Rhetoric versus reality

One of the things that’s been playing through my head lately is the distance between the liberal worldview and actual reality.  The media arguments directed at Palin, especially those that deal with women’s issues, really highlighted that divide for me.

Let’s begin with the way in which liberals distinguish themselves from conservativeds, something David Smithee examines in Palin and the Left’s Comprehension Gap.  The title is self-explanatory.  Smithee explains that part of the hubris that characterizes the Left is the fact that it is unable to take a clear look at conservatives.  It sets up easily defeated straw men, without ever really touching upon true conservatism, a mistake the conservatives tend not to make:

But we also know that when liberals look at conservatives, no such courtesy or openness of mind is extended. They don’t see considered issues, critical thought, or the faintest possibility of reason. They see white trash men waving bibles at teen brides, while a gaggle of kids groom each other for lice on a cracked linoleum floor. ‘Bitter clingers’ who mindlessly adhere to second-amendment rights so they can shoot baby possum off a tin fence on slow Friday nights. The other sort of conservative invariably invokes 19th century robber barons, plutocrat industrialists swollen with loot plundered from the proletariat, abating their whipping of Dickensian child labor just long enough to polish a monocle.

The flip side of this hysterical denigration is the liberals’ own self-aggrandizement.  If conservatives are people who crawl in the dirt, alternately praying to God and picking lice, liberals, by obvious corollary, are higher beings, with vast intelligence and delicately refined sensibilities.

Certainly that’s how I always understand myself as a Democrat:  I was better educated, more refined, and better traveled than my conservative counterparts.  Therefore, any conclusions I drew, values I had, and opinions I held must be better too.  Never mind that there are large numbers of educated, refined, and well traveled conservatives, and never mind that conservative conclusions, values and opinions actually operate with more efficiency and humanity in the real world (as opposed to the theoretical one).  It was enough that I knew I was better than they were.

For a long time, because they own the MSM, Lefties have been able to sell the American public on their “we’re better than you are, so just shut up and follow our lead” meme.  What’s so wonderful about the Palin candidacy is less what it says about conservatives, who really haven’t changed, and more what it says about liberals, who are casting off their loving sheep mantels and showing the wolfish reality behind the rhetoric.  It’s not pretty.

The “feminist” attacks on Palin are the ugliest thing of all, of course.  They reveal that “feminism” has absolutely nothing to do with enabling women to live as fully realized citizens in the United States of America, able to strive for all the opportunities this great country makes available to its citizens.  (Or, alternatively, opting to take advantage of the opportunity to be an old-fashioned wife and mother, which is just another right of citizenship in America.)

Instead, feminism has almost nothing to do with paving the way for full and equal citizenship for women, and everything to do with bowing before the Leftist political line.  Politically-aware conservatives have long known this.  The attacks on Palin allow others to see it.  (For more on this topic, I recommend Jonah Goldberg’s column, which spells out what’s going on with these current anti-Palin attacks, and Christina Hoff-Sommer’s wonderful Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women, which was published in 1995, but is as fresh today as the day it was written.)

When it comes to women, Obama is just as guilty of putting distance between himself and his high flown rhetoric.  Despite the fact that equal pay for equal work has been the law of the land since 1964, Obama has shrilly demanded he be elected because, he assures us, under his tender loving care American will finally see the realization of the historic goal  of “equal pay for equal worth.”  Let’s ignore the fact that his muddled rhetoric really seems to be aiming at the nightmare of “comparable worth” pay, which seeks to have some Leftist college professor assign an abstract value to women dominated jobs, to make them line up nice will men dominated jobs.  The Hell with the market.  Let the government and the professors assign wages.  It worked in the Soviet Union, right?

But as I said, let’s ignore that.  Instead, let’s focus on Obama’s own reality.  It’s obvious that, if he’s saying those things he must mean them, right?  Right? I’m sorry to say that the answer is “wrong.”  As Deroy Murdock explains, a non-partisan group that presents data about the wages American senators pay their staff reveals Obama’s ugly little secret:  the women who work for him have lower level positions and lower wages.  Strikingly, McCain’s staff has women holding the higher level positions and receiving higher wages.

Keeping on the subject of women, it turns out that the whole “pro-Choice” theme constantly sounded by Leftists since 1973 is also more rhetoric than reality.  For 30 plus years, Americans have been told that the Left isn’t pro-Abortion, it’s pro-Choice (with the corollary being that the conservatives are anti-Choice).  It turns out that this too was also more rhetoric than reality.  I already quoted the following yesterday, but I’m going to quote it again today — “it” being James Taranto’s analysis of three of the more horrible attacks against Sarah Palin for her decision to have baby Trig:

This is worse than tasteless or even unhinged. It is depraved. It represents an inversion of any reasonable conception of right and wrong, including liberal conceptions.

Fowler uses Palin’s motherhood to disparage her accomplishments, an obvious betrayal of the principle of women’s equality. And although proponents of permissive abortion laws nearly always claim to support not abortion but “a woman’s right to choose,” here we have three of them rebuking Palin for choosing not to abort her baby.

