Saturday, January 24, 2015
Chidike Okeem — Is America a Leftist Nation?
The conventional wisdom of the American right is that liberals are winning the culture war because they control the mainstream media and malign conservatives unfairly. This argument does not consider the copious ways in which mainstream conservatives work overtime to make their ideology as unpalatable to non-traditional audiences as possible. Yes, liberals are winning the culture war. However, as far as American politics is concerned, it is simply an uncomfortable truth that liberals are doing a much better job of winning public debates and appealing to the diverse American electorate. By contrast, conservatives are much more concerned with posturing and appealing to the most extreme elements on the far right. Conservatives are trained to see ethnic diversity as the political equivalent of a metastasizing cancer.
Liberals are consistently proposing ideas and solutions to problems. Even if these solutions are economically misguided or logically incoherent, they are superficially appealing enough to make people believe that they are truly good ideas. President Obama’s idea to make community college "free," for example, requires knowledge of economics to understand why government intervention in the college education space creates distorted incentives and unintended economic consequences. Conservatives are not effective in making this argument. Although "free" community college may be a foolhardy policy, it is effective in accomplishing the goal of making people believe that Democrats truly care about social mobility. In his recent State of the Union speech, Obama did an admirable job of making the voting public know that he is a bleeding-heart liberal, even though he did a lackluster job of explaining how he would accomplish all the wonderful things he plans on giving people for "free."
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