“I Will List Palin’s Priorities For You, So You Don’t Have to Read Them”

Thursday morning, in a post that received much attention and inspired much discussion, I made an observation about the way liberals tend to introduce their audiences to the subject matters they want to discuss. My observation was in the way they, in keeping with the tradition of all collectivist economies and totalitarian regimes, discourage the acquisition of knowledge and assume a superior level on a sort of information-trickling pecking order, essentially telling people what to think. As a general rule, I observed, you would even be able to see it just scotch-taping a six-lines-per-inch printout of a liberal blog posting on the wall of a large room, next to a similar printout of a posting by someone ideologically inclined toward the opposite…then walking to the far side of the room and look upon their disparate forms:

The conservative (to your left) says “Look what this guy said, then look what happened over here. Now, my thoughts about this are these…”

The liberal works differently. He explains to you what’s going on in the world according to his own take on things. This guy’s “The Real Deal,” that woman is “stupid,” this guy over here is “a village idiot.” He’s clean and articulate. He’s a dimbulb. He’s sophisticated, he’s educated, she’s a bible-thumper bent on establishing an American theocracy.

If there are quotes at all, they’re in the bottom half. Just little snippets, very often taken out of context. Not there to prove anything, just to lead-in to the next snarky one-liner. It isn’t an absolute no-exceptions rule, but it works well as a general one.

What is funny about this, is I have also previously observed that liberalism has degenerated into a — what’s the word. Not a science, not a discipline, not a justice system, not a religious order, not a way of viewing the universe…but sort of a hodge-podge of all these things. A dogma. And if the dogma could be summed up in a single sentence it would be “Look at this thing over here I hate so much, come gather with me and help me hate it.”

I just think if that is the priority…and the evidence says that it certainly is…I would expect a greater emphasis to be placed on defining the thing. Right? But liberals don’t have that much respect for the individual. One liberal explains to another what is going on, and he’s essentially making an intellectual clone of himself.

You will note from the comment thread that one of our readers did not like this observation, because he’s a liberal. He was also the example I cited…which I know from having the same thing happen to me, this can be a little bit of a jarring experience. So he did what liberals tend to do with observations they do not like: Pretend I was defining a hard rule to be applied to everybody with no exceptions (I never said such a thing, and in fact said much toward the opposite)…and point me out as a hypocrite who can’t or won’t follow his own rules. Then he proceeded to prove me absolutely right, waxing lyrically about all the things he figured out the motives of Sarah Palin, whom as far as I know is a person he has not yet met. True to form, there was & is no firm evidence forthcoming to prove any of what he had to say about her, or even to compel a neutral mind to receive these ideas more hospitably. To the best of my knowledge, they seem to have been things that were fun to think, nothing more.

I say again (since it was ignored last time I said it): This posting is not an example of what I’m talking about because it is a re-inspection of something else that has already been inspected elsewhere. My observation concerns writers who introduce their readers to the topics they wish to discuss. If you want to see how I do this so you can weigh an accusation of hypocrisy in your own mind, you can check out how I do it over here.

And I don’t intend to allude back to that discussion again since it’s been milked to death…and I don’t like talking smack about Huckup because he is, kinda-sorta, in his own way a somewhat fair and principled thinker.

But I did upload the image with those essay-form-outlines for a reason, and I intend to embed it and refer back to it again and again and again, whenever the occasion calls for it. I intended that from the beginning, for this is something I have been noticing for awhile now…view conservative commentary from a distance alongside liberal commentary, you will notice even from twenty feet away a distinct difference that reflects the different thinking styles. Conservatives and liberals are both close-minded in their own ways. But conservatives close their minds after they have experienced something. Yeah, I’m even talking about that big one, “God doesn’t exist.” With most of them, the experience is parenthood, and I’m part of that crowd. I was raised Presbyterian and taught in childhood that you should have faith, which means slamming your mind shut like a steel door on the notion that we may be living in a godless universe. But in truth, I never did completely close my mind to this until I watched my son develop in his mother’s womb. And find out about what’s going on. This machinery, you know, it’s a whole lot more complicated than people give it credit for. Doctors can’t even explain it to you without using that troubling past-tense verb, “designed.” To keep all the secularists from being offended, everyone uses passive-voice so it’s linguistically unnecessary to explore who’s doing this designing. But eventually a truly curious mind will need to ‘fess up that someone’s doing it and it ain’t Darwin’s ghost.

To the subject at hand. I said that I intended at the beginning to re-embed the image of the paragraph-boxes. I did not expect to be doing it within just a couple of days. But this is a perfect fit:

People have struggled to define what the Tea Party stands for, but Sarah Palin has provided a manifesto for the incoming freshmen. She starts with the conceit that the results of the midterm elections have put the government back on the side of the people. But she quickly disabuses us of that belief. I will list Palin’s priorities for you, so you don’t have to read her entire screed.

