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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Friday, March 16, 2012

Democratic "Civility" and "The Uncivil War"

Jack Kemp

Yes, this is also a book recommendation.

From "The Uncivil War" by Michael Lebedoff, p.164.

The New Elite never got it, either. When one loses an election, the reasonable question is "What did we do wrong? and not "What did the voters do wrong?"

All too many were asking this absurd question. The "New Yorker," commenting on the 1994 election said, "Disappointed Election Night commentators tied themselves into knots to explain away the massive repudiation...Underneath the rationalizations, you know they really wanted to shout simply, "The people are wrong!" But our populist political culture does not permit blaming the people." ABC's Peter Jennings said in a radio commentary that "it's clear that anger controls the child and not the other way around...The voters had a temper tantrum...and the nation can't be run by an angry two-year old." The New York Times' major editorial on the subject, defending the counterculture against attack by Newt Gingrich, actually asked, "Would many Americans truly like to imagine a society returned to the dictatorship of the majority culture?" (Jack's NOTE: The Times would prefer a dictatorship by an aristocracy made up of Times readers and editors, the same editors who drove the readership down in recent years and the individual share price of their newspaper company from $30 to the recent Friday closing price of - appropriately enough - $6.66)

And there you have it. One cannot understand, let alone reverse, the results of an election if one sees the majority as the enemy - and a stupid enemy as that. (Jack's NOTE: such as "clinging to their guns or religion," as Obama characterized Pennsylvania voters in 2008) The election of 1994 was primarily over the fact that the majority is tired of being treated like an enemy. To know that is to be able to move forward. And what direction constitutes forward - left or right or closer to the center - will and should be determined by the voters. Those who think they know best what that direction should be have the duty to persuade, and not deride, the multitudes whom we must see not as our enemy but as ourselves.


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