For many years now it has seemed to me that there are unspoken premises underlying much of our political (and general for that matter) discourse. When it comes to the media, studies routinely show higher levels of Democratic Party registration, for example. Of course, this doesn’t translate to liberal coverage, and in fact may be part of the reason why the mainstream media bends over backwards to accommodate Republicans. But the presence of liberal bias amongst members of the media is well-documented.
Of course there are other groups who suffer from the same “liberal bias.” College faculties, for example. Or people with advanced degrees. The frame of “liberal bias” is of course a creation of the Right, foisted on our society by their, um, “assertiveness” (as recently confessed by cerebrally-challenged cable talker Joe Scarborough).
But there is an alternative frame which reveals a Thing We All Know™. Why do journalists, college professors, PhDs, etc., all appear to favor liberal policies? Are they craven? Corrupt? Unfair? The Right tells us it’s because they were indoctrinated by their liberal kindergarten teachers. (Yet another group with the dreaded “liberal bias.”)
Maybe the reason why all these elites prefer liberal policies has nothing whatsoever to do with these groups and a great deal to do with the policies. Why is there such a strong correlation between intelligence, education and liberalism, on the one hand, and ignorance, illiteracy and “conservative values” on the other?
Might not the answer be that modern Republican ideas are inferior? That they are – for want of a more polite term – stupid? In fact, for some decades now, they have been engineered specifically to delude the easily-deludable.
Modern Republicans committed a long time ago to a program of embracing hair-brained schemes if they could be used to manipulate enough dumb voters to come their way. Here’s a revealing list:
1. Trickle-down economics
2. The “Laffer Curve” (i.e., cutting taxes raises revenues)
3 Imminent Soviet/Communist take-over of the US/World
4. Sovereignty of the Panama Canal (US sovereignty)
5. School Prayer
6. Anti-Flag Burning
9. Anti-Gay marriage
11.Anti-Stem cell research
12.Anti Heart-transplant surgery.
14.Protecting “Under God” in Pledge of Allegiance
16. Defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment
I could go on, and I invite you, dear readers, to do so in the comments. But you get the point. These are dumb things. Let’s be plain. And the fact that many smart people reject them is not evidence that the smart people are being unfair, or are corrupt, or victims of previous “liberal” brainwashings.
The ultimate Thing We All Know™ here is the old saw that “reality has a liberal bias.” And in truth We All Know This. The culture warriors of the right know perfectly well that they are peddling, at best, a mild corrective to excesses of a mainstream consensus.
And right now, one Thing We All Know™ is that McCain is horribly unprepared to be President, as is his VP pick. And I think if we’re being really honest, We All Know that Barack Obama is the man we need and will make the nation proud.
At least those of us with enough on the ball to resist the silly games of the Right.