November 27th, 2012

Perceptions about the Republican Party

Since we exist here in somewhat of a bubble on the blogospheric right, it can be easy to lose sight of how widespread and influential opposition propaganda about Republicans has been, and how certain Republican positions—largely misunderstood—feed right into it. The results of this election have brought it home though, loud and clear. I don’t have a solution for the problem, because propaganda is simple and the response to it is complex and much less likely to be listened to. But I still think it’s interesting to see what’s out there.

In particular, there were some startling comments to this article about why Asian Americans voted so strongly Democratic this year despite the fact that they would seem to be a constituency to which Republican principles would appeal. No one is saying that the loss of the Asian American vote caused the Republican loss in 2012, but I think some of the comments shed light on how it could be that a majority of voters could say they trusted Romney more with the economy (or that they wanted less federal government), and yet vote for Obama.

Here, in no particular order, are some of those comments that I found especially interesting:

As an Asian-American, the questioning of Obama’s American-ness really strikes a raw nerve. (This is perhaps the one experience that unites Asian-Americans — being treated as a foreigner in our homeland).

With the birther conspiracy theory and muslim quips this year, you can add “racist” and “exclusionary” to that long list of reasons why Asians didn’t vote Republican.

Even if lower taxes might benefit the small business owners and successful professionals, there’s a strong sense that you’re not a real American in the Republican view point, unless you’re white. Definitely not if you’re a half Kenyan raised in Indonesia. And not if your parents struggled for 10 years to navigate the immigration process to the US from Taiwan.

Republicans are recognized here and worldwide as Bible thumping, anti-gay, anti-abortion creationists – true, but they are also seen as being sexist, racist, religiously intolerant, gun toting and trigger happy. And yes, their social agenda outweighs any actual sense being spoken of in the financial realm.

I am an Asian American whose household income is >$250k. I am attracted to arguments of fiscal discipline, less government interference in daily life, greater personal responsibility, and free enterprise. However, I refuse to vote for Republicans because I am so put off by the positions and rhetoric of social conservatives. Republicans are indeed the party of Bible-thumping, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-abortion creationists. Although I am not crazy about the Democrats’ confiscatory and redistributionist policies, I am much more concerned about the Republicans’ irrational, anti-liberal social policy and their general aversion to facts and science. And when it comes down to it, Republicans lie when they say they are for “smaller government”. In fact, they are all advocates of a bloated military, many cannot get enough pork barrel spending and farm subsidies, and they have no problems sticking their dirty noses into women’s privates and peoples’ bedrooms.

For these reasons, I vote for Libertarians unless I feel that the Republican has a chance of winning, in which case I vote for the Democrat.

Why aren’t[Asian Americans] Republicans?

Ummm . . . maybe because they believe in science (I’m sure in your statistics there somewhere there’s something about the overrepresentation of Asians in scientific fields) and the GOP has been hostile to science ever since it allowed itself to be taken over by a bunch of religious zealots.

There’s lots more, but you get the picture. Unless the comments section has been taken over by a bunch of sock puppets, I’ll assume these are all different people and bona fide commenters. What’s going on here (and I know it is not limited to Asian Americans) is that, even though economic issues are seen as important, the propaganda about Republicans as racist anti-science zealots eager to restrict people’s private sex lives has taken hold and flourished.

We can state all we want that it’s not true, that these people are picking and choosing a few Republicans who don’t represent the whole, and that the Republican positions and goals aren’t really as they perceive, but the message is not getting through. These voters see the reality of Republicans as matching liberal rhetoric about Republicans, and until that is somehow corrected it will be difficult to counter such perceptions and win national elections. And it also comes through loud and clear that, at least at the present level of economic hardship, social and cultural issues and perceptions trump economics. If that seems counter-intuitive, so be it.

51 Responses to “Perceptions about the Republican Party”

  1. Richard Aubrey Says:

    There’s book smart and….
    Robin of Berkely got converted by experience, living among libs. Maybe the same will happen with Asian Americans.
    As to science and math, it would seem that they don’t get the budget.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Roichard Aubrey: do not count on spontaneous conversions, such as mine and Robin of Berkeley’s. They are very rare.

  3. expat Says:

    My experience with a few Asian science-oriented types is that they don’t spend much time on philosophical or cultural issues. Like the Tiger Mother, they wanttheir kids to succeed and have a strict curiculum. They probably just go along with the academic group think and believe all the anti-science BS. My pool of samples is very small, so take this for what it’s worth.

  4. vanderleun Says:

    “I don’t have a solution for the problem, because propaganda is simple and the response to it is complex and much less likely to be listened to. ”

    Well then the Repubs are going to have to get better, much better, at disseminating simple responses to such propaganda and simpler more attack oriented propaganda of their own.

