A View from the Other Side: Ideological Purity and Trump

 

I started a new job last week with a large non-profit focused on a specific disease prevention, treatment, research, and cure. I now work from home, but was in the corporate headquarters earlier this week. Much like the government and academia, there is an implicit assumption there that anyone who is educated and cares about people is politically liberal. This always leads to little insights into how the non-fringe, non-activist wing of the other side thinks.

Here are a few snippets to mull over.

Sr. VP 1:  Hillary has got to win. Period. Whatever it takes.

Sr. VP 2:  My politics are much closer to Bernie Sanders, but I’ll vote for Hillary if she’s the candidate. She’ll help get us there.

Sr. VP 1:  I agree. Sanders has “some really innovative policy ideas.”

Sr VP 1:  Of course, we could nominate anyone, because as long as Trump goes third party, we win (at this point they both raised there hands in the air and cheered).

Sr. VP 2:  Him winning the presidency wouldn’t be so bad … except on immigration (note this is from Bernie Sanders fan).

Sr. VP 1:  Lynne, I hope you don’t mind we talk politics sometimes.

Me:  I don’t mind, just curious about how much of diversity of opinion there is here.

My lessons learned:

1)  Liberals vote to win. Half a loaf is better than nothing. No comments like, “If Bernie isn’t the nominee, I’m staying at home.”

2) They see Trump for what he is — a disaster for the Republican party and not conservative at all.

Next conversation at dinner:

Executive VP:  Republicans are going to lose. Hillary is going to win and it’s going to be awesome. We’ll get to the single-payer system that works.

Other dinner comments:  Yes, she’s going to get out of this email thing … it’s just media bias making a big deal of it. It must be hard to live in a Red state (we were in GA). Trump is going to drag the party down, down, down.

Me:  I really think that Trump represents a populist movement (talk about the Michael Barone column on re-alignment). … go on to say, my friends here in GA who are Republicans see this as too early to make big predictions yet.

EVP:  You know people who are Republicans? Even active in the party? (Seriously, he said this.)

Me:  Yes, one of the great things about growing up in a Red State is that you meet people who are conservative politically, are smart, educated, caring, compassionate, not crazy, and would make excellent conversationalists here at our dinner.

Silence at the table

Me:  Maybe it’s the psychologist in me, I just think people are more complex than their political views.

My lessons learned:

1.  They will vote for Hillary no matter what comes out about Benghazi, e-mails, or anything else.

2.  They think most Republicans are Tea Partiers, and that Tea Partiers are crazy radicals.

3.  They think that all people who have had politics explained to them will agree with them.

What do you think? Is this consistent with what your more liberal friends and colleagues think? I think they’re right about Trump, he’s not conservative, but he could sure botch it for us this cycle. I also think they’re right to take the closest thing they can get to the liberal they want … even though it’s not as liberal as they want.

 

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  1. GadgetGal Thatcher
    GadgetGal
    @GadgetGal

    drlorentz:

    I’ve noticed the same. It reinforces the tribal model of political alignment: people associate themselves with a political ideology for reasons other than the views connected with the ideology. When their life experiences lead them to other conclusions, contradictions arise.

    Charles Murray has noted that the liberal elites act socially conservative in many regards, while preaching the opposite to their social inferiors. If that area of dissonance were correctly resolved (private behavior vs. public pronouncements), it would go a long way to addressing many social ills.

    Exactly.

    • #91
  2. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Cantankerous Homebody: No there’s definitely a progressive there. It’s some kind of insane marxist utopia. Conservatives are idiots for not fighting A tooth and nail if only because a progressive said it. They only say A because they know it’ll peel off enough conservatives and ambivalent people for them to push through.

    You misunderstand. What I meant by “there is no there” is that there is no end goal. They will never stop pushing. No matter how much ground we give they will always find some new “injustice” which can only be fixed by more centralized control.

