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Author: Subject: Candidate on a High Horse

Universal Peach





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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 09:22 AM
Good think piece from conservative columnist George Will as it trys to explains Obama's (and many other people's) liberalism and how it relates to their view of the "conservative working class", and also why many in this "working class" find this sort of liberalism somewhat "condescensing" and "elitist". Republicans, even though they themselves have in "so many ways" taken advantage of this group of American voters, nevertheless have always "understood" you don't talk down to this group of people and present yourself as a "better". Any candidate that doesn't understand that concept, is doomed not to have their support. Unfortunately, way to many people in the Democratic party still don't get it.

quote:
Candidate on a High Horse
By George F. Will
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Barack Obama may be exactly what his supporters suppose him to be. Not, however, for reasons most Americans will celebrate.

Obama may be the fulfillment of modern liberalism. Explaining why many working-class voters are "bitter," he said they "cling" to guns, religion and "antipathy to people who aren't like them" because of "frustrations." His implication was that their primitivism, superstition and bigotry are balm for resentments they feel because of America's grinding injustice.

By so speaking, Obama does fulfill liberalism's transformation since Franklin Roosevelt. What had been under FDR a celebration of America and the values of its working people has become a doctrine of condescension toward those people and the supposedly coarse and vulgar country that pleases them.

When a supporter told Adlai Stevenson, the losing Democratic presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, that thinking people supported him, Stevenson said, "Yes, but I need to win a majority." When another supporter told Stevenson, "You educated the people through your campaign," Stevenson replied, "But a lot of people flunked the course." Michael Barone, in "Our Country: The Shaping of America From Roosevelt to Reagan," wrote: "It is unthinkable that Roosevelt would ever have said those things or that such thoughts ever would have crossed his mind." Barone added: "Stevenson was the first leading Democratic politician to become a critic rather than a celebrator of middle-class American culture -- the prototype of the liberal Democrat who would judge ordinary Americans by an abstract standard and find them wanting."

Stevenson, like Obama, energized young, educated professionals for whom, Barone wrote, "what was attractive was not his platform but his attitude." They sought from Stevenson "not so much changes in public policy as validation of their own cultural stance." They especially rejected "American exceptionalism, the notion that the United States was specially good and decent," rather than -- in Michelle Obama's words -- "just downright mean."

The emblematic book of the new liberalism was "The Affluent Society" by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. He argued that the power of advertising to manipulate the bovine public is so powerful that the law of supply and demand has been vitiated. Manufacturers can manufacture in the American herd whatever demand the manufacturers want to supply. Because the manipulable masses are easily given a "false consciousness" (another category, like religion as the "opiate" of the suffering masses, that liberalism appropriated from Marxism), four things follow:

First, the consent of the governed, when their behavior is governed by their false consciousnesses, is unimportant.

Second, the public requires the supervision of a progressive elite which, somehow emancipated from false consciousness, can engineer true consciousness.

Third, because consciousness is a reflection of social conditions, true consciousness is engineered by progressive social reforms.

Fourth, because people in the grip of false consciousness cannot be expected to demand or even consent to such reforms, those reforms usually must be imposed, for example, by judicial fiats.

The iconic public intellectual of liberal condescension was Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter, who died in 1970 but whose spirit still permeated that school when Obama matriculated there in 1981. Hofstadter pioneered the rhetorical tactic that Obama has revived with his diagnosis of working-class Democrats as victims -- the indispensable category in liberal theory. The tactic is to dismiss rather than refute those with whom you disagree.

Obama's dismissal is: Americans, especially working-class conservatives, are unable, because of their false consciousness, to deconstruct their social context and embrace the liberal program. Today that program is to elect Obama, thereby making his wife at long last proud of America.

Hofstadter dismissed conservatives as victims of character flaws and psychological disorders -- a "paranoid style" of politics rooted in "status anxiety," etc. Conservatism rose on a tide of votes cast by people irritated by the liberalism of condescension.

Obama voiced such liberalism with his "bitterness" remarks to an audience of affluent San Franciscans. Perfect.

When Democrats convened in San Francisco in 1984, en route to losing 49 states, Jeane Kirkpatrick -- a former FDR Democrat then serving in the Cabinet of another such, Ronald Reagan -- said "San Francisco Democrats" are people who "blame America first." Today they blame Americans for America being "downright mean."

Obama's apology for his embittering sociology of "bitterness" -- "I didn't say it as well as I should have" -- occurred in Muncie, Ind. Perfect.

