Monday, January 31, 2005
BRITAIN'S ANTI-DEMOCRATIC ELITE
The CRE is Britain race-monitoring body
"Trevor Phillips spoke at the launch of the government's new racial equality plan as inspired by Stalin and his five year plans. Good old Trevor still could not resist boasting about his old Communist heroes as stated in the press release below from the CRE.....
"All this talk of targets is very pertinent as I am currently reading Joseph Stalin's biography, where he says that "there will be no deviation from targets". Now, he had a very definite way of guaranteeing targets were reached. Fiona [Mactaggart], we haven't yet discussed legal powers to shoot permanent secretaries who miss their targets but I guess that might be our next order of business".
But the most interesting facts from this meeting of ex-communist chums were the discussion documents issued by the Home Office. In the reports, one section stood out. On page 19 of the responses to their request for people to give the government new ideas how to ' enforce ' racial diversity the following appeared ;
Extremist groups - should they be illegal?
5.2.5 As part of this debate, one area of contention was whether groups, such as the British National Party, should be made illegal. However, respondents felt that banning such organisations could simply push them underground.
5.2.6 However, the TUC noted: `We believe the BNP poses a serious threat to British democratic values and traditions of democracy. BNP activities appear to put the organisation outside of the scope of a legitimate political party'.
5.2.7 The 1990 Trust felt that there should be a split between `race equality' and `terrorism' issues - the latter being a concern for all and not just one subsection of the population, who may be becoming identified as extremists and terrorists.
Employing those from extremist groups in the public sector
5.2.8 Consultees also discussed the issues surrounding the employment of those from extremists groups in the public sector. The CRE's position was that:
`We need to further discuss the rights of members of far right parties taking up posts as public sector workers and the effect their membership may have on their ability to carry out their jobs. Whilst a simple ban across all public sector posts may sound tempting, this needs further thought'.
One of the groups mentioned above was the 1990 trust, which is the front group for the BLINK organisation a radical black power organisation dedicated to the racial advancement and empowerment of blacks in Britain. Surely that is in fact racist? So here we have racists issuing discussion documents to ex communists about how to deny freedom of speech and banning political parties. It all sounds very suspiciously like the lead up to the Bolshevik Revolution that swept Russia.
Path to genocide
Here we have the start of the process that leads to genocide. First you silence the victims by denying them freedom of speech. Then you ban them from taking part in political activities and prevent them from having a political voice. Then you start to target them as individuals and remove them from their jobs. Then you remove them altogether.
If we were dealing with normal politicians then this could be considered as fantasy and scare mongering. The fact is that both Trevor Phillips and Charles Clarke are not normal politicians. Their ideological roots are not in democratic politics but in totalitarian ideologies characterised by the denial of democracy and mass slaughter. Neither has repudiated their past and in fact Trevor Phillips still draws inspiration from the bloody well of Lenin's writings. In a functional democracy all those who were supporters and members of political parties that supported totalitarian regimes would be prevented from participating in democratic politics, but in Britain they form the government and the Liberal Fascist Elite.
We have a real reason to fear these people. They have usurped the independence of the Police and the Civil Service and the Judiciary. They seek to remove the basic human and civil rights of the British people through the use of naked power and ignore the will of the majority of our people. They are a danger to democracy and to us all.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
AN AGNOSTIC ELITE
"It's open-season persecution on secular university students who embrace Christianity – at least that's the picture portrayed in a recent Christian Science Monitor article. The report followed the story of a Christian graduate student who enrolled in a secular West Coast school and faced the scorn of anti-Christian professors. Regularly, we hear these types of stories: traditional ideas facing the condescension and mockery of atheistic and agnostic elitism that possesses many secular schools.
Of course, the stereotype laid against conservative Christians is that of intolerance and ignorance, which seems to be borne out of the social factors of politics and colliding cultures. This great divide dominates the landscape of universities, high schools, political forums, and on and on. If anything could be said about the timeline of this divide it would be that things are not getting better, that the divide is growing wider, and both sides hold mutual contempt."
Saturday, January 29, 2005
YOUR KINDLY LEFTIST TYRANTS
The only thing they REALLY want is to keep meddling in other people's lives -- "For their own good", of course
The fear that liberalism would be thanked for its service and given a gold watch became more acute as the American economy soared after World War II. In 1957, the year before John Kenneth Galbraith published The Affluent Society, Arthur Schlesinger tried to redefine liberalism's mission for such a society. He wrote that the New Deal's establishment of the welfare state and Keynesian management of the economy heralded the completion of the work of "quantitative liberalism." Its logical and necessary successor should be "qualitative liberalism," which would "oppose the drift into the homogenized society. It must fight spiritual unemployment as [quantitative liberalism] once fought economic unemployment. It must concern itself with the quality of popular culture and the character of lives to be lived in our abundant society."
To speak of lifting the level of human existence suggests that there are higher and lower levels of human existence. Such thoughts imply a certain congruence between modern liberalism and the worldview of classical philosophy and the great monotheistic religions. But, of course, the rejection of those traditions has been crucial to modern liberalism, and to modernism generally. Plato poses, as the central question of philosophy, how shall we live? The liberal response, expressed most directly by John Stuart Mill, is that the question is unanswerable, and the practical imperatives of politics cannot be put on hold forever while philosophers debate it. Therefore, the only realistic answer, one that reflects both the need to find a way to live together and the futility of ascertaining the meaning of the good life, is that we should all live however we want, constrained only by the need to choose a "lifestyle" that does not interfere with anyone else's living the way he wants to live.
In A Theory of Justice, John Rawls argued that "democracy in judging each other's aims is the foundation of self-respect in a well-ordered society." Rawls goes on to say that the person whose aims consist of counting blades of grass should not be denigrated but supported—that is, both praised and publicly subsidized. "Different strokes for different folks" is a meager philosophy, but also a coherent one. If liberals were content to leave it at that, they would at least have one large idea voters could sum up in a couple of sentences.
But they have never been content to leave it at that. Liberalism has never found a way to regard the "character of lives to be lived in our abundant society" with indifference, in the good sense of being tolerant, for fear of also being indifferent in the bad sense of being callous. The social critic inside every liberal cannot resist berating other people's unsatisfactory lifestyles—some are merely inane, others are actually menacing. Fifty years ago this scorn was directed at suburban split-levels. Today the target is evangelical churches. Meanwhile, the social worker inside every liberal cannot resist treating these unfortunate lifestyle choices as problems to be solved.
How does liberalism square this circle, embracing relativism while declaring that millions of non-liberals are "spiritually unemployed?" (It's hard to imagine anyone being more spiritually unemployed than Rawls's grass-counter.) The moral standpoint from which liberalism passes judgment is one it derives from John Dewey, for whom the highest imperative was "growth." According to political scientist Robert Horwitz, Dewey looked to "the bright promise of an evolutionary understanding of human potentialities, a view which presents boundless possibilities for development." The point of growth is more growth; the only standard by which we judge the direction of past growth is whether it facilitates or stymies future growth. It is in this vein that Johnson spoke of a Great Society where the government will enrich minds, enlarge talents, and concern itself with monitoring our leisure hours to make sure we are constructive and reflective, not bored and restless. It is an agenda for which prosperity, liberty, and justice are "just the beginning," and one which, constantly advancing the constantly evolving goal of personal growth, can have no end.....
Many Democrats lament that Republicans have been successful in getting working-class Americans to vote "against their own interests," by stressing social issues like abortion and gay marriage. Thomas Frank wrapped an entire bestseller, What's the Matter with Kansas?, around this idea. It's a "false consciousness" diagnosis that betrays rather than describes the Democrats' problem: the smug assumption that we know, far better than they do themselves, the "real interests" of people who live in dorky places and went to schools no one has heard of.
Friday, January 28, 2005
"AMERICANS DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH" ... ETC.
A Leftist rages that the Left is not Leftist enough
This is America, not Denmark. In this country, tens of millions of people choose to watch FoxNews not simply because Americans are credulous idiots or at the behest of some right-wing corporate cabal, but because average Americans respect viciousness. They are attracted to viciousness for a lot of reasons. In part, it reminds them of their bosses, whom they secretly adore. Americans hate themselves for the way they behave in public, always smiling and nodding their heads with accompanying really?s and uh-huhs to show that they're listening to the other person, never having the guts to say what they really feel. So they vicariously scream and bully others into submission through right-wing surrogate-brutes. Spending time watching Sean Hannity is enough for your average American white male to feel less cowardly than he really is.
The left won't accept this awful truth about the American soul, a beast that they believe they can fix "if only the people knew the Truth."
But what if the Truth is that Americans don't want to know the Truth? What if Americans consciously choose lies over truth when given the chance--and not even very interesting lies, but rather the blandest, dumbest and meanest lies? What if Americans are not a likeable people? The left's wires short-circuit when confronted with this terrible possibility; the right, on the other hand, warmly embraces Middle America's rank soul and exploits it to their full advantage. The Republicans know Americans better than the left. They know that it's not so much Goering's famous "bigger lie" that works here, but the dumber the lie, the more they want to hear it repeated.
And this leads to another truth that the left still has trouble understanding: Millions of Americans, particularly white males, don't vote for what's in their so-called best interests. Thomas Frank recently attacked this riddle in his new book What's the Matter with Kansas? but he fails to answer his own question. He can't, in fact, because his is a flawed premise. Frank, who is at his best when he's just vicious, still clings to the comforting theory that Middle Americans are being duped by an evil corporate-political machine that subtly but masterfully manipulates the psychological levers of cultural backlash, implying that if average Americans were left to their own devices, they would somehow make entirely rational, enlightened choices and elect sensible New Deal Democrats every time. This puts Frank in a bind he never quite gets out of. Like all lefties, he is incapable of taking his ruthless analysis beyond a certain point.