    Steyn says something approaching this when he notes: ““Mitt Romney, who is a good man, an honorable man … fought a small, shriveled campaign. … What was the point of picking Paul Ryan as your running mate and not fighting a big-picture election on where America is? At least then, if we had fought a big picture campaign, we could have at least say we had lost with honor. … The next time, we deserve a candidate who fights a big national campaign on the existential questions facing the United States.”

    Read more:

  5. RobP Says:

    I had a similiar experience with an Indian collegue who told me that America is a racist country, which I thought was very odd since India has the caste system.

    The propaganda is very effective.

    Certainly, the proganda is a concerted effort by the left. I remember a friend, whose wife works for the ACLU, state that the ACLU creates propaganda. I think Glen Beck does the same on the right.

    In the last election, the message was poor. For example, Mitt Romeny should have done a better job explaining the financial crisis and the issues with regulation:
    1. the regulation favored real estate speculation, and the bailout favored real estate, government spending and Wall Street over small businesses and the middle class through the increased capital requirements with pressure not to write-down real estate loans while providing a profitable spread for government leading through printing money.
    2. The government went after the wrong people. There should have been investigations into the savings and loans from California, i.e. Countrywide and Ameri-something. The hearings mostly focused on a commercial bank from North Carolina.

    Talk about race relations and root causes. There are two school of thought on blacks, Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. The democrats focus on Malcom X. The republicans should be champoning Martin Luther, i.e. treat everyone the same and focus on integration. Find the root causes and solve them, i.e. family problems, education reform, social program reform, etc. Take Bill Cosby’s side.

    On immigration, keep asking how many American’s should be able to vote in the next Mexican election. If Mexico was Canada, we wouldn’t need border security. We should be selling, don’t vote for what you left. Integration not segregation. Also, everytime the left discusses income inequality increasing there should be counter-point about importing poor people and if their figures were adjusted after taking that into account.

    On social programs, we should be focusing on the just poor instead of the unjust poor. Implement anti-fraud measures. Personal responsibility should be included. If events were beyond the control of the person, we should help. If the person made a lifestyle choice, we shouldn’t.

    Smaller government leads to increase prosperity because it reduces corruption. There are more checks and balances on businesses than on the government.

    The republican party needs to be the party of everyone instead of the party of special interests. It will also be important to call the anti-white protestant bigotry, bigotry.

  6. holmes Says:

    It’s ironic because Asian people are so very tribal in their affiliations. They create small, bubblish worlds of asian-only, and then complain that white people don’t “let them in.” It’s just a complicated way of projecting self-pity.

    I know the perception is real and therefore the problem is real. But Asians have a horrible history of racial bigotry and tribalism.

    But I think we’re going to have to join them to beat them and this attitude. Go Rubio/Jindal. Make naked appeals to race. Any criticism is racist/bigoted. The full gamet of racial practices that have been thrown at conservatives. Use their own rules against them.

  7. Baltimoron Says:

    I couldn’t help noticing that Mr. Murray ignores where Asian Americans live in his analysis. Asians are more likely to live in blue states and urban areas than white voters, so comparing all whites to all asians isn’t very helpful. After all, most people base their political loyalties on whatever the dominant culture is in their area, no serious thought involved. I’m curious how asians vote compared to whites living in the same city or state.
    And ignore the comments to Mr. Murray’s article. Lets face it, those of us who post things on the internet are a statistically insignificant portion of the population and we’re more likely than the average person to have serious issues.

  8. Ann Says:

    All the comments you selected seem to have been written by Asian Americans who’ve negotiated the upper tiers of our educational establishment, and have learned their lessons well.

    Something none of them mentions is immigration. Many Asian Americans want to be able to bring members of their extended family here to the U.S., which makes them very sensitive to discussions about immigration. And, unfortunately, the Democrats have been brilliant at demagoging the issue.

    Anyway, this kind of nuts-and-bolts issue may actually trump the social and cultural stuff in their voting decisions.

  9. Don Carlos Says:

    This isn’t news. Lies repeated often enough become truths.

  10. reticent Says:

    The Asian vote is not as perplexing as it seems.

    Demographically, Democrats get their votes from two predominant strata in terms of income, wealth, and educational attainment: the poor and relatively uneducated, AND the elite and highly credentialed.

    On a per capita basis, Asians have the highest levels of advanced degrees of any ethnic group, so it’s not surprising that they would vote Democrat.

    Republicans have to overcome the narrative of the previous century that the Republican Party is the party of the rich and the party of big corporations. It is not. It is the party of the solidly middle-class. It is the party of small business. Bobby Jindal’s recent comments along these lines are right on the mark.

