(Centennial Fellow) David Mamet, a novelist, screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright, has come out of the closet as a conservative, and in his milieu of Hollywood’s unrelenting liberalism, this is so astonishing a development that both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times Magazine have interviewed him on the revelation.
My thanks go to both newspapers. To Mamet, I’d like to say it was amusing to read your thoughts, not least when you talked in the Journal about liberals always finding something “bad, bad, bad”—trans–fats, maybe, or global warming or hydrogenated vegetable oil—and then making their nonnegotiable demand: “And something must be done!”
They mean it must be done by the government, federal, state or local, though the federal coercers are preferable to them because they can have at everyone of us and are oh, so much smarter than you and me, not least of all the bureaucrats who are always jamming up the traffic in Washington and something else in the nation.
These supposed giants among Lilliputians are jamming up normal lives with abnormal infringements, and they are getting so thorough at it that we may each eventually have a federal guardian following us, instructing us, fining us, sometimes arresting us if need be. Before that happens, we have the likes of Michelle Obama telling restaurants they must start serving smaller portions to her fellow Americans.
Funny, but I always thought that matter was between customers and the restaurant, not some distant third party, and while I get it that the First Lady is dreadfully concerned about people like me getting obese, my scales and I have achieved a mutually appreciative relationship, thank you. If I ever do want to eat like a horse, I still want Michelle Obama to stay out of it, though I am pretty much a doggie–bag kind of guy. What does she want as her legacy—an end of doggie bags as a source of tomorrow’s lunch?
Maybe, you say, this White House occupant is non–governmental, but if she did not have the political heft of a husband who is president, you think the National Restaurant Association would have met with her advisers? I doubt that group would meet with my wife’s advisers, even if she had advisers, or that she could get the attention of some in Congress and several federal agencies.
Something else in the news lately—the misuse of Title IX to say that if college women do not want to enter sports in the same numbers as men students, that’s too bad for the men at those schools. It’s got to be equal. Some schools, in order to accommodate the more eager fellows, have lied about the number of women participating, and The New York Times, which broke the story, is in an editorial snit, saying this may be illegal.
The law was instead written to deny federal funding to schools that didn’t afford women desired opportunities in sports because too much of the available resources were being spent on the men. Most schools had already begun altering old practices because our culture was changing., and the law’s goal was not meant to be close to strict sameness in numbers until the bureaucrats began throwing their weight around.
Interpreted their way—cut off heads to make everyone the same height—It’s a bad law that breeds disobedience, and while I do not intend to go on the record in favor of lying, I can promise you that I have talked to business operators who have told me there is a sure way to go broke. Heed all the stupid regulations.
I’d like to cite more examples, but I would need something like 450,000 pages to be exhaustive, because, as Jeffrey Tucker of the Ludwig von Mises Institute has observed, that’s the probable size of the 2012 U.S. Code when published. Obviously, some of these laws are needed, but as Tucker notes, this is “as elaborate and detailed as any set of laws that have ever governed any society in the history of the world.”
As Mamet said, liberals keep finding things that are bad, bad, bad, and as I would add, our lawmakers keep making them worse, worse, worse.