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  1. It’s an old media template: Democrat = smart, Republican = dumb; therefore, if the Republicans regain Congress 7/or the White House, people are stupid. Likewise, when a Democrat wins, it is because the people are smart & want something new.

    Go back to the recent Presidential elections; the MSM uses this template everytime. The template is fatally flawed, but the MSM keeps using it regardless.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — November 22, 2010 @ 8:52 pm - November 22, 2010

  2. There is so much to say about this, fellows. It doesn’t surprise me that someone in the academy thinks this way. I am a professor in California and find that many in the academy simply do not have access to conservative people at large. Conservatives are, as a group, highly literate and they like cultural discussion, as I have discovered in the process of launching a cultural critique website from a gay conservative perspective. I hit 30,000 readers quickly — the yearning is there.

    But the academy, plagued by Harvardthink, still defines cultural sophistication as a Democratic Party plank, uniting socialism, antiracism, and pacifism in a witches’ brew that really doesn’t make sense. Disagree with it and either you haven’t read enough or you are interpreting everything badly.

    On the positive side, my website is flourishing and I am finding a lot of contact with conservatives who are intellectual and culturally inclined, including a great many who have no racist or homophobic tendencies at all. Here’s my site: http://www.colorfulconservative.com . Feel free to visit once in a while and share your thoughts. There is a right-wing academic cohort bubbling up but we have to fight hard to be heard over people like this U of Wisconsin professor.

    Comment by Robert Oscar Lopez — November 22, 2010 @ 8:52 pm - November 22, 2010

  3. The formulation “The voters must be cheeseheads” works on two levels: it allows LibDems who voted for other LibDems to continue in their superiority complex (‘Look how smart we are!’) as well as their siege mentality (‘Omigaia they’re all around us!!’); and excuses them from actually having to think about WHY the voters might have rejected them. Once you file the electorate under S for Stupid, you don’t have to question your own policies, beliefs, goals, or personality.

    Comment by Davep. — November 22, 2010 @ 9:08 pm - November 22, 2010

  4. I sorta see your point here… and sorta don’t.

    It’s true that too many left-liberals function on autopilot, never thinking about issues except to reassure themselves that they are good and smart and right, and their opponents are not. And that behavior is itself stupid: because there is little truth behind it, and less thought.

    Having said that, left-liberals don’t have a monopoly on the behavior: I’ve seen individuals like that in every political persuasion. And what if you *do* think hard about politics, you *do* consider your opponents’ positions from their point of view (or you did once – back when you were on the other side), and you honestly find that your opponents wrong? Isn’t thinking “They’re stupid” or “They’re ill-informed” at least more charitable than thinking “They’re evil”? So, you may end up calling them stupid yourself. And an outsider might find your behavior hard to distinguish from the person-who-calls-others-stupid-on-autopilot.

    Let’s face it, everyone is smart and stupid about politics at the same time. Stupid because they can’t know everything, and all too often know shockingly little about some key topic. Smart because, despite that, they usually manage to figure out who is going to be on their side, and to vote for that person. (With a few notable exceptions; the people who fell for Obama’s campaign of deception in 2008 for one.)

    Since intelligence and stupidity alike abound in the political world, and in the people, perhaps we shouldn’t have any qualms about ‘calling stupidity’ when we see it. Or perhaps we should. I still haven’t made up my mind.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 22, 2010 @ 9:09 pm - November 22, 2010

  5. People who are really smart don’t need to constantly pat themselves on the back about how smart they are.

    Comment by V the K — November 22, 2010 @ 9:12 pm - November 22, 2010

  6. P.S. Charles Franklin shows up in Althouse’s comment thread, and ends up being a little more pro-conservative than his “stupid” comment suggests at first glance. As he puts it:

    The context was the Senate race and the point I was making, which I’ve made numerous times before, was that voters embraced Ron Johnson before they knew much about him… [proving that] The race wasn’t about specific details of Johnson vs Feingold, it was a rejection of Democrats…

    That was the context in which I said voters are “pretty damn stupid”. Too hyperbolic indeed… [and] I wish what I said next had also been quoted. I went on to say that despite not knowing the details of Johnson’s policy positions, the voters did NOT make a mistake in choosing Johnson as the more conservative candidate and certain to be more favorable to cutting government. That was indeed the correct connection by an angry electorate, even if the details were quite vague.