In 1929 and 1937, Robert and Helen Lynd published two seminal books of American sociology. They were sympathetic studies of a medium-size manufacturing city they called "Middletown," coping -- reasonably successfully, optimistically and harmoniously -- with life's vicissitudes. "Middletown" was in fact Muncie, Ind.

georgewill@washpost.com


 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 10:07 AM
Very interesting article. Thank you for posting it.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 12:12 PM
quote:
Good think piece from conservative columnist George Will as it trys to explains Obama's (and many other people's) liberalism and how it relates to their view of the "conservative working class", and also why many in this "working class" find this sort of liberalism somewhat "condescensing" and "elitist". Republicans, even though they themselves have in "so many ways" taken advantage of this group of American voters, nevertheless have always "understood" you don't talk down to this group of people and present yourself as a "better". Any candidate that doesn't understand that concept, is doomed not to have their support. Unfortunately, way to many people in the Democratic party still don't get it.

quote:
Candidate on a High Horse
By George F. Will
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Barack Obama may be exactly what his supporters suppose him to be. Not, however, for reasons most Americans will celebrate.

Obama may be the fulfillment of modern liberalism. Explaining why many working-class voters are "bitter," he said they "cling" to guns, religion and "antipathy to people who aren't like them" because of "frustrations." His implication was that their primitivism, superstition and bigotry are balm for resentments they feel because of America's grinding injustice.

By so speaking, Obama does fulfill liberalism's transformation since Franklin Roosevelt. What had been under FDR a celebration of America and the values of its working people has become a doctrine of condescension toward those people and the supposedly coarse and vulgar country that pleases them.

When a supporter told Adlai Stevenson, the losing Democratic presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, that thinking people supported him, Stevenson said, "Yes, but I need to win a majority." When another supporter told Stevenson, "You educated the people through your campaign," Stevenson replied, "But a lot of people flunked the course." Michael Barone, in "Our Country: The Shaping of America From Roosevelt to Reagan," wrote: "It is unthinkable that Roosevelt would ever have said those things or that such thoughts ever would have crossed his mind." Barone added: "Stevenson was the first leading Democratic politician to become a critic rather than a celebrator of middle-class American culture -- the prototype of the liberal Democrat who would judge ordinary Americans by an abstract standard and find them wanting."

Stevenson, like Obama, energized young, educated professionals for whom, Barone wrote, "what was attractive was not his platform but his attitude." They sought from Stevenson "not so much changes in public policy as validation of their own cultural stance." They especially rejected "American exceptionalism, the notion that the United States was specially good and decent," rather than -- in Michelle Obama's words -- "just downright mean."

The emblematic book of the new liberalism was "The Affluent Society" by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. He argued that the power of advertising to manipulate the bovine public is so powerful that the law of supply and demand has been vitiated. Manufacturers can manufacture in the American herd whatever demand the manufacturers want to supply. Because the manipulable masses are easily given a "false consciousness" (another category, like religion as the "opiate" of the suffering masses, that liberalism appropriated from Marxism), four things follow:

First, the consent of the governed, when their behavior is governed by their false consciousnesses, is unimportant.

Second, the public requires the supervision of a progressive elite which, somehow emancipated from false consciousness, can engineer true consciousness.

Third, because consciousness is a reflection of social conditions, true consciousness is engineered by progressive social reforms.

Fourth, because people in the grip of false consciousness cannot be expected to demand or even consent to such reforms, those reforms usually must be imposed, for example, by judicial fiats.

The iconic public intellectual of liberal condescension was Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter, who died in 1970 but whose spirit still permeated that school when Obama matriculated there in 1981. Hofstadter pioneered the rhetorical tactic that Obama has revived with his diagnosis of working-class Democrats as victims -- the indispensable category in liberal theory. The tactic is to dismiss rather than refute those with whom you disagree.

Obama's dismissal is: Americans, especially working-class conservatives, are unable, because of their false consciousness, to deconstruct their social context and embrace the liberal program. Today that program is to elect Obama, thereby making his wife at long last proud of America.

Hofstadter dismissed conservatives as victims of character flaws and psychological disorders -- a "paranoid style" of politics rooted in "status anxiety," etc. Conservatism rose on a tide of votes cast by people irritated by the liberalism of condescension.

Obama voiced such liberalism with his "bitterness" remarks to an audience of affluent San Franciscans. Perfect.

When Democrats convened in San Francisco in 1984, en route to losing 49 states, Jeane Kirkpatrick -- a former FDR Democrat then serving in the Cabinet of another such, Ronald Reagan -- said "San Francisco Democrats" are people who "blame America first." Today they blame Americans for America being "downright mean."