Sullivan and Wilson go further, ascribing evil intent to an act of maternal love. To Sullivan, Palin’s decision to carry her child to term is a salvo in a “culture war”–that is, an act of aggression against those with different political views. (That, at least, is how he sees it for the purpose of this post. In an earlier one, he praised her for going through “eight months of pregnancy and a painful, difficult, endless labor for a cause she believes in”–which, although considerably less obnoxious, still depicts the decision as a political rather than a personal one.)

To Wilson, Palin’s adherence to her own principles about the sanctity of life is an act of neglect toward her children–proof “that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform.” Never mind that the alternative would have ensured that one of her actual children did not live.

Since I’ve kept these examples of the vast gulf between Leftist rhetoric and Leftist reality in the realm of women’s issues, I’m going to close with another example that arises, not at the political level, but at the personal level — and that appears in a book that, like Hoff-Sommer’s book, was originally published in the 1990s (and republished in 2003).  The book is called The Second Shift, and it focuses on the fact that the average working woman work harder than her average husband, since the woman, on average, layers housework and childcare on top of her paid job.

I don’t think most women will find this conclusion all that exciting.  What the writer did find — at least in the 1990s edition of the book, which is the edition I read — is a fascinating divide between older, traditional men and younger, more liberated men.  The older men resented bitterly that their wives had to work, believing women should take care of the home and children.  The younger men thought it was wonderful that the women contributed to the family wealth and said that, of course, they (the men) would help in the home.  One would think, therefore, that the women in traditional households would be buried under double loads of work, while the women in progressive households would have an equal partner.  The opposite was true.

It turned out that the conservative men actually valued what the women did in the home, and helped a great deal.  (And indeed, my father exemplified this attitude when my mom was forced to take a job.)  The progressive, modern men paid lip service but, in fact, did almost nothing.  They’d say things such as “We’ve divided it in half.  I do the outdoor work, she does the indoor work.”  It sounded good, but the reality was that the outdoor work consisted of taking out the garbage and mowing the lawn once a week, while the indoor work meant shopping, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and taking care of the kids, all on a daily basis.  There was a complete divergence between rhetoric and reality in the progressive households and it did not redound to the women’s benefit.

I leave you to find other examples of the divide between Leftist words and Leftist reality.  While Leftists blindly castigate the conservative straw men they’ve created, they remain curiously unmoved by the vast divide between their perfect intellectual world and their own acts.  However, because of Palin, ordinary Americans are getting a glimpe of this divide, and they might not like what they see.  If for this reason alone, therefore, the Palin nomination was a blessing for America.

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Comments

  1. suek says

    I think that somehow, we’ve developed a class war.

    The problem is that because we’ve always been a classless society, we don’t have well defined classes, so no one really knows who’s what. For example, Obama is clearly a socialist/marxist. He is supposed to represent the oppressed…but those who support him are both those who _feel_ themselves disadvantaged, and those who _are_ advantaged. It seems to me that there’s a disconnect there…and a potential for disharmony, to say the least. The advantaged will give – but only till it starts to discomfort them. After that, your disadvantaged are going to be dumped.

    Obama’s opponents are the middle class. They live in reasonable comfort, but have to take out loans to get their kids into college. They don’t go to private schools. Probably those who have recently risen – by their own efforts – from the disadvantaged may be sympathetic to Obama and what he wants to do for their former situation. Those who have succeeded in achieving relative comfort, are ready to tell Obama in no uncertain terms that he’s not going to tax them back into the class they were in before. They are the “Working Class”.

    And the intellectual elites…even if they are members of the “shabby gentile” class…are solidly behind Obama. They are the new Nobility. They also have some ambition to become the new Royalty.

  2. SGT Dave says

    Book (and all),
    I’ve been back and on vacation for a time, so I’m just starting to follow the politics. It comes as no surprise that the “guardians” of feminism and equal rights are not actually working towards this goal. The best test I’ve had at hand is to look at how the person in question refers to the military. I know it seems silly, especially from certain points of view, but the bottom line remains that the Army (along with the Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard) work very hard to put everyone on an even footing without preference. If the person in question calls the military “uneducated” (false – over 97% high school graduates/GED and a good percentage of college students/graduates), implies rural background (only about 40-50%), predominantly white (about 50%), or from poor backgrounds (in line with national averages) they are showing their colors. We don’t serve for the money – I could be making, literally, six times the money I currently do if I went to contracting – we serve because we have the calling. Sometimes the military is a step up or out of a bad situation. Is it all good? No, not at all. However, we are not homogenous, brainwashed, or ignorant.
    The elite left want to be royalty, as Suek posts. Look what they did with the Kennedys; what they tried to do with the Clintons and Gores. For goodness sake, why would anyone select Edward Kennedy to represent them in Congress? The man has been riding his brothers’ coat-tails for forty years!
    There is bad news for the elite left; they are starting to run out of steam. They’ve become “the Man” that they fought against, and now the youngsters are seeing through the sham. Next time you run into the lefties, count the number of people in their 15MPG minivans. Yep; Mom and one kid. Really doing the environment good there. Or the “Think Green” on 12MPG BMWs.
    Build nuclear, tap into offshore and ANWR, build new and cleaner refineries away from the Gulf of Mexico, and clear the permits for wind-farms and solar farms currently blocked by the greens in coastal areas (it ruins the view!).
    Anyhow, enough rant and back to my vacation.