    One of the things that has happened in the last four years, it seems to me, is that Obama’s economic policies, a messy mix of dysfunctional and crony capitalist policies, has encouraged and accelerated the fraying of the middle class: the working middle class is sliding into the poor demographic, and the well-connected upper middle class is shoring up its position at the top of the middle strata or being pushed up to the elite strata. For Democrats, this is not a bug, but a feature, since pushing the middle class into the lower or upper classes strengthens the electoral position of Democrats.

  11. Occam's Beard Says:

    As an Asian-American, the questioning of Obama’s American-ness really strikes a raw nerve.

    This, indirectly, may be a key. To appear as American as apple pie, one might be tempted to adopt the socially dominant political philosophy and thereby not only to slip into the perceived mainstream, but also to appear chic and hip (something not often identifies with Asians).

  12. parker Says:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” — Joe Goebbels

    Its time to start The Enemies of the State campaign.

  13. stan Says:

    These are stupid and ridiculous caricatures which don’t reflect GOP politicians, GOP voters, or GOP positions. Yes, they are believed, This is the drum I’ve been banging on all month.

    The battle has nothing to do with anything other than fighting the slanderous propaganda. That’s the fight. Everything else is a sideshow.

  14. reticent Says:

    Let me put it another way … arguments made by Asians that they vote Democrat because Republicans are racist, homophobic, anti-intellectual zealots are justifications after the fact. Asians today vote Democrat because Asians, who come from countries with historically authoritarian regimes, tend to go with the strong horse. The strong horse in American society today, the elite who dominate our educational, cultural, professional and urban establishments, are Democrats.

    I’m not sure what to do about this, but I think it’s important to see the problem clearly.

  15. n.n Says:

    Homosexual behavior constitutes evolutionary dysfunction. It can be tolerated until it reaches a critical mass in a population. However, it is not the most relevant dysfunctional behavior. The most concerning is dysfunctional behavior engaged by purportedly heterosexual men and women, where they voluntarily commit generational suicide.

    Science is a methodology and faith necessarily constrained to a limited frame of reference. When we step outside this frame (e.g. evolution as a description of origin), and rely on articles of faith (i.e. cannot be tested or reproduced), then it devolves into religion, or, more charitably, philosophy.

    Elective abortion is the premeditated murder of innocent human beings and is the preeminent violation of human rights. It can not be tolerated and it can certainly not be normalized. It is the principal behavior to advance evolutionary dysfunction and, in the short-term, serves to devalue human life.

    Anyone who respects individual dignity; who recognizes an intrinsic value of human life; cannot in good conscience support Democrat policies. Anyone who considers human life to be worthwhile cannot in good conscience support the normalization of behaviors which constitute evolutionary dysfunction. Whether it is genocide or generational suicide, the outcome is exactly the same.

    While the Democrats sponsor fundamental (i.e. cultural or institutional) corruption, the Republicans and others are vulnerable to corruption in the exception (i.e. individual). The former defends the latter and cannot be addressed until the former is resolved.

    This nonsense is not new at all. It is observed throughout human history and throughout the world. It is a historical cycle of progressive corruption evolving to conclusive corruption, a degeneracy of civilization, typically attributed to decadence and dissociation of risk.

  16. n.n Says:

    We cannot counter their arguments, because their arguments are made in bad faith. Some people want retributive change. They condemn people for the actions of a minority, despite a majority’s actions to break their prejudice, which included the sacrifice of several hundred thousand lives. Some people want redistributive change, which is the primary motivation of so-called “minorities” (which is prejudiced by virtue of denigrating individual dignity). Many people want to exist at a low energy level while enjoying the benefits afforded at a high energy level. Incidentally, these people, aside from individuals who are physically and mentally impaired, are in the same class as slavers. Finally, there are opportunists who support all of this nonsense in order to advance their own political, economic, and social standing.

    If people ever thought the Soviet Union was evil, then the corruption exhibited in the West, and specifically in America, is indeed progressive. For one thing, the Soviet communists did not maintain a pretense to obfuscate their true nature. They acted to consolidate wealth and power under their control for their benefit. They accomplished this through the normalization of an authoritarian monopoly and monopolistic practices. The human and civil rights violations of the 20th century are owned by left-wing ideologues. That is to say by individuals and cooperatives who routinely denigrated individual dignity and devalued human life.

  17. Otiose Says:

    I discussed this issue – why Asian Americans voted so heavily against their own interests? – with a foreign born and raised colleague of mine and though she voted for Romney she sympathizes with her many acquaintances who did not. In her opinion the Republicans don’t like minorities. That is a widely held opinion among the Asian American community here.

