Friday, August 01, 2003


What is a Bobo? A term coined by David Brooks, Bobo is an abbreviation of "bourgeois bohemian". Here's a description (from an review):
You've seen them: They sip double-tall, nonfat lattes, chat on cell phones, and listen to NPR while driving their immaculate SUVs to Pottery Barn to shop for $48 titanium spatulas. They tread down specialty cheese aisles in top-of-the-line hiking boots and think nothing of laying down $5 for an olive-wheatgrass muffin.
They are a psychologically conflicted class. Bobos like really expensive things, but they want them to look beat up in order to avoid accusations of ostentation.

This bobo view of the universe has infected the foreign policy views of our country's leaders, particularly those on the left. How else can you explain the rush to intervene in Liberia? Bobos love the security afforded by our powerful military, but they are terrified of appearing "arrogant" and "unilateralist" if we use it for our own interest. Mark Steyn hits the nail on the head:
It�s precisely the lack of any national interest that makes it appealing to the progressive [bobo] mind. By intervening in Liberia, you�re demonstrating your moral purity. That�s why all the folks most vehemently opposed to American intervention in Iraq � from Kofi Annan to the Congressional Black Caucus � are suddenly demanding American intervention in Liberia. The New York Times is itching to get in: �Three weeks have passed since President Bush called on the Liberian President, Charles Taylor, to step aside, and pledged American assistance in restoring security. But there has been no definitive word here on how or when.
The Liberian issue is just another symptom of how our generation is struggling to adapt to its still-new role as members of the most powerful and successful nation on earth -- a world we inherited from our parents and grandparents. Let's hope we treat this priceless deposit with the respect it deserves.

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