Juan Cole, one of our most perspicuous observers on the Middle East, ran a blog post the other day that illustrates why conservatives have such a strong hold on certain segments of our society. The item featured a map showing average life expectancy by state, and Prof. Cole’s summary was:
With the exception of Utah, there is a pretty strong overlap between lower life expectancy and deep hostility to the Affordable Care Act. Those who need it most are most opposed to it.
Fair enough. But why? Although one can sympathize with Cole’s frustration, his conclusion illustrates why liberals are struggling so hard:
Know what that is called? Fatal stupidity.
So long as liberals have that attitude, they will feed the very movement they so righteously denounce. It wasn’t that long ago, for example, that Rick Santorum was making a credible run at the GOP nomination by shouting at his audiences:
They think we’re stupid!
Boyd suggested four elements of an effective grand strategy. You can look them up at Patterns 139. The second is:
Pump up our resolve, drain away adversary resolve, and attract the uncommitted;
Politics is all about grand strategy, about attracting the uncommitted, particularly the swing voters who hold the key to most elections. Telling yourself — that is, locking in your orientation — that they don’t agree with you because they’re stupid will probably not produce effective campaigns.
[Note: I’m not making any statement about the ACA. I’ve been on government-sponsored, single-payer health programs (TRICARE and Medicare) for a while, and they seem to work for me. But, of course, the ACA is not a single-payer program.]