There is a curious fault in the human psyche that causes intelligent people to look very stupid when criticizing things that they do not understand. Being on the receiving end of this criticism is one of the most baffling things a human being can be subjected to. Your interlocutor is impervious to any further information on a given topic because your opinion is obviously stupid. Your opinion has been associated with apishness, incivility, and ignorance. Vive le progrès!
The motivation for the above complaints is Barack Obama’s recent remark that rural voters in economically depressed areas are “clinging” to guns, religion, and immigration out of economic frustration. See, the problem is that these folks are just too stupid to reach. They’re so busy speaking in tongues and shooting immigrants that they can’t hear the mellifluous wisdom pouring off liberal tongues.
It is pretty much liberal dogma that the Republican Party is using planks such as gun control and religion to place a socially conservative collar upon the unschooled masses. You see, we (conservatives) don’t know what we’re doing. We just vote for the guys who get dressed up for church and give us a nice smile over a polished Colt revolver. That’s really all our genetically inferior minds can process.
You see this same attitude on a panoply of liberal touch points: stem-cell research, abortion, gun control, war, immigration; you name it.
What’s to be done? I don’t know. Patient repetition of intelligent sounding words may help. As with most problems, I think culture is the culprit. One thing we lack is a public arena that is capable of processing intellectually challenging ideas. Also, we need to re-discover the power of rhetoric used well. Most of our leaders lack depth, because leaders with depth are difficult to produce. It’s easy to be educated, and it’s easy to be compelling, but it’s difficult to be educated and compelling. It’s difficult, but not impossible.