Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How Liberals Dominate the Public Debate

According to former Green Jobs CzarVan Jones, the Democrats have a linguistics “Jedi” named George Lakoff (rhymes with back off), a Professor of Linguistics at U.C. Berkeley. He advises Democrats on how to win in the political arena by controlling the language. Lakoff's theory -- according to his Little Blue Book -- is that people use metaphors or narratives make decisions about politics. The way liberals frame issues in narratives undermines conservative’s positions in a subtle way that lets Democrats easily defend their disastrous policies.

10) ObamaCare – At one point, the president embraced the word “ObamaCare”. It is the frame for the Affordable Care Act as “Obama given healthcare”. Then, the website debacle and the lies about “keeping your doctor” and “keeping your plan” began to tarnish the word by proxy. Obama dumped the frame went back to the “Affordable Care Act”. The media quickly followed.

9) Progressives – The “liberal” label has lost its glow, so it is back to “progressive” from Woodrow Wilson’s policies of the early 1900s. They choose “Progressive” because it implies that opponents are regressive. Same hula dance, different grass skirt.

8) Tea Baggers -- The Tea Party is overwhelmingly made of decent Americans who believe they have been Taxed Enough Already (TEA), are called "Tea Baggers" (A sexually offensive term) even by Biden. They are the moral opposite of the crude, law-breaking left’s Occupy Wall Street crowd.

7) Pro-Choice -- The term "pro-choice" frames those who are champion abortion-on-demand as defenders of a woman’s “right” to choose. Maybe the "war on the unborn" would be an effective Republican frame.

6) Trickle down -- The “trickle down” frame paints a picture of money trickling into the economy as the rich pay for their indulgences. This is just wrong. The rich are usually successful business owners. They invest in their successful businesses, while others spend more of their money on products made in China from Walmart. Investing in successful businesses creates a higher multiplier effect by creating jobs both directly and indirectly. They hire more employees. Their employees purchase things from other businesses. These businesses can then hire more people and create even more jobs. The suppliers to a successful business also grow. Increasing tax rates, leaves successful business owners with less invest and the employees less to spend. It is a damper on the multiplier effect. The job growth and the economy suffer.

5) Capitalism -- Capitalism was Marx and Lenin's derogatory term for the free enterprise or entrepreneurial system. Even conservatives use this term too frequently. The “capitalism” frame credits the money (aka capital) for a business’s success rather the entrepreneur, who puts his money, sweat and reputation on the line to create a company. The USA is a free enterprise, constitutional republic.

4) War on Women – The war on women is an effective narrative. Any opposition to a Democrat proposal that benefits primarily women is a "war on women." When for moral reasons, Hobby Lobby didn't want to pay for the birth control methods that caused a fertilized egg to abort (morning after pills) but were willing to pay for the other 28 methods, it was a "war on women". The hysteria was over the top as libs cried that women’s reproductive rights were under assault!

3) 1% -- The narrative is: “the top 1% have all the money, so there is little left for other 99%.” The top 1% pays more in taxes than the bottom 90%, but that is not enough for the Democrats. They attack the 1%, and if the greedy Democrats could, they would tax the heck out of the top 49%. The other 51% would keep them in office.
2) Racist -- The most difficult to defend frame is the charge of "racist' especially made by an African-American. It is their most effective frame. When conservatives oppose any proposed social program that benefits African-Americans more than others, they are called "racist". Opposing President Obama or Eric Holder is racist. When the Bush administration tried to investigate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that was racist. The investigation could have saved hundreds of billions.

1) Democracy – The liberals frame America as a Democracy. It is a constitutional republic. The Democrats are delighted that the media refers to the USA as a democracy -- a term that is nearly identical to the term “Democrat”. In a child’s mind, the obvious choice in a democracy is to be a Democrat. In a democracy, the majority gets what it wants. In our constitutional republic, the minority's rights are guaranteed in the constitution and are protected by the courts. The USA has never been a democracy.
"…Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote." Marvin Simkin -- LA Times 1992.
The Republicans have a few. Communist and socialist frames don’t pack much of a punch anymore. The sympathetic press marginalized “communist” on the excesses of Senator Joe McCarthy. Calling someone a communist has such old-fogy, Cold-War ring to it. You rarely see it. The communist goal of a centrally-controlled State run economy can be more easily accomplished with socialism using taxes and regulations.

