From my room, a view of the "IQ War"

Damn I wish I had more time. I'm in the middle of Missouri (can't remember the town, but it's halfway between St. Louis and Springfield), with huge stretches of road in front of me, and I'm running late.

About all I have time to do is show the "view from my room" (does that sound creepily familiar or what?)

RoomViewMO.jpg

I'm thrilled that Dennis appeared yesterday, and his post about the new war on science got an Instalanche!

That post and many others are reminding me that there's an IQ War going on, and Republicans are losing it. (The worst thing about it is that many of them don't realize that they're playing it.)

It would take time -- a lot of time -- to fully explain this, but I think the Dems win by convincing voters that they (and those voting for them) are smarter than the other side, by doing their best to make conservative populism -- and thereby conservatives -- look moronic. P.J. O'Rourke is a damned genius, and as a thinking person he obviously cannot understand why any thinking person would be on the left:

The South Side of Chicago is what everyplace in America will be once the Democratic administration and filibuster-resistant Democratic Congress have tackled global warming, sustainability, green alternatives to coal and oil, subprime mortgage foreclosures, consumer protection, business oversight, financial regulation, health care reform, taxes on the "rich," and urban sprawl. The Democrats will have plenty of time to do all this because conservatism, if it is ever reborn, will not come again in the lifetime of anyone old enough to be rounded up by ACORN and shipped to the polling booths.

None of this is the fault of the left. After the events of the 20th century--national socialism, international socialism, inter-species socialism from Earth First--anyone who is still on the left is obviously insane and not responsible for his or her actions. No, we on the right did it. The financial crisis that is hoisting us on our own petard is only the latest (if the last) of the petard hoistings that have issued from the hindquarters of our movement. We've had nearly three decades to educate the electorate about freedom, responsibility, and the evils of collectivism, and we responded by creating a big-city-public-school-system of a learning environment.

My own take on this is that the leaders of the left understand that the people they lead are not thinking. That's part of the plan, and it's the whole idea. Instead of actually thinking, these minions are told over and over again that they are smarter -- geniuses even -- and this appeal to the ego has irresistible consequences. Intelligent conservatives and libertarians remain silent, not only because they are very intimidated, but because they don't want to look condescending or childish by playing the IQ War game back at them. This leaves the conservative game in the hands of those who are either less intelligent, crassly populist, or deliberately obnoxious (Ann Coulter, etc.)

(And now I'm getting on a tear and sounding like a bigot while I'm supposed to be driving.)

The bottom line is that intelligent, thoughtful conservatives and libertarians are in the closet. The subject came up during this fascinating discussion between Bill Whittle and Dr. Helen, which the "Himbo" husband linked yesterday.

Anyway, to return to O'Rourke, this has set up liberals to seize the reins, because conservatives are painted as dumbly appealing to faith (or magic), while liberals promise "smarter" people behind the controls. Never mind that the controls control nothing (but they do provide power for the "controllers"):

What will destroy our country and us is not the financial crisis but the fact that liberals think the free market is some kind of sect or cult, which conservatives have asked Americans to take on faith. That's not what the free market is. The free market is just a measurement, a device to tell us what people are willing to pay for any given thing at any given moment. The free market is a bathroom scale. You may hate what you see when you step on the scale. "Jeeze, 230 pounds!" But you can't pass a law making yourself weigh 185. Liberals think you can. And voters--all the voters, right up to the tippy-top corner office of Goldman Sachs--think so too.
Yes, socialism does not work, and they do not want it to work, because the less it works, the more government is needed.

The O' Rourke piece (which Glenn linked yesterday, is titled "We Blew It" and it evokes the famous line from Easy Rider.

Billy and Wyatt go on to a New Orleans whorehouse that Hanson had
recommended. There, they celebrate Mardi Gras and go on an LSD trip in a
cemetery with two young prostitutes. Then they are on the open road again,
and Billy laughs triumphantly. "We've done it. We're rich, Wyatt. We did it,
man." To which Wyatt answers cryptically, "We blew it."

Critics have debated this meaning. To me, Wyatt seems to be commenting on the
futility of their nomadic life -- a life that catches up much of the
confused, aimless lives of the dissidents of their generation.

But Hopper said he really had in mind the fact that they have lost their
innocence because their wealth is corrupt. It has come from a dope sale.
"When Peter says, 'We blew it', he's talking about easy money, that we should
have used our energies to make it."

No one wants to look like a moron. Especially a hedonistic moron.

I sent an email to M. Simon in which I looked back on years of personal hedonism (which nearly killed me) and said,

...if there is one lesson I have learned from freedom, it's that there are risks and downsides, and you have to take the good and the bad.

Economies do not always thrive. The American people are acting like a bunch of babies. (Or whiners as Phil Gramm said). Like gays clamoring to shut down the bathhouses once they got AIDS (which some did).

Hedonism, the irresponsible fast lane of freedom, is a high risk activity -- whether economic, sexual, or chemical. You cannot have freedom without allowing it, and people are going to get hurt. Ditto, legal guns.

The problem is, no one wants to hear this.

Beyond that, the more the government intervenes (as they did in this economy), the greater the demand for more intervention when intervention fails, which it inevitably will.

True conservatism (at least, the old fashioned kind) involved allowing freedom and encouraging -- not mandating -- responsibility. It's AYOR (at your own risk) stuff, and it's not for children.

Failure in all these things has to be allowed, but the voters want safety nets and will not allow it.

There's tragedy in this.

Tragedy is a hard sell to voters who want easy solutions.

Populism is a risky business.

UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking this post, and a warm welcome to all.

(I drove all day (I'm now in Tucumcari, New Mexico, on the old Route 66), and I'm delighted to see so many thoughtful comments. They're always appreciated -- agree or disagree.

posted by Eric on 11.13.08 at 08:39 AM










Comments

Populism is taking democracy a little too far.

Populism is how you take the US and turn it into a Cuba, Zimbabwe, Argentina, or Venezuela.

Populism is the way of the third world. It is the way of Obama, and it is the way of McCain, to a slightly lesser degree.

Populism is dumb dumb dumb, lowest common denominator politics. Since US society has been studiously dumbed down by the schools, the media, immigration policies, and affirmative action (yep), you shouldn't be surprised at the populist turn.

Al Fin   ·  November 13, 2008 9:27 AM

Don't know if you're right on the larger question, but what you say does resonate with a newly-minted theory of mine. More and more it seems to me that we humans do what we do in order to bolster our self-image: "I voted Democrat because I love the poor," or, "I voted Republican because I'm too smart to be taken in by populism," and a thousand variations.

If I'm close to right about this, maybe "I voted Democrat because I'm smarter than the Republican rubes" is one of those self-image-serving actions.

notaclue   ·  November 13, 2008 10:22 AM

What about, "I voted for the Democrats, because I thought what Bush was doing was outrageously wrong-headed and the Republicans were facilitating him?"

Neal J. King   ·  November 13, 2008 3:10 PM

What pushes smart conservatives into hiding is the social right.

I can (and will) proudly argue the free market, liberty, etc. But it's frankly embarrassing to be lumped in with the social right. They do come across as dumb. They make arguments like 'One Man, One Woman' that sort of beg questions like 'shouldn't your argument have a verb?'.

The problem is that because of the association between the social right and the fiscal right in the republican party, when you advocate smart financial policy, people look at you and think 'wow, this guys a rightist... I bet he's with the bible thumping morons on social issues'. When you advocate personal responsibility, they think anti-choice on abortion. When you advocate natural consequences for people's action they think you are an anti-gay bigot (because for some strange reason, just the *word* natural conjures that).

I'm sick of folks with the economic IQ of a turnip thinking I'm a mouth breather because when I advocate sensible economic policy it makes them think I'm a superstitious nutjob on social issues. It's embarassing.

And *that* is why the right is loosing the publicly visible parts of the IQ wars...

quadrupole   ·  November 13, 2008 3:11 PM

That picture looks like Boonville

ElcubanitoKC   ·  November 13, 2008 3:15 PM

And *that* is why the right is loosing the publicly visible parts of the IQ wars...
What could we do to wiiin? Would it involve learning how to speeeeeell?

bgates   ·  November 13, 2008 3:19 PM

My parents, together, make well over Obama's "rich" cutoff. They'll see their taxes rise. And yet they voted Obama anyway.

Why? Pure emotionalism. My dad got so mad whenever he talked about George Bush that after a few minutes, he literally couldn't speak anymore. "he just...I...he...I mean, he...it's just...these PEOPLE...I..." He'd have to leave the room to regain his composure.

And my mom is a single-issue voter on abortion. As in: Palin is anti-abortion, Obama is...well, he didn't SAY flat-out in public that he was anti-abortion. So Obama got her vote. She's too polite to come out and SAY that she thinks retards are icky and should be euthanized, but...

DensityDuck   ·  November 13, 2008 3:20 PM

I think you have a very good point.

But the bottom line here is that things will continue to get worse as the average American's character gets worse.

Democrats win by appealing to hate and greed and envy and irresponsibility. The American people are hateful and greedy and envious and childish. They elected a truly representative government.

The IQ nonsense is based on the idea that we need a smarter class of overlords to make all our individual choices for us.

Republicans could lead people to reject hate and greed and envy. They could lead by encouraging folks to adopt grown-up attitudes and to live their lives freely and responsibly. They could lead by pushing for more individual freedom and more private charity and a much smaller government with much lower taxes at all levels.

Or they could just continue being the dumber class of overlords.

