Dispelling the common myth of the "liberal elite"
In Kim Strassel's excellent column today in which she effectively makes the case that both Santorum and Romney are playing (to lose) Obama's class warfare game, one peripheral phrase lept out at me, and spurred me to write this. She says:
"Team Obama may be abandoning [White working-class Americans] altogether, instead looking for 2012 victory in a progressive coalition of educated, socially liberal voters, combined with poorer ethnic voters, in particular Hispanics."
Hold on. "Educated" socially liberal voters? This theme of educated people typically tilting leftwards is one that needs dispelling. Are we talking about indoctrinated when we use the term "educated?"
Churchill's old saw was that you'd be heartless if you weren't a [modern day] liberal when young, brainless if you weren't a conservative when old. That progressive liberalism is favored by artists, college kids and the ill informed, while conservatives tend to be older, tax paying, more world-wise if less up to date on the latest trends, all detract from the notion of the "educated liberal." But it's progressive liberalism's policies and actions that really demonstrate how false this premise is.
Fact is, anyone who is truly educated in the goings on of the world, anyone who has any knowledge about the way people and organizations work, knows full well that progressive liberalism or statism, cannot work. In fact, at least from this American's view, the entire concept behind leftism, collectivism, marxism, et all, is one that doesn't stand the test of even the most basic logic and has been disproven countless times in history, right on up to present day.
While it's now fashionable to be one of the 99%, people used to understand that communism is a great idea on paper, but when implemented it leaves something to be desired. Perhaps it was more evident when we had the example of the Soviet Union staring us in the face. Yet a few decades later we have folks protesting capitalism in the streets. American leftism may not be the communism of the U.S.S.R, but it clearly takes us in that direction. If adherents of statism in America can't internalize the hard-earned lessons of a mere 30 years ago, or even the lessons being learned in Europe right now, then how can they possibly claim to be educated?
And of course the majority of progressive-liberal policies simply haven't worked. The idea that handouts help the poor, very popular with the Obama administration, despite a half century-long war on poverty that's yeilded no results. Or the concept that public schools just need more money, despite some of the most well funded, and worst performing schools, right in the very bastions of liberalism.
Conservatism in D.C. and our southern states isn't the cause of the extreme poverty, terribly performing public schools, or bugetary and fiscal woes found in the heart of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. Not to say there isn't poverty in Republican states, but if liberal policies worked, then poverty would ONLY exist in red states, meanwhile blue states wouldn't be facing the financial and educational issues now confronting them either. Are the educated statists to have us believe that somehow George Bush is the blame for the lifestyle or quality of public school education for residents in New York or Los Angeles' worst neighborhoods, despite decades long liberal Democrat control (Anthony Wiener and Charlie Rangel to wit)?
The truly educated rely on facts and logic, and I believe most tenets of Conservatism are likewise based on facts and logic. However, often progressive-liberal positions are plainly based in deceit.
The notion that the rich don't pay their fair share is commonly touted by the liberal left as if the science is settled. Yet the fact is that nearly half of America's working populace pay no federal income taxes at all - and it's not the rich half. Yes, lower income Americans may pay other taxes - so too do the rich along with punitive federal, capital gains and estate taxes as well. On top of this, the very term "rich," and millionaires and billionaires, refers to people making 250k or more a year (less if they are single). All of this is so out rightly deceitful, and yet despite the fact that the richest 1% of Americans pays nearly 40% of federal income taxes collected (a share that's grown considerably over recent decades), teenagers squatting in the parks are screaming that rich people pay less taxes than the secretaries they employ.
Another liberal deceit is that higher taxes and increased regulations don't hurt business or cost anyone money. Regulations actually create jobs, and higher taxes are absorbed in one way or another, the (and I am being generous here) thinking goes. In reality, the big picture is that some regulations are necessary, but the King Kong style regulatory and taxation regime adopted by this administration has one effect, make America less competitive globally, at the expense of it's citizens and to the benefit of it's competitors like China.
Even the liberal view as to the cause of our economic crisis is likewise based in deceit. Sure, the symptom of the problem came out in failures in the credit markets, but this stemmed from one thing - liberal policies encouraging lenders to loosen standards so that more people (i.e. those less qualified) could borrow. No mortgage backed security ever caused someone to foreclose (unless that person traded in said MBS), but plenty of forclosures are what caused the credit markets to seize. Yet progressives commonly blame the downturn on a lack of deregulation by Bush or Reagan depending on who you talk to. The president himself has even given claim to exactly that. To add a bizzarre twist to the already insane, progressives believe that Dodd-Frank is the corrective to all this, even as the Fed recommends further easing of lending standards.
Obama's own deceit, too vast to be covered in a single article, or perhaps book, has been most recently displayed in some comments he made justifying his latest unconstitutional move to install Richard Cordray as head of CFPB:
"We know what would happen if Republicans in Congress were allowed to keep holding Richard’s nomination hostage. More of our loved ones would be tricked into making bad financial decisions. More dishonest lenders could take advantage of some of the most vulnerable families. And the vast majority of financial firms who do the right thing would be undercut by those who don't."
All those dishonest lenders just salivating over the hordes of newbie working "families" who apparently can't read what they are signing aside, are we really to believe any element of this was really worth setting this lawless precedent? Failing a clear judiciary overturn, something I think is unlikely, our republic has been irrevocably damaged and all we get on this point from the left is deceit.
Lastly, while the educated should be tolerant, Liberals also tend to be the least tolerant people that exist.
This whole idea of the 99% and the 1%, just the latest example, and is so divisive that it's scary. How is the persecution of the 1% any different from the roots of racism in early America? How is dividing each and every American based on gender, ethnic and victim group, and then assigning special rights and privleges to certain favored groups a demonstration of equality and tolerance? It is in fact the very opposite of tolerance, only serves to further divide us, and if left unchecked over the long term, will only result in what class warfare always results in, a lower quality of life for all involved.
Of course progressive intolerance is at it's worst when discussing any of the issues above. The disdain liberals have for conservatives is palatable, and always with an assumption that the conservative is somehow ill informed. I guess conservatives treat liberals similarly now, but most conservatives seem more willing to at least engage in discourse. This is plainly evidenced by conservative media outlets such as Fox or the WSJ that routinely take pains to show both sides of the story, something that's verboten in liberal bastions such as MSNBC, Huffington Post, Politico, and of course the New York Times. I guess when you believe in something that can't hold up to basic questions of logic, you're not so interested in discourse.
Educated? Not so much. Ignorant, deceitful and intolerant? Yes, very much so. Let's not let this false narrative of the intellectual left continue.