    SSG Dave
    “Back from Kosovo and enjoying my beer.”

  3. eeyore says

    I saw an interview with Gore Vidal a about 5 years ago where his whole argument for being a liberal was that he was smart, therefore all liberals were smart and all conservatives were dumb. For being a “smart” man, he made a stupid argument.

    The smartest man I ever knew was my grandfather. He was an inventor and craftsman. No one could beat him at chess or checkers all with less than an eighth grade education. He read every day and prayed every day. He was a life-long Republican.

    The second smartest man I knew was my father. He was a craftsman who loved to joke and excelled at card games with a high-school education. He read every day and was a life-long Democrat. One day someone asked how he got his job without an education. He said a piece of paper didn’t tell you how much someone knew or could do, only that they passed a test.

    Neither were party men, both chose to support candidates they believed in. Both would definitely fight against any kind of elitist garbage. My father did have the belief there would be another revolution amongst the classes one day.

  4. eeyore says

    Dave,

    Thanks for your service. My father was drafted in WWII and served as a medic. I had the opportunity to join but turned it down, something I have regretted for quite a while.

    Today’s servicemen need to be smart because of the technology they deal with every day. I really don’t understand why politicians can be so patronizing of them since they should have more access to them nowadays.

  5. Ymarsakar says

    Never mind that there are large numbers of educated, refined, and well traveled conservatives, and never mind that conservative conclusions, values and opinions actually operate with more efficiency and humanity in the real world (as opposed to the theoretical one). It was enough that I knew I was better than they were.

    There’s no way you can become better when the internal contradictions of fake liberalism and multiculturalism and moral relevance all equally compete for the same head space.

    Moral relevance excludes any kind of “better or worse”, “right or wrong”, and “good or evil”. Yet, multiculturalism is its own brand of preaching from the pulpit that says one belief is right and absolute as applied to all others: the belief in multiculturalism itself and the correctness of anti-Americanism.

    The “feminist” attacks on Palin are the ugliest thing of all, of course. They reveal that “feminism” has absolutely nothing to do with enabling women to live as fully realized citizens in the United States of America, able to strive for all the opportunities this great country makes available to its citizens.

    You’re confusing them with the military, which is one of the gravest insults you could ever provide a Code Pink feminist leftist.

    the women who work for him have lower level positions and lower wages. Strikingly, McCain’s staff has women holding the higher level positions and receiving higher wages.

    If I can get everyone to agree that I am flying in the air, doesn’t that make me a god, Book? What need we have for reality when we can change people’s perceptions of it.

    Fowler uses Palin’s motherhood to disparage her accomplishments, an obvious betrayal of the principle of women’s equality. And although proponents of permissive abortion laws nearly always claim to support not abortion but “a woman’s right to choose,” here we have three of them rebuking Palin for choosing not to abort her baby.

    Every human being that is allowed to live, increases pollution on Earth and provides more support to the American ideology that life matters and is worth war and tribulations.

    The Left doesn’t care about who lives or who dies. They care about ending war and suffering. And since dead people don’t suffer nor do they conduct warfare… you get a very neat and nice logical solution, Book. A final solution to all of humanity’s ills.

    Never mind that the alternative would have ensured that one of her actual children did not live.

    Killing people isn’t a political platform the Left wants to debate. If they did, they’d have to reflect on the blood they got for Vietnam. They aren’t going to do that.

    While Leftists blindly castigate the conservative straw men they’ve created, they remain curiously unmoved by the vast divide between their perfect intellectual world and their own acts. However, because of Palin, ordinary Americans are getting a glimpe of this divide, and they might not like what they see. If for this reason alone, therefore, the Palin nomination was a blessing for America.

    You should also bless and nominate this post for Watcher’s Council, in my view.

  6. Deana says

    Hi Bookworm –

    Great post! It makes me think of Allen’s post last night on the “futility of arguing” post.

    I don’t have time to smooth what I’m about to say so I’ll just come right out and say it: I am sick to death of the impression that those on the left have of conservatives. According to them, we are anti-intellectuals (even if we have significantly more education than they do) who are told what to believe by either pastors, Karl Rove, or Rush Limbaugh. We don’t read – we just get our news from Christian radio stations or Fox News. We certainly don’t understand “sophisticated” thought – heck, we can’t comprehend the details. In fact, we are so blinded by “guns, God, and glory” that we don’t even realize that it is the Democrats who would better serve our interests.

    I am sick to death of hearing liberals insinuate that they are the only ones who are in the know. There is no end to their belief that they are the experts in all sorts of fields. They seem to be unable to help themselves from constantly commenting that they have “done a lot of reading” and are just merely “concerned” about everyone’s well-being. They tell everyone that they have “much to offer” and are just trying to “open people’s minds.”

