"It isn't elitist to tell the truth."

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OpenLeft's Paul Rosenberg held a conservative condescension comeback contest, and now has an interesting follow-up with some suggested responses:

"It isn't elitist to tell the truth." -- RandomNonviolence

"People who think giving your money to millionaires is good for you know a lot more about condescension than I do. I'm not sure I could spell condescension."
--T. Jacobsen

"Response: Yes, it's true. When you keep taking the low road, down is the only way anyone can look to find you."
--Daniel De Groot

"When liberals criticize conservatives, conservatives act as though we are criticizing someone else - voters, the troops, America. We're not - we're criticizing you. Stop hiding behind other people, tough guy. We gave you the truth and you called it condescending!"
--David Kaib

"Because 300 years of fighting for liberty and justice is enough to make anyone cranky."
--Sadie Baker

As one who appreciates the linguistic insights of George Lakoff, I am loathe to recommend the third and fifth suggestions, which reinforce conservatives' framing of the issue despite denying the frame's validity. The second, while humorous, is too narrowly focused on economics. The fourth makes a great point that deserves a wider audience, but the first one--that's a winner!

"It isn't elitist to tell the truth" would make a great bumper-sticker, and its contrast to the conservative MO couldn't be starker. Here's my stab at an "elevator speech" based on it:

Many conservatives would prefer to hide their activities behind a "You can't handle the truth!" fa├žade, telling, "noble lies" (see Plato's Republic) to those who they view as the common rabble. (Scary stories about Kenyan socialists, Czarist bureaucrats, and "death panels" are just a few examples of conservative condescension disguised as concern.)

We liberals believe in speaking truth to power, and in trusting Americans to make their own decisions. Putting facts in the hands of the people is the exact opposite of elitism: an informed electorate and an empowered citizenry are the foundation of democracy.

They believe that you must be manipulated, and need to have your choices restricted by coerced ignorance or by media misinformation; we believe that you can think for yourself if given half a chance.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on March 1, 2010 10:00 PM.

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