August 25, 2008
Why are liberals so gullible?By James Lewis
The Democratic National Convention is a great time to reflect on the Conundrum of The Century: Why are our liberal buddies so amazingly gullible? Why do they fall for the most obvious scam artists? Why, when Hillary crashes, do they slobber all over the next edition of God's Anointed on Earth?
When Obama went body surfin' in Hawaii before the convention, we had a chance to hear The Aloha State's very own brand of liberal love. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin quoted one sun-tanned beauty saying:
Well, bless her sweet little aloha. There's another well-informed vote for the Big O. Remember, your vote counts for just as much as Sama Evaimalo's. Aloha-ayy!
French thinkers of the Enlightenment used to consider "gullibility" a kind of mental defect. They thought it was a breakdown of the rational intellect.
Gullibility is not listed in the psychiatry manual today, but it's pretty dysfunctional in real life. If you fall for just about any used car salesman, or any danceaway lover, or any telemarketer, or any smarmy politician, you're going to make big mistakes. It could cost you your country.
John Edwards was a bad 'un, as anybody with a grain of sense could tell as soon as we saw ol' John spending twenty minutes making love to his own reflection in the mirror during the '04 campaign. It reminded me of an old Feiffer cartoon about a New York bachelorette who turns up her nose at one suitor after another, and then goes home, looks in the mirror, and says, "Now you I could like!"
There are loving couples who look like identical twins; they have fallen in love with their own reflections.
In his stellar career suing big corporations, rich doctors, insurance companies and other evil-doers, Edwards' figured out how to play his juries against the Evil Rich. That paid for Edwards' mansion after he famously channeled the soul of an unborn baby during a lawsuit against an obstetrician who had waited for 90 minutes before doing a Caesarian section. John Edwards felt -- actually felt -- the brain-injured baby speaking through him in his closing arguments to the jury.
I don't know if Sama Evaimalo was on that jury, but her brothers and sisters in spirit were. After soaking up all that good aloha they came back with a $ 6.5 million verdict for the plaintiff. Call it a good 2 million bucks for John Edwards. Edwards' reputation soared in the plaintiff bar, which funds a good deal of the Democratic Party. With the enthusiastic help of other lawyers Edwards mounted a Robin Hood vs. the Sheriff of Nottingham campaign for the presidency in 2004.
And the liberals fell for it. That's what is shocking.
Just think about it. From the comfortable limo libs of the New York Times to millions of little old ladies in tennis shoes, they fell down and Believed in John. Edwards' own wife, who should have known better, made a play for public sympathy and support for John's campaign after she developed cancer. It was shameless, but the media whooped it up. Rielle Hunter, flying around with him on the campaign plane and cheating, apparently just trusted his plain ole' boy sincerity. Even Walter Isaacs, grand old lodge-master of all right-thinking journalists, fell for him like a school girl.
All the professional media fell flat on their faces for John Edwards except the National Enquirer, and you know what they're like. Not real professionals.
H.L. Mencken would have busted a gut laughing.
It's not surprising that hustlers like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama rise to the top of the Democratic Party. What continues to astonish the saner fraction of the world is the abject gullibility of their followers. If the libs ever wised up, the Democratic Party would have to go out of business. But there's no danger of that. There's another one born every minute. They call them infants, and if they're liberals they never have to grow up.
Fools, Prophets and Knaves
The Left could be divided up into fools, prophets and knaves. The knaves are just the Edwards-Clinton-Obama types, expert hustlers who can bring the crowds of suckers to their knees -- just watch the Convention. There's a sadistic-sociopathic kernel in some of the knaves of the Left; they're not satisfied with exploiting dupes, they need to rub it in. That's what brought down Bill Clinton; he had to stick it to more and more of his victims, to prove that the old mojo still worked. These are not nice people. Some of them are malevolent.
One step beyond the knaves and fools are the Prophets of the Left. Karl Marx himself was a knave with a prophet complex, who was notoriously malicious -- to his fellow radicals, to his wife Jenny and his lifelong friend and benefactor Engels, and to ethnic groups he hated, like the Jews. (But then he hated Christians, too. He was catholic in his hatreds, so to speak.) Marx was a nasty customer in his personal life, and his malevolent legacy as a prophet should come as no surprise. With Marx, the political really was personal.
