Friday, October 22, 2010

Obama diagnoses what is wrong with the American electorate

Charles Krauthammer notices that Obama has diagnosed a whole new psychological disorder among the American people.
Opening a whole new branch of cognitive science -- liberal psychology -- Obama has discovered a new principle: The fearful brain is hard-wired to act befuddled, i.e., vote Republican.

But of course. Here Obama has spent two years bestowing upon the peasantry the "New Foundation" of a more regulated, socially engineered and therefore more humane society, and they repay him with recalcitrance and outright opposition. Here he gave them Obamacare, the stimulus, financial regulation and a shot at cap-and-trade -- and the electorate remains not just unmoved but ungrateful.

Faced with this truly puzzling conundrum, Dr. Obama diagnoses a heretofore undiscovered psychological derangement: anxiety-induced Obama Underappreciation Syndrome, wherein an entire population is so addled by its economic anxieties as to be neurologically incapable of appreciating the "facts and science" undergirding Obamacare and the other blessings their president has bestowed upon them from on high.
As Krauthammer goes on to explain, what Obama just can't get his great mind around is the fact that this is not a liberal country. It is a country that is a bit to the right of center. Poll after poll shows that.
No fanciful new syndromes or other elaborate fictions are required to understand that if you try to impose a liberal agenda on such a demonstrably center-right country -- a country that is 80 percent non-liberal -- you get a massive backlash.

Moreover, apart from ideology is empirical reality. Even as we speak, the social-democratic model Obama is openly and boldly trying to move America toward is unraveling in Europe. It's not just the real prospect of financial collapse in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, with even the relatively more stable major countries in severe distress. It is the visible moral collapse of a system that, after two generations of increasing cradle-to-grave infantilization, turns millions of citizens into the streets of France in furious and often violent protest over what? Over raising the retirement age from 60 to 62!

Having seen this display of what can only be called decadence, Obama's perfectly wired electorate says no, not us, not here. The peasants have seen the future -- Greece and France -- and concluded that it does not work. Hence their opposition to Obama's proudly transformational New Foundation agenda. Their logic is impeccable: Only the most blinkered intellectual could be attempting to introduce social democracy to America precisely when the world's foremost exemplar of that model -- Europe -- is in chaotic meltdown.

And it isn't as if this political message is new. It had already been sent in the last year with clarion clarity in the elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts where independents -- the swing voters without ideological attachment one way or the other -- split 2-to-1, 2-to-1 and 3-to-1, respectively, against the Democrats.

The story of the last two years is as simple as it is dramatic. It is the epic story of an administration with a highly ideological agenda encountering a rising resistance from the American people over the major question in dispute: the size and reach and power of government and, even more fundamentally, the nature of the American social contract.
Perhaps Obama is the one who is suffering from delusions - delusions of liberal hegemony.

Liberals tend to jump to the conclusion that only psychological anxieties could account for people believing something different than they do. Note how the CEO of NPR joked in public that his views should be between “his psychiatrist or his publicist." She later apologized, so I guess that we're supposed to ignore that she made that statement in a public speech.

Her statement demonstrates the liberal assumption that an opinion that they disagree with must indicate a need for a psychiatrist. Obama is just giving voice to this mindset. If the majority of people disagree with his assessment of how wonderful his policies have been, they must be suffering from some sort of delusions brought on by economic uncertainty. He needs to understand that it may be perfectly rational to disagree with him.