The Straw Men of the Left

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.”

Recently the MSDNC network yielded another perfect example of the straw man fallacy which so poisons our public square. It occurred during Keith Olbermann’s program.

The irrational host asked Richard Wolffe — another leftist masquerading as a journalist — a question about Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. What followed was Erroneousness 101:

The poor guy has got no leash — it’s not even a short leash. And to get to the race question you have to understand the party’s calculation in putting him there in the first place. It was a simplistic and crude equation they made: that to cover themselves against any accusations of racism — and, boy, it’s not that hard to find them — they needed to have a black figure going up against an African-American president and they didn’t have many people to choose from with this token gesture and so they had to choose someone that plainly wasn’t ready for prime time.

Is that what the Republicans did? How would Wolffe know? Was he there during those closeted sessions which eventually became the protocols of the elders of the elephant? Of course not; Wolffe is clueless.


Further, based on his last book, he knows very little about Republicans. As opposed to confessing ignorance, he chose to attribute the hiring of Michael Steele to evil intent. Wolffe deems the right wicked … so our every action must then be.

Along the same lines were Janeane Garofalo’s bizarre comments on HBO during an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. Everyone recalls her racist outburst earlier in the year concerning the tea parties and she compounded her original incoherence with the following drivel for Maher:

It’s obvious I think to anybody who has eyes in this country that tea-baggers, the 9-12ers, these separatist groups that pretend that it’s about policy. They are clearly white identity movements; they are clearly white power movements. What they don’t like about the president is that he’s black or half black. … What also is shocking is that people keep pretending that that’s not really the case with these people. … They are no different than any other white identity movement that’s part of our history.

Is it obvious? Is it clear? No, she was lying. Ms. Garafalo’s made it up. People like me took to the streets in April not for conspiratorial reasons, but to combat excessive government expenditure, reckless debt, and the threats posed to our liberty.

What we do know for absolute certainty is that our protests did not involve race or racism. That these absurd charges of bigotry failed to stick is a product of their being mindless assertions devoid of substance.

They continue to be made for pragmatic reasons as everyone in America is repulsed by racism, so the left disperses their mustard gas in the hopes of alienating independents who are too busy to take an interest.


Lastly was the sideshow in late September involving MSLSD rodeo clown host Ed Schultz. He pursued a separate — but equally lethal — line when attempting to delegitimize his rivals.

The resentment wonk addressed health care but was not content to merely suggest that the GOP is evil. He stated it explicitly:

The Republicans lie! They want to see you dead! They’d rather make money off your dead corpse! They kind of like it when that woman has cancer and they don’t have anything for her.

Does anyone know any Republicans who possess such wishes? I don’t. I’m sure Schultz doesn’t either. His statement was vile hogwash, though he is probably aware that if our side is not depicted as loathsome then folks might give our ideas a listen … and who knows where that could lead.

In the final analysis, striking a sanctimonious pose is cherished more than truth by the left. Yet the country would benefit from their focusing on what conservatives actually say rather than fixating upon apocryphal antagonists.

The left’s habitual lying and “fear-mongering” alienates the citizenry and convinces the ignorant that the United States is a country not worth defending.

All their pyrotechnics and histrionics make many conservatives reluctant to openly proclaim their views. Like a fictional king, they wonder: “What can men do against such reckless hate?”

There is but one answer. You must fight them with your voice, your written word, your ballot, and your presence. At this point, only emphatic action will ensure that America remains the land of the free.



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