Ben   ·  November 13, 2008 3:21 PM

Al Fin, your theory would seem to apply to quadrupole, who is obviously smarter than those bible-thumping morons who are "loosing" the I.Q. wars.

right   ·  November 13, 2008 3:25 PM

Neil:

If you're going to insult a groups arguments for not having a verb, you should probably check the spelling of your own.

Loosing is probably not the word you were looking for. Losing, perhaps.

I've never corrected anyone's spelling before, but it's part of a statement about "IQ wars".

Tom S   ·  November 13, 2008 3:32 PM

quadrupole says:What pushes smart conservatives into hiding is the social right.

I couldn't agree more. Well said. I had wondered why I was in hiding, and there it is in a nutshell.

It's time to come out of the closet.

Shirley   ·  November 13, 2008 3:33 PM

Me, I agree with quadrupole (does that make this a quadrupole moment?) about coalitional choices.

To start, I think we need some new terms. I reside on the right side of the continuum of economic and fiscal philosophy. Someone who believes that the earth was created five or six thousand years ago, and that in the intervening time some gawd revealed to us that gay people are icky, is said to reside on the right side of the social continuum.

People, these are not just different nieghborhoods - these are different continents. Someone who lives "just south of the city" of Denver is not a close neighbor of someone who lives "just south of the city" of Beijing.

Why did the party voted Most Likely To Have Libertarian Friends decide that it would caucus with the religious groups voted Most Likely To Burn You At The Stake For Deviating One Iota From Their Own Sexual (omigawdI'msosorryIsaidthatword!!) List Of Approved Acts?

If anything, it's the econ liberals who should feel most attuned to the impulse to decry anyone who deviates from true and correct thought, not us.

Frankly, just as I want my sort-of-free-market system to be left alone, and just as I want my economic and possessory freedoms to be left alone, I'd appreciate it if they'd also stop bother me and my sheep.

(I understand it's all about building coalitions so that you can have some power that you'd never see as a pure-movement voting block, but at some point I'd like to look into player trades.)

bobby b   ·  November 13, 2008 3:35 PM

"What pushes smart conservatives into hiding is the social right.

I can (and will) proudly argue the free market, liberty, etc. But it's frankly embarrassing to be lumped in with the social right."

Excuse me? Two of us can play this game. Frankly, it's embarassing to be lumped in with South Park Republicans. It's hard enough selling sensible economic policy and personal liberty as it is, without having to be associated with some mouth breather who thinks that there is absolutely no relationship between integrity and traditional moral virtue and the health of a society. How well has trading a public orgy for all of our property and political freedoms really worked out?

Any time you think you can out IQ this 'bible thumping moron', you are welcome to try. Frankly, I think you've fallen for a bit of propaganda. If the most visible portions of the 'bible thumping community' seem like idiots, then ask yourself why they are the most visible portions. Often what seems like the move visible portion from the outside, doesn't seem like the most visible portion from the inside.

celebrim   ·  November 13, 2008 3:35 PM

This is why the Republican nominee in 2012 needs to be Jindal. Professional class people like to think they're smart and like to rub elbows with and vote for "smart" people. Give 'em Jindal.

(Note, however, that despite being a Rhodes Scholar, etc., he's actually a moron because he's pro life.)

Thomas   ·  November 13, 2008 3:37 PM

I think the "Democrats are smarter" shtick will be fashionable...until the first Al Qaeda dirty bomb goes off in Manhattan.

I wonder how many Democrats....

1. Know how to kill their own dinner?

2. Know how to perform basic cleaning and maintenance on a semi-automatic rifle?

3. Know standard field survival skills?

4. Know how to safely can their own vegetables for the winter?

If Donks can't do the above, then they're not really smart, are they?

Remember those recent TV shows about what life on Earth would be like if humans disappeared? "Smart Democrats" remind me of the dogs mentioned in those shows: if something catastrophic happens, most of them will be f***ed because, despite all their intelligence and attractiveness, they're totally dependent on others for their continued existence.

MarkJ   ·  November 13, 2008 3:43 PM

I don't get this revulsion for the social conservatives.
I hear liberals at work and they sound like KKK members talking about blacks when they talk about Sarah Palin.
And there seems to be some core of Repubs and conservatives who feel likewise. Don't get it. Social conservatives are good people. They have their beliefs but they don't push them on others as hard as the Left.
Think Poland. After being rolled in WWII by Germany and Russia, then Russia some more, then decades of police state and occupation, they came back. A lot of it is from their Christian culture. When we survive a period like that, I'll be happy to avow our culture over others. Till then, I'll cut social conservatives some slack.

Jim,MtnViewCA,USA   ·  November 13, 2008 3:46 PM

The whole "social right" question revolves around bigotry against religious folks. It's fashionable in some circles to be bigoted against religious people (Christians especially). So you see these arguments over and over and over, bashing religious folks. To be fashionable.

It's not idea based. It's not IQ based. It's not based on solving a problem or making society better. It seeks no worthy goal. Bashing religious folks is seemingly an end in itself.

I'd like to call on all of you who don't like religious folks to give it a rest. Try persuading religious folks instead of hating them and fighting them.

And religious folks need to embrace freedom. People need to be able to make their own choices. How can anyone live a good life if you never let him choose whether to be good? The world doesn't need you to be everyone's mom. Don't control. Lead.

Ben   ·  November 13, 2008 3:51 PM

"I can (and will) proudly argue the free market, liberty, etc. But it's frankly embarrassing to be lumped in with the social right. "

In a way, yes. It is social conservatives that leftists hate much more than fiscal or defense conservatives.

It is also social conservatives that lose our unity with Libertarians.

Almost no one hates a fiscal conservative. A huge majority would like a defense hawk a lot.

GK   ·  November 13, 2008 3:52 PM

I think from the onset the rug is pulled out from this comparison. The Dems have had the legacy media convincing all those uncertain voters, and add Hollywood for more than 2 cents. There's too much to list for a humongous propaganda effort. Obama and Biden can lie straight-faced no problem: no accountability. Search the trash cans for Palin tho. End of discussion as far as I'm concerned.

Steevo   ·  November 13, 2008 3:54 PM

Hey Neal, we can't add either.
1 man + 1 woman = 1
How dum is that?

Lynn   ·  November 13, 2008 3:57 PM

Republicans aren't losing because their smart people are closeted. They lost because they became the party of authoritarian fearmongers who believe in magic. Eric hinted around the edges at this, but it really needs to be yelled from the rooftops. Since the mid-90's, the Republican Party did everything they could to alienate thinking, freedom-loving people in order to gain the support of the religious right and xenophobic warmongers.

In the wound-licking, boo-hooing conservative press, I've been reading a lot of this "Democrats win by appealing to hate and greed and envy and irresponsibility" type of stuff, but it's really hard to square that with reality if you step out of the echo chamber for a few minutes. Regardless of what you feel about Obama, his campaign didn't veer negative, didn't pander, and didn't whine. The Republicans lost the presidency because their ideas were reduced by nearly a decade of mismanagement to 1. Obama is a socialist, 2. Obama is probably a terrorist, 3. Obama is definitely a Muslim. Defeat is the only possible outcome from that brand of idiocy.

Scott   ·  November 13, 2008 3:57 PM

Yup, us socons is jes' stoopid, I gess. I'm sorry tuh have intruded on smart folks talkin'. I shoulda knowed m' place. Now if y'all will 'scuse me, I'll get back to my book about Acheulean tool sets.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  November 13, 2008 3:58 PM

Speaking of "magic"...seems to me that there are an awful lot of "progressives" who believe in astrology, magical crystals, spirits & ghosts of various types, etc...interestingly, many of these people define themseles as atheists or agnostics.

david foster   ·  November 13, 2008 4:11 PM

Lynn, I can only wonder what campain you watched. Where I sit, I saw millions of dollars of Obama ads promising a tax cut to everyone but the rich (pandering) and attacking McCain for raising taxes (veering negative). The Obama campaign "worried" about the effects of racism (whining).

As for "authoritarian fearmongers who believe in magic"--I have a feeling you aint seen nothing yet. A cult of personality, command and control ideology, ready to rule on day 1, and--magically!--everything will be better.

Thomas   ·  November 13, 2008 4:11 PM

Scott watched a different campaign than I did.

Rob Crawford   ·  November 13, 2008 4:15 PM

"They lost because they became the party of authoritarian fearmongers who believe in magic. "

No worries. Republicans also BREED. Everything will be fine in 30-40 years.

The atheists/secularists are all dead people walking, with no children or babies being produced (like Europe's empty nurseries...well empty of non-muslims!)

Thomas Acquinas   ·  November 13, 2008 4:18 PM

How well has trading a public orgy for all of our property and political freedoms really worked out?

WTF?

If the most visible portions of the 'bible thumping community' seem like idiots, then ask yourself why they are the most visible portions. Often what seems like the move visible portion from the outside, doesn't seem like the most visible portion from the inside.

The most visible portion from the inside can be people arguing about Arminianism vs. Calvinism. It requires a high IQ to even understand the debate. It, however, requires a high level of idiocy to have the debate, especially for years on end.

Furthermore, politics is the art of the visible.

BarryD   ·  November 13, 2008 4:18 PM

How well has trading a public orgy for all of our property and political freedoms really worked out?

WTF?

If the most visible portions of the 'bible thumping community' seem like idiots, then ask yourself why they are the most visible portions. Often what seems like the move visible portion from the outside, doesn't seem like the most visible portion from the inside.

