Thursday, July 29, 2004

Lagniappe: Misreading Liberals - Just a quick comment ... I've been reading a lot of the conservative press and punditocracy's reactions to the energizing atmosphere and brilliant speeches at the Democratic National Convention. (and doesn't it always seem to be a much funkier party at the Democratic Convention than at the more stuffy GOP conventions? Anyway ...) What I've noticed is that conservatives want to paint this as a fraud. Here's what I imagine goes through the conservative mind: "Now, how can that exciting, resonant, and unified Democratic Party that is rearing its multicultural head really be the hateful, divisive, race-baiting, security-soft, foreign-policy dereft, anti-patriotic group of people that Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney have told me defines liberal identity?"

This contradiction baffles honest, reflective conservatives. And, the fact is that bitter conservatives can't hide or acid-coat this exhilirating display of true, unified liberalism. So, what do they do? The only thing they can ... call it a fraud. Well, I've got a shocking revelation for conservatives (especially those who study Thomas Kuhn and know his premise behind the structure of scientific revolutions): if phenomenona considered exceptional happen more regularly, then one needs to reconsider the "exceptionality" of this phenomena. In other words, in plainspeak, whenever conservatives say that some liberal is not really a liberal, I note it and count it. When the number of such cases mount, I begin to wonder whether conservatives will ever realize that the "exception" in their minds is not really an "exception" at all, but rather the NORM about liberal democrats that they cannot admit to themselves. And that the fringe behavior they so often like to consider the liberal mainstream is, precisely, nothing more than fringe.

Let me set the record straight: Liberals at the Democratic Convention aren't acting as frauds at all ... They're acting as liberals!!! Bill Clinton was pure Bill Clinton. Jimmy Carter was pure Jimmy Carter. Barack Obama was pure Barack Obama. Al Sharpton was pure Al Sharpton. John Edwards was pure John Edwards. And I'm sure that John Kerry will be pure John Kerry. What the world is seeing (and what conservatives cannot get their minds around) is that the Liberalism of the Democratic Party of this Convention is the Liberalism of Democrats all over the country at all times. No matter what people say, a majority of Liberal Democrats are devout religious folk; Liberal Democrats are, at core, patriotic pro-United States citizens; the vast majority of Liberal Democrats are not socialists/communists; Liberal Democrats have pride in their homeland and want it defended and protected as much as the next person. In short, Liberal Democrats are PRECISELY that which is on exhibit at the Convention. If conservative Republicans (and even cynical liberal Democrats) want to call it a fraud, they have a right to do so. That won't change the fact that they're delusional and wrong.

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