Sunday, July 22, 2012
Pauline Kael & The Minnesota Constitution
Pauline Kael, film critic for decades at The New Yorker, and, arguably, the single most influential film critic during her lifetime, famously is said to have remarked of the 1972 Nixon landslide reelection:
"I don't know how he won. No one I know voted for him."
MC was put in mind of this smug obliviousness when recent polling results were announced for the traditional marriage amendment that Minnesotans will be voting on this November. Since the last poll was released support for the amendment has grown from 47% to 52%. This increase in support comes despite an extremely well financed "No" vote campaign by opponents. The poll results must have come as a shock to them given that everyone they know is against it. Herein the problem.
The no campaign has set out to convince those pre-disposed to vote no to say so publicly. This time, apparently, corporations having a political opinion are just fine because it is left of center. Got it. But still, amplification of a message is not the same as broadening support for the message. Very little, from what MC can see, has been done in that regard by the no proponents. Trotting out a wayward Catholic priest or nun on Twitter to deviate from Church teaching is hardly new or convincing; Flannery O'Connor & Walker Percy had many hilarious things to say about those one-offs in their letters and writings.
No, the problem, as with so many liberal sentiments, is a failure to believe others can disagree with them in good faith. They must be haters, bigots, knuckle draggers & mouth breathers. Well great, then what? Anyone capable of being swayed (and there are more who are so capable than the liberal left or progressives think) is instead put off. Why? Because they've been insulted, not drawn into a discussion that values their concerns and reservations but instead puts those admirable qualities to shame. Liberals are axiomatic. Life is not. Voters with reservations about any particular liberal policy, let alone fundamentals like marriage, should be approached with respect, listened to and not shouted at and certainly not, from some unwarranted a priori vantage point, be called bigots. How can the obvious be so difficult to them?
Every state that has given its citizens a voice in the matter has supported the definition of traditional marriage. My, that's quite a lot of mouth breathers! Even California could not be persuaded. There, however, the left could not bring itself to face reality (would they be liberals if they could?). The outrage of progressives was directed against the Mormon Church, whose position on this issue is no different than the Roman Catholic Church, Muslims both Sunni and Shi'ite as well as Orthodox Jews and the world-wide Orthodox Christian Church.
Who made the real difference in the California marriage vote? Blacks and Hispanics. Don't look to the left to take them on. That would take courage and integrity and this is a crowd who excuses without much reflection he who took Mary Jo's life. Please adjust your expectations accordingly.
Worse than the marriage amendment people though (MC sees young men & women wanting to marry their lovers; that motivation is impossible not to respect even if their tactics could be better) are the opponents of voter photo id, also on the ballot this fall. MC will address later the legal resolution of challenges to both amendments when the Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled on them. Hint: both will remain on the ballot in some form.
Those against voter photo id employ essentially the same tactics against their opponents with essentially the same results. No one who thinks presenting a valid, photo id in order to vote also thinks: "Great, the poor and minorities will be shut out now." That's a construct of the liberal left, unable to posit good faith in opinions with which they disagree.
The extremely liberal former Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the majority decision for the US Supreme Court which upheld as constitutional the use of voter photo id. The other side really can't have it both ways, despite their desperate attempts. Amusingly, it takes umbrage when asked why it turns a blind eye to voter fraud. Usually it insists there is none, causing people to not take them seriously.
Polling shows even higher support for voter photo id than the marriage amendment; somewhere along the lines of 62 or 65%. There can be little doubt that this ballot measure will pass. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has attempted to skew the language of this and the traditional marriage amendment against passage by re-writing the titles to each that will appear on the ballot.
If a conservative Secretary of State had been so naked in his partisanship, the left would have been joined by conservatives in condemning that action. Here, though, because the left is afraid of the people it tiresomely insists it best represents, they are silent. They allow Mark Ritchie to disgrace his office, and by extension the people of Minnesota, because they want the outcome he seeks. Between Ritchie & Gov. Mark "let's give out half a billion tax dollars to millionaires" Dayton, the left in Minnesota is without integrity but don't tell them; they think they've cornered the market on it. Instead, Obama-like, they attempt distractions: Look! Mary Franson! Look! Michael & Amy. Sorry, voters are still not as dumb as the left always but always takes them for.
MC predicts both measures will pass and the same political spectrum that lacks the courage to either engage their opponents or condemn the thuggish Secretary of State will lecture the rest of us argumentum ad nauseam. Having tuned them out now, however, due to their arrogance and logical fallacies, the voters of Minnesota will pay them no mind November 7th.