Liberals Are Simply Not Very Bright

Written by Steven Yates on Thursday, 21 February 2013. Posted in Opinion, Steven Yates

They believe themselves to be of superior intellect, and they control the gates to government and academia. But their blind adherence to failed ideology indelibly brands "liberals" as intellectually deficient.

Liberals Are Simply Not Very Bright

Every so often, some “study” appears purporting to show that liberals are smarter than conservatives. You’ll find a recent example here. Books have been written on the subject; left-leaning cognitive scientist George Lakoff, for example, maintains in his book Moral Politics (1997) that the conservative worldview is steeped in a harsh and destructive “strict father” perspective, while that of liberals is of a gentler “nurturing parent.” In other words, liberals are nurturers while conservatives are uncaring authoritarians. Most of this sort of “research” is done by liberals and published in journals or issued by publishers whose referees and editorial boards are mostly liberals. There is a widespread assumption—among liberals, of course—that liberal dominance of academia and journalism is proof in the pudding that liberals are smarter. They wouldn’t be dominant among the Western intelligentsia otherwise, would they?

The possibility of intellectual inbreeding—liberals’ tendencies to hire other liberals in the institutions they dominate, or to publish each other—really doesn’t occur to them. But if you don’t believe them, just ask them! Just don’t beg to differ with them. There are also studies out there (e.g., here) showing how intolerant these people really are. They are often the first to go into attack-dog mode online. They often engage in juvenile namecalling. They have been known to libel and even threaten those who don’t believe what they believe—especially if they can post on forums and comment sites anonymously. They can’t be reasoned with, and one is reminded of the saying, “Never mudwrestle with a pig. The pig likes it, and you can’t win. The thing to do is get up, clean up, and walk away.”

A lot of online newspaper forums and comment pages used to be leftist echo chambers (most have now been taken down, having garnered too many complaints from communities to be worth sustaining). Readers may remember when Rush Limbaugh was in the hospital with a heart issue a couple of years back. Out of curiosity I checked a couple of local forums where I was then living (Greenville, South Carolina—to all appearances, a conservative-leaning town). The local lefties had posted some of the most hateful stuff imaginable—wishing Limbaugh a long and lingering death, that he’d burn in hell (as if liberals really believed in hell), etc. These were the milder comments. Some were unrepeatable, laced with obscenities. If you knew where to look, you were certainly afforded a peek into the mind of the liberal “nurturing parent”! 

The liberal-left’s belief in its own intellectual superiority is no more borne out by fact than is its pretense of tolerance. If we look at its stances on specific issues, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that in reality, the majority of liberals simply aren’t that bright. Take “gun control.” Liberals have been pushing it for decades. The best evidence we have strongly suggests that concealed-carry laws cut crime by allowing law-abiding citizens the best means available of protecting themselves from the criminal element as well as creating a perception among would-be criminals that their intended victim might be able to shoot in self-defense. John R. Lott Jr. has done some of the best work on the subject beginning with his landmark More Guns, Less Crime (orig. 1998; three editions). Liberals will tell you that he didn’t control for this or that variable which only they can see, and claim that his studies have been debunked. He’s been blacklisted in academia; this Ph.D. economist who had held positions at Yale and Stanford prior to his major statements on gun laws will never teach at a university again. His conclusions have not been invalidated. All one need do is look at cities like Chicago with the strictest “gun control” laws in the country and a truly stratospheric violent crime rate compared with a town like Kennesaw, Ga. which requires its residents to own guns and has a murder rate of virtually zero (really!). 

Liberals will chortle if you tell them that the real reason for a Second Amendment is not to hunt ducks, nor just to protect oneself from criminals. Our founders realized that an armed citizenry is the best possible defense against would-be tyrants. They wrote a Constitution and structured original federalism, with dual sovereignty, based on distrust of concentrations of power. If you suggest that the real goal of “gun control” is a disarmed population, liberals will laugh and call you a “conspiracy nut” (one of their favorite discussion-stoppers). Many would like to have power themselves; those who aren’t personally interested in power nevertheless identify with it. They seem to believe sincerely that politicians and bureaucrats mean us well and are competent to carry out their taxpayer-funded programs. I even once saw a liberal write on a forum, “America’s public schools are great!” Yes, Virginia, these are adults we are talking about; moreover, they consider themselves a superior form of life, cognitively speaking! 

Liberal views on economics are steeped in denial. They actually seem to believe that the federal government can tax and spend the country back to genuine prosperity; they don’t question the Federal Reserve’s creation of fiat dollars out of thin air—a process which if it worked in the long run would have made Zimbabwe the richest nation in the world. Consider how many liberals not only supported Obama in 2008, but supported him for a second term despite his abject failure with the economy for the average working stiff—or, more accurately, the person who would be working if he or she could find a job. 