The reason is simple. The underlying major premise of humanist-leftist ideology states that people are intrinsically sympathetic. If people are defiantly mean and craven, the humanist-left structure falters. "Why the fuck should I bother fighting for Middle Americans," they ask, "if they're just as loathsome, in their own petty way, as their exploiters, with whom they actively collaborate?"
Rather than grapple with that dilemma, the left pretends it doesn't exist. This is why they will forever struggle to understand the one overriding mystery of why so many working- and middle-class white males vote against their own best interests.
I can tell you why. They do so out of spite. Put your ear to the ground in this country, and you'll hear the toxic spite churning. It's partly the result of commercial propaganda and sexual desperation--a desperation far more common than is admitted. If you didn't know anything about how America's propaganda worked, you'd think that every citizen here experienced four-dimensional multiple orgasms with beautiful, creative, equally satisfied partners, morning, noon and night.
The wretched truth is that America is an erogenous no man's land. Most white males here (at least the straight ones) have either dismal sex lives or no sex lives at all. As bad as this hurts, the pain is compounded every time you expose yourself to the cultural lies that await you at every turn--that is, every waking hour and during deep REM sleep, when the subliminal messages kick in. This wretchedness leads to a desire for vengeance, to externalize the inner famine--it leads directly to the Republican camp.
Spite-voters also lack the sense that they have any stake in the future of the country. There is something proprietary implied in all of the didacticism and concern found in the left's tone. The left struggles to understand why so many non-millionaire Americans vote Republican, and yet they rarely ask themselves why so many millionaires, particularly the most beautiful and privileged millionaires in Manhattan and Los Angeles, vote for the Democrats.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
For those who don't read my Marx blog, I thought I might reproduce here a post showing that Leftist elitism goes right back to old Karl
MARX THOUGHT THAT THE WORKERS WERE DONKEYS
Marx to Adolf Cluss (letter, 20.Jul.1852): "There are no bigger donkeys than these workers.... Look at our "craftsmen"; Sad that world history should be be made with such people".
(No other English translation available online)
Marx an Adolf Cluß, 20. Juli 1852
"Komplettere Esel als diese Arbeiter gibt es wohl nicht (...) Voilà unsere Straubinger; schlimm, daß mit solchen Leuten Weltgeschichte gemacht werden soll (...)"
MEW a.a.O. 28, 537.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
OCCASIONALLY PILGER MAKES SENSE
This was written in 2001. The venom is obvious but what he describes is real enough:
"At the Hay-on-Wye literary festival in May, leading members of the media and cultural elite assembled in the fine gardens of a Regency house to await the arrival of the great man. They included broadsheet editors, deputy editors, literary editors, ex-editors, novelists, actors and John Birt. Afterwards, there would be a "lecture about world affairs" for which a second division had paid £100 a ticket. Whispered jokes about Monica and cigars quickly turned to full-throttle obseqiousness when the great man ambled in. According to John Walsh of the Independent, "the whole garden party became a queue to shake Bill's hand, to be photographed and to rejoin their friends and discuss the experience".
Clinton told them how he had brought peace to Kosovo, Northern Ireland, et cetera. That he had bombed and killed innocent people across the world, despatched tens of thousands of Iraqi children and eroded the last of Roosevelt's New Deal cover for the poorest Americans was not at issue. Only sanitised questions were allowed; they touched on none of these crimes. The reward for this complicity was Clinton trousering $100,000.
It was a vivid snapshot of the age of new Labour elites: a gathering of Blair's winners. There have been many such events since May 1997, celebrating fame, fortune and illusion. The latter included those staged at the Foreign Office at which, with the help of media celebrities, Robin Cook announced an "ethical dimension" to foreign policy and "the pusuit of human rights in the new century". Like at Hay, the gallery was from the liberal establishment: Amnesty, the voluntary organisations, editors, news readers. They remained silent or bowled lemons. That it was all an elaborate hoax, as they now know, was not an issue.
Last Sunday, Michael Jackson, Channel 4's departing chief executive, told Observer readers that he had, no less, helped bring about "the profound social changes that have occurred in British society . . ." He cited Big Brother as representing "a melting pot for a broader, more understanding and inclusive society . . . an optimistic glimpse at the ease of presence between a group of people with different ethnicity, sexuality, religion, class and education". He related this to Blair's promised "classless society" and declared, Tony-like, that "we have a more prosperous economy than at any time in our past".
The clear implication was that Channel 4, under Jackson, was the television equivalent of new Labour. One can appreciate his argument. The threadbare liberalism of the new Labour elite, its tame columnists, lords and terrified MPs, is said to be based on tolerance for the new era's sexual and racial diversity. After all, look at all those black and gay ministers and female MPs. This is a con, of course. All it proves is that gays and blacks and females can be as reactionary and unprincipled as anybody".
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
THE FRENCH ELITE UNMASKED
There is a heartening post here about Americans in Paris who encountered some elderly Frenchmen who were PRO-American for a change. Following the post itself is a long comment thread discussing the story. A comment by a French person is very much to the point. He is replying to a post that says the French are anti-Bush, not anti-American. I reproduce it below. I have cleaned up the English a bit:
"The preceding post is beyond stupid and can only come from a Massachusetts Democrat who has done a one week tour in France and is unable to read the French press or understand the French media.
Now hear what a French person, living in France has to say on the subject of Anti-Americanism: It applies toward Red or Blue Americans equally and the reason is because the elites need the people to hate America. They need the people to hate America because it allows them to push their people toward a non-Democratic EU in order to "unite against the big, bad Americans". They need the people to hate America because they have wet dreams of Europe -- or more exactly the euro-elites -- ruling the world again.They need the people to hate America because then people will not ask embarrassing question about Europe's less than stellar economic performance, about how millions and milllions and millions are robbed from the poor in order to subsidize pseudo-artists producing crap (named "exception culturelle" in France but they have the same thing in Spain) or about electoral systems designed for giving the illusion of democracy while the real power is held by a few key persons in the parties (unelected people deciding who will be the candidate) and keeping the people firmly away from decisions.
And that is the reason Euros and specially the French hated America in the Clinton years, why they hate it under Bush and why they would hate it whichever is in the White House, Dean, Rice or Donald Duck.
Monday, January 24, 2005
A LEFTIST WHO SORT OF GETS IT
My friend, Carl Westberg, recently wrote to our local listserv and political chat group, Vision 2020, to complain about being designated a member of the “liberal elite.” He said:
Since, even though it's evidently passé to still be one, I consider myself a liberal, I have to ask, how am I an "elitist?" I make somewhat less than a gazillion dollars a year, I've lived in the same apartment for 137 years, I wear Costco brand jeans, ditto sneakers, shirts, socks, etc. I buy Western Family products whenever possible. I drink Miller Genuine Draft, for crying out loud. I don't know any Hollywood celebrities, although I did find myself sitting a few rows behind Will Geer (Grandpa Walton) at a concert during Expo '74 in Spokane once. We didn't keep in touch, though. Call me a reprobate; that I can't deny. But an elitist? Please.
As much as I hate to agree with the GOP’s talking heads about anything, I’m afraid that as a self-proclaimed liberal, Carl is by definition an elitist. That’s because liberal elitism is not about what you wear, or eat, or watch on t.v. It's about what you think. My two favorite television shows at the moment happen to be Dead Like Me on HBO, a sly, wry comedy about the afterlife, and A Car is Reborn on TLC, on the adventures of a grease-covered mechanic as he tears down and then rebuilds an old hunk of junk. Clearly, I have one high-brow, and one low-brow, which together make me look like Mr. Spock.
So am I an elitist? Yes. Who isn't? We all look down our nose at someone. And yet how well do I fit the Red State/GOP/right-wing definition of that word? I love my ATV. I love my .30-06 rifle. When I was 18, I wanted nothing more than to be a woman Marine. My favorite work of literature is Beowulf. It's martial. It's violent. But it's lyrically beautiful, and it is an epic paean to a principle that I have believed in all of my life—that you cannot lead from the rear.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
YOU MUST CHOOSE WHAT WE TELL YOU TO
"The liberal mantra about abortion is “choice.” It’s said to be nobody’s business but the woman’s whether she carries her pregnancy to term or ends it by killing the fetus. But when it comes to other important matters, such as educating one’s children and saving for one’s retirement, liberals are opposed to choice. They oppose the use of school vouchers that would give parents a choice of where to educate their children. They oppose privatization of Social Security, thus forcing everyone to stay in a system that is going bankrupt.
Liberals don’t really care about choice. First, they don’t trust people to make good choices. Look at the rhetoric during and after the presidential election. To explain why President Bush was reelected, liberals say that the American people were ignorant (of relevant facts), stupid, or duped by devious Republicans. If only the American people would follow their more educated and intelligent betters, they would be fine. They would be cared for. Second, liberals are heavily invested in the public-school system and the Social Security system. Teachers are a Democrat constituency. My guess is that most of the bureaucrats in the Social Security Administration are Democrats, or at least liberals. So tinkering with these institutions jeopardizes Democrat electoral prospects. The Democrat deal is: “You vote for us; we’ll take care of you.”
Here is Paul Krugman's latest rant. What I don't understand is why he's opposed to giving individuals a choice about how to invest for their retirement. It's my understanding that nobody would be forced to opt out of Social Security. What Krugman wants to do is force people to stay in".
