Helpful Hint For Conservatives: You’re Not A Majority. Really.

One of things I’ve noticed over the past few years is that the purists on either side of the political spectrum seem to share a common delusion.  That is, that they are a majority in this country.   I spent some time in the early days of this blog talking about that when it comes to “the Left“, and along with that, how they pointed at polls to “prove” they were right.  It’s also common to the Right, as this recent article over on CNN demonstrates:

Little of the discussion focuses on the changing demographics of the country, identified by exit polls and many analysts as a major factor in both Obama’s 2008 victory to become the nation’s first African-American president and his re-election on November 6.

Overall, though, hard-core conservatives continue to reject that they are a minority in a country built on the core principle of liberty that they embrace.

Which leads to many of their other problems, now and in the future.

According to their belief, the only reason they really lost was because their voters – or, as they like to refer to it, the majority of Real Americans – were overwhelmed by the Obama campaign turning out … “takers.”

Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R), the irascible TV face of Mitt Romney’s campaign, told a Granite State audience Tuesday that President Obama won reelection thanks to a base that’s “dependent, to a great extent economically, on government policy and government programs.”

That puts Sununu squarely in the “gifts” caucus, the group of Republicans who — like Romney himself — believe Obama’s coalition is formed by people who want handouts rather than the self-sufficient, individualistic base that they envision as the GOP base.

Hence, the polling blaming “ACORN!” and “Fraud!” for the President’s re-election.  Obviously, to them, because all those people who are dependent on government policy and government programs aren’t the majority!   Except for one minor little detail.  Yes, yes, they are.  In fact, a great many Republican voters are.

It turns out people are just fine with “big government” when it comes to things like Medicare and Social Security.   I notice that many of these “non-dependent” farmers and agricultural businesses are busily … taking government subsidies, government insurance, and pushing policies to regulate prices, demand, and protect themselves.   It also looks like people have no problem with road funding, police, forest fire fighting, airport construction, air traffic control, dredging of harbors, construction of levees, and a lot of other things.  Why, they even tend to agree that it’s not a good thing to dump raw sewage into streams, and think that it’s just fine that government helps provide aid after disasters!

That’s the reality they don’t want to face.  It turns out that when you get specific, they’re very much a minority.  If there was one thing this past election did show, it was that.  No, they didn’t lose because they weren’t “pure enough.”  They lost because 51% of the country said “No” to their ideas.  The number would be even higher when you start pointing at specific things.

But that’s OK.  You see, I’m a Democrat.  I hope they keep deluding themselves.  Maybe after getting smacked down in multiple elections by an ever growing margin, the message will sink in.  They’re not the majority, they’re not even close. Until they accept that, they won’t change.   I doubt they will, though.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Helpful Hint For Conservatives: You’re Not A Majority. Really.

  1. Eric

    Norbrook, judging from the tweets I see, the Republican Party doesn’t just have a prob. with AA’s like myself, I believe a significant amount of white males think their ideas suck and they voted for PBO. Yet, they keep thinking that just tweeking their messaging will do the trick. Um, no you need to examine your bs political stances Republicans.

    Keep on with your delusions, Republicans.

    • I’ve noticed that myself. It seems they think if they come with a nice way of saying “you’re lazy & stupid” that people will follow thiem. :roll:

  2. Nice wrap-up Norbrook

    “Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R), John Sununu, the irascible TV face of Mitt Romney’s campaign, told a Granite State audience Tuesday that President Obama won reelection thanks to a base that’s “dependent, to a great extent economically, on government policy and government programs.””

    But only if we can’t have the opportunities and jobs first that the free-marketers hawk about capitalism. No one wants to perish from lack of sustenance in a field of plenty.

    Clearly this topic of capitalism’s failure in light of the 2008 Recession seems to get overlooked by what are retreads from the 1950′s John Birch Society. The noise on the right comes from those who have cocooned themselves in the shallow idealism of Ayn Rand and the failed economics of Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek with their concept of trickle down economics.

    They are a minority within the traditional Republican party but are a vocal one to make others believe they represent the Party of Lincoln.

    • One of the truly sad parts is that they can’t be bothered to look around. There are places in this world where their “ideal” is in place. Very little, ineffective government, no regulations, no gun control, etc. Everybody else calls them “failed states,” and I’ve noticed that none of these conservatives are talking about moving there.

