Over simplification seems to be the norm in America today. We at The Fireside are often guilty. Cable News has mastered simplicity. But there has been no greater master of the defense of simplicity as the modern day Republicans. The simple line of thought – Liberals are an evil cult, Democrats are Liberals, so Democrats are evil.
There seems to be a mythology of the liberal cause. The term ‘Liberal’ is used as a noun to describe a secret sect of devil worshipers. The implication is something like this: Liberals meet in secret places, conduct secret rituals, and are the root of the new world order meant to destroy freedom and prosperity. Liberals prefer socialism to capitalism. Liberals prefer dictators to democracy. Liberals want to reward terrorists. Liberals think Labor Unions should run businesses. They are like the Freemasons, except they are more organized and more evil.
The Republicans, led by Rush Limbaugh, are in a big toot right now. “The Liberals are taxing our grandchildren… The Liberals want to surrender to Al Quaeda… The Liberals want to redistribute the wealth… The Liberals want to reward people who are irresponsible… ” The refrain goes on and on.
Keeping an argument simple is the easiest way to promote a particular bias. We have done so in this post. We suggested that Republicans are organized in their ideological perspective. We don’t have to make the case, just suggest a thought and let people make of it what they will. People who agree will shout, “Yeah, those nasty Republicans!” We just commented in a parenthetical way that Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the Republicans. That is a convenient way to lump all Republicans in the same clod of rigid sameness. Keeping arguments simple, using generalized labels, and prejudicing the case by associating particular names (Like Limbaugh) is a convenient method of avoiding the complexity of life.
What are some of the terms used frequently by everyone to make their case? “Liberal Blogosphere” is particularly popular these days. President Obama makes a statement and right away there are those on the Cable News programs who try to stir the pot by asserting that the “Liberal Blogosphere” is disappointed in their candidate. What do they think we do? Do they think we have a private chat forum where we all get together and agree on particulars of politics? Do they think that only people who write or read liberal ideas on the internet support Obama? The term “Liberal Blogosphere” is just a convenient manner of making their shallow case.
This writer is generally of liberal persuasion. But I don’t belong to the official Liberal Club. The Liberals do not invite me to their meetings. I cannot seem to find the chat room of the Liberal Elite. Even without the input of professional Liberals I am able to regularly chastize and generalize about Republicans and Conservatives.
We liberals use Rush Limbaugh as a focal point of conservative leadership. It is a convenient method of lumping a bunch of people together under an umbrella we do not approve of. We like to oversimplify the conservatives by suggesting conservatives prefer a Noble Class to govern over the peasants. Conservatives believe in the rule of the Military. Conservatives deny individual rights. Conservatives believe in Theocracy. Conservatives believe workers should be grateful to even have a job. Conservatives believe Corporate leaders deserve private jets. Conservatives do not have private chat rooms on the internet – they meet in a secret Corporate Board Room known only to a select few.
These distortions serve only one purpose – they keep the country divided. The ideological distortions have always been around – but were elevated to the level of respectful discourse by Ronald Reagan – the real master of over simplification. Reagan kept his message simple, “Government is not the solution, Government is the problem.”
Reagan successfully labeled “Liberals” as something evil. Who is a Liberal? Anyone who disagreed with Reagan. Newt Gingrich heard the trumpet call and organized simple minded people like Joe Scarborough in 1994. With the trumpet of simplicity at their command the Republicans dismantled Government Regulations, dismantled Labor Unions, promoted Corporate Greed, and used our military to dismantle a foreign government.
There I go again, just another Liberal rant. Labeling any thought as Liberal or Conservative allows us to conveniently dismiss the thought. President Obama is trying to have a public conversation about the ills of our country – but there is no conversation. Only labeling and finger pointing.