What Obama Really Meant Was "They're Nuts"
David Carlin, former Democrat state senator from Rhode Island and author of the book Can a Catholic Be a Democrat? (Sophia Institute Press), writes at InsideCatholic:
With his now notorious remarks about the way "bitter" small-town folks "cling" to their religion and guns while disliking immigrants, Barack Obama has taken us -- at least those of us old enough to remember -- for a stroll down memory lane, back to the 1950s, when it was taken for granted among liberals that conservative beliefs were largely psychopathological.(emphasis added)
Back in those days, political intellectualism was a monopoly in the hands of liberal thinkers. Of course, there were some conservative intellectuals: Russell Kirk was at work, and so was Clinton Rossiter, and it was in the 1950s that William F. Buckley Jr. founded his National Review. But in the world of business, a company doesn't have to control a full 100 percent of the market to count as a monopoly; 90 or 95 percent is far more than enough. And in the 1950s, serious political thought in the United States was at least 90 percent liberal. Liberal thinkers and their fans pretty much took it for granted that if you were an intelligent person, you'd be a liberal. And you didn't have to be exceptionally intelligent: The truth of liberalism was so obvious that anybody of even moderate intelligence could see it.
That raised a question: How could we account for the fact that some people were not liberal, that some were conservative? Sheer stupidity, of course, was part of the answer. Some people are just so dumb they wouldn't recognize the truth if it came up and shouted at them. But not all conservatives were that dumb. Most knew how to read; many had high school educations; some had even been to college. So how can we account for their conservatism?
The answer was soon found: Conservatives were suffering from a psychopathology...
Poor Senator Obama! He's trying to understand -- and to explain to some of his San Francisco fans -- why blue-collar families in Pennsylvania and elsewhere don't seem fully to appreciate his brand of liberalism. Unfortunately for him, he's using explanatory categories that are now nearly 60 years old. But among certain present-day liberals (especially perhaps those living in the San Francisco Bay area), these ancient categories are alive and well. Despite a half-century of conservative intellectualism in America, some liberals -- not as up-to-date as they think they are -- still believe that political intelligence is a liberal monopoly. And so when they run across somebody who believes in religion, believes in the Second Amendment, believes that only legal immigrants should enter the United States, etc., they dismiss out of hand the possibility that the person may have good reasons for his belief. Instead they say, "Poor fellow, he's got psychological problems."
[Read the whole thing]
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
The Pope's "Bitter" Harvest
Obama Disses Blue Collar Voters Again: Says They "Cling to Guns or Religion" Because They Are "Bitter" [UPDATED]
Obama's Problems in Pennsylvania Mirror His Problems in Ohio
Obama Attributes Support for Reagan by Blue Collar "Reagan Democrats" to "Anger Over Welfare and Affirmative Action" [UPDATED]