Post-Vietnam, liberal college professors eroded the term “socialist”. Many of the young now embrace the term.
The Benghazi and “IRS” abuse frames still have legs, but before long, because they are pressed by racist Republicans who are engaged in a “war on women”; they will lose their power. The media will not press on the side of the Republicans. These words will at some point become benign. People stopped caring about “Fast and Furious” long ago. Who knew that people so passively accept NSA spying? They did when the press quickly dropped it as an issue.

Lakoff thought that Republicans referring to the liberals “safety net” frame as a “hammock” was an effective counter frame. His advice is to ignore right-wing frames and narratives. Change the conversation! Have you noticed how quickly the conversation changes every time the Democrats hit a policy land mine? See Fast and Furious, IRS abuse, spying on reporters, record people on food stamps, record people not employed, record people on disability, NSA spying, Obamacare lies, Obamacare site failure, Benghazi, Syria red line, Russian annexation of Crimea, failure in Egypt, failure in Libya, and Russian attacks on the Ukraine. They usually fall back on old narratives about a Bush, Rove, or Cheney being war criminals or profiting from the war, or to the narrative that to criticize Obama (or Holder) is racist.

Predictably today, a Dick Cheney meme arrived on my FB feed that said “My company made 39.5 billion… U.S. Tax Dollars off a lie”. You would think they would be reacting to Obama's sudden decision to go back into Iraq and attack ISIS in Syria. Committing U.S. troops to battle does not fit their narrative. So, they are ignoring it -- just as Lakoff recommended. This meme is reinforcing the narrative that it is Republicans are war mongers. It is not true. Since 1900, Democrats have involved the U.S. in many more major wars: WWI, WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War. The Republicans: Iraq I and Iraq II, and Afghanistan.

I did not waste my time responding. The best defense is a strong offense.
Our narrative should be Obama is endorsing Bush’s war to remove Saddam. Saddam was 10 times the threat of ISIS. According to the Duelfer report, the same report that found no weapons of mass destruction, Saddam had retained his chemical warfare scientists and would rebuild his arsenal when sanctions were lifted. I should be holding Obama’s feet to the fire on this instead of defending Cheney.

Right now Democrats own the vocabulary and own the debate. This can change. We must create narratives of our strengths. The Democrats are willing to let our country decay into a generation of the jobless geeks playing video games in their parent’s basement. The Democrats are beating down ambition with taxes, regulations and criticism of the successful. The Democrats label those who have reached lofty goals as greedy. The Democrats are letting our country become a morass of a self-indulgent cynicism as they beat us up over long ago actions that they now judge as injustices.

We need to set the record straight.
We need to do it often. "A lie told often enough becomes the truth." In today’s upside-down world we must tell the truth often enough until it becomes the truth.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Magical Land of Progressitopia

