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The Straw Men of the Left

Obama and his allies would rather fence with imaginary partners than mix swords with actual conservatives and their ideas.

by
Bernard Chapin

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October 30, 2009 - 12:50 am
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When I was a lad my father gave me one piece of advice concerning politics: “Son, the Democratic Party cares about the poor whereas the Republican Party cares only for the rich.” I believed him as would most five-year-olds. Luckily, later in life upon meeting actual conservatives and studying their works, I developed second thoughts. Firsthand experience with the welfare state moved me even further to the right. Unfortunately, my dad — while in countless ways a more knowledgeable man than I — knew nothing about politics. However, his take on Republicans was fairly typical. The quip regarding the GOP being disinterested in “the poor” is but a leftist straw man posing as a legitimate argument. It is full of emotion but signifies dysfunction alone. Moreover, it is a fallacy, and this particular brand of irrationality occurs when one ignores another’s “actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of that position” in its stead.

Conservatives are vested in the unfortunate. We are troubled by the vast discrepancy that exists between the intentions of the pseudo-liberals and the welfare state they created, one that entrenches and continues to expand the underclass.

The Great Society was a great disaster. It continues to provide incentives for the needy to remain destitute and has destroyed millions of family structures.

Why should women marry men when they can marry the government? Why should they improve their lives when a monthly check ensures a (subsistent) living?

Most on the right wish to overhaul the system. We believe that the solution to penury is three letters long: “j-o-b.”

Republicans would like to see governmental obstacles — excessive taxation, mindless regulations, and an anti-business climate — removed, which would allow the wonder of economic growth to finally win the war on poverty.

Alas, all of these facts are inconvenient for the left, who can neither answer them nor explain how raising taxes and inflating the Leviathan is going to get our nation out of a recession.

Therefore, in order to maintain power, pseudo-liberals deliberately disseminate lies about the motivations of conservatives even though they never consult with us long enough to know what they are in the first place. They distort, deceive, and confuse the general public as a vehicle to win elections and remake society.

The results of the 2008 election reveal that their nefarious, timeless strategies remain successful. For this reason, constructing straw men is a practice as endemic to Democrats as self-righteousness, worrying about (life-sustaining) carbon dioxide, and the uproarious belief that taxes are charity.

Yet recognizing their dishonorable approach to discourse is only a quarter of the battle. Refuting their mumbo-jumbo is a challenge for most conservatives who, unlike their foes, are constrained by the limits of logic.

Naive Republicans — those who have yet to experience a partisan drone baptism by bile — dispute policy scenarios in good faith but soon discover that their opponents ignore their points entirely. Their contentions are met with personal attacks alone.

The leftist does not attempt to refute the rightist. Instead he, in the words of Lenin, seeks to “wipe him from the face of the earth.” It is the fictional conservative, as opposed to the ideas the real one verbalizes, who becomes the focus for statist rage.

Barack Obama is a devout practitioner of this black, emotional art. A glaring example of his addiction to the straw man technique came during the (pathetically limited) legislative quarrel over the stimulus bill.

The president boasted that it was a showdown between himself and those who wished to do nothing about the recession. He instructed his countrymen, “Nothing is not an option. You didn’t send me to Washington to do nothing.”

Gee, which GOP politician campaigned on the platform of doing nothing? Obama did not say. This is quite telling. He favors fencing with imaginary partners to mixing swords with real human beings.

Contrary to his assertion, conservative plans abounded concerning the economy. We wanted to suspend the payroll tax, slash income tax rates permanently, and cut the confiscation rates for businesses along with those for capital gains.

All of these proposals would have put more money in the hands of the people and less in the coffers of the federocracy … which is why they were all non-starters for the Democratic Party. Any option that lessens their control over the general population is verboten.

If Obama acknowledged this truth it would remove the mote from the eyes of his supporters, some of whom honestly believe that the pseudo-liberals represent “the little guy.”

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