Today we have a glut of messianic liberals. The Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg just explained the global warming fraud in a whole new way: Prophet competition. To economist Lomborg, the reason we get ever weirder scare stories about the global warming scam is that different prophets compete against each other. In the bad old days you put up a soapbox in the town square and kept yelling The End of the World Is At Hand!!! as long as people kept dropping coins in your hat. Then you found another spot and did it again.
Today, with modern media, the biggest Prophets compete each other out of business, just like Wal-Mart competes against the mom 'n pop stores. For every world-renowned Prophet Algore there must be thousands of others who are just sick with envy. Al has cornered the market on Global Doom. We think Algore has it in for the American economy, but he's actually looking to destroy his fellow doomsayers. Prophet envy.
So we have the Algores, the Carters and the Obamas -- because Barack and Michelle just love that Prophet schtick, too. They almost believe it themselves.
What staggers me is the lib masses -- "masses" is a very Marxist word -- who always come back for more, even after they find out they've been duped again. These are the people who are honestly disappointed by John Edwards's cheatin' heart. They were shocked by Monica's Blue Dress -- but not enough to blame Bill Clinton. He was an innocent victim.
The sucker masses include our "professional media," slack-jawed dupes, every single one. They just never admit they've been had. Even Dan Rather couldn't bring himself to admit that he had been suckered out of his job as the Most Trusted Man in America by some wild-eyed Bush-hater out of Texas.
The liberal masses are True Believers, the little old ladies of both sexes, who hate-hate-hate George W. Bush so much that when one Saviorette gets dirt on her skirt they desperately beat the bushes for a New Messiah to replace last year's model. Liberal victims are terribly out of place in the bloody jungle of politics. They should never vote. They are too needy emotionally, and their yearnings drive them to worship any idols in sight. They can't accept that John Edwards would ever lie to them. Or Bill Clinton. Or Barack the Savior. Never!
Tough Minds/Tender Minds
William James called the libs of his time the "tender minded," in contrast to the "tough-minded" people who try to stay in touch with reality, like farmers, plumbers and accountants. If your toilet leaks all over the floor you can't deny reality; but if you're in the media game, fantasy-mongering is your bread and butter. It's a huge difference between human beings.
In the 19th century New England grew tender-minded folk in large batches, flocking to hear uplifting speeches from Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York City was for tougher characters at that time, and not many liberals survived there until the sentimental middle class grew big and prosperous. By the 20th century New York City was taken over by libs -- they called themselves "progressives" -- with well-known results: street crime, violent schools, family breakdown, broken windows, ugly graffiti, and of course the biggest scammers of all running City Hall. (In Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has now been caught doing exactly the same thing.)
"Sophisticated" Europe is going through the same farce. The Scamming Class are called socialists over there, which is more honest than the word "liberal" -- which used to mean somebody who believed in liberty. Today it means the flummery of the Mommy State. Socialism is very appealing to Mommies, Would-be Mommies, and Those Who Still Need their Mommies. But of course it's government of the scammers, by the scammers, and for the scammers. That describes Europe's new Ruling Class, which in the EU machinery has now completely protected itself from the vulgar business of elections.
That's what our Obamanoids have in mind for the United States. Marxism is the revolt of the apparatchiks -- the Ruling Class -- against the people. It depends on convincing the most gullible that they are really in control. Obamanism is Marxism Light. It's the Swedish Model of Perfected Humanity.
When you see Obama's next Nuremberg Rally with his nose in the air, take it as a sign of things to come. He really does despise us, you know. But he feels sorry for us, too, because he knows better. Contempt and pity go hand in hand. Maybe the liberal masses just love being pitied. Maybe they just accept being weak, helpless, and not too bright. Good grief.
Liberalism doesn't change. What might change, over time, is for more sensible folk to recover their voices, after being completely shut out of the public square by the Sixties Left. The answer to liberal gullibility is debate, debate, debate. Open up those minds, tell them it's ok to think your own thoughts, it's ok to be different. Intellectual courage matters.
The media should never be run by a professional guild. Monopolies kill competing voices. Real thinking only thrives with vigorous intellectual competition. That's why our universities have become brain-dead company towns. That's why the Old Media need to go out of business, and the sooner the better.
When America rediscovers open debate, freedom will thrive again. The victims of media delusions will discover a world of intellectual excitement and danger. True Believers will have to deal with the reality of Doubt.
Here's to it. Vive la liberté!
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com