If conservatives rally around the flag in times of crisis, liberals rally around the clique. Their assurance that they are right coming from three little words. "Everybody I Know." The crazies clinging to their guns and religion might have voted for the Republicans, but everybody I know voted progressive. Some wingnuts might not believe in Global Warming, but everybody I know does. Some greedy people might want tax cuts, but everybody I know thinks taxes are too low.
"The Everybody I Know" clique is commonplace throughout history. It's an elitist echo chamber detached from the flow of real and everyday events. And when out of touch elites begin governing a country, they run it into the ground sooner or later, because they're hopelessly out of contact with what goes on out of their small inner circle, their privileged neighborhood and their gated reality.
The not-so-secret truth is that liberalism isn't a reality based community, it's an unreality based community, viewing the world through the lens of dogma, and using grouping to reinforce those beliefs internally, and clique strategies to bully their 'inferiors' into going along. Their "grass-roots" consist of often for-profit versions of those cliques using insider access and disproportionate access to wealth to enforce their reality on everyone else.
After Nixon's victory, Pauline Kael famously said that she lives in "a special world" and knows only one person who voted for Nixon. "Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken." Being outside the ken of the clique can be dangerous, because it puts you outside the centers of power, but inside the authority of people who can't imagine that the majority of the country doesn't think the same way that they do.
Like the Russian court which spoke French, the liberal cultural elite speaks a different language from much of the country. The Russian nobility disdained ordinary Russians as peasants and swine. Much of the American cultural elite similarly disdains the ordinary American. The situation is the same in Europe, Israel and in much of the world, where a leftist elite rules over a population that it despises and considers worthless. Whose values they don't share and whose input they ignore.
At the Huffington Post, Aaron Sorkin popped up to condemn Sarah Palin for shooting a caribou. Why is Palin evil, because (and I quote) "like absolutely everybody I know", Sorkin is opposed to recreational hunting of animals. And there you have the moral authority of the clique in all its glory. The rest is moral theater and concern trolling. Everybody I know finds the thought of killing an animal abominable. Therefore everyone who doesn't is a monster. The clique has spoken, even if it's a clique that hardly exists out of a few major cities. Now everyone must obey.
Liberals like Sorkin condemn the moral absolutism of conservative Christians, and demand to know what right they have to enforce their moral principles on others. But they project their own moral absolutism that has no basis in tradition, scripture or even majority opinion. And they use every available cultural outlet to mandate absolute conformity with the beliefs of their privileged group. If they don't like something it has to go.
In his barely hinged rant, which Sorkin briefly interrupts to inform us that he was arrested for cocaine possession, he asks what the difference between Sarah Palin and Michael Vick is. The difference is one that most Americans could explain to him. In our culture, we hunt deer, moose and caribou. We don't hunt dogs, unless they're rabid or otherwise predatory. We hunt members of the deer family for food, recreation and population control. Those are our cultural values.
They're not Aaron Sorkin's values. And that's okay. Sorkin has a right to his values, as Palin does to hers. But what is dangerous here is that the values of much of the country are as foreign to Sorkin, as they would be to a Korean immigrant, who would need to be told why Americans place a cultural value on dogs, but not on deer. And the danger comes from the disproportionate influence that liberal coastal elites have on the rest of the country-- even though its values are alien to them.
Hollywood has tried to manufacture a consensus by projecting their values on fictional characters portrayed by actors. But when despite Bambi (a book written by Felix Salten, a Jewish Zionist author as a metaphor about the plight of the Jewish people, not about the immorality of hunting deer), Americans go on hunting for sport-- then the manufacturers of consent throw a tantrum because the real American people aren't behaving the way that their fictional Americans do on screen.
Sorkin's outrage over his medium of television being invaded by a television show featuring someone who does not hold to his set of values, ironically gives him much in common with conservative Christians and Jews who have been equally outraged at their homes being invaded by the television programming of people like Sorkin. But his inability to extend himself beyond his belief clique and their worldview, makes such empathy impossible for him.
