Friday, November 05, 2004

Against Their Own Interests

In the deluge of pondering "what went wrong" for the Democrats, a recurring theme keeps coming up (as the recurring ones often do ;-) )

"These people are voting against their own interest", refering to farmers and blue-collar workers.

I can't think of a better example of the smug condescention of the Liberal Intellectual than that.

"You don't know what you want. You don't know what's good for you. Let us take care of you."

The divide in the electorate is obvious. Those who live in heavily populated areas lean to the left, and the more rural you get, the more right you lean. The left would like to believe (and therefore often do believe) that this is because of an education divide between the cultures -- the more educated tend to live in cities, the less educated in rural areas.

First of all, as a percentage of the population, I have to wonder if that's true. It seems to me that cities are full of lots of people who went only through high school, or often didn't finish at all. But never mind that for now unless someone has some real numbers.

On top of that, I hate to do it, but I'd be remiss not to point out that in education, especially higher education, is incestuously rife with liberal ideology. Now you may get the idea that I think that all liberal thought is bad and should be tossed, but this is not the case. I think there should be a genuine conversation between liberal and conservative ideas, where the merits and follies of the ideas are objectively analyzed. But that's not what goes on. In today's liberal colleges, conservative ideas are supressed, even silenced by intimidation -- in the name of protecting others from being intimidated.

I have a theory that cities foster collectivism, whereas rural populations preserve the original individualism that made this country great. Its not that all collectivism is bad -- but it should come as volunteer action from the people, not be enforced by implicit government coersion.

The blindness behind the assumption behind the idea that people are voting against their own interests begs the questions -- what do you think their interests are, and what do they think their interests are? And why?

I believe the answer is that the Left believes that it is in farmers and blue-collar workers best interest to have the government "look after them". This means more governmental control in their affairs. The left talks of "creating jobs". The fact is, the only jobs the government can create are government jobs, and government jobs cost money. And money doesn't come from the sky. It comes from our pockets. And with government jobs comes bigger government. Bigger government means more regulation. More regulation means less liberty.

Liberty. The other "L" word.

Is that in our interests? Our forefathers sure as hell thought so. I sure as hell do, too.

I saw Demolition Man. I think that is where this country is headed. I don't think George Bush is taking us there. I'm pretty certain that electing John Kerry would have given us a huge joy-joy boost in that joy-joy direction. Already schools are banning physical contact between children, people are not allowed to say what they think if isn't liberal-approved, and religion-specific language is being bleached from society. To say anything negative about a person who happens to be in a "blessed" minority is racist or sexist.

Take the following New York Times Op. Ed. piece under consideration

"Like many such movements, this long-running conservative revolt is rife with contradictions.. It is an uprising of the common people whose long-term economic effect has been to shower riches upon the already wealthy and degrade the lives of the very people who are rising up. It is a reaction against mass culture that refuses to call into question the basic institutions of corporate America that make mass culture what it is. It is a revolution that plans to overthrow the aristocrats by cutting their taxes."

The Democrats love to say "It's the economy, stupid!" Well -- maybe it's not. Maybe "It's the Liberty1, stupid." I live in the middle of "Flyover Country". I grew up 30 miles from the closest city of 10,000. I graduated college with two degrees. I make well under $100k a year. I don't begrudge wealthy people their money. I don't think they should have to give more of it to me or to anyone else. Contrary to popular leftist propaganda, the rich pay a huge portion of our taxes, AND they create wealth by running the buisnesses that give the rest of us jobs. The reward for their risks is a lot of money, and I say more power to them. And that's what most conservatives think, even the poor ones. Maybe they're not rising up against the rich. Maybe they're rising up against a self-appointed intellectual culture that is trying to codify into law the way it thinks they should look at the world. Which translates into what they believe -- which translates into a state religion. Which is what the whole church-and-state separation was trying to avoid.

So while trying to figure out what went wrong, perhaps the Democrats would do well to think outside of the Liberal box, and not assume that the people who vote the other way are evil, or as they apparently think, stupid.

1Granted, laws against gays are anti-Liberty, and a lot of Christian Conservatives would probably vote for them. But that's just one issue. But perhaps if the core Leftist culture weren't so vehemently anti-Christian, American Christians wouldn't be so peeved about having to change their language to be incredibly sensitive people who inspire joy-joy feelings in all those around them.

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