The Mogolog

…but I digress…

Deciding to change

I’m about to start a series of “important” posts. I’m essentially going to be laying out my plan for the entire year 2013. By doing it publicly, I’m committing myself to accomplishing a few things that I would otherwise—in a previous year, for example—let fall to procrastination.

To do these things, I’ve had to reconcile myself to three things:

1) I’m an adult. Finally, at age 34, I don’t get to claim newbie status in adulthood anymore. I can’t plead ignorance or distraction. Last week, I had a moment at work where I became self-aware in an unusual way, and my thought was, “I’m doing this with a remarkable degree of competence.” It was eerie. I’ve always thought of myself as a kid among adults. Choosing to not see myself that way is important for what comes next.

2) I have to physically take care of myself better. I have to make myself sleep more. I have to eat better. I have to drink less alcohol. I have to work out first, not last. I’ve begun, as much as possible, simply not eating between meals. This goes against every bodily instinct I have: I have a lifelong habit of eating 18-20 hours per day. When the urge is overwhelming, I’m eating fruit and drinking black coffee.

3) This is the most important one: I have to spend my free time working. Not “working” in the sense of adding hours to my professional workday, although I do that as much as anybody. What I mean is that the goals I’m setting for myself in the next few posts each require work, not wishing, and each of those projects that I want to complete is important enough to me that I have to make sacrifices for them. Some, like not playing video games much, if at all, are not an enormous hardship. On the other hand, choosing to spend less time reading is a very strange bit of sacrifice, giving up something that is an unambiguous positive. But in the spirit of “you can’t have it all,” I need to read less so that I can write a little bit more.

Throughout my 20s, I raised a toast on birthdays to my 30s, when I would start getting things done. The 20s were for squandering. I’m nearing the decade’s halfway point. If I’m going to cross into my 40s with dignity, I need to make good on that toast.

It’s hard to change. It had better be worth it.

Advertisements

TC

This might end up being a long post, but it’s got to be that way.

As I write this, my friend TC Cheever is fighting his final battle against pancreatic cancer at Mass General. Word got out late last week that he’d received the worst news, and been told that he wouldn’t survive the weekend. His closest friends flew into Boston to gather around him. So far so normal.

But something started happening outside the hospital. Friends of TC began posting memories and photos, jokes, and videos about TC on Facebook and Twitter. A hashtag #WeLoveTC sprung up. People were changing their profile photos to pictures with TC. On Sunday morning, I went to Facebook and saw that nearly my entire News Feed was TC-related. An email group I’m a member of started a thread, discussing their TC memories. People who’d never met TC, but whose friends had, began to see this wave of happy remembrance pushing into their own news feed. I’m often cynical about social media, but what I saw this weekend was the absolute best thing I’ve ever seen online. The pure outpouring of love for a friend was awe-inspiring.

And in a room at Mass General, TC, with his girlfriend Gillian and his family and closest friends, saw it all. It was as if the room that they were in contained hundreds of people, toasting TC, not just sharing memories and saying goodbye, but pledging to do more to live the way their friend has.

That last thing, living like TC, is at the center of this, I think. The reason for the outpouring is simple: everybody loves TC Cheever. Everybody. TC is among the most relentlessly charming, likeable, encouraging, kind, creative, and funny people I’ve ever met. He’s got the biggest laugh in the world, and having him in your audience when you’re onstage is a blessing. He’s a fantastic musician. A great father. He’s the guy who cheers people up, picks people up, and kicks them in the butt to try again when things don’t work out right. And what people are talking about is being more like that.

Now, maybe you’re getting the impression that I’m a close friend of TC’s. I’m not. I’m just one of a horde who adores the man. I’ve known him since 2001, when I met him in the lobby of a basement theater in Boston, where one of his childhood friends was directing a show that another old friend was acting in. We spoke for maybe two minutes, and if I’d never seen him again, I’d remember TC as the center of that room. It’s been that way ever since. I’ve spent a decade in the ImprovBoston community, and in that decade, when TC is in a room, he’s been the room’s center. It’s not just that everybody seeks him out: he seeks everybody else out. He loves conversation, he loves checking in. He doesn’t leave if there’s a conversation left to be had. You don’t pass through the lobby when TC’s there. You stop and talk with TC, and it’s not a duty: it’s the best part of being there.

