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ROBIN ABCARIAN

You Can Join 'Em--Or at Least You Can Sound Like 'Em

March 07, 1993|ROBIN ABCARIAN

It's been 47 days since the new Administration swept into office, 47 days since the sign on America's storefront has read "Under New Management," 47 days since headband sales have gone through the roof.

Now that Bill Clinton is President, nothing is sacred--not perks for cabinet officers, not Social Security, not even, heaven help us, heterosexuality in the military.

Neither, I must confess, is this column.

The time has come for a retooling of this space; a little remodeling of the attitude, a swift shift in the old paradigms. Gotta stay fresh.

Once upon a time, you turned here for predictable fare--the usual lefty boo-hoo drivel--and you were not disappointed. But I have a confession to make: I've only been liberal because the conservatives were holding the reins. It seemed like a good career move at the time.

Now that the bleeding hearts are in the saddle, I'm changing horses.

Just as Clinton outlined his policies in the syrupy titled "Putting People First," I will do the same in this column, which will henceforth be called "Putting Me First." No longer will you find pleas to keep the welfare system intact, nor spirited defenses of Barbara Boxer's bookkeeping.

Instead, you'll be reading essays such as "If agreeing with Wally George is wrong, I don't want to be right," "Why school vouchers spell relief," and because it's important to boost readership with the occasional concession to popular taste, "Does he or doesn't he? Only Michael Jackson's dermatologist knows for sure."

As a rule, everything the new Administration (and all of Hollywood, except Charlton Heston, Shannen Doherty and most of voting America) stands for, this column is now against. Or, to put it in easily graspable, USA Today-ish terms:

In: Self-sufficiency. The war on capital gains taxes. Fur coats. Whatever Bob Dole eats.

Out: Compassion. Sensitivity. Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. McDonald's coffee.

As my viciously unsympathetic, Rush Limbaugh-ish persona unfolds over the months, I hope you will be moved by what you read to throw off the shackles of altruism and put your self-interest first.

My cold-turkey conversion will be hard for some to take--liberals feel so hurt when you disagree with them. But consider this column fair warning.

(Before I get down to business, I'd also like to put the panhandlers on notice: No more spare change for you, boys. If you really wanted to work for food, you wouldn't be loafing around on the sidewalks, now would you? Anyway, I'm sure there'll be some nice social programs coming your way soon.)

Now. Here's what this column feels strongly about, in descending order of importance:

* Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is everything that's wrong with America today: lawyers run amok, women who think they are as important as their husbands, bad scarves. Of course, if you're too harsh on her, you run the risk of creating a backlash. So let her have her little health care task force for now. But that headband is starting to look an awful lot like a tiara.

* Reproductive rights. Or as this column thinks of them, reproductive wrongs . We on the right's outer rim don't care what happens once a child is born--or rather, it's not that we don't care per se , it's just that it's not our department specifically . But we do feel strongly that all women who conceive should be required to bear the consequences.

* Welfare mothers. A no-brainer: If they don't want to be on welfare, they shouldn't have kids. If they don't want to have kids, they shouldn't have sex. It is, as the small man with the big ears has said, that simple.

* Government involvement in child care. Child care is not the responsibility of Uncle Sam. Child care is the responsibility of Mommy. If mommies don't want to stay home with their babies, they shouldn't have any. (See "Welfare mothers.")

* Gay soldiers. Preposterous! The notion is threatening to the sexuality of every manly woman and man in uniform. To those who say gays are already serving their country, I say, "They won't be once we find out who they are and drum them out."

* Illegal immigration. Please don't trot out that tired old argument that our fellow citizens refuse to do work that illegals are willing to do. We wouldn't have this problem if we lowered the legal working age so that children could pull their weight. It's a double benefit: You're employing an American, and a kid'll drywall for half the price.

* Affirmative action. It's not doing anybody a favor to promote someone who doesn't fit in.

* Feminism. Can we please take five on the screeching? You're earning 69 cents on the male dollar already! Six of you-- six! --are serving in the U.S. Senate. They named a whole year after you. Will you never be satisfied?

Next week: Laissez-faire health care--a blueprint.

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