1. Defund ObamaCare.
2. Eliminate earmarks.
3. Make is procedurally easier to cut taxes than to raise them.
4. Enforce zero-based budgeting.
5. Cancel all unstarted stimulus programs.
6. Return all non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels (she may have meant discretionary spending).
7. Extend all of Bush’s tax cuts indefinitely.
8. Control the growth of Entitlement spending.
9. Control the borders, but decouple it from immigration reform.
10. Continue our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
11. Get tough with Iran.
12. Sign free-trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia.
13. Oppose ratification of the START treaty.
14. Side with Netanyahu’s position that all of Jerusalem is part of Israel, and that no building in East Jerusalem can be considered settlement expansion.
15. Keep Guantanamo prison open and deny all prisoners there access to the courts.
16. Return to Bush’s freedom agenda.
17. If anyone in the press praises your actions, do a reappraisal because you’ve probably gone off-track.

So, this is what Palinism stands for. It does not appear to deviate in any way from the policies of George W. Bush. Excepting earmark reform, increased hostility toward Latinos, and an even more Likudnik-friendly position towards Israel, nothing in Palin’s proposals would change how the country was run between 2001 and 2009.

It’s Bushism stripped of all it’s redeeming features. [emphasis mine]

What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think. What to think.
What to think.
What to think.
What to think.
What to think.
What to think.
What to think.
What to think, what to think, What to think, what to think, What to think, what to think, What to think, what to think, What to think, what to think, What to think, what to think, What to think, what to think, What to think, what to think, What to think, what to think…and…here’s a link.

A link that I don’t really expect or want you to click. I’ve summarized it all for you so you don’t have to do any of that…you know…that reading of things written by people who are not me. Don’t do that, just take my word for it.

Pardon me for noticing this thing people don’t want me to notice. I grew up in the seventies and early eighties, during which time I was told it was liberals who were “open minded.” Conservatives were just doltish old people who acted in movies, got elected President through nefarious means and then fell asleep in cabinet meetings. Liberals are smarter because they’re more humble and more curious…

Funny how I so seldom actually see any of this. Liberals telling other liberals what is going on, is purely an exercise in the-blind-leading-the-blind. There’s so little by way of actual exchange of knowledge, it’s so much more just dispensing of instructions.

Here’s what Palin actually said:

Welcome to all Republican Freshmen and congratulations!

Congratulations to all of you for your contribution to this historic election, and for the contributions I am certain you will make to our country in the next two years. Your victory was hard fought, and the success belongs entirely to you and the staff and volunteers who spent countless hours working for this chance to put government back on the side of the people. Now you will come to Washington to serve your nation and leave your mark on history by reining in government spending, preserving our freedoms at home, and restoring America’s leadership abroad. Some of you have asked for my thoughts on how best to proceed in the weeks and months ahead and how best to advance an agenda that can move our country forward. I have a simple answer: stick to the principles that propelled your campaigns. When you take your oath to support and defend our Constitution and to faithfully discharge the duties of your office, remember that present and future generations of “We the People” are counting on you to stand by that oath. Never forget the people who sent you to Washington. Never forget the trust they placed in you to do the right thing.

The task before you is daunting because so much damage has been done in the last two years, but I believe you have the chance to achieve great things.

Republicans campaigned on a promise to rein in out-of-control government spending and to repeal and replace the massive, burdensome, and unwanted health care law President Obama and the Democrat Congress passed earlier this year in defiance of the will of the majority of the American people. These are promises that you must keep. Obamacare is a job-killer, a regulatory nightmare, and an enormous unfunded mandate. The American people don’t want it and we can’t afford it. We ask, with all due respect, that you remember your job will be to work to replace this legislation with real reform that relies on free market principles and patient-centered policies. The first step is, of course, to defund Obamacare.

You’ve also got to be deadly serious about cutting the deficit. Despite what some would like us to believe, tax cuts didn’t get us into the mess we’re in. Government spending did. Tough decisions need to be made about reducing government spending. The longer we put them off, the worse it will get. We need to start by cutting non-essential spending. That includes stopping earmarks (because abuse of the earmark process created the “gateway-drug” that allowed backroom deals and bloated budgets), canceling all further spending on the failed Stimulus program, and rolling back non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels. You can do more, but this would be a good start.

In order to avert a fiscal disaster, we will also need to check the growth of spending on our entitlement programs. That will be a huge challenge, but it must be confronted head on. We must do it in a humane way that honors the government’s current commitments to our fellow Americans while also keeping faith with future generations. We cannot rob from our children and grandchildren’s tomorrow to pay for our unchecked spending today. Beyond that, we need to reform the way Congress conducts business in order to make it procedurally easier to cut spending than to increase it. We need to encourage zero-based budgeting practices in D.C. like the kind fiscally conservative mayors and governors utilize to balance their budgets and reduce unnecessary spending.

There in the insulated and isolated Beltway you will be far removed from the economic pain felt by so many Americans who are out of work. Please remember that if we want real job growth, we must create a stable investment climate by ending the tidal wave of overly burdensome regulations coming out of Washington. Businesses need certainty — and freedom that incentivizes competition — to grow and expand our workforce.

