John McCain reminds me of the former Communist dictator of Bulgaria, Todor Zhivkov. While his bureaucratic instincts and his skills to outmaneuver his rivals kept him in power for 35 years, Zhivkov nevertheless was a man of very low intelligence. So stupid was he that sometimes in his stupidity he would say things that were actually correct in reality, revealing the shortfalls of his own regime, even if his intention wasn’t really to say them. In one of the best known instances, in a speech for the launching of the first plant for semi-conductors in Bulgaria, he got excited and deviated from the written text, exclaiming, “Today, semi-conductors; tomorrow, whole conductors!” One couldn’t find a better statement of the true reality of technological “progress” under socialism.
Similarly, when McCain called the Tea Party “Hobbits,” that’s exactly what happened: McCain’s stupidity led him to state a very true statement about the reality. No one, of course, fancies the thought that McCain knew what he was saying; like Bernie Quigley says in The Hill,
McCain expressed a kind of alienation from the rising times; that something was happening … again … and he doesn’t know what it is. But those pesky Tea Partiers were certainly behind it.
Of course he doesn’t know what it is. But he nailed it: Yes, the Tea Party is the modern Hobbits!
Let’s see: Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings have no centralized government. No taxes. No regulations on business and work. No “sin” taxes on tobacco and alcohol. No import duties, and no subsidies for unprofitable businesses. No welfare system: if you want to fare well, you’ll have to work well. No social security system: If you want to be secure in your old years, save enough money or raise responsible children. No government bureaucrats, except the 12 Shirriffs whose job was to round up stray livestock. The only two government positions were the Mayor and the Thain. The Mayor presided over tables, and the Thain was active only in times of war. Internal matters were regulated by the families and the clans, within the local jurisdictions, the Farthings.
So, not knowing it, McCain in fact admits that the Tea Party’s ideal is limited voluntary government; the same ideal that the Puritans and the Founding Fathers had, and the same ideal for which patriots died in the American Revolution.
But there is more. Hobbits are known in the Middle-Earth not only for their limited voluntary government but also for the qualities of their nature. Outwardly weak and soft – because of their size and their rather leisurely life-style – their inner nature is harder than a stone. This makes Hobbits much more resistant to the lure of the Ring of Power – unlike McCain who seems to be drunk of it all the time. They may love the little pleasures of life but when the time is come, they can fight and stand stubbornly without fear. When men fled in terror before the chief Nazgûl, it was Merry the Hobbit who did not flee and struck the blow that incapacitated the wraith and brought his destruction. In other words, McCain, beware, Hobbits may have no big ambitions but when they fight, they fight big. And Hobbits never retreat until they have completed their task: Even if they need to enter the land of Mordor and climb Mount Doom.
We have our Mount Doom today, and we have the Hobbits taking up the task of destroying the Ring of Power. And we won’t stop until it is destroyed.
Like a friend of mine said yesterday on his Facebook page, “Finally a name for my political/economic views I’m comfortable with. I am a Hobbit! Vote Halfling in the next Shire elections!”
I concur. And I suggest the following slogan for the new Halfling Party:
“Half the spending, half the taxes, half the elephants and asses! Half them, half them every year, half them ‘til they disappear!”