Conservatives regularly observing members of the political left will sometimes feel like zoologists. Our opponents are a craven and animated lot. All their antics, bizarre posturing, moronic moralizing, rage, and mindless dedication to avoiding rational argument call to mind the behaviors of a baboon troop in a Guinea forest.
Straw men are easier to set on fire than reality-based propositions. Our foes mischaracterize, accusing us of being mean, greedy, or slave to whatever -ism pops into their head on a Sunday morning. Logical fallacies are their preferred response and they continuously project their deficiencies upon us. Red herrings, straw men, and appeals to conformity abound. A variation of the latter — the “everybody knows” gambit — was recently analyzed here by Herbert London. Another sacred line of anti-reasoning is the “appeal to sophistication.”
Palin’s positive traits — kindness, happiness, beauty, domestic tranquility, and gratefulness to God — infuriated them with the way she made their own emotionally chaotic, depressed, statist feminists rank in comparison. They depicted her as “ignorant, uneducated, a hick,” and a fool. Standard! The same slanders are applied to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck on a daily basis.
These tactics may or may not work with adults old enough to know better, but polling data suggests that they have succeeded wonderfully with the young (college students in particular).
Allen Ginsberg’s prediction — “We’ll get you through your children!” — was highly prescient. Your average sophomore and freshman at a university know very little about history, current events, political science, human nature, and economics — perfect clay for the Democratic Party to mold into drones.
Statist professors present the ignorati with Manichean interpretations of complex issues. They begin by denying that a political spectrum exists. Were they to do otherwise then conservatives rejecting a neo-socialist like Barack Obama would be non-remarkable. Yet as opposed to nuance (purportedly their thing), the kids only hear “it is people like us who are enlightened and who care” while those on the other side…do not.
Democrats make politics easy for neophytes. This is ideal for both parties. Quick and obvious solutions appeal to young adults who do have not the life experiences to fathom the billions of things they do not know.
Moronic slogans remove argumentative ground altogether. Members of the political left are described as the embodiment of Plato’s Guardians. Democrats are our society’s intelligent and thoughtful elite.
Their good is contrasted with the right’s evil. We are nothing but a ramshackle horde of obese tea baggers, haters, racists, and Neanderthals. A kid soon internalizes that only rubes listen to Republicans. After all, no conservative could pass a polygraph test if he maintained that youthful cadres are “the ones we’ve been waiting for!” No thanks.
Educated folks do not vote Republican, and it will surprise no one that your run-of-the-mill ethnic studies major regards himself as a very educated person indeed. Besides, nearly all of the fashionable people tilt left.
In just a couple of semesters, college students get equipped with all the knowledge they need to psychoanalyze the political right. Even less time is needed to glean that those who oppose the gay lobby are stricken with “homophobia.”
Conservative objections to the demands of gay activists are illogical and a product of finding them “icky.” Sadly, our criticism of policy changes amounts to “anti-gay hysteria.” Linguistic terms also predetermine later affiliation. Leftists are “progressive” which means that those who oppose them must hate progress.
For yokels alarmed by the heavy-handed and spasmodic growth of the federocracy there is another term: “tenthers.” Think the Constitution is the highest law of the land? You are a sick individual displaying a pathological fetish.
Everyone with an ounce of schooling intuits that the Constitution is a “living, breathing document,” and a deeply flawed one at that. Any over-promoted community organizer could tell you that it addresses only negative liberties and is confusing to boot. What’s worse, it was “written more than a hundred years ago.”
Eighteen-year-olds can easily meld their minds to this kind of malarkey…and not much else. The genius is in its snark and simplicity. Should a student’s parents be Republican then the myth of sophistication becomes hypnotic. A child’s superiority over his mom and dad matches his earliest assumptions.
Al Gore confirmed this to a group of youths when he proclaimed that “there are some things about our world that you know that older people don’t know.” What high school lad after observing his father’s taste in ties would disagree?
Young people gravitate to the left and transfer their ignorance to election tallies. As the leftist ages he continues to chase the wayward dragon that was his early delusions of eminence. He continues to regard the right as a tribe of primitives who dwell, both literally and figuratively, in “Jesusland.”
The haughty reaction of leftists to conservative ideas is something we all endure at one time or another. It’s no easy task to re-program a true believer, especially one with the countenance of a college sophomore.
Everything’s only too clear to him as it always is when you know practically nothing. Conservative exchanges with the opposition are scripted and remedial. For example, the most common enemy posting on my YouTube channel is “redneck.”
Explaining to those critics that I reside in Chicago — a locale that brims with shady characters but few rednecks — fails to persuade. The left’s answer to every problem is “more government,” so they are astounded as to why we just don’t get it. Clearly, no one who isn’t a 6th grade dropout would articulate what we do here at PJ Media.
In his superb 2008 book, The Tyranny of Liberalism, James Kalb stated that the “nature of advanced liberalism can be inferred from those who support it. Throughout the West the most well-placed and respectable men and institutions are regularly liberal, while those who reject liberalism are tagged as ignorant, provincial, and lower-class.” [p. 90]
When we point out that government is inefficient, irresponsible, corrupt, and that its debts are breaking the American taxpayer, they blame George W. Bush. After that, they blame him some more. That Bush’s deficits paled in comparison to Obama’s treasury busting spending spree is not something they deign to acknowledge.
Great intellectuals are unconcerned by debt, the unemployment rate and inflation. Only commoners worry about that stuff. It’s 2009 Beaujolais in comparison to the audacity of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
The universality of the sophistication non-sequitur astounds. Time magazine employed it last spring after discerning that gold’s over-performance functioned as a critique of a hyper-Leviathan their pages helped to construct.
In the name of proving accurate the phrase “state-run media,” Time diminished the noble metal’s value via urbane critique. They conceded that the element had done well but rationalized that “…it is not nearly as powerful an economic tool as the more abstract forms of money that have taken its place.”
Ah, so gold’s not worthy due to its lack of abstraction? Tell that to the world during a global currency war amid the dollar’s “race to the bottom.” Only a broke journalist and/or leftist termite would be dim enough to buy the notion that being “more abstract” makes for a better investment vehicle.
Democratic Party panjandrums are as bored as Time by the federocracy’s impact. They prefer to use their self-touted brains as a mechanism for fabricating links between Sarah Palin and a schizophrenic madman. Even more fulfilling is when they express sanctimonious rage over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Why bother stressing over Obama-ville? Washington, D.C., can simply print money and bankroll everything — which is precisely what they are doing. Admittedly, to deny reality in the manner of a Democrat is no small imaginative feat.
Like a preschooler, the leftist is addicted to emotion. He cannot live without feeding his fragile ego with prefab claims of ascendance. Democrats will never abandon the trope that there is something learned and sublime about their auto-statism. To do so would make the vin ordinaire that is their thoughtworld sound like the cheap table wine it actually is.