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The Association for Psychological Science released a study that says liberals tend to have a false sense of uniqueness, and conservatives tend to have a false sense of consensus. Liberals tend to fancy themselves the rebel or minority, even when they are clearly not. Conservatives tend to think that most people with common sense probably agree with them, even when they do not.
We see this psychological phenomenon repeated in our culture today over and over. To the average conservative, leftists look like cookie-cutter copies of one another.
Take political correctness. Leftists subscribe in lock-step, while conservatives shake their heads at the lemming mentality they believe they see. Leftists often see themselves as lonely, noble activists, while conservatives look at them and see copies of copies of copies.
Likewise, conservatives tend to think that if they just talk about the U.S. Constitution, everyone should fall into agreement and all of our problems as a nation will float away like tea in the Boston Harbor. But conservatives have come to learn that no matter how common sense their views might seem to them, not everyone understands or even cares to understand their answers to the problems plaguing the U.S. today.
Sometimes journalists find the most fascinating interviews right under their noses. Today I learned that to venture inside the radically liberal, tyranny-endorsing mindset, I only have to go as far as my own father. A self-made, wealthy man, my father despises my values and my work. I am the epitome of his broken dreams, as his only child who disagrees with his most closely held convictions of zero population growth, full world endorsement of the United Nations and abortion on demand.
He would be horrified to learn that it was long days working in his dental office by his side while listening to Paul Harvey that inspired my passion for media and message as it relates to culture. He wouldn’t want to know that it was my years of being challenged to constantly debate him on every subject that made me confident to debate in the public forum. He would further be horrified to learn that it was his own adoption, and sympathy for his sad upbringing, that made me ardently pro-life.
Life is ironic. Today is my dad’s birthday, and he shares it with my adopted son, Samuel. I called him this morning to say Happy Birthday. I was shocked to have such a remarkable specimen of liberal narrative in my own father. He reiterated his disappointment in raising an only child who has so radically deviated from his agenda.
I thought we would at least find agreement at the tyrannical behavior of the IRS and other U.S. agencies being used to attack every day citizens. But I, like apparently most conservatives, expected common sense consensus and got something shockingly different when I asked if my dad agreed that the government should not use its powers to target dissenting citizens. He retorted that “Rick Perry has targeted Planned Parenthood in Texas, and that Republicans in D.C. wasted taxpayer money on Ken Starr’s “frivolous” investigation of the Clintons.
My father asserted that most of the conservative victims of IRS targeting are of the “elites inside politics on the radical fringe anyway, like Roger Ailes.” I informed him that a group I am a member of has also been targeted. He was unmoved.
He agreed with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who said that more targeting of these groups is in order, because they are "dangerous" and "radical," and that they "need to come to terms with the (non-existent) separation of church and state, and the (non) "fact that there should be no tax relief for groups who espouse the radical fringe agenda." Schumer, a hard leftist and long-time beneficiary of ACORN political support, has intimate knowledge of tax exempt "groups who espouse the radical fringe agenda."
I asked Dad about ACORN, and why it would be OK with him for ACORN to have had 501(C)3 status – full tax deductibility for donors – but Friends of Abe, which gives no political contributions, conducts no political activity and operates as a nonprofit, cannot even have 501(c)4 nonprofit status. He said that is different because of the "radical nature of so many conservative groups."
The left's favored group, ACORN, was caught in full corruption, got defunded and declared bankruptcy, and they accuse conservative, patriotic groups of being undeserving of mere nonprofit status?
I asked him why Planned Parenthood should get a million dollars a day in taxpayer funding of abortions that more than half of taxpayers don't support, and yet he sees corruption when the same Congress that funds Planned Parenthood votes to investigate and prosecute the proven presidential lying scandal. Either action may be offensive and distasteful depending on your point of view, but it is also part of the democratic process. It is not corruption.
Corruption is the most powerful taxing authority of the most powerful government in the world leaking confidential donor data to smear Mitt Romney, its political opponent. Corruption is tying up hundreds of citizens' organizations across the country and killing them by simply not acting on their applications, thus silencing them during the election cycle because they are perceived as political opponents. It is horribly offensive for Schumer and others to not only defend that corruption, but brazenly call for more of it! Using the government to silence your opponents is fascism.
The latest shot at Friends of Abe is more of the same psychology of the left – they are terrified that the overwhelming power they have in Hollywood to influence culture and votes could implode if members of an organization that don't follow Hollywood's lock step, anti-free market agenda are successful and growing.
Actor Nick Searcy said this about the latest antics of the left: "Do our liberal/progressive friends in Hollywood remember the phrase 'guilt by association'? Do they support government oppression of those who do not agree with the Democratic Party? Or are they a---kissing statists, who want all dissent crushed by the people they elect? The Hollywood left is the new McCarthyism. What's more, they are proving that McCarthy was RIGHT. They are the bad guys in Orwell's '1984,' and they think they are the good guys. Because they kiss STATIST A--."
When Nick told me that, I thought it was too strong. I thought there was a difference between those who truly cling to tyranny, and the rank-and-file left that just sees things differently from conservatives, but still likes freedom. The last time I talked to my dad, he was more libertarian than fascist. He made his money in the free market, and he enjoys freedom more than most Americans I know. It turns out I was wrong.
Today, he speaks with chilling sympathy and support of those who want revenge on the "right-wing fringe," and he is fine with them using the power of government to target them. His tone has ominously changed where government control and free enterprise are concerned. I guess every dad teaches his daughter a few things regardless of his approval of her work. That is what I learned from my dad today.