Living in 21st-century America is about -- so I gather, from living there -- leaving behind the awful memories of exploitative acts perpetrated by the old white male ruling caste and, from here on, incorporating into our lives and loves Barack Obama? Hillary Clinton? Barney Frank?
"What about Bobby Jindal?" I would reply. What about the newly elected Republican governor of Louisiana, the son of Hindu immigrants and a convert to Roman Catholicism? And a conservative -- a believer in markets, limited government, intelligent design, the sacred character of unborn life and the power of the Lord God Almighty?
Aren't we going to have to clear a little space for Americans who, like Jindal, age 36, see in America something vital, something wholesome, something energizing and exciting, over against the "colonialist" stereotype the left loves to perpetrate?
You bet. Starting now. Starting with Congressman Bobby Jindal, governor-elect of Louisiana.
A few of us have lived too many years to recommend putting infinite trust in politicians, individually or collectively. What we have also come to understand along the way is the sterility of the appeal to past horrors and misdeeds when, please, give us a break, can't we just get on with life? Do we have to have the Rev. Al Sharpton, The New York Times editorial page, Harvard and the Episcopal Church's national bureaucracy whanging American culture in order to even the score against racism, sexism, age-ism, homophobia, age discrimination and a handful of like afflictions?
Let's look: Louisiana gives its governorship to a Hindu and pro-life conservative -- by a 53 percent majority. Something goes on here. What it is, I think, is the desire to go on -- to get a few things done for a change, such as pull Louisiana out of its moral and economic swamp.
According to "progressive" orthodoxy, Louisiana's present governor, Kathleen Blanco, should be just the ticket: moderate-to-liberal and, better still, a woman. Blanco's trouble was, when Katrina blew in, she fiddled and fumbled. Nor did matters improve during the recovery phase. She lacked, seemingly, the will or the means to counter Louisiana's ages-old reputation for moral and ethical laxity. It was going to take an outsider to lead the state down a new path. Enter Bobby Jindal, Rhodes scholar and whiz kid.
Now by all rights -- if you buy into liberal, aren't-those-Southerners-just-too-much stereotypes -- Louisianians should have shrieked to see a man of Asian extraction asking to be its governor. As in say, Armand, you reckon this guy learned his English taking service calls for Hewlett-Packard?