Obama's apology for his embittering sociology of "bitterness" -- "I didn't say it as well as I should have" -- occurred in Muncie, Ind. Perfect.

In 1929 and 1937, Robert and Helen Lynd published two seminal books of American sociology. They were sympathetic studies of a medium-size manufacturing city they called "Middletown," coping -- reasonably successfully, optimistically and harmoniously -- with life's vicissitudes. "Middletown" was in fact Muncie, Ind.

georgewill@washpost.com




George Will? Must be a "right wing smear piece"

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 12:27 PM
CUH, are you going to vote this Nov.?

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 12:44 PM
quote:
CUH, are you going to vote this Nov.?


I not going to answer that question, just yet. Besides, what I do or don't do really shouldn't be anyone eles's concern. Remember look at all sides, and always question.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 01:30 PM
I'll be voting for Hillary in November.
 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 02:26 PM
Bigann.....will that be a write-in?

CUH..something I saw in this morning's paper reminded of the Will story....below is the first portion.

Cubans go crazy for cell service
Tuesday, April 15, 2008 3:19 AM
By Will Weissert

Associated Press
HAVANA -- Lines stretched for blocks outside phone stores yesterday as ordinary Cubans were allowed to sign up for cellular-phone service for the first time.

The contracts cost the equivalent of about $120 to activate -- half a year's wages on the average state salary. And that doesn't include a phone or credit to make and receive calls. Still, lines formed before the centers opened, and waits grew to more than an hour.

"It's great. It's really great. And everyone wants to be first to sign up," said Usan Astorga, a 19-year-old medical student who stood for about 20 minutes before her line moved at all.

Getting through the day without a cell phone is unthinkable in most developed countries, but Cuba's government limited access to cell phones as well as kitchen appliances, hotels and other luxuries in an attempt to preserve the relative economic equality that is a hallmark of social life in communist Cuba.--This is my favorite part....economic equality...

President Raul Castro has pledged to do away with these small but infuriating restrictions on daily life, and his popularity has surged as a result. His actions have defused questions about whether his relative lack of charisma would make governing Cuba more difficult after his ailing older brother, Fidel, formally stepped down in February.


-------So, are Americans who get cell-phones bitter?

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 02:48 PM
Carlos,

I think it's time to have you medications adjusted. I think you think you're "esoteric", but mostly you don't make any sense whatsoever. Hate to say it, but Gina can stay on the subject better than you can. Scary thought, ain't it?

[Edited on 4/15/2008 by cleaneduphippy]

 
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True Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 02:57 PM
quote:
quote:
CUH, are you going to vote this Nov.?


I not going to answer that question, just yet. Besides, what I do or don't do really shouldn't be anyone eles's concern. Remember look at all sides, and always question.


Sorry, I didn't mean to get personal. I don't engage in political discussion with non-voters. That's just me, so the question was just for my personal future reference. BTW I know you didn't ask but I will be voting for a Democrat. Also still waiting for McCain's medical records to be made public. First it was March, then pushed to April 15th and now they've pushed it to May was my last understanding.

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 03:01 PM
quote:
George Will? Must be a "right wing smear piece"


Considering that you have demonstrated an absolute lack of understanding what that is, how would you know?

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 03:07 PM
ST, the "Decider " as to what is or isn't a RW hit piece Didn't somebody tell me not to discredit the meesenger????

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 03:11 PM
George Will commenting on Intellectual snootiness of liberals is almost funny

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 03:26 PM
Mark,

Squatch will alway try to discredit the messenger as he's a "true believer". If he had been in Jonestown he would have drank the "Kool-aid" with "gusto". For that matter, he would probably been pouring it down other people's throat, before he has HIS "Big Gulp". Far as I'm concerned, he just another "unquestioning fool", so why even bother trying to have a rational discussion with him as he's convienced as a "true believer" he's "ABSOLUTELY' correct, and anybody that disagrees "MUST' be wrong, and MUST be "Vilified" here on the WP.

[Edited on 4/15/2008 by cleaneduphippy]

 
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Universal Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 03:31 PM
quote:
George Will commenting on Intellectual snootiness of liberals is almost funny


Hey Wotty,

Anybody "still" considering voting for Ralph Nader is IMHO some sort of a "Floyd Flashback" hippy. Face it, John, Professor Peabody doesn't have a "wayback machine".

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 03:33 PM
Thanks Fred but I have my own Wayback machine.