    I actually used to be a good deal more moderate than I am now, but it’s this realization, that they are never going to stop, that’s moved me into the “We can’t give them anything” camp.

    • #92
  3. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    BThompson:Ted Cruz is an opportunist and self-aggrandizer.

    Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    • #93
  4. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    The Reticulator:

    BThompson:Ted Cruz is an opportunist and self-aggrandizer.

    Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    “Opportunist” can be good, assuming you use the opportunity for good.

    Credit where it’s due: He’s proven himself to be a much more serious thinker than I initially gave him credit for. I used to think he had this pathological need to always be the most conservative guy in the room. I think he comes across a lot better now that he actually has to convince people he’s right and can’t expect accolades just for saying the right thing.

    • #94
  5. Cantankerous Homebody Inactive
    Cantankerous Homebody
    @CantankerousHomebody

    Umbra Fractus:

    Cantankerous Homebody: No there’s definitely a progressive there. It’s some kind of insane marxist utopia. Conservatives are idiots for not fighting A tooth and nail if only because a progressive said it. They only say A because they know it’ll peel off enough conservatives and ambivalent people for them to push through.

    You misunderstand. What I meant by “there is no there” is that there is no end goal. They will never stop pushing. No matter how much ground we give they will always find some new “injustice” which can only be fixed by more centralized control.

    That’s the thing, they don’t actually care about injustice at all.  It’s just the emotional veneer.  Gay rights or animal rights or women’s rights isn’t the goal, the goal is the subversion of the west’s cultural values and traditions.  It only seems like they’re finding new injustices when in fact the issue isn’t the issue.  It’s cultural marxism.  Once the culture is destroyed a new marxist paradise can be built upon the rubble.

    • #95
  6. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Umbra Fractus: I actually used to be a good deal more moderate than I am now, but it’s this realization, that they are never going to stop, that’s moved me into the “We can’t give them anything” camp.

    This is the principle underlying the seeming intransigence of the NRA and other gun-rights advocates. The opposition will never stop until the country is disarmed, so we can’t give an inch.

    • #96
  7. Cantankerous Homebody Inactive
    Cantankerous Homebody
    @CantankerousHomebody

    BThompson:It depends on the cost, both in terms of money, time and political capital as well as opportunity cost. There are such things as phyrric victories or meaningless victories. A victory that doesn’t substantially alter the equation or solve a problem doesn’t really seem like a victory to me.

    Have you considered both you and Freesmith are right?  It’s possible to fight like hell in the government and plan a long march through the institutions.

    • #97
  8. Brad2971 Member
    Brad2971
    @

    Man With the Axe:

    Umbra Fractus: I actually used to be a good deal more moderate than I am now, but it’s this realization, that they are never going to stop, that’s moved me into the “We can’t give them anything” camp.

    This is the principle underlying the seeming intransigence of the NRA and other gun-rights advocates. The opposition will never stop until the country is disarmed, so we can’t give an inch.

    And, by strange coincidence, the NARAL/Planned Parenthood abortion rights advocates don’t dare give an inch on abortion rights, either. And they’re willing to excuse actual, real, public health threats in order to do so.

    The “we can’t give them anything” camp is, to put it kindly, not one of the better places in general society to be.

    • #98
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Brad2971:

    Man With the Axe:

    Umbra Fractus: I actually used to be a good deal more moderate than I am now, but it’s this realization, that they are never going to stop, that’s moved me into the “We can’t give them anything” camp.

    This is the principle underlying the seeming intransigence of the NRA and other gun-rights advocates. The opposition will never stop until the country is disarmed, so we can’t give an inch.

    And, by strange coincidence, the NARAL/Planned Parenthood abortion rights advocates don’t dare give an inch on abortion rights, either. And they’re willing to excuse actual, real, public health threats in order to do so.

    The “we can’t give them anything” camp is, to put it kindly, not one of the better places in general society to be.