      • nabsentia23

        I know about these “failed states” all too well because of my job. Not only do these “failed states” have no regulations, etc, but the income distribution is appalling. When you have a country where 99% of the people are poor, 1% are wealthy, and there’s no middle class, you have the recipe for a “failed state.” This disproportionate wealthy distribution causes political and social instability because it’s only a matter of time before the poor 99% get fed up and fight back. Conservatives don’t even understand that the reason why our country has a sizeable middle class is because of government intervention. Does this mean we should then just go to a “planned economy” like they did in the former Soviet Union? Nope, that didn’t work out too well either. However, government can play a positive (as well as a negative) role in the economy.

        The problem is that conservatives honestly don’t believe that their policies will lead to a “failed state.” They don’t see how “trickle down” economics has harmed the middle class. However, there are so many examples in other parts of the world that show these failures. You don’t even have to go to the so-called “Third World.” Just go to Iceland, where they followed the GOP economic policies much closer than the rest of Europe, and their entire economy almost went completely down the tubes. And there are examples in history, too.

        Besides, the GOP has taken capitalism to a level that even Adam Smith would disapprove of. Even Smith said that the wealthy had to contribute significant amounts of their wealth to back into society in order to keep the economy going. Rightwing economists Friedman and Hayek totally dropped the ball here too because they let ideology (and not actual market conditions) form their judgment.

        • Exactly. There’s a big difference between saying which specific regulation(s) or controls are not needed or should be changed, versus saying that regulations and controls aren’t needed. Conservatives choose the latter, and then deny it when it comes back to bite them. :roll:

  3. Well, if one could drill down to the specifics, and at the same time force these Republicans to admit it, we’d discover that the only thing about government they hate are poor people receiving assistance and gays having equal rights. They can’t admit to this bigotry and class warfare, however, so they hide behind some notion of having their “freedoms” ripped away. I just don’t know how the Republican party is going to change its message given that a large constituency has a fundamental hatred of the poor, immigrants and gays. Should be an interesting couple of years.

    • Drilling down even more, it’s about poor urban brown or black people getting assistance. It goes right along with their “entitlement reforms” for Medicare and Social Security, which manage to avoid cutting anything for people who are already on those programs.

      • aquagranny911

        Norbrook, I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the Repugs who think all us elders are selfish old geezers who don’t care about anyone as long as “we got ours.” They try to cultivate the over 65s like some big voting block. They promise that nothing will change for us while they plan to decimate benefits for those coming up.

        I am so grateful for our Medicare & Social Security & I want this to be there for everyone. And NEWS FLASH for the Repugs:

        That over 65 voting block you think you have in your pocket is dying off like flies. We DO have a limited shelf life!

        • It’s a cynical ploy on their part. They can run with the “socialism!” scare tactic with that group, because it resonates more with them unlike younger voters. At the same time, they know that Medicare and Social Security are extremely popular with that particular age group, so they “promise” nothing will happen to their benefits, while screaming about entitlement reform. The only reason they get away with it is because most people really don’t understand how Medicare or Social Security are funded. The actual result is to harm those who vote for them. The Republicans are playing on people’s selfishness, and sense of entitlement. They think that they deserve these things, while other people are “moochers.” That they’re also moochers – as they define it – isn’t something they want to recognize.

          • aquagranny911

            “Moochers” is a real good word we should start applying ‘liberally’ to our House of Reps who hardly work anymore at the jobs they were elected to & we still pay them the big $$$$$$.

            Supposedly they need that “time off” to commune with their constituents. I call a big BS on that since two of our Repug Reps here actually charged their constituents to attend their town halls & then cried like bebes and ran when they got challenged.

            This is a far cry from our very dear Gabby Giffords who regularly held a free monthly “Congress on your corner” so the people could bring her their concerns. Also our own Raul Grijalva, who for whatever his faults, has never lost touch with his people.

            Repugnants are greedy & dead lazy. Greed & sloth are two of the seven deadly sins. IMO, I really hope this buries them for a long time!

        • nabsentia23

          It’s not just what Norbrook said, but its also the Repugs relying too much on old strategies. This strategy of cultivating the over 65 vote through Social Security and Medicare started with Reagan. However, what the current Repugs don’t seem to understand is that Reagan (despite whatever his personal views were) protected (not destroyed) these programs. The fact that they don’t think that seniors can’t tell the difference is cynical and dumb.

          The GOP is doubling-down on past strategies in hopes that they will be successful (like they were the last time). Unfortunately, times have changed and what worked then will probably not work now.

