Sunday, November 07, 2004

At first the vitriol of the left was funny, but it is starting to get less so. Now it is just getting ugly. Slate is running a series of liberals trying to explain what went wrong, and I came across this one from Jane Smiley which can be summed up as: people in red states are violent and ignorant louts, except those who voted for Kerry. People in blue state are wise and benevolent except those ugly ignorant louts that voted for Bush. Here are some choice quotes:

The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry. I suppose the good news is that 55 million Americans have evaded the ignorance-inducing machine. But 58 million have not.

Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states.

The error that progressives have consistently committed over the years is to underestimate the vitality of ignorance in America. Listen to what the red state citizens say about themselves, the songs they write, and the sermons they flock to. They know who they are—they are full of original sin and they have a taste for violence. The blue state citizens make the Rousseauvian mistake of thinking humans are essentially good, and so they never realize when they are about to be slugged from behind.

Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you—if you don't believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory (my note: like most liberals, Ms. Smiley is ignorant of the Bible and repeats these canards, when anyone who has studied the Bible knows that it is in fact completely consistent. The facts don't matter to Ms. Smiley), and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it.

The history of the last four years shows that red state types, above all, do not want to be told what to do—they prefer to be ignorant. As a result, they are virtually unteachable.

What is REALLY bothering Ms. Smiley and others in the self-described liberal elite is that we didn't listen to them. They TOLD us how to vote and they of course are smarter than us, so why didn't we listen to our betters? Heads up Ms. Smiley. You may be a brilliant writer, but you and your ilk have no monopoly of complex thought, perhaps even just the opposite. Read a text on systematic theology and tell me how ignorant religious types are. You won't of course, because in your ignorance and arrogance you refuse to recognize those who are your intellectual equals or superiors that don't walk in rigid, unthinking lockstep with liberal orthodoxy. Being a closed minded liberal doesn't change your close mindedness, it only makes you wrong and hypocritical.

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