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Democrats Must Learn Some Respect
Financial Times ^ | September 8 2008 | Clive Crook

Posted on 09/08/2008 10:44:24 AM PDT by nickcarraway

This article is not the first to note the cultural contradiction in American liberalism, but just now the point bears restating. The election may turn on it.

Democrats speak up for the less prosperous; they have well-intentioned policies to help them; they are disturbed by inequality, and want to do something about it. Their concern is real and admirable. The trouble is, they lack respect for the objects of their solicitude. Their sympathy comes mixed with disdain, and even contempt.

Democrats regard their policies as self-evidently in the interests of the US working and middle classes. Yet those wide segments of US society keep helping to elect Republican presidents. How is one to account for this? Are those people idiots? Frankly, yes - or so many liberals are driven to conclude. Either that or bigots, clinging to guns, God and white supremacy; or else pathetic dupes, ever at the disposal of Republican strategists. If they only had the brains to vote in their interests, Democrats think, the party would never be out of power. But again and again, the Republicans tell their lies, and those stupid damned voters buy it.

It is an attitude that a good part of the US media share. The country has conservative media (Fox News, talk radio) as well as liberal media (most of the rest). Curiously, whereas the conservative media know they are conservative, much of the liberal media believe themselves to be neutral.

Their constant support for Democratic views has nothing to do with bias, in their minds, but reflects the fact that Democrats just happen to be right about everything. The result is the same: for much of the media, the fact that Republicans keep winning can only be due to the backwardness of much of the country.

Because it was so unexpected, Sarah Palin's nomination for the vice-presidency jolted these attitudes to the surface. Ms Palin is a small-town American. It is said that she has only recently acquired a passport. Her husband is a fisherman and production worker. She represents a great slice of the country that the Democrats say they care about - yet her selection induced an apoplectic fit.

For days, the derision poured down from Democratic party talking heads and much of the media too. The idea that "this woman" might be vice-president or even president was literally incomprehensible. The popular liberal comedian Bill Maher, whose act is an endless sneer at the Republican party, noted that John McCain's case for the presidency was that only he was capable of standing between the US and its enemies, but that should he die he had chosen "this stewardess" to take over. This joke was not - or not only - a complaint about lack of experience. It was also an expression of class disgust. I give Mr Maher credit for daring to say what many Democrats would only insinuate.

Little was known about Ms Palin, but it sufficed for her nomination to be regarded as a kind of insult. Even after her triumph at the Republican convention in St Paul last week, the put-downs continued. Yes, the delivery was all right, but the speech was written by somebody else - as though that is unusual, as though the speechwriter is not the junior partner in the preparation of a speech, and as though just anybody could have raised the roof with that text. Voters in small towns and suburbs, forever mocked and condescended to by metropolitan liberals, are attuned to this disdain. Every four years, many take their revenge.

The irony in 2008 is that the Democratic candidate, despite Republican claims to the contrary, is not an elitist. Barack Obama is an intellectual, but he remembers his history. He can and does connect with ordinary people. His courteous reaction to the Palin nomination was telling. Mrs Palin (and others) found it irresistible to skewer him in St Paul for "saying one thing about [working Americans] in Scranton, and another in San Francisco". Mr Obama made a bad mistake when he talked about clinging to God and guns, but I am inclined to make allowances: he was speaking to his own political tribe in the native idiom.

The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him. The prevailing liberal mindset is what makes the criticisms of Mr Obama's distance from working Americans stick.

If only the Democrats could contain their sense of entitlement to govern in a rational world, and their consequent distaste for wide swathes of the US electorate, they might gain the unshakeable grip on power they feel they deserve. Winning elections would certainly be easier - and Republicans would have to address themselves more seriously to economic insecurity. But the fathomless cultural complacency of the metropolitan liberal rules this out.

The attitude that expressed itself in response to the Palin nomination is the best weapon in the Republican armoury. Rely on the Democrats to keep it primed. You just have to laugh.

The Palin nomination could still misfire for Mr McCain, but the liberal reaction has made it a huge success so far. To avoid endlessly repeating this mistake, Democrats need to learn some respect.