There once was a land, a magical land, with a chicken in every pot. And in this land, which was called Progressitopia, there were two peoples. There were those who saw the world as it was, and there were those who saw the world as they oh-so-very-much wished it could be. The former were called the Trads, and the latter, the Progs. It was the Progs who held dominion over this great land, and so it was they who wrote, or re-wrote, her history.
Now, in this kingdom we must remember that Christianity, or “Christianism” as it would later be called (long since forbidden), along with similar such mythological and dogmatic phantasms, remained the foremost, if not the sole, thorn in the Progs’ collectivist butt. Any and all thought or practice that might, in any way, undermine full realization of, and strict adherence to, progressive thinking was, therefore, strictly verboten.
In fact, the Trads, the traditionalist remnant, had proven singularly responsible for the famines, Civil War II and Progressitopia’s endlessly spiraling state of affairs, both foreign and domestic – a state that, notwithstanding all predictions to the contrary, somehow became significantly and enigmatically worse subsequent to the onset of progressive governance.
There was, however, one exception to this rule: Islam. Shadowing the glorious dawn of progressive reign came, from o’er the sea, a mighty and fearsome caliphate. The Muslim faith spread like wildfire. Recruitment efforts were buoyed, and appreciably so, in that, while yet a loving and peaceful religion, any skeptic or “infidel” who failed to convert was either immediately raped and enslaved or summarily beheaded, stoned, shot or blown limb-from-limb.
Whereas Progressitopians, with their one-child-only abortion mandate, stopped reproducing altogether, adherents to the religion of peace rutted like rabbits. Every corner of the globe became thickly populated by devotees of the most praised Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him.
As global violence and jihad spiked, it seemed for a time that Progressitopia and the Islamic caliphate would be one another’s undoing.
And then something extraordinary happened.
The King of Progressitopia, a brave and handsome man most wise, with visor of gold and scepter of 3-iron in hand, bowed before the great caliph and presented a series of official mea culpas on behalf of his land. He prayed Allah’s forgiveness for incurring his wrath – just desserts for centuries of Progressitopian Imperialism.
And so these two seemingly incompatible kingdoms, with wholly polarized worldviews, agreed to forge an incongruous socio-political partnership – an “Islamo-Progressive Alliance.” The alliance was built upon the maxim: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The common enemy, of course, had formed its own unholy alliance: the “Zio-Christian Axis of Evil.”
And so it soon came to pass that independent Islamic settlements cropped-up throughout Progressitopia. The Michganistan Territory became, for all intents and purposes, Mecca to the Western Hemisphere.
Presently, the Islamo-Progressive Alliance found itself enjoying a comparatively peaceful seven-year truce. Apart from a weekly handful of suicide bombings, mass shootings and random beheadings, carried out chiefly against Progressitopia’s women and children, things were simply capital.
But then, trouble in paradise – economic turmoil. Toward the middle of the new millennium’s third decade, Progressitopia’s national debt ballooned to over 60 trillion. For many years, Trad economists and “debt alarmists” had warned that Progressitopia’s skyrocketing debt and deficits were unsustainable. These anti-progressive thinkers openly questioned the progressive strategy of taxing and spending one’s way to prosperity.
They felt, irrationally so, that such approach represented, as one provocative naysayer phrased it, “an epically stupid and patently impossible self-contradiction. No more can one spend his way out of debt than can he cheat his way out of adultery.”
Another fundamentalist cynic offered a less hurtful, yet no less sensationalist analogy: “When a bridge’s infrastructure becomes unsustainable,” he alleged, “it will ultimately collapse if its integrity is compromised to the degree that it can no longer support some burgeoning mass. So too it goes, apparently, as relates integrity to politicians, governments and national debt.”
Right-wing propaganda aside, Progressitopia’s economy did, nonetheless, unexpectedly collapse for reasons ultimately deemed inconclusive.
Now, as heretofore told, and as go the history books, Christianism had, from time immemorial, been the very bane of free-thinking humanity’s existence. This hateful mythology had been largely to blame, in concert with its sister-faith, Judaism, and its insufferable cousin, conservatism, an equally curious mental disorder, for all of the world’s wars, slavery, racism, sexism, disease, capitalism, global warming and, most onerously perhaps, gluten sensitivity.
Moreover, both Christianism and conservatism were ultimately determined to have been the catalyst for the systemic phobia outbreak that inexplicably began around the turn of the century. First there was homophobia, an irrational, chronic and debilitating fear of the square-hole-round-peg people, or, as this flamboyant troupe, so enamored with acronymic wordplay, preferred to be called: the “SHRP community.” Since SHRPs displayed impeccable fashion sense and a flair for the fabulous, Neanderthalic Trads were, most naturally, terrified by them.
Then came Islamophobia, the irrational fear of having one’s head lopped off, followed by transphobia, the fear of naked men in ladies’ locker rooms, polyphobia, the fear of communal rompathons, as well as an all-inclusive litany of other phobias relating to myriad sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.
Next, there emerged the great progressiphobia pandemic of ’27. This involved an equally absurd, though no less universal, fear of progressive thought, practice or people. This, for a time, threatened to halt Progressitopia’s progressing progress altogether.
Finally, there occurred a worldwide outbreak of phobia-phobia. This was, of course, a condition delineated by the once again irrational denial that any of the aforementioned phobias had “any basis in reality whatsoever,” but, rather, were “simply ham-fisted pejoratives intended to marginalize one’s political opposition.”
But, alas, we must for now part ways. My gluten-free frittata grows cold.

Absurd Reasons Why Liberals Hate Conservatives

It’s not hard to find people who are ignorant about other people’s beliefs. All you have to do is watch man-in-the street interviews. A good portion of the population is ignorant on a whole host of topics. Even students at some very prestigious universities are more familiar with the latest Kardashian event than with what’s happening with ISIS, or is it ISIL or just IS? I doubt that a majority of them would know the distinctions.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that Liberals don’t have an accurate picture of what conservatives are generally all about.