The most visible portion from the inside can be people arguing about Arminianism vs. Calvinism. It requires a high IQ to even understand the debate. It, however, requires a high level of idiocy to have the debate, especially for years on end.

Furthermore, politics is the art of the visible.

BarryD   ·  November 13, 2008 4:19 PM

"They lost because they became the party of authoritarian fearmongers who believe in magic. "

No worries. Republicans also BREED. Everything will be fine in 30-40 years.

Both statements can be equally true.

So the authoritarian fearmongers will breed, and their superstitious, authoritarian children will take over. I'm not sure why we should have "No worries" about this.

How does the second statement answer the first?

BarryD   ·  November 13, 2008 4:24 PM

Instead of actually thinking, these minions are told over and over again that they are smarter -- geniuses even -- and this appeal to the ego has irresistible consequences.

The problem with that analysis is that the Republicans just picked an "every woman" and the Dems (and a large number of Republicans) spent the election saying how stupid and ordinary she was. Many times the Dems stated that an ordinary citizen wasn't good enough for public office. So I see the opposite of what you're saying; the Dems have defaulted to the natural social order of leftists, with the leaders and the led, and convinced the metropolitan populace that an accent, anything beyond the most cursory religious faith and a lack of an Ivy league degree disqualifies you from being a leader. they've been effective enough at this that while the Left isn't shamed by their truthers and crystal wearing, Kabbala wristband loons, the right is ashamed of their people of faith, as evidenced in the comments. The problem isn't one of IQ, it's a question social status and hipness. The Left has successfully moved high school politics to the national level, where it doesn't really matter what objective talents you bring to the table, it matters that you're popular, and they've cultivated an electorate of semi literate followers that don't have the cognitive skills to see through the smoke. It has been shown that Kerry's grades were worse than Bush's, yet Bush's pronunciation and facial expression mean he's barely sentient. Biden's smooth delivery of utter nonsense and the occasional slur means that he's a statesman compared to Palin the moron. Reagan was a sleepy, dopey, astrology following, hack actor. They've been laying this crap out there for decades, facilitated by control of public education, and mass media.

...the Republican Party did everything they could to alienate thinking, freedom-loving people in order to gain the support of the religious right and xenophobic warmongers.

Funny, the last "freedom loving" Dem president sat around with his thumb up his ass while half a million Rwandans got hacked to death. Us bible thumping war mongers supported giving 48 million people the right to self determination over the last 8 years, which the Dem president elect promised to withdraw support from, even if genocide were to be the result. Funny how the love of freedom is expressed these days.

junyo   ·  November 13, 2008 4:24 PM

Regardless of what you feel about Obama, his campaign didn't veer negative, didn't pander, and didn't whine.

Uh, where were you in 2008?

"The FAILED POLICIES of George W. Bush
FAILED POLICIES of the last 8 years!
FAILED!" That's not negative? What about attacks on the VP candidate? Who ever attacks the running mate like that?!?

Furthermore, the Obama campaign "went negative" on the whole country and a good deal of its history.

"95% of you will get a tax cut!" wasn't pandering? Isn't offering stuff to every group pandering?

Obama accused John McCain, before the fact, of being a race-baiter that he never was. That was both negative AND whiny.


Now was McCain's campaign better? I'm not saying that it was. I'm just not sure what Obama campaign you watched.

BarryD   ·  November 13, 2008 4:32 PM

The Republicans and conservatives -- the Venn diagram has significant but not total overlap -- did not lose this election because each are perceived as being less intelligent than Democrats and leftists. Yes, in certain subcultures such as academia and the urban gay male ghetto, Republicans and conservatives are perceived as idiots from another planet. Neither academia nor the gay ghetto is very representative of a cross section of America.

I just don't think voters vote on the basis of perceived intelligence.

Rhodium Heart   ·  November 13, 2008 4:36 PM

I am 57 years old. As long as I can remember, liberals have denigrated conservative's intellect. Eisenhower was mocked for his syntax and the books he read. Agnew, Ford, Reagan, Quayle, Bush I & II, and now Palin were treated as low grade cretins. It is not the result of the last year or decade or something we haven't done since Reagan. It reflect more on a core element of liberals than bad strategy on conservative's part.

Bill   ·  November 13, 2008 4:37 PM

Scott:
"... alienate thinking, freedom-loving people in order to gain the support of the religious right and xenophobic warmongers."

That's a lot of stereotyping for someone who aspires to be a "thinking, freedom-loving" person. To unpack a little, you seem to be claiming:

-Conservative Christians hate freedom
-Conservative Christians oppose rationality
-Supporters of the War on Terror are xenophobic
-Freedom-loving people would oppose the War on Terror
-Intelligent people would oppose the War on Terror

Don't you think the conservative/libertarian side of the I.Q. War would be better served by moving past such anger? Contrary to your claim, conservative Christians are on the whole already sympathetic to the principles of smaller government and increased freedom. Your second paragraph makes a good point, but I'd guess it would be more productive to educate and work with this community rather than sweeping them under the carpet in order to appeal to ... whoever your post's target audience is.

Josh   ·  November 13, 2008 4:39 PM

"So the authoritarian fearmongers will breed, and their superstitious, authoritarian children will take over."

It won't matter to the secularists. They will be gone by then, without any progeny. The rate of non-breeding by secularists, combined by the rapid decline of public school/MSM (brainwashing) influence is at a critical stage today.

It's (ironically) at matter of evolution...and sheer math.

Thomas Acquinas   ·  November 13, 2008 4:41 PM

If the GOP had one just 50% of the gay vote...

...they still would have lost, and lost big.

Mathguy   ·  November 13, 2008 4:44 PM

Eric...a related discussion at Chicago Boyz.

david foster   ·  November 13, 2008 4:47 PM

OK, so I'll bite.

I am an economic conservative, and also a social conservative.

I am also a Ph.D. physicist ( UCLA 1990 ), Phi Beta Kappa, who graduated from UCLA ( 1983 ) summa cum laude with a double major in Physics and Mathematics and a GPA of 3.95

There is simply no way to call me uneducated or dumb.

The way I see the problem is this. It is very difficult to make an argument for absolutes seem intelligent, and even harder to get it to appeal to the ego of the listeners.

How do you say, "I think is wrong, because God said so.." and appeal to the ego. Commandments ( think Thou shalt not commit x) do not appeal to the intellectual ego. Moral equivalence, trying to prove yourself smart by abstracting out the principles of say "the struggle for gay marriage rights" and show that it is philosophically the same as say "the struggle for black suffrage" - that's an exercise that appeals to the intellect, and appeals to the ego of the "very smart" listeners who are able to follow the nuance of the argument.

I had a agnostic colleague who read C.S. Lewis, and laughed at the "foolish simplicity" of his arguments. C.S. Lewis!!! If someone can think that one of the smartest men ever is "simplistic" there is a real problem.

So, for example, even below average thinkers, like John Kerry, will always seem more intelligent to the average person, than for example G. W. Bush.

So social conservatives are never going to "seem" smart. However, if you economic conservatives are really wise, you won't be so quick to jettison your ally because you might be tarred by association. Stay with us, and maybe we can keep the United States from falling into the pit of liberalism and malaise. Abandon us, and you lose a friend who is willing to fight with passion.

And who knows, maybe if you keep looking at the effects of bad morals, and the emptiness of the arguments of those who excuse them, some of you may eventually join us social conservatives in seeing the wisdom of our absolutes.

"The fear of God, is the beginning of Wisdom" Solomon.

John Hansen   ·  November 13, 2008 4:53 PM

It won't matter to the secularists. They will be gone by then, without any progeny.

That may be one reason why the human species seems to be selected for a tendency towards religious beliefs.

BarryD   ·  November 13, 2008 4:53 PM

First... an apology for my spelling, I majored in physics and mathematics, not english lit.

Second, I feel I should clarify what I mean by social conservative. I myself support people taking responsibility for their own actions, being honest and fair in their dealings with others, taking responsibility for their children etc.

What I oppose is people who feel that they can legislate my morality (particularly sexual morality) and decide that they can impose on the reasonable freedoms of adults because they want to nerf the world so they don't have to actually manage their children's interaction with it etc.

I honestly could care less if anyone personally believes in any particular sort of magic or superstition as long as it doesn't spill into the realm of public policy.

Let me be quite specific, if the Republican party could simply drop the opposition to letting folks make their own sexual choices (civil rights for gays, abortion rights for women, etc), then it would be much easier to fight the IQ war from the right. Hell... I'd even settle for just dropping the religious rhetoric around that opposition.

Let me try to put this into terms that might help you understand. Think of the last hippy-dippy tree-hugging pagan you saw babbling on and on and on insipidly about how we have to because we need to stop raping our sacred earth mother goddess. When you step forth and oppose gay marriage on biblical grounds you look *at least* as stupid to most folks.

quadrupole   ·  November 13, 2008 4:57 PM

The American people certainly aren't intellectuals or policy wonks, but they're not stupid, either. The problem is that the electorate came to a (correct, IMO) conclusion that a Republican administration had mismanaged a war, mismanaged an economy, couldn't explain what (if anything) they were trying to do, and indulged in all the despicable pandering and petty corruption that brought them to power against the Democrats in the first place.

That's not an IQ problem, it's a problem with your paper trail. Once that long litany of ineptitude was in place, you've got the Democrats' argument: "This sucks, and we'll fix it," and you've got the only possible Republican counter-argument: "Yeah, it sucks, but we'll fix it better than the Democrats, even though we caused it to suck in the first place." Which of those arguments is more compelling?