    Voter’s often act on little information and can be astonishingly unaware of things one might consider “facts”… But in the Johnson-Feingold race, I think despite lack of details about Johnson, a majority of Wisconsin voter’s picked the guy they wanted, and for basically the right reason… I do not agree with the conclusion that voter’s were “stupid” to pick Johnson over Feingold…

    So he might have been saying something close to what I said at #3.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 22, 2010 @ 9:16 pm - November 22, 2010

  7. ILC, I may have to disagree with you here. First, it wasn’t just Franklin: every Socialist light from Barry O to Keith O has tried on the “Stupid Voters” meme since November 2. Franklin’s personal expand & revise doesn’t change that. Second, after the Massacre of 2006 and the Ascenscion of the Lightworker in 2008, I don’t remember many folks on my side of the aisle trotting out the “Voters are Stupid” meme; most of them were trotting out the “OUR OWN SIDE is Stupid” meme: examining the defeats not in terms of how lumpenproletariat the electorate was but in terms of how the candidates and the Republican Party management were out-of-touch and following unfavorable policies. I’m sure there were exceptions (especially in various comments sections) but that’s where most of the serious conversation was. Finally, I don’t view the “Voters are Stupid” meme as harmless at all: it’s the justification for a whole lot of truly destructive behavior. Once the elected officials stop believing they have to sell their ideas to the voters (and that if they fail, it’s their own fault) and start believing that the voters are some kind of liability to be worked around, all kinds of ‘cheats’- from voter fraud to intimidation to administrative end-runs around the governmental process- become not only acceptable but desireable.

    Finally, I’ll point out that this is not new; remember “What’s The Marrer With Kansas?”

    Comment by Davep. — November 22, 2010 @ 9:37 pm - November 22, 2010

  8. “Marrer” = Matter”. I really don’t know what’s the marrer with Kansas.

    Comment by Davep. — November 22, 2010 @ 9:41 pm - November 22, 2010

  9. Davep, some very fair points there. I mostly agree. To respond on only one where I don’t:

    after the Massacre of 2006 and the Ascenscion of the Lightworker in 2008, I don’t remember many folks on my side of the aisle trotting out the “Voters are Stupid” meme

    Well… maybe I did :-) As I said earlier, Obama ran a campaign of deception in 2008. He pretended to be a centrist who would deliver a “net spending cut” (his words); of course he wasn’t and didn’t. I saw it coming. I conclude that his some of his supporters in 2008 made a mistake, i.e. were stupid. Voter anger in 2010 was at least partly the anger of former Obama supporters who realized they’d “been had”.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 22, 2010 @ 9:50 pm - November 22, 2010

  10. I like the way that the last two commenters on Althouse’s thread summed up matters.

    Let’s see: I can vote for a successful businessman who is a Republican that I admittedly don’t know much about. Or, I can vote for an insanely leftwing ideologue who was the co-perpetrator of an egregiously anti-First Amendment law, and who will continue to march lockstep with our radical-in-chief as he leads the country into an economic abyss……

    How does Franklin know that the voters who picked Johnson didn’t have all the facts that were available about him? I have news for him: we voters have other sources of information now than what the gatekeepers of the media have always allowed us previously. So I agree that he should be called out for saying the voters are stupid, because maybe he doesn’t have all the facts.

    I would simply point out that, by the period Franklin cites, June 26-27, you were a bit over a month out from the Republican primary. Does Franklin think there wasn’t any campaigning going on then, any communication of Johnson’s views?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 22, 2010 @ 10:20 pm - November 22, 2010

  11. The same can be said about BRISTOL perhaps winning tonight on DWTS. Death Threats galore to the poor girl. Go Bristol!!!

    Death Threats Targeting Bristol Palin, Mark Ballas

    http://www.tmz.com/2010/11/22/death-threats-bristol-palin-mark-ballas-dancing-with-the-stars-security-letter-white-power/

    Sources connected with the show tell us extra security will be on hand tonight for the show. And, if Bristol and Mark head to New York, execs are talking about breaking format and not doing their interview outside in Times Square — but rather in the studio, where it’s more secure.

