“GOING ALONG TO GET ALONG”
by Paul R. Hollrah, ©2014
(Jun. 14, 2014) — As an implacable enemy of liberals and Democrats, I have often been asked my opinion of the difference between Republicans and Democrats.
Although there are many differences, depending on the issue at hand, I see one major difference that covers a multitude of sins. It all has to do with human nature and the way in which people of differing political ideologies either exploit it or respond to it.
Conservatives and Republicans understand human nature. Consequently, in everything they do in terms of government programs and public policy initiatives, they always attempt as much as possible to insure that human nature doesn’t become a negative. Understanding that human nature will invariably tempt some to cut corners, taking advantage of opportunities to enrich themselves at the expense of others, Republicans can always be trusted to close loopholes in advance to prevent that from happening.
Conversely, liberals and Democrats also understand human nature. However, in everything they attempt to do in terms of government programs and public policy initiatives, they can always be counted upon to create loopholes, taking advantage of the seamier side of human nature. It is an article of faith among Democrats that, if they can’t attract adherents intellectually with solid arguments to support their leftist agenda, the only thing left to do is to buy as many votes as they can… with other people’s money, of course.
However, while the difference between conservatives and liberals and between Republicans and Democrats is an important consideration, a more important question… far more important to the future of our republic… is the difference between rank-and-file Democrats and the liberal elites who do their thinking for them. This dichotomy was the subject of a recent telephone debate between Rush Limbaugh and a conservative caller named Jennifer, from Lancaster, Ohio. In order to accurately relate the specifics of their debate, I will quote extensively from the transcript of their conversation. She had two points to make:
First, she referred to an earlier sound byte in which a liberal caller had accused Rush of not really believing the things he said, saying that Rush only says the things he says in order to “gin up” his audience. She went on to say that what the liberal caller accused Rush of doing is precisely what liberals themselves do. It was a classic case of ideological projection. The liberal caller was merely projecting onto Rush the fact that liberals rarely believe what they claim to believe. She explained that it’s “just part of their script… part of their shtick… part of their spiel.”
Her opinion was that liberals and Democrats, being unable to recognize the difference between firmly held beliefs and things that are said only to tell listeners what we think they wish to hear, simply assume that conservatives and Republicans are equally as duplicitous as they are.
Finally, she recalled a point articulated by a caller several weeks earlier. That caller argued that, when individuals have firmly held beliefs, they not only accept those beliefs as part of who they are, they give others the freedom to hold differing opinions. They’re not concerned when others disagree with them because they are secure in their own beliefs.
She went on to explain that most liberals, particularly rank-and-file Democrats, really don’t have firmly-held beliefs. Instead, they are constantly bullied and pressured by their liberal elites into adopting politically correct positions. And because they are constantly forced to yield to what is politically correct, in spite of whatever partially-formed views they may have, they become very angry when confronted by conservatives and Republicans who have well-founded and firmly-held beliefs. And since we conservatives believe what we believe and refuse to compromise our values as they do, their only alternative is anger, name-calling, and character assassination.
Rush was not in total agreement. He argued that there are varying degrees and kinds of liberals: a) the ideologues, b) the leaders, and c) the rank-and-file who are just trying to be cool, trying to be “hip.” He argued that, in every liberal constituency, there are varying degrees of conviction, but that a great many liberals actually believe everything they say.
The caller argued that, yes, there are liberals and Democrats who believe everything they say, but they represent only a tiny fraction of the political left. Instead, most rank-and-file liberals and Democrats go along to get along because they can’t handle the pressure of what is anathema to leftists: the agonizing social stigma associated with appearing to be different.
In response, Rush agreed that, particularly among young people, the peer pressure to support gay rights, to be pro-choice and support abortion, and to support other articles of liberal orthodoxy is intense. He said, “Whatever they think the majority opinion is on something they’ll go with it and take the path of least resonance, which is essentially what you’re saying they do. And then, when it comes time for them to explain what they believe, they can’t.”
