Yes, it’s true. I am planning on fisking a Prager column, but only because I think he’s being naive, not because I think he’s wrong. This is Prager’s premise:
One of the two major political parties of the United States has linked all its electoral hopes on domestic pathologies, economic downturns and foreign failure.
It is actually difficult to name any positive development for America that would benefit the Democratic Party’s chances in a national election.
Name almost any subject, and this unhealthy pattern can be discerned.
In other words, Prager says that the Democrats seek failure in every American arena, and hang their political hopes on that failure. The only problem is that Prager is assuming that we all define success and failure the same way. That is, he believes that, if he can just reach people and say “Look, they want failure,” people will turn away from the Democrats. He forgets that after 40 years of Democratic mythologizing, many people have bought into that topsy turvey world view. So, on to the gentle fisk, with my comments in the pretty pink color:
If African Americans come to believe that America is a land of opportunity in which racism has been largely conquered, it would be catastrophic for the Democrats. The day that most black Americans see America in positive terms will be the day Democrats lose any hope of winning a national election. Whatever one believes about the extent of racism in America, one cannot deny that the Democrats need black Americans to feel victimized by racism. Contented black Americans spell disaster for the Democratic Party. Prager forgets here that many Americans, including blacks themselves, have come to see victim status as a badge of honor. That sense of victimization has become integrated with their self-identity and, sadly, many of them believe that failing to see racism doesn’t mean that there’s less racism, it simply means that they have become less black.
If women marry, it is bad for the Democratic Party. Single women are an essential component of any Democratic victory. Unmarried women voted for Kerry by a 25-point margin (62 percent to 37 percent), while married women voted for President Bush by an 11-point margin (55 percent to 44 percent). According to a pro-Democrat website, The Emerging Democratic Majority, “the 25-point margin Kerry posted among unmarried women represented one of the high water marks for the Senator among all demographic groups.” Has Prager forgotten that a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle? I haven’t, and I bet there are lots of women, from baby boomers to Gen X, Y & Zers who have bought into that belief as well. After all, if you can’t train men to lower the toilet seat, what good are they? While Prager may ascribe virtue to marriage, generation after generation of women have been trained to believe that marriage equals servitude, and that they’re better off alone. They don’t feel victimized by the Democratic effort to undermine marriage; they feel vindicated by it.
After women marry, they are more likely to abandon leftist views and to vote Republican. And if they then have children, they will vote Republican in even more lopsided numbers. The bottom line is that when Americans marry, it is bad for the Democratic Party; when they marry and make families, it is disastrous for the party. Whoops! Prager seems to have forgotten entirely zero population growth. In the hardcore liberal world view, humans are the most dangerous and violent parasite on earth, upsetting the earth’s natural balance. To those raised on this ideology, it’s a good thing for America and the world, not a bad thing, if people stop having children.
If immigrants assimilate, it is not good for Democrats. The Democratic Party has invested in Latino separatism. The more that Hispanic immigrants come to feel fully American, the less likely they are to vote Democrat. The liberal notion of multiculturalism helps Democrats, while adoption of the American ideal of e pluribus unum (out of many, one) helps Republicans. That is one reason Democrats support bilingual education – it hurts Hispanic children, but it keeps them from full assimilation – and oppose making English America’s official language. Again, Prager is ignoring decades of inculcation with the mantra of multiculturalism. He seems stuck on that old-fashioned notion that the melting pot is a good thing. Poor, naive Prager. Doesn’t he recognize that we’re living in a tossed salad paradigm? Of course, if you read books such as Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within and Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel, you too may come away with the sense that, while multiculturalism might work for marginally different cultures (French vs. English vs. German vs. Spanish), it’s the recipe for Western cultural suicide when it comes to Islam, which does not believe in either the melting pot or the salad metaphor — it wants to own the whole kitchen.
Concerning the economy, the same rule applies. The better Americans feel they are doing, the worse it is for Democrats. By almost every economic measure (the current housing crisis excepted), Americans are doing well. The unemployment rate has been at historically low levels and inflation has been held in check, something that rarely accompanies low unemployment rates. Nevertheless, Democrats regularly appeal to class resentment, knowing that sowing seeds of economic resentment increases their chances of being elected. We don’t want Americans doing well. Americans who feel economically secure will abuse environmental resources by buying more and more things, thereby contributing to global warming. It’s a good thing, therefore, for Americans to feel economically insecure and to stop building homes and investing in their economic future.
The most obvious area in which this rule currently applies is the war in Iraq. The Democrats have put themselves in the position of needing failure in Iraq in order to win the next election. And again, perceptions matter more than reality. Even if America is doing better in the war, what matters most for the Democrats are Americans’ perceptions of the war. The worse the stories from Iraq, the better for Democrats. Prager is completely missing the morality tale here. American are evil. They deserve to lose. It’s a good thing, therefore, if America is humiliated in Iraq and has to turn tail and run. And if several hundred thousand Iraqis die as a result of the power vacuum our abrupt departure created — while, you can’t create a good moral punishment for an evil imperialist nation without breaking a few (hundred thousand Iraqi) eggs.
My heavy handed point is that Prager is wrong to assume that what he sees as good — well-integrated minorities and immigrants; happy, married families; children; a healthy economy; and a successful outcome to the War in Iraq — is the same thing that generations of liberals have been trained to see as good. For many liberals, their views have become so warped that they glory in the concept of a society fragmented into unhappy, disparate little groups; women bouncing aimlessly from one “hook-up” to another; a future without children; a less affluent society; and America’s humiliation abroad, no matter the human cost associated with it. Happily bounded by that view of the world, Democrats’ think that their dystopian desires are good for America and are doing their damnedest to convince Americans of the truth of that sentiment.
UPDATE: Lulu’s comment leads me to believe I’d better clarify my position in this post, which I’ll do here by elevating my response right up into the post:
I agree completely with Prager that, from a conservative perspective, everything the Democrats demand depends on the failure of American institutions at home and abroad. The point I was trying to make was that, after 40 years of indoctrination, many liberals would disagree that it is bad for America that African-Americans and immigrants remain ghettoized, that women remain single, that children aren’t born, that the economy stagnates, and that America is defeated in the War. Instead, they would say that all of these results are good things, because they advance important liberal principles, such as defeating the anti-multicultural melting pot, protecting women from patriarchal marriages and demeaning motherhood, preventing the advance of climate change through aggressive capitalism, or clamping down on America’s imperialist drive.
In other words, Prager’s argument is a bootstrapping argument in which he assumes that the things he believes are good are also the things that everyone else believes are good. I’m trying to make the point that, in the Bizarro land of liberalism, these self-evident good things aren’t viewed as good at all. Instead, things that, to us, are self-evidently bad, are now elevated to political sacred cows that are perfectly acceptable as liberal party platforms.