What is the difference between a cultural outlook and a prejudice?

There is none. Not only is there no difference, but also only the most nauseatingly ignorant person thinks there is.

I made my living for decades operating among highly intelligent, ruthless people who wanted my blood. That is an experience that makes you instantaneously boil things down to basics. It doesn't take long for you to stop noticing whether the person you are talking to uses big words or has an accent; all you learn to notice is whether he is buying what you say or not, whether what he is saying is drivel or not.

So almost everything that impresses other people completely disappears for you. In such a raw fight for power, you not only ignore people's pretenses, at some level you don't even notice them at all. Let me give you a shocking example of this.

Have you ever been standing in a line at a supermarket and seen a charming baby on in a crib? Us older folks do. But instead of grabbing at the child, a mature person looks it in the eyes and grins and maybe says some words. Very often this is delightful to the infant, and they grin and kick and blow bubbles.

Have you ever seen a respectable conservative when a liberal praises him for being "cultural" instead of "prejudiced." It takes a very experienced, cold, professional eye to see how exactly a Buckley reacts the reaction of that baby being smiled at by an adult.

A Buckley, senior or the departed senior, does his own version of grinning and kicking and bubbling at the mouth. So does every respectable conservative. You see, the liberals who call the shots have the same frigid professional eye that I do. This reaction to liberal praise is the sine qua non of being given the absolutely essential credentials of being labeled a "respectable" conservative by media liberals.

So a Buckley will bubble and grin and kick in an entirely different way. Me will not be wearing a diaper, but an expensive suit as approved in New York and New England. He will raise his eyebrows in the way he would expect one of his gods, an Ivy League WASP or a Jewish Intellectual, would expect him to.

Where the baby goes "Goo!" the Buckley will use big words.

But to a really cold, professional eye, all this is superficial. In fact, you learn very quickly it is fatal to let these superficial differences impress you at all.

This very hard-learned ability to see right through the superficialities becomes automatic, and it is absolutely essential if you are to be hired and trusted at high levels. People with power and money don't hire people who don't have this Cold Eye.

But, in all honesty, this Cold Eye has certain drawbacks you don't see until you have been through the mill and developed that Cold Eye.

Once again, I am not being cynical, but dead honest: One of the things that come with this Cold Eye is nausea.

In my seemingly endless list of life experiences, I once worked in a retarded home. My stomach is churning right now as I try to write this down. No matter how hardened you are, that room full of grown men in diapers, the few extreme retards that make it to beard-growing age, makes your stomach turn. They are smiling, every one of them, delighted to see you. You CAN'T hate them.

But I will never forget that one of the most extreme bleeding-hearts I even knew saw them and said, Bob, I never thought it would be possible that I would ever agree with the Nazis about euthanasia in any case, but God help me, I would do it to these people."

Now you get an idea why the Cold Eye carries with it a threat of nausea.

It is critical to understand that there is not a bit of cynicism in what I am saying. It is a REAL problem for me. With my combined experienced and the Cold Eye I could not help developing, watching a respectable conservative react to a liberal telling him he Cultural and not Prejudiced is literally nauseating. I can't help it and I certainly don't LIKE it.

You see, a Buckley or a Hannity or a respectable conservative Southerner looks at an establishment liberal exactly the same way that baby in the supermarket looks at me. Hannity and Buckley and a Southern apologizer have EXACTLY the same attitude to Ivy Leaguers and Jewish Intellectuals that baby has to me. To Buckley, who is not tainted in his own mind with a Southern family but is also Catholic and IRISH, of all things, the true Yankee or the true Jewish Intellectual is the True Adult, the True Final Judge.

This was true of Buckley, it is far more true of somebody down the line like Hannity. Buckley senior must have pointed out a thousand times that he was born in NEW YORK. He and his family never allowed anyone to call their background without answering, ANGLO-Irish."

To someone with my Cold Eye, these inferiority complexes stand out like a black man at a Nuremburg Rally.

Too often, this reaction to respectable grin and bubbles at any liberal praise really reminds me of those smiling men in the diapers, and it IS a problem for me.