Saturday, January 22, 2005
ELITE INSTITUTIONS ARE SOLIDLY LEFT-DOMINATED
By James Glassman
"This inauguration marks the seventh out of the past 10 in which a Republican President parades down Pennsylvania Avenue. At the Capitol, the procession’s starting point, Republicans hold a 10-seat majority in the Senate and a solid grasp, for the 10th year in a row, on the House. The majority of governors, including those of the four largest states, are Republican, and the GOP controls most state legislatures. Most significantly, Americans, by a 3 to 2 margin, identify themselves as conservatives rather than liberals.
The American left — liberalism, collectivism, statism, New Dealism (call it what you want) — remains firmly in charge of most powerful U.S. institutions. Here is a brief review of 10 of them, along with my rough estimate, by percentage, of conservative influence.
Media: Put talk radio, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, FOX News and a few dailies on one side and practically everything else on the other. Nine-tenths of national reporters and editors vote Democratic, and they identify themselves as liberal over conservative by a 5 to 1 margin. The Bush administration has had no discernible effect even on NPR and PBS. Will the CBS scandal change anything? Of course not. The power of the big dailies and TV networks is crumbling thanks to the Internet, but slowly. Conservative influence: 20 percent.
Government bureaucracy: For more than 70 years, liberalism has burrowed deep into the federal bureaucracy, where the people who know how to pull the levers of power work. At a few outposts — like the Consumer Products Safety Commission and, lately, the CIA — creative chiefs are rooting out the entrenched, but the task is daunting. Conservative influence: 30 percent.
Entertainment and the arts: Liberals are more powerful in Hollywood than ever. “When was the last time,” wrote Andrew Klavan in the Hartford Courant, “that you saw a conservative politician who was the hero of a movie, as opposed to the slavering villains of ‘The Manchurian Candidate,’ ‘The Contender,’ or ‘The American President’?” Conservative influence: 10 percent.
Religion: While the press highlights the power of evangelicals, religious institutions like the National Council of Churches and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops boost the welfare state and oppose the thrust of U.S. foreign policy. Conservative influence: 40 percent.
Big business: Perhaps because it is afraid of being the target of zealous regulators and prosecutors, big business has become meek and mute. Wall Street, trapped in Manhattan, has always leaned left — as its main representative in Washington, Bill Donaldson, chairman of the SEC, demonstrates. Yes, there are groups which push tax cuts and tort reform, but big business, in general, is a paper tiger. Conservative influence: 50 percent.
Small business: The white-hot center of conservatism is entrepreneurship. Conservative influence: 90 percent.
Academe: Liberal and getting more so. The only exception is the tiny world of think tanks, where conservatives rule. In K-12 education, where the teachers’ unions maintain their stranglehold, reform is coming, glacially. Conservative influence: 20 percent.
Philanthropy: Captains of industry make the money; their leftish progeny spend it on fashionable causes. But there’s reason for optimism as new philanthropies that stress market-style accountability, like the Gates Foundation, develop. Conservative influence: 30 percent.
Military: Conservatives dominate here, and the military has been a key socializing force for personal responsibility and patriotism. But civilians, don’t forget, run the military. Conservative influence: 70 percent.
NGOs: Non-governmental organizations, from AARP to the Consumers Union to the NAACP to the Sierra Club, comprise a leftist stronghold. Meanwhile, the U.S. government and the United Nations are farming out more of their own work to such groups. Conservative influence: 20 percent.
Not a pretty picture for the right: seven institutions in liberal hands, two in conservative, one split. Two big questions for conservatives: 1) Can political pressure be brought to bear to change institutions? No, and it’s probably best that way. And 2) should conservatives infiltrate existing institutions or grow their own? Infiltration works better, but thanks to the Internet, the start-up route holds more and more attraction.
Today, 25 years after Ronald Reagan’s victory, the work of changing American institutions is just beginning.
Friday, January 21, 2005
ANOTHER COMMENT ON THE 2004 ELECTION AFTERMATH: FROM A RARE LEFTIST WHO GETS IT
He has still missed a basic point, though. Kerry won in the big cities, not mainly because the smart people live there but because people on the government payroll -- welfare clients in particular -- are concentrated there. The Kerry coalition was a big assemblage of minorities and government employees led by a relatively small band of Leftist elitists such as Soros and Kerry himself. For details on that see here
I was on my way home from an election party in east London when the phone calls started coming in. "Can I come and live with you for the next four years?" asked a friend in Brooklyn. "Isn't there a spare room at your mom's?" tried an ex-girlfriend in Santa Monica.
And when I ignored the faux-persecution at the other end of the line, the fatuous e-mails began piling up. "This is awful." was the best a screenwriter friend could muster. "We fuckin' founded this country, assholes," was the lame attempt at pomposity on the website FuckTheSouth.com. "Those Founding Fathers you keep going on and on about? . Who do you think those wig-wearing, lacy-shirt sporting revolutionaries were? They were fucking blue-staters, dickhead."
Well, the last time I checked, George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson were all from red-state Virginia, but no matter. Still, if you're going to start hectoring your countrymen about American history, it's advisable to get your own house in order first.
Appropriately enough, though, syndicated columnist Ted Rall took his cue from the Founding Fathers, answering his own rhetorical question: "Why shouldn't those of us on the coasts feel superior? We eat better, travel more, dress better, watch cooler movies, earn better salaries, meet more interesting people, listen to better music and know more about what's going on in the world."
Enough already. To the outside world, the plight of anguished Democrats is just getting embarrassing. We get it now. People who voted for Kerry live in posh cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco - which means de facto that they're smarter, funnier, wiser and smell better than people who voted for Bush. Wealth does funny things like that: that's why we try to distribute it fairly.
But if that's the way you want the Democratic Party to keep thinking, if that's how you want to define liberal American politics in the twenty-first century, don't come asking for the spare room at my mom's in four years' time. Because what's truly remarkable isn't the bigoted ignorance of the Bush voter; it's the ignorance of too many Democrats about their own country and the head-in-the-sand sophistry that leads them time and again to assume that every Bush voter is a "militant Christianist [sic] Republican from inland backwaters," to borrow Ted Rall's linguistic fornication for a second.
That is, I know New Yorkers who would secede from "flyover country" in a heartbeat but who haven't thought for a second about who constructs the military hardware that protects them, who builds the airplanes that fly them up to Cape Cod for the weekend, who drills for the oil that heats their Vermont log-cabins in winter, who grows the cereal they eat for breakfast, or who produces the rib-eyes they shovel down at Peter Luger. And it sure as hell ain't semiotics professors in Morningside Heights.
The truth is, were "arrogant liberal elitists" from New York and Los Angeles, say, to venture inland, they might actually be alarmed to find some rather familiar people in the red states - people who also summer in Tuscany and ski in Gstaad, who also drink espresso and cabernet, who also shop at Trader Vic's and Whole Foods, and who also prefer Brian Lehrer and PBS to Rush Limbaugh and Fox.
Who knows, they might find some common political ground there. As Thomas Frank explains in his recent book, "What's The Matter With Kansas?" the Sunflower State was initially settled by eastern abolitionists and free-soilers who came there to block Missourians from moving "slave power" westward, and that the state has a history of leftist radicalism that dwarfs the champagne socialism of privileged college kids pretending to "get" Thorstein Veblen.
Of course, though it's clear that American liberalism desperately needs to shed its image of shallow self-righteousness, it's equally obvious that its political factions stopped being relevant to many of its traditional constituents long ago. Largely ignored now are socially liberal, blue-collar workers..... The reality is that the Democratic Party long ago dropped the language that once defined it and made it a beacon of hope for struggling workers across the country, leaving it perilously vulnerable to cultural wedge issues such as guns, gays and abortion......
In other words, it's absurd and utterly self-destructive to belittle all those who voted for Bush and decry them simply as the "ignorant bigot vote." Instead of asking "What's wrong with these people?" and telling them to go fuck themselves, American liberals should instead be asking, "What's wrong with us?" The sad thing is, for such an enlightened and educated group of people, such soul-searching is unlikely to happen....
Thursday, January 20, 2005
LEFTIST ELITISTS FEAR THE MAJORITY
Just recently on C-Span, a group of anarchists could be observed planning a protest to the inaugural ceremony. Other liberals have accused Bush of stealing 118,000 votes in Ohio. But as of late, the primary argument that they’ve asserted for the pursuit of their policies is that Bush doesn’t really have a mandate because the majority of Americans don’t really like the Republicans.
For example, the pro-abortion group NARAL recently sent an e-mail to its members stating, "As he prepares to begin his second term, Bush and his allies are using their trumped up 'mandate' to justify their dangerous and divisive anti-choice agenda. But if winning a slim majority of votes is enough to convince the President of his 'mandate,' then we would like to remind President Bush of just one thing: A majority of Americans supports a woman's right to choose.”
Which, apparently, is why NARAL opposes allowing Americans to vote on abortion. Roe v. Wade made abortion legal and prohibited the individual states from contradicting its legality; Roe v. Wade’s abolition would do nothing but allow the people to vote on it. It’s ironic that the majority of Americans are precisely what NARAL fears.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
LEFTIST ELITE PERVERT M.L. KING'S DREAM
A little less than a century after slavery’s end, King rose from obscurity proposing a radical idea — a colorblind society. While he knew he’d never see it in his lifetime, he gave his life for equal justice. King would surely be disappointed by liberal elites and career politicians who exploit his vision for their own gain. He’d be alarmed that his so-called successors consistently fail to address urgent matters in the black community, such as the cycle of poverty associated with black illegitimacy and the high rate of black-on-black crime. King would be dismayed to know that:
70% of black children are born out of wedlock. 85% of black children living in poverty are raised in single parent households. 94% of all black homicide victims are slain by other blacks. Low-income black children are condemned to failing government-run schools because black politicians are beholden to teachers’ unions.