    Comment by Zeke — November 22, 2010 @ 11:16 pm - November 22, 2010

  12. “When conservatives cut support for education,” she mused, “they do so to keep people dumb and their own interests in power.”

    Wait, which president threw poor kids out of private schools so his kids didn’t have to go to school with those people?

    The whole country latched onto the “Stupid Floridians” meme back in 2000, despite the fact that 90% of us COULD figure out a simple butterfly ballot.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — November 22, 2010 @ 11:20 pm - November 22, 2010

  13. ILC, I did say “most”. Consider yourself exceptional ;)

    Comment by Davep. — November 22, 2010 @ 11:39 pm - November 22, 2010

  14. The problem for Democrats in that equation is that polls show that the people who vote in off-year elections tend to be more educated, more involved, and more informed than the people who vote in presidential elections. So by their own standard, the group that rebuked and rejected Democrats is actually more educated than the group that elected them.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 22, 2010 @ 11:41 pm - November 22, 2010

  15. Hey guys – you don’t get to go crusading against science and education and intellectuals all the time and then get indignant when someone calls you stupid.

    Comment by Levi — November 23, 2010 @ 9:14 am - November 23, 2010

  16. “crusading against science”

    —————-

    Subjective truth is not science.

    Comment by gastorgrab — November 23, 2010 @ 9:57 am - November 23, 2010

  17. Levi, if you guys are so smart, how come you’ve spent the last year negotiating with a “senior Taliban commander” who turns out to be a complete fraud?

    Is that what you lefties mean by “Smart Diplomacy?”

    Comment by V the K — November 23, 2010 @ 10:07 am - November 23, 2010

  18. Given that Levi admits there’s no conclusive proof of AGW, isn’t it funny him lectuing us about ‘arguing against science’?

    I mean come on! This is a guy who doesn’t understand the scientific method (i.e. you can’t prove a negative) and he’s lecturing us on science?

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 23, 2010 @ 10:13 am - November 23, 2010

  19. - The left fabricated the UN report on Climate Change.
    - They re-wrote the report on the BP oil spill.
    - They invented numbers for the CBO report on the cost of ObamaCare.
    - They paid 500% of all black farmers who were discriminated against in the Pigford I, and Pigford II settlements.

    Is this the left means by “science”?

    Comment by gastorgrab — November 23, 2010 @ 10:21 am - November 23, 2010

  20. Is this more science?

    In an effort to avoid scrutiny of it’s actions, the Obama labor department may be trying to create it’s own propaganda wing.

    (link intentionally disabled)

    —————————-

    U.S. official: We need independent labor media – Peoples World (CPUSA)
    h__p://www.peoplesworld.org/u-s-official-we-need-independent-labor-media/

    November 19 2010

    WASHINGTON – The mainstream media has become so biased against working people that even a federal agency can’t get its message out, says a senior Department of Labor official.

    President Obama’s Labor Department has an impressive list of accomplishments, but most of the media doesn’t bother to report on them, Carl Fillichio, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis’s senior adviser for public affairs and communications, told the annual gathering of the International Labor Communications Association.

    Referring to the midterm elections, Fillichio said, “Why we fared the way we did three weeks ago is because things weren’t explained enough to people. There is a great need for people to get the full story.”

    The role of labor media is therefore all the more precious, he continued. In many cases, the only way his department can get its accomplishments known is through the independent media.

    “We battle every single day when we try to put something out,” he said. “The Washington Post, the New York Times, cable television” and others want to focus only on the nuts and bolts of policy issues. “Nobody is really telling the true story about how this is going to affect real people in real time in real ways.”

    Fillichio announced at the meeting that he had hired a staff person specifically to deal with labor media, and then proceeded to give his name, e-mail address and phone number to everyone in the audience.

    (continued)

    Comment by gastorgrab — November 23, 2010 @ 11:31 am - November 23, 2010

  21. There’s a difference between being a liberal and siding with working people. The Democrats have decided to be liberals; they have moved away from being the party I support, which was on the side of the workers. The leftist-loons who currently run the party have nothing but snide contempt for the working-class Democrats they want to vote for them. That’s why we need more democrats like Manchin and Webb being the face of our party.