I only have one personal story about TC that others couldn’t tell better. In March of 2009, our friend Peter died. Peter’s husband Steve is one of my closest friends, and Steve asked me to spread the news among our friends at ImprovBoston. I spent the evening on the phone, calling everybody whose number I had, initiating a phone tree I didn’t know existed. I talked with dozens of people, and then late in the evening, I called TC. He’d heard the news by then. We talked for a couple minutes, and I asked him for a few phone numbers of people I still needed to call. He told me he’d call them himself. We said goodbye and I hung up. Five seconds later, my phone rang. It was TC, calling me back. He said, “I forgot to ask. How are YOU handling this? This can’t be easy to make these calls.” And you  know what? It was really hard to make that call over and over. I mean, I don’t regret it and am not complaining about it: making those calls was really important and I’m gratified that I could be helpful to Steve and everybody else. So nobody needed to ask me the question that TC asked, but he was right: it wasn’t easy. And there was nothing to be done about it but to keep making them. But that TC asked was such a kindness. It was such a TC thing to think of at that moment, and I’m so grateful to him for it.

This morning, Rod Begbie told us he was going to run the Disney World Marathon next year, literally following in TC’s footsteps. Before I knew what I was doing, I did what TC would do. I said I was going to do it too. Minutes later, a team had formed. Next January, we’ll be running in Orlando in TC’s name, raising money, I hope, to fight pancreatic cancer. I’m in no shape to run a marathon. But it’s gonna happen. And if TC weren’t the one where TC is now, he’d be running with us. I know he would.

So, TC is leaving. He wasn’t supposed to make it through the weekend, but as of right now, he’s still here. And when I look at Facebook, I see that he’s still the center of the room.

Reread #4 Wrapup: Bee Season

(New to this? I’m rereading my favorite books that I hardly remember.) Also, it should go without saying that these posts are rife with spoilers. I’m not even going to try to conceal something.

I CLEARLY HAVE ADVANCED BRAIN DAMAGE. There is no other explanation for my failure to remember so much that is so central to my good feelings for Bee Season. Let’s start with the basics: I wasn’t wrong about a single thing I wrote in the post setting this up. However, if I’m to be judged by omission rather than by what I got right, I failed, and failed woefully. What I forgot about Aaron, Eliza’s brother, is enough to write thousands of words on, and that would look like a pamphlet compared to what I’d have to write about Miriam, the mother. As I read, the details started to come back, and my wife inadvertently blurted out a major Miriam spoiler one night. I was reading the book while brushing my teeth, and she walked in, saw the book, and said, “Have you gotten to the part where the wife turns out to not be a lawyer at all, but spends her days…”. And I shrieked, and she stopped. That moment was particularly humbling, because my wife remembered without ever having read the book. So, I think it’s time to officially declare that I don’t remember anything about any book I read more than, let’s say two years ago. But I can sing you the commercial jingle for any toy manufactured between 1986 and 1992. You don’t get the brain you choose, it turns out.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about Bee Season. It doesn’t just hold up, it’s better with the passage of time. Having aged a decade, had kids, and put more ideas into my brain, I’m sure I got more from it and put more into it that I did before. But, there, that’s about me again. Two things most surprised me about Bee Season this time through: First, Myla Goldberg’s immense gift not just for writing complete characters, but for making the relationships within the family so much bigger than the words on the page. There’s this scene on page 90, where Eliza sits down beside her brother, who doesn’t want to talk, and she asks him why he no longer plays guitar, an activity that sat at the center of his relationship with their father. She knows the attention she’s getting from Saul comes at Aaron’s expense. By asking, she’s bringing up a topic they’re both fixated on, but won’t raise directly. This moment, in most hands would be either thin or melodramatic, but Goldberg’s dialogue is perfect, and the final two short sentences of the scene set both children on the course they’re bound on for the rest of the novel. It’s so calmly momentous. The other thing that surprised me was her ability to render each character fully and then through later revelation and development, undercut and strengthen those characters again and again. Often I find that when a novelist is withholding details about a character there’s a screaming void there, some action or behavior that doesn’t fit, but Goldberg’s characters seemed to arrive complete, which made later revelations much like learning something about an old friend that was always there under the surface. I had a question about Miriam’s finances from very early on, but it wasn’t a question about her character. Goldberg does this all so well, it seems easy. It’s not at all.

