The conservative talking heads and radio ranters would have you believe that "cut and run" liberals, with their "San Francisco values" plan to lead the country astray.
These fringe conservatives represent the know-nothings, creating fictional "liberal" straw men that they can knock down. Listen to Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage or Mark Levin, and you know who to get angry at: "Hillary Rotten Clinton
" or "Schmucky Schumer
." Laugh with them at Dianne Feinstein
or Nancy Pelosi
, make fun of Barack Obama's name
, misrepresent what they stand for, and hope you share their anger.
But just because these yahoos say they represent "mainstream" values doesn't mean anyone has to believe them. Americans just need to know the facts, and frame the subject accordingly.
A new poll
from CNN helps. It gives more
strong evidence that the "liberal" ideas mocked by conservatives are, in fact, mainstream views. In issue after issue, Americans are siding with Pelosi, Obama, Feinstein and the rest, and not George W. Bush or his conservative Congressional counterparts.
Consider some poll results:
-- Raising the minimum wage: 85 percent favor, 14 percent oppose.
-- Cutting interest rates on federal loans to college students: 84 percent favor, 15 percent oppose.
-- Creating an independent panel to oversee Congressional ethics: 79 percent favor, 19 percent oppose.
-- Making significant changes in U.S. policy in Iraq: 75 percent favor, 21 percent oppose.
-- Implementing all anti-terrorism recommendations of 9/11 Commission: 64 percent favor, 26 percent oppose.
-- Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research: 62 percent favor, 32 percent oppose.
It should be noted that all of the above are issues the new Democratic majorities in Congress plan to address.
It would be easy (and I'm paraphrasing Levin
) to just scream at the conservative pundits, "Get off the radio, you big dope!"
But we know that isn't going to happen, and it shouldn't. Free speech -- even ridiculous, mean-spirited, ill-informed speech -- is something that we must all defend.
As Michael Douglas, as President Andrew Shepherd said
in the 1995 movie The American President
: "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours."
They want you to try to stop them, so they can change the subject from what Americans want, to some fake battle over "liberal media bias."
Instead, shut these people up is with facts. Defends "mainstream" values, not as defined by Mark Levin, but as defined by a wide American majority.