    Obama will lose because the only ones left to vote for him will be leftist loons and blacks.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — November 23, 2010 @ 11:57 am - November 23, 2010

  22. I consider the Liberals to be stupid. Maybe the electorate agrees. That’s the only way to claim superiority to the issues. The Left cannot win when debated so they make assertions and ad hominem attacks as if they settles it. It isn’t settled.

    Nonetheless, we should still watch out for the RINOs who are equally comtemptable of the Tea Party principles of small government and lower spending. The elite is the leadership of the political parties (both R and D, and the political/academic class).

    Comment by anon23532 — November 23, 2010 @ 4:37 pm - November 23, 2010

  23. So, how many times a day do liberals get called stupid (or worse) on conservative blogs and websites?

    Pot, kettle, hello?

    Comment by BenD — November 23, 2010 @ 5:08 pm - November 23, 2010

  24. @BenD, How many? You tell me!!!

    I do hear about the umpteenth time a Conservative or “red neck” or Palin is called stupid. It happens every single day.

    You don’t typically call an Obama-bot, or Obama, or any other liberal stupid because it isn’t exactly accurate. It’s the arrogance and superiority complex that made them idiots.

    Comment by anon23532 — November 23, 2010 @ 5:43 pm - November 23, 2010

  25. So, how many times a day do liberals get called stupid (or worse) on conservative blogs and websites?

    And how many times a day do liberals prove their stupidity by…

    - Refusing to address the topic of the thread (Dooms)
    - Refusing to respond when their arguments are challenged (Levi, Kevin)
    - Spouting idiotic Democrat talking points as though they were facts (Auntie Dogma, Kevin, Tim, Levi, Torrent Prime)
    - Think themselves clever by using idiotic expressions like “FauxNews” and “teabagger” to describe that which they disagree with.
    - All of the above while remaining utterly and completely incoherent (gillie)

    There’re many reasons we have so little respect for the vaunted intellectual superiority of the left. For another thing, you all fell for that stupid “Hope and Change” crap.

    Comment by V the K — November 23, 2010 @ 6:38 pm - November 23, 2010

  26. Hey guys – you don’t get to go crusading against science and education and intellectuals all the time and then get indignant when someone calls you stupid.

    Comment by Levi

    Levi must be talking about himself because the only people who crusade against science are the liberals who call all the scientists who have presented mountains of evidence disproving the claims of global warmists “deniers”. The same liberal idiots who think the scientific method has anything to do with consensus. The same liberals who oppose genetic engineering
    oppose genetically modified crops
    oppose pesticides
    oppose any fertilizers other than poop
    oppose DDT
    oppose nuclear energy
    oppose oil (and favor burning food instead)
    oppose coal (until it comes to electric cars, but then they are just too stupid to realize that electric cars are powered by coal)
    oppose gas
    oppose oil and gas exploration
    oppose hydroelectric energy
    oppose energy use in general
    oppose animal research
    oppose fluoridation
    oppose vaccinations
    oppose any research into the cause of homosexuality,
    oppose any questioning of the theory of evolution,
    oppose ALL question of so-called global warming
    etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum…

    Indeed it is liberals and ONLY liberals who oppose and crusade against science, and they do so regularly.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 23, 2010 @ 7:07 pm - November 23, 2010

  27. …oppose medical advances like Obstetrics and Gynecology and favor 16th century practices like midwifery instead.
    …eschew medicine in general in favor of more 16th century quackery like acupuncture, herbal remedies, and “releasing their inner chakras”

    and that’s all just off the top of my head, I’m sure there’s tons more that I’m missing.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 23, 2010 @ 7:17 pm - November 23, 2010

  28. AE, if they’d just oppose all of thise thing for themselves I’d be dandy with it all. However, the plan seems to be to deny everybody else the opportunity too.

    Comment by Davep. — November 23, 2010 @ 8:37 pm - November 23, 2010

  29. Speaking of intelligence, has anyone notice that George W. Bush just wrote a 500-page policy memoir and Barack Obama just published a coloring book?

