October 12, 2012
Related: Michael Barone: “Joe Biden appealed to Democratic partisans, firing them up by attacking and, even more often, smirking at Paul Ryan’s arguments. But smirks only work when your audience starts off agreeing with you. . . . I was struck by the difference between the generational and gender appeal of the two candidates. The dial groups showed that Ryan did better with women than with men—in vivid contrast with the usual partisan patterns.”
UPDATE: A reader emails:
I just finished reading the lengthy post-debate wrap up on Instapundit.
I agree that liberals are demoralized, but I sense a culprit for their behavior which has interesting implications. In fact, implications frightening to modern liberalism. Given the variety of quirks facing the left: totalitarian rhetoric, unimaginative policies, unrealistic expectations, it’s easy to brush aside the whole movement as unserious. But now I think I know why.
The left, in its crusade to dethrone male virtues from Western culture, has instead stripped its own movement of these virtues. This Peggy Noonan quote is eye-opening: “National Democrats keep confusing strength with aggression and command with sarcasm.” In other words, they no longer get how to be both strong and competent in the service of self and society.” Oh you know, that whole thing about men overcoming intense adversity and being steadfast, focused problem solvers in the face of crisis. How men like this support their families and help set an example that encourages both women and other men to act the same way in civil society.
It’s as if that notion is entirely absent in the Democratic left, so that even the tough guy liberals can’t credibly resolve today’s tough issues. They’ve replaced reliance on these virtues with a near-religious belief that government ‘daddy’ will fill the role of universe tough problem solver. Except no single constituent part of government ‘daddy’ actually possesses these traditional chivalric virtues. And the only reason this makes sense to liberals is because they no longer have any conception of those virtues to begin with.
And let me clarify that I refer to chivalric public virtue, as I’m sure there are backhandedly strong men somewhere out there in liberal households, when no one’s looking (no sarcasm intended).