November 13, 2008
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?)
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.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.
Billy and Wyatt go on to a New Orleans whorehouse that Hanson hadNo 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.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
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