    Comment by V the K — November 23, 2010 @ 11:03 pm - November 23, 2010

  30. LOL @ 29. Betcha Barack had a ghost-writer for this book too.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 24, 2010 @ 1:56 am - November 24, 2010

  31. Levi must be talking about himself because the only people who crusade against science are the liberals who call all the scientists who have presented mountains of evidence disproving the claims of global warmists “deniers”. The same liberal idiots who think the scientific method has anything to do with consensus.

    Actually, the whole point of the scientific method is to create a path to consensus. I’m sorry, but your ‘mountains of evidence’ don’t disprove anything. The widespread, expert consensus is that humans are probably accelerating global warming, the practically insignificant expert minority believe humans probably are not. There’s no disproving to be done here – not when we’re dealing with something as large as the Earth’s atmosphere and not when we’re talking about time on a geological scale. It’s not as if there is some control Earth some place where we could tweak a variable or two and see what happens. It’s not as if you can push a reset button and go through the 19th and 20th centuries without the Industrial Revolution taking place. Climate science is a very speculative field that requires a lot of interpretation and straight-up guessing – we likely won’t know definitive answers to these questions for centuries.

    But that doesn’t stop you from claiming that it’s been categorically disproven in the here and now, does it? Of course, any time some massive corporations need large swaths of the population to play stupid, the conservative movement proudly obliges, so this is no surprise. You’re holding the experts in their fields to ridiculous and unobtainable standards while conferring instant credibility to the denial of some industry press release – can you not see the conflict of interest?

    Again – conservatives eagerly seek out anti-science political positions, so why are you surprised to be called stupid?

    The same liberals who oppose genetic engineering
    oppose genetically modified crops
    oppose pesticides
    oppose any fertilizers other than poop
    oppose DDT
    oppose nuclear energy
    oppose oil (and favor burning food instead)
    oppose coal (until it comes to electric cars, but then they are just too stupid to realize that electric cars are powered by coal)
    oppose gas
    oppose oil and gas exploration
    oppose hydroelectric energy
    oppose energy use in general
    oppose animal research
    oppose fluoridation
    oppose vaccinations

    I’ll grant that the opposition to nuclear power was foolish, though somewhat understandable given the times. The rest of that stuff isn’t anything. You think liberals oppose animal research and hydro electric dams? That’s just not true. Certainly, there are instances where liberals have taken positions on these kinds of issues, but if you’re going to pretend like we’re all a bunch of weed-smoking hippies that want to abandon the grid and start growing our own food, then you might as well go talk to a wall.

    oppose any research into the cause of homosexuality,

    People do research homosexuality.

    oppose any questioning of the theory of evolution,

    There’s a prominent atheist that implores religious people to come to his lectures and talks and ask any question they want about evolution, and he says it almost never happens. The theory of evolution has only been reinforced over the past 150 years of questioning – and there’s absolutely no one out there trying to get people to stop questioning it.

    What people are trying to stop is the brainwashing of children by desperate religious zealots who don’t have the answers-about-life market cornered anymore. Creationism does not belong beside evolution – one is science, one is story-time. Please, please, please – ask all the questions about evolution you want – there are more answers than you can imagine, they’re getting more specific by the day, and the best part is that there’s actually evidence to support them!

    oppose ALL question of so-called global warming
    etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum…

    I just don’t see what the problem is with leaving it up to the experts? Erring on the side of caution? If it turns out I’m right, we save humanity, if it turns out you’re right, we all have a cleaner place to live?

    Are you really willing to gamble the fate of mankind because you think it’s really important that Exxon Mobil has another good quarter?

    Comment by Levi — November 25, 2010 @ 11:11 pm - November 25, 2010

  32. Nice to see that Levi’s taken the time to post more of his anti-science bile here. Still waiting for him to ‘get back‘ to us on his being pasted again by facts and ILC.

    “Actually, the whole point of the scientific method is to create a path to consensus.”

    Um, no:
    “Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge” How do you spell FAIL? L-E-V-I

    Of course making up data and destroying data that disproves your theory are all part of the ‘Levi Scientific Method’. Of course that their models fall apart all the time doesn’t help Levi’s argument either.

    Levi would be happy to beleive the sun is the centre of the universe, after all the “widespread, expert consensus” said so. It was “the practically insignificant expert minority” said it wasn’t true.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 29, 2010 @ 2:22 pm - November 29, 2010

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