    One aspect of why this misconception is so strong IMO has to do with the foreign press many of these people grew up with.

    When I lived in Japan in the 70’s I noticed that the Japanese newspapers were very efficient in gathering their US news -and some foreign no doubt. What they were accustomed to doing was translating the NYT almost verbatim into Japanese.

    These habits probably arose from early post war recovery when they didn’t have the means or funds to go out and collect the news first hand.

    There was probably a strong tendency to go with the leader / most prestigious news sources (that would be the NYTimes and few others) and those systems to monitor those news sources and conform to their world views probably persist today.

    I’m sure there’s much more to problem, but what I suspect happened in Japan probably happened in many struggling countries short on resources.

    This goes on I know in this country. The local Chinese newspapers (according to my colleague) and there are many just copy the Post and NYT and hold the MSM in high regard. The news that many of the foreign born receive is heavily filtered thru a very liberal lens.

    Probably what is needed to counterbalance bias is the same thing that has done so much in the English speaking side – a Fox news program in each of the main language groups in contention. First and foremost one in Spanish, and then Mandarin, and then how much money is left?

  18. n.n Says:

    By the way, who is in a position to manipulate perception? It is leaders, celebrities, journalists, activists, and teachers. The last are especially perverse, since children are a captive audience in the classroom. It is children who are also especially vulnerable to manipulation and extortion (e.g. emotional) by virtue of their youth. They simply have not lived long enough to form a reasonable opinion and are insufficiently tempered to resist exploitation.

  19. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    I’ve been mulling over ideas that would allow conservatives to better get our message out to the masses. We have talk radio, Fox News, and the blogosphere. However those outlets don’t appeal to the younger, hipper, low information citizens. Where do people between 18 and 45 who think of themselves as hip get a lot of their political info? John Stewart’s Daily Show and Steven Colbert’s the Colbert Report. Both those shows mock conservative values and make liberalism seem cool.

    My thought: Are there any conservative comedians who can do the same thing only from a conservative point of view? Surely there’s a lot of scope for mocking and minimizing liberal ideas. You just have to do it in a slick way that makes you cool. These young people don’t want someone preaching to them. These people don’t want someone telling them how wrong they are. They want someone who can dish the truth out to them in small bits with humor and rapier wit. I know Dennis Miller tries to do this, but he often comes off as a scold. Actually that is the way the Republican Party (and many spokesmen like Limbaugh, Hannity, O’reilly, Beck, etal) comes off. They are the dour parent who is against everything – especially fun. We need to change that. To be more approachable and humorous. Social issues are tar baby that the dems use to defeat us when the really serious issues of jobs and big, overweaning government are what are going to take us down.

    Another thought I had was to have a family comedy about immigrants. Show their challenges and conservative ways of dealing with those problems – all in a humorous fashion. Show why less government interference in their lives makes sense. Show how a family can progress up the ladder of success by being responsible and integrating into their new society. Yes, it’s propaganda, but we have to use new miothods to get people to look at the issues through our prism. The dems sure do.

  20. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    As far as I can see, the $2,500 dollar suit, $250 dollar haircut, double-chinned, quite self-satisfied, inside the beltway Republican establishment and/or Republican members of Congress do not espouse or act on what I would consider Conservatism or its chief tenets. They want no part in any “far right wing” newcomers and rabble-rousers spoiling what has been a very profitable and comfortable gig for them; they want the Kabuki play to continue and to not be disrupted.

    Moreover, are we saying that the voters got the Conservative message–twisted and caricatured by the Democrats and Obama & Co. as it was and all wrong–or that it even got delivered– that they ignored it, or that the voters got the message all right–pseudo-Conservatism and real Conservatism alike but, that a majority of them just flat out rejected it.

  21. Bob Kantor Says:

    It is said that conservatives tend to be anti-science, with the Bush administration serving as a prime example. The evidence adduced usually comes down to three things: opposition on moral grounds to unrestricted embryonic stem cell research, support (mainly by evangelicals) for the pseudoscientific theory of intelligent design, and skepticism about the inevitable catastrophic impact of global warming, said to be wholly or largely anthropogenic in origin.