It's easy for the Democrats to look smart. There simply weren't very many smart Republicans in power. Hopefully the GOP will eat some brain food while they're in the penalty box. But they'd better eat up. They get maybe one more election to make their case and then the electorate will simply stop listening.

TheRadicalModerate   ·  November 13, 2008 4:58 PM

This is all part of the Democrat "War On Critical Thinking" If they can make you feel smart and accomplished just by voting for them, critical thinking is just a waste of time. Until the consequences get here. And they are coming.

Moptop   ·  November 13, 2008 4:59 PM

I think cultures have certain sets of myths or aesthetic images. For example, in the US we have the western cowboy myth for one. There were two major political aesthetics (actually, there were many splinters but they tended to orbit the two majors) when I was younger (say the late 80s). There was the collectivism planned progress image and the more spiritual, learned / wise, history / art / culture loving image.

What has happened, in my opinion, is the left has dropped their old aesthetics of progress and picked up the alternative image…. Which, traditionally, is the right wing image (at least it was when I was young)… They also picked up the old right’s messages (protection for small cultures, anti-globalism, cult of the organic, et cetera)…

As a libertarian conservative I sort of liked aspects of both… but as a non collectivist I also (and here is the problem) noticed that extremists tended to need these kinds of political images… so, on another level, I also recoiled from both. I think this is part of our problem. Sort of the liberal fascism conundrum. We are getting beat up over political imagery (as in they sell the image that one side is intelligent and urban while ‘we’ are dumb) but we also don’t trust political imagery well enough to use it to fight back… as we connect it (correctly) with bad things…

So, do we indulge in it going in suspecting that many of the converts we may take as a result are somewhat unstable (re: suckers for totalitarian imagery and political programs) or should we do something else like attack the base of their thought?

sl0re   ·  November 13, 2008 5:01 PM

Bill

While I do not think that party affiliation denotes intelligence (either the presence or lack thereof), you would have to agree that Bush has taken the Republican party in a strongly anti-intellectual direction in the last eight years.

I believe that Palin was the (hopefully)end product of this particularly unfortunate aspect of the Bush era, and I found it heartening that America did not swallow her brand of anti-intellectualism masquerading as populism.

Dr. Nobel Dynamite   ·  November 13, 2008 5:04 PM

Well, The media will always describe conservatives as stupid, regardless of the facts. This can only change if there is a revolution in the media. To the NYT, the networks, etc., the ruling equation is "politically correct = smart", which pretty much ensures that if you express a politically incorrect opinion, you will be derided as stupid. It saves them the trouble of actually addressing whatever points you raised.

It's not clear to me that it would help politically to balance the perception of intelligence. Many voters do not think of themselves as "smart", and they tend to distrust those who do.

Pink Pig   ·  November 13, 2008 5:16 PM

So Barry D,

Why in the world is it more intelligent to believe that a woman should have the right to terminate a living fetus?

What is it about that position that satisfies your intellectual ego?

I understand your position. I am also wise enought, to understand it a decision that is just as arbitrary as mine,

What I don't understand is why in the world you think your view is intelligent and mine is not.

Think about it a bit before you answer please.

John Hansen   ·  November 13, 2008 5:21 PM

Nice! I love me some Christian bashing before dinner! As far as I'm concerned you ALL believe in magic whether it be some mythical invisible hand of the market or some creator who supposedly made the universe. You really are All stupid! I voted for Obama to keep all of you in a permanent minority. Noone will ever be truly free until the body of the last capitalist is buried in the ground.

destroynewgrenada   ·  November 13, 2008 5:25 PM

So Barry D,

Why in the world is it more intelligent to believe that a woman should have the right to terminate a living fetus?

What is it about that position that satisfies your intellectual ego?

I understand your position. I am also wise enought, to understand it a decision that is just as arbitrary as mine,

What I don't understand is why in the world you think your view is intelligent and mine is not.

Think about it a bit before you answer please.

I've thought about it. And I'm wondering how in hell you got that from my post, which was, to wit:

That may be one reason why the human species seems to be selected for a tendency towards religious beliefs.

BarryD   ·  November 13, 2008 5:29 PM

I find it absolutely fascinating that Sarah Palin has become this social-conservative lightning rod, because one look at what she's done as governor shows that she understands very clearly the difference between personal belief and executive governance.

A difference that, for instance, Mike Huckabee doesn't seem to have so much of a handle on.

Some credit the Reagan years for the growth of the bible-thumper movement, but in point of fact he more or less stiff-armed them on matters of policy.

mrkwong   ·  November 13, 2008 5:30 PM

There definitely is an IQ gap, but those on the wrong side include some of the supposed "intelligent, thoughtful conservatives and libertarians", none of whom could come up with an effective plan to defeat BHO but who instead wasted time chasing rabbits and kept falling into traps the MSM set.

For instance, my highly effective plan to ask BHO real questions on videotape and then upload that to Youtube was ignored by some of those supposed "intelligent, thoughtful conservatives and libertarians". Details on that at my name's link.

I think you need better leaders.

About the plan   ·  November 13, 2008 5:36 PM

Our pet troll makes another appearance. "A strongly anti-intellectual direction."

Jay Manifold   ·  November 13, 2008 5:40 PM

"What could we do to wiiin? Would it involve learning how to speeeeeell?"

Actually, no. I was blessed with better than 1:10K abstract reasoning abilities, and I can't spell my way out of a wet paper sack. I also need a calculator, or at least a pencil and paper, to do arithmetic (Took me four tries before I got "arithmetic" right). This is a major bugaboo of mine: Spelling and grammar are not good measures of IQ, AND A HIGH IQ IS NOT GENIUS. Only two-dimensional thinkers think that they are (Spell-check has highlighted three words for me so far. I love spell-check!).

Spelling and grammar, especially in the English language - which is nothing but one gargantuan shibboleth - is nothing more than a memory trick. Some of us had more pressing things to do growing up than to memorize multiplication tables, word spellings, and the elements of grammar; like figuring out exactly why it is that music works, and why musical effects can affect listeners emotionally and physically (Using just my case as an example).

As Einstein said, the true measure of genius is imagination, and as Aristotle said, the true measure of a people's freedom is whether they are armed or not (But, I digress).

My admittedly anecdotal personal experience has indicated to me that libertarian-conservatives must average AT LEAST 5-10 IQ points higher than leftists do, so I have no problem with the idea that libertarian-conservatives are generally more intelligent than leftists are, but what's missing on the right is imagination.

The problem is, as I see it, the double-standard: The one we hold potential leaders to versus the standard we apply to ourselves. Eric has indicated that his profligate youthful libertine ways nearly cost him his life. Well, welcome to, "The Smart, Adventurous Guy Survivor Club": Me too. Really, really imaginative people tend to be adventurous and most of them tend to go through a youthful phase of experimentation, which they either outgrow or die. We'll never get these people into elected office because of, 1) The background check, and, 2) the fact that these people also tend to have less than no desire at all to participate in public life. It really does take a Palin to be willing to put up with that garbage.

Besides, really imaginative people tend not to be relatable, as their personalities seem "weird" to the average schmuck.

I'm afraid charismatic conservative populists are the best we can hope for, which is why I'm a Palin fanboy.

Hucbald   ·  November 13, 2008 5:40 PM

It's not the social right that betrayw the Republican Party with their populism, it's the Republican Party that betrayed generations of conservative/libertarian thought, from Kirk to Hayek, with their corrupt, budget-busting, interventionist claptrap.

After larding up education, Medicare and a host of other big-government boondoggles, can you imagine the Rep's trying to invoke the principles and virtues of small government, personal responsibility and fiscal discipline? What did they have left but a mindless populism to thump?

Jeffersonian   ·  November 13, 2008 5:50 PM

I always thought the Republicans lost because of the economic collapse. Speficily the cost of the changes that Lindon Johnson / Bill Clinton made to Fanie / Fredie came due during a Republican administration. This coupled with an unpopular sitting Republican president was enough. I am surprised the election was as close as it was.

The thing that has been troubling about the current direction of Republican leadership is the fact that they have abondonded fiscal responsibility. The spending needs to be brought under control.

james   ·  November 13, 2008 5:56 PM

"betrayw" = "betrays"

Anonymous   ·  November 13, 2008 6:02 PM

"What pushes smart conservatives into hiding is the social right."

"When you advocate personal responsibility, they think anti-choice on abortion. When you advocate natural consequences for people's action they think you are an anti-gay bigot (because for some strange reason, just the *word* natural conjures that)."

"Someone who believes that the earth was created five or six thousand years ago, and that in the intervening time some gawd revealed to us that gay people are icky, is said to reside on the right side of the social continuum."

I tend to agree with Ben and think that a major reason for Republican weakness is that the liberals have succeeded in convincing a large number of Republicans that they, too, are smarter than all those "social conservative" fellow Republicans. I live in the Bible Belt and have for probably 3/4 of my life but I have never met a single Christian who believes Adam walked around with a pet dinosaur, yet to hear quadrupole tell it this is a required litmus test for them. I tend more toward the social conservative position on many issues not for religious reasons but for what I find to be sound logic and the fact that traditional values have done a bang-up job getting America to where it is today and practically every single progressive social agenda item acted upon (e.g. sexual revolution, no-fault divorce, degradation of the traditional family unit, welfare, abortion on demand ...) have inevitibly led to negative unintended consequences exceeding the intended gain.