It will be hard. They will have to develop some regard for the values that the middle of the country expresses when it votes Republican. Religion. Unembarrassed flag-waving patriotism. Freedom to succeed or fail through one's own efforts. Refusal to be pitied, bossed around or talked down to. And all those other laughable redneck notions that made the United States what it is.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; democrats; elections; liberals; media; palin; sarahcuda

1 posted on 09/08/2008 10:44:24 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Liberals?



2 posted on 09/08/2008 10:51:32 AM PDT by vietvet67
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To: nickcarraway

They have nothing but contempt for American values. I don’t want their respect; I want them to fear us.


3 posted on 09/08/2008 10:53:18 AM PDT by gundog (John McCain is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.)
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To: nickcarraway
Look no further than the current issue of "US" magazine which disses Sarah Palin on the cover but has a complimentary spread about Michelle Obama on pages 4-5, touting Michelle's dazzling wardrobe of designer dresses from fashion houses with names that I never heard of.

Obama asks everyone to send him twenty-five dollars while his wife is dazzling the media with Paris fashions. Most of us struggle to make a living and have to make every penny count, but Michelle Obama got her hospital manager's salary doubled ($150,000 to $300,000) after her hubby became a Senator.

Me, I shop at Walmart. But the Democratic party expects me to contribute to their Worshipful Master.

4 posted on 09/08/2008 10:58:13 AM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: nickcarraway

> Mr Obama made a bad mistake when he talked about clinging
> to God and guns, but I am inclined to make allowances: he
> was speaking to his own political tribe in the native
> idiom.

How charming.

Think of what happens when a conservative speaks to “his own political tribe in the native idiom.”

Are any inclined to make allowances then?


5 posted on 09/08/2008 11:00:48 AM PDT by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: nickcarraway
and Republicans would have to address themselves more seriously to economic insecurity

How on earth did this notion that Republicans are WORSE on the economy than dimwits ever come to be so pervasive? I just don't get it. It is completely at odds with reality and history.

6 posted on 09/08/2008 11:08:24 AM PDT by Sicon ("Some pigs are more equal than others.")
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To: Westbrook

That’s what I got out of this: excuse Obama for “mispeaking” regarding large segments of the population’s religion and Second Amendment rights, give him lots of slack, and claim that he is man of the pee-pul. Then assert that it is only his supporters who are condescending hypocrites who look down on those whom they want to save. Uh huh.


7 posted on 09/08/2008 11:10:10 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: nickcarraway

Democrats cannot practice respect, no matter hard they try.

They only talk down to those not “enlightened” as they are.

There are so many examples of this behavior out there. The one comes to mind is Pelosi saying she will not vote on drilling as she “is trying to save the planet”.


8 posted on 09/08/2008 11:12:14 AM PDT by bestintxas (It's great in Texas)
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To: nickcarraway

What this guy doesn’t get -

if you take away the condescending arrogance from a liberal,

ALL YOU’RE LEFT WITH IS IGNORANCE.


9 posted on 09/08/2008 11:17:13 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: nickcarraway
Democrats Must Learn Some Respect

There's just one problem..

I remember Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Hubert Humphrey, Harry Truman -- I knew the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party was a friend of America. The Rat Party is no Democratic Party.

There ain't no Democratic Party -- it's gone.. gone! (Well, it kinda invaded the Republican Party and joined the Rockefeller Republicans.)

The Rat Party is about "bring it all down, man." Replace our heritage and ideals with Marxist gobbledygook -- enforce it with an "internal police" greater in power than DoD.

The Rat Party is about a democratically elected Marxist revolution.

10 posted on 09/08/2008 11:21:09 AM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: MrB

Let’s be fair, not all Democrats are liberal, and not all liberals are even arrogant. The problem is, as the writer points out, they have such a warped perspective of themselves that they can’t see or admit their own bias. For this reason, I don’t think they are capable of changing, even if they wanted to. They are a party in denial of what they essentially ARE.

The past 10 days treatment of Sarah Palin certainly proves your point about arrogance and ignorance however. Now that the verdict is back and everyone knows they are wrong and on the wrong track - will we see any change? I doubt it.


11 posted on 09/08/2008 11:22:48 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: nickcarraway
The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him.

No, it's Obama AND his supporters. I talked with someone this weekend who normally is sympathetic to the dems but is disgusted with the Obama gang's attack on Palin.

