Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Armstrong on the Strongarm

Tonight my husband pointed out to me an article that he read today, saying that it reiterated things he has heard me say. The article was by Armstrong Williams of the Washington Times, and it was in their July 23 issue. Naturally I read the article. And while there are a few things I am not 100% on board with in the article, I must say I wish I could say things as well as Mr. Williams. But that's why he is a paid writer and I am but an unseen, behind the scenes blogger who will not be quitting my day job any time soon.

Armstrong Williams' article cites what I call the strongarm tactics of the left as they strive to create Utopia, the perfect society. Williams first opines that "what unites the left is a vision of an ideal society, and what unites the right is a vision of an ideal state." Although I do not agree with the proposition that the right generally is seeking an "ideal" state, I do agree that those of us on the right are more focused on the state (namely its best interest and its survival) than we are in "society." Utopian society is indeed the prize for the left, as Mark Levin so masterfully writes about in his book Ameritopia. (I highly recommend this book for an understanding of how the theme of the perfect society has been around for as long as humanity has and how it has been unattainable because man himself is imperfect.)

By contrasting the left and right's respective positions on various issues, Armstrong cleverly identifies the inherent contradictions in liberal doctrine itself. Leftist politicians often claim to be pragmatic, but their pragmatism goes only as far as it takes to bring an argument back to their self-preservationist ideology. To put it mildly, they are flip-floppers who will not hesitate to flop-flip, even if it makes no sense (to do so).

These liberal tactics remind me of the way my siblings and I fought when we were children. It reminds me of the old adage, be careful when you point because there are three fingers pointing back at you. Armstrong points out one of the favorite liberal tactics -- accuse your opponent of having your own worst faults, even though it is not true.
Any disparity is against [the leftists'] ideal society, no matter how evanescent or specious it may be. To them, it is not just evidence but automatic, compelling proof of discrimination.

Any disagreement with them and they label you. And how do they label you? What form does their bigotry take? They call you a bigot. It’s a clever tactic of bigots to try to make all labels as meaningless as possible. It’s also a form of poisoning the well: If they call you a bigot first, then when you say it back, it has less force, since you’ve already been labeled.

You don’t want to pay for their contraception? You’re waging a war on women. You want to enforce the drug laws? They are victims of your war on drugs.

So many of the liberals' lines are illustrative of the old fable about sour grapes.

We saw an example of such infantile tactics last week when Nancy Pelosi told Democrats to stay home from the DNC Convention in September, only because Democrats were coming out announcing that they would not be attending. It's the method I used in my classroom when I was teaching little kids. If they were doing something and I did not know what to do about it, I would try to make them think that they were doing what I wanted them in hopes that they would then think, "If this is what she wants me to do, then I'd better do the opposite," which in reality was what I wanted them to do. Call it reverse psychology or some other Freudian label (I was educated in that psycho-babble nonsense in under-graduate school), it does not change the fact that I was clueless of how to handle the situation and, either way, my students were smart enough not to fall for it.

Will the liberals ever stop trying to achieve the perfect society? What will it take to make them happy? 100% taxation on anyone earning over $200,000? Free abortion and contraception and sterilization for all women? Free child care and medical care and full-ride education and housing for all women and non-white males? No mention of God or Jesus whatsoever anywhere, and protected status for burkas and mosques and all-things-Allah? No civil recognition of opposite-sex marriage and free everything for same-sex couples?

Something tells me that even if liberals achieved every last iota of their socialist agenda for the next 50 years, they will still be whining that things are not FAIR and that the rich (anyone making over $20,000 a year) are heartless and uncaring haters. Of course, we will not make 50 years if the liberals are allowed to run amok unfettered.

There is a movie coming out soon called 2016. Here is a trailer for that movie, which I plan to see as soon as it is released, hopefully next week.

That nominal year is second in import only to the most important and critical date we have ever faced in this country's history -- November 6, 2012. On that date, we the people will determine whether we continue on the downward spiral into oblivion in the name of striving for the impossible -- Ameritopia. Or do we return to the fundamental principles that made this country the greatest that has ever existed on earth? I, for one, am praying for and working for and betting on the latter.


