Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why are Liberals so Arrogant but also so Wrong?

The Arrogance of Uneducated Liberals

Three excepts from the book Makers and Takers by Peter Schweitzer and unlike, say the Thomas Frank Kansas book, this one uses actual information to craft the conclusions within it.

The third excerpt is actually the best in my view. I'll link to the first two as well which are called, "Why Liberals Prefer Raising Dogs over Children," and "Conservatives are Greedy, Liberals Just Want to Get Rich."

For today though it is that intelligence question which turns out, like most things liberals say, to be presumed and unfounded.
This liberal assumption that a candidate can be just too darn smart to win a presidential election in this country goes back to Adlai Stevenson.

What proof was there of Gore’s alleged gravitas? How exactly did the media know that Gore was so smart and Bush so dumb? In fact, the record did not indicate any of this was true. It was often alleged, probably with reason, that Bush only got into Yale because his father had gone there and his grandfather had been a Connecticut senator. Yet Gore, with high school Bs and Cs (his only As were in art), got into Harvard in part because (like other politicians’ sons, including a raft of Kennedys) his father was a famous senator. At Harvard, Gore’s grades did not improve. In his sophomore year he earned a D, a C-minus, two Cs, two C-pluses and one B-minus. He was in the bottom fifth of his class his first two years in school. Later he flunked out of divinity school (failing five of his eight classes) and dropped out of Vanderbilt University Law School. Gore was once asked (after having served in the U.S. Senate for several years) to name his favourite president. “President Knox,” he replied.

Howell Raines, former executive editor of The New York Times, explained during the election that it was quite obvious that Bush was a dim bulb in contrast to Kerry: “Does anyone in America doubt that Kerry has a higher IQ than Bush? I’m sure the candidates’ SATs and college transcripts would put Kerry far ahead.”
Fact checking was apparently not necessary for Raines. Though at the time, of course, no one could actually check because Kerry kept refusing to release his transcripts from Yale, or any information about intelligence tests that he would have taken as a Navy officer............

Then a Navy veteran named Sam Sewell noticed something on the Kerry campaign Web site. In one of the documents posted on the Web page, an obscure military report offered a cryptic score that was actually the result of an IQ-like qualifying test Kerry had taken in 1966. As it happened, George W. Bush had taken the same test just a few years later. Columnist Steve Sailer determined that Bush’s score put him in the 95th percentile, giving him an IQ in the 120s. Kerry’s score was slightly lower, putting him in the 91st percentile...................

After Bush won re-election, it became clear why Kerry hadn’t wanted to release his college records. The Boston Globe discovered that Bush actually had higher grades at Yale and also had higher SAT scores. (Bush’s scores were also higher than those of Senator Bill Bradley, another liberal often described as learned and brilliant.)

I've had to save the best for last of course...

Professor Bruce Fleming, a self-professed liberal, explains this liberal attitude perfectly. “All of us are ignorant of many things. It’s just that the liberal here thinkss he knows what the conservative is ignorant of.”

This sublime confidence in their own superiority leads to a closed-minded insistence that liberals know what is right. Scholars at Stanford, the University of Illinois and Williams conducted four studies on the subject of “asymmetric insight.” Basically, this is the notion that some people claim to know more than others. Surveys were conducted with hundreds of students. Among their findings: Liberals are much more likely to believe that their knowledge of conservatives and their arguments surpasses that of conservatives themselves. The results were similar when it came to the abortion issue. Abortion rights advocates claimed to have greater knowledge and insight than those who are pro-life.

Liberals claim to know your information better than you, and your own motivations better than you. They claim to know where and how you got your information, what you are going to do with it, and why you read it in the first place.

As usual, it turns out they are wrong. The pedestal is really not even a stair step and might even the cellar thanks to their own closed minded insistence on ignoring reality. When their closed minds lead to bad conclusions, election losses and the always popular unintended consequences it is always because of "dirty tricks." Any investigation into these tricks often turn up evidence of wrong doing, but it is the liberals doing it. They are the ones handing out crack or cigarettes, slashing van tires, or raising the dead to vote.

So for my liberal friends, when I encounter this attitude from you yet again, I'll try not to feel to bad for you. Your cognitive bias due to your illusion of asymmetric insight is actually a handicap that should earn my pity. It must be hard being so wrong and then in the end being so paranoid and conspiratorial to explain away the false conclusions.

So I'll bare with you. I'll be forgiving of your tantrums and profanity laced tirades. You probably can't help yourself since you are saddled with the inability to see beyond your own nose while believing you have better than average eyesight.

I'll be there to wipe away your tears.