King would be distressed by the perverting of his vision. In the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement, race preference proponents have essentially redefined “civil rights” to now mean special rights for certain groups instead of those rights belonging to all individuals, including due process, equal protection under the law and freedom from discrimination. Race preferences bestow upon blacks special rights, setting them apart from the rest. This is not what King envisioned.
Try telling that to liberal elites like Jesse Jackson, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Kweisi Mfume, who believe blacks are still “struggling” for their constitutional rights. King’s own son, Martin Luther King III, claims that, “people of color are still being denied a fair share of…education opportunities in our society.” No kidding? How about supporting school voucher programs so that low-income children can get the skills they need to be competitive in today’s society? Jesse Jackson said that King’s dream has not been fulfilled because “crippling poverty” still exists for many blacks.
Really? Then how about turning your attention from entitlements, set-aside programs and TV cameras and focus on reducing the rate of illegitimacy, the most accurate predictor of child poverty? I also have a dream!
Dr. King dared a segregated nation to embrace an idea that was extreme 40 years ago, the notion that individuals should be judged by their character and not by the color of their skin. Liberal elites are right about one thing: King’s dream remains unfulfilled.
Excerpt from La Shawn Barber
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Rejection of the leftist elite
This Australian post from September 2003 seems worth reproducing. For links, see the original
Christopher Sheil wonders why Australians don't like "elites".
It is very evident that many people who are part of the leftist intellectual elite are fundamentally uncomfortable with the idea of the unwashed masses having a voice in politics.
In an egalitarian country such as Australia, such an attitude doesn't go down well with the punters; hence we see the popularity of iconoclasts such as Pauline Hanson as a reaction to politically correct snobbishness.
The cultural elites also provide a public demonstration of double standards that opens them to derision. So-called "liberation movements", ostensibly dedicated to ending discrimination, can be seen openly promoting discrimination in practice.
With such examples before them, it is little wonder that the majority of intelligent and open-minded people are beginning to show more contempt for the politically indoctrinated intellectuals who wrongly imagine themselves the moral arbiters of public policy.
The interesting question with regard to the elites is whether or not they will ever be able to compromise their egotism sufficiently to engage with the general public, and thus become an effective force. I suspect, and hope, that the answer is "no".
UPDATE: Some particularly noxious examples of academic lefty elitism are copping a right bollocking over at Tim Blair's place.
Yobbo provides a splendid elucidation of the meaning of "elite" in the political sense here:
The defining characteristic of Elitus Australus is the ability to talk about one's fellow Australians in a condescending, father-knows-best fashion, sometimes without realising it. Paul Keating is the best example I can think of.
It's not about level of education, political affiliation or even a position of power. People don't think of Bob Hawke as an "elite", but Paul Keating they do.
It basically means "condescending wanker" and could be applied to people of any persuasion. It's just that the modern left has a lot more condescending wankers around than the right.
To be classified as an elite, you really need to be a condescending wanker on a public stage, doing it on a blog or in your tutorials at Uni doesn't measure up.
James Hamilton also makes a noteworthy contribution in the same discussion thread:
Sometimes we forget that when the term "elite" is used in the pejorative sense the dictionary definition has been left behind. Speaking strictly for myself when I make fun of "elites" I am not disrespecting their education/socio-economic achievements, I am commenting on their attitude.
My theory is that the there are certain educated/economically privileged sections of society that have the ability to, the luxury of, forming and holding political/philosophical that could be loosely called utopian. To many people, not just the great unwashed, this aesthetically based ideals are somewhat resented and/or dismissed as wank.
The three major battlefields of the elites vs the unwashed are as follows in my opinion.
Take the asylum seeker issue for example. Your standard elite position is to be deeply and genuinely offended by detention of asylum seekers. Others see this as simply plain common sense, a matter of border security and cannot see what the fuss is about. The latter catagory is referred to as xenophobic/racist/mean-spirited by the former. This is quite hurtful and it is resented.
The Pauline Hanson issue is another. Leaving aside her policies, I was astounded by the personal abuse sent her way, making in fun of her hair, her previous occupation, her accent and not knowing what xenophobic meant. All this abuse came from sections of society who should know better, or claim they do in any case. I should declare myself as a RWDB here and say it delighted me. Howard was right, Pauline was created by the elites. Gianna's comment re Kath & Kim is interesting here, and I confess to having the same reaction myself. Not sure why I'm laughing, I suspect it is snobbishness.
The republican referendum was the third cultural battlefield. Particularly interesting because the divisions were not on political lines or not entirely. The tone of the pro-republican campaign was repugnant. I was engaged thoroughly by this issue and became quite a keen direct election man. But as an anti-elitist I voted No and the result I consider to be nothing less than one side of society giving the finger to another. As a Neo philistine I would say this result gave me at least as much pleasure as the Keating loss in 96 - I cannot recall being so happy about current events.
Monday, January 17, 2005
ELITE LEFTIST CONTEMPT FOR BLACK ACHIEVEMENT
An angry American black speaks out:
In the minds of elite, white, liberal, socialist Democrats, there is an unambiguous dichotomy between Negroes and black conservatives. A glaring example of this truth is the racist bastardization of America's newest secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice. And the support for this racism from corporate America to Bob Beckel to rank and file Democrats in leadership.
Rice is one of America's most accomplished individuals, notwithstanding women – as is Bush judicial nominee Justice Janice Rogers-Brown; as is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; as is Ambassador and senatorial candidate Alan Keyes; as is Ward Connerly, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Colin Powell and the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson. The aforementioned comprise a very small number of a very large and ever increasing number of conservatives who happen to be black.
It is interesting to observe that these are not the impuissant or recreant. These are either the best or among the best in their respective fields. It is further interesting to note that these listed are not recognized because of financial impropriety, illegitimate children, drugs, philandering, number of abortions, race baiting or complaints of whites holding them back. They are recognized for their hard work, honesty, integrity and diligence. They are recognized for their educational accomplishments, their personal sacrifices and their love for country.
In a day and time of nihilistic, blame whitey, "somebody owes me something and can't get ahead because I'm black" – these are the people elite liberals vilify and viciously ridicule – not based on issues, but based on their being black with conservative ideologies.
In a day when there are over 10 million fewer blacks under the age of 18 because of abortion alone, white racist liberals like Aaron McGruder, Gary Trudeau, Ted Rall, and John "Sly" Sylvester seek to humiliate Rice and Rogers-Brown.
Democrat campaign manager, long-time operative and extreme white, liberal, socialist Bob Beckel invoked a "Saturday Night Live" rendition of Scripture references while debating Ann Coulter regarding the hate-filled racist cartoons of Rice. But he didn't invoke disdain – for the cartoons that is. His disdain was directed at Coulter for daring to argue in support of Rice.
This is not recrudence for elitist liberals and the Democrat Party – it is the continuation of that which they have stood for since their inception in 1840, when they wrote that efforts by abolitionists to interfere with questions of slavery ... endangered the stability and permanency of the Union. In 1852, the Democrat Party wrote they would oppose all efforts to oppose slavery.
From 1876 until 1960, Democrats successfully blocked all progress in civil rights. Prior to that, from 1860 to 1876, Republicans were singularly responsible for all black civil-rights accomplishments despite fierce opposition by Democrats.
Much is made of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision striking down state segregated education. What is never mentioned is that the Supreme Court ruling was a reinstating of what Republicans had done nearly 75 years earlier in their 1875 civil-rights bill, which was overturned by Democrats in 1880.
Liberal Democrats, aided by the true "house slaves," railed against Trent Lott, R-Miss., for his jocund comments celebrating the late Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday. While Thurmond was at one time a segregationist Democrat, it receives little notice that he switched parties in 1964, denounced his prior leanings and was the first Southern senator to hire a black in his senate office – something no Southern Democrat had ever done.
Yet there is nothing mentioned by liberals per Christopher Dodd's, D-Conn., superlatives about the racist Klansman, Robert Byrd, D-W.V. His comments that Byrd "would have been right for the Civil War" were accurate in his Democrat mind.
It was the Republican Party that was formed in 1854 expressly to combat slavery and secure civil rights for blacks. The Democrats were responsible for the Dred Scott decision declaring blacks were not persons – but property – and as such had no rights....
Herein lies the unfortunate truth: Liberal elites will suffer lecherous impotents like Jackson, Sharpton, the NAACP, Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover as long as they sing the right tune. Democrats like Harold McCall, Maynard Jackson and Harold Ford, D-Tenn., are quickly reminded of their proper place.
Erica from "Brenner, Ford, Monroe and Scott" in Chicago saw fit to tell me I was the reason "The black race couldn't get along." Does anyone believe for an instant that such liberal racism would be tolerated if even hinted by conservatives?
Independent thought, belief in meritocracy, self-initiative and self-determination are not words elite liberals are willing to accept from their black subjects. The question isn't why would blacks be conservatives – the question is why would they ever be Democrats?
Sunday, January 16, 2005
JUDGE SCALIA FOLLOWS THE LAW RATHER THAN ELITE OPINION
Although both he and Breyer are Harvard Law School graduates, former law school professors, and members of the most elite lawyers’ club in the nation, Scalia sees himself as the populist in a battle with the elitists: liberal lawyers and judges who find new meanings in the Constitution, for example, discovering a constitutional right to abortion that never existed prior to 1973.
Challenging his American University law school audience, Scalia asked, “Do you think you’re representative of American society? Do you not realize you are a small cream at the top and that your views on innumerable things are not the views of America at large? Doesn’t it seem somewhat arrogant for you to say, ‘I can make up what the moral values of America should be on all sorts of issues, penology, the death penalty, abortion, whatever’?”