          • aquagranny911

            Nailed that! One thing that always keeps me hopeful about Dems is that even if it takes a while, they do learn from their mistakes. While the Repugs keep repeating the same thing over and over again!

            One thing I do find ironic was that the baby Bush & Repugs basically ran over us and got what they wanted for 8 years except when privatizing Social Security was proposed. That idea went down like a water balloon filled with lead!

            As sad as it is to say, too many elders have supported this recent Repug nonsense because they are just plain fearful racists. Many grew up during American Apartheid & have internalized some poisonous concepts. Some are just plain misinformed because the 21st century has passed them by & the media has lied & lied instead of actually reporting reality.

            Some elders live in the past of “way things used to be or way things supposed to be” instead of opening their minds and embracing the now & the future of how things are & will be.

            IMO, I just pray to hang on & outlive the worst of this, lol.

  4. Supposedly they need that “time off” to commune with their constituents. I call a big BS on that since two of our Repug Reps here actually charged their constituents to attend their town halls & then cried like bebes and ran when they got challenged.

    This is a far cry from our very dear Gabby Giffords who regularly held a free monthly “Congress on your corner” so the people could bring her their concerns.

    My congressman (Bill Owens) is all over the place as well. He has his staff regularly out in the field, having “office hours” in various places in the district, when he’s not running around himself. Schumer and Gillibrand (and before her, Clinton) are also familiar presences. Sometimes you wonder how you can move without tripping over one of them asking what your concerns are or how they can help. :lol:

    • aquagranny911

      LOL! But that is why we elect them or that’s what I think anyway. We don’t elect them to spend their time fund raising with the ricos or strutting for the media & PL (Grayson, I’m looking at you!)

      We elect them to represent our needs in Washington. While it is good that they want to commune with constituents, they also need to be spending real time in Congress actually doing the people’s business!

      • In 2004, Schumer won re-election by taking every county but ours. The joking explanation from one of his staffers was “well, the problem was that everyone there met him.” :lol:

  5. Republicans keep talking about messaging and rebranding as if that is the problem. The problem is the message itself and until they trip over that truth all the new and improved packaging won’t mean squat.

    Nice post!

    • aquagranny911

      Verdad!!!

    • Exactly. It’s an unwillingness to admit that their policies in real-world application failed miserably or were deeply unpopular. All the porcine cosmetology in the world isn’t going to change the fact that it’s still a pig. Which can’t fly.

  6. Did you read the rant at Redstate.com? They’re doubling down, they want to challenge Republicans who aren’t conservative enough in primaries. The upshot is that the conservative message is diluted by those bad establishment Republicans who cause the party to look weak and thus lose. It’s a fact that people self-delude that their opinion is more popular than it really is, in part because people hang around with like minded folk and tend to view the other side as a kind of caricature. That kind of error is common in group think. I also think 2010 got them over confident. It’ll be interesting to watch how things unfold.

    • Yes, I saw that, and Brent Bozell’s threatening rant. They did the same thing in 2008, when their reason for losing was “they weren’t pure enough.” They took 2010 as validation of that stance, when an objective analysis of the factors showed something quite different. I think if they lose control of the House in 2014, and fail to gain control of either house of Congress and the White House in 2016, their bubble will start to crack.

      • see above

        I’m not sure the RR’s bubble will ever burst as long as FAUX News exists they are supported in their world. Even the rest of the media doesn’t challenge them. I think if I hear one more media person or politician talk about the deficit, Social Security, and Medicare in the same sentence I’ll scream, H— I already have.
        They have not contributed one dime and even if nothing is done won’t because of the way the laws were written. Both have dedicated income streams and both have excess funds that will last between 10-15 years.
        They are connected to debt only because a very large percentage of the debt is owed to the American people specifically the excess withholding that has been done since 82-83 to prepay the boomers retirement bills.
        The worst is that removing the earnings cap and including all the tricky compensation paid to CEO’s means no problem ever. For Medicare 1/2 of one percent increase over 10 years .25% now and another .25% in ten for employers and employees fixes it.
        But of course simple solutions are frowned on.

        A better sorce of revenue to reduce the debt the RR’s are so concerned about would be the house members who will are scheduled to work 126 days in 2013. That makes them part time employees . Normal hours per year are 2080 for full time workers they’ll be putting in 1008. As part time we can pull their Health Care and pay them by the hour. We can probably reduce their expense accounts too.