Elizabeth Warren

by Jay Nordlinger

They absolutely adore her, the delegates do. Last night, they screamed for her as Milanese and Roman audiences once screamed for Callas. Or as Argentinians, I imagine, once screamed for Mrs. Perón.

A number of my colleagues have commented, “The Democratic convention is so much more passionate and emotional than the Republican one was.” Hmmm — politics as religion? Is that too insulting?

Funny, but Warren didn’t look to me much like an Indian.

I had never heard her speak, and was astonished at her accent! A long way from Massachusetts (where she’s running). She’s an Oklahoman, turns out.

So maybe she is Cherokee?

Quick, name two Oklahomans who have been stellar national-security thinkers. Right: Jeane Kirkpatrick and Jim Woolsey.

I look at the Democratic women on the floor, and I think, “Pure Ann Arbor.” I grew up around these women: left-wing activist women. They were on every block, every street corner. Swear. Watching the Democratic convention, I could almost get homesick . . .

Over and over, Warren said, “The game is rigged. The system is rigged against you.” This is not just a lie, it is a harmful one — a lie with consequences. Because it locks people into the grievance culture (the same culture Condi Rice spoke against in that marvelous speech at the Republican convention).

We are damn lucky to be in America. The “system” is less rigged against us than it is against people practically everywhere else. We have a fairer shot than almost anybody.

Sometimes I think, “Americans are simultaneously the luckiest and most griping people in all the world.” This is why immigrants are sometimes shocked by us: Don’t we know how good we have it? No, we don’t, really.
I don’t know about you, but I was taught that America was a racist country, and almost a uniquely racist one. A singularly racist one. Then I grew up and found out: It’s damn near the least racist country in the entire world! Ever visited, studied, or lived in an Asian country, an Arab country, an African one?

We don’t know from racism.

In her speech, Warren expressed her gratitude for America, and in a charming way: “I’m grateful, down to my toes, for every opportunity that America gave me.” But much of the rest of her speech was grievance, grievance, grievance; blame, blame, blame. And not necessarily legitimate grievance and blame either.

It was apparent, from her speech, that Warren thinks American greatness lies in its government programs. I think I once thought similarly — but then I turned like 20.

People such as Warren love to speak about past injustices: the days of child labor and so on. You almost get the feeling they wish they lived in those times — so that their crusades and claims made more sense.

Do you know what I mean? It’s better to talk about the Harlan County miner with half a lung than the assistant principal who summers in France.

Listening to Warren, and listening to the Democratic convention in general, you would never know that America is headed toward insolvency. Headed to Greeceville. What do they propose to do about that? Nothing, apparently. They’re still promising Free Stuff, and to soak The Rich.

Over and over — over and over — Warren spoke of “the middle class.” Increasingly, this seems to me a nonsense phrase. What do people mean by it? What are the boundaries? Am I middle class? Are you? I think “middle class” is, in essence, a cheap political trick.

During the Republican primaries, after a speech or debate, some conservatives would pounce on Romney for not saying “middle class.” “He never even uttered the words ‘middle class’!” Good.

Warren said “Obamacare,” meaning no irony. So it’s okay to do that? Some days, Democrats say that “Obamacare” is a right-wing slur. Other days, they say it, just naturally. I’m a little confused by the rules just now.

Warren said that Republicans “believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends.” Um, speaking of powerful friends: Isn’t Elizabeth Warren a friend of Barack Obama, the president of the United States? What gives? Are my friends more powerful than hers?

They would be pleased and surprised to hear it!

She proudly cited Scripture, even giving chapter and verse: “Matthew 25:40.” When Republicans cite Scripture, Democrats scream that “theocracy” is coming. But when Democrats do it — kosher, I guess. Odd.

And here’s a tip about citing Scripture: When you do it, you should try to do it with less self-satisfaction than Warren did.

Mitt Romney was totally right, and Elizabeth Warren dead wrong: Corporations are people. They do not drop from the sky. They are made up of flesh-and-blood human beings. (The very word “corporation” comes from “body.”) Warren said that corporations don’t “get sick” and “cry” and “dance” and so on.

That’s Romney’s problem: He’s an adult with a head on his shoulders. America, like my Ann Arbor, favors people such as Warren, I’m afraid: raw, dumb, manipulative emotion.

What a pity, especially as we go bankrupt.

The Corner

The one and only.