Quoting a phrase from a 1958 decision by Chief Justice Earl Warren — “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society” — and noting that “I detest that phrase,” Scalia said some of his colleagues on the court employ “evolving standards of decency” to justify unilaterally imposing changes in death penalty laws, overriding the will of democratically elected state legislatures.
Scalia has called invoking foreign decisions a “dangerous” practice and he stuck to that position Thursday. But Breyer, Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice John Paul Stevens have buttressed their decisions in death penalty and gay rights cases with citations of what foreign, especially European, judges have ruled in similar cases. In the landmark 2003 decision Lawrence vs. Texas, finding a constitutional right to privacy which protects sodomy, Kennedy said the right which the two Texas men claimed “has been accepted as an integral part of human freedom in many other countries.” He cited the European Convention on Human Rights and a 1981 European Court of Human Rights case.
But Scalia told the audience that “if you told the Framers of the Constitution that what we’re after is something that would be just like Europe, they would have been appalled.”
“Do we just use foreign law selectively? When it agrees with what the judges would like the cases to say, we use the foreign law and when it doesn’t, we don’t use it?” Scalia asked.
Scalia said, “When I interpret the American Constitution, I try to understand what it meant, what was understood by the society to mean when it was adopted, and I don’t think it changes since then.”
Foreign law is “irrelevant,” he said, “with one exception: old English law, because phrases like ‘due process’ and ‘the right of confrontation’ and things of that sort were all taken from English law. So the reality is that I use foreign law more than anybody on the court.”
Saturday, January 15, 2005
THE ELITISM JUST BUBBLES UP
A hilarious take on the subject of media bias comes from Hugh Downs, formerly of ABC's "20/20," in an exchange on the CBS scandal with host Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's "Scarborough Country":
Scarborough: Is there a liberal bias in the media or is the bias towards getting the story first and getting the highest ratings, therefore, making the most money?
Downs: Well, I think the latter, by far. And, of course, when the word liberal came to be a pejorative word, you began to wonder, you have to say that the press doesn't want to be thought of as merely liberal.
But people tend to be more liberated in their thought when they are closer to events and know a little more about what the background of what's happening. So, I suppose, in that respect, there is a liberal, if you want to call it a bias. The press is a little more in touch with what's happening.
So you see, it's not that journalists are biased, it's just that they know more than everyone else and thus are "more liberated in their thought"! Don't you feel silly for thinking they were arrogant elitists?
Friday, January 14, 2005
This disillusioned Leftist denies that the modern British Left is an elite but describes them pretty well nonetheless. I think he misses the point that even if their achievements do not always put them into elite positions in the media, government etc., their outlook remains thoroughly elitist and self-preoccupied. He certainly details the self-preoccupation and lack of any real concern for others very well below:
"Last week occured an event which was scarcely reported but which further called into question the notion of a principled liberal-left, let alone one coherent and confident enough to form an elite. Hadi Salih, international officer of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, was tied and blindfolded and tortured by Baathist 'insurgents' loyal to Saddam Hussein before being forced to kneel, strangled by electric cord and shot.
I shouldn't be shocked that there hasn't been a squeak of protest from the anti-war movement at the killing of a brave socialist, but I am. Two years ago I believed that after the war people who opposed it for good reasons would vow to pursue Blair and Bush for what they had done to their graves, but have the intellectual honesty to accept that Saddam's regime was fascist in theory and in practice and the good nature to offer fraternal support the Iraqi socialists, democrats and liberals in their deadly struggle.
More fool me. The Stop the War Coalition, which organised one million people to march through the streets of London, told the kidnappers and torturers from the Baath Party and al-Qaeda that the anti-war movement 'recognises once more the legitimacy of the struggle of Iraqis, by whatever means they find necessary'. Its leading figures purport to be on the left, but have cheered on the far-right and betrayed their comrades by denouncing Iraqi trade unionists as 'Quislings' and 'collaborators'. There have been a few honourable protests: Mick Rix, the former leader of the train drivers union, walked out in disgust saying that the anti-war movement was putting the lives of Iraqi trade unionists at risk. (Its denunciations of better and braver men and women than the British pseudo-leftists could ever be were reported in Arab newspapers which circulate in Iraq.)
Rix was joined by Unison and Labour backbenchers, but that's been about it. Not only the Stop the War Coalition but the bulk of liberal-left opinion in the country and on the planet, is at best indifferent to the fight to stop the return of tyranny and at worse wants to spite the Americans by having the bombers stop elections. If you doubt how widespread this malign impulse has become, ask why it is that the BBC has never covered the story of the totalitarian nature of the leaders of the anti-war movement when it would have had kittens on air if, say, the Countryside Alliance had been a front for the British National Party.
You could write a book on how the left has gone right. Now I come to think of it, I have: Pretty Straight Guys , available in all good shops. The death of socialism, the crimes of the disastrous Bush presidency and the desire for an easy life are all in there. But the fundamental point is that it no longer makes sense to talk of a 'liberal elite' when what it means to be a liberal or on the left is being riven by basic disputes of principle.
Many don't want to acknowledge the breakdown. Times when old certainties fall apart are unsettling. They force people to decide what they believe in: Do you want priests to be able to control 'their' people? Are you for fascism? If you answer 'no' to both questions, you will undoubtedly find when the battle is joined that you will have to spend as much time fighting the left as the right.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
ARROGANCE: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
The Washington Post reports that "Democrats in Washington and the country are organizing for a year of confrontation and resistance, saying they are determined to block Bush's major initiatives and thereby deny him the mandate he has claimed from his reelection victory last November." Don't miss the double dose of hypocrisy here. Democrats, while denying Bush has a mandate after his decisive victory, are, essentially, claiming one themselves, after their decisive loss. And while demanding Bush demonstrate bipartisanship, they are vowing to redouble their commitment to bitter partisanship.
In the Washington Post article, Democrats are quoted as saying they "have little interest in building bridges to the White House" and "they are united in their desire to fight." One Democratic pollster said, "What's been clear and somewhat surprising in the weeks after the election is that Bush got virtually no bounce and no honeymoon from his victory. What seems pretty clear is that there was nothing particularly healing about Bush's victory."
These are not the words of bipartisanship and compromise. Besides, no election is a healing experience for the losing side, and it isn't supposed to be. Democrats keep talking the language of healing and collegiality, but betray themselves when they unilaterally declare the honeymoon to be over before President Bush has even been inaugurated. By definition that can only be their fault, since a presidential honeymoon is the period of collegiality and cooperation historically extended by Congress or the opposition party to a president at the beginning of his term.....
Truthfully, Democrats only talk about mandates and bipartisanship when they lose. To them bipartisanship means Republicans should unilaterally abandon a substantial portion of their agenda. If their roles were reversed, Democrats wouldn't think of doing that.
But while Democrats have the right to press for their agenda and to oppose President Bush's, they will eventually be accountable if they continue to insult Americans and treat them like little children who don't know what's good for them and don't even know how to vote in their own best interests.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
THEY STILL DON'T GET IT
Smarter Leftists are now trying to deny that they are elitists but it's an uphill battle. Note this recent exchange from a few weeks ago on the virulently anti-Bush website The Smirking Chimp:
"Last night on SNL they showed a cartoon about Santa Claus refusing to deliver gifts to the red states and having coffee with fellow liberals Al Franken, Moby, and janeane Garofolo. It makes liberals appear as elitists who have contempt for ordinary americans."
And the first reply to that?
"I don't get it. so what's wrong ?"
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
THE DISGUSTING CONCLUSIONS OF A MAN WHO THINKS HE KNOWS IT ALL
Leftist, of course
"While I have never considered myself a Peter Singer fan, I now consider myself a not-fan." When did I become a Peter Singer not-fan? Or, rather, when should anyone? On any of the following occassions.
When you discover he is a determined defender of abortion and infanticide at the whim of the mother.
When you read him insist that, if faced with a choice, you should save the drowning chimp rather than the drowning infant.
When you read him insist upon vegetarianism and utterly leveling and economy destroying wealth transfers from rich to poor, globally.
When you read him expressing the most complete moral skepticism, the fashionable doctrine of an "invented" morality, and then using the language of morals to urge personal whims (remember that on his own view they cannot be moral convictions), knowing and because his doing so will deceive most readers.
[My respect for moral skeptics will skyrocket to the level I normally afford total strangers when, having "discovered" morality is folderol, they stop using the language of morals to bedazzle fools who don't get it, much as particularly wicked atheists might use God to cow the unwashed into acceptable behavior - perhaps after giving us all lessons in the "emotive meaning" of theological discourse. There must be some who are too honest for "revisionism." But I don't know any. Or of any.]
When you read any of his coarse and stupid and low propaganda efforts (he has written whole books like this), undertaken in the spirit of the very bright and mannerly George Bush pere looking for boob votes with his "Read my lips. No new taxes," and his absurdities about atheists and citizenship, Americanism, or voting, or whatever low drivel it was.
Mr. Thurley expresses some displeasure at the blank Professor Singer so clearly draws when required to understand or sympathize with the intellectual bases and legitimacy of a commitment to the RC Church by a number of very high-profile and famously bright contemporary philosophers (Nick Rescher is still at Pitt). No doubt the Professor would have at least as much trouble with a star philosopher's commitment to orthodox, or even conservative, Judaism, but that is also something we have seen in living memory.
As for me, while I am always curious about the religious commitments of people whose minds I respect (I begin by being pleasantly surprised that they have any), I confess that the baffled and incredulous displeasure of a Singer confronted with religious faith is my very own reaction when confronted with any version of naturalism.
