worked and supported their wives and families. Marriage was the norm, drug use was low, and children went to school and church. There was an active business community.

This is not some pipe dream. It actually existed. And it was destroyed by the welfare state.

What the urban poor need most is market and social pressure to act responsibly. But the welfare state deliberately subverts this to create a dependent class.

The welfare state subsidizes sloth, promiscuity, illegitimacy, and irresponsibility. It excuses horrific crime as “legitimate rage.” It tells the underclass that everything that happens to them, every failure and every disorder, is somebody else’s fault. Can there be any wonder at the devastation, or the venom?

If racial hatreds are growing in this country, and I fear they are, we can thank the welfare state and the egalitarian mania that drives it. Conservatives who champion those ideas deserve, not high government posts, but quarantining as moral lepers.