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November 01, 2004

Tom Wolfe-- Bush Supporter?

Okay, the ascot, the Southern-gentleman throwback style of dress. But I figured that was just an affectation-- archliberal Senator Paul Simon wore a bowtie, after all.

But he, like, gets it:

"Here is an example of the situation in America," he says: "Tina Brown wrote in her column that she was at a dinner where a group of media heavyweights were discussing, during dessert, what they could do to stop Bush. Then a waiter announces that he is from the suburbs, and will vote for Bush. And ... Tina's reaction is: 'How can we persuade these people not to vote for Bush?' I draw the opposite lesson: that Tina and her circle in the media do not have a clue about the rest of the United States. You are considered twisted and retarded if you support Bush in this election. I have never come across a candidate who is so reviled. Reagan was sniggered it, but this is personal, real hatred.

"Indeed, I was at a similar dinner, listening to the same conversation, and said: 'If all else fails, you can vote for Bush.' People looked at me as if I had just said: 'Oh, I forgot to tell you, I am a child molester.' I would vote for Bush if for no other reason than to be at the airport waving off all the people who say they are going to London if he wins again. Someone has got to stay behind."

Where does it come from, this endorsement of the most conservative administration within living memory? Of this president who champions the right and the rich, who has taken America into the mire of war, and seeks re-election tomorrow? Wolfe's eyes resume the expression of detached Southern elegance.

"I think support for Bush is about not wanting to be led by East-coast pretensions. It is about not wanting to be led by people who are forever trying to force their twisted sense of morality onto us, which is a non-morality. That is constantly done, and there is real resentment. Support for Bush is about resentment in the so-called 'red states' - a confusing term to Guardian readers, I agree - which here means, literally, middle America. I come from one of those states myself, Virginia. It's the same resentment, indeed, as that against your own newspaper when it sent emails targeting individuals in an American county." Wolfe laughs as he chastises. "No one cares to have outsiders or foreigners butting into their affairs. I'm sure that even many of those Iraqis who were cheering the fall of Saddam now object to our being there. As I said, I do not think the excursion is going well."

Now, I'm not a huge fan of Tom Wolfe's, though I only read Bonfire of the Vanities (didn't see what all the fuss was about). Maybe I'll have to actually read something of his-- The Right Stuff, he wrote that, right?

I know from a book called The Devil's Candy, about the making of the film Bonfire of the Vanities, that he cared not at all about how they made the movie or whether or not they were faithful to his book; he pretty much just wanted the money.

He just. Could not. Care less. I think his attitude from the start was that they were going to make a terrible movie, so there was no point arguing about anything.

I can sooo respect that.

Huh. Conservative celebrities are like gay celebrities-- you just never can tell.

I'm a Moron Update: Well, my readers were kind enough to, as usual, embarass me for my glaring ignorance. Tom Wolfe's conservatism shouldn't be a surprise, especially given such essays as Radical Chic.

The benefit of being stupid is that you're constantly suprised by life, however.


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posted by Ace at 09:03 PM

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