Friday, November 5

On the Dummies and Haters of Flyoverland

Currently on many places in the left leaning corners of the blogosphere and amongst the "chattering classes", a common theme is emerging blaming their recent loss at the polls on those small minded ignorant haters living in them "red states" (for a prime example see this). It and rants like it are repeated over and over. Most commentators who disagree with this outlook, merely scoff and point out that the writers sound a bit deranged. True, but just because the points being made by the left are baseless and a little overheated, doesn't mean that the speakers don't actually at some level believe what they are saying.

Two main thrusts of their rants are that "we" are both stupid and bigoted haters. I'll deal with those separately.

The idea that those who disagree with you are stupid because you can't understand what you see plainly. Some very bright people (some not so bright) bemusedly wonder why those "dummies" didn't vote their own self interest. One wonders happens if one of them meets a person brighter than themselves who didn't vote the same way. Some feel that those "idiots" are not voting in their own economic best interest. Well, that they didn't vote in their economic interest is an argument for economists, but why is their economic interest the only valid way to vote? It might be part of Marxist ideology economics are the basis for all men's motives. I personally think economic motives rarely are the leading motive for a person's actions.

Thinking that the "idiots" in flyover country were all dumber than you is almost certainly to a man false. Let's face it, those lefties may be smarter than some of us, but nobody can claim to be smarter than all 59.5 million people. If some of "us" are smarter than "you" then the claim that we are all stupid for doing what we did, kinda loses it's impetus. Especially when it comes to determining all of their best interests. And let's face it, for the chattering classes of the left, continuing to support social policies which have been failing miserably for upwards of 40 years takes a special kind of blindness. Perhaps that same blindness allows one to believe that more than half of your countrymen are barely capable of tying their own shoes.

This concept has two main origins. One is the non-support for the gay civil unions and the second is that almost two generations ago, the civil rights movement fought, those who they identify as the same people, prejudice against people of color in this country. This is grounded in a number of misconceptions:
  • This most often comes up with respect to the gay agenda. Apparently any questioning of this agenda, come under the rubric of "gay bashing", "hate crimes", and just plain hate-full intolerance. It strikes me that hate is ordinarily a strong emotion. That one can have a considered opinion carefully reasoned which doesn't agree with their point of view, escapes them.
  • I think it also falls under the misconception of ascribing ones own motives to others. They by their rants, clearly are in a black funk (dare I say hateful) mood concerning the right. They ascribe to the right, those motives and feelings which they are expressing. They claim I hate "X", because they hate me.
  • While they admit many of us are Christian, they seem to miss the point high challenge of Leviticus, "love thy neighbor" never means letting him go ahead and do whatever he wants. If what God really meant was, "give complete license to thy neighbor" you'd have thought that would be what he would have said. Loving my neighbor it would seem to me would mean to want what is good for him. But since there seems to be a disagreement about what we mean by "good" perhaps they might be so good as to start the argument there, instead of imputing "hatred" as our motive.
The biggest reason for the ranting is of course ignorance. Just as in the "Age of Discovery" of the 16th & 17th centuries where maps of the world had dragons, monsters, and imagined beasts drawn where nobody had every gone. Those pundits who rant don't actually go out and visit actually living breathing red-staters. They listen to some ranting by the lunatic fringe and figure it represents the mainstream.

It is perhaps apt to recall Descartes who said,
Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.
Those pundits need to remind themselves this applies to them as well.