    Before condemning conservatives for their irrational opposition to “established” scientific truths, one would do well to pause and examine the record of liberals and leftists with respect to propounding and believing scientific nonsense. The following list of absurdities, masquerading as scientific certainties, that people on the Left have believed over the past 100 years will illustrate my point:

    1. The theory, first propounded by Sigmund Freud, that mental disorders which are not somatic in origin are caused mainly by the desire on the part of a child to kill its parent of the same sex and to have exclusive sexual rights to its parent of the opposite sex
    2. The widely held conviction that the scientific laws of history were discovered by Karl Marx and that these laws constitute a Master Theory explaining the evolution of every important aspect of human society, including politics, economics, and culture
    3. The belief that intelligence is either a meaningless term or, to the extent that it is meaningful, determined entirely by one’s environment
    4. The notion, first propounded in 1969 by biologist Paul Ehrlich, that the “population explosion” would doom the human race to massive starvation (hundreds of millions of deaths in the 1970s and 1980s and the 50% probability that Great Britain would be no more by the year 2000)—a prediction that has been spectacularly refuted in all its particulars without, however, diminishing the reputation of Ehrlich among his many progressive followers
    5. The belief, repeatedly expressed at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, that the disease would sweep through the heterosexual community in this country and claim tens of millions of lives (actual numbers: about 17,300 people in this country died of AIDS in 2008)
    6. The fear that biologically engineered foods, sometimes referred to as “Frankenfoods,” pose a serious threat to the human race, despite the consensus among the overwhelming majority of agronomists that such fear is groundless
    7. The fear that irradiating foods to kill their bacteria somehow makes these foods dangerous to consume
    8. The fear that man-made pesticides, particularly DDT, are so harmful to the environment that we were justified in not using them even if it means the deaths of millions of children in Africa from malaria
    9. The belief, based on postmodern revelation, that scientific truths are merely social constructs and not actually descriptions of reality, despite the obvious fact that these so-called constructs have given rise to technologies (e.g., email, telephones, and automobiles) that confirm these truths beautifully
    10. The theory, propounded by radical feminists, and widely subscribed to in academia, that gender differences are not inherent but (like science itself) merely social constructs, despite the overwhelming evidence in human history and of current research pointing to profound and unalterable differences

    None of the above absurdities have ever been taken seriously by the great unwashed—those easily manipulated and ignorant right-wing simpletons and churchgoers in flyover country. Over the years, they have been largely the province of self-styled progressives, people whose prejudices and ideologies often come to us dressed up as science, but who, like most of us, believe what they want to believe, regardless of the evidence of the real world.

  22. southpaw Says:

    Richard Aubrey – “..they don’t get the budget”. A practical observation about the gifted mathematician stereotype Asian Americans hold. I think little is said about the number of Asian Americans who are not college educated and work in jobs that are labor intensive, service oriented, etc. It’s a large number.
    My own exposure in a engineering and manufacturing is more than most for the last 25years. I work with many many Asian Americans. Which include various varieties, and they are also different in their own ways, but somehow get lumped together as a single thinking block. I think that’s a mistake the republicans will make, but that’s another story.
    I don’t see any particular difference between an Asian American engineer’s intrinsic talent to recognize facts or think more critically than his non Asian peers.
    I also presume ” science” such as global warming is included in the ” I believe in science” remarks. But in any case, my experience is Asian Americans in science and engineering are no more immune from falling into the “common knowledge” trap than anybody else. Maybe more so because they tend less to question an “authority” as they perceive Him/ her. Especially if theyre a teacher.
    As others have pointed out, math and science education no longer mean logical thinking as it is applied to other areas. If it ever did. And science has become politicized by both the right and the left, so believing the democrats are a party of science is hardly a way to select a government, if you ask me. Maybe the perception needs to change, but sometimes the “science” professed by the party is a problem too.

  23. holmes Says:

    We should write a caricature op-ed about liberals/democrats the next time a Republican wins the Presidency. Of course, the Left never introspects, so it wouldn’t have the same effect.

  24. DonS Says:

    Feminists have actually opposed research into gender based differences in human cognition.

    Also, there was the evolutionary biology war, where marxists lead by Stephen G Gould attacked the new science since it was a potential threat to Marxism / socialism. This was in the 1990s, and the interesting thing is that the scientists under assault were mostly liberals themselves.

  25. holmes Says:

    Note: the Op-Ed needs to be written by a black female.

  26. parker Says:

    “Note: the Op-Ed needs to be written by a black female.”

    Slight correction: the op-eds need to be written by a black eskimo transgender muslim. Its important to cover all bases.

  27. Tom the Redhunter Says:

    Uh huh. There’s always a group who think if we can just toss the social conservatives overboard everything will be fine. Politics is a game of addition and not subtraction. So tossing the social conservatives loses you as many votes as you gain.

    This off my chest, yes we can change our message. We need to stop nominating candidates like Aiken, Mourdoch, Angle and O’Donnell (especially O’Donnell). It’s really all about the candidates.

