Culture is core

September 15th, 2008

On Wisconsin Public Radio this morning, viagra canada cialis I heard a political scientist say that Barack Obama should just admit that he doesn’t share the same cultural values as rural America, viagra canada malady but then say…”but I have some great policies that I think will benefit you economically.”

But that political scientist is making the same mistake that the guy who wrote What’s the Matter with Kansas made.

For many Americans, viagra the cultural stuff is not just garnish, it’s the meal.

They don’t give a crap if you want to raise tax rates 1% or lower them 1%.

They do give a damn if you want to take away their right to self defense.

Or encourage people to use abortion as birth control.

Or think a person’s color is more important than their competence when it comes to getting into a school or getting a job.

Those are root values.

They go to the heart of what being an American means.

And to act like people who think that the cultural issues are the most important issues are somehow missing the point…is to miss the point.

Entry Filed under: Politics

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim  |  September 15th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    No one is trying to take away anyone’s right to self defense. The issue is whether it is legitimate to allow people to carry concealed weapons. That’s simply not true to pose the issue the way you did, elliot.

    No one is encouraging anyone to have an abortion, or to use it purely as a form of birth control. That’s just not true.

    Nor does anyone go around stating, as you write, that color is more important than competence. Again, that’s simply not true.

    It appears the only cultural difference here is about telling the truth and having a legitimate discussion about an issue.

    I’ll stay on the side of truth — that’s what being an American truly means.

  • 2. buzz  |  September 15th, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Who would guarantee me more the right to keep the money that I make for myself?

  • 3. elliot  |  September 15th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I don’t like to be (too) argumentative, Tim, and I respect your opinion…

    …however, forcing law-abiding citizens to be barehanded before criminals armed with guns, knives, superior strength or superior numbers is most certainly denying them a practical right to self defense – it’s like removing people’s tongues and then saying they still have their First Amendment right to free speech. What good is a right you can’t exercise? (And it’s not just about concealed carry, there are plenty of areas of the country that try to eliminate ready access to a gun even in one’s own home.)

    If abortion isn’t being used as birth control, I suppose the more than one million abortions performed last year were all done for the health of the mother?

    Affirmative Action does privilege race over qualification. If it did not, the most qualified individual would get the position regardless of color and it wouldn’t be called Affirmative Action.

    And I understand that it’s the Left’s new stance that anything they don’t agree with is a lie, but that doesn’t make anything I said untrue.

    The way I framed my points is how a great many people in this country FEEL about gun control, abortion, and Affirmative Action.

    And it’s the way they feel about those issues that make them more powerful influencers on the way those folks vote than tax policy or regulatory stances.

  • 4. John  |  September 15th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I’m sure I’m guilty of this kind of shorthand myself on numerous occasions, but when did bloggers earn the right to make a sweeping, dismissive statement like “But that political scientist is making the same mistake that the guy who wrote What’s the Matter with Kansas made” with utterly no support?

    I read the book, didn’t agree with 100% of it, but thought Frank made excellent, excellent points 90% of the time.

    What did I miss?

  • 5. elliot  |  September 15th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I’m talking about the entire thesis of the book: that voting conservative is against working people’s economic self-interest and thus doesn’t make sense.

    But it only fails to make sense if you don’t recognize that those people actually value those conservative social issues more highly than they value their economic self interest.

  • 6. John  |  September 15th, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Was that not his gist? I thought his point was that people will vote against their own economic self interest if a bright, shiny “conservative values” bauble – – no matter how untenable – – is waved in front of them.

    I believe it’s spelled P-A-L-I-N nowadays ….

    (Cheap shot)

  • 7. elliot  |  September 15th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Then he and I agree!

    Sort of. ;)

  • 8. JJ  |  September 15th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    With all due respect to John, his assumption is that the liberal viewpoint is better in an economic standpoint. I don’t agree with that assumption.

    The take from the rich and give to the poor mentality of the Democrat economic policy breeds mediocrity. It (and most of the governmental welfare program rules/regulations) diminishes the incentive for entrepreneurship by penalizing success. Think of the modern union for an abundance of examples. The bad workers are protected, but all workers of the same labor classification make the same amount of money. The good or exceptional worker has no incentive to continue to be good and performance erodes.

    While there should be a TEMPORARY safety net for those in hard times or those unable to take care of themselves (i.e. the infirm, aged, or mentally disabled). I do not believe it is in my (or the country as a whole) economic interest to have more of my paycheck taken to give a larger earned-income tax credit to someone else on a permanent basis. The whole from each his ability to each according to his needs Marxist/Socialist thing is not an economic philosophy that I, and many other conservatives, ascribe to.

    Conservatives believe that if you take the risk you should reap the rewards for your success, but also swallow the bitter pill for failure. Not the liberal – if you succeed, we’ll take a good chunk of your success and give it to those that have failed.

  • 9. John  |  September 15th, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Conservatives believe that if you take the risk you should reap the rewards for your success, but also swallow the bitter pill for failure.

    Another bitter pill: Irony.

    What Conservatives BELIEVE and what “Conservatives” DO once in government seem to be nearly diametrically opposed.

    (Insert picture of Wolfowitz receiving Medal of Freedom here; add addendum containing list of G.W. Bush’s business “accomplishments” and their “consequences,” etc. Bitter pill of failure?)

    Sorry to say, from here it just looks like: I got/inherited mine; now you get yours.

  • 10. JJ  |  September 15th, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I’m sorry – where did I mention names of conservatives. If you haven’t figured it out, most conservatives don’t think our current president is a conservative at all. He has gone along with the D’s and spent like a drunken sailor on shore leave.

    But class warfare is hardly the answer. Being bitter that a few have received large sums of money when they shouldn’t have – I’d use the CEO’s of Freddie and Fannie at the moment – doesn’t mean that I think I should take more from the small business owner making 300K who is claiming as an individual is an appropriate response. I don’t expect you or anyone else to take care of me – that is my responsibility.

  • 11. Nick  |  September 15th, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Eh, not a regular here, so pardon my intrusion. To respond with my bitter clingy thoughts to the first poster (Tim) list for whatever its worth:

    1) Guns. Sure, I’m open to sensible regulations but before we add new ones could we please sort through and eliminate or enforce the current ones?

    2) Abortion. I personally believe that until human’s tech improves to 100% effective contraceptive and max out the potential viability outside the womb (which the brainy types will eventually accomplish), women have the right to have an abortion. But that is just my own opinion. However, the counterpoint does read very dismissively to those who hold views that life begins at conception & all abortions are immoral murder. This is because it skirts the actual important-to-them moral issue by stating “No one is encouraging anyone to have an abortion, or to use it purely as a form of birth control.” It is like saying to someone has moral objection to slavery, “Well, no one is encouraging that people own other people….” That style of argument is received as a condescending disconnect to the very people you are trying to communicate with.

    3) Racism/Sexism/Whatever category: It would help people to believe that instead of rules imposed from afar, if those laws enacted to combat these real problems had clear ending dates or agreed upon observable goal states.

    4) Claiming one side owns the Truth: Sigh, that leads only to madness….

    Apologies once again for butting in and no offense meant towards Tim. I am bored as my current wireless connection sucks so not able to view new Obama/Ayers video. Ace needs to upgrade.

  • 12. elliot  |  September 15th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Nice to meet you, Nick. Stop by anytime. (We have a frequent commenter named Nick as well, so we’ll have to be careful not to get confused.)

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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