As long as secular "progressive" fiscal conservatives continue to line up with the Democrats and liberals in sneering down their noses at the "bible-thumping" stereotypes they assume all social conservative to be the conservative movement will continue to be sidelined.


submandave   ·  November 13, 2008 6:09 PM

I know there's a lot of gray matter being devoted to understanding why John McCain lost the election. It isn't really all that mysterious is it?

The Democrats fielded a candidate that, in spite of his inexperience and associations, was a compelling character for many reasons. They did this at a time when all of the tidal influence ran against the Republican party. What is mysterious is why it wasn't a total blow-out.

The Republican candidate was not popular with a significant number of Republicans. His centrism may have had some appeal to the fence-sitters, but that impact was minimal when weighed against the many things that ran against him. McCain may have been a transformational leader, had he been elected, but he was not compelling candidate, old, self-restrained and lashed as he was to the mast of an unpopular president.

I admire both Bush and McCain for a lot of reasons, but that doesn't stop the pendulum from swinging and it doesn't make McCain more exciting or interesting than he actually is.

The tide will turn, as it always does, and probably faster than most people think. In the meantime, we can hope that Obama turns out to be the best president in history.

For those of you who despise people of faith, I don't understand why they threaten you so much. Believing in something greater than yourself can lead to humility. That's a virtue if I remember correctly.

Immolate   ·  November 13, 2008 6:13 PM

Jay Manifold

While a link to a four year old report of Bush's poorly planned and even more poorly implemented NASA proposal *does* make your case pretty strongly, I'm not quite convinced that it outweighs eight years of buffoonery. If you really wanted to convince me, you should have pointed to how many "Shakespeare's" he's read.

Bush was/is the worst of both worlds: an aristocrat who had an Ivy League education handed to him on a silver platter, combined with pretensions to an everyman status that he expresses as a disdain for intellectualism.

Honestly, I find the Bush administration's anti-intellectualism, and the resulting trickle-down into the Republican party in general, to be one of the more frightening aspects of the past eight years. It would be much better for the Republican party, and better for America, if Republicans would abandon that particular strategy. Of course, that means abandoning Palin, so I'm not sure if that's going to happen.

Dr. Nobel Dynamite   ·  November 13, 2008 6:13 PM

I'll bet you are (were) in Rolla. That's about half-way between Springfield and St. Louis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolla,_Missouri

Luke G.   ·  November 13, 2008 6:26 PM


www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1sE1E3z7jU

As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.


. . .

The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hopes the genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources where focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections.

Idiocracy   ·  November 13, 2008 6:42 PM

The social conservatism issue is problematic for two reasons.

First is image-related: to the left, social conservatism is viewed as an evolutionary throwback, and therefore is generally associated with backwardness.

That may not be fair, or accurate, or admirable, but it's undeniably part of what's at play here.

E.g. from another blog instapundit linked a couple of days ago:

Also, I sort of feel for the Republicans. After all, the Liberal Democrats could wistfully dream of moving to Canada or England or France, or some other liberal country...but all the countries that are more Conservative than the US tend to be third-world shit holes or Islamic theocracies.

http://seanbraisted.blogspot.com/2008/11/conscience-of-conservative.html

That's how liberals view Conservatism -- on a continuuum a hair left of an Islamic theocracy. Fiscal policy, libertarian views on the Constitution -- how many liberals do you know who are even aware of Conservative views on those issues, let alone conversant enough on them to be able to debate them?

I've been gradually educating a few close friends and family members but it's arduous going -- and I've been called "stupid" to my face in the process.

The second, and IMO more important problem that can arise as regards social conservatism is that it's difficult to reconcile activist, interventionist government in the service of socially conservative causes while advocating libertarian principles in the service of, say, economic policy or property rights. That's why the War on Drugs is such a lively topic among libertarians. We put the federal government into the service of a socially conservative goal -- to curb drug use -- and we end up with SWAT teams bursting in on innocent people and shooting them in their beds. Is our desire to control drug users that important, that we can justify policies that weaken our 4th Amendment protections?

I've felt uneasy ever since I began identifying myself as a Conservative over the sense that some conservatives want to pick & choose what elements of the Constitution they support. I think it has to be all or nothing -- it has to be more principled.

"God send that our country may never have a government, which it can feel." Thos Jefferson.

We need to define what we stand for on clear Constitutional principles -- then we'll sound plenty intelligent, defending them.

Kirsten   ·  November 13, 2008 6:56 PM

My work has me interacting often with people who spend a lot of time thinking about communication and messaging. The vast majority are on the left, and it is amazing how often they refer to those who are either their customers or their constituencies as "the sheeple." The level of contempt these characters have for the American people is astounding.

Biff   ·  November 13, 2008 7:03 PM

It's interesting how the "religious right" gets blamed for everything ... by both the smarter-than-thou fiscal/secular "conservatives" and the barking moonbats on the left. And itt doesn't stop there, the "American religious right" has been condemned by Sov-coms, Chi-coms, and Islamists. Throw 'em to the lions, eh?

Read some of Barry Goldwater's early thoughts that he later abandoned because he loved the accolades of liberals and libertarians more than he did the founding truths which established this nation in the first place.

The Claremont Institute fisks the Goldwater myth that a lot of you appear to buy in to given your recent anti-Conservative Christian Derangement Syndrome ... which is not much different than the left's Bush Derangement Syndrome. That's all I've heard from your side of the aisle how it was those damn nutbag Christian conservatives' fault for somehow changing the Republican Party from its halcyon days of Barry Goldwater, or maybe even Ronald Reagan.

When I read the high-minded pap here I have to remind myself that even some so-called conservatives have apparently succumbed to the liberal humanist propaganda shoved into minds full of mush by a school system practically owned by leftist humanists since the 1960s.

What I'm afraid will happen is after some kind of "anti-religious" (read - Christian conservative) cleansing that some want to take the Republican Party through, what will be left is a poor man's version of a thoroughly secular Democrat-lite Republican Party. This will spell the permanent doom of the Republican Party as we know it. Maybe that's a good thing ... maybe it's bad. All I know is the real problem isn't with social conservatism (not with California passing the anti-gay marriage amendment despite the millions that was spent by the homosexual lobby to relentlessly propagandize the electorate ... and don't forget the other states like Florida that passed a similar amendment), the real problem is Bush really wasn't a conservative Republican with his so-called "compassionate conservatism". Also Republicans in Washington D.C. became so full of themselves with their budget busting grow-government crap in hopes of consolidating their power as the new Santa Clause on the block that they violated every tenet of Gringrich's "Contract with America." A lot of swing voters still thought the "Contract with America" was in force ... that is until about 2002.

And frankly I don't know if the Republicans' can repair their reputations because they did spend like drunken sailors by becoming fiscal Democrat-lites. And the truly sad thing is when the Democrats turn America into a virtual velvet gulag they won't be condemned by the electorate even if the economy goes down the crapper because that's what Democrats do ... they spend! And besides, the voter will reason, the Democrats meant well.

It's enough to make me want to throw up, but that's how big-spending Republican hypocrisy go us where we are today. It wasn't "social conservatism", that's what the left and the national socialist media wants everyone to believe, it was a total lack of spending discipline as well as not effectively countering Democrat spin that rested on little more than their anti-Bush derangement. And I fault the Bush administration for refusing to fight the rhetorical war here at home by developing a cohesive apologia concerning the overall war on terror and using the bully pulpit of the presidential office. Every time the Democrats doubled-down with a lie, they won because they ended up shaping the political battlefield ... a battlefield of their making we just lost on in 2008.

Hankmeister   ·  November 13, 2008 7:15 PM

Southern Baptists are to Islam as the common cold is to the plauge.

I find it curious that the Left's active disdain of the religous Right somehow does not extend to Islam.

Freehold   ·  November 13, 2008 7:24 PM

Well, you got your wish. The evangelicals voted almost 50-50 this time. And the social conservatives did not man the phone banks and walk the precinct like they usually do.

So you guys got your wish. Welcome to President Obama's world.

It would be kind of nice if you oh-so-smart people would actually work in a few elections. This way you could see who the foot soldiers are. For our side it's those hated social conseratives. Like it or not we do not win without their work.

Peter   ·  November 13, 2008 7:46 PM

Quadrupole says he thinks the picture is of Boonville. That's not possible between St. Louis and Springfield (on I44). Boonville is between Kansas City and St. Louis (on I70). I'm a Springfield native.

booley   ·  November 13, 2008 7:47 PM

I'm more or less a fiscal conservative, leave-me-alone social libertarian. Advanced technical degree, career in Fortune 500 engineering, agnostic.

I voted for McCain with no enthusiam. He's right on the war, wrong on many, many other things. But way better than Obama.

Actually, of the 4 candidates, I'd have prefered Palin. Obama is dangerous, and Biden is a fool.

The Republican party need to figure out a way to communicate a positive vision of individual liberty, including social policy.
I don't vote on abortion, gay marriage, or drugs, etc.

I'm not sure how to do this. But I am pretty sure that without it, its going to be hard to put together a consistent majority.

Dorsia   ·  November 13, 2008 7:47 PM

Sorry BarryD

I was responding to quadrupole - its just very hard with this format to tell whether the name belongs to the post above or the post below. Please accept my apology.