I don't expect Nader to win. I hope he gets enough votes to slap some sense into the democrats .

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 04:04 PM
quote:
I don't expect Nader to win. I hope he gets enough votes to slap some sense into the democrats .


Don't expect that to happen. The Democrats are just as corrupted, and as bought as the Republicans. I guess if you're in "High Cotten" America has the best government that can be bought.

 
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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 04:05 PM
quote:
Republicans, even though they themselves have in "so many ways" taken advantage of this group of American voters, nevertheless have always "understood" you don't talk down to this group of people and present yourself as a "better".



Classic!


Lie to people, take advantage of them and use them for their vote, but by God, don't talk down to them.


 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 04:06 PM
quote:
quote:
I don't expect Nader to win. I hope he gets enough votes to slap some sense into the democrats .


Don't expect that to happen. The Democrats are just as corrupted, and as bought as the Republicans. I guess if you're in "High Cotten" America has the best government that can be bought.


You may be right

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 04:07 PM
quote:
quote:
Republicans, even though they themselves have in "so many ways" taken advantage of this group of American voters, nevertheless have always "understood" you don't talk down to this group of people and present yourself as a "better".



Classic!


Lie to people, take advantage of them and use them for their vote, but by God, don't talk down to them.





Leave that to George Will

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 05:16 PM
quote:
Thanks Fred but I have my own Wayback machine.


I don't expect Nader to win. I hope he gets enough votes to slap some sense into the democrats .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------
I'm sorry John, but I don't think you really believe that. Nader had his best chance 2 elections ago, but he went ahead and ran last time with a singular purpose-get enough votes to get matching funds. Well, he didn't, but he stayed in and helped Bush get re-elected when any fool could see that would be the result. So, he will get much less support than either of the last 2 times, so I don't see how he could teach the dems anything.
BTW, it is not his message that is the problem-it is the system, but the system is real.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 05:54 PM
quote:
quote:
Thanks Fred but I have my own Wayback machine.


I don't expect Nader to win. I hope he gets enough votes to slap some sense into the democrats .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------
I'm sorry John, but I don't think you really believe that. Nader had his best chance 2 elections ago, but he went ahead and ran last time with a singular purpose-get enough votes to get matching funds. Well, he didn't, but he stayed in and helped Bush get re-elected when any fool could see that would be the result. So, he will get much less support than either of the last 2 times, so I don't see how he could teach the dems anything.
BTW, it is not his message that is the problem-it is the system, but the system is real.


So how to change the system?

You gots to start somewhere.

Can't in good conscience vote for the corporations candidates from the bought and sold parties.

And don't blame Bush on Nader, it was the democrats that abandoned the left.






[Edited on 4/15/2008 by johnwott]

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 06:22 PM
"I think it's time to have you medications adjusted. I think you think you're "esoteric", but mostly you don't make any sense whatsoever. Hate to say it, but Gina can stay on the subject better than you can. Scary thought, ain't it? "

Welllllllll, since the article was actually in the press, how esoteric could it be when anyone could access it. But, since one presumes you repost was meant to be personal, perhaps, you can recommend which meds or drugs you rated highly before you became CUH....or is that esoteric?

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 08:45 PM
You could vote for Pat Paulson or Alfred E. Neuman and it would be an improvement over the
current administration...

This economy is the worst I have seen in my 54 years...

to think People chastized jimmy Carter for double digit inflation, at least we had COLA

Everyday it seems prices are rising 30% and more

Pharmaceuticals used to be 10 -30 co-pay... now they are 20 PERCENT copay

People are looking at $20K annually for drugs... makes smack look cheap

Pelosi for president... I can't wait for November

IMPEACH Dick and Bush NOW !!!! yesterday aint soon enuff

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 08:47 PM
Osama Bin Laden once siad he wanted to

"Bankrupt America"

well, he is getting his wish

 

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  posted on 4/15/2008 at 09:17 PM
quote:
You could vote for Pat Paulson or Alfred E. Neuman and it would be an improvement over the
current administration...

This economy is the worst I have seen in my 54 years...

to think People chastized jimmy Carter for double digit inflation, at least we had COLA

Everyday it seems prices are rising 30% and more

Pharmaceuticals used to be 10 -30 co-pay... now they are 20 PERCENT copay

People are looking at $20K annually for drugs... makes smack look cheap

Pelosi for president... I can't wait for November

IMPEACH Dick and Bush NOW !!!! yesterday aint soon enuff




Yeah. Bring back the gas lines and the 12 percent unemployment. I miss those days!

 

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