There’s so much to love in this book. Because it’s right there in the title, and gets main focus, the spelling bee/Kabbalah training between Saul and Eliza is what I remembered best, but Aaron’s story is equally compelling. This poor family. On finishing the novel, I can say without hesitation that it deserves to remain on my list of favorites. Maybe I’ll start hand selling it again.

 

 

Creative Work, 2012

Taking a cue from my friend Ryan Walsh, who compiled a list of all his creative accomplishments in 2012, I’m going to do the same. Please remind me if I’ve forgotten something!

* I performed at one of my favorite shows, The Kerfuffle, three times, and did three very different types of comedy: The Dating Psychic, “Let Off Some Steam, Bennett“, and whatever it was that I did at the Running With the Devil show.

* Blogged every day in June (and generally much more, all year, including the Rereading series, which I need to post to ASAP)

* Wrote and debuted a new show, Dumber Fasteropening it at FringeNYC

* Had Dumber Faster published by Indie Theater Now (There Is No Good News will be available there soon)

* Wrote over 100 UNAUTHORIZED FACEBOOK BIOGRAPHIES and created a site to house them

* Worked with five great guest performers to bring their stories to ImprovBoston for Dumber Faster‘s Act One

I feel like I’m forgetting some things.

The best thing about making this list is the projects I can’t put on it because they’re underway. I know next year’s list will be at least as good.

Handwritten copy of a script in progress, spring 2012.

Handwritten copy of a script in progress, spring 2012.

 

 

 

Best week, worst week

Last Tuesday, my wife gave birth to a perfect and perfectly healthy baby boy. He’s great, and she’s doing well. Our daughter, almost three, loves her new baby brother, and we’ve been hunkered down in our house teaching a tiny person how to eat, and we’ve been sleeping as much as we’re able.

We’ve not turned on TV news, not even once. We can’t do it to ourselves. We know enough from the internet about the suffering in Newtown. Video of that suffering would be too much. When I told my wife about it (the news broke while she was getting a desperately needed nap), she broke into tears that I’ve never seen the like of. Children. It’s… we still have no words.

(I will interrupt myself here and promise you that this post has no resolution or wisdom in it. Nor am I attempting to equate our experience with anybody else’s, to claim exceptional suffering or exceptional joy. I’m just writing about a moment as honestly as I can.)

I’ve been online, silent, watching the facts emerge, watching the incorrect facts emerge and dissipate, watching the arguments break out, and have just barely contained myself. Why can’t you people… No sentence that starts that way makes anything better. I have no good words, except for my Congressman, who received about 500 of them.

I’ve been online, silent, watching people express their love and support for one another. I’ve seen them reach out in horror, with nothing but kindness and sympathy. It is some solace, I’m sure, but. But.

My family’s direct contact with the world this week has largely been messages and calls from people sharing their joy and excitement over the birth of our son. That experience would lead us to believe that the world is an inherently good place, filled with generous people who care.  I’m not naive enough to think that the other vision of the world doesn’t have truth to it—a place of irreconcilable differences, of people eager to show their teeth—but that world has no place in our house this week. I simply can’t go online and fight the Westboro Baptist Church or the militiamen. I can’t argue with people who don’t have their facts straight, or the people who can’t stop to grieve before they start throwing accusations at the people they blame for everything. I can’t.

Moreover, I can’t because all I can think of is those kids and those parents. Our son is beautiful, and to think of what happened in Newtown is agony. We just brought a boy into the world. To think of… we still have no words.

I wish those families in Connecticut every comfort, kindness and joy that their future can provide them. I don’t know how they can do it.

The Royals have fans, and the fans have (existential?) problems

I’m a Kansas City Royals fan. It’s a big day in this tiny world of Royals fans.

Last night, the Kansas City Royals traded Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, and Patrick Leonard to the Tampa Bay Rays for James Shields, Wade Davis, and the always-celebrated Player To Be Named Later. Across the internet, Royals fans howled in wounded disappointment. Rays fans howled with laughter. Teams in the AL East looked at the location of their outfield walls.

