The Great Divide, Politically Speaking
What can explain the gulf that separates liberals and conservatives? Burt Prelutsky throws up his hands and suggests DNA.
February 23, 2008 - 12:30 am
After pondering the chasm that exists between liberals and conservatives, I’ve concluded that the differences must be determined by something as basic as their DNA. Just as some people are born left-handed, others, unfortunately, are born left-wingers.
Liberals, as proof that they’re the most intelligent people on the face of the earth, will often point to the fact that most liberal arts professors are leftists. The problem is that while there are undeniably very brainy men and women on university campuses, they are usually found teaching science, engineering, and mathematics, not history, English, and sociology. Being tenured in the liberal arts building is hardly an indication of brilliance. It merely suggests that one had an abnormal tolerance for being lectured to as a young man and an overwhelming urge to lecture others as an old man.
Liberals also suffer from the delusion that a modicum of talent trumps kindness, honesty, and decency. One merely has to note the amount of respect that those on the left had for Hitler’s favorite moviemaker, Leni Riefenstahl, who produced the Nazi propaganda films Olympiad and Triumph of the Will.
Or consider the fact that Norman Mailer and several other members of the New York literati used every bit of their considerable influence to spring Jack Henry Abbott, who was in jail for forgery and for killing a fellow inmate, for no better reason than that they’d thought his prison memoir, In the Belly of the Beast, was so marvelous. Six weeks after his release, Abbott stabbed 22-year-old Richard Adan to death in New York City. I doubt if anyone is too surprised that the older son of Hollywood lefties Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon was named Jack Henry Robbins in his honor. But even I was taken aback when I learned that young Robbins was born eight years after Abbott killed Mr. Adan.
In a more recent case, Jack Unterweger was a serial killer who left behind a pile of corpses in Austria and America. He, too, was a writer who was granted a pardon because left-wing Austrian intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner and Stalin sympathizer Elfriede Jelinek, were so impressed by his prose style. Interestingly enough, Jelinek, a fervent feminist, was even willing to overlook the fact that Unterweger’s victims were all women.
Yet another sign of the left’s inability to think straight is their refusal to accept the importance of designating English as our official language. Instead of pushing to have Hispanic kids immersed in English, at the behest of the teachers unions they promote bilingual education. What’s more, they refuse to acknowledge that the present system hogties and frustrates young Hispanics, and helps explain why record numbers drop out of high school as soon as the law allows.
It’s not just the teachers, with bonuses and promotions to consider, who are to blame. We also have congressmen such as Charles Gonzalez of Texas and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, a couple of race hucksters who could give Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton a run for their money, claiming that the Salvation Army is a racist organization for insisting that their employees speak only English on the job.
Isn’t it odd that Europeans who have no intention of moving to America feel it’s beneficial to learn English, but millions of Latinos living here in the United States don’t? A recent poll disclosed that seventy-five percent of Hispanic immigrant parents have no command of English. That’s pathetic.
One might argue that in the case of most illegal immigrants, they were already adults when they decided to sneak across the border. But how is it that the major leagues are filled with Latinos whose one ambition since the age of eight or nine was to play baseball in this country, but they never even bothered learning how to say curve ball, slider, or free agent, in English?
As you have surely noticed, it’s always the conservative politicians who support the idea of making English our official language, never the liberals. Frankly, I don’t think too many of us on the right were terribly surprised that when a Gallop poll recently asked people about the state of their mental health, 58% of Republicans said it was excellent, but just 43% of independents and only a scant 38% of Democrats.
Finally, I am getting awfully tired of Hillary’s trying to play it both ways. When she’s out there on the stump, surrounded by her fawning sycophants, she wants us to picture her staring down Islamic terrorists and Republican senators, but as soon as a political opponent utters a discouraging word, we’ve got her husband crying “Foul” and throwing a flag on the play, and we’ve got her pretending to be a tender young damsel being bullied by those big mean men.
So far as I’m concerned, the biggest surprise of this political season hasn’t been John McCain’s phoenix-like rise from the ashes, but the fact that in spite of the pummeling Senator Clinton has received at the hands of Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Ted Kennedy, she hasn’t once attributed it to a vast left-wing conspiracy.
Television writer Burt Prelutsky is the author of Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco (101 Reasons Why I’m Happy I Left the Left).