Contending that Republicans “have a rhetoric and practical wisdom problem”, a young correspondent of The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol, considering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s popularity, addressed the GOP’s image problem:
So I wonder, are Christie’s recent negative comments about Republicans something like Xenophon’s frequent sacrifices and invocations of the gods throughout the Anabasis? Might Republicans learn something from this? The vast majority of people are liberal today not because they have reasoned their way to that position, but because they believe in it as the average person used to believe in god. Authority—in schools, on TV and in print—tells them that the Republicans are evil. Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that hating Republicans is the Last Man’s god. (I believe it was Allan Bloom who said that “anti-bourgeois ire is the opiate of the last man…”). So Christie makes sacrifices, as he must, to that hateful god. He invokes that god. He publicly embraces that god.
Via Powerline Picks. Emphasis added. Read the whole thing. This guy is onto something. My only quibble is that I would add “who are” between the word, “people,” and phrase, “are liberal”, and add “arrive are this ‘designation'” after “liberal today” in the italicized portion
I do find that, in interactions with many who call themselves liberal or who support President Obama have not, as Kristol’s correspondent put it, “reasoned their way” there, but have accepted the designation or come to the support because that is what they believe “good” people do. They talk more in abstractions than details, often preferring clichés to arguments. Many seem oblivious when you point out details of Obama’s policies.
And some seem dumbfounded when they learn that ideas for change that they support are similar to policy reforms Republicans have put forward.
At present, I don’t have a solution to this problem Republicans face. But, we need at least recognize the GOP’s image problem, especially among the chattering classes and consumers of popular culture. Kudos to this young man for so eloquently articulating it. And to William Kristol for publishing it. And to the folks at Powerline for linking it.