Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan said President Obama
is "a president in trouble" after the 2010 version of the Republican
an audience at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Tuesday night, touched on
a topic that bothers me about Obama and the Progressives.
last week's election, she said, Obama shows no sign of understanding why it
happened, why he took such a drubbing. "So once again, he seems a little
off-point, like he's not seeing the same reality as the American people."
Progressives have this thing about them where they think
anyone who disagrees with them is just plain stupid. The universities, the
high-society cocktail circuits, the chic A-list actors are all on their side.
But each of those groups has one thing in common, other than
being factories churning out Progressive thinkers--they are all out of touch
with the real world.
University professors strive for tenure, which is essentially
another way of saying you don't have to compete for your job anymore. Unlike
every other (private sector) employee in the world, tenured teachers don't have
to stay on top of their game to remain viable. Wouldn't you love to have a job
like that, where it's almost impossible to fire you? Consequently, teachers are
shielded from market forces that affect businesses--yet they have plenty of free
time to spout all sorts of theories on them, and they never have to apply their
thoughts to a real-world situation. After all, their domain is a college campus,
and what closer thing is there to an environment insulated from the rest of the
Then there's the high-society cocktail circuit. This is where
your media elites and your trust-fund babies rub elbows to regurgitate information
about the latest trendy causes, and guffaw at how ignorant people in flyover
country are. The only people they associate with are other liberal elites, so
they start thinking that their positions are the only real ones. Consider what
longtime journalist Bernie Goldberg observed
about these elites.
think back to that famous observation by the New Yorker's otherwise brilliant
film critic Pauline Kael, who in 1972 couldn't figure out how Richard Nixon had
won the presidency.
can't believe it!" she said. "I don't know a single person who voted for him!"
Nixon carried forty-nine states to McGovern's one, for God's sake--and she wasn't
one of the biggest problems in big-time journalism: its elites are hopelessly
out of touch with everyday Americans. Their friends are liberals, just as they
are. They share the same values. Almost all of them think the same way on the
big social issues of our time....After a while they start to believe that all
civilized people think the same way they and their friends do.
Finally, we come to the A-list celebrities. Oh, the
celebrities. Is there any group of people in the world more out of touch with
reality than these people? Most probably don't know their own zip codes.
President Obama is a mix of all three out-of-touch groups--university
professor, cocktail-circuit elite, and presidential rockstar.
He's never had a meaningful job in the private sector--he was
a student, community activist, teacher, civil rights attorney, and a politician.
He is about as far removed from your average American as you
can get, so it's no surprise he was blindsided when we turned against his
Euro-socialist big-government policies.
But he learned
the wrong lesson.
a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them
together. And setting a tone. And making an argument that people can
understand," Obama told "60 Minutes."
See? We're stupid. We weren't bright enough to understand
what he was doing, so he needs to try harder to get it through our thick,
It's not just an annoying habit of Progressives--the attitude
that they know what's best drives everything about their agenda. In a nutshell,
they believe that some of us are enlightened and do the right thing, and some
aren't--and the ones that aren't need to be coerced into doing what is right by
You don't recycle like you should or you drive a big SUV?
You small-minded person. You need to have those choices made for you. So we'll
just make laws to correct that.
You want plastic bags for your groceries? You don't
understand what effect that has on the environment. We'll just have to ban
You didn't get your environmentally friendly light bulbs on
your own? We'll just have to force you to buy the right ones by banning the "bad"
You Neanderthals still like to own guns? We need to think
about others' safety so you can't have those anymore.
And on and on it goes until one day the government is
telling you that you can only have one child per family. Meanwhile, the "smart"
people aren't bright enough to see where this road leads.