They Have Ears But Cannot Hear

by Carl Nelson

Armando Simon, in his recent posting on The Iconoclast, “Will Republicans — Once Again — Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory?” voiced a frequent lament, especially among Trump supporters.  Why are some Conservatives so squishy about standing for the truth?  Isn’t the truth the most powerful message that a speaker can deliver?

I’ve mulled this over likewise.  As much as I liked Simon’s proposed political pitch, I think what the Republican politicos are trying to do is to win over the misled public who might be persuaded to change views. As boldface, plain and truthful as Simon’s proposed rhetoric is, I’m imagining the politico’s thinking is that such raw truth is off-putting to the hesitant voter. The raw truth will certainly invigorate the Trump contingent.  But since their vote is already in the bag, the politicos thinking would seem to be that they need to win over the more hesitant voter with a gentler pitch, a “kinder, gentler” American bandwagon.

Some years ago I got into a discussion regarding our invasion of Iraq.  Sure, I admitted, it is an invasion, but it has been provoked.  And moreover, how can you stand on the side of a religion and a regime which is so oppressive – especially towards women.  And then I enumerated a list of feminist crimes the regime perpetrated.  She was a very bright woman, but objected to what I had to say.

“Don’t you know how that (this argument) makes me feel?”  She replied with a twisted face.  This was the first time I had encountered such an argument.

She was not going to expand her Overton Window, to accommodate what I had to say.  And she blamed me for forcing (not just responding to) the issue.

We seem to have gotten to a horrid place in our current national marriage where “people can’t handle the truth”. There would seem to be a very narrow Overton window through which to reach the hesitant voter, who might very well decide the upcoming election.  If the Republican’s behavior is proper and his criticism is gently enough put, the thinking is that they might vote for him/her.   (At least this is how I understand the squishy Republicans.)  How else to comprehend why the Democrats aren’t run out of each and every town on a rail?  They are truly the antithesis of good government by nearly all measure.

To appeal to this gentle voter, one cannot say that the 2020 election was stolen.  One must say that there were some very questionable irregularities.  Rather than say Global Warming is a hoax, one must say that the extent of Global Warming is still a matter of discussion, but that we must balance our need for energy with our need for sustainability.  We can’t say that the Democrats have literally encouraged an invasion of our southern border (including emptying of the Venezuelan prisons) by every means available.   Rather the Republican candidate must demonstrate how all immigrants, including illegals, suffer from the Democrats’ policies.  To attack a Democrat outright is like hitting a woman.  A Republican candidate must be very gentle and circumspect in limiting their behavior in many districts.  Otherwise, they might lose their alliance with this gentle voter.  And elections have a good chance of being decided by this voter, so much so that, even after our Republican might manage to become elected, their position must continue to be ‘squishy’ if they wish to retain the post.

In our local book reader’s club, I’m in much the same position.  The Republicans are well outnumbered by the Democrats, who are much more apt to cluck like Easter chickens and nod their approval of various progressive notions.  (It’s hard to say how outnumbered, as I’ve yet to hear a Republican out themselves.)  The Overton Window of the group is so far to the Left as to prejudge most Conservative opinion as a rudeness.  Rather than to become a squish, I’m forced to hold my tongue until a vulnerable moment appears in which to fire off a quick quip.  Humor is good – especially if with just enough sting to warn them to pull their fangs in a bit, as the enemy is among them.

We have a long-standing rule that whereas controversial topics are to be welcomed, politics are not.  This can be difficult as the Left believes “the personal is political”.  Nevertheless, when the time came to present my book to the group, I chose, “Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom” by Patrick Moore.  It is quite credible and well sourced.  It also comes with a very striking graph of CO2 and Temperature levels over the past 570 years.  “I don’t know if the planet will get warmer or cooler, but we can know that it is very likely not due to CO2 levels, as this graph shows.  There is no correlation.”

Objections were raised which were easily refuted by 570 million years of sedimentary core sample analysis.  And I repeatedly gave them the same answer: “Not caused by CO2 levels.”

It caused quite a ruckus.  This was some 5 months ago or more, and I just found out today that the woman member whose failure to attend prompted discussion – as she has refused to answer any communications – was one of my more vociferous antagonists.  And that this meeting was the last meeting she attended.  Should I have presented as a squish?

Well, the good news is that we have three new members and that the group is feeling a little more vigorous.

I’m afraid I instigated an even bigger blow-up during the question and answer portion of a later presentation of the book “There Is Nothing For You Here” by Fiona Hill.  The discussion escalated into a fracas including the speaker shouting with her eyes closed, from her chair at the head of the room, “It’s my body, it’s my choice,” over and over, while holding her arms close to her sides as if she were about to be drug off to jail.

But things seem copacetic currently.  The non-violent protesting speaker and I sat next to each other at a recent meeting of the executive board and had a pleasant chat.  Things really seem better than ever, to be frank.  No police were called.  It’s all good.


2 Responses

  1. Tone matters, I guess. Aggression is often expressed by tone, rather than actual contents of speech. Civilly-expressed opposition does not usually cause animosity….

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