Overheard on the soccer field

I was sitting near two women and overheard part of their conversation.  After a lengthy back and forth praising Oprah, this gem came out:  “Sarah Palin is stupid but she communicates really well to Americans because most Americans are stupid.”

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  • Deana

    But we aren’t supposed to call them elitists.

    These folks are convinced that they are smarter than everyone else. Back in September, I stumbled across an article that reported what one Obama supporter said:

    “I just do not trust the American people,” said Eleanor Shavell, 58, a computer programmer, who, along with several others, joked she would move to Canada if Mr Obama loses.

    “I cannot believe that 80 per cent of this country thinks we’re headed in the wrong direction yet 50 per cent are supporting McCain and Palin. I guess it’s like at school, there’s always got to be a bottom 50 per cent.”


    This was NOT some crazy far-leftist hippie. The woman who said this was a computer programmer. She was the kind of person we all work with, live nearby, and interact with at our kids’ schools, at the grocery store, etc. She is your average American liberal.

    And this is what she believes, not just of conservatives, but of the American people as a whole.

    It must be exhausting for these people having to constantly remind the rest of us how smart they are and why they simply must be the ones that make the decisions.


  • rockdalian

    Must be a woman thing. 8 )
    Seriously, I was at a gathering of friends yesterday and the subject of politics arose. Okay, I started it.
    One woman stated her dislike for Palin. Of course I queried as to her reasoning.
    My acquaintance responded with a minimum of knowledge about Palin. Did not know her position on current issues, for example.
    This woman would not give me a concrete reason for her dislike. She was even confused about which candidate to vote for.
    After a few minutes of this I grew bored, as I am not known for having a tremendous amount of patience.
    Long story short, turns out this woman is not even registered to vote. Thank goodness for that.
    The good news is that the majority of adults in attendance (12) are voting for McCain, mainly because of the Palin selection.

  • suek

    >>This woman would not give me a concrete reason for her dislike.>>

    Try simple jealousy. Nobody ever admits that they can’t stand the person who is: good looking, intelligent, has an attractive personality, is successful and not only that but even the person who is jealous can’t dislike her. So you not only “hate” her, you hate yourself because you can’t really “hate” her.

    Sarah pushes all the buttons. If she were identical but male, all these women would be swooning over her/him.

    In other words, nobody _ever_ says “because I’m jealous of her”…they just say “oh I don’t know…it’s just something about her”!

  • Al

    There is no way you can find one common denominator to understand liberal thinking.Elitist, power hungry, childish, desire to belong to a clique. I think that one part of the liberal mindset may be just pure laziness. They don’t want to think clearly ,which means logically, about their positions. It’s too much work. Because then they would have to be responsible for their positions. Now there’s a concept.

  • Ymarsakar

    “Sarah Palin is stupid but she communicates really well to Americans because most Americans are stupid.”

    Technically, if you are smart and able to understand how well dumb people communicate to dumb people, that would require that you first lower your intelligence to get it. However, once your intelligence has been lowered enough to understand how Sarah Palin comes across to dumb people, how then are you able to determine whether she communicates really well to America or not? You wouldn’t be able to and thus this is a self-contradictory conclusion, Book.

    People who can’t use logic often try to fake it with self-contradictory conclusions.

    Book, I’ve recently been reading some short stories of Christopher Anvil’s. In the collected anthology “The Trouble with Aliens”, he spells out a couple of premise I think you would find true and amusing. First of all there is the concept of courage vs intelligence/technological level/sophistication. The more a species focuses on intelligence and technology the less it will come to need courage. However, courage is the first of all virtues for it allows possible all the others. Human nature, being what it is, is eternally afraid of mortality. We understand that we lack an apprehension of the unknown and we understand what a lack of understanding can mean to our mortality. This produces fears: fear of the unknown and fear of failure. Courage allows us to face our fears; it allows us to ask the tough questions that need to be asked and to do the things that need to be done even though we are uncertain of the future and afraid of failure. Courage matters far more than intelligence. How many points on the IQ scale would you need to make up for cowardice? How much technology do you need before you can overcome a person’s inability to face his own inner demons?