    I am convinced that these people truly believe that if they weren’t here to hold back the conservative hordes, America would be plunged into the dark ages. What a burden these people must carry!!!

    I do not agree with much of what liberals believe but I don’t run around convinced that they are stupid or uneducated, even when they believe things that are demonstrably false. I don’t think it is my job to “open their minds.” If they ask me what I believe, I tell them and say why. Period. End of story. I don’t feel the need to imply that they aren’t very sophisticated and must get their news solely from the Daily Kos. It would be nice if conservatives were given the same consideration.

    On a separate note regarding the Palin nomination: regardless of what happens in November, I will forever be grateful to McCain for choosing Palin as his running mate. The malicious personal attacks being launched against her by feminists will only result in people being more aware than ever that feminists were never interested in being truly pro-woman – they were just promoting leftists ideas and disguising them as measures to help women. No objective person can read what these feminists are saying about Palin and believe that these feminists are truly “concerned” (there is that word again!) about advocating women’s rights. They are damaging their cause and that can only be a good thing.

    Deana

  7. Ellie2 says

    Book,

    I am Pro-Choice, I’ve always said that. I would have supported whatever choice my 20 year old (single) niece made (she, as you know, chose to bear and keep her baby). All Pro-Choice women I know (which is pretty much everyone my age) would have done the same.

    So, it was quite an eye-opener to learn that Pro-Choice is really Pro-Abortion after all. It is very eye-opening when Liberal women condemn the “choice” Gov. Palin freely made.

    And now we have (at least in Canada) Healthcare officials who worry about the healthcare costs if other women also choose to keep their handicapped baby.

    Wow! *The Healthcare costs????* This is not a slippery slope, it’s an Olympic ski jump!

  8. suek says

    >>And now we have (at least in Canada) Healthcare officials who worry about the healthcare costs if other women also choose to keep their handicapped baby.>>

    It has always been my concern that if abortion is legal, there’s really no reason why the State cannot require it, if it suits the State’s purpose.

  9. Ellie2 says

    Well, how about the *healthcare costs* of the elderly? Or the obese? Or the Gays? Or the smokers? Or the drunks, or the handicapped?

    Do we march them all into the ovens (abortion after birth)? Truely, I had believed that eugenics went out with the Nazis and it profoundly disturbs me to see that the idea lives on.

    I have to think about this. Since unwed mothers are no longer (figuratively or literally) stoned to death, what is the justification for abortion?

    Dear Lord, I might be —- Pro-Life??? Ahhhhhggh

  10. says

    You’re like me, Ellie2. Pro-Choice, but so disgusted by the culture of death that’s developed on the Left that you’re being pushed into pro-Life — which is more attractive a moral option and less horrible a practical option in this day and age of “no stigma” pregnancies.

  11. Ymarsakar says

    I am convinced that these people truly believe that if they weren’t here to hold back the conservative hordes, America would be plunged into the dark ages. What a burden these people must carry!!!

    But don’t we see them in the same terms, Deana?

  12. Ymarsakar says

    Wow! *The Healthcare costs????* This is not a slippery slope, it’s an Olympic ski jump!

    Actions have consequences.

    Once you adopt a philosophical position and assumption (premise), it will eventually reach the logical conclusion.

    And if you have chosen badly with the premise (assumption) that underlies all your beliefs and actions: then what you will get is chaos, death, destruction, hate, misery, and slavery.

    This is why I speak of philosophy so much to Book. It cuts through all those little irrelevant policy differences. They don’t matter. Philosophy matters. It always has, for it determines everything else, small or big, far or near.

  13. Ellie2 says

    Book,

    All my life “Pro-Choice” to me meant “anti-coercion” — to my Libertarian brain this was “good.”

    Now that I see the monster under the bed, I quake.

    Ellie

  14. Ymarsakar says

    It would be nice if conservatives were given the same consideration.

    That’s not valid, Deana. Nobody should be given the “same consideration”, simply because their group identity earned it. There are conservatives that don’t deserve shat, in my personal opinion.

    Their actions condemn just as your actions raise people up, Deana. Individuals deserve what is just for them, based upon their actions.

    A “group” does not deserve privileges or considerations simply because it is part of that group.

    The Left and the Democrats won’t treat you well, Deana, because they disregard your individualism. The answer to that is not to change the Left’s view of conservatives. The answer to that is to break the Left’s monopoly on defining individualism and free will as evil, as something to stamped out as the foul get of satan and destruction and fascism.

  15. Ymarsakar says

    You’re like me, Ellie2. Pro-Choice, but so disgusted by the culture of death that’s developed on the Left that you’re being pushed into pro-Life

    But aren’t you a hypocrite, Book, if you say you want to end suffering and misery when the “culture of death” offers the very solutions to end suffering and misery?

    After all, the dead do not suffer. The dead do not make wars. They do not exploit. They do not pollute the earth. Only the living does.

    How can you be against the Left’s efforts to reform the corrupt and evil policies, foreign and domestic, of America, simply because you reject death? Death is part of life. It is the end of life. It is the proper end of life.

    ****************

    That, above, is the basic philosophy of Democrats and Leftists that believe pro-choice is the way, the only way, to make people’s lives better. Add in quite a large quantity of narcissism, of course.

