Ignorant Conservatives

A few days ago, there was an “article” by Jonathan Martin posted on Politico titled, “Is Rick Perry Dumb?” This jewel of investigative journalism continues:

Doubts about Perry’s intellect have hounded him since he was first elected as a state legislator nearly three decades ago. In Austin, he’s been derided as a right-place, right-time pol who looks the part but isn’t so deep — “Gov. Goodhair.” Now, with the chatter picking back up among his enemies and taking flight in elite Republican circles, the rap threatens to follow him to the national stage.

“He’s like Bush only without the brains,” cracked one former Republican governor who knows Perry, repeating a joke that has made the rounds.

Michelle Bachmann is is lawyer. She is another favorite of the “progressives” for challenging conservative intellect; however, it isn’t Republicans or conservatives who say things like these:

Georgia Democratic representative Hank Johnson:

“My fear is that the whole island will become so overpopulated that it will tip over and capsize.” He goes on to say “We didn’t think about global warming neither, and now we do have to think about it.”

Marion Berry, former mayor of Washington, D.C.:

If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very low crime rate.

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer:

Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, “Thank God, I’m still alive.” But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.

Or former Democrat representative and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney claiming that the National Guard executed 5,000 black men after Hurricane Katrina.

But Republicans and conservatives are the only ones singled out as being “dumb”.

Just to show you how little the Democrat playbook has changed, I pulled this over from my old Townhall site from January of 2010 – a year and a half ago.

Why is the conventional media wisdom/slur that “Conservatives are ignorant” being trotted out with increasing frequency? Why are traditional Democrat support groups like the NAACP raging with the “racist” meme? I’ve been considering these questions a lot as the rhetoric starts to intensify as we start the run-up to the November elections. We are a little less than four months out and the political pot is already starting to boil. I’ve been noting that the battlefield is being prepped by some in the “progressive” media with comments like these:

  • On  July 7th, on Fox and Friends, Tamara Holder, a Democratic strategist, frustrated during a debate on the Arizona immigration law, makes this statement, “well Governor Jan Brewer doesn’t even have a college degree…”
  • On July 8th, Rich Sanchez, a MSNBC anchor, led the 3 pm Eastern hour with a rant against “these guys on talk radio, some of whom make hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars”. Sanchez goes on to belittle conservative talk show hosts: “Many…don’t even have a college degree
  • During an interview with California gubernatorial candidate Gerry Brown July 9th, Chris Matthews of MSNBC calls Brown’s Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, a “know nothing” – and for good measure throws Sarah Palin and George W. Bush in the mix, asking: “What is it in the American psyche or character that says, if you don`t know anything, you`re somehow an average person or average guy and you have horse sense?… What is it about people that keep picking people like George W. Bush to be president? And you see these people like Sarah Palin out there with fans.
  • Again with Chris Matthews on July 12, 2010, “You guys are out there nut collecting, aren’t you? I mean you, you, the Democrats have, we’ve had a tough economy in this country, and everybody’s had a hard time. A lot of people have, maybe not the oil companies. So you’re going around looking for nuts. Like, you know, Barton is crazy enough to side with BP in the worst catastrophe. Another one, Bachmann. You haven’t gotten the other “B” here. If you’re going out looking for nuts, it would seem like you’d put her in your basket. You haven’t gotten to her yet. She wants to investigate you guys for anti-American activities…You love these nuts don’t you?…Where do they get these guys from? …What percentage of the Republican Party would you put in the nut bag right now? The parties that, not just conservatives, but people that are just really crazy out there, even beyond the tea partiers?

We get it. Democrats/Progressives think that Conservatives are ignorant. Some of our local Panama City “progressive” talent can be just as erudite. To quote our favorite Progressive Wonder Teen, Rezwan Haq of Arnold High School fame, Conservatives are “stupid”, “dummies”, “ignorant”, and so on and so on…

Just out of morbid curiosity, I “googled” the phrase “why are Conservatives ignorant” and got these gems:

  • On Democratic Underground (www.democraticunderground.com) Snowgoose wrote: ´Although I can see that your question is rhetorical, I’d suggest another way of looking at it that could be useful: “What is it about being ignorant that tends to make people conservative? The distinction being one of cause and effect. And it kinda does make sense: those who don’t have much exposure to other ways of thinking, other ways of living, other political systems, other races, other languages, etc., might naturally cling to an imagined golden age of Andy Griffith America, where (according to the myth) everything was peaceful, everything was pure, there were no foreigners, everyone spoke English, the USA did no wrong, and so on.

Today at the NAACP as they prepared to vote on a resolution condemning the Tea Party movement as racist:

  • “We feel it’s very important that we educate our membership about the tea parties,” said Anita Russell, head of the Kansas City branch of the NAACP, as the debate on the resolution began. “We are concerned that there is a racist element within the tea parties.”

Truth is that Conservatives are just as educated and informed as anyone else.

Based on a Pew Research study in 2007 (the latest that I could find), listeners to Rush and viewers of O’Reilly were right up there with NPR, Jim Lehrer and Daily Show/Colbert Report devotees. Knowledge levels of Republicans and Democrats are essentially equal. When combining medium and high knowledge scores, it is 74 to 69 – R’s to D’s.

Racism is a mixed bag. I’ll be honest; I can find no definitive data to indicate who is more racist, Democrats or Republicans. I can find polling about perception of the parties, but no hard evidence. Republicans have the racist far right but the Democrats have Woodrow Wilson and The Eugenics Princess, Margaret Sanger, so it appears to be a mixed bag – at best. Even when viewed along a black/white continuum, racism has been used as a club so much in the past 30 years, people who didn’t see the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s will have trouble recognizing true racism. I’ve been called racist because I oppose the welfare state. Doesn’t mean that I am but because I am against something that the Black/Minority political base supports, therefore I MUST be prejudiced… for the record, I’m not.

What’s a good Conservative to do? Well, my advice is this:

  • Stick to your principles. You can be principled without being an arse. Dwight Eisenhower said, ““A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”
  • Never support a principle that you don’t believe in. That’s acting – actors are always found out. If you don’t believe it and can’t support it – don’t. This isn’t some kind of loyalty club. Conservatives aren’t going to be monolithic.
  • Stop the whining about the biased media. It is what it is; the ref pulls for the home team so get over it, up your game.
  • Be firm but respectful and civil. Do not descend to name calling or succumb to the temptation to trade insults, no matter how much fun it can be. Just making someone mad doesn’t count as a win.
  • Base your arguments on facts. Express your opinion but base policy comments on accessible facts. Do not base an argument on supposition, at least not one you hope to win.
  • Address counterpoints directly and honestly. If you get blindsided, there is nothing wrong with a tactical retreat. Do not presume to win on a battlefield prepared by your enemy.
  • Answer charges of racism directly, force your opponent to produce evidence and deal with it factually. There have been, and likely still are, racist elements on the far right and Progressives will bend over double to tar Conservatives with that brush, do not allow that to happen. Modern Conservatism has about as many direct links with these nutbags as I do with the dinosaurs.

Conservatives must be principled beings or they will never withstand the onslaught. Remember – it is about ideas and principles, not “branding” or marketing. When Conservatives do regain Congressional control, they must not forget what got them there like they did after 1994. Bush and the fickle Congressional Republicans did more damage to the Conservative movement from 1996 to 2008 than any Progressive movement could ever do. The reason that conservative policies did not do well is that they weren’t conservative at all, they were some hybrid of progressivism and conservatism that guaranteed failure because of one simple rule of nature, you can always spend money faster than you can make it.

Talk Amongst Yourselves:

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