John Hansen   ·  November 13, 2008 7:49 PM

There are too many highly intelligent people on the social right to say we're the reason the economic conservatives can't get anywhere. In fact, we've been dismantling the philosophical foundations that have led to social libertinism (abortion, homosexuality, no-fault divorce) not just for decades, but literally for centuries. We were the ones who predicted the social effects of no-fault divorce and were actually right, despite the protestations of the social libertarians that it would have no discernible effect on the structure of American family life (but when the fallout came, no one wanted to admit we were right). There are plenty of us still around, but you just aren't listening or even acknowledging our presence. I'm not sure exactly why--maybe it's because you think it helps you avoid getting painted with the liberals' "stupid" brush. Maybe it's because the irreligious cannot and will not believe the religious have something worthwhile to teach the world, because that would mean those folks who believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster aren't so irrational after all. But we do have a longer view of history.

That said, we have noticed that Republicans have lately been treating us the way Democrats treat black people--useful idiots whose vote is practically guaranteed. To many of us, redefining the fundamentals of human society--procreation and the family--is not conservative at all. Accusing us of idiocy for not getting on the bandwagon of the lastest 21st century fad (and a fad it is, if history has a word to say) just alienates us all the more, and makes conservatism look even more intellectually dead.

I for one always thought that a conservatives should take the long view of history and approach critical societal questions with knowledge informed by respect for tradition. You can't be a conservative if you are so automatically dismissive of that which would like to be conserved.

Josh S   ·  November 13, 2008 8:20 PM

If Sarah Palin had not energized the conservative base, which basically consists of all those religious people whom the libertarians love to denounce, McCain would have lost not by six points but by sixteen. Even as it was, over four million fewer Republicans voted this time than did in 2004. That's a large part of the margin between the two. They could no bring themselves to vote for a candidate who had spent most of his career trashing his party and other conservatives in order to appeal to the media, and putting through stuff like McCain-Feingold.

Then, of course, there were the libertarians who cleverly voted for Bob Barr (or Obama) because they could not bring themselves to vote for a candidate who actually wanted to fight the jihadist terrorists.

(I voted for McCain and Palin.)

Palin quit a $118,000 a year job for a long shot attempt at the governorship to fight against corruption among Republicans in Alaska. That shows her to be a woman of courage and integrity. No wonder so many arrogant snobs don't like her.

I think that in the end most libertarians will stand with the socialists against the social conservatives, because drugs, abortion, and promiscuous sex are far more important to them than liberty, protection of property, and even economic freedom. The social cons are just too infra dig for such hip, cool people to associate with. The "Liberaltarian" discussions during the campaign seem to me to support that belief. Feh.

Michael Lonie   ·  November 13, 2008 8:49 PM

I use to believe like you and then I lived through Katrina and guess what - the liberals and the media told the true story I witnessed personally and the conservatives lived in a make believe world of their own making. There was something good to come from all the suffering. It opened my eyes to the truth. Sorry, fellows, the liberals ARE the smarter group. You will stay the dumber party as long as you believe the media, colleges,and other educated sources have a conspiracy against you and the only truth is on conservatives blogs. Keep talking to yourself and lose MORE of America than you have already lost.

doctorj2u   ·  November 13, 2008 8:49 PM

The liberals and the media told what? That Nagin couldn't organize his way out of an open field? That he left the buses to flood? That the money that was supposed to go to levees was spent elsewhere? That the governor refused to ask for asistance? About the cannibalism taking place among the starving?

They are the smart ones? I suppose I should live in the snow belt and whine because Bush didn't plow my driveway so I can be smart too.

If you are arguing FEMA should have done more and faster, I'll listen to specifics. But it was your liberal guys who blew the first response. Debating which party was smarter is like a hand grenade fight in a phone booth. This one's a tie.

I did like that canoe trick. The media covered itself with glory.

MarkD   ·  November 13, 2008 9:30 PM

Anyway, to return to O'Rourke, this has set up liberals to seize the reins, because conservatives are painted as dumbly appealing to faith (or magic), while liberals promise "smarter" people behind the controls.

This is a legacy of the Left's ongoing, yet false, claim to be the modern representatives of the Enlightenment. They still like to pose as the advocates of reason and science, when it suits them.

And why shouldn't they? No conservative will ever call them on it -- because they themselves distrust reason. Conservatism, having originated as a reaction against the Enlightenment, has every motive to assist the Left in this lie, seeing as it helps discredit their common enemy: the Enlightenment and its emphasis on reason. c/f Russell Kirk, Dinesh D'Souza (in particular his applause for that aborter of the Enlightenment, Immanuel Kant) and of course there's John Derbyshire's notorious rant against "the Goddess of Reason":

"Does it not occur to you liberals, not even for a passing instant, that by purging all sacred images, references, and words from our public life, you are leaving us with nothing but a cold temple presided over by the Goddess of Reason — that counterfeit deity who, as history has proved time and time and time again, inspires no affection, retains no loyalties, soothes no grief, justifies no sacrifice, gives no comfort, extends no charity, displays no pity, and offers no hope, except to the tiny cliques of fanatical ideologues who tend her cold blue flame."

If the shoe fits....

Seerak   ·  November 13, 2008 9:46 PM

I think there's a more fundamental puzzle to solve: just what the heck *IS* the appeal of socialism? The American Constitution sets up a system that offers so much more potential, yet people fall for something less.

Is is that socialism appeals to control freaks?

Bob   ·  November 13, 2008 9:46 PM

How smart are you doctorj2u living in a bath tub? Or how smart was the media flying above in helicoptors, dropping bottles of water while people rushed away in terror for fear of being hit by a water bomb from the compassionate brainiacs. Or there's the others filming the crowds of people suffering outside the Superdome. Oh wait a minute! That was piles of trash! The people were gone. The mayor was incompetent the governor was incompetent and they were both cowards at the same time. There hatred of President Bush was painfully apparent, yet he soldiered on and treated them with compassion and respect. I think, that of all things considered, the worst about you and your kind is you were hoping that people suffered because you hate George Bush with a sick venom and want to blame him for everything including your hang-nail. What infuriates you the most is his silence and refusal to answer you demented accusations because he is smart enough to know that there is not an explanation that you would except or an answer that would satisfy you. You are the stupid one and it is driving you mad.

Lynn   ·  November 13, 2008 9:52 PM

Well, socialism essentially allows you to tell people what to do *for their own good* while accruing power to yourself.

That's way better than the Constitution for some people...after all, the primary value in the Constitution is the fact that powers are split, separated, and constrained - where's the fun in that?

Elena   ·  November 13, 2008 9:53 PM

You should organize the comments into two columns, left-wing and right-wing. Who is thoughtful, and who is just condescending?

Cincinnatus   ·  November 13, 2008 9:55 PM

The Claremont Institute fisks the Goldwater myth that a lot of you appear to buy in to

It does not acknowledge that religion is not the source of morality, though.

Seerak   ·  November 13, 2008 9:56 PM

Nagin is a non-player on the Gulf Coast. His nicknames are Car 54 and Na-Gone. And you know what? For the FIRST year it did not matter because the city had no money or tax base to help. It was FEMA (a useless entity) and an incompetent detached president that had the funds to help. You partisans are so predictable. School buses? That happened in a millisecond of the tragedy of the Gulf Coast. I am talking of the YEARS of suffering that followed. The YEARS where Americans were abandoned while Iraq was the main focus. The YEARS of complete devastation in Mississippi and Louisiana while America's interest were elsewhere. And the conservative answer - "Stop your whing! Pick yourself up by your bootstraps!". I lost all faith in my country during those years. All I was taught was a complete lie. And you know what Mark. We will be OK. WE dug out of the hole. We are hocked up to the wazoo, but we will will be OK. But don't EVER believe America is anything but a joke. THAT is why the Republican Party is dead to me. THAT is why I voted for Obama. The Republicans, MY party, needed to be punished for their crimes agsainst American citizens on the Gulf Coast.

doctorj2u   ·  November 13, 2008 9:56 PM

To answer how to fight the IQ War, let me suggest lighthearted grandiloquent mockery. This will enable the practitioner to hopefully maintain their self-respect and perspective while sticking the needle into the over-inflated egos of our fellow citizens. Also slide in some home truths in the midst of insane comments.

Yes, I am a social conservative, that is the standard conservative, the type of guy who outnumbers fiscal conservatives ten to one, and has about the same ratio of active brain cells in use to theirs. With liberals the brain use ratio is a hundred to one. Thats because knowing how to balance a checkbook (the fiscal con) which the social con or Standard Conservative can do in his sleep is not enough to really understand whats going on. Liberals believe that evil people go into government and get power to crush other people and then become good. This is stupid.

More seriously, its not my natural tone, but we could use a lot more Ann Coulter and a lot less RINOs.

And anyone who thinks that attacking the social conservatives when the RINO's pet candidate, John McCain, just blew a crater in the dessert with the massive speed of his impact is a one-trick pony. The RINO parrot that squawks "Socons! Bad Socons!" whenever you say "RINO failure" is about to get served instead of Thanksgiving turkey.

Hucbald is right. There is a failure of imagination on the Right's side. We have our minds stocked with furniture created by the Left, often deliberately created with malice aforethought, by the Left (and sometimes by the KGB). We need to recreate the Conservative Mind.

The Eight Percenters, or the Fiscons, are probably some of the worse in this regard. They have a Leftist furniture store in their heads.

We need to reimagine our stories in a conservative vein. We need to rebuild philosophy as the study of wisdom instead of philosophy. We need to create a parallel world of institutions to replace those corrupted by the Left since in some ways the whole "MSM is biased" is pointless because how can we shame those who hate us into good behavior?

Start with the Standard Conservative. He is strong on values, national defense, and fiscal responsibility. Identify the elements of his worldview, and clarify their logic. Choose myths that build on these elements, and make them the uber-myths of our culture.