Especially, I must say, in connection with discussions of the mind-body problem, or of various key issues in ontology related intimately to epistemology. It always astonishes me when otherwise sensible and obviously bright folks look me straight in the face and insist there are no appearances, and there are not even any minds for things to appear to; there are no beliefs or desires, there are certainly no propositions, nor are there numbers, sets, or possible worlds. And so on, actually, through a sometimes (to me) shockingly long and often surprising list of things that aren't, according to them.
Follow PT's link to the World Magazine article on the "Blue State Philosopher" from Australia.
Nice quote, this. If the 21st century becomes a Singer century, we will also see legal infanticide of born children who are ill or who have ill older siblings in need of their body parts. Question: What about parents conceiving and giving birth to a child specifically to kill him, take his organs, and transplant them into their ill older children? Mr. Singer: "It's difficult to warm to parents who can take such a detached view, [but] they're not doing something really wrong in itself." Is there anything wrong with a society in which children are bred for spare parts on a massive scale? "No."
While we slide down slippery slopes, people like this are jumping off cliffs.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Michael Howard's 'forgotten majority'
British Tories see the problem of Leftist elitism but are too craven to offer alternatives to it -- like cracking down on illegal immigration and returning the police to fighting real crime instead of thought-crime
British Conservative leader Michael Howard yesterday launched the Tories' election manifesto with a promise to pursue the values of the 'forgotten majority'. Who they? 'Forgotten, neglected and taken for granted by this government. Is that how you feel at the start of 2005?' he asked. 'You're probably not part of the so-called liberal elite. You won't run our media or pressure groups. You're not a trade union boss, or the head of a quango', he added, namechecking a variety of public hate figures.
He has a point: most people feel alienated from government these days, even natural New Labour supporters. For example, when asked about their opposition to the Iraq war, many turned the question into one of whether they trust Tony Blair, rather than whether the war was right or wrong. Many feel a sense of exclusion from the operation of government - which increasingly consists of a set of personal cliques and networks, acting with diminishing reference to democratic institutions.
However, there is a limit to how much Howard, as the head of the erstwhile 'natural party of government', can succeed in playing along with today's anti-political mood. For starters, he is very much a part of the 'political establishment'; but worse, he has no alternative to New Labour. His 'forgotten majority' are hard-working, homeowning, pension-saving sort of people who don't want so many immigrants, favour law and order, and want a strong economy - just the kind of people New Labour spends all its time appealing to. The 'forgotten majority' are more of a stereotype than a reality, but they're far from forgotten.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
ELITISTS USE ABUSE IN LIEU OF ARGUMENT
In the two months since the election, liberals, who are unable to develop intellectual arguments to conservative ideas, are doing what liberals normally do when conservatives win an argument - they engage in ad hominems. In less than thirty days, they have developed several methods to slander the so-called Red States and illustrate that Red Staters are not bastions of morality and self-reliance. One ad hominem – most closely associated with Democratic Party operative and consultant Lawrence O’Donnell – is that Red States are “client–welfare” states of the federal government. He claimed that Red States receive more taxes than they pay. The implication of this post hoc fallacy is that Red Staters are not the self-reliant people they say they are.
Another is to mention that Red States have higher divorce rates than Blue States. This specious claim was first made before the election by William V. D'Antonio, a visiting research professor at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He wrote an article for the Boston Globe in which he revealed this epiphany. His conclusion was, “ Family values are much more likely to be found in the states mistakenly called out-of-the-mainstream liberal. By their behavior you can know them as the true conservatives. They are showing how to conserve family life through the way they live their family values. purpose is to prove that Red States are hypocritical when it comes to morality and marriage." How this data proves this is not quite clear. It is merely another post hoc argument.
Sophistry is a staple to liberals. All that matters to liberals are good ad hominems. Americans were recently treated to the spectacle of Tim Russert telling Jerry Falwell, on a recent Meet the Press, that Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation while states like Texas have higher divorce rates. Across the nation the mainstream liberal media, which did so much to try to elect Kerry, proclaim that Red States are hypocritical. We have that bastion of journalistic integrity and impartiality, the New York Times news service, writing articles that state, “If blue states care less about moral values, why are divorce rates so low in the bluest of the blue states?”
Russert, not content with just one pharisaical argument, displayed a Newsweek magazine referencing that the risqué soap-opera "Desperate Housewives" is very popular in the Red States. Once again, the implication being that somehow all these moral Red Staters are not so moral. Russert also mentioned that Marc Cherry, the creator of the hit television series "Desperate Housewives," is "a somewhat conservative, gay Republican."
None of these facts - if true, and one does have to wonder about mainstream media veracity - prove conservative Red State immorality or hypocrisy. However, they are not intended to prove anything. They are merely intended to slander Red Staters.
Another tactic of liberal Democrats is to change the “moral values” paradigm. I first heard this proffered by Chris Matthews during his show. He said war is part of the culture of death; the Iraq war is inconsistent with being against the culture of death; ergo republicans and conservatives do not represent moral values. A variation of this was also made during the aforementioned Meet the Press. Guest Jim Wallis, editor of the liberal Sojourner magazine, repeated the canard that the Bible says more about the poor than it does marriage or abortion and President Bush and the Republicans are not concerned about the poor. Forgetting how sanctimonious this is - the fact is it is not true. Whether the good Reverend was lying or ignorant I do not know. However, he was not telling the truth.
Democrats and liberals believe the Red State/Blue State dichotomy of “moral values” was the reason Bush was elected. They are trying to rationalize their ineffectual election campaign. They would rather believe it was the ignorance and hypocrisy of Bible thumping, ignorant rednecks – not their lack of new or good ideas. As liberals are wont to do, rather than develop some original and innovative ideas to solve problems and perhaps gain voters, they instead proceed to think of ways to show that Red States are immoral and therefore hypocritical.
Was it not Harold MacMillan who said, “As usual the Liberals offer a mixture of sound and original ideas. Unfortunately, none of the sound ideas is original and none of the original ideas is sound.”
From Mike Tremoglie
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Review of the book The Uncivil War: How a New Elite is Destroying Our Democracy by David Lebedoff
How a self-anointed "New Elite" is destroying majority rule in America
They believe they are smarter than everyone else. They despise traditional values as "unscientific." They oppose majority rule because they feel they know what's best -- so they're busily replacing majority rule with themselves.
They are the New Elite -- and in The Uncivil War: How a New Elite is Destroying Our Democracy, David Lebedoff unmasks the impact of this new class not only on our politics, but on our culture and our lives. "Much of our democracy has already been dismantled by the new class," says Lebedoff. "More and more, decisions are made by courts and bureaucrats rather than at the polls. This is a war between experts and voters, between theories and experience."
Praise for Lebedoff's timely work has been extravagant: "Lebedoff addresses here an issue as timely as the front page of your daily newspaper and as ancient as Aristotle: 'Who makes the laws?' Aristotle observes that a polity can have government by the one, the few, or the many, and that the conflict over which is to prevail creates permanent instability. In 1787, the American founders tried to solve the problem of perpetual instability through their theory of mixed government, but, finally, they made 'We the People' the first three words of the Constitution, the basis for the laws. Their founding principle is now under assault by an effort to establish 'government by the few.' Lebedoff offers here a profound analysis of how this has come to pass."
An extended review of the book can be found here
There is an audio link to listen to David Lebedoff here
Friday, January 07, 2005
NEW ENGLAND = ELITISM AND "KNOW IT ALL" REFORMISM
In the beginning -- with the Pilgrim Fathers -- they thought that Communism was a great idea. Only bitter experience taught them otherwise. They still have a similar mindset
Is the Democratic Party becoming the New England party? In 2004, the candidates who dominated the Democratic presidential primaries, beginning with the one in New Hampshire, were Howard Dean of Vermont and John Kerry of Massachusetts. In 2004, as in 1988, the Democrats nominated a liberal Massachusetts politician to run against a conservative member of the Bush family from Texas. And each time, the Texan won a majority of the popular vote as well as the electoral vote. This time, the senator from Massachusetts lost in part because the decision by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court to legalize gay marriage galvanized socially conservative voters across the nation, who turned out to pass 11 state referenda against gay marriage....
If you look at a linguistic atlas of the United States, you’ll notice something striking. The “Upper North” dialect zone identified by students of American speech patterns is almost identical to the blue-state zone on the Electoral College map: New England, the Great Lakes states, and the Pacific Northwest. This is “Greater New England” -- the regions settled by New Englanders and their descendants from the 17th to the 19th centuries.....
The constellation of values that has defined Greater New England political culture for centuries includes reformism, intellectual elitism, and anti-militarism..... New England and its demographic colonies in the Midwest and on the West Coast have been the seedbeds for most of the reform movements of American history. The pessimistic Calvinism of the original Puritans was transmuted, by the 19th century, into optimistic “postmillennialism,” a version of Protestantism that held that human beings, by their own efforts, could produce the millennium of peace and harmony on earth that would precede the end of the world.....
In The Frontier in American History, Frederick Jackson Turner described how New Englanders brought their enthusiasm for reform with them when they migrated to other regions: “If we follow back the line of march of the Puritan farmer,” Turner wrote, “we shall see how responsive he has always been to isms … . He is the Prohibitionist of Iowa and Wisconsin, crying out against German customs as an invasion of his traditional ideals. He is the Granger of Wisconsin, passing restrictive railroad legislation. He is the Abolitionist, the Anti-mason, the Millerite, the Woman Suffragist, the Spiritualist, the Mormon, of Western New York.”