    A situation like this demands compromise.  They can restore some human rights that they’ve taken from the people, and we can loosen our grip on the pliers that are pinching them and making them sing in a high voice.

    • #99
  10. Cat III Member
    Cat III
    @CatIII

    Tuck:

    Cat III: This is repeated often, but I’m unconvinced. There are plenty of “us” that consider “them” evil. The sentiment isn’t even alien to Ricochet.

    I’d love to hear how you interpret this:

    “Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.” ― Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

    Note Alinsky observes that Lucifer’s reward wasn’t “a better world”, as Alinsky claims was his own goal, but a kingdom. Even if it was Hell…

    Sounds a lot like what Leftists actually do when they get power, doesn’t it?

    What do you make of Ayn Rand calling William Edward Hickman a “brilliant, unusual, exceptional boy”? William Edward Hickman, if you didn’t know, brutally murdered a twelve-year-old girl, which is one more person than Lucifer ever killed. Guess we ought to swear off free markets, because of one quote from a single person.

    • #100
  11. Cat III Member
    Cat III
    @CatIII

    Xennady:

    Cat III:

    MJBubba:It makes for fascinating reading, and puts some real thought and science behind the saying that we think they are wrong, but they think we are evil.

    This is repeated often, but I’m unconvinced. There are plenty of “us” that consider “them” evil. The sentiment isn’t even alien to Ricochet.

    I’m sorry, but “they” are evil. They have carpeted the planet with mass graves, and would do so here if they had the chance.

    You’re right. How stupid of me not to realize that anyone who doesn’t share your policy proposals is a communist tyrant. The progressive tax and gay marriage are the door to the killing fields.

    I have my differences with The American Conservative, but I appreciate they avoid the kind of wingnuttery that deems half of society to be incorrigibly evil.

    Never forget that Bill Ayers is an honored member of the democrat party.

    Ayers is a scumbag. No one’s making the case that no leftists are evil. Whatever Obama and Ayers’ relationship, the administration has had no ties with him. Ayers has even called Obama a war criminal.

    • #101
  12. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Me: Maybe it’s the psychologist in me, I just think people are more complex than their political views.

    Nicely played, and in real time yet. Was that spontaneous, or a prepared impromptu remark?

    • #102
  13. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Cat III:

    Tuck:

    ….Sounds a lot like what Leftists actually do when they get power, doesn’t it?

    What do you make of Ayn Rand calling William Edward Hickman a “brilliant, unusual, exceptional boy”? William Edward Hickman, if you didn’t know, brutally murdered a twelve-year-old girl, which is one more person than Lucifer ever killed. Guess we ought to swear off free markets, because of one quote from a single person.

    Talk about an apples and oranges comparison.  A. Rand was a fringe figure in “free markets” despite having read that popular book.  B. Did Rand model her life of Hickman?  Did her disciples? C.  Was Hickman the personification of evil?

    I don’t know… Maybe you’re just not familiar with Alinsky and his influence?

    • #103
  14. SEAMUS Inactive
    SEAMUS
    @SEAMUS

    David Sussman:IMO political purity is more evident on the right, which I would argue is due to the gigantic tent called “conservatism”. We see it here on Rico: SoCons, FiCons, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, etc.

    I know there are people who are ‘one issue’ voters, whether it’s abortion, gay rights, immigration, 2A, taxes, etc. That’s not a problem until we hear those who suggest they won’t vote to ‘teach the party a lesson’.

    I heard it in 2008. “I can’t vote for McCain, so I’ll stay home. Obama will be so bad that in 2012 the Republicans will get back in. People will be clamoring for common sense.”

    Not sure how losing the country has taught anyone a lesson. Clinton, with all her baggage, is still very much a viable candidate.

    Congrats on the new job!

