South Carolina debate highlights divide between GOP Greasers and Socials.
“They’re not scared of you, they’re scared of what you represent….freedom.” — Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider
Did you ever notice how much Herman Cain looks like Peter Fonda?
That would be Fonda in his role as Easy Rider’s “Captain America.” Roaring off into the horizon on his red, white and blue custom built motorcycle — an American flag on the back of his jacket, a matching helmet strapped to the bike? While Born to Be Wild thunders in the background?
Doesn’t the Godfather’s Pizza CEO look just like the late actor Patrick Swayze getting ready to lead the Greasers in a rumble with the Socials in The Outsiders?
Surely you can see Herman Cain as separated at birth from George C. Scott as Patton?
No? Take another look. A good look. Because what you are seeing with Mr. Cain is an American classic.
Powerful in concept — and even more potent as reality.
And more to the point: The Outsider is totally, utterly an American phenomenon.
To understand why a Frank Luntz focus group was wowed by Herman Cain (as seen in this clip from Sean Hannity’s TV show) and Rick Santorum during the recent South Carolina GOP/Fox debate, why the surging poll numbers for Donald Trump or the now enduring popularity of Sarah Palin, the potential for upset that lies in Iowa with a Michele Bachmann, the fanatic applause for Ron Paul and ongoing fascination with Newt Gingrich is to understand one very important fact about America. A fact that lies at the heart of American politics, culture, heroes, and an entire way of life — indeed a fact about the heart of America itself.
America is a nation of Outsiders.
You could be talking Georges — Washington or W or Patton. Movies or magazine editors, whether Fonda and pals Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper
in Easy Rider or Sylvester Stallone as Rocky or National Review’s William F. Buckley Jr. (here squaring off with the wonderfully illustrative liberal elitism of Gore Vidal who loftily proclaims — doubtless correctly — that his views on Vietnam are shared by Western Europe even if they happen “to be a novelty in Chicago.” Oh yes, Buckley also shoots back at a poisonous Vidal that “I will sock you in the goddamn face.” Outsider versus Insider doesn’t get better than this exchange).
Sports? From boxing’s Muhammad Ali (here reading his poem “I am the Greatest” while still Cassius Clay) to baseball’s George Steinbrenner, Outsiders have always been — and are right now — found everywhere in America. Real estate? Here’s you-know-who firing away. The business of pizza? This Cain takedown of Bill Clinton has become a classic all by itself.
The point is made fresh yet again by the success of the crew from the current hit Disney movie Lemonade Mouth, taken from a novel of the same name by Mark Peter Hughes. The plot? A group of — yes, Outsiders — meet in high school detention and form a rock band to signal their displeasure with the school power structure and its “Establishment” kids. The film has rocketed its stars and their music and message (“Be Heard! Be Strong! Be Proud!”) into the spotlight with America’s tweens predictably going nuts over the whole thing.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online