    When life means “war, suffering, exploitation, pollution, and insanity”, doesn’t a person who is “pro-life” become a servant of darkness, Book?

  16. Ymarsakar says

    When the Islamic Jihad told us that we are weak because we love life and they love death, and that this means they will destroy us, they were wrong.

    And you know why, Book. They are totally wrong.

    If we were truly in love with life, unequivocably, and they in love with death, unequivocably, then why are their birth rates higher than ours, Book? They love death more than we love life, eh?

    America is not weak because we love death. We’re weak cause we love dying and making people die.

    The Islamic Jihad is strong because they want us to die, and they to live. We, however, have it reversed. We want GitMo bastardos to live and be comfortable, and we want us to die. Our fellow Americans to die. Westerners to die. Classical liberals to die. The inconveniently handicapped, the blacks, the gringos, the Mexicans, all of all.

    The Islamic Jihad doesn’t need to kill us. We’ll do that for them.

  17. Deana says

    Y –

    You asked if conservatives see liberals the way I described how liberals tend to view themselves (holding back the conservative hordes lest America slip into the Dark Ages).

    I DON’T see them in the same way! Do I think their ideas are backwards at times? Yes. Do I think that some of their ideas are dangerous for America? Yes. But I do NOT approach them thinking “but for me and those like me,” these liberal boobs would destroy everything that is good in America. I don’t assure people to “just trust me because I’m better read/educated than you,” even if I am.

    Most of the time (not always), I am convinced that liberals are motivated by good intentions (in spite of all evidence to the contrary) and a misplaced sense of guilt. However, I do think that one of their worst traits is their willingness to assume the very worst of America. My opinion of them would skyrocket if just every once in a while, I would hear them express their genuine love or appreciation for America and not follow it up every single time with “but America is better than this” or “but America has been terrible because of X.” We all know America isn’t perfect but if you really, truly love something or someone, do you really need to take every opportunity to point out its faults?

    Deana

  18. Ymarsakar says

    To love something, you have to sacrifice something you want less than the thing you want most.

    Since love of America is mutually exclusive with love of slaughtering the South Vietnamese, Iraqi allies, Afghan villagers, Iranian useful idiots, and abandoning a reliable ally, Georgia, to their death by execution, one cannot both love America until one has sacrificed one’s love of pointing out that america’s best foreign policy is to destroy foreign allies.

    You can’t love America unless you’re willing to give up some things, like the hobby of letting America’s allies hang in the breeze for entertainment value, ala Fall of Saigon.

    If you don’t want to give up such things, you run into a little interesting problem. If you want love to mean “I benefit, everybody else gets sacrificed”, then your love of America becomes a parasitic and degenerative act.

    I don’t assure people to “just trust me because I’m better read/educated than you,” even if I am.

    Obviously there’s a difference between Obama, the Democrat leadership, the zealous Democrat Leftist agitators, agent provocateurs, and useful idiot followers, and the majority of the Democrat party membership.

    It is most optimal path is to separate these groups out and make them work against each other. This way, you can gain the allegiance of people you can ally with, like say Al Anbar Sunnis, while getting rid of enemies who can’t or won’t convert to your cause, Al Qaeda.

  19. Ellie2 says

    Re: Rhetoric vs reality, this morning on ABC’s This Week Sen. Claire McCaskill said:

    “MCCASKILL: But women of America are going to kick the tires the next 55 days, George, and they’re going to going to find out that this is a ticket that wants to put women in prison for having an abortion after they have been raped.

    This is a ticket that has — is opposed to equal pay for equal work. This is a ticket that does not embrace early childhood education. This is a ticket…”

    http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000002950389

    Here she was interrupted in her rant by the host to allow Carly Fiorina to comment. Apparently no one present knew that in no time and in no place that I know of has it ever been illegal for a woman to *have* an abortion; it has been illegal to *perform* an abortion. And I know of no scenario, that would “put women in prison for having an abortion after they have been raped.” Even if we elected Benedict VIX as President!

    And yet here is a sitting Senator, either lying through her teeth or deranged beyond belief. The polls that show women are coming over to M-P have pushed the Dems over the edge.

  20. Ymarsakar says

    And I know of no scenario, that would “put women in prison for having an abortion after they have been raped.” Even if we elected Benedict VIX as President!

    If you give the Left secret police powers, they’ll show you how Shariah can make that happen.

    The change the Islamic Jihad have been waiting for.

  21. says

    I think the same argument is true the other way around. I am a liberal, and I get tired of people on the right lumping me in with the leftists. I define the left as more of an extreme group of people. What I think you are defining in your post is more attributed to the extreme left and the TRUE Anti-Americans.

    See, just as conservatives like YOU continue to get lumped in with the “white trash men waving bibles at teen brides, while a gaggle of kids groom each other for lice on a cracked linoleum floor. ‘Bitter clingers’ who mindlessly adhere to second-amendment rights so they can shoot baby possum off a tin fence on slow Friday nights”, Liberals like ME are getting lumped in with the bleeding heart, commie, tie-dye, weed-smokin’, tree-hugging, pinkos that spit on soldiers when they come back from war.