  1. The rhetorical questions posed about 'liberals"above are, of course, ridiculous extrapolations. Once again, I'm seeing an artificial easily-refutable argument that has no basis in reality - - it's just words being stuffed in the mouths of "liberals" for the sole purpose that it's easier to refute than true statements. The 'liberals" being speculated about above do not exist. For example, no one is asking for 100% taxation on groups earning over $200K and posing the question is useful only because it is easy to shoot it down.
    I can think of only two reasons for such arguments. First, creating an imaginary group of "liberals" with a crazy fictional agenda makes arguments against that agenda something that everyone can easily agree with. But then, does creating poorly defined opponents with outlandish positions simply to make your own arguments seem more reasonable help people make an 'informed' decision? I suggest not. A second reason may be that the purpose of this blog is to advocate for Republican positions, in which case, creating a fictional enemy (i.e. "liberals") and posing such silly questions is simply a political rhetorical tool. Certainly simple political arguments have their place. Politicians often say things in the extreme that are inaccurate, misleading and extreme - we dont' have to look any further than Rick Santorum's statements (not retracted) about Romney in the Republican primary to see this. But that's a game politicians choose to play and a reality we live with. If this second reason is the accurate reason, then the title of the blog, "Informed Catholic Voter", is somewhat misleading as it then is only an advocate for Republican positions - and not simply 'informed' positions. Unless of course the "Informed" part is simply informing an audience about Republican positions...but then, it still seems misleading.

  2. the note above about Santorum's statements should read "now retracted" and not "not retracted"

  3. I was 20 minutes into a responsive comment when I hit some button erroneously and ZAP! Comment gone. The funny thing is I was really pouring out my heart and soul in response to Michael's comment. I guess it wasn't meant to be. OK. The claws come out again. Just kidding!

    In full disclosure to anyone who cares enough to read this blog, Michael and I have known each other for 29 years, so this is not a meaningless back and forth between cyber-acquaintances. I am sure that Michael has learned a lot about me in the last few months since I began blogging -- many of it not a pretty picture for him. I will admit that I have taken jabs at him in comments to provoke him, and to his credit he has not taken the bait most of the time. Michael, you are an example of the people whom I have long loved and admired, yet wondered how you can NOT think like me. LOL. I know, I know, we shared a few summers at summer camp, and have visited maybe three times in person in the last 25 years. So what is it that fueled our friendship for the last 28 years? Were we so alike that we could always pick up where we left off? No, too simplistic.

    I do accept that variety and diversity in thinking is necessary--even critical-- to maintaining a middle of the road country where we can all respect the opinions of others, even though we do not aspire to the same ends nor have the same path to those ends in mind. I would not want a completely far right government any more than I want a far left one. I want neutrality and acceptance and hard work and personal responsibility and limited government intrusion. But I do not see that being the nature of things in the U.S. at this point in its history.

    I work amongst many "Catholics" who speak derisively of anyone who does not support universal (single-payer) health care and the individual mandate and the requirement that employers pay for insurance that covers contraception, sterilization and abortifacients. They are aghast that anyone would not want food stamps for all (not kidding -- for ALL) but the 1%. Yet they fight like h-e-double-hockey-stix to keep their tax exempt status and to not have to pay income or property or gift taxes under any circumstances.

    In naming my blog "Informed Catholic Voter" I intended to convey only that I inform myself, I vote, and I filter everything through my "Cradle Catholic" lens. I do not claim to speak for the Church or to side with any particular "side" of the Church. Indeed, I am not lock-stock-and-barrel with either side. If my positions are more Republican than Democrat, then I wear the Republican badge proudly. I am tired of that party affiliation being a "dirty word" in much of the Catholic community.

    Lastly, I have no clue what comment Rick Santorum made about Romney that he retracted. If Rick Santorum had been the Republican nominee, I would vote for him. However, I never placed my bets on him simply because he was Catholic. I look to the good of the country, not the mere "faith credentials" of a candidate.

    Thanks for continuing to read and for posting your heart-felt comments, Michael.