    I used to think there was political purity on the right until 2008, when two people I thought of as very conservative mentioned they may vote for Obama. They were so wrapped up in the cult of personality and the pablum coming out of his mouth that I had to remind them that he rated more liberal than Sanders as a senator! Hopefully, Obama was an exception…

    • #104
  15. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    SEAMUS: I used to think there was political purity on the right until 2008, when two people I thought of as very conservative mentioned they may vote for Obama. They were so wrapped up in the cult of personality and the pablum coming out of his mouth that I had to remind them that he rated more liberal than Sanders as a senator! Hopefully, Obama was an exception…

    Given the devotion to a certain candidate who shall remain nameless, I’m inclined to believe he wasn’t.

    • #105
  16. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Cat III: …Whatever Obama and Ayers’ relationship, the administration has had no ties with him….

    It’s just not that simple, however:

    “…More important, as I explain in Radical-in-Chief, Obama’s relationship to high-profile radicals like Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright is really just the tip of the iceberg. Obama was part and parcel of Chicago’s vast circle of hard leftists, going far beyond Ayers and Wright. The positions of these groups—on issues like health care, energy, immigration, urban affairs, and foreign policy—anticipates nearly every aspect of Obama’s current agenda, not to mention his divisive rhetoric and his administration’s techniques for silencing enemies. The Obama of 1995 turns out to have been a better predictor of the present than the supposedly post-partisan Obama of 2008.

    “So the truth about Obama and Ayers is more than an easy “gotcha.” Rightly understood, it’s a window onto the much larger leftist world that shaped Obama then, and explains the fate of his presidency now.”

    Does it really matter if he’s talking to Ayers if he’s pursuing the same agenda?

    • #106
  17. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Cantankerous Homebody:

    BThompson:It depends on the cost, both in terms of money, time and political capital as well as opportunity cost. There are such things as phyrric victories or meaningless victories. A victory that doesn’t substantially alter the equation or solve a problem doesn’t really seem like a victory to me.

    Have you considered both you and Freesmith are right? It’s possible to fight like hell in the government and plan a long march through the institutions.

    Exactly!

    But don’t expect too many to volunteer for your long march if you refuse to fight in the here and now.

    And if you turn your back on political power do so with the understanding that your culture war opponents do not. They sincerely intend to get your mind right, through law if necessary.

    How do you stop a bully?

    • #107
  18. Autistic License Thatcher
    Autistic License
    @AutisticLicense

    I was recently talking with a friend and brought up starting an NPO for a nonpolitical cause we share.  He shocked me by saying that it would never go, that after all the persecution the IRS had faced from the Tea Party, they probably wouldn’t okay anything.

    Lois Lerner, Saint and Martyr, pray for us.

    • #108
  19. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    I know a lot of decent people who simply are not smart enough to avoid leftist political positions.

    • They feel a lot of empathy for the poor and downtrodden, but mistakenly believe that welfare policies are the best way to alleviate their plight.
    • They want to increase the prosperity of the middle class, but mistakenly believe that restraints on trade, both foreign (tariffs) and domestic (living wage) will achieve that goal.
    • They want peace between the races, but mistakenly believe that blaming whites for every bad thing that happens to blacks will achieve racial peace.
    • They want us all to get along, but mistakenly think that taking offense at and forbidding the use of ordinary descriptive terms (e.g., male/female, rich/poor, fat/old/retarded/crippled) will avoid hurt feelings.
    • They want business to be profitable and to create jobs, but mistakenly fail to see how excessive regulation prevents that from happening.
    • They want a good life for their grandchildren, but mistakenly believe climate change is the threat that we must worry about above all others.

    These are not evil people. In many ways they are not stupid, either. Many have Ph.Ds.  (Insert joke here.)

    I suppose the best descriptor I can come up with for them is that they suffer from a profound blindness to how the world works caused by an education lacking in practical principles of economics, government, public choice theory, and logic, among other things.

    • #109
  20. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Man With the Axe: I suppose the best descriptor I can come up with for them is that they suffer from a profound blindness to how the world works caused by an education lacking in practical principles of economics, government, public choice theory, and logic, among other things.

