A woman named Jane Pitt recently exercised her Free Speech rights by sending a letter to a local paper castigating Obama for supporting same-sex marriage and urging people to vote for Romney, because he will support traditional marriage. She was predictably savaged by Leftists who didn’t merely challenge her beliefs, but effortlessly went to the next step of threatening her physical well-being.
Normally, the MSM would ignore this story. After all, Jane is guilty of wrong-thinking. What makes her story news worthy is that her famous son, Brad, and his paramour, Angelina Jolie, disagree with Mom’s views. Were they normal people, they would say, “We disagree with her views.” But they’re not normal. Instead, they’re Hollywood Leftists, with all the arrogance, shading into totalitarianism, that this implies:
Since the letter was published, Angelina has now reportedly asked Brad to teach his mother not to be so outspoken about same-sex marriage, especially since the celebrity couple clearly support it.
‘(She) has told Brad he must educate his mother, but Brad is too much of a mama’s boy,’ a source told the magazine.
‘If Brad won’t do it, Angelina will have to take matters into her own hands and talk to Jane about how, as the mother of such a prominent celebrity, she shouldn’t be writing letters that clash with her son’s personal opinions.’
Let me translate: Angelina says “Shut up, Jane, you ignorant slut.”
This sorry little news squiblet has ramifications beyond proving what we all know, which is that Jolie is a self-obsessed, not-very-nice excuse for a human being. After all, Jolie’s personality, or lack therefore, is a great big “duh.”
As it is, the story deserves consideration because it so perfectly proves the point the inimitable Zombie makes about the latest book purporting to teach Progressives how to win the argument. You see, George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling, both Leftist academics, just saw published The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic.
You really have to read Zombie’s erudite and well-researched post to appreciate the full Orwellian-think on display in Lakoff’s and Wehling’s book. I just want to focus on one aspect, which is the fact that Lakoff says that the worst thing good-thinking Progressives can do is actually to engage at a substantive level with conservatives:
Lakoff is also the reason why liberals and conservatives never seem to be able to communicate with each other. This frustrating problem is no accident, nor a natural result of differing ideologies simply not seeing eye to eye. Rather, it’s a conscious behavior explicitly recommended by Lakoff over the years, and one which he hammers home repeatedly in The Little Blue Book. Page 43 contains the book’s core message:
“Never use your opponent’s language….Never repeat ideas that you don’t believe in, even if you are arguing against them.”
So central is this notion to Lakoff’s thesis that his publicist sent out a list of “The 10 Most Important Things Democrats Should Know” with each review copy, and guess what comes in at #1:
“Don’t repeat conservative language or ideas, even when arguing against them.”
And many politicians, pundits and talking heads have taken Lakoff’s recommendation to heart. This is why conservatives and liberals can’t seem to have the simplest conversation: liberals intentionally refuse to address or even acknowledge what conservatives say. Since (as Lakoff notes) conservatives invariably frame their own statements within their own conservative “moral frames,” every time a conservative speaks, his liberal opponent will seemingly ignore what was said and instead come back with a reply literally out of left field.
Zombie addresses the major problem with this Leftist approach, which is a problem common to all totalitarian systems: The cognitive dissonance that inevitably arises when the facts on the ground fail to mesh with the totalitarian rhetoric. Zombie uses the abortion debate to focus on the ground one loses when slogans clash with reality. I recommend reading that discussion. If you’re interested in an even more in-depth analysis of the vast chasm between Leftist slogans and reality, not to mention honesty, check out Jonah Goldberg’s The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. Likewise, you can’t go wrong reading Natan Sharansky’s The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, which explains that it was this cognitive dissonance that enabled the refusniks and other dissidents to stand against the weight of the Soviet Union.
The totalitarian conversational approach, in the long-term, turns each of its advocates into slightly insane, and definitely untrustworthy people, who spend their time stalwartly advocating something that fact, reason, and logic deny. In the short-term, though, it has an evil, insidious effect on the Lefts’ political opponents: It effectively turns them into non-people — that is, people who have no right to hold opinions separate from Leftist dogma or, if they have the temerity to have separate opinions, people who must be silenced. This totalitarian imperative is so overwhelming that even family members are suspect and must be controlled. Those of you who lived in the Eastern bloc or the Muslim world probably know precisely what I’m talking about.
Anyone who suspects that Angelina is a self-centered idiot is, of course, correct. But all of us would be wise to realize that she is also the living manifestation of the Leftist world view.