By Vincent La Iacona / Lyndhurst
(Sept. 23, 2010) — Have you become angry enough yet to resent this constant response by the Democrats and their media elite poodles to your objection to President Barack Obama administration’s big government agenda: high unemployment, stimulus spending and huge deficits and debt, big health-care program that increases health costs, big energy tax proposals, feeble foreign policy handling?
You don’t have to be a Tea Party Republican to find these responses offensive. Partisanship aside, it’s easy to diagnosis why Obama advocates talk like this — they can’t debate the substance because present economic, social and national security realities are factually disastrous. So, they resort to the time-honored elite response — you average voter, you are too ignorant to understand these issues like we (your intellectual betters) do, some day our agenda will work.
If you’re offended by the inference that you’re stupid if you question the Democratic (really, the left-wing fringe of this honorable party) agenda’s poor results to date, then imagine how irate you are when you’re called a racist and a bigot, too. Charges of racism by the NAACP and by liberal media pundits for having the temerity to vocally oppose the first “post-racial” president aren’t even thinly-veiled any more — they are overt. The charge of being an anti-Muslim bigot, an Islamophobe, for opposing the Ground Zero mosque, incites similar emotions. Remember when charges like this were called the last refuge of the scoundrel.
I’m still amazed that Obama retains such high favorability ratings despite the obvious realities and incendiary charges. His newest venture into the swamp of obfuscation — taxing the rich, evil companies that prey on poor defenseless voters — taps into a deep vein that appeals to a wide swath of normally judicious people. You’d think the facts — 50 percent of the population pay no income tax, the 2 percent of the population Obama defines as rich pay 40 percent of the total tax revenue already, 50 percent of these “rich” Americans are small business filers who are the same entrepreneurs who account for 80 percent of private sector jobs so important to our economic survival — would persuade the rational voter that the tax the rich impulse is emotionally satisfying but practical idiocy.
The real mystery is in identifying the sanity of the 52 percent of earners over $250,000 who voted for Obama.
Since only 20 percent of voters are self-described “liberals,” there are a lot of self-described “independents” out there who bought into the Kool-Aid representations by Obama in 2008 of “hope and change” that would be moderate, transparent and non-partisan. Many have revised their earlier opinions by now accounting for Obama’s falling poll numbers. But, his core supporters (blacks, Hispanics, urbanites, young people 29 and under) largely refuse to budge. Most of them have rational, if selfish, explanations — beyond mere emotion and rigid ideology — for this continuing support. For example, many are recipients of government largesse — those receiving entitlement benefits, public sector unionized workers — even if I disagree with their point of view.
Many others are trapped in cultural quagmires that stunt their own self-interest. For example, black voters gave the president 95-percent support in 2008, ostensibly partially because of legitimate racial pride in electing one of their own for the first time to the most prestigious office in the land, but why now does that group identity (black solidarity) still manifest itself in the face of such transparently poor results? There is a vibrant black middle class in the country that is quite moderate economically and socially. Even the less affluent black American recognizes that Obama’s fealty to teachers unions undercuts the potential educational advancement of their children into charter and voucher schools. When they look into their child’s eyes, how do Obama-supporting black people weigh uncomfortable self-interest against comforting group shibboleth?
The same logic extends to Hispanics who voted 62 percent for Obama and Asians over 55 percent. Despite the cultural dynamics that impel their votes for the Democrat Party, when does naked self-interest override the comfortable ethnic mythology? As to the under 30 voter, their youthful idealism and exposure to bias in academia makes them perfect targets to high-blown rhetoric that withers in the face of hard realities and experience. It seems like this voting segment in modern society grows smarter, but less wise in terms of critical skepticism.
By the way, if you don’t agree with all of this — you’re just stupid.
Guest columns alternate with Craig Ruvere’s column, “The View From Here.” Send guest columns to JSoltes@LeaderNewspapers.net.