Today’s liberal crusades against fast food and tobacco echo the temperance crusade that animated generations of Greater New England idealists. Some of the isms dear to Greater New Englanders have been indispensable -- abolitionism, the civil-rights movement, and the campaigns for women’s rights and gay rights. But Yankee crusaders have thrown themselves with equal zeal into campaigns for prohibition, nativism, and eugenics. From the 1840s to the 1920s, Greater New England was the heartland of anti-Catholic nativism. And Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood, explained that she and her allies “sought first to stop the multiplication of the unfit. This appeared the most important and greatest step toward race betterment.” ......
Another legacy of Puritan political culture is intellectual elitism. The historian David Hackett Fischer describes the New England puritan ideal as “ordered freedom,” which contrasts with the “hegemonic freedom” of the aristocratic Deep South and the “natural freedom” of the Scots-Irish of the southern upcountry. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded as a theocracy run by learned clerics. Surviving the secularization of Greater New England, the idea of government by an educated, public-spirited elite endures.
It is this ideal that explains the attraction of generations of Greater New England reformers to “good government” campaigns. The state constitutions of New England and its offshoots allow for far fewer elected officials and far more appointed officials than the populist constitutions of the South and West. Greater New England progressives championed replacing the political-spoils system of patronage appointments with a merit-based civil service predicated on entrance exams. In the 1900s, progressives in the Yankee tradition from New England to California sought to minimize the power of legislatures by creating strong governors or city managers. They hoped that the device of initiative and referendum would permit corrupt legislatures to be bypassed in lawmaking.
The dark side of Greater New England elitism was displayed by the enthusiasm of progressives for the disfranchisement of immigrants in the North and blacks and poor whites in the South. Most of the arcane rules that make voting difficult in the United States date from the Progressive Era, when progressives and conservatives teamed up to discourage the less educated and less affluent from going to the polls. The rate of popular participation in elections plummeted in the Progressive Era and has never recovered.
As Greater New Englanders increasingly dominated the Democratic Party after the 1960s, liberalism began to reflect this preference for meritocratic elitism over the messiness of democracy. Whether they were campaigning to equalize school funding or to promote gay rights, liberal activists often preferred to engage in litigation to persuade federal and state judges to enact the reforms they sought, rather than engage in the frustrating and arduous process of converting first voters and then legislatures to their views and values. The enlightened, nonpartisan federal administrator (the ideal of early-20th-century progressives) was replaced by the enlightened, nonpartisan federal judge (the ideal of late-20th-century liberals).....
In every foreign war in American history, from the War of 1812 to the Iraq War, opposition has been concentrated in the states of Greater New England. The refusal of one of the most famous citizens of Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau, to pay federal taxes because he opposed the Mexican War landed him in jail and inspired him to write On Civil Disobedience. The most consistent opponents of U.S. intervention in World War I and World War II were isolationists from states like Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Oregon. Contrary to popular mythology, many of the isolationists were progressives. Today’s blue states correspond pretty closely to the historic American anti-interventionist belt.....
From John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams to Michael Dukakis and John Kerry, Massachusetts politicians associated with the Greater New England traditions of reformism, intellectual elitism, and anti-militarism have been defeated by rivals who embody the southern synthesis of social conservatism, populism, and martial patriotism.
Consider the 2004 election. Reformism? True to the state tradition of being in the vanguard of reform, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts, thereby contributing to the defeat of the Massachusetts presidential candidate, notwithstanding his declared opposition to gay marriage.
George W. Bush, the Yale-educated son of a president and grandson of a Connecticut senator, is more of an aristocrat than John Kerry. But like the Roosevelts and Kennedy, and unlike his own father, Bush has the common touch. In 2004, Democrats did not. The anti-militarism of the New England tradition haunted the 2004 election as well....
Today, outside of big cities with large black and immigrant populations, the Democratic Party is slowly being confined to Greater New England.....
Thursday, January 06, 2005
EVEN A BUSH-HATING PHILOSOPHER IS TROUBLED BY THE ELITISM OF HIS COLLEAGUES
"What distinguishes me from Horowitz -- besides the obvious things, like our actual views -- is that I would like to save liberalism from what I believe is a genuine threat to it. This threat is the snobbish disdain cultivated by academics (especially in the humanities) for many of the core commitments of ordinary Americans. The disdain tends to make liberalism (and even 'progressivism') a fundamentally reactive stance, a matter more of the expressive significance of in-group attitudes than of effective political action. It makes liberalism as much a status marker as a political ideology and gives the marker a content that tends to eviscerate liberal ideals.
But don't take my word for it. Having thus reframed the question, I could let one of Robert Coles' interlocutors answer, just as he lets her speak for him on a related question. He describes her as a nurse working in a North Carolina hospital emergency ward, whose husband is a truck driver.
I went to vote and I wasn't sure I'd end up deciding--that's unusual for me; usually I know in advance. I wanted to vote for the Democratic side, but it was hard for me to go along with it. Kerry, he's stiff, and he puts you off (me anyway). I don't like some of the things his wife said--I couldn't imagine her being our nation's First Lady without a shudder. Edwards--he's a ham-lawyer, feeding off the trouble people get themselves into.
The Democrat Party is different than it used to be; it's become highfalutin, my daddy says. (Truman was his favorite President--"no airs about him.") President Bush, you could sit in a regular place and have a beer with him, and like the time spent--you'd like him and like his wife a whole lot. (You talk about having a drink--with the Kerrys, they'd be ordering some fancy stuff I've never heard of, in some ritzy place.) The Bush family, they're high up, but they're our kind of people. The Democrats, they're "cross-towners"--I just don't get them, what they believe and want, other than to win.
Sure, Bush and Cheney want to win, too; but somehow you get more connected to them, what they believe, who they really are (what they'd go to bat for, win or lose, heart, mind and soul). I guess that was my opinion--all these thoughts running across my head, until I stopped them and did my voting!
In letting her answer for him, Coles implies that her reasoning here is not simply bad. I agree. And I wish we could agree. This woman is not merely confused about her interests or voting from prejudice. There is something accurate and even admirable in her attitude. I wish we liberals could bring ourselves to raise the question what.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
ELITIST FURY AT OTHER PEOPLE'S SUCCESS
Do the mainstream media hate having to share their elite position with successful bloggers! Below is the frustrated rage of an old Leftist hack commenting on "the blog of the year" (Powerline). It's just solid venom and nothing else
"These guys pretend to be family watchdogs but they are Rottweilers in sheep's clothing. They attack the Mainstream Media for not being fair while pursuing a right-wing agenda cooked up in conservative think tanks funded by millionaire power brokers.
They should call themselves "Powertool." They don't speak truth to power. They just speak for power.
The lads behind Powerline are a bank vice president named Scott Johnson and a lawyer named John Hinderaker. If you read Powerline, you know them better by their fantasy names, Big Trunk (that's Johnson) and Hind Rocket (Hinderaker). I will leave it to the appropriate professionals to determine what they are compensating for, but they have received enormous attention from the despised Mainstream Media and deserve more.
I wish I didn't have to do it, because I already get ripped a lot on the site, which thankfully also has had some nice photos of bikini-clad candidates for Miss Universe to keep me company. But I accept Powerline's contempt; I am only a Mainstream Media man, while Big Trunk and Hind Rocket are way cool. They blog.
I work for a dopey old newspaper committed to covering the news fairly while Powerline doesn't make boring commitments. They are not Mainstream Media. They are Extreme Media. Call them reliable partisan hacks.
That's what they call me: A reliable partisan hack, even though they sometimes like columns I write about dumb things Democrats do. I have criticized many dumb Democrats, but Democrats don't matter these days. All the power is in the hands of Republicans, and Powerline's job is to make life easier for them. Mine isn't."
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
LEFTIST ELITE ARE TIGHTWADS
It's all that "compassion"
As the death toll rises above 125,000 with countless injured, widowed and orphaned there has been a rush of aid and supplies to millions of the tsunami’s victims. Assistance came from a variety of “unlikely” sources, such as President Bush and large corporations, much to the chagrin of the liberal media and Hollywood elite. The network news bureaus and largely liberal entertainment industry have remained eerily silent regarding this devastating global crisis. Indeed, at this time of year most of the entertainers go on winter holiday to the slopes or sunny beaches. To date, they have ignored the crisis rather than help the relief efforts and lend their support for donations.
The vile and rotund Michael Moore is filming his docudrama “Sicko” on the so-called “evil” pharmaceutical industry. Moore will certainly omit the timely and generous contributions made by this altruistic industry sector. As of December 31, 2004 the following pharmaceutical giants have donated and/or pledged for the Southeast Asia tsunami disaster relief effort:
· Pfizer Inc. $10 million cash and $25 million in drugs to relief agencies
· Merck & Co. $3 million in cash · Both Abbott Laboratories and Johnson and Johnson have pledged $2 million in cash. Johnson and Johnson is also supplying needed medical supplies and drugs.
· Bristol Myers Squibb $1 million in cash and $4 Million in much needed anti-biotics.
· Roche Group and GlaxoSmithKline Plc will announce shortly their own disaster relief contributions.
Another past target of Moore’s vitriol is General Motors. GM just pledged over $2 million in cash, agreed to match employee donations and will provide vehicles to transport medical supplies and food to the stricken region.
The voices of the entertainment elite were energized against President Bush during the recent election campaign, but they have yet to respond this international emergency. Our “heartless” President raised the U.S. relief pledge ten fold in less than a week to a staggering $350 million. How long would it take to organize a Tsunami-Aid concert via Pay-Per-View to collect donations? By the time Bruce Springstein, Bono and the others return to the microphones, thousands more will die from starvation and disease. Activist actors such as Ben Affleck, Susan Sarandon, Al Franken, P. Diddy, and Barbra Streisand have not been heard from. Oh, and where is George Soros and his billions when you need him? Too busy distributing rolling paper and needles for addicts?
