President Bush won the election of 2004 and now the pundits are busy explaining why the enlightened liberal establishment was defeated by a bunch of ignorant yahoos. The electorate, especially in the Midwest, are being labeled – libeled is a better term – as Bible Thumping evangelical Christians who are too stupid to understand what is best for them. The reality is that the group who is out of touch are the liberals and a county by county examination of the votes shows that the liberal elites dominate in very narrow strips along the West and East Coast but even in those states, the mainstream of America made a very strong showing.
So why doesn’t America wake up and realize that the liberal agenda is what is best for them? It recognizes the rights of all people, it furthers the cause of science, it places America at the forefront of international leadership, it provides for the poor by taxing the rich, and in general the liberal agenda is what is best for America so why do so few people grasp that?
In spite of the many glib answers to these questions that are being bandied about the root causes behind the rise of conservative thinking in America is paradoxically more complex yet simpler. In many ways it can be summed up by this quote from C.S Lewis:
“One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting everyone else to give it up.”
This is where the decline of liberalism begins – it begins with the ironclad belief that their way is the right way and that everyone should conform to their belief system. They are an inward looking group whose focus is on groups rather than individuals. They focus on large government programs aimed at solving world hunger, AIDS, world peace and poverty rather than looking at specific individuals or situations. Ironically in the beginning many of these liberal programs were indeed good programs but as they gained success the liberal elite came to the conclusion that they were smarter than the average ignorant bumpkin in the “flyover zone” and that it was necessary for them to establish the norms of society due to their intellectual superiority. Thus we have Draconian anti-smoking laws, continuous revising of health standards, forced nutrition programs in schools, unjustified amounts of money being spent on AIDS research, revised history to show that Caucasians are essentially evil exploiters of the planets resources, the removal of all religion from society, and the list goes on and on. All of these positions are well reasoned by the liberal left – or well reasoned from their point of view. What they fail to understand is that if the electorate as a whole were asked to vote on these programs and positions they would not be supported. But all of these things are merely symptoms and the root cause for the decline of liberalism is apparent but continues to escape most diehard liberals.
The fact is the majority of Americans think that honesty, integrity, and morality are important. We see on a regular basis the hypocrisy of the liberal elite. Perhaps the most blatant example of hypocrisy was the photographs of Senator Kerry “hunting” in Ohio. Does anyone actually believe he is a hunter? This is an example of how the liberals think that if they say it is so no further evidence is needed. We see them driving huge behemoth autos while protesting the costs of gasoline and energy and supporting less consumption of the Earth’s resources. This is an example of the hypocrisy that the elites expect others to ignore. It is an example of their “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. They want to maintain their current situation while expecting everyone else to change. The California liberals are examples of this thinking. They have legislated gasoline so that it requires special refining processes and yields a gasoline that is sold only in California because it is too expensive to be sold elsewhere. Rather than see any flaw in this and accepting responsibility for the higher cost, they blame the high prices on the oil companies. They consume more energy than they produce because they refuse to authorize the construction of nuclear power plants or new oil refineries. They have authorized the construction of windmill farms to harness “free energy”. Of course these monstrosities blot the landscape and when they were to be placed near the places where the elite live there were howls of protest. Then they expect their hypocrisy on this issue to be ignored. Hypocrisy is not a characteristic admired by most Americans and the liberal elite seem unable to see their actions as hypocritical when they are acting in the best of interest of everyone.
Probably the biggest loser in the recent election was the media. It began losing credibility during the Viet Nam War with their extremely biased reporting and their slide into irrelevancy has continued as they have moved from reporting facts to reporting selective facts and then to rumors and finally to outright lies. We see the media faking photos in order to put those with whom they disagree into a bad light. We see the media reporting facts and events that show a specific point of view rather than showing both sides of the event. This culminated in the CBS forgery scandal. Not only did CBS News devote four years to investigating the President’s military record they finally had to invent evidence that they couldn’t find. This is called dishonesty and lying – characteristics that are not admired by most Americans.
And finally we come to morality. It isn’t that the Conservatives have a lock on morality because there have been many examples of the self-righteous falling from grace. What the liberals miss is that strong moral character is admired by most Americans and that most people strive to achieve a high level of moral behavior. Instead, the liberal left seems determined to demonstrate that Godliness is next to stupidity and that any vestige of Christianity must be stamped out of our society in the name of multi-culturalism. Thus we have the attack on the Ten Commandments, Christmas, and any thing resembling or related to Christianity including the denial that ours is a Christian Nation.
Because of the dominance of the liberals in our schools, the judicial system, and the media we have been subjected to political correctness run amok. We have come to learn that George Washington was a bigoted slave owner as was Thomas Jefferson. We have learned that the American melting pot is essentially wrong and instead of Americans we have hyphenated Americans. The concept of multi-cultural diversity is divisive, destructive, and not in keeping with the beliefs of most Americans, which is a point that totally escapes the liberal elites. They are insulated from any contrary thinking because they congregate together and when they are confronted with any contrary thinking they attribute it to rightwing religious nuts or some ignoramus who doesn’t know what is best for him and thus should be ignored.
The fact is honesty, integrity, and morality are fundamental virtues that most Americans hold dear and if the liberal establishment doesn't begin to grasp what most Americans think and believe they will continue to decline in influence. I am reminded of a quote by Peter Drucker who said “The greatest threat to American Business is the Harvard Business School”. I think this could be rephrased to say that the greatest threat to America is the out of touch liberal thinking epitomized by Harvard.