An acquaintance from Manhattan called the other day and after a few pro forma niceties screamed: "I hate George Bush. I hate him. Don’t even mention his name to me." Why such personal vehemence I wondered? Did he beat up your brother? Then it finally hit me.
I said to him: "OK, you’ve shown me your credentials. I’m convinced you’re a member in good standing in the ‘smarter than thou club.’ Stop hollering, you’ve made it clear that you’re a member of the ‘intellectually beautiful people.’ You’ve performed your sacrament, your friends would be proud."
Our acquaintanceship is probably now over. Good riddance.
This herd mentality among liberals against George Bush is personal. For what is at stake are the identities of all those who want to be considered part of the "smart, sophisticated, and oh-so-universal" crowd. When we speak of how an individual sees himself and to what and whom he belongs — it is personal.
The need to belong to the in-group is powerful and explains how otherwise good and intelligent people get caught up in the required demonization of others that brings them "included" status in that group.
In today’s liberal world, inclusion in the "smart" set, the "universalist" set, means demonizing George Bush and denouncing everything about him. Like nothing else, it provides entry into the insider "smart and transnationalist" set. Bush is the liberals’ "Other." The cowboy, as Europeans label him. For trendy leftists who consider themselves above the average American, Bush is the outsider. He is not part of that internationalist set with which the American cosmopolitans identify.
Funny how so many whose ancestors were victims of this herd mentality are themselves engaging in this very same despicable form of herd mentality. They have lost their souls. In the name of being in the "better-than-thou" club, they have succumbed to a shameful aspect in human nature. Germans did it in the name of nationalism and today’s liberals are doing it in the name of being better than their own countrymen, transnationalism.
But they despise Bush even more because on policy he has neither bowed nor surrendered to them on their "enlightened" positions. Not regarding Iraq, lower taxes, gay marriage, abortion any time, anywhere, for whatever reason, faith-based inclusion in society, and his insistence on a Homeland security that repudiates the hegemony of the lawyers, judges, the New York Times, and the hate-America "civil liberties" Fifth Columns. Liberals simply are used to power residing in themselves, not others. Bush stands in their way.
Which brings us to Wal-Mart. Democrats across-the-board are demonizing America’s greatest success story. But why? Wal-Mart provides more jobs for people who otherwise would be forced to look to government for assistance. That’s why liberals hate it so! Precisely because it takes a constituency and makes government assistance unnecessary– and liberal, Democratic power resides in dependence on government. That’s how Democrats get their votes from that constituency. By employing more people than most government agencies, Wal-Mart proves the efficacy of the free market over the Nanny state. Wal-Mart stands in their way.
Wal-Mart is a blow to Democratic power. For liberals, it has become the "other.” Something to be feared by those who derive their power from the unemployed, the poorer classes. It must be brought down. But how? By demonizing it.
Unfortunately, more times than not, liberal demonization has indeed worked and has toppled the intended people and entities.
Wal-Mart provides millions of Americans, through its lower prices, a chance to live a better life and have a taste of consumer goods otherwise beyond the reach of many. That matters not to liberals who only want that better life to come through more dependency on them, in other words, bigger government: socialism through higher taxation and redistribution of wealth.
Why should the average liberal, especially those wealthy ones, be so incensed about Wal-Mart? Why is their vehemence against Wal-Mart so personal? Because in September of 2006, the new qualification of being a member of The Club is castigation of Wal-Mart. It is the fashion of the day for the "enlightened." Being an "insider" is, for many, very personal.
Now if Wal-Mart were a Parisian or Swedish corporation, it would be just fine. Like Ikea.
Liberals need only utter a single phrase to become an acknowledged member of the fraternity. But it must be enunciated with the requisite disdain, contempt, haughtiness, and "in the know-ness.” Each period has its phrase. It used to be "Dan Quayle,” and then it was "Gingrich,” later "Tom Delay." Nothing more needed to be said. The sneer was enough. For example, "Halliburton."
Today’s liberal password is “Bush" and, now, "Wal-Mart.” More than a herd mentality, it is a pack of wolves.