The liberal media response to Palin's TV show or her daughter's appearance on Dancing with the Stars is a gut reaction to the perceived invasion of their media space. And like every form of xenophobia it manifests itself in the use of stereotypes, explosions of inexplicable hatred and hysterical overreaction. The war against Palin has become a bitter campaign to protect their territory, whether it's their television screen or their feminism. Sorkin's barely coherent response or Maureen Dowd's embittered screed in the New York Times reflect a backlash by an entitled elite who view the entire culture as their private domain.
Sorkin's outrage and anger at TLC is typical of how entitled elites respond to a loss of power. It is the same xenophobic reaction that liberals typically attribute to conservative white male voters. And it's the same outrage and anger that liberals feel when they lose an election. They can dismiss the rest of the country, as Pauline Kael did, or rage against it as so many media outlets are doing by depicting Americans as dangerously crazy for getting worked up over their taxes, their privacy or their civil rights. But what they can't seem to do is accept it.
Power in a democracy is meant to be the product of a consensus. Manufacturing a consensus and then ruling in its name is not democracy, it's tyranny. Whether it's in government or entertainment, it amounts to the same thing. And behind it is the same notion that there is a superior group that is more fit to rule over the population. The enlightened. The informed. The people who are just like themselves. While the rest of the country has to shut up, knuckle under and bow to their betters. And there you have the split between the liberal elites and the white working class vote they can't seem to hang on to.
The more influence the grass-roots cliques of the left have on the Democratic party, the more it detaches itself from what should be its base. The Obama Administration is a prime example of that disaster. Elitist politicians have no campaign instincts, they listen to the clique around them and rely on their image to turn fantasy into reality. But while an image can get you elected, it can't maintain support in the face of policies that most people oppose and resent. Packing Town Hall meetings and filling the press with propaganda can only get you so far. But sooner or later you will have to face the wrath of the peasantry. The people who cling to their bibles and guns, hunt animals, fish in streams and don't like to be told what to do by an entrenched elite.
I don't know how you do it, but if you had a hammer and chisel instead of your gift of language..surely these masterpieces would be hanging in every museum in the world. As it is, they should be read by everyone.ReplyDelete
No, the difference between Vick and Palin is that Vick was involved with an illegal form of gambling while his profession is constantly subject to the speculation of gamblers.ReplyDelete
That means that he opens himself up to being bribed or finding himself in heavy debt to a gambling concern that would ask him to lose a game. And this can cause financial damage to his team, to those who legitimately bet on his playing a certain way, etc. Not to mention making a total joke of the entire sport.
Vick engaged in a "sport"based solely on blood and brutality, with no semblance of utility to produce acceptability. The sole purpose of fighting dogs is to maximize the bloodshed and prolong the suffering. The more pain and struggle, the better.
Hunting OTOH is properly based in utility. The ethical hunt abhors waste, nearly always demanding that its produce be consumed, the sole exceptions being those animals killed of necessity to enforce population-control (prarie-dogs/groundhogs) and those harvested for pelts (fox, etc).
In*EVERY* case, minimizing suffering is the paramount concern, and any ethical hunter would rather miss an opportunity than risk causing a prolonged and/or painful death to the harvested animal.
In one, the most cruel participant is idolized, in the other cruelty is utterly scorned.
If they do not manufacture consensus, they realize they could never get a consensus. They are a minority in America . They simply have a lot of chutzpah and big mouths.ReplyDelete
When you refer to these people as the "liberal cultural elite" you grant their premise and put yourself in a subservient position. You affirm the pedestal of their creation and acknowledge your inferiority. Stop! Another term is needed to describe the cocoon they inhabit; one that is dismissive and disdainful of their pretentions. One that sticks. Their attitudes and presumptions remind me of the French Court before 1793. Words can be guillotines...if they are the right words. You're smart people. Find the words. Make them stick.ReplyDelete
A bit late, but I couldn't resist.ReplyDelete
Obama can bring absolute proof that the Republicans were biasing the 2008 election: everybody he knows is certain that if it were an honest election, he would have gotten 99.9% of the vote!