    And where do they get such a grand education?

    • #110
  21. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Bob Thompson:

    Man With the Axe: I suppose the best descriptor I can come up with for them is that they suffer from a profound blindness to how the world works caused by an education lacking in practical principles of economics, government, public choice theory, and logic, among other things.

    And where do they get such a grand education?

    Maybe they were home schooled? Just kidding.

    • #111
  22. PoliticalWoman Inactive
    PoliticalWoman
    @PoliticalWoman

    This is spot-on with what I experience in my own company.  I work from home and am glad I do, because I would not be able to keep my mouth shut if I were in the workplace.  I’m hit with a double-whammy:  HQ is in Chicago, and Valerie Jarrett served on the Board of Directors.

    We’re going to see a lot more of this I’m afraid, especially when you see the state of our colleges and who’s teaching the students, who then because the VPs, SVPs, EVPs.  So they end poisoned for life, and now current graduates of the past six years think this economy is the “new normal.”  Sad.

    • #112
  23. Cat III Member
    Cat III
    @CatIII

    Tuck:

    Cat III:

    Tuck:

    ….Sounds a lot like what Leftists actually do when they get power, doesn’t it?

    What do you make of Ayn Rand calling William Edward Hickman a “brilliant, unusual, exceptional boy”? William Edward Hickman, if you didn’t know, brutally murdered a twelve-year-old girl, which is one more person than Lucifer ever killed. Guess we ought to swear off free markets, because of one quote from a single person.

    Talk about an apples and oranges comparison. A. Rand was a fringe figure in “free markets” despite having read that popular book. B. Did Rand model her life of Hickman? Did her disciples? C. Was Hickman the personification of evil?

    A fringe figure who’s one of the bestselling authors ever. A prominent Republican politician and VP nominee regarded her as a hero, not to mention her influence on former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan. John Galt is a character well-known to right wing circles. A Ricochet member references him in his username and another uses Atlas Shrugged artwork as an avatar.

    None of this is to denigrate Rand or her fans. I’m ambivalent to the woman. The left is way more interested in her than the right, but to claim she’s a non-entity is laughable.

    Does it matter if she modeled her life on Hickman? Would you be so forgiving of someone from the left writing the same words about a murderer?

    • #113
  24. Cat III Member
    Cat III
    @CatIII

    Tuck:

    I don’t know… Maybe you’re just not familiar with Alinsky and his influence?

    Spent some years on the left and didn’t hear a fraction as much about Alinsky as I do from the right, but yes I’m aware of the man and his work. I know Hillary Rodham wrote her senior thesis about him and had some contact with him.

    His quote about Lucifer being the “very first radical” is middling praise if it is at all. The use of the qualifying phrases “an over the shoulder acknowledgment” and “at least” makes it ambiguous, but it’s not a full-on embrace of Luciferianism. How you think this one sentence encapsulates all of leftism is beyond me.

    The Wikipedia article you link to contains this quote:

    The job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy’… the hysterical instant reaction of the establishment [will] not only validate [the organizer’s] credentials of competency but also ensure automatic popular invitation.

    Replace the word “organizer” and you have the tactic of many a Trump supporter.

    • #114
  25. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    When in the lion’s den among the self satisfied lefties, to only right tactic is to admit to one’s conservative or libertarian leanings and immediately look for areas of agreement, before going to hardline disagreement.  For example on immigration, focus on the evil coyotes that sell women into sex slavery, leave women and children in the desert, and rob them of their money.  With a sane immigration system, coyotes could be put out of business.  Lefties dislike coyotes as much as the rest of us do.

    The serious side benefit is that it will bring other conservatives out of the closet, when they hear friendly opinions.  I suspect such organizations have the conservatives in fear for their jobs if they voice their conservative opinions.  No one wants to be a minority of one.  (Except Ann Coulter, maybe.)

    • #115
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