I told my friend Don Quixote about the way in which liberals were boasting that the crowds at One Union exceeded those at Restoring Honor, despite the fact that the pictorial evidence showed the opposite to be true. Don Quixote, a lifelong conservative, responded by asking “Do liberals really believe what they say?”
I came back with another anecdote. This time, I told him about Katha Pollitt, the very well-known Leftist writer, whose emails emerged when JournoList, the coterie of liberal journolists, came to light. In the email, Katha Pollitt complains about the incredible strain that comes with trying to assure American’s that Leftist politicians haven’t committed heinous, immoral, unethical or unsavory acts:
Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.
Put simply, Pollitt knew the facts — Clinton was at best a masher and at worst a rapist — but she deliberately lied to advance her political agenda.
Don Quixote responded that, while both of those anecdotes were illuminating, he wasn’t asking about the facts,* he was asking about the ideology. “Oh,” I said. “They certainly believe the ideology. I know I did.” He was curious as to what I believed.
My answer was a simple one: “When I was a college Democrat, I believed that Republicans are evil people who hate blacks, children and poor people, who want to force everyone to convert to Christianity, and who want to weaponize America to take over the world.” In other words, my understanding of my ideology was simply that I, as a Democrat, existed to thwart evil Republicans. By voting straight down the “D” column on my ballot, I was protecting blacks, children and poor people, and keeping the proselytizers from my state house.
I believed all of this absolutely. I was unconcerned about more sophisticated issues of limited government; the moral rot of welfare; the economic damage wrought by government’s heavy hand in the marketplace; the genuine threat totalitarianism posed to world stability and American security; the danger of allowing government to pick winners and losers amongst its own citizens through taxation, spending, legislation and police action; etc.
All I knew was that Republicans were evil, and I was not evil. They hated people, and I wanted people to do well. Whatever they were for, I was against it.
It turns out that, while I (thank goodness) have changed, those on the Left have not. While I’m thinking about the way in which policies advance goals (because Republicans do want people to do well, not just specific classes, races, or religions of people; and Republicans do want the best world for the greatest number of American children; and Republicans do want maximum economic well-being for the greatest number of people), Democrats are still engaged in the simplistic name calling that characterized my thinking 30 years ago.
How do I know? Because of a video that’s floating around on facebook amongst the liberal cadre. It’s just one more effort to energize the useful idiots who so reliably turned up at the polls two years ago:
It’s this kind of thing that makes me so glad I grew up and started thinking. Those who think are usually conservatives; those who mindlessly emote seem to be Progressives.
*On the subject of facts, since my daughter is studying U.S. History this year (although she assured me that I needn’t worry because, “my teacher loves America”), I had occasion to recall John Adams’ most beautiful words about the immutably of cold, hard facts: “Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictums of our passions, they cannolt alter the state of facts and evidence.” Unless, of course, you work for the liberal media.