Sunday, April 22, 2012

Van Jones Thinks You Should Sit Down and Shut Up

Perhaps you’ve noticed, Van Jones has been all over the media the past couple of weeks hitching his wagon to the occupy movement in a shameless attempt to promote his new book, ‘Rebuild the Dream’. I suspect the vision of America which Jones dreams about is more focused on wealth redistribution than shared prosperity, but I’m borrowing a copy of his book and will perhaps offer up a more thorough critique next week. In the meantime enjoy the latest series of invectives from a man who made his opinion of conservatives crystal clear years ago. From an interview last week with Rick Perlstein at Rolling Stone (emphasis added):

What does “love” of country mean to you?
It means I love Americans—the people who actually live here, who look all kind of different ways, who pray all kind of different ways, who love all kinds of people. And I challenge the people who are the opponents of my values to explain how they get to be patriots. As I say in the book, they seem to distrust the American government. They seem to dislike most of the American people. They seem to resent most of America’s achievements over the last century, including unions and public education and environmental protection and so many of the things that made the American century the American century. So I don’t get why we don’t just tell them to sit down and shut up. They can complain if they like, but we have another century to win. We have another century to win!

I’m not even sure where to start with this. While conservatives have no exclusive claim to patriotism or love for America, Jones has transitioned from a dream-state to sheer hallucination if he really believes that labor unions, public education, and protection of the environment represent America’s greatest achievements in the last century. Really? I think there are just a few other items which most Americans would rank above public kindergarten, Jimmy Hoffa, and the EPA. You know, insignificant things such as the invention of human flight, defeat of the forces of oppression in two World Wars (and one Cold War), landing a man on the moon, and medical and other technology advances which have added immeasurably to the quality of human life on this planet.

Seriously, this must be one of the most asinine statements ever to go unchallenged in print. Utterly ludicrous.

Now as to his assertion that conservatives ‘dislike most of the American people’, again, what planet is Jones living on? Conservatives are most of the American people, and probably always have been. Van, see that dark green line in the graph below? That’s us. That light green line down at the bottom – that’s you. And if Gallup polled for one-time, self-identified communists now billing themselves as ‘progressives’, well I doubt very much that number would exceed more than 1%.

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