He also agreed that, “If you are totally confident in what you believe, you don’t care… bring ’em on. You’ll be glad to take a shot at it and try to change their mind. Or you’ll be happy to tell them why you think what you think. Leftists don’t want to go there. They can’t go there because they can’t explain. All they want to do is silence any opposition.”
Rush argued, “Here’s the risk that we’re running if you think they don’t really believe… I think that it’d be much easier to change their minds if they really didn’t believe it. I think it’s a little bit more complicated than this. I mean, there’s a massive desire on the part of the left to just shut up people who don’t agree with them.
“But nevertheless, when you are going to posit the opinion (that) liberals don’t really believe what they (say they) believe, that’s dangerous… Let’s put it this way: It makes them sound a little bit more harmless than they are, and I don’t think it’s accurate to say they don’t believe it. Now, I understand with certain levels of liberalism, you’ve got the low-information (voters). I think the low-information voting bloc out there is not even ideological. The low-information (people), they’re just like one of my dogs.”
The caller replied, “That’s part of my point. Not only can they not articulate their position because they truly don’t have one… they’re just accepting, caving to pressure… not just being unable to articulate their point, but truly being angry… I think that anger comes not from a righteous indignation… they don’t understand that there can be differences of opinion, and that’s (the source of) their anger.
The caller conceded that what Rush said about the hard core leftists… which Rush estimated to be about 3% of the Democrat Party… is true. They truly believe what they say. However, she argued that the millennials are another matter. She said, “I see so many of these memes on Facebook from the millennials and they’ll go straight from a conservative meme to a leftist, left-leaning meme, and I’m like, ‘You don’t even understand both sides of the issue. You’re here, but you can’t argue both sides of it. You really don’t know.’ They buy into the low-information argument and… they really can’t articulate it.”
I don’t often disagree with Rush Limbaugh, but in this instance I must because his caller was right. The vast majority of Democratic voters haven’t the foggiest notion of why they vote as they do. And if we were to ask them to explain themselves, we can be sure that we would very quickly be the target of an angry outburst and, at the very least, our parentage would be called into question. Unfortunately, that is the state of politics in America in the 20th and 21st centuries.
When Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and other Democrats propose, for example, that the Congress increase the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10, a 39.3% increase, they know that the increase would reduce the number of entry-level jobs by at least 15%, doing the greatest damage to job prospects for minority teens. Yet, they sell the idea to their low-information voter base as if the law of supply-and-demand had been repealed.
I’m sure that Barack Obama, as he faces Mecca and kneels on his prayer rug at bedtime each night, thanks Allah for political correctness. Why? Because, without political correctness, he could never have been elected and the Democrat Party could not exist. He is the principal beneficiary of the ignorance of the masses and he’ll never do anything to change that.
In his May 23 Watters World segment on Fox News, O’Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters questioned twelve Obama voters on the streets of Philadelphia. Watters asked each of them five questions: 1) What is the significance of the thirteen stripes on the U.S. flag? 2) How many senators are there in the U.S. Senate? 3) What economic system does the U.S. utilize? 4) Who was president of the United States during World War II? And 5) In what month do we hold our General Elections? Of the twelve Obama voters quizzed, only one could answer all five questions correctly, and only three others were able to answer at least three correctly.
On one hand, it’s easy to be a Democrat because it’s not necessary to spend a great deal of time and effort studying the issues, figuring out what’s right and what’s wrong, and determining how each of us might be personally impacted by various laws and regulations. All that is required of them is that they vote exactly as party leaders and union leaders dictate.
On the other hand, it’s not easy being a Democrat because of the terrible frustration associated with being unable to justify one’s fidelity to a cause one doesn’t understand and can never defend. To conservatives and Republicans, being a Democrat might look like a no-brainer, but it’s not as easy as it looks. As John Wayne once remarked in the movie, Sands of Iwo Jima, “Life is tough, but it’s a lot tougher when you’re stupid.”