I did a little of the pained howling. There are a lot of names in that trade, but the one that matters most is Wil Myers. The Royals fans were primarily howling about the departure of Myers, who, yes, is a prospect, but he’s as close to a sure thing as there is out there. Minor League Player of the Year. Major-league ready. Would be under Royals control for 6 or even 7 years. If he is what people think he is, this is a player to build a team around. A Longoria/Mauer/Pedroia/Braun kind of player, brought up from the team’s farm system ready to start leading. The Royals farm has been praised endlessly for several years now, and Myers is indisputably our 4H grand prize winner. The only people talking him down were the folks trying to lower his trade value. He’s just a prospect, they say.

On the other side, you have James Shields, “Big Game James,” a workhorse pitcher in his prime who any team would be excited to add to their rotation, and Wade Davis, a truly very good high-upside pitcher who I actually like more than I like Shields. These two guys plug into the formerly woeful Royals rotation and immediately make the team a contender, especially paired with the earlier acquisitions of Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie. Shields was not going to play in St. Pete this year. Every team was looking at him, knowing the Rays were trading him somewhere. So now the Royals have him for a year with an option for a second, and they have Davis for 4. No lie, these are very good pitchers. I have concerns about Shields based on his road numbers and the sheer number of innings he’s thrown (and Kansas City’s eery arm-shredding statistics), but nobody can deny these guys are real additions that make the team viable right now.

So why are Royals fans largely apoplectic or at least glum?

For starters, we all suspect that Royals owner David Glass is less-than-forthcoming about the true profitability level of his team, something JJ Cooper of Baseball America documented very well (check November 27th for @jjcoop36‘s running analysis), leading many to wonder what we could have achieved on the free agent market. Anibal Sanchez couldn’t have cost much more than the combined salary obligations to Shields and Davis, and wouldn’t have cost the team a prospect who is likely to be one of the most exciting players of the next decade.

Then, there’s the fact that our GM is on the ropes. He’s in his last viable year before he’s fired. If the Royals weren’t in “win now” mode, Dayton Moore had to be. So that’s worrisome.

Then, there’s the fact that this looks, to almost every single analyst, like a robbery. The Rays dumped salary, got rid of a player everybody knew they wanted rid of (for his contract), got an extremely inexpensive potential superstar, got THREE more legitimate (OK, one legit, two interesting) prospects, and really only gave up Wade Davis. Even if the trade benefits the Royals mightily, it’s hard to look at the other side of the trade and not feel like you got mugged.

But I think the main thing is a little less obvious, and only partly rational. For at least six years now, Royals fans have been conditioned to look to the future. The farm will provide. We’ve been able, year after year, to believe that we were a year away, or two years away. We’ve told our friends, and been convincing, at least to ourselves. We’ve invested an enormous personal stake in these players we see coming up. We’ve learned strategies for saying, “Winning season this year, playoffs next year, World Series the next year.” We know it doesn’t always work out. Part of our makeup now is to say, “we’re getting better, but this wasn’t the year.” So now, after years of this, we get a double shock: We’re told that waiting is over. We’re not allowed to be cautious, to be hesitant. And we’re told that the player we’ve invested the most hope in, the one we built our future Royals, our dream Royals, our contender Royals around, is gone. That is deeply weird, and I’m not sure we’re up to it. It’s easy and comfortable for your primary plan to be a backup plan.

Our new backup plan is lousy. But Plan A looks, well, if you can forget everything that came before, Plan A looks… it’s too early for a Royals fan to say this, but… Plan A looks like a Plan A.

I wish I was happy about it.

The most important resource on the internet

I forgot to post this here!

Unauthorized Facebook Biography

I’ve posted every biography to date. Please make it your default homepage.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Background here.

Reread #4: Bee Season

(Unsure what this is about? Background on Reread here.)

OK. Next up, Myla Goldberg’s Bee SeasonOften when people talk about the virtues of small bookstores, they talk about “hand selling,” that mystical process whereby a person who cares about books has a conversation with somebody similarly inclined, and an unexpected book changes hands for money. Sometime in 2000-2001, I handsold 4500 copies of this book without ever taking a bookstore job. The authors of Bee Season, A Fraction of the Whole and Mary and O’Neil owe me some drinks, although given what we know of royalty earnings, I expect those drinks to be served as a thin vapor. But that’s beside the point.

Bee Season kicked my ass in 2000 or 2001. I know it was one of those years because I remember where I was living, who I was living with, who I recommended it to, and I don’t see it on the list of books I’ve read that I started at Thanksgiving 2001. I remember reading other Myla Goldberg books later. I gave a copy to my both my mother and my now-mother-in-law, which might be a literary category with one entry. So I remember circumstances around it. But what do I remember of it?

