Liberalism is the home and incubator of “multiculturalism” — the belief that all cultures have value and should in no way be changed by little things like the Western world, or modernity. If you practice a form of herbal voodoo and speak a language with 13 remaining adherants, they’ll argue you should be celebrated, subsidized, and provided with a full-time interpreter should you decide to get a job at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
In general, the stranger and more rare one’s culture, the more valuable it is held to be as a specimen in the collection of the multicultural menagerie. Alas, this love of the different does not extend to something as mundane as Middle America. If you live in a white bread town in Pennsylvania or Indiana (or anywhere else where people don’t worry about “fair trade” coffee and the Dalai Lama), your culture is far from valuable. In fact many liberals view it with the same sort of morbid curiosity that most people reserve for the actions of the mentally ill.
“Why do they think that way?” is the question many ask when looking at the sort of folks that believe in traditional things, live outside major cities, go to church (or at least intend to), think that government help carries too high a cost, fly an American flag on the Fourth of July, join the military, own a gun (and — gasp!– intend to use it should some dangerous fool come through their window) and, in general, think that America is a pretty great place thanks to people a lot like them.
I’ve heard a number of theories put forward to explain this apparently curious values system: inbreeding, lead poisoning, indoctrination by the Ku Klux Klan, brainwashing by religion (the bad kind with the guy on the cross, not the kind that multicultural types find fascinating enough to incorporate into their decorating schemes) and lack of education are all among the contenders.
The biggest theory is that has something to do with Republican “dirty tricks.” The same Republicans that are so stupid they let Ted Kennedy write education and immigration bills in the name of bipartisanship are, according to this theory, such super-geniuses that they can trick half the country into voting against their own best interests every election year with nothing but a snappy bumper sticker and a few coded buzzwords.
Liberals believe that, in reality, working class whites are all pretty much grubby little extras from “Norma Rae” or “Matewan” who are too simple and ignorant to see that their true self-interest lay in asking liberals to do their thinking for them and then doing what they’re told. Oh, if only the proletariat would seek out their natural caretakers on the left!
Now Harvard-educated lawyer cum community organizer and accidental presidential favorite Barack H. Obama has put forward his own theory on why Middle America has its own way of thinking: they’re all a bunch of losers.
As you’ve no doubt heard, Obama, while speaking to a group of wealthy liberal donors in San Francisco (a place very concerned about fair trade coffee and the Dalai Lama) offered up this explanation for why liberalism in general and his campaign in particular hasn’t caught fire in Scranton and Altoona:
"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
So you see it’s not inbreeding or lead-poisoning at all! It’s just that these people are all the bitter losers in life’s lottery and they manifest their bitterness and anger through obviously pathological behaviors such as a belief in the Second Amendment or by attending church. (Barack knows that the real reason to go to church is so you can hear your nutcase pastor tell his non-bitter congregation that America deserved the 9-11 massacres and that white people created the AIDS virus.)
In fact, some of these bitter losers in Middle America are so sociopathic in their “acting out” that they actually believe that people should ask our permission before coming into our country or that free trade is far from a perfect system. Now that’s just bordering on mental illness, when the little people start getting their own ideas about economics!
Obama now regrets this statement (or at least the part where the yokels outside San Francisco found out he said it) and has offered clarifications of his belief in which he has said he could have chosen different words (e.g. lies are different words) and that he was really just trying to express sympathy with “ignored” and “bitter” people who are just manifesting a “natural response” to their crappy station in life.
In other words, he still believes that Middle America is a bunch of bitter losers, but it’s OK because he feels sorry for them. He feels their pain — or at least he might feel it after the bitter losers get a chance to vote against him.