So where do NPR intellectuals get the idea they are the only smart people around? Only by ignoring the opposition. Tune in to Fox News any night and listen to Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Steve Hayes or Fred Barnes discussing complex issues. Could anybody say that they are not intelligent? Would it be correct to say that they understand the opposing liberal position but just don't happen to agree with it? Now, try this. Can you imagine Charles Krauthammer being taken in by a bunch of bushy-bearded strangers claiming to be Orthodox rabbis ready hand him $5 million for taking a more balanced view on their effort to move the Dome of the Rock off the Temple Mount?I think it goes beyond mere ideological myopia. The dirty little secret of liberalism is that its adherents aren’t really any smarter than anyone else. A parrot that has learned to articulate left-wing slogans is still just a parrot, even though his grammar and syntax might be superior to that of, say, Sarah Palin. In the same way, a liberal academic or policy wonk or politician doesn’t actually reason his way to an acceptance of the standard grab-bag of leftist nostrums; he simply imitates and repeats what he hears in the conventional ideological circles in which he has moved all his life.
This is not to suggest that liberals, as a group, are all certifiable morons (although some clearly are). It’s just that their cognitive process is inadequate to the task of objectively assessing reality. They are fantasists, stubbornly resisting the evidence of their own eyes and ears. The doctrine of socialism, for example, in all of its many variants, is the liberal version of the perpetual motion machine, a concept of perfect beauty and efficiency the materialization of which is always just around the corner. It is a worldview that, from a purely logical perspective, and based on more than a hundred years of empirical observation, is completely idiotic. Yet we have a president who posits the wisdom of socializing a substantial part of the U.S. economy through his health care legislation, and where is the single liberal politician, historian or news analyst who is capable of seeing the folly of such a plan? They can’t all be slack-jawed mouth-breathers, and many have impressive academic and career credentials. I won’t deny that mental obtuseness plays a role in certain individual cases, but there is something else afoot. Perpetual immaturity? Character flaws? The lazy avoidance of the rigors of ratiocination? A sociopathic desire to exert power over one’s fellows?
Who can say for sure? But whatever it is that makes liberals believe the things they do, it certainly isn’t superior intelligence.