Words & False Perceptions

Historian Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent post in National Review where he questions the common perception that Republicans are the party of the rich while Democrats are for the “little people.” It’s a perception I’ve spoken against previously, but he makes the point so much better. I’ll let him make the case:

It’s surreal to see President Obama play the class-warfare card against the Republicans while on his way to vacation on the tony Maine coast, and even more interesting to note that now gone are the days when the media used to caricature Bush I (“Poppy”) for boating in the summer off the preppie-sounding Kennebunkport. The truth is that the real big money and the lifestyles that go with it are now firmly liberal Democratic.

If one were to ask for more evidence, he is ready to provide it—in abundance:

One can use an entire array of evidence — the preponderance of Wall Street money that went to Obama over McCain in 2008, the liberal voting patterns of the high-income blue-state congressional districts, the anecdotal evidence of a Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or George Soros, or the ease by which an eco-populist like Al Gore buys estates and creates corporations, or the rarified tastes of men of the people like John Edwards of two-nations fame, or John Kerry of multiple estate residences.

All of this makes Obama’s constant rhetoric against elitism seem more than a bit hollow. How can you speak out against yourself?

The more the polo-shirted Obama seems obsessed with golf, and the more he seems to prefer the landscape of the elite (who navigate the Ivy League, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Upper East Side, Cambridge, etc.), the more we wonder whom exactly he’s railing about. … In short, Obama had better get the populist photo-ops down a lot better, since his calls to soak the rich from the 18th hole or the coastal vacation home look increasingly ridiculous.

Progressives/liberals have been quite adept at using words to create perceptions. Class-language warfare has always been a staple, as has the use of the word “racist” to defuse any real discussion of issues. Has that last one worn out its welcome yet? One can hope. However, there’s always another word that can be inserted:

Isn’t it time to call them on their reprehensible rhetoric? Perceptions created by cultural/political foes are not reality.