    I live in Virginia, and this year we’re going to have Ken Cuccinelli as our gubernatorial candidate (trust me he will roll over Bill Bolling). The Cooch is the social conservatives social conservative if you get the picture. On the one side he’s one of the best campaigners in the state with an absolute diehard following, on the other he’s the most choice target for a liberal anti-social conservative propagandist I can imagine. Whether he wins or not will be a bellwether, I think…

  28. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I know many Asian-Americans are not STEM nerds. Point of the article was that even those who were went dem. So STEM nerds, even, don’t get the budget. Further point is, if anybody’s supposed to get it, it would be STEM nerds, and that includes Asians who do not.
    It would be hard to think of anything which frightens Asian Americans as explained in the article or the comments which would not be exponentially worse if/when the government’s finances collapse.
    As Insty quoted a republican lesbian, ‘what use are gay rights when my country’s collapsing?[paraphrase}”

  29. n.n Says:

    I wonder how many people know that a “certificate of live birth” is a document provided without eyewitness to a birth and as such cannot confirm a birthplace. At the time, it was routinely offered by Hawaiian officials to illegal aliens and other ineligible individuals in order to exploit democratic-based redistribution of federal funds and skew the allocation of representatives.

    In any case, this evidence alone is inconclusive to establish a birthplace. However, questioning his American qualities is a simpler task. An American is defined by the principles embodied in The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution, which are summarized as classical liberalism tempered by Judeo-Christian principles. It recognizes individual dignity and an intrinsic value of human life (implicit in “our Posterity”, as well as “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”). The original compromise was pursued to accommodate a powerful minority of slavers and related beneficiaries. It was antithetical to the founding philosophy to support progressive involuntary exploitation and selective liberty.

    Note that in The Declaration of Independence, the right to Life is recognized from creation, which is biologically at conception or, according to biblical standards, at the establishment of consciousness (or the becoming of a living soul). It is also guaranteed in The Constitution with the fourteenth amendment, specifically: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Elective abortion, eugenics, and specifically “Roe vs Wade” are not only human rights violations, but also unconstitutional.

    Perhaps “perception of the Republican Party” have been skewed by dreams of instant gratification, by appeals to people’s base nature, including greed, envy, etc.?

  30. M J R Says:

    Bob Kantor, 7:54 pm: “The following list of absurdities, masquerading as scientific certainties, that people on the Left have believed over the past 100 years will illustrate my point.”

    ^Excellent^ compilation. Methinks you have here the core of a pretty darn good opinion piece, should you elect to expound and then publish.

  31. jvermeer Says:

    What struck me from the examples Neo quoted is how personal they all were. Those people hate Republicans not because of the policies they advocate but because of who they perceive Republicans are. Even when they couldn’t identify the connection between who the people are and the public policy.

  32. kolnai Says:

    MJR –

    There was a book written recently on that subject, “Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Science Left,” by Alex Berezov and Hamk Campbell. It’s all in there.

    Tom the Redhunter –

    Cuccinelli is amazing. Most Republicans don’t know about him yet, but they will. A razor-sharp wit combined with a whip-smart mind – the sky is the limit for him. I heard him way back when the Obamacare case was being debated, giving interviews on the subject, and he just blew me away.

  33. Eric Says:

    I’m an Asian American. That doesn’t make me an expert on Asian American politics because our politics are diverse outside a cluster of Asian-specific issues, like discrimination in higher ed. (For example, I don’t share the complaint about a “bloated military” due to my personal bias favoring the military, though I believe funding our foreign policy does need to be weighed more critically against the national debt.) But I’ll make a few sweeping generalizations:

    As minorities with relatively low political power, they hold law and order, and liberty and justice for all with high importance. The emphasis is on representative, fair, and orderly living and working conditions, not on race-based favoritism.

    The Tea Party platform and, to an extent, libertarians (while keeping in mind that AAs tend to favor law & order) should appeal to many Asians Americans. But neither faction defines the mainstream GOP.

    It’s important to note, however, and this may sound like a contradiction to what I just said, that many AAs favor a public safety net because they lack the private safety net that the relative demographic success might imply. One, it’s new success. Even the comparitively well-educated immigrants mostly come from poor, uncertain backgrounds that offered limited opportunities. To say the least, they pass that anxiety onto their children. Two, should their new success in America prove tenuous, they lack the fall-back private safety net of extended family in the US, and the extended families are not affluent anyway. That many 2nd+ generation Asian Americans feel alienated from the overseas family, society, and culture adds to the support for a public safety net in the US. The pervasive underlying suspicion that non-Asian Americans view them as ‘other’, a lack-of-trust issue, adds to the view of government as a protector.

    Generally, the way to understand Asian Americans would be as bootstrap strivers who want to live and work in representative, fair (and meritocratic), and orderly conditions, but also have underlying assimilation/acceptance and Great Depression type insecurities.