The last thing our small businesses need is tax hikes. It falls to the current Democrat-controlled Congress to decide on the future of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. If it does not permanently renew all of them, you should move quickly to do so in the new Congress. It would remove from households and businesses the threat of a possible $3.8 trillion tax hike hitting all Americans at the worst possible moment, with our economy struggling to recover from a deep recession! You must continue to remind Democrats that the people they are dismissing as “rich” are the small business owners who create up to 70% of all jobs in this country!

Another issue of vital importance is border security. Americans expect our leadership in Washington to act now to secure our borders. Don’t fall for the claims of those who suggest that we can’t secure our borders until we simultaneously deal with the illegal immigrants already here. Let’s deal with securing the border first. That alone is a huge challenge that has been ignored for far too long.

On foreign policy and national security, I urge you to stick to our principles: strong defense, free trade, nurturing allies, and steadfast opposition to America’s enemies. We are the most powerful country on earth and the world is better off because of it. Our president does not seem to understand this. If we withdraw from the world, the world will become a much more dangerous place. You must push President Obama to finish the job right in Iraq and get the job done in Afghanistan, otherwise we who are war-weary will forever question why America’s finest are sent overseas to make the ultimate sacrifice with no clear commitment to victory from those who send them. You should be prepared to stand with the President against Iran’s nuclear aspirations using whatever means necessary to ensure the mullahs in Tehran do not get their hands on nuclear weapons. And you can stand with the Iranian people who oppose the tyrannical rule of the clerics and concretely support their efforts to win their freedom — even if the President does not.

You need to say no to cutting the necessities in our defense budget when we are engaged in two wars and face so many threats — from Islamic extremists to a nuclear Iran to a rising China. As Ronald Reagan said, “We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.” You will also have the opportunity to push job-creating free trade agreements with allies like Colombia and South Korea. You can stand with allies like Israel, not criticize them. You can let the President know what you believe — Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not a settlement. And for those of you joining the United States Senate, don’t listen to desperate politically-motivated arguments about the need for hasty consideration of the “New START” treaty. Insist on your right to patient and careful deliberation of New START to address very real concerns about verification, missile defense, and modernization of our nuclear infrastructure. No New START in the lame duck!

You can stand against misguided proposals to try dangerous, evil terrorists in the US; precipitously close the Guantanamo prison; and a return to the failed policies of the past in treating the war on terror as a law enforcement problem. Finally, you have a platform to express the support of the American people for all those around the world seeking their freedom that God has bestowed within all mankind’s being — from Burma and Egypt to Russia and Venezuela — because the spread of liberty increases our own security. You, freshmen lawmakers, can and will be powerful voices in support of foreign policies that protect our interests and promote our values! Thank you for being willing to fight for our values and our freedom!

In all this, you should extend a hand to President Obama and Democrats in Congress. After this election, they may finally be prepared to work with Republicans on some of these issues for the good of the country. And if not, we will all be looking forward to 2012.

Remember that some in the media will love you when you stray from the time-tested truths that built America into the most exceptional nation on earth. When the Left in the media pat you on the back, quickly reassess where you are and readjust, for the liberals’ praise is a warning bell you must heed. Trust me on that.

I and most Americans are so excited for you. Working together, we have every right to be optimistic about our future. We can be hopeful because real hope lies in the ingenuity, generosity, and boundless courage of the everyday Americans who make our country exceptional. These are the men and women who sent you to Washington. May your work and leadership honor their faith in you.

With sincere congratulations and a big Alaskan heart,

Sarah Palin

As a conservative, you would have to be nuts to think such a manifesto is not necessary. It is not by any means some kind of order that has been put together by someone elected to office with authority in it; it is an offering, to be accepted or rejected according to future events. Just like our nation’s original Declaration of Independence. It is a statement of principles. The 104th Congress was brought in on the strength of just such a resolution. The goodwill that was made available from that moment, was all but squandered away by the sessions of the 110th Congress, by which time the legislative branch was working according to make-it-up-as-you-go-along. See, it’s that conservative mind-closing process to which I was referring earlier. Two methods are tried, one consistently succeeds and the other consistently fails. After awhile the sensible mind becomes closed.

But only within its own domain. In submitting such a resolution, Palin recognizes, as do all mature adults, that others may have different ideas. Even if everyone agrees on the primary subject matter, it is still necessary to have a debate proving that to be the case, and you cannot debate things that have not in some way been scribbled down. That’s why I did pretty much the same thing way back when Palin’s old running mate was selected (to my chagrin) as the Republican party’s nominee.

But the point is, in summarizing what has happened, the mature, capable mind will not attempt to obscure the details from those whom he seeks to persuade to his point of view. The mature mind does not seek to clone itself. It is not afraid of the different perspective brought by others, from their disparate life-experiences. It is does not fear individuality.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Washington Rebel.

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