OK. We’ve got a father who is not a rabbi, but is deeply knowledgable of Kabbalah. He has two kids (a son and a daughter) and a workaholic wife. He and his wife have no sex life. I believe he works from home, perhaps in one of those impenetrable studies children are forbidden to enter. He is affectionate towards his son, but not his daughter (Eliza?), until his daughter wins a spelling bee. I don’t recall the circumstances, but something about her win excites him, and suddenly, she is his pride and joy. He begins coaching her, much like Gus coaches Chris in the second season of Get a Life, when toxic waste gives them super powers, only Eliza has no super powers, her dad isn’t drunk, and he emphasizes a method where she “sees” the letters emerging mystically on demand (but otherwise just like Gus and Chris). They go far, and initially it brings the family together, but he gets too intense, messes things up, his son is jealous, his wife is angry, he acts like a… I’m guessing here. I don’t remember the details beyond that. I can’t remember anything.

I’m pretty confident in that partial synopsis. But as with the last one, that’s all plot, and just the outline of one, at that. What I haven’t hinted at, and can’t remember is exactly what captivated me enough to have been so confident in recommending it so widely at the time.

So I’ll get started. Let’s talk soon.

Reread #3 wrapup: The Heart of the Matter

(New to this? I’m rereading my favorite books that I hardly remember.)

OK. The Heart of the Matter. High fives all around. With the exception of the anti-malarial drinking, which I said was a grasping guess, I was pretty much across the board accurate in my memory (although accurate in the way any horoscope seems accurate—I was terribly vague).

That said, three things stand out on the reread:

1) I really felt like I was reading it for the first time. I just had no idea at all of what was coming. So high fiving behind us, I need to reiterate that this whole project is still foundationally sound: I don’t remember a damn thing.

2) Wilson is one of the scariest characters in all of fiction because it would be so easy for anybody to become Wilson. Out of his element, embittered, abusive of the tiny scrap of power he has, lacking perspective, smart but unaware of all the things he doesn’t know and understand, and most of all lonely. Perhaps there’s something in his character that would have made him turn out this way in any circumstance, but his removal to an unfamiliar African colony on a fool’s errand he’s ill-suited for seems like something worse than a death sentence. He’s bound to live the worst of his many possible lives.

3) I don’t think it’s possible that I read this novel with the same view of Scobie as I have now, and I don’t think it’s possible that my earlier reading was sensitive to Graham Greene’s own view of Scobie, which is unmistakably negative. I honestly don’t remember what I thought of him, but I seem to recall thinking of him as noble in some way. On the fresh reading, it’s noble only in a way that is simultaneously patronizing and childish. Yes, his self portrait is a noble one, but it’s based on an idea that everybody around him has their reality shaped and guided by his actions. People will only be happy if he makes them happy. People will only suffer if he causes their suffering. All the weight is on him. His trust in others is largely transactional. As the colony’s policeman, this isn’t a terrible approach, but as a husband, friend, or really anything else, he’s a disaster. His walking around bent with the weight of the world on his shoulders is actually a weird strut. He wonders why Louise can’t be happy. Maybe she can’t. But he’s in no position to ever figure anything out, because all he wants to do is paper it over. He’s obsessed with peace. Peace is not happiness, and chasing it as he does only creates waves of violence around him. Surely I must have gotten some of this the first time around, but it felt like new information this time: it isn’t the story of an impossible situation, it’s the story of a man who makes every situation impossible.

Also, I wasn’t impressed with Graham’s build up to the final scene with Ali. It seemed too sudden and as if the emotional tie between the men was suddenly much stronger than warranted by what we’d seen so far. Certainly, Scobie’s grief is understandable, and the betrayal is clear, but I’d have thought, in retrospect, that we’d have seen something more, some great act of trust between the men that makes the betrayal deeper. But that’s a quibble, something to offer in a workshop when the story’s too good.

Really happy to have returned to the book. On to the next!

Bad Idea + Straw Man + Ignorant, Racist Fear = Faulty, Sad, Declining Worldview

(I hesitated to post this, but I felt like I had to write it out to make sure I could make the argument, and once it was written, I realized I did want to share it. I don’t mean in any way to suggest that all conservatives are guilty of what I describe, but I hear elements of it from people who I don’t consider to be bigots, and I worry that they’re unaware of the signals they send by giving voice to wrong ideas that typically ride shotgun with racist ideas.)