Obama’s liberal supporters will insist that their hero inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. This claim may be true, but as the saying goes, even a broken clock gets the time right twice a day. What has Obama done with the economy since Bush II left office? The answer: work under essentially the same Keynesian assumptions as his predecessor. These assumptions have given us a $16.4 trillion national debt, a population of 47.7 million people on food stamps, an unemployment rate of almost 23 percent (I’m using the figure rather than the cooked U-3 number reported for reasons of political acceptability), and in general the widest gulf between rich & poor since the 1960s. 

Many liberals, incredibly, continue to blame Bush for the lousy economy today even though he’s been out of office for over four years. They pontificate on how “deep the hole was” we’d fallen into. Obviously Bush II was no prize. Neither was he really a conservative. He was a corporatist and a globalist. 

Nor is Obama really a liberal! 

Liberals assumed from the start (because he’s black? or more accurately, half-black?) that Obama is one of them. He isn’t one of them. He never was. Like Bush II, he has been serving the globalist power elite—the bankster cartel. He wouldn’t have gotten the nod back in 2008 otherwise. In office he retained “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke as Federal Reserve chief, and made former New York Federal Reserve’s Timothy Geithner his Treasury Secretary. The administration he assembled was no less a who’s-who of Trilateralists than was Bush II’s. Although Bush II was in office when TARP was passed, Obama has changed nothing regarding official federal policy toward Wall Street, whose denizens could ask from the start, “What recession?” In other words, Obama has protected the banksters from the get-go no less than Bush II did. Obama, too, is a corporatist and a globalist. 

Thus in one area after another, Obama’s main policies have done nothing except further the worst of Bush’s—and because he’s perceived by the gullible liberals in the mainstream media and in academia as one of their own, he gets away with it! Consider the foreign wars. Bush II began wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of us opposed the second in particular. The antiwar movement of the ‘00’ decade was small but visible, so long as there was someone perceived as a conservative in the White House; when someone perceived as liberal replaced him, media coverage of opposition to U.S. foreign wars literally vanished. Anyone recall Cindy Sheehan? She’s disappeared down the mainstream media memory hole. Obama not only furthered Bush’s wars, but expanded warmongering into Pakistan, Libya, Syria, etc. His saber-rattling against Iran echoes Bush’s (he knows the Iranians can retaliate, just as Bush did). Western elite-driven policies have contributed greatly to growing unrest in a region where “regime change” has become the order of the day. Only recently have we seen partial withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq—which in all probability won’t be completed unless “U.S.-friendly” (i.e., superelite controlled) regimes are solidly in place. 

Obama has expanded the domestic police state beyond anything Bush II could have done, his tour-de-force being the unconstitutional National Defense Authorization Act (signed into law, cynically, on New Year’s Eve 2011) which according to most interpretations allows the president to order the arrest and detention of U.S. citizens without legal counsel, due process, or the prospects of a trial, based on vaguely worded accusations of having “aided the enemies of the United States,” and for the duration of hostilities which, given the nature of the “war on terror,” amounts to indefinitely. It is true that Bush II unconstitutionally engaged in this sort of thing as far back as 2002 (José Padilla), but Obama had the opportunity to reverse course and perhaps embrace a more “nurturing parent” view of other peoples around the world. He did not! He promised, for example, to close Guantanamo Bay. Is it closed? 

We know Obama has actually used drones to have U.S. citizens killed overseas: Anwar al-Awlaqi and a companion who happened to be with him. Officials in the Obama regime claim that the president has the power to order assassinations of anyone he considers allied with terrorists, whatever this means. Does anyone in his right mind believe Bush II would have been allowed to have a “kill list,” or that a Bush-era Department of Homeland Security would have been authorized to purchase enough hollow-point bullets to kill every man, woman and child on U.S. soil five times over? Even the Social Security Administration has been stockpiling ammunition. For what purpose? The SSA is certainly not on the front lines of our many wars. 

Maybe we don’t want to find out. The dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is probably the only thing saving it. Many writers are predicting that the U.S.’s Fed-led monetary policy (QE-to-infinity) combined with movements away from the dollar by nations such as Russia and China will destroy the dollar. Were it to lose its reserve-currency status, nations the world over will divest themselves of their worthless dollars, causing a currency collapse. Should this happen, expect potentially violent protests from a public already boiling with frustration over high unemployment, low-paying jobs, inflation, and how the bankster class—the real “1 percent”—really operates. A dollar collapse might mean that millions of elderly social security recipients are thrown to the wolves and forced to move in with offspring who themselves are barely making ends meet. I can see them converging on Social Security Administration offices. Perhaps this is why the Social Security Administration wants the ammunition.