    The Imperial Stars collection of short stories and essays by Jerry Pournelle are also an interesting analysis of how future governments will rise and fall as humanity reaches for the stars and touches them. The stories of the rise and fall of Republics, the rise and fall of Empires, and how Republics fight against Empires is an intriguing subject matter. And yet, many Americans believe they know how to maintain the REpublic or fire Evil Empires without a clue as to how these things progress in the history of the human species.

    Studying how people sabotage governments and make them fail is a good lesson on how to maintain a system as well. Being ignorant on such matters means that you are ultimately relying upon the word and expertise of other people. Now if those other people happen to have an axe to grind or are called Ayers, then you have a problem.

  • Ymarsakar

    It must be exhausting for these people having to constantly remind the rest of us how smart they are and why they simply must be the ones that make the decisions.

    There’s also the belief that pure calculation speed will provide the answers in life. The mutually exclusive philosophy to that is that the character traits of honor, courage, common decency, and what not are able to solve problems in life by ensuring that they never come up. To be honest and to maintain your word solves how many legal issues that would otherwise be entangled and in need of expert lawyering “high intelligence”?

    The Left believes that you can calculate your way to wisdom and solutions while people like me believe that judgment and the wisdom from life experiences, combined with the virtues of honor, duty, and courage, are far better ways to arrive at the correct solution.

  • Oldflyer

    Book, how can you stand to live among those people?

    I am sure you are not confrontational, but I wish you had asked that woman a few questions about her education, personal accomplishments, etc.

    I just had a funny thought. Many people think Sarah is not too sharp because of her accent. Well, I grew up in the South, but I have traveled fairly extensively and lived from one end of the country to the other. Still, to this day I find a New York or Boston accent grating. On the other hand, I cerainly do not assume the speaker is stupid; nor would I expect them to assume the folks I grew up with were stupid because of their drawls and slow speaking cadence. (Sadly, my drawl wore off over the years). I think anyone who would make those kinds of snap judgments must be stupid.

  • Ymarsakar

    I am also getting some evidence that Democrats view intelligence much as we view character. They see intelligence as being an innate trait that will allow their candidate to make the “right choices”. Peggy Noonan, for example, always loved Reagan’s charisma and always wanted another candidate like Reagan. Noonan got the charisma part of Reagan in Obama but not the conservative philosophy, but that was okay with Noonan since a strong leader was all she ever needed. A charismatic and intelligent leader is someone she can put faith in because “smarts” is a code word for “good judgment” to people like Noonan. The fact that part of their intelligence is fabricated through the power of charisma and persuasion, is of course, not an issue for Noonan.

    For people that put character as their most important requirement for a US President, it is very inclusive in the sense that the President must share some of the same character traits as his supporters. A supporter will not vote for a President that has “character” when the support himself does not have that “character”. The same is not true when you are speaking of intelligence, however. Many people can vote for Obama because they believe Obama is just plain smarter than them and will know what to do.

    This is a kind of hive mind thinking that led to such things as Absolute Monarchies and the Spanish Inquisition. The belief that your rulers, by some feat of divinity or luck, has something fundamentally different and better than the people being ruled will eventually create a lopsided pyramid scheme. Even if it was true that the ruler, benevolent dictator or not, has something better than the people at the bottom, this still means that once that leaders is dead the people are left holding the bag asking themselves “what do we do next”. It is not a sustainable system for governing.

    I much prefer the belief that George Bush’s character, his stubbornness and belief in doing good, even if it means allowing Democrats to spend money to undermine his policies, is far more accurate an indication of how well he will make choices than the fact that he has more or less innate intelligence than me.

  • Ymarsakar

    I think anyone who would make those kinds of snap judgments must be stupid.

