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Fear and social disintegration the key to Democratic victory

Fear and social disintegration the key to Democratic victory

I don’t read Ross Douthat, the “conservative” columnist at The NY Times, much. 

Via the recommendation of Jim Hoft, however, this column is worth reading, The Liberal Gloat (emphasis mine): 

… Liberals look at the Obama majority and see a coalition bound together by enlightened values — reason rather than superstition, tolerance rather than bigotry, equality rather than hierarchy. But it’s just as easy to see a coalition created by social disintegration and unified by economic fear.

Consider the Hispanic vote. Are Democrats winning Hispanics because they put forward a more welcoming face than Republicans do — one more in keeping with America’s tradition of assimilating migrants yearning to breathe free? Yes, up to a point. But they’re also winning recent immigrants because those immigrants often aren’t assimilating successfully — or worse, are assimilating downward, thanks to rising out-of-wedlock birthrates and high dropout rates. The Democratic edge among Hispanics depends heavily on these darker trends: the weaker that families and communities are, the more necessary government support inevitably seems.

Likewise with the growing number of unmarried Americans, especially unmarried women. Yes, social issues like abortion help explain why these voters lean Democratic. But the more important explanation is that single life is generally more insecure and chaotic than married life, and single life with children — which is now commonplace for women under 30 — is almost impossible to navigate without the support the welfare state provides.

Or consider the secular vote, which has been growing swiftly and tilts heavily toward Democrats. The liberal image of a non-churchgoing American is probably the “spiritual but not religious” seeker, or the bright young atheist reading Richard Dawkins. But the typical unchurched American is just as often an underemployed working-class man, whose secularism is less an intellectual choice than a symptom of his disconnection from community in general.

What unites all of these stories is the growing failure of America’s local associations — civic, familial, religious — to foster stability, encourage solidarity and make mobility possible….

This is a great flaw in the liberal vision, because whatever role government plays in prosperity, transfer payments are not a sufficient foundation for middle-class success. It’s not a coincidence that the economic era that many liberals pine for — the great, egalitarian post-World War II boom — was an era that social conservatives remember fondly as well: a time of leaping church attendance, rising marriage rates and birthrates, and widespread civic renewal and engagement.

 Or to put it another way:

 The genius of Obama is that he has taken a message of fear, and sold it as hope. And the public buys it.


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The author nails the problem – failure of civic, familial and religious associations. If we can strengthen our family, neighborhood and religious ties, we might be able to change our culture and save our great nation. Fighting purely on the political front no longer works. Our political system is broken – the Carl Roves pick our candidates, the ruling class gets richer and more powerful and no longer answers to the voters, and the level of corruption (including voter fraud) is outrageous.

    turfmann in reply to Murphy. | November 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Mrs. Palin hit the nail on the head in her letter announcing that she would not run in the 2012 presidential contest:

    When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.

    I truly believe that this nation has turned its back upon God, the Creator that bestowed our natural rights. As was mentioned by John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.’

    We’ve turned our backs upon God.

    We’ve turned our backs upon our Constitution.

    What else is there for us to expect except tyranny?

    Perhaps Mrs. Palin realized this calculus in her deliberations and, taking a page from history, decided that her fate was to be much like that of Churchill – a statesman who had fallen out of public favor and banished to the wilderness.

    Like Churchill, she has opined correctly upon many of the issues of the day and warns us of consequences to come if we stay the present course.

    Perhaps by the end of the second Obama term people will be so shellshocked with the inevitable economic catastrophe that will befall us that her message will fall upon fresh ears.

    Paraphrasing from Churchill’s day: Why not Palin?

BannedbytheGuardian | November 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Quite a bit of the above is general to the western world. The religion thing is someswhat on a different plane in the USA.

NC Mountain Girl | November 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Charles Murray addresses a similar theme in Coming Apart, which looks at two communities of that have been stable in terms of their ethnic makeup almost since they were founded, the longstanding white working class Fishtown and white upper middle class Belmont.

What I find interesting is that residents of Belmont still largely live their own live lives consistent with the traditional virtues of hard work, thrift, sobriety, sexual continence, fidelity, and self discipline. Marriage rates are high, divorce rates low and illegitimacy is still fairly rare. Most of these people, however, no longer consider it important to preach these values to other parts of society. Instead they are now more likely to preach a secular religion of self-expression, self-promotion, self-absorption, self-esteem and self-congratulations. The fruits of these have been particularly bitter for those in other social classes which lack Belmont’s cultural bias in favor of delayed gratification.

When Coming Apart first came out I found it interesting that one of the more prominent residents of Belmont was Mitt Romney.

legalizehazing | November 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm

“The genius of Obama is that he has taken a message of fear, and sold it as hope. And the public buys it.”

I’ve found it frustrating how Obama/ the left labels something the opposite of what it is and people buy it. ie: Affordable Care Act?

But he’s exactly right about community, civic engagement, and religion. Completely nailed it. Instead of spending hundreds of millions on politics we should spend some of that on community engagement programs or.. other ways of incentivizing or promoting those crucial values.

    The “genius” of Obama is an oxymoron. His “genius” if in anything, is somebody else’s genius — he just follows direction.

