I was recently speaking with a very nice, intelligent man who is on the left. This is a man who has served our country in uniform. But our perceptions of the world were quite different. For the purpose of this blog, I will refer to him as Mr. X.
For example, I was told by Mr. X that racism is nearly as bad today as it was 50 years ago. I questioned that viewpoint and indicated that Obama won election twice, with the support of many white voters. It reminded me of another conversation I had back in 2008 with a different person on the left, who stated that Obama could never win the election because the US was so racist. At that time I said that was ridiculous. It seems to me that the left never fails to see the bad in America.
Anyway, I decided to check it out. According to a report by NBC on 11/19/12, it turns out that Obama did just fine among white voters. From 1976 through 2012, Democrats have never won a majority of white voters, with the average being 40.6% of the white vote. Obama garnered 43% of the white vote in 2008, beating the average. In 2012, Obama got 39% of the white vote, just under the average. (Article by Domenico Montanaro on nbcnews.com.)
I guess white voters were racist against all the white candidates since 1976 - all of whom failed to get a majority of white votes. Carter got 48%, Clinton 44%, Gore 42%, Kerry 41%, Dukakis 40%, Clinton 39% (his first election), Carter 36% (when he lost to Reagan), and Mondale 34%.
We also discussed an issue raised in a couple of my earlier posts about various big city democrats (mayors and city council members) wanting to deny Chick-Fil-A the right to open new franchises in their cities because the owner had expressed his belief in the traditional definition of marriage. I indicated that such a political litmus test was totally anti-American, and asked Mr. X if he would condemn such comments by these democrats. After telling me that republicans do the same thing, he said he disagreed with them, but would not condemn them.
As best I could understand, the reluctance to condemn the democrats was based on his belief that republicans do the same thing. First, I do not believe that is true and asked for examples. Mr. X said he would have to look into it. Second, so what? If it's wrong, it's wrong, regardless of who is doing it. However, Mr. X claimed that such a political litmus test was not anti-American; but, rather, was unfortunately typical of America. To me, that was just another negative view of this country. But, Mr. X would be right if we postulate that Joe McCarthy was typical of America. I do not think many people would agree with that.
Towards the end of the conversation with Mr. X, I mentioned that I listen to talk radio. I said that I did not listen to Rush Limbaugh, preferring instead those hosts that have more of a give and take with their callers. I expressed the view that there were many smart people out there and I enjoyed hearing the different viewpoints. For the same reason, I said that I also enjoyed reading letters to the editor in the various papers that I read. Mr. X disagreed and seemed to feel that most people either had their canned talking points/letters, or were just not that bright.
I do not disagree that there are people who are not that bright, or who do not reason through their arguments. But I do believe, from what I have heard on talk radio and read in the letters to the editor, that there are in fact many bright people out there. Some may not have much formal education, but so what. They can still be well read, they can still have common sense, and they can still make excellent points.
But the left is generally disdainful of people's intelligence and ability to take care of themselves. That is why they feel the need to control every aspect of our lives - because they know what is best for us and we are too stupid to know. It is an elitist attitude prevalent on the left. I am reminded of that quote from William Buckley, who said essentially that he would rather be governed by the first 400 names in the Boston telephone directory than the faculty of Harvard. Common sense over the intelligentsia. I'm with Buckley.