Validation By Defeat

Will has some excellent points in this column.

MSNBC – Validation By Defeat: “Nov. 22 issue – A small but significant, because articulate, sliver of the Democratic Party seems to relish interpreting the party’s defeat as validation. This preening faction reasons as follows: the re-election of George W. Bush proves that 51 percent of the electorate are homophobic, gun-obsessed, economically suicidal, antiscience, theocratic dunces. Therefore to be rejected by them is to have one’s intellectual and moral superiority affirmed.”

This behavior is just obnoxious and reprehensible.

“Belief in the infantilism of the American public has been an expanding facet of some “progressive” thinking for 50 years—since the explosive growth of advertising, especially on television, in the 1950s. Then it began to be argued (see, for example, John Kenneth Galbraith’s 1958 book “The Affluent Society”) that Americans are a bovine, manipulable herd—putty in the hands of advertisers who can manufacture demand for whatever products manufacturers want to produce.

This new theory—that the economy is powered not by the consumption of production but by the production of consumption—made a mockery of the idea of consumer sovereignty. Consumers, it was said, could no longer make up their minds because their minds were made up for them by irresistible forces beyond their control or even their cognizance.”

Do we give people the benefit of the doubt, that is do we trust them to think for themselves or do we expect that since so many cannot we must do it for them.

“They are dismayed that political spending on the presidential race (including spending by the independent 527 groups) and on all House and Senate races totaled $3.9 billion—less than what Americans will spend on chips this year. One reason the money in politics is supposedly “too much” is that most of the money goes for advertising, and we know how powerfully it controls voters.

Actually, we don’t know. For the record, John Kerry and groups supporting him spent more on advertising than Bush and groups supporting him did—nationally, and in Florida and Ohio.

It is passing strange. As the American public has become more educated, American intellectuals have become more disparaging of the public’s intellectual incapacities and moral shortcomings. In 1940, more than half of the U.S. population had only an eighth-grade education, or less. Now that 85 percent are high-school graduates, 53 percent have some college education and 27 percent are college graduates, it is an article of faith among the progressive intelligentsia that the public is becoming increasingly obtuse, bigoted and superstitious.”

I am willing to bet that most people were unaware of this. There is a lot of food for thought here.

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1 Comment

  1. Mr. Middle America November 17, 2004 at 7:43 pm

    There are some excellent points in there!

    However, it is a double-edged sword! I am elitist in most of my thoughts and behaviors… to the extent that I can be given the context… BUT I personally CANNOT stand to hear the Liberal Pundits expel the garbage like you referenced in your post. It turns me off from the party… and just makes me want to watch Foxnews. Well, you know, sometimes…

    But, I also live in a Red State… In Middle America. In the South… There are no large cities and, therefore, not really a suburban area…

    There are still sides of town, but people of various socio-economic (SES) levels interact a lot… And there is a huge division and difference between people in various SES groups!

    When I have lived in larger areas… in a suburban area, you could go for months without really seeing and interacting with people that are a whole lot different than you…

    My point is this… there is ignorance out there. And if you are exposed to it, you might be more inclined to critisize it. It may make your stomach crawl. It does mine…

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