    Imagine a village that has been living its own lifestyle for hundreds of years, staying stable, and never encountering the outside world. If you told them about such things as democracy and gunpowder they would think you were stupid-crazy. I don’t think that makes them stupid so much as that makes them ignorant parochial villagers that need to see more of the world before judging others.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Good insight about Noonan, Y. She’s one I’ve never liked, whether I’ve been Left or Right, and maybe that’s because I figured out that she has no intellectual core.

  • Tiresias

    I’d love to agree with everybody. The simple fact that Barack Obama was not laughed out of this race months ago, and is not only taken seriously as a candidate, but leads in many polls, and may in fact win… well; it makes it tough.

  • Danny Lemieux

    YM, I believe that the term you are looking for is “Hobbits”.

  • Mike Devx

    Tiresias #11
    >> The simple fact that Barack Obama was not laughed out of this race months ago, and is not only taken seriously as a candidate, but leads in many polls, and may in fact win… well; it makes it tough. >>

    Tiresias, I’ll give it a shot. Obama’s support is three-pronged I think.

    1. Obama has a messianic message that people without religious faith respond to, because it is in human nature to require faith in *something*. The young especially were receptive to this messianic message. Have faith in… ME! “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” has two messages: OBAMA is the one you’ve all been waiting for, and if we all bond together in common unity, then we shall have faith in ourselves as a movement as well.

    2. Via words such as “we must invest in…”, and “taxes are our patriotic duty”, the government assumes the paternal role over us all. The words are couched so that it is a gentle, succoring paternalism. But we are to place all our trust in government, and supply it all the taxation it requires, so that Good Works may be done. Obama is so highly skilled a speechmaker (or his writers are) that occasional nods are made to self-initiative and the worth of families, but the rarity of them makes it clear that it is Big Government that will occupy all efforts.

    3. Those who have lived for a long time on the government dole seek solely to remain there, and shall vote accordingly.

    I think that so large a number of Americans are ready to give up freedom and liberty for the guiding hand of paternalist Government, is what is befuddling you, Tiresias. If this comes to pass on November 4th, that a coalition is formed of secular faith-seekers, trusters in paternalistic Big Government, and dole-livers… and should this coalition become persistent… well, it is dispiriting, because should it endure, it is the death of the American Dream.

  • http://andrightlyso.com/ civil truth

    Guilt is the flip side of elitism. The suicidal support of wealthy liberals for Obama is an effort to expiate that guilt, denying that the consequence of an Obama victory will be the destruction of their privileged position. It’s what Tom Wolfe titled “Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers” back in the last era that radical leftists made the cocktail rounds.

    However, the other side of the intellectual elitism you describe is that whereas their wealth feels undeserved or evokes a level of guilt, their education is something that they can feel good about and with which they can distinguish themselves from the “huddled masses”. (That this puts a lie to the tolerance that they are so proud of, of course, is an irony that they can never see.)

    Which means that they gravitate to the highly educated Obama, ignoring to our nation’s peril that education is no indicator of (or perhaps ever a negative indicator of) moral compass or nobility of character – ignoring the clear examples of history of educated leaders and people creating the most despotic of regimes and the greatest mass murders of fellow citizens.

    And this blindness and disdain is to their own peril, because the educated are always among the first to be sent to the gulags and scaffolds come the revolution.

    In the end, what enables the rise of tyranny is the willingness of civic institutions and civic leaders to be corrupted. And what is so discouraging is the spectacle of corruption that we have seen with so-many “conservative” leaders so eager to betray America’s legacy for Jacob’s reward, America’s Quislings!

  • http://andrightlyso.com/ civil truth

    Mike, insightful explication of the three legs that support Obama’s stool.

    Particularly true is the secular religiosity of those who have abandoned faith in a transcendent God outside of themselves and avidly seek fill that resultant God-shaped hole in their hearts by hitching their wagon to a charismatic leader who promises personal fulfillment without accountability.

    The prior (and still active) object of worship for these secular religionists, of course, has been global warming, complete with high priests, including a certain failed candidate for the U.S. presidency who shall remain nameless.

    The irony is such passion historically has fueled despotism.