According to author and Nobel Peace Prize nominee for 2009 Jim Garrow, based on information received from someone pretty high up in the military whom he cannot identify for obvious reasons, the Obama regime is quietly proposing a new litmus test for military leaders: would they accept and give orders to fire on U.S. citizens? With police forces increasingly militarized, it is clear that Posse Comitatus is probably as dead as the Constitution. Were civil unrest to erupt on the scale we have seen elsewhere in the world, how long would it take for Obama to order troops into action, or authorize drone attacks against civilian protesters?  

Some “nurturing parent”! 

Liberals supported Obama, and still do. Is this really a sign of their mental superiority? How can anyone believe Obama is superior to Bush II, or that the U.S. has changed direction—even in the slightest—since Bush II left office? Some will point to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as the one stellar achievement of Obama’s first term—Obamacare, its many detractors call it. There is small wonder that Obamacare has detractors: its promise of affordable health care to the masses is a hoax! It is regrettable that the best analyses of what Obamacare actually does are appearing anonymously—as if their authors fear retaliation!

One of Obamacare’s key provisions, a penalty for not purchasing private health insurance to be paid to the IRS, begins on January 1, 2014. I wonder how an unemployed or under-employed person whose employer is not covered by Obamacare (under 50 employees) and who cannot afford private health insurance will be able to afford to pay the penalty, but I am sure federal bureaucrats will come up with something! Last year I had a long exchange of emails with a physician I cannot name for obvious reasons. He assured me that whatever problems there are with health care in the U.S.—and there are some—Obamacare not only does not solve them but will create so much new red tape and leaves so many hands tied by regulations that doctors who can take early retirement will do so. Others will abandon their practices out of frustration, eventually precipitating a shortage of qualified doctors and other medical staff. If you can find a doctor in a few years, rest assured that he may only be able to give you a few minutes of his time. The long and the short of it: as its various measures fall into place, Obamacare will swing like a wrecking ball through what is left of health care in the U.S. 

Liberals supported Obamacare, of course. They have no trouble with the idea that individuals should be forced by their government to purchase health insurance regardless of their ability to pay. Wherever we look, with liberals we find mass delusion!

I want to make it clear, I am not defending Republicans as they are currently constituted. That they nominated Mitt Romney last year struck me as an act of political suicide, and still does. The only hope for turning the U.S. around was for the Republicans to nominate Ron Paul, and instead, the Republican Party all but kicked him and his supporters out—practically guaranteeing a Republican defeat, as libertarians and real conservatives are sick of holding their noses and voting for the “lesser of two evils.” Ron Paul was roundly dismissed as “unelectable.” I would take his “unelectability” as a index of whether the U.S. as a nation is salvageable. Liberals, of course, barely even noticed him. Individual liberty, free markets, and especially the idea that concentrations of power in government are dangerous are, of course, alien concepts to them. This is all extremely unfortunate, because only a return to Constitutional controls on government and sound monetary policy will save the U.S. If that is impractical given today’s political realities, then even if the country does not implode its increasingly visible decline as a world power will continue. Small wonder we are seeing secessionist sentiment spring up in practically every state in the union. 

About the Author

Steven Yates

Steven Yates

Steven Yates, Ph.D., earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Georgia. The author of three books and numerous articles in both academic journals and online, his most recent book is entitled Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (Brush Fire Press International, 2011— An expatriated U.S. citizen, he lives in Santiago, Chile, runs a small business editing and proofreading English for Chilean academics, and teaches philosophy at Universidad de Santiago de Chile. He has been blogging occasionally about the nature of philosophy and its role in civilization’s future, if it is to have one, at Beginning next month, he will be involving himself with an educational-entrepreneurial start-up based in Santiago known as Exosphere.

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Copyright © Steven Yates. Used with permission.

Comments (2)

  • Constantine Ivanov

    Constantine Ivanov

    24 February 2013 at 11:50 |
    20 years ago when I came to the USA and saw how passionately and aggressively American Liberasts are promoting ideology and practice of Bolshevism, I tirelessly repeated that Democrats are idiots, no matter how much they are educated.
    Why it took so many years for Steven Yates to understand and acknowledge such a simply truth?
    • Dennis Behreandt

      Dennis Behreandt

      25 February 2013 at 16:41 |
      Steven has been one of the great pro-liberty scholars of the past 30 years. He has done as much as anyone, and much more than most, to explain the importance, and defend the value, of human liberty.

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