I note that Sandra Bullock has just donated big. There are exceptions to every rule. Maybe she is a closet conservative!
Monday, January 03, 2005
Why is the social elite liberal?
An answer from It's the Right way:
This election year has forced me to think of why many members of the "Social elite" like Dan Rather, Barbara Streisand, Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin are ultra liberal. It took me a while but I finally came up with a plausible answer. So why would the extremely wealthy "social elite" be so liberal?
1) They Live a Utopian Lifestyle - One of the reasons that the "Social elite" are extremely liberal is that they live a life that most of us can't even imagine or relate to. They have so much money, they don't even know what to to do with it and they can do just about anything. I think that they feel guilty that they have such wealth (they really don't have to) , that they feel that they need to prove to society that they care or have a social conscience. That's why they join groups like PETA. They think society will think highly of them. This is not true. I think that most of us pity these little people. We know that they don't really care and that they do most of their grand-standing for public attention.
2) They Won't be harmed by the high cost of liberal/social policy - Yes that's right! The "social elite" wouldn't be harmed by the high cost of liberal policies or programs. If social welfare programs like comprehensive health care or expanded unemployment benefits were to be enacted, the "social elite" wouldn't be harmed by paying higher taxes, like the rest of us would. Many of these elites make tens of millions of dollars a year. If high taxes like Canada were put in place to pay for the high cost of social programs, these elites would still be extremely wealthy.
The "Social elite" can feel self righteous rightous that they have a social conscience because they support liberal policies but they wouldn't be harmed by the high cost of paying for those programs. The rest of us (middle class) would be left behind to feel the pinch of the added burden of dipping into our pocket books.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
The advent of a new year is an appropriate time for resolutions, and here is one some critics of the war in Iraq should memorize, unless of course they think it is their duty instead of simply their right to be loutish and ignorant. "I promise to quit insisting that the war in Iraq was about securing oil for greedy Americans and that the prime culprits include owners of SUVs," they will repeat over and over again but only after having acquainted themselves with some facts and analyses they have so far studiously avoided. It was a laziness brought on by a sense of intellectual and moral superiority that led to their misapprehensions in the first place. We don't want more of that.
Among the points they should consider is that the United States was obtaining oil from Saddam Hussein before the war and could have made even better deals without an invasion that put the underground reserves at high risk of sabotage. It should then be brought to their pseudo-sophisticated attention that Iraq produces just 3 percent of the world's oil, despite having enormous amounts available, and that increasing that percentage substantially in a short period of time was never in the cards.
They should learn from people like Daniel Yergin, an expert on the issue who won a Pulitzer Prize for a book on oil. He pointed out to me in an interview before the war that most of America's imported oil comes from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Canada and Mexico, and that Russia will likely be a primary supplier a decade down the road. Not Iraq; that's just nonsense.
While I believe the war in Iraq was justified, I also think there were sound arguments against it, such as the prescient warning that the United States would encounter unending and violent opposition after an initial military victory. But those people seeking out ulterior political and economic motives are no more profound in their understanding than any other fringe group of conspiracy theorists and for some reason refuse to grapple with this truth:
Saddam was reckless, genocidal, had used weapons of mass destruction in the past, was kissy-face with terrorists, was a warmonger, was bribing his way out of sanctions and would remain a threat to this country, peace and Middle East stability as long as he was in power.
Now, on to this silly business about SUVs. Those who berate their owners as insensitive beasts should read up on what happened after Congress voted in 1975 to establish the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard requiring that automobiles get more miles to the gallon of gasoline. Detroit achieved the objective with smaller cars - and guess what? The fuel consumption per capita has not gone down.
Why not? There are a number of reasons, but search diligently enough, and you will find that one of them is that, when people drive small cars that use less gas for trips hither and yon than their bigger cars did, they drive more. While the small cars are more fuel-efficient, they may still consume as much gas as the eight-cylinder, roomy, high-seated sports utility vehicles per year because the SUV owners face a stern driving inhibition: high fuel costs per mile.
Although it is far from clear that the CAFE standards saved any gasoline, something else is clear. They killed people. The simple, scientifically demonstrable certitude is that the smaller the car, the more dangerous it is, other matters such as seat-belt use being equal. Because CAFE pushed more people into driving smaller cars, it was likely responsible for somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 additional highway deaths per year, according to scholars at Brookings and Harvard and a study by the National Academy of Sciences. If you are looking for right-wing crackpots, the people who came to this conclusion are hardly the usual suspects. These deaths by legislative mandate constitute a national scandal of the first magnitude but one that has not received as much media examination as you might expect. An exception was a 1999 USA Today front-page story that said that, up to then, the CAFE-promoted, small-car deaths had likely reached a total of 46,000.
Those anti-SUV, oil-was-the-cause war critics should factor that number into their ethical calculations, it seems to me. They should consider that the small-car owners are putting themselves and passengers at more risk of death than those driving larger vehicles. They should consider a great deal more as well, but let's not expect too much of them. If they had the humility to subject their prejudices to fact-finding that is both thoroughgoing and rigorous, we would not have to propose that they resolve in 2005 to start making sense.
Saturday, January 01, 2005
THE ELITISM BEHIND THE HATE
The following email from a reader shows the relationship between Leftist arrogance and Leftist hate. Any questioning of their self-assumed authority can only be attacked, not reasoned with or accepted as a legitimate alternative viewpoint. So sign of any humility at all
"I met a leftist at a dinner party the other day who began spouting a bunch of anti-Bush conspiracies, with a lot of focus on Cheney (no idea why they hate him so much.) I of course made the mistake of saying that I actually liked Cheney and was glad of him.
Anyhow, she insisted that the whole war was "about oil" and "stealing the oil." And I acted rather fascinated and said, "Really? What evidence to you have to support such a charge? Seems that this would be big news and the basis for legal action."
She REALLY got upset. "YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY BELIEVE WHAT YOU'RE SAYING!"
And then I continued, "I know all sorts of people in the military, some of a fair degree of importance.. not one of them that I know of agrees with your analysis."
"Well of course they are going to spout the party line! And the rest of course only get one perspective on things!"
"Don't you think that's kind of an arrogant thing to say?"
That really UNGLUED her. I was even called an asshole!"
A 2004 CATALOG OF HATE SPEECH FROM THE LEFT
By Jeff Jacoby
As it does every year, the empty folder I labeled "Liberal Hate Speech" in January had grown to a thick sheaf of clippings by December. 2004 wasn't even a week old when two videos explicitly comparing George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler appeared on the website of the liberal group MoveOn. They were entries in a contest soliciting "really creative ads" that would help voters "understand the truth about George Bush."
And so began another year in which liberals engaged in, and mostly got away with, grotesque slanders and slurs about conservatives -- the kind of poisonous rhetoric that should be unheard-of in a decent society. Once again, too many on the left -- not crackpots from the fringe, but mainstream players and pundits -- chose to demonize conservatives as monsters rather than debate their ideas on the merits.
As in years past, Republicans were almost routinely associated with Nazi Germany. Former Vice President Al Gore referred to GOP activists as "brown shirts." Newsday columnist Hugh Pearson likened the Republican National Convention to the "Nazi rallies held in Germany during the reign of Adolf Hitler." Linda Ronstadt said that the Republican victory on Election Day meant "we've got a new bunch of Hitlers." Chuck Turner, a Boston city councilor, smeared National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice as "a tool of white leaders," akin to "a Jewish person working for Hitler."
Even a federal judge, Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, couldn't resist a Third Reich comparison. Bush became president because of an "illegitimate" Supreme Court ruling, he told the American Constitution Society. "That is what happened when Hindenburg put Hitler in." (Calabresi later apologized.)
Such Nazi labeling is no less disgusting when it comes from Republicans. According to Bob Woodward, Secretary of State Colin Powell described Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith as running a separate government out of his "Gestapo office." Commentator Ralph Peters, writing in the New York Post, accused Democrat Howard Dean of using the tactics of Hitler and Goebbels to silence his competitors. Too many conservatives and libertarians refer to antismoking extremists as "tobacco Nazis," or to the humorless critics of fast food as "food Nazis." Whether it comes from the right or the left, language like that is vile.
Overwhelmingly, though, political hate speech today comes from the left. It has increasingly become a habit of leftist argumentation to simply dismiss conservative ideas as evil or noxious rather than rebut them with facts and evidence.
That is why there was no uproar when Cameron Diaz declared that rape might be legalized if women didn't turn out to vote for John Kerry. Or when Walter Cronkite told Larry King that the videotape of Osama bin Laden that surfaced just before the election was "probably set up" by Karl Rove. Or when Alfred A. Knopf published Nicholson Baker's "Checkpoint," a novel in which two Bush-haters talk about assassinating the president. "I'm going to kill that bastard," one character rages.
Bill Moyers warned a television audience on election day that if Kerry won narrowly, "I think there'd be an effort to mount a coup, quite frankly. . . . The right wing is not going to accept it." Chevy Chase, hosting a People for the American Way awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, slammed Bush as a "dumb [f-word]" and "an uneducated, real, lying schmuck." A cartoon by the widely syndicated Ted Rall described Pat Tillman, the NFL athlete who gave up his career to enlist in the Army and was killed in Afghanistan, as a "sap" and an "idiot."
So many examples, so little space. A political flier in Tennessee, depicting Bush as a mentally disabled sprinter, bore the message: "Voting for Bush is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded."
The St. Petersburg, Fla., Democratic Club took out an ad calling for the death of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "Then there's Rumsfeld who said of Iraq, 'We have our good days and our bad days,' " the ad read. "We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say, 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger."...