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  • Ymarsakar

    Very droll, Danny ; )

  • Tiresias

    I’ll absolutely buy every word you say, Mike. And your thesis makes the average American voter NOT dumb because…?

    You see through Obama. I see through him. Most of us here see through him. The average American, however, evidently does not see through him. Chris Matthews, in fact, on national TV, gets so excited he loses control of his bladder and pees down his leg in his very presence. All of this makes the average American NOT dumb because…?

    Upon reflection, I actually won’t completely buy your thesis. Specifically, the first leg of your triad. I am a person pretty much free of religious faith (as is Miss Book); and, you’ll note, neither of us is impressed in the least by anything messianic clinging to Obama’s aura, or his shoes, or whatever. I have to wonder if those who do buy into it are something other than dumb…

    We are a nation of people who pay no attention in school – and have done so for so long that we no longer notice that we aren’t being taught anything about our traditions or history. We have paid so little attention we’ve allowed our schools to degenerate to what they have become. This allows Obama to announce grandly that he is going to give us a “purpose.” We don’t need a purpose, thanks; we have a Declaration of Independence that provides us with that – and I’ll be g——-d if I need some politician to provide one for me, or us.

    We are also a nation of people who pay no attention to the rules, and go to Yellowstone and feed the bears despite what the rangers tell us. And are very disappointed and saddened when the bear tears someone’s arm off. We allow a roomful of criminal clowns like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and the Congressional Black (Democrat) Caucus to bully financial institutions into ignoring the rules and making asinine loans to people everybody knew out front couldn’t pay them back, and we’re all shocked and dismayed when – my goodness! – they can’t in fact pay them back, and the whole house of cards comes crashing down. Except for Frank and Dodd, and their pals and allies who flourish and grow, just like a tumor; and blame it – with apparent success – on three other guys; why, they weren’t even in the room; how could you think…?

    I don’t know, Mike. I would love for the average American voter to be something other than an idiot – to the extent, even, of insisting that ID be provided and at least the voting be straight – but I don’t see a hell of a lot about which to be hopeful.

  • Danny Lemieux

    And when those villages are solid Democrat blue, they become “silly Hobbits”.

    I know – I have some in my family. They really don’t think that any of this will affect them in their daily lives. They can just go on drinking ale and smoking pipe weed all their merry ding-dong days and “politics” just won’t matter.

    I know – when I told one of my brother-in-laws (from a small town in Missouri) that he was a Hobbit, he seemed quite proud of the designation.

    I had to point out that in Tolkien’s “Return of the King”, the ending was not so happy as portrayed in the movie – the defenseless, ignorant and parochial Hobbits were taken over and subjected to a police state by the wizard Saruman. They were unable to resist evil and had quietly accepted their misery until the Hobbits of the Fellowship returned.

    True to form, my Democrat brother-in-law refused to believe me.

  • Ymarsakar

    The average American, however, evidently does not see through him.

    The average America lacks the knowledge of history, warfare, propaganda, deception, tradecraft, psychological conditioning, interrogation, and psychological warfare that is needed to detect organized con artists and eliminate them. People with common sense can spot con artists if they see them in action but organized cons are a different thing entirely. As different as crime from org crime.

    Think back on why the Sunnis of Al ANbar chose to fight us and ally with AQ and then chose to fight AQ and ally with us. It wasn’t solely a matter of ignorance but ignorance did play an extremely large part in their decisions at first.

    The American people, because they just don’t know this stuff, are vulnerable to stuff they have no idea even exists.

    We allow a roomful of criminal clowns like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and the Congressional Black (Democrat) Caucus to bully financial institutions into ignoring the rules and making asinine loans to people everybody knew out front couldn’t pay them back, and we’re all shocked and dismayed when – my goodness! – they can’t in fact pay them back, and the whole house of cards comes crashing down. Except for Frank and Dodd, and their pals and allies who flourish and grow, just like a tumor; and blame it – with apparent success – on three other guys; why, they weren’t even in the room; how could you think…?

    I’ve already told people, like Laer, that my final solution to corrupt bureaucrats is execution, public or private. Can’t get any more final than that in my opinion.