  34. sergey Says:

    This is true, nevertheless, that Asians have in general much more permissive attitude to sexual moral than Anglo-Saxons and Christians, so it will be an uphill battle to assimilate them in traditional, puritan culture which is the cornerstone of white people’s social conservatism. Liberal indoctrination aside, this is a major cultural divide. So it makes sense for Republicans to assume more libertarian approach and somehow make clear that for them private life and cultural issues of white community are separated from politics and government and are not supposed to be imposed on ethnic minorities. Personal views on morality and religion are valid and legitimate, however conservative they are, but they should not be dominant in public policy.

  35. Eric Says:

    sergey: “Asians have in general much more permissive attitude to sexual moral than Anglo-Saxons and Christians”

    Really? That’s news to me. To my parents and their friends and family, monogamous relationships (dating thru marriage; even dating = engaged) and the family unit are very big deals. Growing up, sex was an impolite topic and when we did talk about it, it was spoken of in ways a puritan would approve.

    That said, Asians are as naturally sexual as anyone else and casual sex, affairs, and break-ups do happen. And there are characteristically American generational divides, culture clashes, between how 1st and subsequent generation Asian Americans view sex.

    I also grant that other Asian cultures may view sex differently than the particular Asian culture I was raised with. I can safely say, at least, Japanese sexual culture is not like mine.

    I agree with this generally: “Personal views on morality and religion are valid and legitimate, however conservative they are, but they should not be dominant in public policy.”

    This discussion is like an originalist discussion in Constitutional law. What are the essentials and fundaments that should define our policy platform as the common good for the American people? Hype those policies and be very picky about everything else.

  36. Zachriel Says:

    As an Asian-American, the questioning of Obama’s American-ness really strikes a raw nerve.

    neo-neocon: Since we exist here in somewhat of a bubble on the blogospheric right, it can be easy to lose sight of how widespread and influential opposition propaganda about Republicans has been, and how certain Republican positions—largely misunderstood—feed right into it.

    The ‘otherness’ campaign was a real movement from within the Republican Party, and given at least tacit assent from its leaders.

  37. ziontruth Says:

    The word “narrative” is the key here. I know right-wingers are allergic to it; that’s the whole point.

    Who can call himself a right-winger who doesn’t want the debate to be about facts, evidence, reason and logic? I’m not criticizing right-wingers here (which would include myself), it’s to their credit that they uphold the torch of the Judeo-Hellenic tradition of finding the truth. The trouble is, what has served humanity so well in the hard sciences is of less utility in the soft ones (which maybe shouldn’t be called “sciences” at all, then), and of even less boon to politics, which is human to its core.

    I’ve seen it in the discussion of the conflict in my neck of the woods: There’s a ferocious exchange of accusations even when both sides are agreed on the facts. It is possible for both sides to agree that a barrage of rockets on Sderot and an air raid over Gaza are both not the way to go, yet they will still rip each other apart despite the agreement. How can it be? The narrative: Which side is the aggressor, which the one defending themselves from the aggressor. For all the talk of how “They started it” is the stuff of the kindergarten, the fact remains that that’s the prime determinant of one’s line of thinking and argumentation on this conflict. How you view the conflict is dependent on your starting point—if you think the arrival of the first Jewish returnees to the Land of Israel in 1882 was a good thing, you will be pro-Israel and anti-Arab; if you view it as an evil, you will be anti-Israel and pro-Arab; and the interpretation of all the facts will bend accordingly.

    Take another example: Serbia. I think this is more of a wedge issue than the Jewish–Arab Conflict, as it cuts across Left and Right equally. There are pro-Serb right-wingers (like me); they tend to be pro-Serb because they think Muslims are by nature aggressors. There are anti-Serb right-wingers; they think the American ideal of justice required overthrowing Milosevic. There are pro-Serb left-wingers; they think the left-wing duty of “standing against American imperialism” requires siding with Serbia. There are anti-Serb left-wingers; they think it was right to defend the “oppressed” Bosnian Muslims against their Christian Serb “oppressors.” Now, while there can be a lively debate on the actual happenings, for example Srebrenica, an acrimonious debate with “Holocaust denier” and “conspiracy theorist” accusations flung all around, I argue that such debates are still red herrings. How one views the Balkans War of 1992–5 is, again, shaped by the narrative, the initial point of view with which you come to analyze the conflict.

    So, in politics, right-wingers need to get over their recoiling from the word “narrative.” Think of it this way: Political faith—and politics is largely faith-based, no matter how much this is denied—is like religious faith in that conversion constitutes an entire operating system replacement. The narrative needs to be challenged, beginning with one’s own terminology employed, then with an effort to take hold of the megaphone. Take a look at a recent news item posted on Pamela Geller’s website. It is factual, but it is written using terminology that originates with the Arab imperialist narrative. Now go down a little to the second comment and read it (well, down to the row of dashes separating it from my letting off of steam), and see how it changes the whole focus.

