MSNBC host Joe Scarborough Thursday morning put his finger squarely on the most astonishing and dismaying thing about this president, which is that he is fully vested in the prosaic, anti-intellectual liberal trope that conservative thinking isn’t actually thinking at all.
It’s what every conservative has experienced at one time or another with your random liberal: that other viewpoints simply are not to be tolerated and are informed either by stupidity or malice.
Scarborough was riffing on President Obama’s comments the other day – during what was supposed to be a bipartisan “conversation on poverty” – in which Obama suggested Fox News describes the poor as “leeches” and that better news reporting might make his political opponents – and “the body politic” – see the light of truth that only he and others of the enlightened Left can perceive
Barack Obama says, if we are to change the way that John Boener and Mitch McConnel think . . . change the way they think? Is he really the sole arbiter of what is right and just? Is he the only one who cares about the poor?
The arrogance of it all is staggering. People have disagreed in this country since Goerge Washington had Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton together in the same Cabinet. You work out differences. It’s a creative friction. It’s not “Im’ right, you’re wrong.”
President Obama doesn’t know much about friction. He knows better about proclamations and executive orders.
At least Obama shifted the conversation from race to “class,” saying, “what used to be racial segregation now mirrors itself in class segregation and this great sorting that’s taking place.” I give him credit for backing off the unhealthy over-focus on race that he’s been conducting as of late.
And while I don’t agree that class bias is the central problem for the poor, I accept that he thinks this and understand he has a reasonable argument to make.
And I believe, as an irretrievably unreformable optimist, that I might be able to present arguments that would alter his views, even if just a bit. But I don’t believe that more-accurate reporting will change what he thinks. That there is some sacred text of infallible thinking that would make him tearfully embrace my vision of the truth.
It’s profoundly discomfiting to have a leader of a country with such a dismal, uninformed view of the philosophy held by his opponents and tens of millions of people around this nation. In fact, 38 percent of Americans consider themselves conservative, compared to 34 percent who say they are moderate and just 24 percent who are liberal, according to Gallup.
Maybe Obama needs to watch a little less sports and read some John Locke, some Friedrich Von Hayek, or some Milton Friedman.
Imagine how relaxing that would be on a Saturday afternoon instead of golf?