12 posted on 09/08/2008 11:24:28 AM PDT by highlander_UW (In addition to being able to field dress a moose, Gov. Palin can field dress a donkey too!)
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To: bigbob
The past 10 days treatment of Sarah Palin certainly proves your point about arrogance and ignorance however.

Actually, I thought the treatment of Sarah Palin pretty much exposed them as the minions of Satan that they are, based on their reaction to someone of character and goodness who, just by passive comparison, points out how wicked they truly are.

13 posted on 09/08/2008 11:33:45 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: Sicon
How on earth did this notion that Republicans are WORSE on the economy than dimwits ever come to be so pervasive? I just don't get it. It is completely at odds with reality and history.

  Because it is not at odds with recent history, and therefore not at odds with reality. Sorry, but Republican handling of the economy over the last 4-8 years has been pretty abysmal, and we're getting our hats handed to us for it.

  Congress has been pretty much out of control, as the GOP decided to hold power by trying to hand out as much candy as they could. President Bush decided not to veto anything, as long as Congress continued supporting him, on the War and in his own entitlement expansions.

  And now we pay the price for it.

  Fortunately, McCain does have a good track record in this regard - not asking for earmarks or being a big on pork. And Palin's record is excellent. McCain picking her as his VP is a strong signal that he's serious about reforming pork and the attendant corruption, even in our own party. That is excellent news, but it still means our congressional chances suffer.

  The worst part is, it's largely deserved.

Drew Garrett

14 posted on 09/08/2008 11:43:47 AM PDT by agarrett
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To: nickcarraway
Great cartoon with the article:

Bromley illustration

15 posted on 09/08/2008 11:51:36 AM PDT by Plutarch
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To: nickcarraway
This author incorrectly believes Democrats do not understand or know how to respect others. Nothing could be further from the truth, for most of them.

The reality is that they know exactly what they are doing by not showing respect in any form. The media allows them to get away with this, and until recently, they have seldom been “called” on such immature comments and behaviors.

Democrats live to undermine whatever is good and true and have no problems with lying to do so.

What any of their recent actions show show is that they are lacking in class in their efforts. The rest of what they stand for is their sincere desire to shred the good in anything we know, to leave them in power as they rule over an ever-increasing Hell on Earth they will help to create.

"Respect" is the least of the concerns we should have with Democrats.

16 posted on 09/08/2008 12:10:37 PM PDT by ConservativeMind (1 conservative = 5 RINOs. You can expect 4 out of 5 RINOs to bolt to the liberal side on any vote.)
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To: nickcarraway
Barack Obama is an intellectual,

I do wish someone on the left would show some proof of this.

I don't think they know what the word means: an extremely rational person; a person who relies on intellect rather than on emotions or feelings.

17 posted on 09/08/2008 12:19:04 PM PDT by razorback-bert (Save the planet...it is the only known one with beer!)
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To: nickcarraway
"Barack Obama is an intellectual. . . ."

This is precisely the kind of assumption used by the liberal establishment for the past few years.

Wise, plainspoken people in America just don't get any credit from the Northeastern liberal establishment, who look down from their ivory towers and "select" who's "intellectual" and who is not.

It seems that if one of their own can look pensive, hesitate, stammer and give vague answers to simple questions, then they qualify as being "intellectual," almost god-like. Guess it's all in trying to decide "what the meaning of 'is' is"!

18 posted on 09/08/2008 12:47:53 PM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: razorback-bert

It has been said that an intellectual is one for whom the life of the mind is paramount.
That would eliminate Obama.


19 posted on 09/08/2008 12:51:11 PM PDT by Graymatter
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To: nickcarraway

btt


20 posted on 09/08/2008 1:17:06 PM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: gundog

“i don’t want their respect; i want them to fear us.”

you said it.


21 posted on 09/08/2008 5:03:59 PM PDT by ripley
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To: MrB

Nailed it.


22 posted on 09/08/2008 5:35:05 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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To: loveliberty2

“It seems that if one of their own can look pensive, hesitate, stammer and give vague answers to simple questions, then they qualify as being “intellectual,” almost god-like. Guess it’s all in trying to decide “what the meaning of ‘is’ is”!

According to the press, this makes Bush “stupid” but makes Obama “nuanced.”


23 posted on 09/08/2008 5:45:26 PM PDT by onevoter
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