    If right-wingers started writing the news in such a way as to turn the allegations of racism back on the Marxists and spin every action of theirs as deliberately dividing and impoverishing the nation, and better, if they could get that into the mainstream, they’d win the war. Yes, I know these are very big “ifs,” but that is the war. The facts are on our side, but the narrative must be captured in order for the facts to matter.

  38. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Obama may be an American–noun–but the question seems increasingly to be if he’s American–the adjective.
    It’s legitimate to ask this of somebody doing what he’s doing, since the alternative is that he’s monumentally and irredeemably stupid and incompetent.

    As with any voter, Mencken’s observation comes to mind. Paraphrasing, “the voters voted for what they wanted and they deserve to get it good and hard.” Even amoebae can learn, if they run into a sharp edge enough times. Dem voters never run into a sharp edge because it’s blunted by blaming the usual suspects, “greedy”, “racist”, etc. Predictable consequences are never predictable and if they happen, it’s because of the greedy, etc. No sharp edge, no learning. Too bad the rest of us are along for the ride.

  39. thomass Says:

    Thanks. I was wondering why they, as a group, broke that way in the election. Don’t love the answer, but it makes sense…

  40. thomass Says:

    Anyway; someone over at national review wrote you can’t just have nascar and talk radio and not expect these kinds of narratives to take hold.

    fox is nice but not enough.

    As to these specific people; I think once people are this into a subculture about all you can do is a make a simple quick statement or argument and walk away giving them a few years to think about it.

    Also; I’d wish people on our side wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that promoting non white conservatives is race based preferences. I’ll say again; often people who are minorities in their own group group (such as a conservative African American) become the best at explaining their selves. Also; people that directly fled oppresion (Rubio) put more thought into why America works.

  41. holmes Says:

    Thomass- I think Rubio is great as a candidate and yes his background helps. But running him also gives the opportunity to make those same race-based appeals that have worked for the Left, and in fact, just did win the election for them. Any weapon at hand. It’s a bonus to bring forward minority conservatives who are articulate. I’m not suggesting affirmative action for conservative minorities, which is basically what we have with Obama from the Left. A very mediocre person who was propelled to the forefront namely because of his race.

  42. thomass Says:

    One last thought; a lot of this really only started being pushed by ‘mainstream’ liberals under Pelosi. Its working so they won’t stop but as a campaign it is not that old.

  43. thomass Says:


    they don’t have to be race based appeals. They can be arguments that ‘I know what your worried about’ for the country and republicans and let me explain why I’m the better choice.

  44. Trimegistus Says:

    The media. The media. The media. The media.

    It all comes back to that. Nearly all the channels of information (and entertainment) in this country are dominated by leftists and spread their views. Breaking that stranglehold must be our primary goal.

    By any means necessary. Any means.

  45. Steve Says:

    The way I read it, their perception is that the Republican Party stands not for conservative principles (something they support) but for increasing the Party’s power in DC. That seems right to me.

  46. ziontruth Says:

    Megadittoes, Trimegistus!

    Just so you know, this is a worldwide problem. The entire free (non-Marxist and non-Muslim) world is in the grip of mainstream media outlets contrary to any free nation’s interests. Hence, my having a take on this is not just a matter of curiosity, I’m in the same boat as you.

  47. physics geek Says:

    but the message is not getting through

    Duh. Who controls almost all of the media and its messaging?

  48. CZ Says:

    “In fact, they are all advocates of a bloated military, many cannot get enough pork barrel spending and farm subsidies, and they have no problems sticking their dirty noses into women’s privates and peoples’ bedrooms.”

    So maybe advocates of bloated renewable energy boondoggles and crony capitalist bamboozlers that have no problem sticking their elongated noses into our kitchen pantry and garage offer the better alternative?

    Confucius said…

    Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

  49. n.n Says:


    We must assume that all people are acting in their best interest, which may not necessarily correlate with our own interests. The optimal response — compatible with conservatism — is to support development of competing interests, which are empowered to keep the honest people honest and others from running amuck. This does not justify a class war, but it does place an emphasis on the development of a large and capable middle class.

  50. Steve Says:

    n.n., this year’s crisis is next year’s opportunity. Politicians and lobbyists keep this game going (never find a solution) because they profit regardless. Both parties are in on it. The crazy thing is we let them do it. I think we should be pushing not to ‘fix’ the current system (ie, taking power in DC) but to return power to the states (ie, federalism).

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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