Think how effective the Fountainhead, and the Libertarian myth of the radically rational and self-sufficient uberman was. This man is far more attractive than the Left's mythos man. The Conservative mythos man needs to take in the good elements of the Libertarian mythos and expand the myth to more closely fit reality.

Lastly, Conservatism is neither populist or elitist. It is both at the same time. It is little people in small apartments in big cities, and farmers in their fields, and it is deep thinkers studying esoteric manuscripts to nail down the truth with rock solid logic.

Tennwriter   ·  November 13, 2008 10:05 PM

I think there's a more fundamental puzzle to solve: just what the heck *IS* the appeal of socialism?

It appeals to people who see the State as parent.

These are the moral control-freaks, usually on the Right, who see the State as a stern parent, curbing the "innate" immorality amongst the children (populace), and like to imagine themselves in the parental role.

Then there are those, usually on the Left, who welcome the idea of the State as a doting parent that picks you up unjudgmentally, after every booboo... because they expect to be the children.

The original American idea of the people-as-adults scares them to death, for different reasons.

Seerak   ·  November 13, 2008 10:06 PM

The problem I have with some of the religious is that they want to protect me from the wrath of God -- or the nation (for so many of us have sinned, that God will send a scourge upon us, and call us to account, righteous and unrighteous alike).

So, a commenter at Hot Air wants a federal ban on abortion, and all so called "abortifacients" including the IUD (which I used for about 20 years) and the morning-after-pill.

To protect that sensibility, I'm to give up my personal liberty?

I don't trust the religious right to leave me alone.

Janis Gore   ·  November 13, 2008 10:19 PM

This is a pretty good debate, and I appreciate, as a conservative, the generally rationale tone of the comments.

A friend and I were discussing this very thing today. Until the Repubs get their own cool urban hipster who doesn't scare the Hispanics and the evangelicals, we aren't gonna have president for a very long time. The vote for Obama was more of a backlash against Bush and a vote for a cool black guy than anything.

And, yes, anti-Christianity bigotry is real. And it is going to get worse.

Isn't it amazing that the people who go to church, raise stable families and don't believe in killing babies are now the enemy?


JohnBoy   ·  November 13, 2008 10:23 PM

This is a pretty good debate, and I appreciate, as a conservative, the generally rationale tone of the comments.

A friend and I were discussing this very thing today. Until the Repubs get their own cool urban hipster who doesn't scare the Hispanics and the evangelicals, we aren't gonna have president for a very long time. The vote for Obama was more of a backlash against Bush and a vote for a cool black guy than anything.

And, yes, anti-Christianity bigotry is real. And it is going to get worse.

Isn't it amazing that the people who go to church, raise stable families and don't believe in killing babies are now the enemy?


JohnBoy   ·  November 13, 2008 10:23 PM

Bob,
You are the worst of the ignorant. I was once like you. I will tell you the EXACT moment I lost faith in President Bush (a man I voted for twice). After Katrina the federal government told the state of Louisiana they had to come up with a plan. Now if you know LA politics you know it is a blood fight to the death. But guess what? They came up with a plan called the Baker Plan. (After Richard Baker, the conservative LA congrssman.) It was a good plan. It consisted of buying out the homeowners in the low lying areas and letting them relocate to the areas at and above sea level (above bathtub level as you so "cleverly" state, which is OVER 50% of the city of NOLA by the way). They had the approval of the hurricane czar Donald Powell, hand picked by President Bush as his representative in the area. One day, four months post Katrina out of the blue, the White House pulled their support from the LA plan. Their only explanation was that the Federal governmnet is not in the real estate business. (which is a real laugh after seeing their latest bailout). The very NEXT morning President Bush held a press conference for the national media. In it he said "I would like to help those folks in THAT PART OF THE WORLD (Like WHAT! AMERICA?"), if only they had a plan. (The day AFTER, not even 24 hours, they destroyed the plan they supported for 4 months.) It was at that moment I knew this administration was my enemy and not to be believed. The ONLY time the Gulf South made it into the conciousness of our president was when he made his yearly speech on the anniversary of Katrina. That was it. Americans living in rubble, in the ruins of post war Berlin and we are worth a yearly mention in a speech. We were not even mentioned in the State of the Union. AMERICANS LIVING IN RUBBLE!!! Yes, I HATE President Bush. As Gov. Jindal sayes "Fired with cause."

doctorj2u   ·  November 13, 2008 10:28 PM

Scrolling through the above and stopping to read a few, it strikes me that, were the Libertarian Party to come off as something other than lunatics, they'd be a viable third party. The GOP will continue holding onto the fundies (and not only Christians) because they think that's all they've got left; it might be the other way around.

Roger Godby   ·  November 13, 2008 10:29 PM

Conservatives appeal to reason rather than emotion, liberals claim the moral high ground using the terminology of Christianity, and it's the conservatives who believe in "magic"?

No wonder an education is so expensive these days. It must take a lot of effort to teach people to stick their own heads that far up their own butts.

Rashputin   ·  November 13, 2008 10:32 PM

No, JohnBoy, you're not an enemy, until you impose your standards on me.

I'll deal with God on my terms, and I promise, I won't blame you.

Janis Gore   ·  November 13, 2008 10:36 PM

Can someone point out for me the anti-intellectualism of Bush? Of Palin?

(BTW, ignorance is not anti-intellectualism)

Some "smart" conservatives seem to be saying some dumb stuff. As someone noted, humility is a virtue.

mockmook   ·  November 13, 2008 10:42 PM

DrJ--how is it that during the aftermath of BOTH Katrina and Ike, during which there has been the SAME president, the SAME war, the SAME FEMA, there has been an entirely DIFFERENT outcome? You come to the Texas gulf coast and tell us our hurricane didn't devastate like yours did! If you can't see that in one case people waited for the government to help while in the other they helped themselves and each other, then you were never much of a Republican to begin with, and...I'll stop there. Except to say that America has NEVER been a joke. It has ALWAYS been the best hope of the world.
I just HOPE that doesn't CHANGE!

Karen   ·  November 13, 2008 10:52 PM
So, a commenter at Hot Air wants a federal ban on abortion, and all so called "abortifacients" including the IUD (which I used for about 20 years) and the morning-after-pill.

To protect that sensibility, I'm to give up my personal liberty?

Well, since some anonymous commenter at Hot Air thought it, then all social conservatives must think that way. /sarc

But, supposing this was the social conservative position, would the loss of use of an IUD equate to the loss of property, gun, and free speech rights advocated by the left?

Anonymous   ·  November 13, 2008 10:52 PM

I didn't go there, anonymous.

I talked strictly about how some religious thought affects me.

Janis Gore   ·  November 13, 2008 10:59 PM

Janis:

Life is a series of compromises. You seem to be telling everyone you need absolute freedom in one area and you're willing to give up some (all ?) of the rest of your liberties to protect it. That's not a pro-freedom stance.

There's room for a religious conservative coalition with economic conservatives and libertarians. It could be based on freedom, responsibility, virtue and real, practical results. But it requires a little mutual respect and compromise.

The alternative is socialism that slowly slides toward totalitarianism, but never gets all the way there. I'm sure they'll let you have all the abortions you want (and maybe someday more than that).

Ben   ·  November 13, 2008 10:59 PM
So, a commenter at Hot Air wants a federal ban on abortion, and all so called "abortifacients" including the IUD (which I used for about 20 years) and the morning-after-pill.

To protect that sensibility, I'm to give up my personal liberty?

Also, you do understand that abortion may affect another persons liberty besides the mother, right?

Anonymous   ·  November 13, 2008 11:01 PM

So you believe the child's spirit is in the zygote?

I've been sexually active for more than 30 years and never had an abortion.

Janis Gore   ·  November 13, 2008 11:07 PM

So you believe the child's spirit is in the zygote?

I've been sexually active for more than 30 years and never had an abortion.

Janis Gore   ·  November 13, 2008 11:08 PM

And I will claim that the only sure property I have is my body.

janis Gore   ·  November 13, 2008 11:17 PM

So, Ben, you're telling me, that because of your religious proclivities, that I should buy a gun to protect all the bairns?

How did we get here?

I said, leave me alone. I'll deal with God's wrath.

Janis Gore   ·  November 13, 2008 11:26 PM

Mockmoook,
The SAME thing is happening on the Gulf Coast of Texas RIGHT NOW. You just have to research it. The mayor of Houston and Galveston are complaining about FEMA and the federal response. All you have to do is be interested in the plight of Americans and research it. It is all on the web. Research it. It is all there. Just google Hurricane Ike + FEMA. It is the EXACT same story as Katrina. But since it is no longer news THEY don't have to have conservatives complain about their suffering as they live in devastion. They have an easier road.

doctorj2u   ·  November 13, 2008 11:33 PM

The socialists claim all the fruits of all your labors through about the first 6 - 8 months of each year. You claim to own your body, but the socialists will take most of what you produce with it. The socialists won't be leaving you alone.

And you're OK with that because you "don't trust" religious people based on some random comment on a web site.

I'm not sure what you're on about with regards to "zygotes" and "bairns" and buying a gun and "God's wrath" though. Those religious people are in danger of starting to sound pretty smart and level-headed (and on topic) by comparison though.

Ben   ·  November 13, 2008 11:38 PM

So, my personal liberty is disposable for your personal liberty?

Is that what you're getting at?

