Palin and the Left's Comprehension Gap
"If you know yourself and know your enemy, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."
-Sun Tzu, 490 BC.
"I can't believe I'm losing to this idiot."
-John Kerry, 2004.
It's always been true, but as the Palin mayhem demonstrates more extravagantly then ever, the left and their media allies possess a dangerous, childish ignorance of their conservative opposition. It manifests itself in their snide assessments of her as a white trash anti-woman, and in their hysterical bleating about her pregnant daughter, which was met with the sound of crickets and an indifferent 'So?' by the evangelicals that the news was apparently crafted to outrage. Yet that didn't stop them from trying as they frantically waved around the lifeless non-story, making it dance like a desperate puppeteer putting on a show for an alien species it had no understanding of.
Behind closed doors at MSNBC, there might have been puzzlement as to why nobody had, as yet, tried to stone Bristol Palin. "But that's what they do, isn't it? When they're not threatening gays?" Or take Sally Quinn's recent comments on Palin. She's fuzzy on the matter; but is pretty sure evangelicals are against women having jobs outside the home.
Extraordinary. They truly have no idea what makes us tick, and their willful misunderstanding has rendered them wholly incapable of dealing with the curveball Palin has thrown them. At the moment, it seems they're powerless to stem the rallying effect she's having.
At the root of this curious gulf of ignorance has always been the fact that the left is unable to understand that conservatives keenly understand them and the alleged rationales behind their policies. We know they think government needs an active role in social justice, that civic and free market mechanisms like business, church, and charity are insufficient to deal with poverty, urban decay, and the social pathologies that foster them. They think that in order to foster social progress, the state needs to assume active advocacy roles on a limitless range of issues. They think that the consolidation of wealth and influence embodied in the United States is internationally dangerous, destabilizing, corruptive, and worst, just plain unfair. We understand. We may utterly disagree and denounce it to hell, but we understand.
When conservatives see liberals, they see the proponents of bad, inefficient, and eminently corruptible state and social systems that with eye-watering predictability, corrupt those who administer them and harm their alleged beneficiaries. Often for generations.
But we also know that when liberals look at conservatives, no such courtesy or openness of mind is extended. They don't see considered issues, critical thought, or the faintest possibility of reason. They see white trash men waving bibles at teen brides, while a gaggle of kids groom each other for lice on a cracked linoleum floor. 'Bitter clingers' who mindlessly adhere to second-amendment rights so they can shoot baby possum off a tin fence on slow Friday nights. The other sort of conservative invariably invokes 19th century robber barons, plutocrat industrialists swollen with loot plundered from the proletariat, abating their whipping of Dickensian child labor just long enough to polish a monocle.
For reasons above my pay grade since it seems to be doing them no favors, the Democrats and media cling to and propagate these curiously garish caricatures about conservatives that would be more at home in the works of Bosch than in any recognizable reality. And not just in private; but as par for the course in the national discussion. For example, Sarah Palin doesn't merely have 'flawed policies'. In the space of two weeks, we've discovered she's apparently a power-drunk loon, an anti-semite, a hypocrite, an unfit mother, a religious fanatic, a redneck escapee from the set of Deliverance, a Nazi sympathizer, and an 18th-century secessionist. All she's missing is a mustache to twirl.
The reality that forever eludes our left-wing intelligentisa is simple. The bulk of conservatives are not sleeping on dirt floors. We are simply those who have thought beyond step one, and realized that the state is not, and cannot be, the answer. We realize that all of history up to our current disastrous experiments with statism, economic 'management', and the disastrous social welfare theories of whites that have been perpetrated on minorities, have proven that conservatism offers the optimal arrangement of social conditions under which individuals, families, communities, and nations thrive. Are there sexists and bigots among the conservative community? As surely as there are those on the left who believe mankind deserves wholesale slaughter for angering Gaia, or lunatic professors willing to call slaughtered American civilians 'Little Eichmans'.
Will they ever bridge that gulf, and gain the ability to 'reach across the aisle'? Unlikely, and the ignorance seems all the more entrenched for being entirely self-imposed. Their campaign against Palin will likely consist of the same failed attack strategies that have systematically lowered news coverage on her to the journalistic tenor of Sasquatch sightings. As Sun Tzu might guess, they have every reason to fear the outcome of this particular battle.