Monday, November 10, 2008

Cartoon Politics

John Derbyshire writes,

What routinely happens with a pointed NRO column is that you get a flutter of emails from appreciative conservative readers, some perhaps taking you to task on some particular point or other, or scolding you for grammatical faults (NRO readers are terrific grammarians). Then there's a pause. Then your piece get out into the Lefty blogosphere somehow, and you get a second wave of emails from ourtraged Lefties.

This is, as I said, routine. It's happened often enough, I have the measure of it, and know what to expect. Last week's Lefty emails were, though, quite unusually vituperative. I noticed the same in the weekend Letters columns of the New York Post. The Post editorialized for McCain, and carries some good conservative Op-Ed writers (including some of ours), but treated Obama with kid gloves, as McCain did. Yet they got some really vituperative letters from scandalized Obamarrhoids, furiously indignant that anyone should criticize The One.

It occurs to me that the left treats Obama the exact opposite of how it treated Bush. Bush was reviled as evil. For eight long years the left hated Bush intensely. Leftists mocked, screamed, chanted, fund-raised against, demonstrated and wrote furiously, clogging the internet with some criticisms that had something to do with reality and a lot of lies, smears and fantasies.

Just as the left demonized Bush, it beatifies Obama. It writes hagiographies. It ignores any potentially embarrassing investigations. It obsesses about how happy America is at the election of Obama. (In Topeka, Kansas, there is a movement afoot to make a national holiday after Obama. Never mind that Obama has achieved nothing but to be elected president; these people think Obama deserves a national holiday simply because of the way he makes them feel.)

In both cases the left makes a cartoon of reality -- or perhaps a Soviet propaganda poster would be a better fit. Leftists cannot think of politics in a sophisticated, adult analysis; they look with the eyes of a child or a savage. Bush is Chimpy McHalliburton, and Obama is the One.

I'm not making a pragmatist case for complexity-worship here. I'm not saying there are no absolutes, only shades of gray. I'm saying the left simplifies reality in accordance to its ideology and looks no further. The left evades reasoning about either Bush or Obama.

This cartoon version of politics is what happens when a faction loses confidence in reason and believes that force only is useful. Leftists demonize or beatify depending on the emotion they feel. No further examination is necessary. What's the point? Bush evil, Obama holy; the truth is obvious. Who needs evidence, analysis or a decent respect for the opinions of mankind?

The criticisms of Obama from the non-left will continue, much to the dismay of the President-Elect's supporters. The left does not want to answer disagreement, but wants to stifle it. With help from the MSM, Democrats will demonize the Obama deniers. How far will the left go to shut up the opposition? A better question: how far will the American people let the left go in shutting up the opposition?


Anonymous said...

"How far will the American people let the left go in shutting up the opposition?"

They will take the tempered poison, I fear, until death.


Mike said...

Hmmm... word verification: "poker." How apropos, given that the American public seems to think that elections are a big game where they have to root for "their side" instead of making a value judgment that one rationale is morally superior to another.