Monday, May 10, 2010

What are they thinking?

Start here: (

Allow me to summarize the NYT (and MSM) approach to 'understanding' the Tea Party movement. I'll present this is simple terms so even they can understand...

Leftist sees Tea Party rally... Listen to speeches... Recognize content of speech is exactly oppose typical Leftist positions... Work self into a 'how-dare-they' lather... Demonize Tea Party participants... Assign claim of 'racism' as proof political content is incorrect... Rinse... Repeat.

Seriously - OK, no, not really - watching many of the Left try to deal with an opposing viewpoint is like watching a 3 year old struggle with a jigsaw puzzle labeled "For Ages 14 and UP". Of course, the 3 year old thinks he’s grown up and mature enough to do the puzzle, but after hours of frustration, he ends up throwing the box of pieces at the wall in anger and screams “RACISTS!” Am I over-simplifying? Really? Try this annoyingly *long* article from the NYT Book Review section, here: (

I quote (from Mark Lilla):

"Many Americans, a vocal and varied segment of the public at large, have now convinced themselves that educated elites—politicians, bureaucrats, reporters, but also doctors, scientists, even schoolteachers—are controlling our lives. And they want them to stop. They say they are tired of being told what counts as news or what they should think about global warming; tired of being told what their children should be taught, how much of their paychecks they get to keep, whether to insure themselves, which medicines they can have, where they can build their homes, which guns they can buy, when they have to wear seatbelts and helmets, whether they can talk on the phone while driving, which foods they can eat, how much soda they can drink…"

It's pretty clear from tone and content that Mr. Lilla is of the opinion that Americans should *not* be allowed to decide these things for themselves. After all, the Great Unwashed just don't understand that their social betters are much more competent than they could ever hope to be decide what is in EVERYONE'S best interest... He continues:

"A new strain of populism is metastasizing before our eyes, nourished by the same libertarian impulses that have unsettled American society for half a century now. Anarchistic like the Sixties, selfish like the Eighties, contradicting neither, it is estranged, aimless, and as juvenile as our new century. It appeals to petulant individuals convinced that they can do everything themselves if they are only left alone, and that others are conspiring to keep them from doing just that...Welcome to the politics of the libertarian mob."

I must cringe and roll my eyes at his Cancer scare reference ("metastasizing") as if that somehow lends support to his point (it doesn't). The bulk of his smarter-than-you diatribe actually shows his own ineptness in political thought: for example, he doesn't understand that 'libertarian' and 'mob' are mutually exclusive terms... But I must also admit I can understand Mr. Lilla's frustration. He is having to acknowledge the Left has spent considerable time, resources and effort to 'capture' various political tools (e.g., the court system) - he called it a "long march through the institutions" - for the express purpose of accomplishing their goals and desires through fiat. He is struggling to understand how the Left is supposed to utilize those same institutions if they aren't allowed to tell everyone else what to do. Good Heavens, is my entire world view being repudiated by the rest of the country? The horror!

Allow me to provide a little insight (again, I'll keep it simple, so Mark Lilla and the rest of the intelligentsia can understand it):

1. (a) Federal spending and (b) Expansion of government under eight years with George W. Bush as president (and with both parties periodically in charge of Congress) was *BAD*.

2. Under President Obama, it’s still *BAD* and getting substantially *WORSE*.

3. Libertarianism is *NOT* the enemy. BTW, neither are Conservatives or Liberals... It's certain policies - occasionally promoted by Democrats and/or Republicans - which *ARE* the enemy.

4. The Tea Party movement is not inherently racist. Stop trying to 'disprove' the validity of a political argument by attacking individuals with which you disagree on a personal level. It's not only petty and shallow, it demonstrates a desire to resort to schoolhouse bullying and nah-nah-nah, instead of using a genuine, intellectual discussion.

5. Saying something over and over again does *NOT* make it TRUE... so "Move On".

There. that wasn't too hard... Or would you just like another cookie?

- Steve

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