    It’s up to the PResident and his advisers to find a way to get that done. Or if they can’t or won’t get that done it is their duty to find an acceptable substitute for the President exists to employ the powers and tools of the Executive Branch to protect the US Constitution from foreign and domestic enemies.

    I don’t know, Mike. I would love for the average American voter to be something other than an idiot

    I think you’re buying too much into the Democrat Leftist belief in intelligence as an end in itself. Intelligence doesn’t provide you much of anything for certain.

    A person can be intelligent and know all the things I have listed and call himself Obama or a person can be intelligent and know all the things I have listed and call himself Petraeus. There’s a huge difference between the two that has nothing to do with their knowledge or level of intelligence.

    Knowledge or intelligence matters not one iota in warfare except to the tactical degree in which smarter generals can simply think faster than dumber generals. This tends to end up mattering a lot because speed is essential in warfare, since time is a very rare commodity in battles. HOwever, this does not really impact the wisdom of one war over another or one strategy over another. Strategies don’t lack time to come up with. THey are long term and use up longer periods of time. It also doesn’t matter on the average individual level since most soldiers don’t need to use their brains to figure out strategy or tactics: they just follow orders.

    One typical reason why this doesn’t matter to the ultimate result of a war is that people can be educated. People are like territories and it doesn’t matter what the physical traits of the territory is: you simply deal with it by conquering it or subverting it or converting it.

    If the Sunnis can be considered unwise to fight against us, just like Democrats here in the US, then it means in the future their minds can be changed by events and actions on our part. Nothing is ever certain in war and the same is true of the domestic insurgency here in America. Certainly intelligence does not pre-determine anything of great import on this scale.

  • Ymarsakar

    True to form, my Democrat brother-in-law refused to believe me.

    These people are actually some of the easiest to manipulate. For example, their mental defenses are very strong but only in one direction. Meaning it is not omnidirection or what I would call “flexible” and adaptive. His defenses, your Democrat brother-in-law, are designed only to be fixed implacements directed towards only one type of threat. The trick to bypassing his fixed mental defenses is to utilize his unconscious and conscious assumptions and biases. If he knows you are a threat (Republican or conservative) he will act one way but if you bypass his defenses and conduct an infiltration by assuming the identity of a comrade in arms and loyal ideologue, then the situation changes.

    This is actually how people like Stain, Khomeini, and Castro worked out their revolutions. THey pretended to fight for the same causes, liberty and fraternity, that the fake liberal professors and student activists wanted but in the end they were really only using the useful idiots on a limited and temporary time scale.

    That is because true believers that are also useful idiots are extremely dangerous if they ever got the full deal. Most other people are either cynics (they don’t believe in anything except themselves) or nihilists (they don’t care what people believe cause they think it is all pointless). You also have your true believers that aren’t dupes but those are rare.

    Beverly has a great Awakening story to tell you of herself

    Read it and you will see just how powerful the loyalties of a turned useful idiot true believer for human dignity and liberty can be. They are very much an existential danger to the revolution: one reason why Ayers was worried about getting rid of the counter-revolution more than he was worried about feeding people once he got rid of the status quo power.

  • Mike Devx

    If this is true, it is a terrible, terrible thing that Mitt Romney is attempting to do: The political assassination of Sarah Palin from within her own campaign! The anonymous reports that Sarah Palin has had to distance herself from McCain campaign aides for her own protection take on a horrifying new relevance.

    If this is true, Romney has lost any hope of my consideration for 2012. Ronald Reagan famously said, “One does not speak ill of a fellow conservative.” We now have the rather absurd corrolary: “One does not assassinate a fellow conservative.” Especially when they are on the same team, in the middle of a mission, and the assassination does great harm to the mission. That is known in the military as treason, and has quite the severe penalty.
    From this link:


    Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers, some of whom are currently working for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin’s bid for the White House, have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election. “Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won’t be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012,” says one former Romney aide, now working for McCain-Palin. “The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney. He’s in charge on November 5th.”