Posting about Bill O’Reilly is not something I’d ordinarily do, as I’m not into the whole outrage thing. But last night, during election coverage, he said something so wrong and so blatantly racist that it was guaranteed to make the social media rounds.

The clip is as bad as people say. What makes it worth posting about isn’t that he says something outrageous, it’s that a) he doesn’t seem to realize he’s saying something outrageous, and b)what he’s saying marries three threads of conservative anti-Obama logic that I’ve been hearing a lot, and he marries them as succinctly as possible.

Here are those threads.

1. People who support the President are takers, moochers, and leeches. We heard it in Romney’s “47%” tape. I see it from Facebook friends, who caricature liberals as free-spending, do-nothing children, people incapable of honest work or of taking responsibility for themselves. I’ve been lax about responding because I frankly don’t feel like spending my entire life arguing on Facebook with people who seem incapable of taking an actual liberal argument at face value and instead fall back on this straw man liberal position: “I want stuff.” It’s horse shit. I don’t know a single liberal who believes the purpose of government is to get them a goodie bag. The counterpart of this would be the caricature of conservatives as inherently kneejerk, selfish people whose entire political belief system is driven by their Scrooge-like hoarding of every penny they can. But that would be unfair. It’s simply not how principled conservatives think, at least not the ones I know.

2. Non-white, non-male voters are political prizes to be won, and can be won en masse by appealing to them on the single topic they care about. The pursuit of support from entire demographic categories of the American public leads a party to talk about them, think about them, and communicate at them as an undifferentiated mass. It reinforces suspicions (for good reason) that the Republican party does not think of them the same way they think of white men, as citizens who might actually be part of the conversation, part of the leadership, and part of an active coalition. Yes, any member of a given demographic group will be more likely to share some concerns relevant to their group (the conservative pursuit of Hispanic votes based on Catholic social positions, Jewish voters and Israel play on this likelihood), but that’s not a given for any individual, and the obviousness with which their votes are courted along these lines is patronizing. Republicans are selling to these customers, rather than considering these citizens as part of their constituency.

It’s no less patronizing when liberals do it, but most liberals don’t. The Democratic party isn’t getting more votes from gay voters, female voters, Hispanic voters, and black voters just because of this sort of pandering. They get more of these votes because gay, female, Hispanic, and black citizens are part of every conversation. Liberals don’t have to bend over backwards to translate their positions into focus group tested messages, because liberals are increasingly gay, female, Hispanic, and black. That makes a world of difference. It’s not a “them” position, it’s a “we” position. When you govern as a we, your unspoken motivation is, “We need to act on behalf of our fellow citizens. An attack on their rights is an attack on our rights.” When you govern to capture votes of the “them,” you’re saying “We need to get them to believe us.” And they don’t. 

3. There’s an idea that with demographic change, we’re weakening the fundamental values of our nation. There is an implicitly white supremacist kernel in this position. A lot of conservatives have been angered that the Tea Party and other anti-Obama activists are frequently labeled as racists. And surely, they’re not all racists. But listen to O’Reilly here. What he’s saying is something that comes up a lot, but almost never this succinctly. In response to the question, “How did we get here?” (i.e., “How is it possible that President Obama is getting re-elected?”), Bill O’Reilly says: “It’s not a traditional America anymore.”

STEP ONE of his answer was to portray an America under attack. This is very consistent with the Tea Party, and I believe it matches to what Jill Lepore found while investigating the Tea Party.

STEP TWO, he married it to the first thread. The straw man liberal who wants things from the government: “They want things. Who’s going to give them things?”

STEP THREE, he notes that twenty years ago, President Obama could never have defeated an “establishment candidate.” In his next breath, he interchanges the political establishment with the racial establishment. “The white establishment is now the minority.”

STEP FOUR, all three threads come together. Take this next block as a whole: “They want stuff. You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things, and which candidate between the two is going to give them things?”

This is the worldview of unexamined white privilege, a worldview that misunderstands the nature of contemporary liberalism and cannot understand that their political opposition are as complete in their humanity and intelligence as their conservative fellow citizens. If the Republican party has a future as anything other than a declining old white party, it must break out of this worldview.