Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Disconnected Liberal Elite

There's a phrase bouncing around among my right wing friends these days. You've heard it, "The disconnected liberal elite."
According to my friends (I truly say this with absolutely no irony) the liberals in their liberalyness are disconnected from the normal feelings of the every day american, the salt of the earth man on the street type. This disconnection, so say my friends, is the cause of many problems in America today (crime, the break down of the family, American Idol, etc.)
I have three problems with this argument.
1) Christian Conservatives will talk about the disconnected liberals who are "out of touch" with the Christian values that once made America great. As a born again Christian this one makes me want to throw a chair. When exactly were we such a Christian nation? When we killed the natives, let immigrants die in the streets, enslaved a race, beat that race and denied them civil rights? When was that gleaming point where we were the city on a hill. It never came, we're supposed to be working on that still. I will be crystal clear, I firmly believe that America is the most Christian nation that has existed in all of human history, but for a nation, the pursuit of Christ is a duty to uphold, not a mandate to justify policy. Read the writings of American heroes who carried our nation towards Christ when things were hard, you will invariably find that the pursuit of moral greatness was a struggle. A struggle that was good, and was right, and that frankly most nations didn't have the balls to undertake, but a struggle. America was not made great because we waved flags of agreement, but because we recognized that to build a city on a hill probably involved carrying big rocks up a slope.
2) From a realpolitik standpoint it's very difficult to make a case the liberals have really caused any problems recently. Why? Because they don't control ANYTHING. Nothing. At all. And they haven't for some time.
3) A third problem I have is what I'll call the Schiavo/Flag Burning quandary. We are at a unique position in history where the geopolitical forces are in more dynamic flux since they've been in 1492. We have guys fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. We have real and looming problems in Medicaid, Medicare, health care as a whole, the pension system, and probably a considerable personal debt crisis caused in large part by leaning too heavily on new home starts as a way for the administration to win points. What does Congress spend it's best time on, personal family issues and flag burning. Are these last issues compelling? Yes. Are they philosophically important? Yes. Are they 1000 times more complex than the cheap political rah rah issues that they've been transformed into? Yes. A magician's gloved hand flashing through the air of a night club is also compelling.

The flip side
The flip side is that there does need to be a legitimate explanation for why liberals get kicked around these days. The answer is very simple:
They aren't proposing any ideas. They borrowed a few one-liners from the Jim Wallis book, but frankly all we are seeing from the liberal leadership right now is sophistry.
This was demonstrated comically by John Stewart's interview with Howard Dean the other day.
Stewart: "What would you actually DO if you were in office?"
Dean: "We would be the party who said, love your neighbour as yourself, and you don't get to pick your neighbour?"
Stewart: "Other than something you can put on your pillowcase, what would you do?"
Dean: No answer


Blogger Jeff said...

I know I probably fall in the category of right wing friends although, I don't think I am as right winged as people think I am. I think I actually get labelled as an extreme right winger because I have strong convictions on the whole life issues stuff.

I think we have an issue with a disconnected "elite" ... the liberal gets thrown in there because as a whole the democratic party was championing human rights, etc, but lately this is more of a "message track" than actionable stuff. I think capitalism is getting to be too much about "me" and too much of the philosophy is driving other aspects of our lives. Our Christian principles, our values, etc, are all falling under the directorship of economy. We ask moral questions based on how it affects our pocketbook or other economic indicators.

Not so fast charlie, our morals should dictate our economy. Have greater amounts of character and discipline should be more important than the next dollar we earn.

Yes, I did vote for George Bush because he has policies of protecting life, etc. I just wish his policy was more in total rather than a "message track" -- but his priority was getting power, not necessarily using power for rest of us.

Unfortunately, the Democratic party doesn't seem to get it either, so we're forced to watch a flame war between elite classes that really don't understand that most people want to be led into doing the right thing. Most people don't have the courage to lead, but they will follow a leader who is founded in truth.

i hope as someone who is probably in the 90% income range in the US ... that I am doing what I can to stay grounded, but also lead others in truth.

this is mostly a ramble -- i think I may even have brief spurts of coherent thought in there -- alas, i should get back to my job... btw, did u call me over the weekend? was it important? i assumed not, you didn't leave a msg

1:33 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home