Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The peasants are revolting

I am seeing more and more examples lately of why you should not let your political adversaries define you.

The latest meme circulating around the press and liberal circles (including President Obama) is this idea that the Tea Party patriots, Sarah Palin partisans, Republicans, and mid-America in general are stupid and/or evil. They learn everything they need to know about conservatives by watching Saturday Night Live, reading the newspaper, and from political scientists at leading liberal universities.

A perfect example of this is the BBC article "Why do people vote against their own interests," in which two "exasperated Democrats" tell the BBC that "the politician with the best stories is going to win," and "many of America's poorest citizens have a deep emotional attachment to a party that serves the interests of its richest." I urge you to read the excellent rebuttals by Ed Morrissey and Charles Krauthammer on this subject.

Another example of the media defining conservatives Kevin Diaz's Star Tribune article, "Michele Bachmann does delicate political dance."

Diaz characterizes Palin as "the former Alaska governor who electrified down-home conservatives as the GOP's nominee for vice president in 2008," and Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-6) as "the envoy of a populist movement born in church basements, at race tracks and gun shows across the country." If this story had a soundtrack, it would be "The Ballad of Jed Clampett!" I don't know about you, but even though I support Bachmann, I have never been to a political rally at a race track, a gun show, or a church basement. I have been to several at the Minnesota State Capitol, however.

A third variation of how the left defines the right is when they helpfully point out how Republicans are hurting themselves politically. Almost without exception, it's actually just the opposite.

Example: the Tea Party movement. In Diaz's article, sources say "the Republican Party has been hijacked by the Tea Party movement," and "This is a grass-tops [as opposed to grass roots] movement." Diaz blames the Tea Party for causing the Republican party to fret "whether to tack to the right or the political center." He reports that "Divisions over ideological purity already cost the GOP a congressional seat in New York last year, after Tea Party activists rallied around a Conservative Party candidate who ended up splitting the Republican vote," while neglecting to mention stunning Tea Party supported, Democrat-to-Republican flips by Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey, and Gov. Bob McDonnell in Virginia.

Diaz also neglects to point out that it was big-spending Republicans who "hijacked" the Reagan Revolution, broke the Contract with America, and cost the party majorities in Congress and the White House, not to mention elections in the various states.

How should one respond to these inaccurate portrayals of the ascendant conservative movement in the United States? By following Sarah Palin's example of positive leadership and grace, an unwavering dedication to our country's founding principles of limited government, low taxation, free markets, and liberty, and by avoiding an Obama-like cult of personality or allegiance to party over country.

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