Tuesday, September 09, 2008

They Love Mankind - It's People They Can't Stand

One of Susan's family dropped in the other day - lovely person, but marinaded in the sort of default leftish worldview that's so easy to maintain when you live in the seething multicultural hotbed of the Yorkshire Dales.

"I can't believe that the Republicans could select a small-town hick like that as candidate for vice-President !"
I try to avoid politics with Susan's family, but I rose to it and pointed out with some force that not so very long ago, the Left used to have something of a bias in favour of ordinary people. What happened to it ?

Via Harry's Place via David Duff, this from Clive Crook at the FT :

Democrats speak up for the less prosperous; they have well-intentioned policies to help them; they are disturbed by inequality, and want to do something about it. Their concern is real and admirable. The trouble is, they lack respect for the objects of their solicitude. Their sympathy comes mixed with disdain, and even contempt.

Democrats regard their policies as self-evidently in the interests of the US working and middle classes. Yet those wide segments of US society keep helping to elect Republican presidents. How is one to account for this? Are those people idiots? Frankly, yes – or so many liberals are driven to conclude. Either that or bigots, clinging to guns, God and white supremacy; or else pathetic dupes, ever at the disposal of Republican strategists. If they only had the brains to vote in their interests, Democrats think, the party would never be out of power. But again and again, the Republicans tell their lies, and those stupid damned voters buy it.

It is an attitude that a good part of the US media share. The country has conservative media (Fox News, talk radio) as well as liberal media (most of the rest). Curiously, whereas the conservative media know they are conservative, much of the liberal media believe themselves to be neutral.

Their constant support for Democratic views has nothing to do with bias, in their minds, but reflects the fact that Democrats just happen to be right about everything. The result is the same: for much of the media, the fact that Republicans keep winning can only be due to the backwardness of much of the country.

Because it was so unexpected, Sarah Palin’s nomination for the vice-presidency jolted these attitudes to the surface. Ms Palin is a small-town American. It is said that she has only recently acquired a passport. Her husband is a fisherman and production worker. She represents a great slice of the country that the Democrats say they care about – yet her selection induced an apoplectic fit.

For days, the derision poured down from Democratic party talking heads and much of the media too. The idea that “this woman” might be vice-president or even president was literally incomprehensible. The popular liberal comedian Bill Maher, whose act is an endless sneer at the Republican party, noted that John McCain’s case for the presidency was that only he was capable of standing between the US and its enemies, but that should he die he had chosen “this stewardess” to take over. This joke was not – or not only – a complaint about lack of experience. It was also an expression of class disgust. I give Mr Maher credit for daring to say what many Democrats would only insinuate.

It's an old theme (excellent linked piece despite the left perspective) - that metropolitan liberal Democrats are increasingly unable to connect with blue-collar America - but the good news for the Republicans is that, even with the economy heading South and the population of Mexico heading North (something John McCain is quite easy about), with GW Bush so unpopular that the Republicans are effectively campaigning without him - even with all these things, Democrats are unable to conceal their distaste for the US electorate on whose votes they depend. As Crook says :
The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him. The prevailing liberal mindset is what makes the criticisms of Mr Obama’s distance from working Americans stick.

If only the Democrats could contain their sense of entitlement to govern in a rational world, and their consequent distaste for wide swathes of the US electorate, they might gain the unshakeable grip on power they feel they deserve. Winning elections would certainly be easier – and Republicans would have to address themselves more seriously to economic insecurity. But the fathomless cultural complacency of the metropolitan liberal rules this out.

The attitude that expressed itself in response to the Palin nomination is the best weapon in the Republican armoury. Rely on the Democrats to keep it primed. You just have to laugh.

The Palin nomination could still misfire for Mr McCain, but the liberal reaction has made it a huge success so far. To avoid endlessly repeating this mistake, Democrats need to learn some respect.

It will be hard. They will have to develop some regard for the values that the middle of the country expresses when it votes Republican. Religion. Unembarrassed flag-waving patriotism. Freedom to succeed or fail through one’s own efforts. Refusal to be pitied, bossed around or talked down to. And all those other laughable redneck notions that made the United States what it is.

