Taking off liberal blinders

One of the things I like about Neo’s posts is that she develops them so meticulously.  In one her latest posts, she takes on the growing disenchantment with Obama, not just from conservatives, who were primed to be disenchanted, but from liberals who nevertheless were not prepared for someone as extreme as he has proven to be.

These liberals’ lack of preparedness, of course, was their own fault, because they live in the liberal bubble (NY Times, NPR, Washington Pimp).  The problem now is that, having sinned once, their denial is creating a type of cognitive dissonance that may see them sinning all over again in 2010 and 2012, rather than admitting their mistake (emphasis mine):

The problem we face is the same one I faced with my friends back in October/November of 2008. In some ways it’s worse, because there’s more to say. But in some ways it’s better, because I sense some doubt in all but the most extreme Obama supporters.

However, they are still not paying attention, and attention is required. They’re not reading about this in the mainstream media. So, what is my role? I need time and a receptive willing audience to make an argument that could be persuasive, and if people aren’t willing to give the issues the energy necessary, then I run the risk of sounding to them like a raving maniac if I do bring it up, someone easy to put in the category of 9/11-truthers or Holocaust deniers. And now that Obama is in office until 2012, it has also become even more threatening for people who once supported him to even consider that what I’m trying to say may in fact be true: there’s the guilt, plus the fear that the hand on the tiller is purposely steering us in the wrong direction.

Between ignorance and denial, how do we reach people while there is still time.  Neo notes that we can’t endlessly flood people’s email boxes, because they tune us out.  Nor can we forceably rip them away from the mainstream media, which they trust despite its increasingly manifest failures.  As for our blogs, neo and I recognize that most people come to find comfortable, like-minded people.  They don’t come to be converted.  (And indeed, the only liberals who find their way here try to be saboteurs, not intellectual debaters.)

Sadly, despite being one of the most perceptive people out there when it comes to human nature, Neo doesn’t have an answer for the all-important question of how we reach people who are being propagandized into dangerous stupidity:

How can we reach the greater community? Do you speak to Obama supporters you know? What is the response if you try to explain what you think has been happening?

Churchill was thought to be crazy during the 30s, obsessed with his warnings about Hitler, who didn’t appear to most of the rest of Parliament to be such an awful fellow. Maybe the nature of the beast is that such warnings cannot be heard, that they seem excessive until the most dire things actually occur. Most people almost instinctively reject what seems like an extreme point of view unless they’ve arrived at it themselves through personal awareness, step by painful step, or through a dramatic and possibly life-shattering single event.

We’ve had experience with incompetent presidents and/or deceptive presidents before. But I submit that we’ve never before had a president with such malignant and radical designs who also was so deceptive in such a profound way. Nixon, for example, was deceptive about many things as well as malignant towards his “enemies,” but he was still well within the mainstream of American political thought regarding defending freedom around the globe, keeping America strong, and the economy. Also, Tricky Dick seemed tricky; we knew about this characteristic of his even before he was elected.

Obama does not seem deceptive on the surface—at least, he doesn’t to many people, and that’s what’s important. And yet he has been deceptive about something far more basic than Nixon ever was: who he is, and his underlying vision for America.

I think you should read Neo’s entire post. Then we all, every concerned, thoughtful, intelligent person in the conservative blogosphere, needs to start thinking about ways to get out of our conservative ghetto and sound the tocsin of freedom for all Americans.

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    Add to the list of woes:

    After recounts in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004, both of which were key to Bush victories, the left realized that who is secretary of state is as important, if not more so, as which candidate got the most votes. Control the election process and you control the future.

    The Secretary of State Project Web site holds up Katherine Harris of Florida and Ken Blackwell of Ohio as the type of people they want to defeat. Naturally, Ritchie is the sort they want to elect. It was ruling after ruling by the Ritchie-led State Canvassing Board that went against Coleman that put Franken in the Senate.


    If this trend continues, our elections may soon be no more honest than the one recently held in Iran. If the Secretary of State Project and Acorn are allowed to so manipulate the process, there will be more “victories” like Al Franken’s to come.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Well, my solution is to smash their teeth into the concrete of truth over and over and over until they get it.

  • Mike Devx

    Book wrote,
    > Between ignorance and denial, how do we reach people while there is still time.

    Where the gulf is too wide, don’t even bother.

    I’ve found myself lately interjecting into the conversations very innocuous phrases that might direct the discussion toward conservative ideas. We’re all bemoaning the fact that the unemployment rate is above 9%, and worried about where it will go. I say, “Well, part of the problem is that business owners are afraid to hire. There’s so much uncertainty! They can’t tell what’s coming next, and so they’re sitting on their cash. They’re sitting on their hands. They just want to wait and see what’s coming next. It’s about risk, and there’s so much risk out there.”

    And if I get any sort of an agreeable response of any sort – that it’s understandable that those (evil) business owners might not be able to figure out anything in the age of Obama – I’ll start throwing in specific actions by the administration that have created all the uncertainty, making it impossible for business owners to budget, assess risk… and hire.

    Or I’ll add something like, “The money has to come from somewhere. Yes, you can tax, but you can only tax the productive people if they’re working.”

    I love tossing in the phrases like “business owners who would hire people”, and “the productive people”. I imagine it causes a momentarily jarring dissonance within the liberal construct, reminding them of these concepts. The jarring dissonance probably doesn’t last very long. But if enough of us keep up the pressure, like drops of water against the rock, it eventually turns the rock to sand.

    My salt-of-the-earth, pro-Union father, who has never and will never vote for a Republican, muttered several times while I was visiting them this summer up in Michigan, about Obama and his damned socialism. I was shocked.

    It’s a slow process. Is there any other way other than gentle persuasion? Remember, we need 50.1%. That’s all we need.

    Oops, correction. Given the inevitable planned, targeted fraud by the Democrats in close elections, we better shoot for 55%.

  • Mike Devx

    It’s tempting to snarl “Too little, too late, Colin! See what you have reaped!”

    But I guess as with the prodigal son, better late than never:

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Colin Powell worries that President Barack Obama is trying to tackle too many big issues at one time and he offers this advice: take a hard look at costs and consider the additional red tape that will be created.
    “The right answer is, ‘Give me a government that works,'” the former secretary of state said in a television interview to be aired Sunday. “Keep it as small as possible,” added Powell

    The problem is, Obama and “keep it as small as possible” are like matter and anti-matter. They don’t mix; it isn’t possible. I wonder if Colin leaves these discussions with Obama thinking, “You know, he really listens to me. He understands what I’m saying. This time, he just might change his direction.”


  • colorless.blue.ideas

    I think that you’re correct, Sadie, re the importance of the Secretary of State. It is a key position, and we need to be extra supportive of people of integrity in that post.

    Mike Devx, I like your methods and have used similar ones at times. It’s a long process.

    Another thing I’ve found useful is to seek and use descriptive substitutes for the sort of judgemental wording preferred by many. For example, in a recent discussion, someone mentioned that he was opposed to the ‘torture’ at Guantanamo. I noted that that meant he thought that scaring a terrorist (without harming him) in order to obtain information to save innocent lives was a great evil.

    Or, instead of “socialized medicine” (few younger than ~30 find socialism bad), mention “turning many medical decisions over to bureaucrats”.

    I daresay most of us can think of others.