    And as for this being anybody’s “genius,” it’s just simple realization — and exploitation — that the GOP establishment is cowardly and corrupt enough to do little to resist Democrat corruption and lies.

    Teenagers have known this since there have been humans, if they had tired, clueless parents of the likes of a John Boehner.

    Joseph Goebbels and Adolph Hitler also understood this stupidity well.

…people bowling alone.

I think Daniel Greenfield (Sultan Knish) nailed it here (scroll down to “Take Away the Family…”):

The Democratic Party is defined by the broken family in the same way that the Republican Party is defined by the family. It is a refuge for minority groups where fatherlessness leads to single mothers and government dependency and for white middle-class Julia types who use government dependency as a substitute for parental dependency.

Take away the family and millions of seniors have no recourse for their needs and even their survival, but to turn to the government. Take away the family, and….

Take away the family and you take away identity. You take away everything that makes us a country and a people. …

As they say, RTWT!! (scroll down to “Take Away the Family…”).

(h/t: Maggie’s Farm)

You’re forgetting one big thing and that is just one or two more Supreme Court nominees will change the face of the nation for years to come.

All of this a part of the grand scheme to put America “in her place.”

I’m not at all optimistic…

Selling fear as hope is Advertising/Marketing 101. There’s nothing genius about it. It was always an option for strategy. The Democrats had an obvious market and the Republicans weren’t clever enough to sell against it.

Classic research performed in the 1940s indicate that voters elect candidates based upon emotional issues rather “reasoned choices.”

Lazarsfeld’s panel studies were carefully designed to measure changes in individual vote intentions over the course of a presidential campaign. This focus reflects the intellectual roots of the project in market research on consumer behavior and wartime analyses of the effects of propaganda. Indeed, Lazarsfeld seems all along to have viewed “the psychology of choice” as his real subject matter, and turned to the study of presidential campaigns only when foundation support was not forthcoming for a panel analysis of consumer behavior.

Given their interests and study design, the Columbia researchers must have been surprised by what they found. Their careful measurement of media content turned out to be of little use in accounting for voters’ choices, most of which seemed to be based upon strong “brand loyalties” rooted in religion and social class and reinforced by face-to-face interactions with like-minded acquaintances. Their lavish panel design revealed a good deal of reinforcement of pre-existing political predispositions, but rather little outright conversion. Thus, by the time of their 1948 study, Lazarsfeld and his colleagues were downplaying the role of the parties and the mass media and elaborating their analysis of interpersonal influence by measuring respondents’ perceptions of the political views of their families, friends, and co-workers, emphasizing the homogeneity of these social networks and their tendency to produce increasing political conformity over the course of the campaign.

So Mexicans influence other Mexicans and blacks influence other blacks – it is a social mores thing. There is no interest in analysis of political issues and there is little thought given to the consequences of voting decisions.

What we are talking about here is the outcome of “Smash Monogamy.”

I don’t think I’ve ever linked another blog post here, so this is a first.

MOTUS says the same thing you’re saying, Professor, with the help of Leonard Cohen.

Do yourself a favor and click here:

Disappointed, I am, that some think this is unique to the western world, to the United States, or to Obama.

This template has been used throughout history, and it’s results are well documented.

What will the progressives do when social disintegration reaches the point where it’s a monster needing to be tamed?

Let’s see … social engineers have already tried eugenics … but, that’s fallen into disfavor. However, I see nothing in the literature of their having tried sharia law yet.

We’ll need social re-engineers when they’re finally finished with the mess they’re sure to create.

TrooperJohnSmith | November 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm

“Reproductive Responsibility” is an issue that needs focus. At what point does your supposed ‘right’ to procreate indiscriminately violate my ‘right’ to not pay for your kids, your housing, your food, your utilities and your fu*king smart phone that is better than mine?

Also, when will we start asking the question, “Where is their father? Why and I filling his role as provider?”

Professor, at last something that Conservatives CAN do: join a Service Club, and then get others who are disconnected from society to join as well. That’ll help reduce the anomie described in this article. And it’s not something Liberals can do, because they don’t WANT social organizations replacing the government.

A question for anyone here, particularly Prof. Jacobson:

Does this case say what I think it says?? —

In 1982, the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) and the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) entered into a consent decree (the “Decree” or “Consent Decree”), which is national in scope, limiting the RNC’s ability to engage or assist in voter fraud prevention unless the RNC obtains the court’s approval in advance.

“It’s not a coincidence that the economic era that many liberals pine for — the great, egalitarian post-World War II boom — was an era that social conservatives remember fondly as well: a time of leaping church attendance, rising marriage rates and birthrates, and widespread civic renewal and engagement.” — from the excerpt

What the author of the insert misses is that the immediate post war period was a fluke. There were only a few economies untouched by WWII, the US, Argentina, Brazil principally. If you could assemble widgets because you still had a standing factory you were the one eyed man in a blinded world. If you could not make money it was your own incompetence that prevented it. That ‘era of good feeling’ was the result of that unique set of economic circumstances that developed during the period.

It is not likely to be repeated nor even obtainable under any circumstance and certainly not by the current schemas emanating out of Washington.

“Never let a disaster go to waste” wasn’t prescient; they were telling us what their plan was: create disasters, build fear, point the finger at Republicans, get votes.