Are you a conservative, a libertarian, or a Republican? Have you ever been verbally assaulted by someone on the political left with a ferocity you didn’t quite understand? Have you seen it happen to friends and colleagues, or watched in horror as the media establishment does it to a public figure?”

We all have. I find it exhilarating and challenging. It helps me with the articles I write each day and gives me a chance to engage with the misinformation and bring some clarity to an issue.

But there are so people in the liberal camp that are blinding by their own prejudices that they can’t see any view but their own and refuse to be taught otherwise.

Cook mentions a Facebook exchange:
“Republicans hate anything that isn’t white, wealthy, and Christian at least in appearance. They hate the poor, women, and minorities. They hate science and don’t believe that the global warming we clearly are experiencing is man-made.
“They hate any government programs that help the poor and minorities, and the particularly despise immigrants, particularly the illegal kind. They love programs that line the pockets of oil companies, mining companies, and are willing to export jobs with wild abandon.

They hate public education, and they despise public schools and the public school teachers and public university professors. And since they do not respect the market place of ideas, they hate tenure (that gives teachers academic freedom) because it prevents them from firing teachers who are Democrats and who might infect some student with their liberal ideas.

“They want insurance companies to make a maximum of profit, and are perfectly willing for the health insurance companies to kill people by refusing service to anyone that might cost them a buck more than the median expense. They don’t care about clean food because it might cost the food corporation a little money, and they don’t care about clean water because cleaning up the waste will cost their precious corporate persons a little money.”

Any conservative reading the above characterization would be fuming after reading it. I would love to answer each of the charges, but it would take a book to do so. In fact, books have been written debunking these caricatures of conservatives, but the false narrative continues.

Let me quickly give a series of snapshot responses:

  1. Conservatives hate it when liberals use the poor, women, and minorities as political pawns to further the expansion of the State and make them dependent on government.
  2. Conservatives love science, that’s why they question the man-made global warming thesis.

  3. Conservatives don hate government programs that claim to help the poor and minorities but in reality hurt the power long-term.

  4. Conservatives love immigrants because most of us are descendants of immigrants who followed the rules and came here legally.

  5. Conservatives oppose illegal immigration because they understand that many liberals want to use it to grow the already bankrupt welfare State to empower the Democrat Party.

  6. True conservatives despise corporate welfare or what is often called “crony capitalism,” although it has nothing to do with capitalism

  7. Oil company profits are paid out to millions of stock holders, many of who are liberals.
  8. Companies would not “export jobs” if the corporate tax rate and excessive regulations weren’t debilitating, thus, making it difficult for American companies to compete with foreign companies.

  9. Conservatives who choose to send their children to public schools do not “hate public education” or “despise public schools and the public school teachers.” They hate and despise much of what is taught in these schools and what is not taught.

  10. Conservatives do respect the “market place of ideas.” That’s why they are often critical of university professors who use tenure as a way often to exclude academic competition by a rehearsal of alternative positions and facts.

  11. Insurance companies are generally despised. But we should remember that insurance companies are tightly regulated by government. Our government has often curtailed interstate competition among insurance companies.

  12. It’s absurd that Conservatives “don’t care about clean food” or “clean water because cleaning up the waste will cost their precious corporate persons a little money.”
Cook offers a helpful evaluation of the pathology of liberalism of the above type:
“This is not a recitation of facts; it is a series of smears. It is the construction of a giant cartoonish super-villain, made of straw and woven together with calumny. The giant straw villain is then publicly burned, in a narcissistic orgy of self-adulation. Of course, the torches of the ‘best’ people burn the brightest.

“Another way of looking at it is this: It is the modern-day version of a witch trial. The charges are utterly farcical and cartoonish. ‘I saw her dancing with demons in the pale moonlight.’ ‘She looked at me and I sneezed, and the next day, I had a terrible cold.’ ‘She turned me into a newt.’ But they are stated with great conviction and repeated incessantly, and they establish the unassailable collective will of which the accused has run afoul. The witch is made into the auslander[1] and the good people of the community show how ‘good’ they are by shouting their accusations the loudest.”

Liberal pathology is a growing and infectious malady that facts alone cannot fix.