"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so." -- Ronald Reagan
One of the reasons liberals tend to do such an incredibly poor job of governing is that they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the American people. Given that liberals also fundamentally misunderstand Christianity, the Constitution, economics, and human nature, I guess it's no big surprise that they don't get the American people either. Come to think of it, I guess it's pretty much par for the course. I mean, let's face it, without conservatives around to help keep them in check, liberals would utterly destroy everything that is good about America and most of them would be baffled about what they were doing wrong right up until the end. But enough about the Left's general lack of common sense -- let's talk about how they misjudge the American people.
They believe the American people want liberal policies. When you're a conservative, it's almost impossible to filter out liberal views. Your kids are exposed to liberalism at school, Hollywood forces liberal ideas down your throat when you watch TV, the local paper leans left -- you just can't get away from it. On the other hand, if you're a liberal, you really don't have to hear what conservatives think. This can lead to the sort of groupthink that once inspired film criticPauline Kael to exclaim,
"I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where (Nixon voters) are I don't know. They're outside my ken."
Now, some liberals know better -- which is why every Democratic President runs as a centrist even though they immediately intend to veer way off to the left the moment they're elected.
However, the belief that liberalism is genuinely popular with the American people is still pervasive. For example, on a daily basis, you can hear the netroots claiming that Obama's approval rating is slipping because he's not getting enough of his legislation passed. This ignores the fact that Obama's legislative agenda is having trouble getting passed because it's about as popular as strychnine milkshakes in our center-right country.
Liberals believe that many Americans don't know what's in their own best interests. Liberals tend to falsely believe that they're better, smarter, and more caring than the average person. This often leads them to make rather glib and far reaching assumptions about the "best" way for OTHER people to live.
Why would anyone need a SUV or a gun? You don't REALLY need those things. Also, liberals know what your salary should be, how your children should be taught, and what words you should be allowed to use without hurting anyone else's feelings. Oh, you want to pick your own lightbulb? Nonsense: You might do it wrong! Let liberals tell you which one you need.
There's just something about liberalism that turns most of its practitioners, no matter how dumb or incompetent they may be, into finger wagging professors who want to lecture the rest of the country about how to live their lives. See the man running the show at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a real world example of how that works.
Liberals believe that the American people want to be treated like children. Sure, there are always going to be losers who want the government to do everything for them, but bottom feeders who want to be taken care of by the government have never represented the majority of the American people. If they ever do, liberals will undoubtedly be happy about it, but the rest of us won't because it'll mean the end of America as a great nation.
However, for the moment at least, a large percentage of Americans not only don't want the government's help, we would be pleased if the government didn't even know we existed. In essence, we want the government to defend the country, maintain the roads, enforce the law and leave us alone as much as possible. This, by necessity, puts us at loggerheads with liberals who are obsessed with controlling as much of people's lives as possible.
Liberals believe that most conservatives are evil. The problem with pegging people who merely disagree with you as greedy, evil, malevolent racists is that it tends to lead to kneejerk disagreement with everything they believe. That's why people go to such great lengths to compare their political opposites to Nazis -- because the thinking goes, the Nazis are bad and if they're like Nazis, no matter what they're saying, then it must be bad. Incidentally, the Nazis were socialists, animal rights activists, advocates of bigger government, supporters of the social welfare state, and supporters of unions -- just like liberals -- but that's neither here nor there.
The problem with believing that conservatism is evil, besides the fact that it's not true, is that it leads even well-intentioned liberals to disregard conservative ideas. That's especially relevant because if you look through American history, you'll find ideologies are much more malleable than people might think. For example, at times in our history, liberalism has looked favorably upon tax cuts, Christianity, and patriotism as opposed to fighting against all those things while pretending to do otherwise. Put another way, if liberals were to examine conservative ideas with an open mind, they might learn something.
Liberals believe they can lie to the American people without consequence. Saying that politicians lie is like noting that rats like cheese. Without question, politicians from both parties are guilty of lying.
However, in the political realm, liberals lie much, much more often than conservatives. Why? There are two reasons for it. Conservatives tend to believe liberals are stupid, but liberals tend to think conservatives are evil. Is it wrong to lie about someone who's dumb? Yes. Ok, now would it be wrong to lie to stop Hitler? Ehr -- probably not. Because so many liberals view conservatives as evil, in their culture it's considered acceptable for them to lie about the Right. Very, very seldom will you ever hear a liberal criticize another liberal for lying about a conservative even though it's an every day thing in the liberal media.
Also, because the Left controls the mainstream media, they can often get away with lies no conservative ever could. Put another way, conservatives tend to be more honest because they have to be while liberals are used to having the mainstream media cover up, ignore, and explain away their lies.
The problem with that is that over time, the MSM has become less powerful and the new media has filled the gap. For example, when a cranky Harry Reid claimed at the health care summit that no one has talked about reconciliation, a video was quickly put out proving him wrong. Now that same video is in circulation, in the new media, proving that Harry Reid is a shameless liar with no personal integrity. The mainstream media is no longer the only gatekeeper for the news and it's allowing Americans to see through the lies of the Left faster than ever. That's why Barack Obama, who sometimes has trouble keeping his story straight from day-to-day, has dropped so far, so fast.