    So, we can both get burned by extremists on each side. You know, conservatives and liberals are defined by our extremists. And, as you seem to imply in your entry, it’s not fair.

    Also, wasn’t it the Liberals that started the feminist movement in the US? I may be wrong. Next, I also remember Team Hilary using the same “sexist card” as Team Palin is now using.

    Is it all just a coincidence?

  22. Deana says

    Hi virgomonkey –

    I understand what you are saying – I understand the sentiment.

    The difference is this: There probably ARE Republicans who fit the bill of white trash, uneducated clingers who only care about 2nd amendment rights who probably believe that all liberals are exactly as you described in your post. But the vast majority of Republicans and conservatives are not like that.

    I, on the other hand, never come in contact with bleeding heart commies who only wear tie-dye, smoke weed, and spit on shoulders. I consistently meet liberals who work very professional jobs, dress professionally, have families, and are educated and engaged with their communities, who STILL believe that the U.S. is to blame for 09/11 (if not actually behind the 09/11 attacks); that George Bush is evil, that the vast majority of our soldiers in the military are poor, uneducated and not respectable; that conservatives who also go to church must follow the Jerry Falwells of the world; that people who vote Republican are not educated or “aware” – we just do what our pastors tell us to do. . . I could go on.

    My point is this: It does not require going to Berkley and meeting with the most extreme leftists to hear the most absurd beliefs about conservatives. All one has to do is go to work, go to school, or simply listen to what friends and family members believe. And if you make the mistake of disclosing to these people that you are conservative, you are greeted with shock, dismay, sneers, and questions such as, “Don’t you read the news?” or statements such as “I think you are being a little naive.”

    I don’t know, VM. Maybe it has something to do with individual circumstances. For the past 15 years, I’ve worked in a couple of different fields where it was VERY clear that most of the people were liberals. Anytime I made friends at work, I had to be careful not to disclose my true thoughts and beliefs because I already knew what they thought about conservatives. A couple of times, I made the mistake of being honest. It cost me.

    Things have become better for me – I recently went through an early mid-life career change and am now working in a field that seems to be more diverse politically. I don’t feel like I have to hide what I believe. And you know what is really nice? The liberals who are there don’t just assume that everyone thinks like they do.

    Deana

  23. suek says

    >>Also, wasn’t it the Liberals that started the feminist movement in the US?>>

    Only if you assume that the feminist movement started in the ’60s.

    Feminism started in the early 1900s when women fought to get the right to vote. It changed to the anti-male form of gender feminism in the 60s and 70s, so it kind of depends on what you mean by feminism.

  24. Mike Devx says

    Virgomonkey, you said:
    “Also, wasn’t it the Liberals that started the feminist movement in the US? I may be wrong. Next, I also remember Team Hilary using the same “sexist card” as Team Palin is now using.”

    To which I have to say, Amen! wholeheartedly.
    I would probably still be a Democrat today… if the Democrat party were still what it used to be.

    Feminism – like almost any movement – began with a set of laudable goals, and to its immense credit, most of those goals were won. And it was the progressives who won it. Other movements championed by progressives were also won: The Clean Air Act, the 50′s and 60′s civil rights movement, to name two others.

    There are good ideas across the political spectrum, but separating the wheat from the chaff is difficult. The three I listed above – feminism, Clean Air/environmentalism, black civil rights – were valuable, needed and necessary, and were won by progressives.

    But in each of these cases, once the core battles were won… what happened? The proponents have moved on to extreme, anti-American positions! And their movements are pale shadows of what they once were. Pale shadows or, in fact, worse.

    What is truly astonishing about the Sarah Palin attacks is that they are attacks on the original goals of feminism. Sarah Palin is not viciously attacking women who have abortions; she is simply stating her own position with passion and clarity. Sarah Palin is, however, viciously attacked beyond all bounds of decency for daring to have her own particular stand.

    Sarah Palin is a loving wife and mom with a loving husband and (many) children. She has by all accounts raised a wonderful family (not without problems!) that all genuinely care for each other. Simultaneously she has raised her own sights, starting with coaching and the PTA, to running for and winning the city council, to running for and winning the Mayor position of Alaska’s fifth largest city (Wasilla), to running for and losing by 3% the Lieutenant Governor position of Alaska, to being then appointed to head the Alaska Oil And Gas Conservation Commission, and then resigning in protest over corruption, leading to a reformist agenda, on which she ran and won her race for Governor of Alaska.

    As Governor for only two years, she broke a forty year deadlock on a natural gas pipeline deal, and AS A SIDE EFFECT, forced the oil and gas companies to deal with Alaska’s government openly rather than behind closed doors. Talk about reform we need! She took on extremely powerful but corrupt entrenched interests within her state’s own Republican Party, and beat them, earning their enmity. Due to her experience as head of the commission and as governor, she is now strongly against earmarks – defined as the anonymous, last-minute insertion of massive budget requests, written by lobbyists in collusion with Congressmen.