    Romney has kept a low profile nationally since being denied the vice presidential nomination. He is currently traveling for the National Republican Congressional Committee in support of some House members, and has attended events for a handful of other House members who have sought his support, but he has traveled little for the McCain-Palin ticket. “He said the only time he’d travel for us is if we assured him that national cameras would be there,” says a McCain campaign communications aide. “He’s traveled to Nevada and a couple other states for us. That’s about it.”

    Should McCain-Palin not win next week, Romney is expected to mount another presidential run, though it isn’t clear that he has handled himself particularly well since losing the nomination. He failed to support or espouse conservative positions on the economic bailout bill in an effective or meaningful way, and he has turned down opportunities to endorse and work for conservative candidates in House or Senate seats unless they were assured of winning.

    The most glaring oversight was Romney’s refusal to do a phone recording for Massachusetts Republican Jeff Beatty, who is challenging Sen. John Kerry. “Mitt supposedly cares about Massachusetts, but won’t even return phone calls asking for help,” says a conservative working for Beatty in Boston. “It’s a tough race, but the least he could do is help. He’s showing his true colors.”

    Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a “diva” and was going off message intentionally. The former and current Romney supporters further are pushing Romney supporters for key Republican jobs, including head of the Republican National Committee.

  • Mike Devx

    If I didn’t make it clear that the above makes of Mitt Romney a cold and cold-hearted, vicious, scheming lizard, well, let me make that perfectly clear.

    During the primary season, many of us saw Romney as a scheming, plastic candidate, and were turned off by that ineffable something in him that made him seem to be a total fake. A man of absolutely zero principles.

    If the above story is true, and despite the use of unnamed sources it certainly appears true, then it is total confirmation of all of the negative and disqualifying impressions of Romney.

  • BrianE

    This is from a Mother Jones article during the 2004 election. According to Lakoff, conservatives need to frame their arguments appealing to empathy, community and fairness. Interesting.

    …linguist and cognitive scientist George Lakoff. Lakoff, a professor at the University of California –Berkeley and a founder of the Rockridge Institute, has emerged as the left’s message guru, the go-to guy for anyone interested in understanding why conservatives are winning the language wars and how liberals can retool their message. Sure, Kerry won a debate or two, but as Lakoff reminds his fellow liberals, “We have to get ourselves together.”

    According to Lakoff, the red state-blue state split is deeper than most Americans realize. He described its dimensions in his earlier book Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, which combined postmodern discourse theory with what might be called the “Who’s Your Daddy?” theory of American politics. The essence of Lakoff’s analysis is this: liberals and conservatives inhabit two opposing moral universes defined by competing visions of the ideal family. Conservatives subscribe to a “strict father” model that emphasizes discipline, self-interest, and competition. This is what makes George W. Bush tick. (That’s Bush the politician, not Bush the dad. Lakoff is careful to point out that these are political models, not descriptions of how people actually run their families). On the other side, liberals believe in a “nurturant parent” model with an emphasis on empathy, community, and fairness. No wonder we see ourselves as a nation of chest-thumping bullies and tax-and-spend girlie men.

    Liberals shouldn’t even bother trying to win over hardcore conservatives, says Lakoff. But he thinks they have a shot at the middle-of-the-road swing voters who share parts of both worldviews. To do this, Lakoff says liberals must reframe every issue from tax cuts to the war on terror. The Rockridge Institute, Lakoff’s Berkeley-based think thank, has started on this project. Yet, so far, some of the specifics are vague or off-target. For instance, Lakoff has recommended replacing the loaded phrase “trial lawyer” with “public protection lawyer,” a clunky construction that might make John Edwards blush.

    But the left is listening to Lakoff. The blogger Kos gushed that Don’t Think of an Elephant “put things in perspective in a way I was previously unable to do.” Howard Dean, who made his staff read Moral Politics, called him “one of the most influential thinkers of the progressive movement.” And, at times, John Kerry has sounded a lot like Lakoff, challenging Bush’s claims on qualities such as strength, security, and integrity.