Some is less than most and most is less than all: We were surprised by the start of David Atkins’ post at Hullabaloo. We’ll highlight the points of surprise:
ATKINS (10/20/11): The Cain ConundrumReally? Does Herman Cain “openly admit he wants to hike taxes on most Americans?” Luckily, Atkins provided a link. It went to a brief Politico post, which quoted Cain saying this:
October 2011 marks two events in the Republican Party that political observers from ten years ago would have claimed were utterly impossible: first, an African-American man is leading in the polls for the Republican nominee for president. Second, the same GOP frontrunner openly admits he wants to hike taxes on most Americans.
That is seriously revolutionary in the political landscape, and should cause intelligent political observers to recalibrate their assumptions about the Republican Party on the issues of taxes and race. The Republican Party has long been assumed to rely on racial resentment and voters' own distrust of government and hatred of taxes to win elections. But Hermann Cain's meteoric rise certainly disproves that thesis, at least viewed in simplistic terms. It is difficult to ascribe overt racism to a Party base that would push an African-American to the front of its field. And it is well-nigh impossible to claim that anti-tax fervor animates a portion of the electorate that advocates raising taxes on most Americans, especially those of modest means.
CAIN: "Some people will pay more. But most people will pay less," Cain, a former chief executive of Godfather's Pizza who has never held elected office, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program.Most people will pay less, Cain said. To Atkins, this meant that most would pay more! Cain was openly admitting it!
For the record, some and most are two different things. Some is less than most.
Atkins’ piece deals with race more than it deals with taxes. Here too, we see a conceptual problem that seems to dog Hullabaloo—the difference between some and all.
“The Republican Party has long been assumed to rely on racial resentment and voters' own distrust of government and hatred of taxes to win elections,” Atkins writes. But: “It is difficult to ascribe overt racism to a Party base that would push an African-American to the front of its field.”
Really? Why? In recent polls, Cain has been preferred by roughly 30 percent of Republican voters. That leaves 70 percent who could be snarling slobbering racists, thus pleasing our liberal souls. In the last year, we’ve been amazed at the difficulty Digby seems to have separating some from all. But this kind of typological thinking really infests this whole site.
Might we describe a certain type of disordered thinking?
To the tribal mind, “those people” must always be all alike. We often see Digby thinking this way. If one tea party supporter spits on the sidewalk somewhere, then all forty million have done it!
Go ahead—read the comments to the Atkins post. You will see this intellectual tendency suffusing the comments.
At some point, pseudo-liberals should bite the bullet and accept the bitter truth: Other people are not all alike. Not even among those people!