Part 3—From earth tones on to this: Why do we say that the problem is us? That we liberals have turned out to be too dumb, too tribal, too uncaring to function in a democracy?
By now, the evidence of our shortfall is overwhelmingly clear. Let’s review an example which preceded the killings in Paris this week. Let’s consider the anguished, angry post by Joan Walsh at the new Salon.
(We’ll assume the piece was done in good faith—that Walsh wasn’t deliberately toying with Salon’s target audience.)
Walsh was railing against Chris Christie, a favorite tribal villain. What had her so upset with the New Jersey kingpin?
Here’s what: Christie roots for the Dallas Cowboys, not for a local NFL team! According to Christie, he’s engaged in this conduct since childhood!
That’s what had Walsh so upset—the fact that Christie roots for the Cowboys, not for the Giants, the Jets or the Eagles. And please note: There isn’t a hint of irony in Walsh’s remarkable piece.
Good God! Before she’s done, Walsh declares, with no visible irony, that Christie’s lifelong preference for the Cowboys is “incredibly creepy” and “frankly un-American.” She lists it as the third reason, out of three, why Christie will never be president.
Walsh is a “liberal” intellectual leader. She’s one of our tribe’s ranking TV stars. Increasingly, the truth is clear—the problem is plainly us:
WALSH (1/7/15): [T]he first disqualifying issue I spotted in this clusterf*ck of male ego was Christie’s explanation for why he supported the Cowboys: because all his home teams “stunk” when he was a kid.This is Christie’s third strike, Walsh says, mixing her sports metaphors a small tad. Chris Christie will never reach the White House because he roots for the Cowboys!
Personally, I think Americans are entitled to support whatever sports team they want. But it’s incredibly creepy that Christie himself says he became a Cowboys fan because his hometown teams “pretty much stunk” when he was growing up. The local New York Giants and Jets, as well as the Philadelphia Eagles (New Jersey is split that way), were indeed win-challenged during Christie’s wonder years. But the governor also confided that he didn’t even join his beloved father’s fandom because, again, his dad’s team, the Giants, “pretty much stunk.”
I don’t have a problem with the fact that Christie didn’t root for his father’s team. I didn’t either, but for the opposite reason. I’m a baseball fan, and I didn’t root for my father’s Yankees. But that was because the Yankees were the dominant team in my childhood, and my mother and grandmother rooted for the New York Mets. While I loved my father, I believed the Mets needed my attention more, because they were the underdogs.
Christie doesn’t have to share my sympathy for the underdog–and obviously he doesn’t, he’s a fan of overdogs. But to turn away not only from his father’s beloved team, but all of his local teams (he hates the Philadelphia Eagles particularly) is one of the most vivid examples of Christie’s grasping, kissing-up character. In particular, by rooting for the dominant Cowboys as a child, Christie showed us early that he was going to be the governor (though never president) for the 1 percent.
I’m on record long ago saying Christie won’t be president, first because of his anger issues and later because of his lame Bridgegate problems. This is strike three. His entire political career is built on his Springsteen-loving, frank-talking Regular Joe appeal. Bruce Springsteen doesn’t root for the Dallas Cowboys. Plus, Americans root, root, root for the home team (yes, I know that’s baseball, but still), and Christie’s embrace of a faraway team, just because they were winners, is frankly un-American.
It’s incredibly creepy that he roots for that team! Frankly, it’s un-American!
Quickly, a confession:
Back in the day, we wondered why liberals like Walsh just sat and watched as Candidate Gore was trashed, for two years, in similar ludicrous ways. (Naomi Wolf told Al Gore to wear earth tones! Al Gore said he invented the Internet!)
By now, we have an apparent answer. People like Walsh are so tribal—and frankly, so dumbfoundingly dumb—that they “reason” in similar ways.
(We know—this seems counterintuitive. But as you know if you read Salon, the proof is everywhere.)
For the record, sixty-three comments were appended to Walsh’s piece. We find only a few which complain about its manifest lunacy.
(One shining example: “This is a ridiculous article, and if one lets a politician's sport team allegiance influence their vote, than that person is ridiculous too.”)
Alas! Walsh is a liberal “intellectual leader.” And uh-oh! At the new Salon, her “liberal” readers seemed to think that this manifest drivel made sense.
Quite plainly, the problem now includes us! Emerging sites like the new Salon are making this fact—and this terrible problem—abundantly clear.
This sort of thing goes on every day. Now that the liberal world has emerged from its sleep in the woods, we ask a very basic question:
Absent a better class of gatekeepers, are we humans bright enough to make a democracy work?
Coming: Reams of examples