Perhaps the toughest group to get through to are the self-appointed liberal elites, especially those in Washington, DC. These are the alleged liberal intelligentsia that populate the liberal think tanks, the likes of the Washington Post, and especially the worst of the ilk- the Georgetown cocktail circuit. They rival those of the Hollywood circuit, the North Shore of Chicago, New York’s Upper East Side and, well, all of San Francisco. In these confines, politics is discussed, conservatives are dissed, and Presidents are created. Their reality is not the reality of the vast majority of Americans (and thank God for that). They are more akin to an insulated cult; less a way of thinking and closer to a psychopathology.
Some would question why Republicans should attempt to get through to this group. That is the point which is not to reform anyone, but to at every opportunity highlight their sanctimonious hypocrisy for others to see. Sometimes embarrassment acts as a great motivator, in this case to just shut up. It is the same strategy to highlight the hypocrisy of the environmentalists. Look at how Al Gore shuttered his blinds after his energy bill on his Tennessee mansion became public. Not even his alleged purchase of carbon offsets could save him from that public relations debacle. And so it needs to be with the liberal elites. It can start by calling them what they are- liberals, not the nome du jour, progressive. They are anything but “progressive;” in fact, they are regressive as in the failed socialism of the Soviet Union or the Eastern Bloc and the stagnation of Western Europe.
There is the ultimate hypocrisy. Their egalitarian belief system decries elitism, but they are what they decry. Yet, in and of itself, elitism is not necessarily a bad thing. When we captured bin Laden, wasn’t it an elite Navy Seals team that accomplished that task? Don’t we watch the elite sports players instead of the second-rate ones? Wouldn’t you, they, or me want an elite surgeon operating on us rather than Joe Blow from the Tijuana Medical School? The deep-pocketed liberal elites in Washington, I am sure, do not have season tickets to the Washington Nationals farm team, or go to the nearest public clinic for health care, or send their kids to the failing public school system in Washington. Ask a survivor of Stalin’s Soviet Union or Mao’s China how egalitarianism worked out there. Better yet, ask a Cuban refugee how its working out in Cuba while you are plucking them from the sea.
Then there are their views on “social justice.” Whose social justice? The social justice of the NAACP is vastly different than that of the Ku Klux Klan, for example. Granted, this is a deliberately extreme example and I certainly do not endorse the KKK, but the sublime bigotry of the liberal elites to pick and choose that their particular rendition of social justice is the correct rendition of social justice is just so very hypocritical. Perhaps we should suggest that we all support justice without qualifiers or prefixes attached to the word. Likewise with the concept of equality. Conservatives, like liberals, believe in equal opportunity for all. But unlike liberals, we know that sometimes there are winners and sometimes there are losers. Making the most of one’s opportunities in life is the basis of the American dream. Where we differ is that liberals believe the equality of outcomes. This, unfortunately, leads to concepts like “affirmative action.”
I forgot where I read it, but an article from some conservative website noted the difference between liberals and conservatives: conservatives are more thinking and logical, while liberals are more feeling and empathetic. I am not quite sure if I agree with that formulation of the situation, but what I object to is those self-selected few on the left who claim to have obtained a monopoly on empathy. Besides, I thought they were against the concept of monopolies. Regardless, I disagree in theory and practice with the premise of that article. It is that line of thinking that lends credence and provides ammunition for the Left to make statements like us evil Republicans are trying to take away granny’s Medicare coverage and Social Security checks, being all “unfeeling” and such. That is why Republicans are against extending unemployment benefits because we cannot empathize with the unemployed. Here is a little secret: unemployment knows no political affiliation boundaries.
I would suggest that conservatives infiltrate these liberal elite strongholds, but I am afraid that would somehow violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment.” Instead of planting moles to destroy from within (that strategy is better left for another day), the better tactic is to attack from outside. Hopefully, we can usher in a new Age of Reason and kick out the Age of Feeling (a/k/a the “New Age”). However, we must not stoop to the four liberal tactics that they employ in debate, discussion, and challenges. We must remember that we have reason and logic and truly progressive ideas on our side. We must remember that we are not the party of “old, rich, white men,” but a dynamic party with young leaders like Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and the like.
First, while we can certainly cite numerous studies from conservative think tanks like the Cato Institute or the Heritage Foundation, we should not rely exclusively on the these alleged sources of authority. Likewise, the Left’s reliance on alleged sources of authority need to be questioned. For example, citing the National Academy of the Sciences or the IPCC when discussing global warming means exactly what? Because a group of scientists “decided” something over lunch in Rio de Janiero one afternoon means very little. Be prepared- they will trot out their authoritative voices; we must either rebut them with our authoritative sources or attack the premises of their authoritative sources. Secondly, we need to avoid the liberal tendency to resort to name calling. I know this is a favorite of conservative talk radio- to repay in kind. And it is tough to show restraint in the face of vitriol. This basically boils down to civil political discourse. We should remember this Biblical directive: “turn the other cheek.” It is not martyrdom because the one thing that brings on the name-calling by the Left is that deep down they realize their arguments are lacking in logic and that are basically all tried-and-truly-failed ideas. We should show the mentally ill some compassion.
Third, we need to avoid the tendency to attach motives to dismiss facts or, at least, place less emphasis on that tendency. For example, a great technique of liberals is simply to dismiss a FACT because it was put forth by a party with an agenda. But to paraphrase a poet (I think): A fact is a fact is a fact. Because Shell Oil may publish an article on the efficacy of extracting shale oil in the Western United States and the size of those reserves does not change the fact that there is a large reserve of shale oil in the Western United States and that it can be extracted on an economical scale. Some things are just objective facts. Dismissing out of hand without investigating first the claims of liberal “authorities” is no better than that which they practice against us. In short, why should we stoop to their level?
And finally, we should never use the common tactic of closing an argument with accusations. Leave the Jerry Springer stuff to Jerry Springer (and Rush Limbaugh). However, this is a great technique of the Left to accuse conservatives of being something they are not simply because they cannot defend their positions. That is because generally speaking, conservatives have more facts and one cannot refute facts. For example, because I may be in favor of securing our southern border with Mexico because that is what sovereign nations around the globe do, that does not make me a “racist.” It is a fact that our southern, not our northern border, is the overwhelming source of illegal crossings and I defy any liberal to refute that fact. For example, because I consider radical Islam a threat to our country does not make me an “Islamaphobe.” It was radical Islamic followers who flew airplanes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, not Sven and Thor from Sweden and I defy any liberal to refute that fact. Because I want my children to receive a thorough education come hell or high water does not make me an “elitist.” It is a fact that inner city public schools are inferior in most aspects to others and I deny any liberal to refute that fact. Because I believe there are very real biological differences between men and women does not make me “sexist.” I defy any liberal to refute that fact and show me any male who has given birth. And the list goes on.
Perhaps I am showing too much faith in the American electorate, but with reason, we can debate, challenge, and prod the liberal elites in a non-emotional manner. It should be remembered that at the end of the day, we will never change the mind of a liberal and that is OK. The fact is that there are not too many people out there who describe themselves as “liberal.” The goal is to undermine their arguments and policies and dogma to the vast majority of Americans and expose their hypocrisy.