Janis Gore   ·  November 13, 2008 11:49 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POx4hpuTzXI

Video about a YEAR after Katrina. These locations are hundreds of miles apart. It took me 2 1/2 years (April 2008) to know my hometown would survive. Now tell me again what it means to be an American.

doctorj2u   ·  November 14, 2008 12:01 AM

I told you that e-mail would be good for a post.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 12:05 AM

I am a proud supporter of Fusionism, but that Fusionism only with reasonable adults. If you refuse to compromise with me, I refuse to compromise with you. At that point, you may 1. Vote for my evil theocratic statist bad dog, no biscuit plan anyways which you will have no part in shaping because you give me nothing in trade so why should I give you something? 2. Vote for the D's and enable socialism of the economy and morality. 3. Vote LP and have no consequences. 4. Realize that the LP are a bunch of statist compromisers and there is no one who is right for the office but yourself and write your own name in. No doubt you'll win in a landslide and you'll be completely and utterly pure of compromise.

So...come, let us reason together....

Tennwriter   ·  November 14, 2008 12:17 AM

Skip my last line...instead...

Lets have the Socon bulldog and the scrappy little terrier named Tarian work together to clear the block of all them nasty cats.

And to get back to the point of the post, one of the best ways to do this is for Tarians to take the IQ war back on the Liberals as Tarians are naturally better at that 'I'm smarter than thou' stuff.

Tennwriter   ·  November 14, 2008 12:23 AM

Democrats win by appealing to hate

And Republicans used to win by appealing to hate. The Republican brand of hating is no longer popular.

I'm still looking for the Leave Me Alone party.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 1:11 AM

And another interesting conversation seen to go awry as the aborto-centrists who place their opposition to other people having abortions above any other aspect of human liberty. How many unwilling mothers are you going to jail throughout their pregnancies? What are your plans for millions of unwanted children? Is your own life so perfect that you can play God over others? (If you think it is, there are institutions for people who think that way, where kind doctors can make sure they don't hurt anyone.)

Stewart   ·  November 14, 2008 1:28 AM

Agnew was a low grade cretin and a crook.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 1:39 AM

If the GOP had one just 50% of the gay vote...

...they still would have lost, and lost big.

True. But had they moved 50% of the pot smokers (25 million) to the right they would have won.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 1:43 AM

So social conservatives are never going to "seem" smart. However, if you economic conservatives are really wise, you won't be so quick to jettison your ally because you might be tarred by association. Stay with us, and maybe we can keep the United States from falling into the pit of liberalism and malaise. Abandon us, and you lose a friend who is willing to fight with passion.

Actually the social conservatives have abandoned economic conservatism. Any one look at how Huckabee governed?

As I see it: Social conservatives who are "the most principled people on earth" according to them abandoned their economic principles and thus offered people who are culturally liberal and economically conservative nothing. The Democrats at least offer a veneer of cultural liberalism.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 1:51 AM

TheRadicalModerate,

There has never been a well managed war of any duration in all of human history.

See WW2, Anzio.

So the question is did Bush&Co finally figure it out? Yes.

With the world the way it is Obama will get his chance. As neither a student of history, nor war I believe you will be pining for the days of Bush well before Mr. Oh!'s first term is up.

Carter II^2.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 2:00 AM

Why in the world is it more intelligent to believe that a woman should have the right to terminate a living fetus?

Because the enforcement of the opposite position would lead to a very intrusive government indeed?

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 2:06 AM

Submandave,

As long as secular "progressive" fiscal conservatives continue to line up with the Democrats and liberals in sneering down their noses at the "bible-thumping" stereotypes they assume all social conservative to be the conservative movement will continue to be sidelined.

As long as Republicans spend like drunken sailors(heh) they have nothing to offer.

And if liberal attitudes towards sex are so bad please explain to me the nature of a liberty in Subic in the 60s and how it ruined the US Navy.

The US Navy had the sexual revolution a century or two before the left of the 60s tried it. BTW the first American sexual revolution was not in the 60s. It was in the 1920s. There may have been others before that. Some one who knows American history better than I do will please advise.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 2:24 AM

Because the sperm provides no more than a map, and men don't follow maps anyway.

Janis Gore   ·  November 14, 2008 2:36 AM

Well, you got your wish. The evangelicals voted almost 50-50 this time. And the social conservatives did not man the phone banks and walk the precinct like they usually do.

Well I'm a libertarian Republican. I voted straight R and although I didn't man the phone banks or walk the precincts I did do a post or three every day in support of Palin. Yes Palin. I was rather luke warm to McCain (except on military matters). And socons stayed home because they hate the libs in the party?

And you wonder why the libs who supported the Rs have nothing but disdain for the "principled" socons? Where were the socon "principles" when it came to spending? Or hell even earmarks. The prescription drug "benifit" is in accord with social conservative principles? Marching in lock step with K Street is a social conservative principle?

If being a social conservative makes people live up to their principles in the voting booth and Congress I haven't seen it.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 2:55 AM

Michael,

I think that in the end most libertarians will stand with the socialists against the social conservatives, because drugs, abortion, and promiscuous sex are far more important to them than liberty, protection of property, and even economic freedom.

You don't get libs at all. It is not that the things you rail against are good. It is that putting government in charge of them shreds liberty. Looked at the Drug War exceptions to the 4th Amendment lately? Or how the violence induced by the Drug War has turned a lot of folks against the 2nd Amendment?

It is amazing the things people can't see when they don't want to look because government policy accords with their desires (despite often being counterproductive of those desires).

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 3:06 AM

More seriously, its not my natural tone, but we could use a lot more Ann Coulter and a lot less RINOs.

If the socons are so good at budgeting please explain the "prescription drug benefit"?

I'd say the whole lot of Republicans in Congress (socons especially) are RINOs. And why single out socons? Well, they are supposed to have bedrock principles which I have not seen in evidence much for the last 6 or 8 years.

M. Simon   ·  November 14, 2008 3:26 AM
Why in the world is it more intelligent to believe that a woman should have the right to terminate a living fetus?

Because the enforcement of the opposite position would lead to a very intrusive government indeed?

No. Not having an intrusive government does not mean having no government. Governments do have an important and necessary role in protecting their citizens not just from external enemies (e.g national security) but from each other (like those who like to kill their own)
saint   ·  November 14, 2008 6:22 AM

Conservatives have let the media define them - I have volunteered for repubs at all levels and in many charitable ventures and have yet to meet any of the bugaboos described here. Most "religious" people are very tolerant and more concerned with the future that their children face than with telling someone else how to run their lives. I think that some of the opposition to socon issues is a concern that once enacted into law, "tolerance" in our society seems to mean that no one gets to make a decision about personal morality on his/her own anymore.

Consider that parents (of any political persuasion) will be concerned with what our society values and teaches. I would say that we should do away with the war on drugs, except that I have seen the fear of parents and even of loved ones of known users that this would lead to more drug usage - and we know that our hedonistic, basically "do what feels good" society will not push back. Face it, it is an uphill battle to oppose society's values, or lack of them, while raising children. Feel good is very compelling for adolescents and some proportion will get in over their heads - and some will ruin or lose their lives. If they are your children, this is a risk you will be very reluctant to run. If we were to legalize drugs, we would need a very different society than the one that we have now, maybe one that does emphasize personal consequences and allows for failure, no matter how tragic. And do you libertarians really think that we will achieve that in our lifetimes?

fiona   ·  November 14, 2008 9:51 AM

M. Simon, stop the disingenuous argument on the subject of abortion. The crazed left will not be happy until an abortion is equated with getting a tooth pulled and they want to go one step further and have our tax money pay for it. Your a bore and a fake. Roe v Wade is established law but it is not the line in the sand with the morally decrepit.

Lynn   ·  November 14, 2008 12:25 PM

M Simon:

And Republicans used to win by appealing to hate.

Since when do Republicans appeal to hate or, for that matter, since when to they win? Who do I hate again? I can't think of anyone.

Republicanism is about tax cuts. It's the one litmus-test issue the party has.

Ben   ·  November 14, 2008 12:46 PM

Great post!

Trackback didn't seem to work. Here's my take:

"The president delivered a sweeping and eloquent defense of free markets"

Sissy Willis   ·  November 15, 2008 5:47 AM

I do my part to help change perceptions by telling every Democratic-Socialist I meet that they are dumbasses.

Not only is this true, it has the added value of making them less likely to utter such inanities as "I think it would be a good idea to bankrupt the coal industry" in my presence. Really, what else can an intelligent person do when confronted with such utter assinity?

The dynamic is much the same as how fat, ugly chicks bunch together to talk about how the hot chick's roots are showing. As long as no one in the group breaks the illusion then they can continue to feel superior. All it takes is for one of them to point out that hog jowls aren't exactly attractive and suddenly all of the fun goes out of the exercise.

Most of the people on the left know that they are stupid. They can't help but feel this way every time they pick up their welfare check or spend from their trust fund or try to figure out where electricity comes from. They know they can't compete so they seek out professions where don't have to... when they work at all. The main way they deal with their inadequacies is by projecting their deficiencies onto others. This is the principle motivation behind their attacks on Reagan and Palin.

Palin in particular is galling to them because she has been successful without having to resort to handouts or inherited wealth. She didn't marry into money and she was never handed anything based on her skin color or sex. They have no way to relate to such a person, and frankly, the thought of people succeeding on their merits without outside help is frightening to them. It is much more comforting for them to sit around and think about how they will spend everyone else's money after the revolution.

BenFranklin   ·  November 15, 2008 7:35 AM

You must have driven right by my office. Sorry to have missed you.

Weetabix   ·  November 17, 2008 3:18 PM

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