Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Culture of Victimhood

Michael at Musing’s Musings pointed out this little bit of whining from Jonah Goldberg at The Corner:

The Bush-haters – who are just as extreme and nasty as the Clinton-haters were, and in many ways more so – offer a real opportunity for Bush. I am sure that some of the people who booed Linda Ronstadt or the Dixie Chicks were die-hard Bush supporters. But some of them, I’m sure, were merely people who detested the rudeness and arrogance of performers who thought it was their place to bad-mouth Bush and inject politics into a situation where people had every right to expect a politics-free zone. Obviously this strategy is more difficult for Bush because Clinton had much of the media and almost all of Hollywood on his side. The premise of “The American President,” “West Wing,” and pretty much every political declaration made by the Barbra Streisand crowd popularized the notion that disliking Clinton was an indication you were a weirdo, a crank, an opponent of progress. Bush-haters include many of those same people. With the exception of Fox News there’s really no mainstream outlet available for the White House to get the message out that irrational Bush hatred is not only irrational but annoying. Bush needs a way to tell the Michael Moore fans to “move on.”

In the first place, Jonah seems to have forgotten a few little things about the Clinton-haters: they were a lot nastier than the present crop of Bush-haters. For example:

  • No left-wing hit squad has circulated a video tape called The Bush Chronicles that accuses Bush of murdering his political opponents.
  • No one has accused Bush of running a dope ring out of the state capital of Texas.
  • No special prosecutor has spent $70 million looking into Bush’s financial dealings from twenty years ago.
  • No Democrat has suggested that Bruce Willis, Charlton Heston, Tom Selleck, Toby Keith, or any other celebrity who happens to be a Republican that they have no right to use their status to speak up in support of Bush, and there’s no attempt by the Left to boycott their performances.
  • Jonah is throwing yet another of his patented hissy-fits. What is with the right wing and their victimhood? They have control of all three branches of the government, most of the state houses and legislatures, they have their own 24-hour cable channel, and yet they act as if they’re the ones who are always wronged. I haven’t heard so much whining since my teacher in Grade 3 said we were out of graham crackers and we had to settle for saltines at recess.

    It’s an old tactic. You see it in bullies, spolied children, and alcoholics. In their eyes, they’re the injured party. The bully says, “Poor, pitiful me and my miserable life because everyone treats me like shit; that’s the reason I have to be so mean.” They’re never happy unless they’re miserable and manipulating everyone to do their bidding. Spoiled children live off a sense of entitlement; they are destined to be the leaders and everyone else is there to serve their whims. This is a strangely ironic mindset for a party that claims to be the ones who believe that everyone should make it on their own merits. (Please explain to me how Jonah got a job writing for NRO without being the son of Lucianne Goldberg.) And I lived long enough with an alcoholic to know what it’s like to be cast as the bad guy because I tried to change their behavior.

    The one way I’ve found to give whiners a cold dose of reality is not to pay them the attention they crave. In this case, I’d say we just need to vote them out of office and let them cry themselves to sleep.