    (She like nearly everyone else in government remains in favor of bloated government spending, as long as it proceeds through the normal, open request process. I don’t like that, but the American people want to cut everyone’s favorite programs but their own, so what can you say. I’d love it if she came out more forcefully against the monstrously bloated national budget and weird programs.)

    And there’s more, but I’ll stop there. All I can say is she has my deepest admiration. (Not at all perfect, and there may yet be something to the scandal labelled Troopergate, but even that one looks highly nuanced and in no way disqualifies her in my mind.) She has been smeared with so many accusations that are unfounded, by feminists and their supposed supporters of women, that it is headshaking. The world is being turned on its axis 180 degrees. I am beyond amazed by what has happened within the (leftist) feminist movement.

    Sarah Palin is the very DEFINITION of what feminist success used to be about. Yet, because the feminist movement has become a leftist caricature of its former self, the feminists have sharpened their knives and are coming out

  25. says

    Deana, Agreed, Liberals can be pretty harsh. In my experience on the other side of the table is backlash from the Conservatives that are no fun to experience as well. I’m now living in Texas, so I just keep my mouth shut. My husband also never reveals his political opinions openly unless we know they are people who share similar feelings. Some have lost their jobs over their support for Kerry.

    Ironically, I’ve also been targeted by the far left staunch Anti-Americans. :) Oddly, I’ve been called a “Jesus freak” and a “right wing nut” from Canadians. Generally, those who call themselves “Liberals” from other countries think that I’m all the cliches of the Conservative stereotype because I have conservative leanings as well. I think that perhaps the Left from other countries are the more nasty swingers of punches. So, I feel your situation. And I’m sorry that people from my group have to make things so bad for others with differing opinions.

    It’s one things to have controversial opinions, but it’s another thing to give someone a virtual b-slapping over the differences!!

    I have only started to understand the conservative retaliation just a year-ish ago when I saw how much those from other western countries are bigoted, stereotype, and hate Americans indiscriminately. People become more conservative because of these people. I have moved closer to the center – perhaps because of the far left. It just happens.

    Suek, no I’m talking about the original feminist movement that fought for equal rights i.e to vote etc…

    Mike:

    Sarah Palin is, however, viciously attacked beyond all bounds of decency for daring to have her own particular stand.

    This is just my opinion, but I don’t think she is being attacked because she is a female. She is easy for Liberals to dislike due to the issues, for the most part. Bush is an even a better example of the target of Liberal hatred.

    Sarah Palin is the very DEFINITION of what feminist success used to be about.

    I see MANY Sarah Palin’s out there (in terms of feminine success). It’s just that we may tend to think Sarah Palin represents the minority of the feminist movement because she’s on TV everyday. Women have come VERY far and long past the ‘barefoot and pregnant’ days.

  26. suek says

    >>There are good ideas across the political spectrum, but separating the wheat from the chaff is difficult. The three I listed above – feminism, Clean Air/environmentalism, black civil rights – were valuable, needed and necessary, and were won by progressives.>>

    Not true, I think.

    I haven’t done the research, but I _know_ that black civil rights were the result of the Republicans, not the Dems in any form.

    Feminism…blurry – just exactly what legislation did you have in mind?

    Clean air/environmentalism is also blurry. Bush gets blamed for rolling back standards, but in fact Clinton established unreasonable standards days before he left office.

    The progessives do beat the drum better than Republicans, though. Bush is a great example…I have no doubt that history will be kinder to him than we are today, and much of that will be that he just assumes that people will see the reason in his actions, and hasn’t taken to the airwaves to make sure that people know why he decides what he does instead of letting biased news reporters postulate why – and usually falsely. He has _not_ managed public relations well.

  27. Ymarsakar says

    So, we can both get burned by extremists on each side. You know, conservatives and liberals are defined by our extremists. And, as you seem to imply in your entry, it’s not fair.

    Actually, it is only unfair if those extremists aren’t your party’s leadership. When those extremists are your party’s leadership, there is no moral or functional equivalence you can make with the Republican party, who aren’t led by extremists.

  28. Ymarsakar says

    Bush is an even a better example of the target of Liberal hatred.

    The Left actually had to wait a while to attack Bush. Waiting does not equal mass hatred, for waiting requires patience, calculation, and political preparation.

    Sarah Palin has given the Democrats a chance to respond, and they responded with passion, not calculation, hate, not love.

  29. Ymarsakar says

    Some have lost their jobs over their support for Kerry.

    If you can’t provide the details to make a reasoned comparison with Neo-Neocon and Bookworm’s testimonies, they are nothing but hearsay.

    They aren’t evidence of anything at this point.

  30. Deana says

    Hi Virgomonkey –

    Texas, huh? I haven’t been to that country in a while . . . (hee-hee!)