I don't think they can do it. I honestly don't (I don't think Nick Cohen does either - another great piece). When Bush won in 2004 there was an explosion of 'how could they be so stupid' stories in the liberal media on both sides of the Atlantic, but at least they could blame Osama bin Laden for playing General Galtieri to Bush's Thatcher. If McCain wins expect the gnashing of teeth to be heard around the globe.


Anonymous said...

If you think the liberal elite's sneering is bad, check out what the radical feminists have to say about her!

Thud said...

Throw in the race card after the democratic defeat this time round and we are in for all sorts of fun.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin's arrival on the stage is instructive in the horror it elicits from the left. Ive certainly enjoyed the spectacle!

My stepdad was ranting on about how she is merely a tool of the Republican machine (that ruthless mob who cant even swat the lightweight Obama) and also that as fundamentalist Christian she would initiate (if president) nuclear war. Well either she is a tool of the system or she is a rogue warmonger, it cant be both really. I didnt get a clear answer to this question.

Much as I like Sarah, its not her who is the presidential candidate. Its the nation destroying Insane McAmnesty, he seems desperate to invite millions from the 3rd world into the US. Result = no more US. If I were American there is no way I could vote for that loon, even though there is the possibilty that Sarah P. might take over if he drops dead.

Anonymous said...

Nice to have you back. I have a quote and an anecdote for you.

"To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom."

Deitrich Bonhoffer.

To give you an example of blind intellectualism that causes so many to distrust the likes of Obama and the Dems:

I was in the park with my son the other day. A nose ringed American woman was there with her two children. "How dreadful the Republicans are!" She moaned. "They deprive people of their human rights! Did you know kids in America are dying because of tooth abscesses?"

It transpires that this woman was a practising homosexual, raising her children (in a fashion) with her girlfriend.

The point that the first basic human right is the right to a mother and father, the right not to be brought up in a psychologically perverse environment, a right she was depriving her children, had escaped them.

The left seem blind, wilfully or otherwise, to simple truths.

Mr Grumpy said...

I've read acres of commentary on SP, but only discovered today that her husband's an Eskimo. Doesn't that show you the kind of fascist bigot she is?

Laban said...

Eskimo ? Call the language police !

Anonymous said...

Mr Sarah supposedly has some distant Eskimo ancestor. Lots of Americans like to claim some native ancestry.

Anonymous said...

"They will have to develop some regard for the values that the middle of the country expresses when it votes Republican. Religion. Unembarrassed flag-waving patriotism. Freedom to succeed or fail through one’s own efforts. Refusal to be pitied, bossed around or talked down to. And all those other laughable redneck notions that made the United States what it is."

A superb paragraph. Liberals will never come to terms with any of that, because it is completely incomprehensible to them. It is the exact opposite world-view of their own, a sort of cultural anti-matter.

So instead they will continue to despise ordinary people while claiming the right to rule them in their own interests, and they will continue to lose, and they will continue to scratch their heads in wonder.

Laban said...

on the other hand, rob, they may succeed in changing American culture (which in the end is predicated on religion). After all, that's what's happened here.

When that happens the US will head off downhill - as the UK has done over the last 50 years.

Miss Tory said...

It's funny, I blogged this very observation today on www.partyontheright.com. The dems say that they want to save the middle class, but they take every opportunity to degrade and chide Governor Palin's middle class, small town, upbringing and roots. They laugh at her service to Wasilla and her service to the small State of Alaska. She is, in their elite opinion, not capable to handle anything that Washington or the world, throws at her, because she has not, in effect, a recipient of a Columbia or Harvard education; nor a passport until she was 44. Gasp. The democrat's are so drunk on their ego, they don't realize their obvious hypocrisy. The democrats were a party that had brought us a leader, like JFK, that gave Americans individual hope and less government,inspired public service and patriotism. Now they are a party of Socialists hiding behind the donkey, and the image of JFK. Fannie Mae was a prime example of pie for all, and now the rest of us with just a slice of the whole pie are just going to have to pay for it. The economic baliout plan is no less than a distribution of wealth. www.partyontheright.com