    First, I want to say that I truly appreciate the obvious thoughtfulness in your response. I don’t for a minute think that conservatives or Republicans have all the answers but for the past 15 years or so, I have found it nearly impossible to have a constructive discussion with anyone who calls him/herself a liberal because the moment I admit to being a conservative, the liberal person starts to experience varying degrees of apoplexy. (One co-worker once asked me if my favorite book was Mein Kampf.) The absolute most I have come to expect from liberals is some sort of expression of concern about my intelligence / analytical capability / and/or familiarity with history and current events. So it is nice to be able to have a rational discussion about experiences and viewpoints and know that the other person isn’t automatically assuming that I and others like me are ignorant unsophisticates whose rights and opportunities would perish but for the concern and interventions by the liberals.

    Second – perhaps I was too hasty in my assumption that conservatives (in general) tend to be more reticent about their beliefs while liberals, who seem to assume that everyone believes as they do, are more willing to publicize their thoughts. I came to expect this simply because since 1994, I’ve lived in 3 states, worked in multiple jobs across three different industries and have attended classes at several universities/colleges and regardless of where I was, I discovered that liberals dominated almost everywhere. I do realize, though, that there may be areas of the country where the reverse is true. Perhaps I should move to Texas??? At any rate, I do hope that most of the time, the conservatives you encounter are like the majority of the ones I know: considerate and open to polite and respectful discussion. If they aren’t, well, that doesn’t speak too well for conservatives or Republicans, now does it?

    Finally – with regard to your friends who lost their jobs due to their support of Senator Kerry, that is a very serious allegation. Did these individuals file lawsuits?

    Take care,

    Deana

  31. says

    Ymarsakar, by the way, there may be just as many conservatives discriminated/fired for their opinions as well. The point I was trying hard to make was that there is childish brow beating and bullying on BOTH SIDES.

  32. says

    I did live in Texas — and before that I attended Berkeley. What I learned, and what helped make the slow transition to conservatism was that, in Berkeley, the liberals considered conservatives to be evil, while in Texas, the conservatives considered the liberals (that would be me), to be misguided. One place, famed for its “liberalism” was unbelievably hostile to people who strayed from the path of liberal orthodoxy. The other place, famed for its conservatism, was warm in its regard for the individual, even if the it disliked the individual’s ideas. That was just my personal experience, of course, but I’ve heard the same from others.

  33. says

    I think most of the bullying is done on the internet because even though I don’t discuss politics in the great wide open, people don’t ask me about it in person and just treat me like a person not even caring what side of the fence I am on – which is nice. So, with that said, I can understand your story.

    I think the best judge of treatment would be to ask Liberals themselves (not the cookie ones!!) because naturally all groups will say that they are the nicer ones. And based on my experience on the internet, if I had a penny for every time I’ve been called a commie, Anti-American, racist, moonbat or whatnots, I’d be rich now. And this is not just my experience.

    Naturally, this doesn’t phase me because they’re just stupid names, and it takes much more than THAT to offend me. I have a pretty thick skin.

    Once again, it is a shame that people have to discriminate and intimidate due to one having another opinion whether you’re a conservative or liberal.

    Your blog is living proof that healthy debates and differences of opinions can happen peacefully. I’m sure you get a couple that flex their muscles and like to stir the pot, though. ;-)

  34. Deana says

    Hi Virgo –

    I read the article you posted regarding the woman who was allegedly fired by her boss for having a Kerry bumper sticker. If that is true, that is very disturbing.

    The idea that a boss, religious leader, or other person in an influential position can pressure someone or even make someone feel uncomfortable because of a bumper sticker that indicates the person’s support of a major political candidate is ridiculous. Things get much more difficult if the person is obnoxious at work about their support for a political candidate.

    At any rate, I hope that this the only example of something like this happening. It does not reflect the best in anyone.

    Deana

  35. says

    Here’s another story like that:

    http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/California_woman_who_says_she_was_0315.html

    And you’re right about being obnoxious at work about your politics. Work should be about work; not about force-feeding your ideals.

    And there are two sides to every story as well.

    In the comment section of one of my blog posts, an American commenter stopped by to give his version of why there may be so much hostility between the two loyal parties:

    This is just a hunch of mine, but not one without careful and considerable observation. It comes down to one thing: Vietnam.

    It’s a very personal, walking-on-eggshells sort of issue. The U.S. military has always recruited heaviest in the south and midwest. A lot of men in “fly-over” states either enlisted, or were drafted into Vietnam in the 60’s. They thought they were doing the right thing. They saw all these hippies burning their draft cards and running off to Canada. They went off to war and when they came home, were treated very badly by the country they thought they were serving.

    Something like that you never forget. Their kids and grandchildren hear tales of how all these hippies and “intellectual sissies who think they’re so damned smart” spat on their loved ones way back then, calling them “babykillers”, god knows what else, and it breeds quite a bit of contempt. As a result, as long as there are people protesting the war, they will be there to support it, even if only out of spite. I don’t agree with it, but I understand where it comes from. That’s just how it is.

    I found that thought provoking. From having spent so much time with Foreign Anti-Americans, I have moved just a bit toward the right in my politics. People can be so incredibly intimidating that in order to cope, one must make a few adjustments to make it easier even if they don’t know they’re doing it.

    I also keep noticing that anytime a candidate says the wrong thing, the polls tilt in the opposite direction. If the Libs keep harassing Palin, Palin will win. And visa versa.

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